Equestrian January / February 2015
Every Age A Diverse Group of Standout Horses
Resolutions Top Equestrians’ Plan for 2015
The Porter Brothers The Sky is the Limit
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Table of Contents
JANUARY / FEBRUARY
The Sky is the Limit
Success at Every Age
New Year’s Resolutions
A Diverse Group
Top Equestrians’ Plan for 2015
of Standout Horses
Cover photo by Kendall Bierer
Sponsors Take a look at our partners
Seen and Heard
Balancing your schedule
Around the equestrian world
Day in the Life
Setting goals for the new year
What’s in and what’s out
4 Equestrian January / February
Introducing the Monaco Stretch. Fit to move.
Official Partner of the USEF ÂŠ 20 2014 14 Ari r at Int n ernational a , IInc n.
EW YEAR’S IS A TIME TO look back on the memories we’ve made over the past year; from our successes to our failures, each piece contributes to the story we are creating. It is also a time to celebrate what’s to come, set goals to achieve, and make the future anything we want it to be. With inspiration all around, the editorial team set out to highlight some of the triumphs of the equestrian world that allow us to look forward to 2015. The competition year is underway and for our equine partners, age does not limit potential. Featuring champions at every age, the excitement these great horses left us with last year has everyone wondering what’s next for them? Last year we showcased 30 of the best up-and-coming individuals under the age of 30 who are poised to become big names in the industry, and this year our focus is all about the horses! What would the New Year be without resolutions and goals for the future? We asked athletes to weigh in on how they plan to make 2015 great and got insight from Sean McCann, Senior Sport Psychologist with the United States Olympic Committee, on how to take your athletic performance to the next level. With some useful tips and entertaining responses, anyone can relate to these features. Finishing off an incredible year, two Texas brothers have taken the jumping world by storm. At the beginning of very promising careers, Wilton and Lucas Porter have already proven they have what it takes to make the climb toward the top. Both under the age of 21, they have high hopes for the future, and a look inside their world reveals why Porter is a name we can expect to hear a lot more. Featuring fun pieces including our list of what’s out with 2014 and in for the new year, we look forward to sharing the latest issue with you! ■
Equestrian Magazine Volume LXXVIII, No.1
Published by The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Chief Communications Officer Josh Taylor SVP, USEFNetwork & Media Kathy Knill Meyer Advertising Director Kim Russell Account Executive Crissi White Contributing Writers Mark Coley Helen Murray Kathleen Landwehr Eileen Schnettler Contributing Editors Scott Carling Kathleen Landwehr Helen Murray Eileen Schnettler Art Director Tonya Morgan Design & Layout Courtney Cotton Candice McCown Samuel Milburn Equestrian magazine (ISSN 1548-873X) is published seven times a year: January/February, Horse of the Year Special Edition, March/April/Spectator’s Guide, May/June, July/ August, September/October, November/December, by the United States Equestrian Federation®, 4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511; Phone: (859) 258-2472; Fax: (859) 231-6662. (ISSN:1548-873X). NOTE: Effective Issue 1 of 2015, Equestrian magazine will be published and provided electronically and only four editions will have a limited number of printed copies. Only the Horse of the Year Special Edition will provided in the U.S. Mail. USEF is not responsible for the opinions and statements expressed in signed articles and paid advertisements. These opinions are not necessarily the opinions of USEF and its staff. While the Federation makes every effort to avoid errors, we assume no liability to anyone for mistakes or omissions. It is the policy of the Federation to report factually and accurately in Equestrian and to encourage and to publish corrections whenever warranted. Kindly direct any comments or inquiries regarding corrections to the Josh Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org or by direct dial 859-225-2024. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Equestrian, 4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40845627. For Canadian returns, mail to Canada Express, 7686 #21 Kimble Street Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5S1E9. (905) 672-8100. Reproduction of any article, in whole or part, by written permission only of the Editor. Equestrian: Publisher, United States Equestrian Federation®, Chief Executive Officer, Chris Welton (859) 2256912. Director of Advertising, Kim Russell (859) 225-6938. Copyright © 2014. Equestrian is the official publication of the United States Equestrian Federation, the National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport in the USA, and is an official publication of USEF. o
Looking Forward 6 Equestrian January / February
This is my horse
My first pony was named "Cash and Carry ," a great jumping pony that was passed down through my siblings. He was just one of the horses that prepared me for the experience I've had with Brunello. I know that nutrition has a lot to do with how Brunello performs. I believe in a simple, but powerful diet to fuel healthy cells, which is why I choose Platinum. I also give the horses Platinum Balance because the better Brunello's stomach feels, the higher he jumps! If I wasn't a Hunter rider, I would be a nutritionist because you are what you eat.
USEF Emerson Burr Trophy Winner 2013 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals Champion Platinum Performance® Client since 2005 Liza has been a client since 2005 and a sponsored endorsee since 2013
USEF 2013 National Horse of the Year
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8 Equestrian January / February
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THE BALANCING ACT
Unlike many other sports where the practice field, gym, or pool is at your middle school or high school, most riders don’t have this convenience with the barn, making the balance of school and finding time to ride a challenge. Adding in homework, other extracurricular activities, and friends makes fitting in time at the barn an even tighter squeeze. Thousands of junior and young riders face this problem every year, and with the help of other riders just like you, we’ve come up with some tips to help take your riding to the next level while keeping your parents happy when the report card comes in.
Schedule Your Time Use a calendar to track when assignments and projects are due, as well as important competitions you plan to attend. This schedule will help you find times during the week when you can spend more time at the barn and not fall behind in the classroom.
PHOTO: KIM RUSSELL
Sacrifices With any sport, sacrifices will have to be made to participate, but prioritizing what is important to you will help make these trade-offs easier. Communicate with your trainer, parents, teachers, and friends about what activities are coming up to help determine a balance that can work for you. If you have a competition quickly approaching, it may not be possible to spend your entire Saturday at the mall with friends, but knowing ahead of time that the show is important to you will help motivate you to work even harder toward your goal.
12 Equestrian January / February
Mallory Kent competing at the 2013 NAJYRC riding Okiedokie
Know Your Limits Be realistic in determining how long something will take to complete. It may seem like you have enough time to take a quick ride before hitting the books, but with cold weather, can you properly cool down your horse in 10 minutes after the ride? Your time may be better spent focusing on school work and getting ahead so the following day you have more time to spend with your horse. Ask for Help There are people all around supporting and wanting you to succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you have specific questions about better understanding a math problem or more general questions about what your riding goals should be for the next year, better understanding your questions will help decrease stress levels, allowing you to perform better in the classroom as well as at the show.
Mallory’s Take: “At my school, I always give the board of directors a fair amount of heads up time that I will be missing class for horses. Along with a notice, I explain what I am doing at the show and occasionally include a picture of me riding to help them feel like they are a part of my journey, as they can see how important riding is to me. I stay on top of my homework, tests, and assignments, and try to go the extra mile by making up my work beforehand. By being a good student, you have so much more control over the situation, and you don’t get wildly behind or stress about homework, and can focus on riding the best you can. You will inevitably have to sacrifice in some areas, but riding is worth the time and effort for me. I just keep in mind my final goal and keep working toward that.” Mallory Kent is an 11th grader at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Ala. In 2014, she competed at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp., as well as the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North.
