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BEHIND : ARIAT THE BRAND ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Style Rider, NorCal Corner, Our Olympians



Bay Area native Brian Wee began his riding career at the age of six, and has been pursuing his passion ever since. He went straight from three day eventing to the jumper ring, and competed successfully up to the High Amateur Owner Jumper division before leaving the Bay Area to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara. In college, he catch rode hunter and equitation horses at Sterling Silver Stables and had numerous wins in her program. After graduation and a brief career in financial services, Brian turned professional in 2010 and worked for Burr & Associates, an East Coast powerhouse comprised of Mollie Ashe Cawley, Leslie Howard, Chris Cawley, and Timmy Kees. After the 2010 Winter Circuit, Brian moved to Germany, where he worked at a sales/breeding stable for 6 months, before getting the opportunity to work for show jumping legend and Olympic Bronze Medalist Karsten Huck for one year. Brian is currently working at Windfall Farms with Gry Mcfarlane, and enjoys helping other riders achieve the highest level of success possible.

Special thanks to Stanford University, Vanessa Bartsch, and the Stanford University Equestrian Team for graciously allowing H&S to use their gorgeous facility as a backdrop for this month’s cover shoot.


Sami Milo is the owner and operator of Cavallo Stables, LLC, based in Northern California’s Penryn. She specializes in guiding riders to new levels in the medals, equitation and jumper division, although with riders of the ages of 3 of 5, the pony ring is just around the corner. Her own experiences competing as a junior at the Young Rider level and placing in nationwide medal finals support her ability to relate to all of her students, and she currently competes with her own horse Calibro at the grand prix level. Sami is dedicated to excellence and is looking forward to what the future brings.


Ruben Arcé has been Breakwell Stables’s assistant trainer since 2008; he brings with him over 15 years of horsemanship experience and is an exceptionally talented rider. Ruben’s quiet yet confident demeanor, and natural riding style, fit well with lead trainer Peter Breakwell’s training philosophies. Along with being an accomplished rider, Ruben has helped to develop many talented amateurs and young riders. Prior to joining Breakwell Stables in 2008, Ruben was the owner and head trainer of a successful eventing/jumper program in Gilroy, CA. Before starting his own business, Ruben was an eventing instructor and rider at DenvilleKanani in Danville, CA; Ruben also spent time in New Mexico where he brought young horses up though the eventing levels.


Stephanie owns and operates Stillwater Equestrian at Leap of Faith Farms in Walnut Creek. With over 30 years of equestrian experience and successes in all levels of the hunter/jumper disciple, Stephanie and Stillwater take great pride in providing un unmatched level of care for the equine athlete and rider, along with personalized and professional all-inclusive training for both horse and rider.


World Cup Finals veteran and highly successful grand prix rider Jill Humphrey made a splash on the West Coast circuit as a young professional, winning numerous grand prix classes and being named the 2005 PCHA Rookie Grand Prix Rider of the Year. Since then Jill has continued her successes at the top level of show jumping while operating Leone Equestrians in partnership with Rudy Leone. With a busy sales, training, breeding and show facility, Jill has gained experience in many different areas of the A-circuit hunter/jumper industry, all the while riding a competing in the hunters and jumpers. Jill also enjoys coaching young riders, passing on her knowledge to others who aspire to big goals at the top of the sport.

Along with coaching her students to numerous West Coast medal final and equitation championships, Stephanie has been the chef d’equipe for the Zone 10 Prix de States junior jumper team and for the North American Young Rider Championships. In her free time Stephanie enjoys competing in triathlons, reading, camping, and spending time with her family.


