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Texas A&M Hosts Operation Gelding Clinic p. 29


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

MAGAZINE Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


LOVES p.16



p. 42


p. 22



OPENING 2011-12




Raising $15 million to build our first hospital outside the Texas Medical Center, bringing world-class care for childhood illnesses and injuries to one of Houston’s fastest growing communities

Raising $200 million to launch the first multidisciplinary pediatric research institute for brain disorders like autism, epilepsy and cerebral palsy

Raising $85 million to create a new standard of familyfocused maternity care, providing mothers and their babies with access to the world’s finest physicians and state-of-the-art facilities

Inpatient and emergency center facilities to open in Spring 2011

“At Texas Children’s, it’s more than our job to heal sick children; it’s our calling and the inspiration behind the largest expansion effort in our history.” — Mark A. Wallace President and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital

Currie Equine Clinic Proudly Supports the Great Southwest Equestrian Center!

Serving the equine industry for over 40 years with innovative skills and compassionate care. From the world champion to your grandchild’s pony...

Your horse matters to us! Andrew K. Currie, VMD Gustavo DeCillo, DVM

Veterinar y Products


Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


Ca hl a enngde a r o f E v e n t s



Spring Gathering Charity

National Reining Breeders Classic

USEF “AA” Apr. 5-10, All Arenas

Apr. 18-24, All Arenas

Houston Dressage Society Spring Show Apr. 29 - May 1, All Arenas



Fiesta Classic

Lone Star Mayfest

Spindletop Arabian Spring Show

Greater Houston Miniature Show

Gulf Coast Welsh Pony Show

GSEC Dressage Diamond Classic I & II

USEF “AA” May 5-8, Main Arena

USEF “AA” May 12-15, Main Arena

May 7, East Arena

May 14-15, East Arena

USHJA Trainer’s Symposium

May 21-22, Main Arena


Spring Flowers/Britannia Farm GHHJA Show Jun. 4-5, Main Arena

Houston Dressage Society Summer Show Jun. 11-12, All Arenas

2011 HPC Intercollegiate Cup Jun. 9, Main Arena


Kaminski GHHJA Blowout Jun. 18-19, Main Arena


GSEC Open Show Series Jul. 2-3, All Arenas

GSEC Muy Caliente GHHJA Show Jul. 9-10, Main Arena

August Hot Daze/Mo Hot Daze GHHJA Show Aug. 21-22, Main Arena

Houston Columbian Festival Jul. 24, Main Arena

GSEC Open Show Series Jul. 30-31, All Arenas

Events GSEC Open Show Series Aug. 27-28, All Arenas

= Great Southwest Equestrian Center Event


May 29-30, East Arena

Britannia Farm AQHA Spring Celebration

May 8-10, East Arena


May 27-29, Main Arena

For Those Who Live and Ride Well

Photos by Connie Kelts

Co hn an te gn et s

S p r i n g 2 0 11

Show & Tell MAGAZINE

For Those Who Live and Ride Well


Features 16 22 42


Quarter Horses, Country Music, and Family By Esther Marr Zunker


Germany is a Hot Spot for Sport Horse Shoppers By Rob Chapman


Houston-Area Camps Offer Something for Everyone By Alexandra Beckstett

Columns 10


14 26

Real Estate Roundup

Lake Creek Farm by Deitra Robertson

Getting to Know...

Jonathan Wentz

In The News

NRBC Debuts Classic Challenge in 2011 By the NRBC More Than Just a Show Horse By Julie Size Dressage News from the GSEC Show Team By GSEC’s Show Team


By Kelly McChesney


2010-11 Land Rover Grand Prixs

34 36 38 40




Operation Gelding Land Rover Gallery Money Matters

It’s Not What You Earn But What You Keep By Victoria Woods

Equine Law

Risky Business By Jill Elsey

Texas Children’s Hospital

When Genetics Go Wrong, Texas Children’s Makes It Right By Sandra Bretting

Great Southwest Jumps

By Kelly McChesney

Junior Voices

Riding’s Lessons By Katie Hartshorn

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


Show & Tell MAGAZINE

Volume 2

Issue 2

GUEST EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Elise Beckstett, 281-543-1910

MANAGING EDITOR Alexandra Beckstett, 281-543-6198

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alexandra Beckstett, Sandra Bretting, Rob Chapman, Jill Elsey, Katie Hartshorn, Kelly McChesney, Deitra Robertson, Julie Size, Victoria Woods, Esther Marr Zunker

ART DIRECTION Equine Originals ART DIRECTOR Suzy Brown, 971-678-3694

• • • • •

Brokerage Services Capital Markets Corporate Services Global Consulting Valuation and Advisory Services

PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Kelly McChesney, 713-819-6575

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS John Brasseaux, Phillip R. Brooks, Melissa Few, Toni Guidry, Connie Kelts, Michele Ligon, Kelly McChesney, Shawn McMillan, Regan Scisco, David Stoecklein, Waltenberry Photography, Tina Wentz, Michael Wilson


Moving with confidence….since 1971. Confidence is leading Houston for forty years with real estate solutions founded on experience and skill.

Great Southwest Equestrian Center 281-578-7669

PUBLISHED BY Great Southwest Equestrian Center 2501 S. Mason Road, Katy, TX 77450 281-578-7669

Moving with confidence.


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

© Great Southwest Equestrian Center. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written consent of Great Southwest Equestrian Center. SHOW & TELL Magazine is published 4 times a year by the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, 2501 S. Mason Road, Katy, Texas 77450. Opinions and editorial expressed herein in are those of the experts consulted and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editors, advisory board or staff of the Great Southwest Equestrian Center.


Nancy Cahill

Joan Cantrell

Chris George

Kate Gibson

Hollis Grace

Kathy Jones

Marilyn Kulifay Patty Roberts

• •

Colleen McQuay Deitra Robertson

• •

Peter Pletcher Christian Rogge

Pauline “Cookie” Cook EQUINE MANAGER

2501 S. Mason Road, Katy, Texas 77450



Cover Photo: Lyle Lovett riding Smart and Shiney. Photo by John Brasseaux.

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011



For Those Who Live and Ride Well

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


R e a l E s ta t e R o u n d u p

WHO: Deitra Robertson Real Estate, Inc. 979-921-9470

WHAT: This 2.5 story barndominium sits among beautiful landscape design and offers the ultimate in comfortable country lifestyle. A unique 40-acre property. A four-bedroom, four-bath, one-of-a-kind living area gives you beautiful views of landscaped gardens, pastures, and ponds.

WHERE: Just off of FM 1488 near the highly desirable Woodlands and Magnolia areas.

WOW: A second horse barn with cupolas has six stalls and a one-bedroom apartment. A five-stall shed row barn completes your horse housing.

WOW AGAIN: An outdoor riding arena comes complete with viewing gazebo and numerous fenced paddocks for turnout.


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

Lake Creek


Horses Can Predict Land Prices —Really? By Deitra Robertson, ALC

Accredited Land Consultant Member: REALTORS® Land Institute


ell, let me explain that headline! Dr. Charles Gilliland, research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, has found through extensive research that a strong relationship exists between the price of Thoroughbred racehorses and Texas land prices. Thorstein Veblen, an academic economist, first identified the expansion of affluence in a maturing economy and that burgeoning wealth is the root of expanding appetites for luxury goods in his 1899 book “Theory of the Leisure Class.” Veblen posited that rising prosperity ignites a desire for “conspicuous consumption.” Luxuries such as racehorses, fine art, and land for leisure activities become important acquisitions. After returning recently from a week at the Wellington, Fla., horse shows at Palm Beach Equestrian Center and looking at the beautiful real estate and horse farms there, I can attest that the above is so! But how does this tie into horses and Texas land prices?