January / February Equestrian 13
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A rub. It’s all that separates a flawless round from “better luck next time.” But you’re not depending on luck. You’re depending on countless hours in and out of the saddle. And you didn’t come here for just a ribbon. You came for the championship ribbon. So ask yourself, does your horse have the stomach to win?
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Seen & Heard
BUZZ FROM AROUND THE RING
“Don’t worry, Hunter - second place worked out OK for me!” - Double Olympic Gold medalist and 2014 ASPCA Maclay National Championship judge McLain Ward, who placed second in the Maclay as a junior, to 2014 runner-up Hunter Holloway
U.S. Air Force veteran Derrick Perkins received the high score of the night aboard Mr Fritz Wood, with coaching from J.D. Yates (left) and Shawn Flarida (right), at the para-reining demonstration at the AQHA World Championship Show.
“I find mucking stalls strangely similar to raking a Zen garden. #simplepleasures #USEFTalk” Aleia Brown, the winner of the 2014 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final presented by Elisabeth M. Goth, smiles aboard Madeira’s Fame after receiving her prizes.
“Winning the FEI Against All Odds
Award means so much to me as an individual, and as an athlete. Life has routinely thrown speed bumps and curves on my plans, but my passion for horses and their incredible spirit has repeatedly helped me find a way around obstacles that others might have seen as insurmountable.”
Beezie Madden riding Cortes ‘C’ to the win in the $250,000 CP World Cup Qualifier at the National Horse Show.
16 Equestrian January / February
- 2014 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year, Sydney Collier, after receiving the 2014 FEI Against All Odds award
PHOTO: CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT, LARRI JO STARKEY, HOWARD SCHATZBERG, ©KENDALL BIERER/PHELPSSPORTS.COM.
- Lynn Symansky, when asked whether she prefers mucking out or scrubbing water buckets during the first #USEFTalk Twitter Q&A session
“There is an obvious feeling of optimism and excitement in the air across our nation as we head into 2015 and the Pan American Games.” - USEF Chef d’Equipe/ Technical Advisor, Robert Dover after two successful USEF Dressage Observation and Strategy Sessions Tori Colvin is all smiles aboard Patrick as she accepts her prizes as the winner of the 2014 ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay Championship, presented by Dover Saddlery at the National Horse Show.
“Next year my big goal is the World Cup Final here in Vegas again; I made that a big priority, so I came back here to do some qualifiers. I got some good points so we’re on the right track for that and the Pan American Games also. I love Championships and that’s my big priority every year, and to be a team rider, so those are my goals for the next year and on.”
PHOTO: CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT, ©REBECCA WALTON/PHELPSSPORTS.COM, LARRI JO STARKEY, ©EMILY RIDEN/PHELPS MEDIA GROUP
- Reed Kessler, on what her 2015 plans included when she was at the 2014 Las Vegas National
Kathryn Haefner gives Columbus a kiss on the nose after the pair won the Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Grand Championship at the National Horse Show.
Katie Shoemaker and See Stevies Dream perform a spin during the para-reining demonstration at the AQHA World Championship Show.
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January / February Equestrian 17
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Day in the Life
K AT I E C O L E M A N
Katie Coleman (nee Thornton) has had her hands full over the last month, beginning with her marriage to 2012 Olympic Games veteran, William Coleman, on November 8th. Since then, she has been busy helping her new husband get the horses back in work and trimmed up as they prepare to move their eventing operation on December 15th down to Ocala, Florida, for the winter months. Equestrian Magazine caught up with Katie on December 5, just days before the Will Coleman Equestrian team was shipping from their home-base at Tivoli Farm in Gordonsville, Virginia, down to Florida, and Will himself was searching for new prospects in Ireland. She took some time out of her busy schedule to walk us through what a day at an elite competition stable looks like as they prepared to kick off the 2015 season.
[7:30am] In the off-season, we try and start a little later than we would during the competition season, just to let everyone recuperate from all the early mornings earlier in the year and before we get the next season underway. I’ll help the crew get the barn done in the morning and do chores before we start riding. [9:00am] This time of year, we usually begin riding around 9:00 and start with the big guys (upper level horses) and then taper off from there. I generally do a lot of flatwork, but with Will away right now I’m riding a few more.
[2:00pm] Right now I spend time in the afternoon getting things organized and packed for Florida, making sure we have the muck buckets and all the barn equipment ready to go. Also in the afternoons, we are clipping the horses, pulling manes and trimming them up so that they look like competition horses again. [5:00pm] We usually finish up in the barn around 4:30 or 5:00 and then on my way home, I’ll teach a few flat lessons to clients that are off the property. ■ Helen Murray
20 Equestrian January / February
PHOTOS: WILL COLEMAN EQUESTRIAN
[Noon-ish] In the afternoon we’ll start teaching lessons, including to the working students and girls in the barn. This time of year we’ll teach and help the girls as we’re all riding together or jogging (trot-sets to build up the horse’s fitness). The crew helps with a lot of the fitness work throughout the year, so we feel that it’s really important they can jog horses and ride in the contact correctly once we get busy with the season.
Realtor and Rider Matt Johnson A familiar face around Wellington, Matt Johnson grew up riding horses in Central Vermont and attended the University of Vermont. A Dean’s list student, in 1992 he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with a concentration in Small Business Management. The following winter Matt Johnson made his first trek south to Wellington with his horse to work and train with top Olympic riders. For 5 years he did what many clients do, spend summers up north and winters in Wellington. In 1998 Matt made the decision to make Wellington his permanent year-round home and enter the real estate business. Since then he hasn’t looked back. Consistently, year after year, Matt has been one of Wellington’s top-producing agents representing some the community’s finest estates, equestrian properties and buyers. Along with the traditional sales approach, Matt has a proven track record of success with luxury real estate auctions with some of
Matt & Qasanova at the 2014 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Germany and at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington
Wellington’s most prestigious properties. He is always looking to raise the bar and Real estate agent Matt Johnson with Orisette
to provide the best exposure and service to his customers. In his continued effort,
this fall he made the move to a global real estate platform and joined Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty based in Wellington. Matt’s competitive nature doesn’t end in the office. He is an active dressage rider and competitor. Most recently, last November he imported his current mount, Petersborg’s Qasanova, a Danish stallion (Quarterback x Calypso II). He Trains with 6 time Olympian and USA’s Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover. Much to Matt’s surprise, within the first few months of their partnership, he & Qasaonva were 2014’s top FEI horse and rider combination for five year-olds in the United States and went on to be the sole U.S. representatives at the World Championships for young horses in Verden, Germany this past August. “This horse and the entire past 12 months has far exceeded anything I’d imagined possible. Dreams came true, I’m grateful and blessed.” Matt’s drive, determination and personable nature is evident in and out of the arena and obviously has contributed to his success. So if you’re looking to sell or purchase a property in the Wellington Florida area, give Matt a call. He not only understands the equestrian lifestyle, he lives it. He can be reached at Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty at 561-313-4367 or visit his website for One of Matt’s Current listings listed at $2,850,000 usef.org
more information at www.MattSells.com. January / February Equestrian 21
hether you compete a few times a year or are on the road every week, goalsetting is a valuable tool that can take you and your horse’s performance to the next level. When asked why athletes should set goals, Sean McCann, United States Olympic Committee Sr. Sport Psychologist, explains that, “setting goals clearly works and makes a big difference in an athlete’s performance.” For many people, goal-setting sounds like a daunting task, causing them to resist taking on the burden. McCann suggests, “People can change the name to something like to-do list or action tasks. If you know a to-do list helps you with everyday tasks, why not use one to help you with your riding?” Changing the name of the method helps take down barriers people put up between themselves and the potential of improving their performance.