International grand prix rider and coach Robert Blanchette owns and operates Blanchette Equestrian with his wife, Tammy Blanchette, from Loma Vista Farms in Santa Cruz. Amongst other accomplishments, Robert has ridden on and coached Nations Cup teams, and in 2003 and 2004 Robert was one of the three winningest show jumping riders in Sweden. Robert has also competed through Grand Prix in dressage, and up to the two star level in three day eventing. For the past seventeen years Robert has imported select high quality Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation Horses from Northern and Central Europe to the United States. Blanchette Equestrian riders are regular faces on the West Coast A-circuit, with numerous successes across all levels.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Douglas Thompson is a freelance

photographer serving the wine country, providing his services to the wine industry for commercial, event, and advertising purposes. His work has published in San Francisco, 7x7, Diablo, Wine Enthusiast, NY Times, Town & Country, and a long list of online periodicals as well. He currently resides in Sonoma.





36 54 |



London Calling: Celebrate the Olympic Games with your own version of Union Jack style


The Lasher Polo Classic in Sacramento was a fabulous day in the sun for polo players and jumpers alike


Fourteen-year-old Peyton Warren rode to the top of the 2012 Spruce Meadows Skyliner Tournament this June

61 |


The touching story of Rhinestone Cowboy

Ariat continues to define equestrian style while staying close to its Bay Area roots

38 47 |


Amanda Shoemaker Teal applies her equestrian background to a new way of life


The pieces are falling into place for young professional Matt Sereni

62 |


The styles and stories of the Team USA show jumpers

66 |


Jeanette Sinclair is capturing the moments that matter in Northern California

Find us online at 'Like' us on facebook /horseandstylemag 2


ON THE COVER: NorCal riders graciously modeled Ariat fashions at the Stanford Red Barn for the H&S exclusive Behind the Brand feature. From left: Robert Blanchette, Stephanie Simmonds, Ruben Arcé, Sami Milo, Brian Wee, Jill Humphrey. Photo ©Douglas Thompson Onsite craft services provided by Café 15, Oakland



EDITOR | Erin Gilmore


5 | FROM THE PUBLISHER 7 | 10 THINGS Jeff Phalen

9 | OUT & ABOUT 2012 Western States Horse Expo

10 | OUT & ABOUT

Early Summer Classic


16 | MEDIA

Equestrian Apps

18 | TREND REPORT Get a Grip


Stylin’ Stirrups by Lorenzini


Spruce Meadows 2012




PHOTOGRAPHERS | Douglas Thompson, Alden Corrigan, Sarah Appel, Gail Morey, Rick Osteen, Bonnie Gainer, Spruce Meadows Media Services, Ryan Anne Polli, Cheval Photos CONTRIBUTORS

Erin Gilmore

Erin Gilmore is a freelance writer and equestrian journalist based in Wellington, Florida. She has worked in equestrian media since 2002, and is a frequent contributor to regional and national equestrian magazines. A lifelong horseperson, she trained hunter/jumpers, spent time on the international show jumping circuit, and worked in a variety of disciplines, from polo to dressage.

Tanya Zilinskas Naouri

Tanya has been working in fashion since 2005, when she launched her online womens wear boutique Maneater Threads. Tanya now divides her time between freelance writing, ecommerce consulting, and most importantly, being a mother to her new son Harris. Having grown up showing Quarter Horses at the national level, she is currently enjoying working with her green Irish-bred Thoroughbred, Luke, so that he’s ready for walk/trot classes with Harris in a few years.

Anne Polli “When I write, I want the reader to feel something for the subject

of the piece, not just the who, what, and when aspects,”says Polli, a freelance writer from Wilton, CA. Polli, who has also written for such publications as the USEF’s Equestrian magazine and ShowBiz, has always been amazed by the power of the written word to engage, entertain, terrify, delight, teach, inspire and create thought, is pleased to be a contributor to Horse & Style.

Brittany Haynie

52 | OUT & ABOUT

Let’s Show Beach Party



Katie Shoultz

Katie Shoultz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. The business savvy writer is also the founder of Isidore Farm, a premier hunter/jumper facility in beautiful Kentucky. Katie is involved with several equine organizations and is active in the industry she most enjoys writing about.