40 acres with magnificent improvements Magnolia-Montgomery County

When shock waves went through the luxury markets in the 1980s because of the financial meltdown, various asset prices declined—land investors watched their land prices slide, and Thoroughbred horse owners/breeders saw average horse prices slide to startling lows. These “coincidental” events suggested that weakened prices for horses, which we consider luxury rather than working livestock, might presage

drops in land prices and/or vice versa. Dr. Gilliland’s analysis of the history of prices of horses sold at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale demonstrated that price trends for these select Thoroughbreds might indeed provide a guide to future Texas land prices. The Keeneland yearling auction is one of the premier sales of racehorse prospects in the world. Annually buyers from all over the world bid on these animals, hoping to buy a champion. In 2009 buyers spent $191,859,200 on 3,159 yearlings. These buyers possessed a sizable pool of discretionary funds to support the market. I know in my business that buyers search our fine state for properties that support trophy hunting, fishing, riding, and other recreational activities. City people dedicate substantial resources to acquire rural recreational getaways. During the “good times” when prosperity expands, the reservoir of discretionary cash expands. Conversely, in tough times it contracts. The Keeneland September Yearling Sale occurs over two weeks every fall and is a great “snapshot” to ascertain economic conditions’ impact on the

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


amount of available cash to support discretionary purchases. Land sales in Texas cover vast areas and are tracked over months or years, and it is more difficult to identify trends in land as they unfold. Trends reflected in time series for the size adjusted price index for Texas land and the average price of a Keeneland yearling sold at the sale from 1966 through 2009 indicate remarkable similar overall patterns. They increased steadily through the ’60s and ’70s and retreated in the mid-80s. Both yearling sales and land sales increased rapidly during the past decade with a notable, inconsistent precipitous drop in Thoroughbred prices following 9-11.

“Land price trends tend to track horse price trends registered two years back.” Conclusively, Dr. Gilliland notes that calculating a correlation between Thoroughbred prices and land prices reveals a strong statistical relationship between the two (see table). The positive correlation means the two tend to move in same direction. Land price trends tend to track horse price trends registered two years back. The 2007 drop in average Thoroughbred yearling prices foreshadowed the 2009 downturn in Texas land prices. This strong relationship likely exists because both horse and land prices respond to the general economic conditions and rely heavily on expanding wealth of the players in both markets. Both the horses and the land looked pretty healthy in West Palm Beach!


Deitra Robertson is the president of Deitra Robertson Real Estate Inc., specializing in farms, ranches, and equestrian properties. Deitra showed horses (hunters) coast to coast for almost 20 years. She rides and trains using natural horsemanship principles with all her horses.

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L A R G E A C R Y L I C PA I N T I N G S B Y O N E O F T E X A S ’ F I N E S T A R T I S T S W



















Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011

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Getting to Know... Jonathan Wentz Para equestrian Jonathan Wentz is looking forward to a great year. The 20-year-old Richardson, Texas, native suffers from cerebral palsy, yet credits his ability to walk to years of horseback riding. Although his accomplishments last year, including competing as a member of the United States para dressage team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, will be difficult to eclipse, 2011 already promises to be at least as exciting.

“This is one of the only sports where I can compete with athletes who do not suffer physical handicaps,” Wentz said. “It is a level playing field. ” This is in part because Wylie, Texasbased dressage trainer Kai Handt has provided Wentz with a new mount, Daytona. The 8-year-old Hanoverian mare is returning to the show ring after having foaled six months ago, and she and Wentz made their debut together at GSEC’s Houston Dressage Society Winter Show in January. Despite suffering a fall days before from his other horse, Richter, that sent him to the emergency room, Wentz rode with confidence and poise. He received high scores of 69.53% and 67.73% on Daytona and 67.27% on Richter in the para equestrian test. Wentz is a frequent dressage competitor at GSEC and other shows around the country. “This is one of the only sports where I can compete with athletes who do not suffer physical handicaps,” Wentz said. “It is a level playing field.”


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

Photo by Phillip R Brooks

Photo by Tina Wentz

Show & Tell magazine caught up with Wentz to talk about his riding and his goals:

QUESTION: When did you begin riding? ANSWER: I began riding as therapy when

I was only 2, and as therapy and sport when I was 5. My mom is a physical therapist and knew that riding horses could help me.

Q: Tell us about your dressage career. A: I began riding with trainer Kai Handt (in 2008). The first horse Kai let

me ride was a horse named Gordon. He was difficult to ride, but I kept coming back. I think it was a test. Kai is a great trainer—he has done so much to sponsor me.


You are currently showing two horses. How are Daytona and Richter alike or different, and are there differences in the way you ride each horse?

A: Daytona and Richter are almost polar opposites. Richter is a seasoned Grand Prix schoolmaster who has seen it all and is willing to put up with a lot of mistakes, but on the downside takes a lot of energy from you to keep his large body moving. On the other hand, Daytona is a young, high-strung horse with a very gentle mouth; you have to focus more on your hands and less on keeping her going forward. Q: I’m sure you face many tests as a sophomore at Southern Methodist University. What are you studying? A: I am studying History, Political Science, and Medieval Studies in preparation for law school.


I understand that in addition to your triple major, you have also begun an internship. How do you have time to ride and compete in equestrian events?

A: It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice but I’m doing what I love so I don’t really worry about losing things like my social life or missing out on parties.

For more information about Jonathan and other Para equestrians, visit:

Q: What are your goals for 2011? A: My main goal in 2011 is to build a name for myself, to get in front of as many Para judges as possible, as well

as compete over in Europe so that I become a household name in the Para world, which is centered on Europe. I am also hoping to compete as a member of team USA at the 2012 Para Olympics in London, England.

Q: How will you be able to compete in Europe? A: I met David Anager, the coach of the Denmark Para Equestrian team, at the World Equestrian Games last year. The Demark team placed third at WEG. Anager invited me to Denmark to train this summer and to compete in Europe, riding one of the Denmark team’s horses.

Q: What about life goals? A: As for my career goals, I plan on going on to law school and eventually getting involved in politics. I would

love to run some major Senate campaigns and maybe even a presidential one day. At the same time horses will always be a part of my life—I want to compete at as many championships as possible and eventually maybe have a vested interest in a dressage barn.

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011



Loves By Esther Marr Zunker

Feature - Lyle Lovett

Country singer Lyle Lovett’s passion for his Quarter Horses is rivaled only by his love of music and his appreciation for his family. For Those Who Live and Ride Well Photo by David Stoecklein



ne of Lovett’s favorite things things to do when he’s not consumed by his music and acting career is to traipse through the backyard of his Houston-area farm at daybreak to care for his horses. “There’s not a better way to start the day than that,” said the Grammy Award-winning country artist, who keeps a handful of Quarter Horse geldings and other riding horses on his property. Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


Lovett relishes these moments with his equine residents as the amber-colored morning light filters through the cracks of his grandfather’s old hay barnturned horse stable. After talking with Lovett for a few minutes, it’s clear that in spite of his celebrity status, he has never strayed far from his Texas roots. When he’s not traveling, Lovett resides in the same home his grandfather built in 1911. His first loves of music and horses are still ingrained in his everyday life, and he has the same core values that were instilled in him as a child. “I value the things we all hold dear: Home and family are at the top of the list and then getting to do things in your life that you enjoy doing,” said Lovett. “I feel really grateful to be making a living doing something I would do for fun even if I couldn’t make a living doing it, and then also getting to be involved with horses in the same way.” A Quarter Horse Household Lovett, now 53, vividly recalls attending Quarter Horse races with his family on hot and dusty afternoons during his formative childhood years in the Lone Star State, cheering their runners on to the finish and smiling broadly in winner’s circle snapshots following a victory.

