Thursday, March 29, 2012

LEC Prix de Ville!

We are off to the Prix de Ville this weekend with one team and two horses showing in the Open classes.  Come join the fun and cheer us on!  Ride times listed below!

4:37 Tiffany George-Kete & Cisco
5:21 Mandy Williams & Saint
5:56 Therese Evans & Tsjesse
7:51 Sanae Tanebe & Leggs

8:08 Therese Evans & Goodman
10:29 Leah Fredericks & Earl
1:09 Sanae Tanebe & Leggs
3:33 Mandy Williams & Saint
5:14 Tiffany George-Kete & Cisco

TBA Therese Evans & Tsjesse
8:25 Sanae Tanebe & Leggs
9:25 Leah Fredericks & Earl
1:55 Mandy Williams & Saint
4:45 Tiffany George-Kete & Cisco
1:39 Therese Evans & Goodman

Good Luck Everybody!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LEC Dressage Show

We had a great weekend at the Lake Erie College Winter Series dressage show the weekend of March 16-18th.  I took Goodman and Tsjesse, and was joined by one of the Assistant Trainers at White North, Mandy Williams and Sally Cutler's horse Saint. 

Goodman was a very good boy, and put in two condident performances at Fourth Level with no drama.  I was very happy with his work ethic, and test on Sunday, and it was great to have his owner Angela Hambrick there to enjoy seeing him compete. Goodman can sometimes be a victim of stagefright, especially in an indoor arena, and we were really proud of how brave he was!   Tsjesse did the FEI Prix St. George both days, and scored a 66.9% securing the FEI Championship at the show!  We were really excited.  He and I have finally figured out how to work together, and its been such a gift that his owner Marian Shaughnessy has given me the opportunity to compete him. 

Mandy and Saint had decided to tagalong at this horse show because she and Saint will be showing at the Prix de Ville this weekend on our team, and Saint had never been to a show.  Boy did "Saint the Paint" impress us!  He walked off the trailer like he had been doing it all his life, and settled right into his stall.  In the warm-up he had nary a spook, and went into the show ring like a pro.  While he was a little exhuberant in the first test, he put in a very solid second test and won both his classes finishing on a 65%!  We were exstatic!  Mandy has been working at White North for some time now, and has really blossomed as a coach and rider.  She began riding Saint at that time, and has been training him as a good all around mount for his owner Sally Cutler.  When it became obvious that he enjoyed the dressage work, she began schooling him a bit more and taking lessons to advance their skill set.  Mandy has worked very hard with this big guy, and its great to see them be so successful!  We cant wait to see how they do through the rest of the summer!

This weekend we will be taking five horses to the Dressage Prix de Ville, fielding a Low Team.  Our team of riders includes:
Mandy Williams and Saint
Sanae Tanebe and Panglossian (aka Leggs)
Tiffany George-Kete and Cisco
Leah Fredericks and Earl

I will also be competing Goodman and Tsjesse again in the Open classes.  Good Luck to all the riders at the show, and we are looking forward to a fun weekend!
Mandy and Saint having a pep talk
at LEC 3/18

Its a Wrap

Boyd & Neville, Phillip & Mystery Whisper
Lauren Hough, Capt. Mark Phillips
at USEF Team training sessions
Well, its taken me a while to sum up our time in Aiken this year, so I thought I would just begin by saying WE WERE BUSY!  I was fortunate to have one of my best friends, Mary McKeon, helping out on the weekends, and Haley Goodwill as our official groom for the month.  While the trip got off to a rocky start~ie: Haley's truck breaking down, my substitute stall cleaner getting sick, one colicking horse, and Haley's beautiful dog passing on at home, it finished with a much better swing of events! 

We enjoyed having several of my wonderful clients come down during the second and third weeks to catch some sun and outdoor riding, and the  horses were wonderful.  Sanae, Utako, Cathy, and Jessica all rode twice a day (Jessica even got to do a XC school with the infamous Boyd Martin)  and made the most of their time in Aiken.  It was such a joy to have them all with us, and made for a great time!  We also got to do a bit of horse shopping, and came home with a sweet new horse for Cindy Pordon, Hidden Promise. 

I did a fair bit of showing while we were there, taking Goodman and Tsjesse to Florida once, and also competing them with Sarotti in John's Island South Carolina.  They were all good boys, and it was great to get back into the show ring and shake out the cobwebs.  I also competed Z at the Full Gallop Horse Trials and he had a fabulous run with some time to finish 8th in the OT.  Unfortunately, he did not get to compete again while we were there due to getting kicked in the field, but I am excited for what will be an interesting season with him. 