The Tack Room


Horse & Style Magazine is a Hunter Jumper publication published bi-monthly and distributed FREE by Horse & Style Magazine LLC at Northern California hunter jumper horse shows, large training centers and participating tack shops. The written and visual contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is legally prohibited. Copyright © 2012 Horse & Style Magazine LLC. TM

Carrie Wicks, Ph.D.

Dr. Carrie Wicks divides her time between her private sport psychology consulting and family therapy practice, traveling with athletes, and writing. She recently completed her doctorate in psychology while researching the mental practices of equestrian athletes. Dr. Carrie’s passions include horses, yoga, mountain biking, skiing, and time in nature with animals.

Molly W. Chappell

Horse & Style intern Molly W. Chappell was introduced to horses by her grandfather when she was three, and she has been involved with horses ever since. Molly currently attends Cal State University Sacramento where she is working on a degree in journalism, and a minor in digital media.




If you would’ve asked me when I was 20 where I would be in 10 years, the answer would have been, “living in Paris or Milan, working in fashion and riding my string of grand prix horses.” As I rapidly approach my 30th birthday this September, I begin to wonder what the 20-year-old version of myself would think of me now, married with a baby living in the burbs. In my early 20s I produced fashion shows on both coasts. In 2005 I was lucky enough to land a job working at Olympus Fashion Week in New York as an assistant producer, and after working many fashion shows in San Francisco and the Bay Area I produced a few of my own. After many nights of steaming dresses, chasing models and turning backstage chaos into runway glamour masterpieces, I hung up my black patent leather mary jane Manolo Blahniks for another pair of black shoes: my tall boots! While I no longer dream of jetting around the world from one fashion hot spot to another I have found a way to keep a piece of that 20 something’s dream in my life today. For this issue we shot our cover on location at one of the Bay Area’s most iconic barns; the Stanford Red Barn on the grounds of Stanford University in Palo Alto. Stanford was the meeting place of Beth Cross and Pam Parker, the masterminds behind Ariat, who joined forces at Stanford Business School and started what would grow to be one of the largest equestrian brands in the world (page 30.) To model Ariat fashions for our first ever Behind the Brand feature, we picked six California trainers, and

while a good publisher never shoots and tells, I will confess that there was one diva among the group who rivaled all the models I worked with in

Above: Sarah backstage with Project Runway designer Rami Kashou at the Bryant Park West Charity Fashion Show in 2008. Left: Behind the scenes at the H&S cover story shoot.

For some riders, their dreams are just beginning, like young 14 year old Peyton Warren, who experienced huge success competing in her first international horse show at Spruce Meadows (page 44.) For others such as our US Olympic team (page 46,) they have earned the privilege of representing their country and are living out a dream of riders throughout the world. Where will I be in another 10 years? I can only hope to continue to grow my family, make Horse & Style the best equestrian magazine in the country and maybe win a grand prix or two! Peace, Love & Horseshoes,

New York. We’ll let you guess who it was! photo ©Deb Dawson AUGUST | SEPTEMBER


10 things you might not know about...

Jeff Phalen 1. 2.

Photo ©Alden Corrigan

3. 4. 5.

6. A familiar face in the aisle ways of many a West Coast barn, Jeff Phalen seems to never be too far from his anvil. He can most often be found tending to the hooves of horses at top A-circuit hunter/jumper training programs, and it’s no surprise that he comes from a family of horseshoers - his father Bob and his brothers Canon and Brock all share the same trade. Most recently, Jeff started a multi-farrier service with informational how-to videos and general horsemanship tips (Search Coast to Coast Equestrian on YouTube), and with a baby on the way and an impending marriage on the horizon, it’s a guarantee that the life of this farrier will only become more full.

He was one of the creators of Sound Hoof Conditioner, now in use across the United States.

He was born in Gallup, New Mexico and is a horse on the Chinese calendar.

He’s getting married soon and having a baby girl, who is due on his birthday.

His fiancé Kristin Hickey also works with horses as an equine muscle therapist.