When he’s not on tour, Lovett perfects his reining skills at McQuay Training Center. Photo by David Stoecklein

“My dad (Bill Lovett) ran the show when he was still living, but I also worked with the horses very closely, and I loved deciding with him what stallions we might breed to and going through all that,” remembered Lovett of his family’s racing and breeding business. “It was a really great source of fun between my dad and me. He delighted in the horses so much, and it was always something really great that we got to share.” Lovett still recalls Dr. Whiz—the Quarter Horse he stood in his first winner’s circle with at age 3—as one of the most special horses that’s been in his life. “He was a horse my uncle would race, but when he came home, my dad and I would ride him,” said Lovett.

“When I think of the epitome of a good Quarter Horse, I think of one that can do his job and be versatile enough to come home and be a good horse at home as well. We’ve always been involved with the American Quarter Horse and that’s one of my favorite characteristics of them—they’re so versatile and good-minded.” Decades later, Lovett is still a familiar figure at the Texas racetracks. While his dad has passed on, Lovett and his mother, Bernell, currently have four horses in training that are slated to compete in the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) challenge races this spring. Early Love of Music In addition to growing up with horses, Lovett also was exposed to the arts from an early age. When he was just four years old his mother enrolled him in tap and ballet classes, and by the time he was eight, he was diligently learning to play guitar and singing in the choir at both his school and church. Lovett, who started playing music in local night clubs at age 18, majored in journalism at Texas A&M University— mainly to have a backup plan if his music career didn’t pan out. Following graduation, instead of becoming a newspaper reporter or newscaster, Lovett began writing and composing music, and with the release of his first album in 1986, all thoughts of having a nineto-five job went out the window.

“I value the things we all hold dear: Home and family are at the top of the list and then getting to do things in your life that you enjoy doing. ”

— Lyle Lovett

Considered by many as a country artist, his work covers a wealth of other genres, including blues, jazz, folk, swing, and even a little gospel. The singer-songwriter and actor carries himself like someone who has always known where he was going and who he wanted to be. And with a successful career spanning more than 35 years, it’s clear that his passion for music has anything but diminished with time. Lovett, who put out his most recent album,

“Natural Forces,” in 2009, will travel with his group, Large Band, on his usual U.S. and European tour this summer. He also is working on an acting project called “When Angels Sing” alongside fellow Texan country star Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and other music greats Harry Connick Jr. and Ray Benson. A Decade of Reining Along with his other endeavors, Lovett has been perfecting his favorite pastime—reining—at Hall of Famer Tim McQuay’s McQuay Training Center in Tioga, Texas. Despite his youth spent racing and breeding Quarter Horses, Lovett didn’t stumble upon the sport of reining until the late 1990s. He was looking for a decent riding horse for his father and in the process met the prominent (now deceased) Western pleasure trainer Guy Stoops. “I started to learn about all the AQHA competitions and different disciplines, and when I went to my first reining event in 2001 (National Reining Breeders’ Classic in Katy, Texas), I thought, ‘this really looks like fun,’ ” said Lovett. And so began a new passion that 10 years later is still going strong.

To go along with his humble demeanor, Lovett has a singing and speaking voice that immediately puts one at ease.

Photo by David Stoecklein

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


“(In watching reining) I could immediately tell the riders were competing on a loose rein and there seemed to be very little input on the riders,” he said of what initially impressed him about the sport. “The horses seemed to be very good minded and happy doing their job. To see the speed and the fast circles and the athleticism, stops, and roll back, I just thought, ‘Whoa, I want to try that.’ ” Just like in any sport or in learning to play a musical instrument, it’s been a long process for Lovett to master his reining skills, especially with a calendar that’s already packed with frequent tours and acting projects. But he’s taking it step-by-step and enjoying each new experience. “Even the small progress you make or the small failures you have, you learn from them, and they are important,” said Lovett, who counts one of his favorite reining experiences thus far as participating in the 4R Horses Celebrity Slide championship, an annual event hosted by the Oklahoma City-based Reining Horse Sports Foundation and benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma. In 2009 Lovett won the championship for the second year in a row over sev-

“He doesn’t get to practice very much due to his career, but it’s amazing— sometimes he comes in and the last time he rode was six weeks ago, but he’s improved. ”

— Tim McQuay

eral other celebrities, including “Star Trek” and “Boston Legal” star William Shatner, TLC’s “Trading Spaces” designer Christi Proctor, internationally known jeweler David Yurman, and professional bull riders Mike Lee, J.W. Hart, Cody Lambert, and Adriano Moraes.


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

Photo by Michael Wilson

“I got to ride my horse Smart and Shiney … knowing I could trust him has improved my riding and my confidence in the show pen,” said Lovett of the stunning palomino stallion, who also starred on the Italian team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games with rider Marco Ricotta. “I feel like Smart and Shiny himself has helped me get better as a rider. He helped teach me what a maneuver should feel like so I’m more confident when I get on another horse and try to do the same thing.” Lovett’s competition schedule this year includes showing Smart and Shiney— a son of famed Quarter Horse stallion Smart Shiner—in a new reining age group event for 7-year-olds and up. Backing him on all his endeavors is fiancé April Kimble, who is fully supportive of both Lovett’s equine interests and his music career. “She’s a big part of everything we do,” he said of Kimble, who also traveled with him to the World Equestrian Games last year.

said Lovett of the filly, who is currently in training with McQuay. No matter how Lovett fairs in the show ring, one can be rest assured he’s involved in the industry for the long haul and he’s dedicated to always learning something new. “Lyle is a very nice person to work with … he loves his horses; sometimes maybe too much, but you can’t really help that,” said McQuay, who initially owned Smart and Shiney in partnership with Lovett and showed him in the National Reining Horse Association Futurity. “He improves all the time … he doesn’t get to practice very much due to his career, but it’s amazing—sometimes he comes in and the last time he rode was six weeks ago, but he’s improved. He thinks about everything. “He’s a very good student, and he studies the industry.” The Breeding Game

A bit further down the road Lovett anticipates being able to show a 3-year-old filly out of one of his best broodmares, Fifth Avenue Cash, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center’s Breeders’ Classic this spring. “That’s especially gratifying—to show a horse that’s out of one of your favorite mares, one you raised at home,”

Lovett has carried on his father’s legacy by nurturing the family Quarter Horse breeding business and displaying the same enthusiasm for those animals that he exudes while composing a piece of music or performing a set on stage. While he has downsized his breeding

program due to the downturn in the market, Lovett still keeps a handful of mares on his farm. “It’s been a dilemma with the market being soft and a lot of people curtailing their breeding … it might be the best time ever to breed, but I’m being a little bit cautious,” said Lovett. “I’ve really enjoyed being able to concentrate on giving the horses a little bit more of a chance when they get older and not moving on (with breeding them) after their Futurity and Derby years.” In the future, Lovett anticipates seeing the progress of the yearlings and 2-year-old performance horses he has sold. “I’m to a point where I’m not really buying outside horses,” he said. “I’m just trying to prove the foals from my mares and prove I really believe in the mares that I’ve assembled over the last 10 years. I try and give (their offspring) the best start I can every year, make sure they get in good programs, and still enjoy getting to show myself.”