24 Equestrian January / February
PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE USOC
McCann highlights four main ways goal-setting works: 1. Better choices: With goals in place, athletes make better decisions, especially concerning the use of their time. 2. Increased effort: Making goals a part of their routine leads to athletes putting in more effort toward improving themselves and motivating them in their endeavors. 3. Improved persistence: Research shows that athletes persist longer with goals, with certain objectives driving them forward on their journey toward progress. 4. Thinking differently about self: Goals help athletes to think differently about themselves. Getting into the habit of working toward a goal enables athletes to take a realistic look at their performance, helping them realize their strengths and weaknesses.
Further describing how goal-setting works, McCann recommends having S.M.A.R.T. goals. Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely help set athletes up for success. Specific To come up with a specific goal, McCann says, “Don’t set goals that are too general or too easy.” He further notes that goals that are focused more on improvement than outcome are more effective. For example, improving canter pirouettes in your dressage test or getting smoother changes during your hunter round is a more practical goal than receiving a certain score or coming home with the blue ribbon. “It’s not that outcome goals aren’t helpful at all, it’s just that they aren’t nearly as effective as focusing on the thing you want to improve on from your last competition,” he adds. Measurable Goals need to be measurable so you can rate your progress as you move forward to reach your goals. Setting up concrete criteria, such as the number of flying changes you need to perform cleanly in your dressage test, helps set you up for success. Attainable Having a goal that is attainable is highly important. McCann explains “You need to be pretty ambitious, but goals will lose their effectiveness if they are too crazy ambitious.” Finding a happy medium between a challenging, but reasonable goal will help you along the goal-setting process. Having perfect distances to every fence in all of your jumping rounds in 2015 isn’t an attainable goal, but having good distances to 75% of your fences is doable with hard work and dedication. Realistic To achieve a goal, you must have the capabilities and resources to attain it. You and your horse must be able to accomplish your goal. Each rider and horse has limitations, but the allimportant resource of instruction from a knowledgeable trainer can help you reach new heights with your riding. Timely This refers to the time frame in which you hope to reach your goals, whether it is six weeks, six months, or longer. Some riding goals make take several weeks of hard work, while others can take much longer.
Once you have decided what your goals should be, reviewing them often is highly beneficial. “The more regularly you visit your goals, the better. Every time you revisit your goals you are reshaping your behavior,” points out McCann. Though you may feel that having your riding goals in the back of your mind is sufficient, it is better if you write down your goals. “Writing your goals down makes a difference. People tend to forget something if they don’t write it down, and by not writing it down you give your brain the option of forgetting it,” he adds. Though athletes often focus on goals involving competitions since they can easily be tallied up, they spend more time training than competing. “Athletes who improve their performance focus a lot on what their training goals are,” McCann says. Having a certain emphasis for your
January / February Equestrian 25
daily rides is an essential part of improving your overall riding performance. “Equestrians are some of the busiest athletes I have ever seen,” McCann says, especially those with multiple horses or their own business. “Sometimes they can barely keep their head above water, and for that reason, training goals can feel like a burden, but goals are even more important when equestrians have a hectic schedule.” McCann advocates being efficient with goal-setting, taking just 30 seconds before riding your next horse to decide what you want to work on and to maximize your time to focus as much as possible on your desired skill or training goal during your ride. Leading up to competitions, athletes often become anxious about how ready they are and avoid actually assessing how prepared they are in an attempt to elude feelings of doubt. Not assessing their performance leading up to a competition can give athletes a false sense of confidence, but it isn’t the right course of action. McCann explains that goal-setting helps stop the avoiding behaviors; forcing yourself to get organized will make you feel more prepared for your competition. Having a set schedule the week of a competition and sticking to it will have athletes primed for a competition. Though you want to lessen feelings of anxiety leading up to a competition, “top athletes deal with anxiety by exposing themselves to it,” making them better prepared for the pressures they experience at competitions. When working toward goals, athletes can hit roadblocks with their training. McCann notes that equestrians do lots of self-coaching between lessons, and he encourages those who coach others to coach themselves in the same way, not being too harsh on themselves. When you do hit a rut in your training program, it can take figuring out what is going to work now if what you have been doing isn’t working. However, at competitions, you should have a set plan and continue to execute it, even if things may not be going well, due to the fact that a competition is not an ideal time to drastically change your routine. At the end of the competition season, a yearly in-depth look at your goals is helpful to see what worked and what didn’t. “Ideally, goal-setting should be part of your everyday life. A yearly review is valuable to see the big picture, but that is tied into monthly, weekly, and daily goals,” McCann explains. As is often the case with busy equestrians, looking at the year as a whole can make you realize that you may not be giving enough time to riding if you are running a business as well. If certain duties can be delegated to someone else, riders may have more time to dedicate to their riding goals and reaching their full potential. Getting too caught up in or having the wrong view about goals is a problem that athletes may run into as they work toward improvement. “Goals are a way to get better and do better; they are not moral judgments about whether you are good or not,” McCann explains. Athletes need to stay positive and not beat themselves up over goals. Making goals should not be something that controls you, but encourages you. With clear, thoroughly planned goals for you and your horse, you will be on your way to newfound success.
“Goals are a way to get better and do better; they are not moral judgments about whether you are good or not.”
■ Kathleen Landwehr
26 Equestrian January / February
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Brief Summary Indications: For the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses. There are no known contraindications to the use of intramuscular Adequan速 i.m. brand Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan in horses. Studies have not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses. WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Each 5 mL contains 500 mg Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan. SEE PRODUCT PACKAGE INSERT FOR FULL PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. Adequan速 is a registered trademark of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 息LUITPOLD PHARMACEUTICALS, INC., Animal Health Division, Shirley, NY 11967. AHD 1528, lss. 2/12 D-LPI12001a-USEF
THE PORTER BROTHERS 28 Equestrian January / February
“It’s really helpful and encouraging that our parents want us to keep riding and doing well.” -Lucas
The Sky is the Limit “It’s unbelievable for one of us to win a Gold medal, and for us both to win is amazing and a credit to our parents and supporters,” Wilton Porter stated after clinching Young Rider Individual Gold at the 2014 Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC), only a few hours after his younger brother, Lucas, had claimed the top spot on the Junior podium. For 20-year-old Wilton and 17-year-old Lucas, horses and the sport of jumping have played a pivotal role in their lives for nearly as long as they can remember. What started as weekend visits to their Sleepy P Ranch, outside Dallas, Texas, to ride their pony has blossomed into trips to Europe, Calgary, and prestigious U.S. competitions to go head-to-head with many of the best juniors, young riders, and professionals in the game. All along the way, the boys have
had the unwavering support of their mother, Suzanne, and father, BG Porter. “One hundred percent, I would not be anywhere close to where I am without my family’s support,” reflects Wilton. “My mom’s passion for this is equal to my brother’s and mine, and she just loves the sport and my Dad really likes the sport as well; he saw my mom’s passion and got hooked on it himself. They’ve been incredibly supportive and we’ve kind of built our life around this over the years, with the farm in Florida and traveling to Europe every summer; pretty much competing 365 days a year.” “It’s really helpful and encouraging that our parents want us to keep riding and doing well, so that’s really helpful to my brother and me because they’re encouraging us just like we are encouraging each other and believing in one another,” echoes Lucas.