His favorite hobby is golf. “I’m left handed but play mostly right handed... occasionally I’ll play with my left handed clubs. I’m very ambidextrous.”

He spent five years taking care of his Dutch warmblood, and showed her at Indio and Thermal. He always groomed her and cleaned her stall himself.

When he was 20 he became certified to be a personal trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.


He just started doing Crossfit.


He’s been bungee jumping and paragliding.


His favorite foods are sushi and ice cream.




Congratulations to

Full Circle Farm’s

clients for a successful first half of the 2012 show season.

We wish many future successes to everyone who has recently purchased a horse with Full Circle Farm. Square One & Joan Gamble

Blanc de Blanc & Judy Dodd

Full Circle Farm

Agent: Penelope Strait

Very the Best & Pam Hamel

Optimo Santa Rosa & Machella Wood

Zappo & Geocin Mgt. Services LTD

Remonta Gale’on & Simone Berg (Leased)

Chapala & Cynthia Kenyon

Dutch & Shallin Ris (Leased)

Full Circle Farm

Shawnigan Lake, BC, Canada

Trainer: Kara Mia Love

Trainer: Isabelle Ebner

Trainer: Meredith Herman

Full Circle Farm

Calvios & Grace Brumsford

Trainer: Patrick Seaton 1. A Horse Expo spectator admires a piece of award winning art 2. The ladies of Sundance Kisses, Julie & Elsa 3. Kate Harvey of Irish Hunter T-shirt Co. models one of her tees 4. Fringe-tastic handbags 5. Erica from Cares & Whoas boutique 6. Lorna Goode of Goode Rider 7. Dubarry’s fall trends 8. Equestrian-kitch on display

Looking for the perfect equine partner? We have all levels of horses for sale.

Photos ©Sarah Appel

Dusty Blackwood, Owner/Trainer phone (707) 753-0605 Chelsea Jones, Giana Roberge, Assistant Trainers


1. Hunter Creek Farm‘s impressive front entrance 2. The Fellers family chats ringside 3. The top six in the $1,000 WCHR Handy Hunter Classic 4. Having fun on a bareback ride around the showgrounds 5. Shelly Campf, shown here on Greyscale, finished 1-2-3 in the WCHR Handy Hunter Classic 6. Zidane & Megan Garcia, Round 1 USHJA International Hunter Derby winners 7. Lolita & Megan Jordan 8. Horse Tunnel between HCF & show 9. Le Cavalier & Quinn Partridge, USHJA International Hunter Derby Overall Reserve Champions







P hi l o s ophy:


RESPECT POSITIVITY S A F E T Y ENJOYMENT SUCCESS Toni & Colin McIntosh Menlo Park, California 650.683.0469

PROFESSIONAL POP QUIZ This month’s question: “What is the

most valuable step in your cooldown/after care process when your top horse is coming off of an important class or grand prix?”

Every issue, a new question will be answered from your Northern California professionals. Have a question you want answered? Send it to

“Walk, walk, walk!!! The muscles loosen up and the heart rate returns to normal before stall rest--it’s essential!” Christina Christensen, Core Equestrian

When an important horse comes off the grand prix field, I go the extra mile with hydrotherapy, inflammation control and support bandaging. Walk him out, cool him down, and wrap him up!” Clint Sawyer, High Standard Equestrian

“I always like to give the horse a good hand walk around without tack. Then we give them a thorough bath and cold hose the legs for 10-20 minutes.” Garrett Warner, Silver Springs Farm

STYLE RIDER by Sarah Appel

John French

Bring up the hunter ring on the West Coast, and the name John French will inevitably work its way into the conversation. He is one of the most decorated hunter, derby, and grand prix riders in the country, and he has called Northern California home for over 25 years. From his Waldenbrook Farm in San Jose, John maintains an elite program that has produced an astonishing number of exceptional horses in both the hunters and jumpers. Much like his riding style, John has a quiet personality, but as his many friends know, he is an open and honest horseman who thoroughly enjoys every day that he gets to spend with horses. Discover what he would be doing if he didn’t have a career in the horse industry, what his good luck charm is, and what he considers to be his biggest accomplishment.