The Lovett Lifestyle Over the years, Lovett has settled into a rhythm that allows him to devote time and energy to both the music and the horse business and to work on improving in every area possible. “The music business wakes up a little later than the horse business does, so it gives me a chance to get up in the morning and spend time with the horses and then come into my office and deal with music stuff later on,” said Lovett while describing his day-to-day life when he’s not on the road. In spite of all the accolades he’s received over the years both on stage and on horseback, Lovett maintains a humble and grateful attitude toward the opportunities he’s been given. Perhaps his modest, yet confident spirit derived from watching the example of his parents, who met while working at the Humble Oil & Refining Company now known as Exxon. “They were both such hard workers,” said Lovett of his

parents, who served the company for more than 40 years. “Through their hard work, they gave me the chance to make choices in my life based on what I wanted to do.” It’s easy to see how both music and horses have remained permanent fixtures in Lovett’s life. For when he decides to devote himself to an activity, it permeates every fiber of his being. “Both (horses and music) take all of my attention,” he said. “If I’m involved in preparing a piece of music or just working in the music business, it’s completely consuming; I love to be completely absorbed in something. Riding and working in my horse business is the same way; my enthusiasm for each is parallel.”


Esther Marr Zunker is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine, a Thoroughbred racing and breeding publication based in Lexington, Ky. Her work has also appeared in The Herald-Leader, Business Lexington, BG Magazine, Delta Skymiles magazine, Artscene magazine, and Keeneland magazine.

Protecting What You Value Most If you own, board, breed, train or race horses, we need to talk! I take a personal interest in protecting what you value most. For information on equine insurance solutions, call me today!

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AN9 0211

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


Dream HORSES By Rob Chapman

Walk through the process of


anoverian, Holsteiner, Oldenburg, and Westphalian. You might not be familiar with these breeds, but they are some of the most

recognized warmblood brands in the sport horse industry.

horse shopping

Some share similar bloodlines, some excel in a particular

in Germany

So when horse shopping for one of these German gems,

and the joy of bringing your dream horse into your barn.

riding discipline, but they all produce unbelievable athletes. make sure you find the one that fits you and your goals best. Warmblood History The Holsteiner breed is considered one the oldest warmbloods, dating back to the 13th century. The original Holsteiners contained mixed blood from German, Neopolitan, and oriental horses. Because of their unique breeding, Holsteiners became known as handsome but tough. Into the 19th and 20th centuries, breeders introduced English horses

(Thoroughbreds) into Holstein breeding programs to produce better quality animals. The end goal was a horse capable of working the land, but also to be ridden. After World War II warmbloods had to be adapted to a new purpose and way of life. Breeders continued to incorporate Thoroughbred blood as well as Trakehner to produce a warmblood for the leisure horse market. These horses evolved into the sport

Rob Chapman with Alois here from Germany on consignment. Foreground Photo by Kelly McChesney Background Photo by Shawn McMillan

Photo by Kelly McChesney

horses we see sprinkled throughout horse show circuits today. As these big strong warmbloods developed into sport horses, competition began between the different German regions (i.e., Hanover, Holstein, Oldenburg, Westphalia, Bavaria, and so on). Associations were established to guide the breeding of these animals and to help create the ideal warmblood. Selection of which mares to breed to which stallions became a science. Today Germany is considered a hot spot for finding sport horses, as its breeders produce the majority of the warmbloods in Europe. Selling horses is a huge industry in this country, which makes it a great place for savvy buyers to find their perfect equine partners. To ensure only the finest warmbloods make it to market and to competition, the German warmblood associations judge, score, and rank stallions, mares, and foals annually.

animal. Begin working with an agent at least a month in advance, to give him or her ample time to find the horse(s) of your dreams.

relations and partners in Europe should also be able to arrange for certain horses to be shipped to the United States on commission.

Upon reaching your destination in Germany, you and your trainer will likely be met by the agent (unless, of course, your agent travelled with you from the States). A good agent will have your hotel and transportation arrangements already made. Discuss with your agent your plans for the horse, your price range, and riding abilities. A well-organized and knowledgeable agent can show you five to 10 preselected horses a day, depending on your requirements, so you aren’t wasting time while abroad.

Once you have found your dream horse, the agent should then arrange for a pre-purchase exam vetting as well as any required radiographs (X-rays) and blood work. This lab work will be conducted again once your horse is in quarantine in the United States (a required step in disease prevention when importing a horse into the country), but having the lab results passed in Germany, before your horse is flown overseas, will save you thousands of dollars in shipping expenses in the event your horse does not pass testing.

To ensure there are no surprises when it comes time to buy a horse, ask your trainer and/or agent to include shipping costs and commissions in the horse’s price. Agents with good

Horse Shopping in Germany So you have done your research and planned a trip to Germany to find your dream horse—the following is a rundown of what to do and expect when you get there. First, and most importantly, travel with your trainer if possible. This is the person who knows your riding style, will be working with you and the horse, and knows what to look for in a quality


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

Technology now allows horsemen to send radiographs via e-mail to nearly any veterinarian or clinic. Consult with a veterinarian that is familiar with warmbloods and sport horses. Upon evaluation of the horse’s X-rays, your veterinarian can help you understand whether the animal’s limbs looks picture perfect; if they reveal a small blemish, such as a bone chip, that does not interfere with performance; or if a chronic, irreparable problem exists. Bringing Your Horse Home

Photo by Shawn McMillan

Once your horse passes the veterinary exam, you have the green light

to arrange for him to be shipped to the States. Your agent should make these arrangements for you, but some of the trusted names in international horse shipping include Guido Klatte Horse Transport and Peden Bloodstock International. From Germany your horse would be transported to Amsterdam, Holland, and then fly on either KLM or Lufthansa airlines. A knowledgeable groom provided by the shipping company escorts the horses during the flight. Your horse will touch down in New York to go through a two- to three-day quarantine period. The duration in quarantine for breeding stallions and mares, however, usually lasts a few days longer. A U.S.-certified shipper will then follow your horse through quarantine and provide all the paperwork to get your horse ready to be picked up by a ground transportation company such as The Dutta Corporation or a shipper such as Equine Express. A reputable company will provide you with updates on the condition of the horse and notifications upon arrival and departure.

So with prior planning, proper connections both in the United States and abroad, an agent with a proven track record, and a little luck, a horse shopping trip to Germany can be both fun and fruitful. Author’s Note: Horses that we’ve bought and imported from Germany for Texas clients include Rayland, Lucky Lite, Ariadus II, Kodiak, For Fun, Kaiser, Zero Gravity, Camelot, Stallone, Wedding Party, Awi-Twa, About Time, Nikita, Reality Check, and Atlantic. They have all placed their hoof prints and gained fame with their owners at The Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy.