Opposite: “It’s exciting to compete against my brother; we’re competitive against each other, but we always want each other to do well,” Lucas says of competing alongside Wilton. This page: Wilton has earned top placings in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. usef.org
January / February Equestrian 29
Break-Out Season In 2014, both Wilton and Lucas enjoyed campaigns that could be classified as nothing less than spectacular. Many would consider the boys’ Individual Gold medal-winning performances at the NAJYRC as the crowning achievements, but their campaigns last year were about far more than a single performance or show. Prior to heading to Lexington for NAJYRC, Wilton claimed top honors in the first WEF Challenge Cup Round 30 Equestrian January / February
and was a member of the winning U.S. team in the FEI Young Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. In 2014, he would also win his first international class at Spruce Meadows, the Friends of the Meadows 1.45m class, and make his U.S. team debut at CSIO3* Bratislava. In addition to NAJYRC glory, Lucas earned top finishes at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, Kentucky Summer Shows, the American Gold Cup, the Washington International Horse Show, and European CSIYs in Germany and France, including Balve, Hagen, and St. Tropez. “Any of the championships here, like Young Riders or Prix des States, are something not a lot of junior riders get to experience,” noted Lucas when asked what shows have been most meaningful to him over the years. “I’ve been able to compete in Europe, and that’s a whole new aspect because the shows in Europe are very different than the shows in the States; not only are we competing against some of the best juniors from the United States, but also the best juniors in Europe, so definitely Europe is an experience.” A Limitless Future In 2015, both brothers have their sights firmly set on the Grand Prix ranks. Wilton, a Junior Economics major at Vanderbilt University, looks to continue to gain experience at the highest level. “Right now I’m still getting used to competing at the Grand Prix level with all these experienced professionals, especially here in Florida, and mainly we just want to have consistency in our rounds at that level and hopefully get some good results.”
Left to right: Lucas competing in the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championship. Following his victory lap at NAJYRC, Lucas took a bath in the open water, thanks to his friends on Team Mexico.
PHOTOS: AL COOK, BEN RADVANYI FOR SPORTFOT
From Texas to the International Stage While the Sleepy P competition horses are now based out of Wellington, Fla., and the Sleepy P Ranch in Bartonville, Texas, is the home of the Southern Methodist University NCAA Equestrian Team, the Porter brothers will always view Texas as home and where their dreams of international jumping success began. “My mom rode when she was a kid and she kind of introduced us to the sport when we were super young, and she got us a pony. So every weekend we would go out to our ranch in Texas and ride the pony, and then my brother one day put a plank, set on two buckets, and jumped it and then things took off from there,” recalls Lucas. Had it not been for setting the basic jump that day, the family’s equestrian passion may easily have ended up in the Western disciplines. Wilton remembers, “I kind of started learning Western style and I had taken a few roping lessons and maybe was about to move into the Rodeo world, but then messing around one day my friends put a plank on a bucket and I just hopped over it on my pony and I thought that was really fun.” Over the next 10-plus years, Wilton and Lucas began competing at local shows in Texas, and then bigger national shows, before competing at prestigious U.S. championships and top European CSIs. Both brothers would compete at the US Pony Finals and Wilton tried his hand in the equitation ranks as they evolved in their riding careers, but the focus always came back to the sport of jumping, where their undeniable passion lay.
PHOTOS: KENDALL BIERER, SPORTFOT
Lucas is set to step out of the Junior Jumpers. “Mainly next year, one goal is I’m going to be moving up to the Grand Prix level, I’m just trying to move up next year out of the Junior Jumpers and gear up for the Open divisions.” While the focus over the next 12 months lies squarely on establishing themselves in Grand Prix classes, the Porters both have aspirations of continuing to ride as professionals and at championships, but first college graduation beckons. “Next year will be my last year in the Juniors and I’ll be a Senior in high school, and I’m thinking I’m going to take a gap year between high school and college,” says Lucas who is currently in the midst of his Junior year at Stanford University Online High School. “I’m definitely going to ride in college like my brother does now, and after I graduate I’ll probably ride professionally.” After his successful 2014 campaign and Nations Cup appearance in Bratislava, Wilton is eager to make further team appearances and represent the United States at the most heralded competitions, including Olympic Games, FEI World Equestrian Games, and FEI World Cup Finals. “For sure that’s something I dream about (representing the U.S. at championships), that’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m getting my college degree and then we’ll see what happens as I get closer to graduating and what my life path will look like, but at the moment, I can see myself being an equestrian for the rest of my life,” reflects Wilton. If the past is any indication, the future shines bright for the Porter brothers. ■ Helen Murray
Left to right: Show jumping is a family affair for Suzanne, Lucas, Wilton, and BG Porter. Wilton and Diamonte Darco take their lap of honor.
Wilton’s Horses In 2014, Wilton estimated that he competed 15-20 horses throughout the season, and in 2015 he has high hopes for three horses in the Grand Prix ranks. Paloubet - Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 2001 Selle Francais gelding, who won WEF Challenge Cup Round 1 and Wilton’s Nations Cup partner in Bratislava Diamonte Darco - Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 2005 Great British Sport Horse mare and Wilton’s NAJYRC and Friends of the Meadows 1.45m winner Patriot - Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 2003 Holsteiner gelding Wilton and Lucas have shared the horse throughout the years and in November, Wilton teamed up with Patriot to win the first round of the Under-25 Championship sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch and Deeridge Farm at the 2014 National Horse Show.
Lucas’ Horses Lucas competed between five and eight horses throughout the competition year, as he shared horses with his brother and horses were bought and sold. In 2015, he has high expectations for Doma Sue, Phineas, Mill’s Georgia and Psychee D’Amour. Doma Sue - Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 2005 Holsteiner mare will do the 1.45-1.50m classes in 2015. “I just got her in August so I’m still getting to know her,” says Lucas. Phineas - Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 2002 Oldenburg gelding, and winner of the 2014 NAJYRC with Lucas, will compete in the High Junior Jumper divisions. Mill’s Georgia - Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare will also contest High Junior Jumper classes. Psychee D’Amour - Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 2003 Selle Francais mare will compete in the Medium Junior Jumpers.