Horse & Style: Describe your riding style. John French: I would say it’s a little East Coast, more traditional. I like dark jackets, sometimes with colors that contrast, I wear a blue jacket for derbies that has a little more pizzaz with white piping on the collar. Otherwise I like beige breeches, light shirts, and add color with my tie every now and then. H&S: What is your head to toe riding outfit? JF: My helmet is Charles Owens, I get me dress shirts from Nordstrom, my breeches are Tailored Sportsman, jackets Grand Prix & Allon, and boots are Ariat Monacos. I like thick ties, like Robert Talbot, that are less likely to come out, than silk ties and I like a little pattern. H&S: Do you wear anything for good luck? JF: There is one belt, I’ve had it for 10 years and I do particularly well whenever I wear it. H&S: What are your favorite equestrian brands? JF: Devoucoux saddles, Ariat, Charles Owen, Allessandro, Allon, and Pikuer breeches. H&S: What is your non-horse show style? JF: For hacking at home I wear Levi’s 511 jeans, they are thin in the legs and it’s easy to slip my Monacos on over them. I used to ride in half chaps but I just really love my Monacos, I think I was one of the first people to start wearing them over jeans. Going out, I like older looking jeans with polo shirts. Armani and Versace are my favorite places to shop. H&S: We know you have many, but what would you say is the biggest accomplishment of your career so far? JF: My biggest accomplishment was being the World Champion Hunter Rider three times, in 2000, 2006 and 2011.

H&S: What are your riding goals? JF: I would like to spend more time in the grand prix ring, have a nice grand prix horse, show in the high-level grands prix in California or at Spruce Meadows in Canada. The most fun thing for me is finding undiscovered horses and making them up into successful hunters. I’ll love doing that until I physically can’t do it anymore, that’s never going to go away. Going through backyards, in the hopes of finding that superstar. I love to see horses competing later on, and think, ‘I’m the one who found that horse, brought the horse here.’ It makes me feel good to see horses having a successful career and doing well. H&S: If you weren’t a professional rider what would you be doing? JF: I would be working with the elderly in a retirement home. As a kid, I always hung out with older people, they can teach you so much. Hopefully I will be able to work with the elderly later on, when I can’t do this anymore. H&S: What is your advice to up and coming professionals? JF: To make it, it’s not just about being a rider, you’ve got to learn other aspects that go into the care and maintenance of horses, and knowing how to be a real horseman. There is more to it than just riding and showing. You can never stop learning, and anytime you get a chance to get help from another professional, do it. Even today, I love when people give me pointers or criticism, because I learn from that. You can’t ever stop learning! Photos from left: John French at his recent 50th birthday celebration; John in the ring at Thermal with Safe Haven. Photos ©Gail Morey




Equestrian Apps 1







Look up United States Equestrian Federation horse and owner information easily and quickly. $4.99

2. HORSE 360

Horse enthusiasts can communicate with veterinary professionals. $1.99


For riders on the go, these apps are sure to improve your daily equestrian life.


Enter the amount of fences you want to use and the size of your horse, and Cavaletti will suggest different courses for you. $0.99


Provides up to date show results and information about the international show jumping world. $1.99



This information organizing system can be used to store vaccination and worming schedules, farrier and dentist appointments, insurance policy information and more. $9.99


Developed by real horse people this app offers a fast-paced & educational tool for horse lovers of all ages with 225 questions of horse trivia. $0.99

We do all of your vital Social Media work so that you can focus on running your business We share your news, videos, photos, and press releases with your clients and prospects via Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube We develop content independently and/or use content that you supply We set up new, or manage existing social media channels and maintain on a daily basis We develop your audience and position your business as a leader in its field Over 20 years of experience working for leading Media Companies

Email for a complimentary consultation

l l A g n i l l Ca ! s e i r t n E t n a t s i s s A Year presents the 1st Annual


Nominate the first ever H&S Assistant of the Year

We used to call them apprentices. Ambitious, eager to learn members of the next generation who have all the aspiration to gain the skills and talent needed to become a professional in our highly specialized industry. If you’ve got more than ten full stalls, or are a paying client with a horse in said stall, you know how valuable they are. In the hunter/jumper world assistant trainers tack the horses, schedule the lessons, stand in the center of the arena, help the kids, talk to the grooms, feed the supplements . . . and yes, the list does go on.