Rob Chapman owns Horse Agency Imports and Southern Star Farms with his daughter Cassie Chapman. This past July they imported from Germany a 4-year-old Holsteiner grand prix jumper prospect. They also travelled to Calgary, Canada, to cheer the U.S. show jumping team on to their Nations Cup wins at Spruce Meadows. Then Chapman was off to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky where Germany took home show jumping team gold. He recently returned from another trip to Germany to observe the Holsteiner Stallion Approvals and Elite Riding Auction. While abroad they bought and imported two up-and-coming hunters.


Guido Klatte Horse Transport:; Peden Bloodstock International:; The Dutta Corporation: 914-276-3880;; Equine Express: 800-545-9098;

Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary

Proud members of the National Horse Carriers Association

• Weekly coast-to-coast service • Specializing in track moves, show charters and special runs • Professional horsemen on each rig • First-class equipment and service • Traffic Department staffed with cordial, knowledgeable personnel

800-545-9098 [National] . 940-365-9098 [Local] . Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


In the News

National Reining Breeders Classic Debuts Classic Challenge in 2011 By the NRBC

Photo Courtesy of Waltenberry

“The Classic Challenge Program will begin with a horse’s 7-year-old year,” said NRBC president Tom McCutcheon. “It will give horses an extension of their show careers and a chance for FEI horses to have another big-money event to compete in.”

feature $25,000 added and will run concurrently with the NRHA $5,000-added NRHA class. Additionally, the Intermediate Non Pro will have $10,000 added, the Limited, Level 1, and Prime Time divisions will each feature $2,000 added for $41,000 total added in the Non Pro divisions. Youth riders will compete for $500 added.

It will also encourage proper training and maintenance of horses for long show careers at all levels while rewarding owners for supporting international competition, added McCutcheon, who was a gold-medal winning member of Team USA at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and also the United States Equestrian Federation Equestrian of the Year.

“I think that reining is coming into a new era-one that recognizes the value and the need for older horses. ”

World’s Largest Added Money Reining Event Announces Headline Event for Horses 7 Years and Older!


he National Reining Breeders Classic has long been the leader in the reining world for introducing innovative ideas, and the industryleading organization is doing it again with a new program that could help transform the industry. The NRBC Classic Challenge, which will be held for the first time at the 2011 show, is for those horses that have aged out of the existing Derby programs in the reining industry.


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

NRBC vice president Colleen McQuay agreed, adding, “I think that reining is coming into a new era—one that recognizes the value and the need for older horses. Consequently, this program will help build the concept of longevity in our horses.” The Classic Challenge Open Class will feature $20,000 added and will run concurrently with the $25,000-added NRHA Category 1 Open Class and the $5,000-added CRI. Friday night of NRBC will thus offer an incredible $50,000 in total added money for Open horses. The Non Pro Classic Challenge will

— Colleen McQuay

“Not only is this a huge event for Open horses because of the added money, it’s an outstanding opportunity for Non Pro riders to compete for a very large purse,” noted McQuay. To be eligible for the Classic Challenge, NRBC-enrolled horses must be advanced to the program with the payment of a one-time fee, which is $300. The advancement makes the horse eligible for the Classic Challenge for life. “The NRBC Classic Challenge is a perfect addition to the original program because it provides an additional vehicle to market our horses that we are raising and are our investments,” said McQuay. “Even if you are not planning to compete at the event, if you are planning to sell the horse it’s a wise idea to pay the one-time fee because it adds so much value to the horse.” McCutcheon added, “We are very excited about this new program and the opportunity to promote long-term careers for reining horses.”

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


In the News

More Than Just a Show Horse By Julie Size


eeply rooted in American history, the Saddlebred breed was developed when Narragansett Pacers were crossed with Thoroughbreds in the early 1700s. What ensued was a horse of size, stamina, and beauty that retained the ability to pace—a comfortable gait allowing for longer rides across plantations. The American Horse was first documented in a 1776 letter to the Continental Congress from an American diplomat in France who wanted one as a gift for Marie Antoinette. The Saddlebred type had been established.

“I am someone who rode Western as a kid. I’ve done some jumping, dressage, team penning, ridden a finished reining horse, and a little of this and that in other areas. When I got a job at a Saddlebred barn and learned to ride saddle seat, I was in love! Definitely, definitely, definitely my favorite style of riding.”

— Renae Wesenberg from Stillwater, MN

As the nation developed, the American Horse went West with the pioneers. Kentucky horsemen continued to add Thoroughbred blood to their easygaited horses, then called Kentucky Saddlers, to develop a larger, prettier, all-purpose animal—today’s American Saddlebred breed. Saddlebred shows


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

varied across the nation, from the high society affairs at Madison Square Garden in New York, to the great state fairs of the South and Midwest, down to local county fairs that were more athletic contests. Agriculture was still the mainstay of America, and most Americans understood and appreciated the athleticism and splendor of the animals. Today, the American Saddlebred is best known for being the ultimate show horse, high stepping and elegant, as he performs his five gaits—the walk, trot, canter, slow gait, and rack. He is also known as a horse of intelligence and bravery, one that goes forward, even thriving in a situation that would cause others to retreat. This is why clapping and shouting is encouraged at Saddlebred shows. This confident attitude also makes this horse a great

hunter, driving horse, and most elegant trail mount. American Saddlebreds you might recognize in today’s horse industry include Like Thunder and several other Pinto Saddlebreds that regularly participate in the New Year’s Day Rose Bowl Parade; Prix St. George dressage horse Harry Callahan; Western pleasure mount Fiasco; combined driving champion Singsation; and competitive trail riding record-setter Wing Tempo. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LOCAL TEXAS AMERICAN SADDLE HORSE ASSOCIATION, PLEASE VISIT: or request more information from

Everything for riding except the horse

Operation Gelding

By Kelly McChesney The Teaching Hospital at Texas A&M University hosted “Operation Gelding” on Nov. 11, 2010. Funding for the project was provided by The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC), a nonprofit group that promotes responsible ownership of horses. The UHC started this project in an effort to reduce the number of breeding stallions, thereby reducing the number of unwanted horses in the United States.

11623-A Katy Frwy. Houston, TX 77079 (281) 596-8225 114 West Main Tomball, TX 77375 (281) 351-1705

(800) 231-6530

To help reduce costs for cash-strapped owners the coalition provided $75 per horse for up to 20 horses to be castrated at the Nov. 11 clinic. The Texas A&M hospital agreed to host the clinic and underwrite associated costs, and as a result, owners paid a nominal fee ($25) for the castration. The Texas A&M student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners worked with local rescue organizations, the local animal shelter, and the sheriff’s office to identify horses most in need of castration. “We had an overwhelming response from

the public and fielded a large number of phone calls from people interested in castration of their colts,” said Carolyn Arnold, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, clinical assistant professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University. “Our objective is to work with the rescue organizations.” Horses were chosen from those housed at local rescue organizations as well as from stallions deemed problematic by the local Sheriff’s office. “Problematic” stallions included horses that were neglected or those with a history of breaking through fences to get to a neighbor’s mare. With the help of the staff veterinarians, students castrated 18 horses in one day. Many breeds and ages were represented, and the owners all expressed great appreciation. “Hopefully, Operation Gelding can be held on a yearly basis and we can continue the mission of community service.” Arnold said. “We hope the grant money will be available this year.”

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


In the News

Dressage News from the GSEC Show Team By GSEC’s Show Team


arbeque dinner … Happy hour … Country singer Donna B … Door prizes … An evening out? Yes, and all during last October’s inaugural Great Southwest Equestrian Center Platinum Classics Dressage Show!