Fortunately, Haley and I took some time out to watch the USEF Training sessions at Ilene Boormans gorgeous place Bridle Creek Farm, with Lauren Hough and Capt. Mark Phillips which was very educational.  We had the opportunity to see Lauren coach Boyd, Phillip, and Becky Holder, and she even took a ride on Can't Fire Me which was very interesting.  For someone like me who struggles a bit sometimes in the showjumping, I found it very helpful to watch a petite woman pilot a larger horse around some big jumps.  Of course, its always amazing to watch Boyd and Phillip ride; I learn so much by watching!!!  I also had the outstanding opportunity to catch a few lessons with Boyd and Silva, and I can't thank them enough for making time for me.  I get so much from their lessons, and it really ups my game at the start of the season.

I have to say one of the best parts of my trip was the friendships I was able to make, and others that I was able to rekindle.  I enjoyed getting to meet Michelle and Chris Adamson from England, and hear all about their homebred steeplechasers turned event horses, Emily Beshear and her adorable son Nicholas, and Jimmie and Dom Schramm and their "coyote dog" Willow (no she is not really a coyote) who Rose promptly dubbed as part of the family.  I would be remiss if I didnt mention Bubba Forrester and his girlfriend Janet who are the perfect hosts at Sandy Hills Farm, and I will be missing the glazed donuts on Sunday mornings.  Speaking of hosts, where do I begin in thanking Diane and Steve Toth my friends and hosts for not only welcoming me into their home, but also for all their help, support, and general sanity, not to mention chocolate cake, brownies, dinners, stall cleaning, truck fixing, and the hundred other things they did to make life easier during such a crazy time!  I OWE you a huge THANKS!

Lastly, thanks to everybody at home who held down the fort and enabled me to go this husband Ivor and son Jake~ thank you guys for giving me the flexibility to be gone for such a long period of time.  My parents for helping out with Jake on weekends, and all their encouragement, and finally, all the people at White North (Mandy, Liz) for teaching and riding so many horses while I was away! 

And now, on to the show season!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Building the Bench

Well, I know that I am way behind in regaling you with the events in Aiken, and I have decided to impart the activities of the month in something less than chronological order. (Sorry)! 
As some of you may already know, I have quietly been on the hunt for a "special" eventing partner that is a serious upper level prospect for the future.  Who isn't, right?  I have had the amazing opportunity to ride several wonderful horses, some for extended periods of time, but never felt the proverbial "click". 

I like to think of Eventing like a professional sports team...think baseball, hockey... part of creating a team is to have some superstars on the first string, as well as DEPTH on the bench.  A good team has to have up and coming players learning the ropes from the big guys for the team to be consistently successful.  The Detroit Red Wings are amazing at this.  I would never purport to REally know anything about hockey, but thanks to my husband I have a distinct appreciation of the hard work, knowledge and attention to detail that they employ in their team building to have a group of athletes that dominate at the top level of their sport year after year. 

During my time in Aiken, I continued this search and low and behold, found an outstanding prospect that I believe to be the future at Evans Eventing.   Blockbuster is a gorgeous, U.S. bred, 6 year old Dutch gelding by Sir Sinclair.  He is an outstanding mover, with a fantastic personality, and a great jump.  This young horse never looks at a fence~let's remember when I tried him he had only jumped a handful of times, and went straight through a bounce, one stride, and variable lines, not to mention spooky panels, liver pools and planks.  He never looked at a thing!  I even hacked him out, and he would rather trot or canter than walk.  He is curious about investigating his world, and shows the real quality and "thinking" properties possessed by top eventers.  After sitting on him the first time, (at the risk of sounding cliche) I knew this was the horse I had been trying to find.  The best part is that because he is by Sir Sinclair, he has about 25% or more Thoroughbred coursing through his veins!

I had the opportunity to ride him several times, (including with Boyd~thank you!) and really got to know his character and capabilities.  After some thought and some chance meetings of his breeder, I began trying to put a plan together to purchase this amazing horse.  I have secured one part owner, and one sponsor, not including myself to bring Blockbuster to Evans Eventing, but we need a few more people who want to be part of our exciting future to bring it to reality.  The sky is the limit with this horse, and he presents a fabulous way for someone to get involved in the sport of Eventing at the ground floor of an international prospect as we make our way up the levels.  Please contact me at or 440-622-4976 if you have any interest big or small in becoming part of the group to bring this developing horse to our  team.  In the meantime, enjoy the video!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Congratulations Cindy!

I am pleased to announce and welcome Cindy Pordon's purchase of her new Dressage horse, Hidden Promise!  Promise is a 10yr old TB, (yes you read that right, TB!) trained to 4th level, and schooling the FEI Prix St. George. Purchased from Silva and Boyd Martin, Promise was bred and previously owned by Nina Fout who competed him to the two star level in Eventing.  He is a very fancy mover with a fabulous temperment, and we are very excited for Cindy to continue her dressage career with such an amazing partner!  Cindy was one of my first dressage clients at White North, and it is a joy to see her purchase such an exceptional horse. I wish you all the best for the future! Congratulations!