Horse & Style Magazine wants to recognize those hardworking assistant trainers, who work so tirelessly behind the scenes and help businesses succeed. Do you employ an assistant trainer? Has your horse benefitted from the attentive care of an assistant? Write in and tell H&S all about why your assistant trainer is absolutely priceless! We’ll publish the top five responses in our winter issue. And one of those lucky three will be named the 2012 H&S Assistant of the Year, and receive an H&S prize pack full of equestrian goodies.

Submit 300 words or less and a photo to




Functional Feel Digital Gloves, SSG $33

White Out KL Gloves, Kingsland $75

Get a Grip Tech Trend Tacki Pro Air, Heritage, $40

Swavorski SWAG ROECK-Grip, Roeckl, $78



A rider’s style is always on display, even down to what they wear on their hands. H&S sourced the latest in glove trends to help you make a functional fashion statement. So grab a pair of your favorites and get in the ring!

Haute Hold

Insulated Tek Grip, ARIAT $45


TEAM LARICCELLO! It has been an awesome year, highlighted by the following wins: Del Mar $50,000 World Cup Qualifier October 2011

HITS Thermal $50,000 EMO Grand Prix January 2012

SHP THIS $30,000 Grand Prix July 2011 and 2012

Helen McNaught & Duncan McFarlane

Iris, Alex, Ellie, Mike, Wayne, and all of my Outwoods Family! - Alison Heafey

photo by Maddy Orlando | created by applehead design




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’ Stirrups Stylin by Lorenzini Think about this: how often do you change your shoes? If you are anything like myself, shoes are an addiction and become the most interchangeable accessory to coordinate with the everyday outfit. Now, how often do you change your stirrups?

rhythm occurs. This will allow you to arrive at impact in a position of power and leverage. In the game of golf, the impact is with the ball. In jumpng, the impact would be at the foot of the fence.

Traditionally, basic English stirrups were made in silver with white pads. Nowadays there is a much wider variety available, and picking out the right ones can be challenging. This month, stylish equestrians have another enticing option in the newest Italian manufactured stirrups by Lorenzini. These gems come delightfully packaged in a shiny black box, almost as if you were opening a piece of jewelry for your saddle.

Many riders are resistant to change from a good stirrup or product they are used to.

Color Coordinate

Look around you and spot the riders at the horse show: color is in style. The European equestrian trends have finally filtered over to the United States, and now more equestrians are wearing colored breeches, especially on schooling days at the horse show, to spice up the riding wardrobe. Not only does Lorenzini have colored stirrups, but they also produce matching colored horse bits. If you want to coordinate with your horse, match the color of your bit to your stirrups to really stand out in the jumper ring! “The jumper riders seem to be embracing them first,” states Kitty Garrity, CEO of L’Apogée and U.S. importer of Lorenzini. As a hunter rider, sticking to the traditional aluminum color for the show ring is key. However, I am considering splurging on the pink stirrups with a matching pink snaffle bit for my Warmblood mare Minuet.