Marilyn Kulifay (R) GSEC Dressage Show Manager discussing Otto Sport Footing with Amy Uniss (L) GSEC Equine Manager.

Great Southwest Equestrian Center now organizes and hosts two dressage shows annually at its Katy, Texas, facility. The upcoming GSEC Diamond Classics I & II will be held May 29-30, 2011, with Thomas Poulin “S” and Dr. P. Chopra FEI “I” judging both days. Similar to the GSEC Platinum Classics held last October, GSEC plans to make each show a special event. Based on the positive response to the Platinum show, GSEC will again host a free competitor dinner with entertainment and fun on May 29. The GSEC “think tank” is working on awards that will inspire competitors to ride at their peak.

Based on the positive response to the Platinum show, GSEC will again host a free competitor dinner with entertainment. Between classes at the GSEC dressage shows, competitors and their guests are welcome to relax in the indoor stadium’s upgraded Arena Club. The Club features a big screen TV, comfortable sofas, and wireless Internet connection. In the outdoor arenas, the new Otto Sport Footing has received rave reviews. This same footing was installed


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

at the Kentucky Horse Park prior to the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Horses have been competing well in GSEC’s Otto Sport Footing; a record score of 88.5% was even received in a dressage training level test last November. Although at print time final arrangements had not yet been made, GSEC plans to invite a personal trainer to the May show to demonstrate strengthening techniques for better riding. GSEC Diamond Classics will also be American Quarter Horse Associationapproved for members to earn yearend points toward awards. Points earned at GSEC Diamond Classics also count toward scores and awards from the American Paint Horse Association as well as other breed registries. All breeds, however, are welcome to compete. For entries that are not yet United States Equestrian Federation and United States Dressage Federation members, the Diamond Classic shows will offer Opportunity Classes, in which a horse and rider can compete

without having to be a member of these organizations. Spindletop Arabian Horse Club will also host a show at GSEC May 27-29, with open dressage classes on May 28, so if a horse needs a day to practice, competitors can come early and ride in the Spindletop show. GSEC would like to thank all the volunteers that made the October Platinum Classics such a success—the competitor response was excellent. This year’s Platinum Classics will be held Oct. 8-9, 2011, with Joan Humphrey “S” and Marlene Schneider “S” judging. It is also a qualifier for the 2012 North American Junior/Young Rider championships. Mark the date!

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND A PRIZE LIST, GO TO: or e-mail Marilyn Kulifay at

Let us help you create your own oasis!

3003 Hwy 146 Bacliff, TX. 77581


Palapas Decks Stamped Concrete Bamboo Custom Furniture Accessories Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011




For Those Who Live and Ride Well

GRAND PRIXS Identity of people in photos shown below (orderd across spread from top left corner down to the bottom right corner)

1. Jason Lacher, Jimmy Olguin, AJ Jiblin & Christian Heineking on River of Dreams - Photo by Michele Lignon

2. Frank Owen and friend - Photo by Connie Kelts 4. Happy Times at GSEC - Photo by Connie Kelts 6. Martin Van Der Houven on Walter Farley - Photo by Connie Kelts

8. Jordan Appel on Einstein - Photo by Michele Lignon 9. Jimmy Olguin, Diane Brown, Susan Williams Olguin, and Charles Ward- Photo by Kelly McChesney 10. Karen Slaton & Charles Ward - Photo by Michele Lignon

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


Money Matters

It’s Not What You Earn But What You Keep Three Common Investment Mistakes By Victoria Woods


n my 22 years as a chief investment advisor I know there is no “one size fits all” with my clients; each one is different from the other. We are all at different points in our lives with different scenarios, family situations, and above all else, different missions, goals, and objectives.

Whatever stage you are in life and whatever goals you want to achieve, we all have to plan for retirement— and the sooner the better. Here are three common investment mistakes to avoid:

just be my dream. But what if you’re forced into early retirement or worse, have an accident that leaves you unable to work and fund your retirement? How much income will it require to live the life I dream of?

Planning for real life

All assets in stocks and a few bonds

Some people plan to leave a large sum of money to their children when they pass on, while others plan to spend their savings before they die, donate it all to charity, or create a foundation. Some people’s main concern as they age is their health, while for others it might be outliving their savings and investments.

We would all love to retire at some point. We’ve worked, saved, and invested—we deserve it. Most of us look forward to the day we can go live on that beach sipping our favorite adult libation in a resort cabana, playing golf, riding horses, lying in a hammock under a beautiful blue sky reading a good book … OK that might

This simply will not do, my friends. A dramatic drop in the market can send this plan plummeting, as many experienced during the Financial Crisis of 2008. Having a diverse portfolio with all asset classes as well as having a diverse mix of investment strategies is critical to your long-term success. If you are one of the millions that still need


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

If you are one of the millions that still need to start your road to recovery, don’t hesitate a second longer; find an investment advisor that understands the necessities of a portfolio designed around strategic, tactical unconstrained, and absolute return solutions. to start your road to recovery, don’t hesitate a second longer; find an investment advisor that understands the necessities of a portfolio designed around strategic, tactical unconstrained, and absolute return solutions.

Take the proper steps in case of illness or death: The minimum anyone requires is term life insurance to cover any debt, income that would be lost, and a retirement account that goes unfulfilled. In the case of a stay-at-home spouse, for example, what is the cost of replacing all the things that spouse does? Cooking, cleaning, care-giving, errands, shopping, car pooling, bill paying, tutoring, travel planning … the list is endless. These responsibilities will need to be replaced. Most individuals also require a living revocable trust that provides implicit instructions on where your assets should go when you pass. You also should review your (as well as your parents’) long-term care insurance to protect your assets (most companies’ minimum age is 40). There are many other solutions to creating wealth and protecting you and your family’s assets, but this is a good start. Now get moving—it’s your life we are talking about here.


Victoria Woods is Chief Investment Advisor at ChappelWood Financial Services; Advisor to Millionaires; TV Contributor for the Today show, Fox News, Fox Business, NBC, CBS, and ABC; Founder of the Financial District of Oklahoma located in Edmond; and author of “It’s All About The $Money, Honey!”

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


E q u i n e L aw

Risky Business If My Horse Hurts Someone, Does the Equine Activity Liability Act Protect Me? By Jill R. Elsey


he Texas Equine Activity Liability Act provides that any person, including an equine activity sponsor, equine professional, livestock show participant, or livestock show sponsor, is not liable for property or other damages arising from the personal injury or death of a participant in an equine activity if the damage, injury, or death results from an inherent risk of an equine activity. According to the Act, “inherent risks” include the propensity of a horse to behave in ways that might result in personal injury or death to a person on or around it, and the unpredictability of a horse or livestock animal’s reaction to sound, a sudden movement, or an unfamiliar object, person, or other animal.

“Equine activity statutes lead many people to believe that if their horse injures someone, they cannot be sued.”

dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of a participant or intentionally injures a participant. The statute also requires that stables visibly display “clearly readable” warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law. Most states have a similar statute shielding individuals and horse activity sponsors from liability that might arise from the risks inherent in normal horse activities. In a Michigan case, for instance, the plaintiff rode a horse bareback that was co-owned by the two defendants. She was aboard the horse while it was being longed by one of the defendants. This horse had no known dangerous propensities, but on this occasion the gelding bucked and the plaintiff fell off. A summary judgment was granted in favor of the defendants because the claims were barred by the state’s Equine Activity Liability Act.