January / February Equestrian 31
“One hundred percent, I would not be anywhere close to where I am without my family’s support.” -Wilton
32 Equestrian January / February
PHOTOS: KENDALL BIERER, SPORTFOT
Training Techniques Since 2012, John Roche and his partner Chelsea Sundius have served as in-house trainers for Sleepy P and the Porters. In addition to helping the brothers excel on the field of play, Roche also helps find and select horses for the brothers, and believes that the mental approach a rider takes is as important as his/her riding ability. “I don’t think there is anything specific; I think it all depends on the horse and rider as a combination and working on that. I’ll try and pick one or two things I see as a priority that we need to improve. I would like to think a lot of it works off of feel, even on the ground; a feel for what needs to improve and what needs to get done, to improve the picture,” says Roche. “When it comes to Young Rider competition, I think it comes down a lot to mental approach; keep the routine the same, keep things the same, and treating it like any other class. A lot of it is riding ability but a lot of it is keeping focused and not letting the occasion get to the riders.” On Mondays following a competition, Roche, Wilton, and Lucas can often be found playing a round of golf together, an activity which gives Roche unique insight into how both of the boys mentally handle success and disappointment in competition. “My brother and I are super close with John, so he’s not only a trainer, but also a good friend. We play golf together a lot and he knows our personalities well because of that, and he can train us accordingly to our personalities,” says Lucas. Prior to Roche and Sundius starting at Sleepy P, the Porters trained with many of the most respected trainers in the U.S., including Katie and Henri Prudent, Frank Madden, and Todd Minikus. Wilton believes his previous training experiences have set him and Lucas up to thrive with John’s help. “I think it works really well for my brother to have one-on-one experience; I’ve worked with a lot of different trainers and other private trainers and big equitation barns and those have all helped me along the path. I think where I am now in my career and where my brother is in his career, it’s great for us to just have John’s sole attention on us.”
Opposite: Wilton was the second Porter brother to earn Individual Gold at the 2014 NAJYRC. This page left to right: Lucas, Trainer John Roche, and Wilton. Lucas and Phineas have won many coveted titles, including the Junior Individual Gold medal at the 2014 NAJYRC.
January / February Equestrian 33
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There is an old adage that states, “age is only a number.” There are few places where this is more clear than in equestrian sport, as we see horses at all ages excel on the field of play, from weanlings all the way into their 20s. In this article, we have spotlighted a group of horses from across the USEF breeds and disciplines that excelled throughout 2014 and look for continued success in 2015. 36 Equestrian January / February
PHOTO: ©HIPPO FOTO TEAM - BECKY STROUD
PHOTOS: RICHARD CLAY PHOTOGRAPHY, HOWARD SCHATZBERG
Real Appeal // Oldenburg gelding (Rosenthal x Good Angel/Bionic Prospect), 16.2h // Owned by Susan Tice-Grossmann
Heartland Copper Illusion // Hackney gelding (Heartland Head of the Class x Heartland Dixie/Heartland Equality), 12.4h // Owned by Toni Nastali
Macadamia // American Saddlebred stallion (Undulata’s Nutcracker x Sass with Class/Unknown) // Owned by Glasscock Financial Services, LLC
Real Appeal won the Oldenburg Horse Breeder’s Society Award and nearly swept the remainder of his classes at the 2014 Sallie B. Wheeler/ US Hunter Breeding National Championship East Coast at the Warrenton Horse Show in Warrenton, Va. Handler Jay Golding and the twoyear-old also earned first place in the Other Than Thoroughbred Breeding, Champion & Reserve, and Best Other Than Thoroughbred Two-Year-Old classes, as well as Reserve Champion honors in the $1,000 Hunter Breeding Two-Year-Old Colts/Geldings competition. The pair closed out its 2014 campaign by sweeping four classes at the Maryland Horse & Pony Show in September, and hopes to continue its success in 2015. “‘Ditto’ has come a long way since his first horse show,” says owner Susan Tice-Grossman. “He’s gone from being scared to death to being the Best Young Horse at the Warrenton Horse Show, showing himself beautifully. He is a big, good-moving, athletic colt who seems to enjoy having a job. He was easy to start under saddle and even his 66-year-old ‘mother’ (me) has ridden him. We can’t wait to see how he progresses in the hunter ring.”
In his first year of competition, Heartland Copper Illusion won three out of four of the classes in which he showed, including the UPHA Harness Four-Year-Old & Under Pony Classic at the Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show, the Three-Year-Old Harness Pony class at the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show, and the UPHA Harness Pony Classic Pony Grand Championship at the UPHA Royal National Championship Horse Show. Owner Toni Nastali has high hopes for the 12.4h hackney gelding’s future.
In just his second show season, Macadamia and rider Steven Wheeler wrapped up 2014 with five first-place finishes, including a win in the ThreeGaited World’s Grand Championship at the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show against older, more seasoned horses. The Saddlebred stallion also won the Junior Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under class this year, and was nominated by the American Saddlebred Horse Association for the prestigious USEF Horse of the Year Award. “Macadamia is a once-in-a-lifetime horse who I feel so privileged to own and can’t wait to show him in the 2015 show season,” says owner Mary Jane Glasscock Kirkpatrick. “He is a blast to ride and thinks so well that you are able to really enjoy every step on his back.”
January / February Equestrian 37
RF Quarterman // Oldenburg gelding (Quintender x Stutbuch 1/Lacner III), 16.2h // Owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc.
Canny Windsor Z // Zangersheide gelding (Canezaro x Hanny- Linn/Unknown), 17.2h // Owned by Peacock Ridge LLC
When Kelly Case left her Livermore, Calif., base and headed to the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Ill., to contest the Markel/ USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships presented by HorseShow. com, she knew that Emilion SA was ready to impress in the Five-Year-Old Championship. The Dutch Warmblood gelding did just that by demonstrating his work ethic, athleticism, and power to cruise to National Title honors. As he now enters his six-year-old year, the future looks bright. “Emilion SA has a lot of presence and good ride-ability. I have been impressed by how consistent he has been, and hope his development continues to progress for the six-yearold division,” says USEF Young Horse Coach Scott Hassler.
“He was the one who made the decision. Just because you buy a horse, for one thing, doesn’t mean you should close the doors to what might be the right road for them. If it’s what’s right for the horse, it’s what makes the journey the most fun in the end,” said Marilyn Little, shortly after finishing third at the The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI2* with RF Quarterman. The Oldenburg gelding was originally purchased to pursue a career in the jumper ring, but a fortuitous crosscountry schooling session while he was enjoying some downtime in Ocala, Fla., in early 2014 changed all that. He quickly showed an affinity for running and jumping and soon climbed the levels of eventing with Little, culminating in a third-place finish at Fair Hill, resulting in the six-year-old RF Quarterman being crowned USEF Reserve National Young Horse Champion. In 2015, the talented gelding will again look to turn heads on the eventing scene.
Since beginning his competitive career in the U.S. in February of 2012, Canny Windsor Z has competed successfully in the hunter and jumper ranks and found his niche in prestigious equitation classes. In 2014, the then seven-year-old competed with multiple members of Heritage Farm in young jumper, hunter, and equitation classes up-and-down the East Coast. The Zangersheide gelding closed out his 2014 campaign by once again displaying his adaptability and versatility as he helped Geoffrey Hesslink capture the Platinum Performance/ USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals-East title.