Designed With Golf in Mind

Now, here are the fun facts. Lorenzini stirrups are made with the design and feel of a golf club. Who would have thought golf and horseback riding are so similar? Well, if you know the game of golf, the key to the game is rhythm and balance, much like the “game” of equestrian sport. Because of the aluminum and titanium metals in the stirrups, the horse and rider will not experience an electrical charge, and in turn will feel more balanced. Supporters of titanium’s natural healing abilities say that this metal can relax muscles, improve mental concentration, promote blood circulation, and build stamina and physical strength. By properly sequencing your body motion, great



Function & Position

Stirrups can make or break your riding performance, especially if you ride almost every day. An ineffective stirrup position can affect your equitation drastically, and produce bad posture and back problems. “When you put your foot in a Lorenzini stirrup, your heel just sinks down automatically and the stirrup puts you in the perfect seat position,” states Kitty. Another functional feature includes the built in cheese grater foot platform. Now you don’t have to mess with purchasing new footpads for your stirrups!

Color Options

With function and design, Lorenzini stirrups are the perfect accessory to improve your balance and style. Selecting from a rainbow of the following colors: black, dark gray, silver (aluminum,) red, pink, green, orange, blue, yellow, brown, and purple may be difficult. When you are making the decision, think about your barn colors, country representation, or gender for your horse, and most of all just have fun with it! Find Lorenzini stirrups on the West Coast at Italian Equestrian! Email jesse@ italianequestrian. com for details.

great style is beautiful in any language

fine equestrian & sport apparel


Importer, distributor and retailer of top fashion Italian EQUILINE Brand equestrian apparel in North America.

NORCAL CORNER by NorCal board member Jeanette Gilbert

NorCal Spruce Meadows Teams Make Big Impressions! Congratulations go out to this year’s Spruce Meadows team members, who qualified for the Spruce Meadows teams over the 2011-12 season to compete at the Skyliner tournament June 20-24, 2012. Our riders had great team results and some fantastic individual results as well. Most notably Peyton Warren (see page 44 for more) was the anchor rider for the championship 1.00m team with her longtime partner Sherry Lady. She won the Final Four and Sherry was named best horse. Other results included a Top Four Prix Des Nations finish for the 1.10M and 1.30M teams, with Eleanor Hellman and Alicia Johnson-Foster qualifying for the Final Four in the 1.30M and 1.40M respectively. We are so proud of all of our team members who put in solid rounds throughout the

week and represented the strengthening jumper programs in Northern California. The 2012 NorCal Spruce Meadows team members qualified by competing at four to six horse shows in Northern California throughout the winter and spring. They must show consistent results over varying types of courses and on different terrain. Riders who qualify earn a $1,000 stipend and some amazing swag from our generous sponsors. In 2012 riders earned team hats, polo shirts, jackets, Ariat hunt coats, bags, rain sheets, bonnets, saddle pads, horse cookies, and more! Each year our program expands to include more riders and this year we added the wildly successful 1.00M team. Our riders all came together this summer, cheering for all of the other NorCal riders while supporting each other.

2012 NORCAL SPRUCE MEADOWS TEAMS 1.00 METER Theresa Keville & Poly Fax Kris Lowenthal & Solo Peyton Warren & Sherry Lady Amanda Nichols & Kalmar Chef D’Equipe: Jan Pearce 1.10 METER Sarah Draxton & Tessa Alina Boyer & Billy Centino Hannah Hollinger & Special Z Chef D’Equipe: Laura Gerst 1.20 METER Robert Sean Leckie & Monte Carlo Ian McFarlane & Octopus Jessica Etterman & Quito’s Son Peyton Warren & Lynsander 99 Chef D’Equipe: Gry McFarlane 1.30 METER Vani Koshla & Avance Viva Hallinan & Pomme D’Api Eleanor Hellman & Alley Oop Chef D’Equipe: Ned Glynn

Top: The victorious 1.00m team, “Teens & Queens”: Amanda, Peyton, Theresa & Kris. Bottom: 2012 NorCal Spruce Meadows teams. Photos ©Carol Farrow