While many situations fall under the protection of this statute, there are situations in which a horse or property owner can find he or she is not protected by this law.

This is the very type of event the act was meant to address. The plaintiff tried to use the “faulty tack or equipment” exception, but the court found the exception did not apply because tack was not the proximate cause of the injury.

The exceptions to this act include situations where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine a participant’s ability to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which a participant sustained injuries because of a known,

In a similar Texas case the plaintiff fell during a guided trail ride held by the defendant. The tack and equipment was checked for safety midway through the ride, after which the plaintiff galloped off from the group. When he tried to pull up, the horse stopped suddenly and the plaintiff fell. During this incident the saddle slid to the horse’s side.


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

The appellate court held that the Equine Liability Act “shields sponsors from liability for factors beyond their control.” The court noted that saddles can slip for reasons that are “inherent” to riding horses, such as horses sweating, stretched saddles, compressed saddle pads, and rider error. They can also slip from “non-inherent” risks such as negligent cinching. Equine activity statutes lead many people to believe that if their horse injures someone, they “cannot be sued.” But if your horse hurts someone, it is important to note that you can get sued and that the statute might not protect you, depending on the circumstances. These statutes are enacted to protect horsemen from frivolous lawsuits arising from accidents that cannot be avoided. To determine whether an event is covered under the Texas Equine Liability Act you must decide whether the event is specifically covered by the act, whether the event was an inherent or non-inherent risk to participation in equine activities, and whether the event was cause by a negligent or intentional act.


Attorney Jill R. Elsey is a life-long equestrian. Her office, Elsey Equine Law, focuses exclusively on issues affecting the horse industry and also offers equine insurance. For more information, visit

We are proud to announce OTTO Sport International

THE OFFICIAL ARENA FOOTING PROVIDER For Great Southwest Equestrian Center

Announcing the construction of a 2nd Otto Sport Ring on site at GSEC. Completion date: Spring 2011

Otto Sport- und Reitplatz GmbH of Germany will be the official footing supplier of Great Southwest’s arenas. The patented OTTO Perforated Mats and meticulously blended footing mixture boast high water permeability, outstanding concussion absorption, and non-slip properties to protect horses to the fullest. Otto Sport is a family-run company with more than 25 years experience in arena construction. The company has provided more than 5,000 installations in arenas throughout the world, including the stadiums and arenas at the Kentucky Horse Park, host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


T e x a s C h i l d r e n ’ s H o s p i ta l

When Genetics Go Wrong, Texas Children’s Makes It Right By Sandra Bretting


hile most children inherit their parents’ eye color or height, 3-year-old Maggie Brown of Austin inherited something entirely different from her mother Suzie. When she was born in 2007, doctors heard the same heart murmur that physicians had diagnosed in her mother decades before. Thirty-three years ago, physicians at the University of Alabama were called on to repair Suzie Chase Brown’s cleft mitral valve—a valve that lies on the left side of the heart between the atrium and the ventricle—and an atrial septal defect, which meant a hole in Suzie’s heart chambers hadn’t closed as it should.

“From the person at the front desk to the surgery team, everyone made me feel confident I’d made the right decision. ”

— Suzie Chase Brown

Maggie’s doctor diagnosed the exact same defects in the tiny child, and Suzie began the process of searching for the right cardiac surgeon to repair her daughter’s ailing heart. “When I was young, my parents took me up and down the East Coast trying to find the best doctor for me,” Suzie


For Those Who Live and Ride Well

After Maggie Brown was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect at birth, her mother turned to Texas Children’s Heart Center to repair her daughter’s ailing heart. recalled. “My way was to question physicians at hospitals in Austin and Houston and say, ‘If this was your child and someone needed to cut open her heart, who would you choose?’ Overwhelmingly, everyone said the same thing: Go to Texas Children’s Hospital.” Suzie made an appointment for her

daughter with Texas Children’s Heart Center in the fall of 2009. She soon discovered the difference between her own experience and her daughter’s would be profound. “My parents warned me that I wouldn’t get to spend much time with the surgeon before my daughter’s

operation,” Suzie said. “They had met my surgeon only 10 minutes before my procedure, and they thought that was just how it was.”

Texas Children’s cardiologists see more than 12,000 patients a year.

Instead, Suzie said, Maggie’s surgeon spent hours explaining how he would repair the two defects in Maggie’s tiny heart. Surgery was scheduled for April 21, 2010, and differences in the way Suzie and Maggie experienced heart surgery continued to surface. “The nurses constantly came out to where my parents and I were waiting to give us news about Maggie’s surgery,” Suzie said. “My parents couldn’t believe it, because they weren’t told anything once I was wheeled into the operating room.” Following the procedure, Maggie was discharged on the third day, which was a pleasant surprise for Suzie, who was kept in the hospital for two weeks when she was a child. A four-inch scar on Maggie’s chest is the only reminder of her hours-long surgery. “My son, Tiger, was so worried that his sister wouldn’t come out alive from this,” Suzie said. “I told him that Maggie had two tiny holes in her heart, but that we’d found the best place for her. From the person at the front desk to the surgery team, everyone made me feel confident I’d made the right decision.” Today, Maggie is an active 3-year-old who rides her Big Wheel with abandon. In fact, Suzie said, her daughter made a startling announcement at her six-month post-operative visit. “She looked right at us and said she’s going to run a marathon when she turns 21,” Suzie said. “And I have no doubt that she’ll do it.” At Texas Children’s Hospital, dedicated cardiologists work with young patients—such as Maggie—every day to detect and repair heart problems. With Texas Children’s new West Campus, now open in Katy, dedicated cardiologists are providing equally fine outpatient care for the families in West Hous-

ton. While invasive heart surgeries will continue to take place at the main campus in the Texas Medical Center, many patients can be followed up at the cardiology clinic at the West Campus or be treated for heart problems that don’t require surgery there. Each year, Texas Children’s cardiologists see more than 12,000 patients, and U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Texas Children’s Heart Center as the one of the top three centers for pediatric heart care in the country. In addition to offering care for children with heart problems, physicians at the new West Campus treat everything from pediatric cancer to neurologic disorders, sports injuries, eye issues, and gastrointestinal disorders, among many other conditions. This spring, the West Campus also opened a 48-bed inpatient unit. That’s in addition to the David and Mary Wolff Emergency Center, which is the area’s only dedicated, full-service pediatric emergency center.

All told, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus offers families living west of Houston the best possible pediatric care for their children. Whether that means outpatient services, such as physical and speech therapy, or inpatient services, such as minor surgeries and diagnostic tests, the hospital contains all of the equipment and staff physicians need to provide the most comprehensive care possible. “When your child has health issues, there’s no question that you want the best place for them,” said Suzie. “I found that place when I found Texas Children’s Hospital.”


Sandra Bretting works as a writer for Texas Children’s Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, her work can also be found most weeks in the business section of the Houston Chronicle. Credits include the Los Angeles Times, Woman’s Day and many literary publications.

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


Russell Erxleben is designing new and original jump courses on-site at the equestrian center 40

For Those Who Live and Ride Well


By Kelly McChesney


ix years ago Great Southwest Equestrian Center equine operations manager Pauline “Cookie” Cook mentioned she needed flower boxes to accent jumps at an upcoming horse show. Russell Erxleben volunteered to construct the boxes in his garage and thus, unknowingly, began his now thriving jump-building business. During the course of that horse show several people approached him about building jumps.