38 Equestrian January / February
PHOTOS: CAROLYNN BUNCH, MIKE MCNALLY, THE BOOK LLC
Emilion SA // Dutch Warmblood gelding (Painted Black x Karisa/ Landwind II B), 17h // Owned by Kelly Case
PHOTOS: SUSANJSTICKLE.COM, WASHBURN, ©EMILY RIDEN/PHELPS MEDIA GROUP
Ozzy Cooper // Trakehner gelding (Hibiskus x Okka/Arrak), 16.3h // Owned by Rebecca Reno
Ready for Action // Shetland stallion (Successful Venture x Attraction’s Ready Maid/Knight’s Star Attraction), 11.2h // Owned by Cathy Harris
Mindful // Hanoverian gelding (breeding unknown), 16.2h // Owned by David Glefke and Kensel, LLC
When Annie Peavy and her trainer, 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold medalist Heather Blitz, traveled to Denmark looking for a horse that Peavy could compete in the dressage and para-dressage ranks, the idea of bringing home a seven-year-old was far from their minds. However, upon seeing Ozzy Cooper, all that changed and the following year the pair was making its international debut at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games representing the U.S. in the ParaDressage Championship in Grade III competition. 2015 is set to be another exciting year for the pair as they look to compete at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, and will continue to look for top honors in para-dressage competition. “I did not try Ozzy for that long of a time, but Heather and I knew how much potential he had to offer me; his gaits impressed me. I did not go to Denmark looking for a seven-year-old, but Ozzy had a great temperament,” reflects Peavy.
Ready for Action is a talented Shetland Pony stallion with notable success in the Harness division. “Champ” has won numerous USEF Shetland People’s Choice Awards for the Harness section. He racked up several wins in 2014, beginning with the UPHA Chapter V show where he won Shetland Harness Pony Open class and the Shetland Harness Pony Championship. At the Missouri State Fair, “Champ” pulled off a repeat performance, winning the Shetland Harness Pony Open class and earning the Grand Champion title in the Shetland Harness Pony Championship yet again. “His color is an eye-grabber, even before he starts waving a leg! He got his nickname because he is marked like Gene Autry’s horse, and he is always looking for a camera when he comes down the rail,” owner Cathy Harris says of Ready for Action’s charming nature. “He’s a social creature, loves back scratches, and can mooch horse cookies with the best of them!” Harris plans to compete “Champ” throughout the 2015 season, along with some of his offspring. Though he has only been bred to a limited number of mares, Knight’s Sonny Jim and Dreamland’s Turn the Page are already proving to be talented performers.
“I have to say that it was a magical year with an unbelievable horse, and I can’t wait for next year. I’m excited to be able to look at his career long-term; aim and prepare for certain classes and shows that we didn’t get to do this year. He’s truly an exceptional animal, and they don’t come along that often,” says rider Kelley Farmer. Purchased earlier this year for Farmer to ride, Mindful has quickly made a name for himself in the hunter ring. Taking top honors in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Devon Horse Show, success continued throughout the year with reliable performances from the athletic gelding at all the major events. Capping off the year at the National Horse Show, a strong showing earned him reserve champion honors in the Regular Conformation Hunters, leaving everyone anticipating what is to come next year.
January / February Equestrian 39
Zacarias Dos Estirpe // Paso Fino stallion (Zacarias x Estirpe Porfina/ Malevo del Ocho), 14.3h // Owned by Benjamin Leon
Verdades // Dutch Warmblood gelding (Florett As x Liwilarda/Goya), 17h // Owned by Laura Graves
Rothchild // Belgian Warmblood gelding (Artos x Pitchounette Du Bosquetiau/Elegant De L’ile), 16h // Owned by Sagamore Farms
Zacarias Dos Estirpe is a proven Paso Fino performance stallion champion. He began his show career in 2009 and has won numerous top placings and titles. At the Paso Fino Grand National Championship Show, “Zacarias” earned Grand National Champion Performance Stallion titles in 2009, 2010, and 2013, and Grand National Champion Performance AO Stallion titles in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. He also was the Grand World Cup Performance Stallion Champion at the Confepaso Mundial in 2011 and 2013. For his illustrious show career over the years, Zacarias Dos Estirpe received the titles of Legion of Merit, Supreme Merit, and Title of Proficiency from the Paso Fino Horse Association. “I have been told by judges that he is the standard for a performance horse,” previous owner Lee Vulgaris says of “Zacarias,” who he recently sold to Miami businessman Benjamin Leon. “As powerful and as much ‘brio’ as he has, he is the smoothest horse I have ever ridden. You could barely feel his feet touching the ground.” At the 2014 Paso Fino Grand National Championship Show, Zacarias Dos Estirpe added more titles to his resume, winning the Performance Stallions Championship with trainer Michael Bruce and the Performance AO Stallion Championship with Vulgaris.
In August 2014, Laura Graves and Verdades made their championship debut at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, finishing fifth in the Freestyle against the world’s elite dressage competitors. Graves has been training Verdades since he was a foal, and their journey has seen many ups and downs. In 2011, Verdades got his head stuck in the bars of his stall and suffered a severely broken jaw, requiring intense surgery and rehab. He made a healthy recovery and came back from the injury in 2012, showing at the Prix St. Georges level. Two years later, in February 2014, the pair broke onto the Grand Prix stage at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI3* at Wellington, Fla. In Normandy, Graves and Verdades scored a personal best 82.036% in the Freestyle, where they reveled in the World Championship atmosphere. “I try to turn it all off (in the Grand Prix and Special tests), but for a little bit today, I let myself enjoy it because he’s had such a good two-test earlier in the week,” said Graves. “I did let myself look up and take it all in, and everyone was just cheering, and he just walked in like he’s done it a thousand times.”
A fan favorite for his spicy personality and speedy jump-offs, 2014 was a standout year for Rothchild, who made his presence known on the biggest international stages. With top placings from Spruce Meadows to Belgium, the gelding helped earn the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team a Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup victory at Hickstead. A valuable member of the U.S. Team Bronze Medal performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, rider McLain Ward finished the week guiding Rothchild to a brilliant individual fifth-place finish. For the second year in a row, the pair claimed top honors in the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the Royal Winter Fair. “The 2014 season with Rothchild has been one of the most memorable years of my career. Not just because of the success, but because of how it was achieved and the efforts made by so many, most of all Bongo (Rothchild), to make it happen. I think the story of this horse is about everything right about horsemanship and relationships. 2015…Can’t wait!” says Ward.
40 Equestrian January / February
PHOTOS: LARRY WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY, SUSANJSTICKLE.COM, TOMAS HOLCBECHER/FEI
PHOTOS: ©HIPPO FOTO TEAM-BECKY STROUD, SUSANJSTICKLE.COM, LYNNE OWEN/VAULTINGPHOTOS.COM
Boy W // KWPN gelding (Manno x Dereda/Wilhelmus), 16.1h // Owned by Chester Weber
SHA Strike Two // Arabian gelding (Ansata El Hasan x Strikes Comment/Strike), 15.2h // Owned by Karen Binns-DiCamillo
Palatine // Westphalian gelding (Pik Labionics x Hauptstutbuch Farah/ Fittipaldi), 17.3h // Owned by Sydney Frankel
An accomplished competitor in the sport of driving, Boy W has an extensive record of top results at international competitions. Often leading Chester Weber’s four-in-hand team, he has helped garner medals at FEI Four-in-Hand Driving World Championships in 2008 (Individual Silver), 2010 (Team Silver), 2012 (Individual Silver and Team Bronze), and 2014 (Individual Silver). “Boy” and the rest of Weber’s team had a fantastic year in 2014, claiming wins at the Kingdom of the Sun Combined Driving Event, the USEF National Four-in-Hand Championship (Weber’s 11th title, Boy W’s seventh) at Live Oak International, and prestigious European CAIs at Windsor, Saumur, and Aachen. “‘Boy’ is one of the most intelligent and enthusiastic competition horses in the driving sport; he is very versatile and always ready to go. His eagerness and sensitivity, paired with his longstanding experience, make him a great competition horse and partner for his driver,” Weber says. “‘Boy’ is always looking ahead to the next obstacle; he is taking the lead in the team while being careful not to touch a cone or post that is in his way.” In 2015, “Boy” aims to kick off the year at Live Oak International in March, followed by competing in the European tour over the summer and the USEF National Four-in-Hand Championship in the fall.