Intrigued by the apparent market niche, Erxleben started experimenting with jump designs and put together a price list for distribution. He built a few fences for Cook’s Britannia Farm horse shows at GSEC and was soon receiving orders from local barns. What started as a side venture rapidly outgrew his garage and was relocated to an empty building on his mother’s farm and eventually, to a commercial warehouse in Katy.

“The demand for jumps is surprising,” said Erxleben. He continued building jumps for GSEC, his mother—trainer Kari Martin—and other trainers.

This year Erxleben’s business made another move. Erxleben teamed up with GSEC to form Great Southwest Jumps and now has a shop on site at the equestrian center. The move was a natural one for Erxleben, whose life has always revolved around the equestrian center to some extent.

“The goal of Great Southwest Jumps is to build highquality, longlasting jumps and make them affordable to anyone.”

— Russell Erxleben

“When I was about four years old, my mother took a job here (at GSEC) and brought me to work with her,” Exrleben recalled. “I knew every crawl space there was, every shavings pile that could be climbed, and every storage room that wasn’t locked. Eventually, in a move that quite possibly saved the property from total annihilation, Cookie put me to work.” Erxleben also has travelled the country working for The Scoreboard Guys LLC, based in San Antonio, Tx. For the past few years he has operated the

Photo by Kelly McChesney

computers behind the scenes of the large, colored LED scoreboards seen at the end of horse show arenas nationwide. At each venue he takes note of the jumps and returns home with new ideas. The first project for Great Southwest Jumps was to design a new and original Grand Prix course, which was unveiled at the February GSEC shows. New hunter jumps also are in the works. “The goal of Great Southwest Jumps is to build high-quality, long-lasting jumps and make them affordable to anyone,” said Erxleben.

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


Summer By Alexandra Beckstett


n the midst of summer, when the days are long and the sunshine is bountiful, every horse-crazy little girl dreams of being in the saddle. What better way to put a smile on her face than to sign her up for a weeklong riding camp?

Most Houston-area equestrian summer camps cater to young riders of all ages and abilities. The Sam Houston Equestrian Center, for instance, offers half a week of Western riding lessons and Photo by Toni Guidry another half-week of English lessons. By the end of the session, campers are showing off their newfound skills for their parents by competing in a mock horse show. Some camps, however, such as Cedar Lane Stables in Tomball, go beyond the normal English and Western riding realms to give kids a taste of disciplines such as vaulting and driving. Outside the arena, riding camps offer a wealth of information in horsemanship, horse care, and safety. The summer and Spring Break riding camps at Conroe’s Relentless Pursuit Farm, for example, include veterinary and farrier demonstrations as well as horsey art-and-crafts projects for its young attendees.

“Riding camp is a great way for beginner riders to strengthen their skills, because they are allowed to ride twice a day for five days straight. This is the equivalent of receiving two month’s worth of lessons in one week. It is a wonderful way to see how far they progress each day. “ — Regan Scisco, Relentless Pursuit Farm 42

For Those Who Live and Ride Well

Sienna Stables’ summer camp goes one step further by sending its riders home with a 20page informational booklet on horse care and conformation. From Western pleasure to equitation to emergency dismounts, there’s likely a summer riding camp in the Lone Star State that caters to your child’s horsey needs. Contact your local breed or horse show association or inquire with local trainers and barns to find out which camps are offered in your area and when. Photo by Regan Scisco

Photo by Melissa Few

Great Southwest Equestrian Center does not endorse any of the mentioned camps, nor does it make any claims as to the suitability of any camp for a particular child. Due diligence should be exercised in the selection of a camp or any equestrian activity.

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


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For Those Who Live and Ride Well

C J uhn ainogre V o i c e s

Riding’s Lessons By Katie Hartshorn

“There’s a horseback riding camp over Spring Break this year, do you want to go?”


hat was the question I was asked in the spring of second grade, and my response changed my life forever. The camp was small, but it introduced me to riding and learning with horses and ignited a passion in me that hasn’t wavered. I started with basic English riding lessons, but luckily worked with trainers who also taught me about horses’ growth and development and equine health care including hoof care, feeding, treating problems, and reproduction. Some of the best early equine experiences I had were with trainers who encouraged me to ride as many horses as possible, to gain the experiences needed to move forward. After a few years competing in schooling shows, a change in trainers led me to the more competitive world of “A” and “AA” shows and show jumping.

“Riding horses is a sport, but it’s also an education.” The most pivotal experience of my riding career was meeting Andrea, my current horse. If a horse can be a soul mate, Andrea is mine. We have been through a lot together, but these experiences have taught me so much more about the spirit of an animal, the true nature of the sport of show jumping, and the reality of dealing with a sport that is based on two living beings that need to work as one. Andrea, now 14, was born in France, exported to Germany, then

imported to Houston. She is a phenomenal horse—a show jumper of an elite class of Hanoverians and a past competitor of Puissance (a high jumping competition in which she jumped a 7–foot, 2-inch wall, while the world record height is 8 foot 1¼ inches). When Andrea first came to Houston, we competed together and did extremely well. We were even champion in the Junior Open Jumper division in 2006. But, eventually, she began to have physical problems and didn’t seem to want to compete anymore. She would refuse jumps and became anxious when she entered the arena. Slowly, it became evident that Andrea just didn’t want to compete and needed a break. Many riders probably know the agony of realizing that your beloved and amazingly talented horse doesn’t want to compete anymore. The thought of selling her never seemed reasonable to me. So, we decided that maybe becoming a broodmare would be her next career. After all, she is beautiful and talented and with the right stallion might produce beautiful babies. With the support of my trainer, Andrea gave birth to two foals. I was present for the birth of both of them and even broke the first one’s fall to the ground as he so graciously plunged into our world. These babies currently are healthy, growing well, and just as pretty as their mom. After giving birth to her second foal, Andrea seemed ready to return to the show circuit. So, we began again—this time in the hopeful jumpers, a class that upcoming jumpers compete in to get their hooves wet in the show ring. Andrea needed time to readjust to the shows and for both of us to feel that this was what she wanted to do. As

anyone would imagine, going from an advanced division to a beginner division with the same horse is a difficult transition. But, I have let Andrea lead the way and have tried to follow. I cannot begin to list all that I have learned and continue to learn from Andrea. The pain and guilt I felt when she didn’t want to compete is starting to fade. I’ve learned to listen very carefully to her and to trust her judgment. She takes great care of me and is very responsive to my needs. She still “saves” me on occasion, but expects me to ride well and consistently. I’m not sure how far we will go in competition, but it really doesn’t matter. A clean round, a happy horse, and a fun ride … that’s what it’s all about. Whether that’s in a hopeful jumper division or in a 1.40-meter Mini Prix, it’s fundamentally about the experience. Riding horses is a sport, but it’s also an education. Like the famous book title, “All I Need to Know, I Learned From My Horse,” I’ve learned about courage, tenacity, changing career directions, the beauty of creating new life, perspective, loyalty, and love. Although the experience of riding and showing horses can be an emotional rollercoaster, the benefits are tangible and transferable to every part of life. Andrea has been and continues to be my best life trainer.


Katie is a senior at the University of Houston. She has been riding horses since she was 8 and plans to continue her hobby long after she graduates from school.

Show & Tell Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 2 Spring 2011


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