A familiar name at the Adequan/ FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, 2014 was extra special for SHA Strike Two. He was honored with the HorsePower Trophy at the annual FEI Championship, which is awarded to the horse that stands out from the others competing at the event. Years before, colic would leave the connections wondering what the future would hold. For rider Jessica DiCamillo, SHA Strike Two has become a trusted partner who will be with her for years to come.
Palatine is a seasoned vaulting horse who has helped numerous American vaulters score top results in the U.S. and abroad. “Paly” is the only U.S. vaulting horse to win a Gold medal at an FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), helping the FACE Vaulters earn Gold for the U.S. in the 2010 Team Championship. He is also the only horse to have received USEF Horse of the Year Champion titles in all vaulting divisions. “Paly” had a solid year in 2014, highlighted by being part of Mary McCormick’s seventh-place effort in the CVIO3* at CHIO Aachen and a fifth-place finish for the pair in the FEI World Female Individual Vaulting Championship at the WEG. “His lovely natural canter makes vaulting on him a dream for the athletes at the high performance level,” says Carolyn Bland, Palatine’s trainer and lunger. “He was a super star [at the WEG] in the very loud and unusually lit vaulting arena. He handled it like the professional he is, and his horse scores put him well within one of the best horses at the WEG.” After earning a much deserved break following the WEG, “Paly” will be back at it in 2015, including being aimed toward the 2015 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors with one of the Pacific Coast’s top junior competitors.
January / February Equestrian 41
Jonny B Good // National Show Horse gelding (Forty Second Street Erb x Cheers/Unknown) // Owned by Patti Carleton/Saddlebrook Farm A National Show Horse Registry Ring of Fame member for earning $20,855 in NSH prize money and accumulating 1,012 points in NSH competition, Jonny B Good excelled in the English Pleasure section of the National Show Horse Division from 2006-2012. Ridden by owner Patti Carleton or Bob Phillips, the 18-yearold gelding won the NSH English Pleasure Amateur 18-and-Over Grand Championship at the NSHR National Championship Finals seven consecutive years. During those years, Jonny B Good competed in 39 classes at Ohaha Fall, River Ridge Charity, Ohio Buckeye Sweepstakes & NSH District One Championships, Syracuse International, and NSHR National Championship Finals, and won every single class.
42 Equestrian January / February
At 19-years-old, most Olympic horses are spending their days in the field soaking up retirement, but 2012 London Games veterans Flexible and Twizzel are not ready to have their shoes pulled quite yet. Flexible // Irish Sport Horse stallion (Cruising x Flex/Unknown), 16h // Owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman It is hard to believe that Flexible’s story isn’t a fairytale. The hard-trying stallion with the unorthodox style twice battled back from what appeared to be career-ending injuries to win the 2012 Rolex/FEI World Cup Jumping Final with Rich Fellers, and finish as the highest-placing American jumper in London at 16 years old. In the summer of 2013, blood clots would once again jeopardize Flexible’s career, but Feller’s vets quickly diagnosed the issue and the pair returned to its winning ways, collecting victories at Thermal, Spruce Meadows, and Del Mar.
Twizzel // Westphalian gelding (Argentinus x Lady Bedford/Sensitive), 16.2h // Owned by Jim Wildasin
Will Coleman imported Twizzel in 2006 and the pair experienced the highs and lows that only the sport of eventing can dish out over the next six years. Despite fortune not always falling in their favor, Coleman never lost faith in the Westphalian gelding, always believing that his U.S. Team debut would come riding Twizzel. The pair did just that, representing America in London and finishing in 37th place. In 2014, Twizzel remained in work and finished out the year showing Coleman’s working student, Morgan Booth, the ropes at the preliminary level. “He gave more of himself in our career together than any other horse I’ve had, and he will live out his days with me like a king. He still gets worked every day, and loves to be ridden, groomed, and, obviously, fed. He’s a special horse to me, a very kind soul,” notes Coleman of his longtime partner.
PHOTOS: HOWARD SCHATZBERG, SUSANJSTICKLE.COM, MIKE MCNALLY
Festival Calypso // Morgan gelding (Immortal Command x Festival Fan Dancer), 15h // Owned by Stephanie Connor
PHOTOS: USEF ARCHIVE, RICK OSTEEN, ANDREA BONAGA
Festival Calypso’s winning show record began in 2003 and he continues to excel in Ladies English Pleasure and Pleasure Driving. Stephanie Conner and her Morgan gelding were undefeated in their first year of competition, including wins in the World Championship Pleasure Driving Ladies and the Grand National Pleasure Driving Ladies Gelding classes at the Grand National and World Championships. Since 2004, the pair has won 50 of the 57 classes it has competed in, and wrapped up 2014 with Reserve Champion honors in the World Championship Pleasure Driving Ladies class and a win in the Grand National Pleasure Driving Ladies Gelding class.
At the 2012 USEF Annual Meeting, Xena Vimercati’s Friesian stallion, Sjoerd, was recognized as the 2011 National Horse of the Year for an outstanding year as a six-year-old, capturing championship titles in multiple sections of the Friesian division. Over the past three years, he has continued to build on that legacy winning in-hand, under-saddle, driving, and from English Pleasure to Western, and everything in between. As the clock strikes midnight on January 1, Sjoerd will step into double digits and we can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for the 10-year-old.
With a long list of notable career accomplishments, Yellow Jersey was no stranger to reining fans as he entered 2014. Picking up the reins, Mandy McCutcheon rode the palomino stallion to reserve champion honors at the Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship, earning McCutcheon the chance to make history as the first woman and non-pro to represent the U.S. at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Competing at his second World Championships, Yellow Jersey produced power rounds to help the Adequan U.S. Reining Squad defend their Team Gold medal as well as help McCutcheon climb upon the podium, earning an Individual Bronze medal. A top breeding stallion, Yellow Jersey’s story is sure to continue, as we are excited to see his bloodlines passed on for years to come. “For a 10-year-old stallion to perform the way he did for Mandy was simply incredible for us and it touched our hearts. Jersey is truly a ‘team’ player, and he has proven that he tries for his rider every time,” says co-owner Colleen McQuay, reflecting on the past year. “Healthy and sound, Jersey could continue with his career, but showing since he was three has earned him the right to stay home and concentrate on his time in the breeding barn. His days include turn-out and plenty of exercise and pleasure riding a few days a week to keep in good condition.”
January / February Equestrian 43
In his outstanding career, the American Saddlebred CHBlackberry Delight did it all. Owned by Shannon Sewell, the gelding started out his winning career as weanling in 1993 with dominant performances at the All American Horse Classic and ASH Futurity of Indiana. Then in his three- and four-year-old years, he began collecting accolades in the Fine Harness division before stepping into the three-gaited championships, while also continuing to earn wins in show pleasure driving. At the age of 11, Jim, as he was known in the barn, began showing with Sewell’s daughter Rachel Machamer in Three-Gaited Junior Exhibitor classes and, to no one’s surprise, kept up his winning ways. In 2007, CHBlackberry Delight won his final class at the American Royal and his illustrious career came to a conclusion in 2008 and the gelding is still enjoying his retirement in the pasture at the family farm. “Jim has always had that drive for success, even since he was a weanling, winning the first class he ever competed in. He showed rain or shine; when he entered the ring nothing mattered but giving his all. Out of 121 times in the ring, he came out first 107 of them. He is the Michael Phelps of the equestrian world, winning World Championships in seven different divisions. While I was never defeated on him and won all but a single class unanimously, he never failed to teach me something new. He was and still is a once-in-a-lifetime competitor and best friend,” reflects Machamer.
44 Equestrian January / February
Finest Five Though a senior competitor at age 24, Finest Five is still finding success in the show ring. She has been with owner Leah Wilson since she was 14 and has competed in a variety of disciplines, from western showmanship to huntseat pleasure to barrel racing. Most recently, the APHA mare has taken to the discipline of western dressage. In the two years that the Western Dressage Association of America’s World Championship Show has existed, she has won three World Championships titles. In 2013, Finest Five won WDAA World Championship titles in the Basic Level Freestyle-Open and the Basic Level Test 2-Amateur. This past year, she was the World Champion in Basic Level Test 1-Amateur and Reserve Champion in the Basic Level Freestyle-Open with Thallia Blight. “She is the most serious horse I’ve ever met; she is mortified if she ever does anything wrong,” explains Wilson of Finest Five’s genuine nature. “She does exactly what you ask her.”
HL Sanction HL Sanction’s winning show record began in 2008, when he went undefeated for the year, including wins in the PB Mounted Native Costume Championship and the PB Mounted Native Costume AAO Championship at the U.S. National Arabian & HalfArabian National Championship. The 25-year-old Arabian gelding has won a total of six National Championships in his career, and doesn’t seem to be finished with his career any time soon. “All I can say is what a blessing he has been in our lives,” says Cathy Vecsey of Hawk Haven Farms LLC. “He is a horse with the heart of a lion. He lives to go through the in-gate. When he is all dressed in the full costume, waiting to show, you can feel his heart pounding out of his body; he gets so excited and ready to go. It is the thrill of a lifetime to have the privilege to canter through the in-gate on a horse as magnetic, beautiful, and ambitious as Sanction!! Six National Championships after the age of 18, showing for 21 years, when will he be done? I guess when he says he is, but I don’t think he is planning to retire.” ■ Mark Coley, Kathleen Landwehr, Helen Murray, Eileen Schnettler
PHOTOS: HOWARD SCHATZBERG PHOTOGRAPHY, JOHN BLIGHT, FERRARA PHOTOGRAPHY
January / February Equestrian 45
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Resolutions Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions with the hopes of a fresh start and outlook on the year. Some people set resolutions to think more positively or lose weight; others set goals to become more organized or volunteer more. We asked some of the best equestrian athletes in the country what their New Year’s resolutions are and what they’re looking forward to in 2015.
48 Equestrian January / February
Hannah Sue Burnett Finished the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover in 15th place “My New Year’s resolution is to maximize all of my opportunities, because the face of American eventing is changing rapidly, which makes me even more hungry to be at the top of the sport. I specifically want to increase the quantity and quality of my horses to be competitive at the international level consistently. To achieve this, I am also looking to increase my owner and sponsor base, so that we can create a team that is unbeatable.”
Max Corcoran PHOTOS: (OPPOSITE) SHANNON BRINKMAN, (THIS PAGE TOP TO BOTTOM) USEF ARCHIVE, SHANNON BRINKMAN, SUSANJSTICKLE.COM, ANDREA BONAGA
Professional eventing groom and manager of Southern Cross Equestrian “To be in my house for longer than one week and take a cooking class.”
Sydney Collier 2014 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year and FEI Against All Odds Award winner “As 2014 comes to a close and I look forward to an exciting 2015, I have two New Year’s resolutions. My first is to graduate high school with honors in the spring, and begin college in the fall as I work toward my teaching degree in Special Education. The second is to return to the international show ring with my talented equine partner and best friend, Wentworth, as we work toward qualifying for the 2016 Paralympic Games.”
Andrea Fappani Reining Individual Silver and Team Gold medalist at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games “My New Year’s resolution isn’t much different for this year than years past. I want to always ride great horses and be surrounded with great clients and friends. My main goal for 2015 is to be successful at the major NRHA derby and futurity events. I always enjoy showing my aged horses, as well as my 3-year-olds.”
January / February Equestrian 49
Laura Graves Represented the U.S. in dressage at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games “I don’t usually make resolutions, but next year I am going to resolve to procrastinate less! My biggest goal in 2015 is to make the Pan Am team, but also to bring along my young horses with success.”
2013 USEF Equestrian of Honor and winner of the Vaughan Smith Trophy “As a multi-discipline professional, I approach the new year with varied hopes and goals. The first is to do more with less - less shoe, less bit, less stress! The second is to focus on showing at the required qualifying shows only as preparation for the finals in each of the divisions in which I compete. The third is to earn national recognition at the highest possible level for several of my seasoned veteran show horses.”
Kristian Roberts Represented the U.S. in vaulting at the 2010 and 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games “My New Year’s resolution is to have better time management while coaching and planning practices for my students. My 2015 goals, since it’s somewhat of an off-year for vaulting, are to rebuild my skills and correct any continual mistakes I make. Beyond that, I’m going to plan/start training for the 2016 season and make it my best yet!”
Chester Weber Driving Individual Silver medalist at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games “To better seek understanding before seeking to be understood with both horses and people.”
50 Equestrian January / February
PHOTOS (TOP TO BOTTOM): FEI TV, COURTESY OF MARTHA RATTNER, ERIN BRINKMAN FOR SHANNON BRINKMAN PHOTO, ©HIPPO FOTO TEAM -- DIRK CAREMANS
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What’s OUT, What’s IN As we prepare our show schedules for what will certainly guarantee Horse of the Year honors, then click through endless YouTube videos of young prospects we can only dream of, the rest of the world is helping make a grumpy cat somewhat of a national symbol. Somewhere between the clinics and barn chores, Taylor Swift has become really, really cool. Although we may not see every new movie to come out, there is no escaping it; pop culture is here to stay. Did you see dressage rider Caroline Roffman’s new freestyle? Yes, that is Katy Perry’s song she is cantering along to. With the help of different athletes, we predict what will be the next big thing in 2015, leaving us with one final question- when will Lululemon start making breeches?
“Obvi” Pixie cut - thanks Miley!
“I can’t even” The side braid - Let it go...
Five-Toe Boots Pretzel Buns
Ariat Monaco Field Zip Boots Farm to Table
“The Black List”
Kim and Kanye
Mandy and Tom
Chris Hemsworth #tbt 52 Equestrian January / February
10 Min. on the TheraPlate Jamie Dornan - 50 Shades #USEFTalk usef.org
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