1.40 METER Alicia Johnson Foster & Don Francisco Madison Bradshaw & Katina 12 Stevie Sorenson & Esperanto Cian O’Neill & Livin The Dream Chef D’Equipe: Jill Humphrey

photos by Deb Dawson

Petaluma, CA

Visit us at

Mariano Alario 714.234.7444

Nina Herrera-Alario 805.451.2310


Lane Clarke Lane Clarke’s career as a show jumping rider and trainer exemplifies the gallant spirit of true competitive horsemanship. With multiple grand prix successes, Lane is quickly establishing himself as a tour de force within the industry. Working among a dedicated staff at Mickey Hayden Show Jumping in Laguna Hills, his outlook, insight, and even his own signature style belies his 26 years. Lane’s quest for excellence is underscored by a sense of deep abiding gratitude for the people, horses, and opportunities that have been instrumental to his success, both as a person and a rider. Take a look at one of the West Coast’s most captivating premier riders!

Horse & Style: As an Australian native, what brought you to the U.S. and into the horse world? Lane Clarke: I’ve been in America since I was a little over two years old. My parents, Allen and Meredith, had a large horse training, shoeing and showing business in Australia that had reached a pinnacle. They wanted to bring the family to a location with more opportunities for us, and we’ve been in California ever since. My mom still has a large shoeing business and my dad operates a large training business specializing in young and difficult horses. My brother is actually a stunt man for a remake of The Lone Ranger that’s being produced right now. My sister-in-law, Niki Hall, is a Grand Prix dressage rider, and my girlfriend, Jennifer Reese, is a vet. So horses really are all in the family. H&S: What is your philosophy as a rider and trainer? LC: Always have an open mind as well as try to learn from everyone and every discipline. Learn from the horses. Never think you are even close to knowing everything about your discipline. H&S: After working with Mickey Hayden for years now, how would you describe your relationship with him? LC: I first started with Mickey 11 years ago as a working student at the age of 15. He realized that I had an ardent passion to ride and be competitive. Mickey really afforded me the chance to pursue my dream. We’re best friends; he’s mentored me and helped me through a lot of stages of my life. We’ve developed tremendous respect for each other as the years go by.


point. Then, we won two in a month! Successfully jumping seven-foot high with Kiss the Sky in 2008 and participating in the 2009 World Cup Grand Prix were very, very memorable events. One of the more recent fun memories was winning the Celebrity Ride and Drive at Del Mar with Rich Fellers this past May.

H&S: What training advice do you find you can never give enough? LC: Listen - the most important factor – as well as be willing to try 100% of the time.

H&S: What do you appreciate most about the West Coast hunter/ jumper scene? LC: There are so many things I love about the West Coast. For one, there are great riders to watch and compete against. Susie Hutch, Rich Fellers, Mandy Porter, Richard Spooner, Hap Hansen - just to name a few. I love the fact that within a one-hour drive you have the five biggest shows in the western states. The weather is beautiful, and I’ve met so many friendly people.

H&S: What are some of your most memorable wins or accomplishments? LC: I have a few memorable ones for different reasons. Winning the recent Memorial Day Grand Prix at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on John (a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse) felt great because we spent three years training and had never won a grand prix until that

H&S: What is your favorite time of day at the barn? LC: I like it when the people at the barn are very interested and involved with the horses. I enjoy it when I am able to work with the young horses on the ground and teach them to go bridleless. My students are able to observe and interact as I work with these horses.


H&S: What has been a turning point in your riding career? LC: I’m still waiting for that to happen (with a laugh). In all seriousness, I can’t point to one specific moment, but when I lost the fear of losing coupled with the fear of not knowing everything my riding became more fluid and I became faster in the ring. Also, I learned more from the horses when I allowed them and myself to make an honest mistake. H&S: Tell us about how you incorporate style in the saddle – including your standout jacket. LC: As a young kid, I wanted to make my mark and standout from the same cookie cutter mold so I came up with the idea of the blue jacket. My thought was you might not know the name, but you’ll know the blue coat. Besides that, blue is my favorite color. Also, the western influence in my family’s background is reflected in my spurs and belt buckle. Additionally, I always make it a point to wear white breeches every day I show - this notion came from going to Spruce Meadows where everyone showed in white. I thought this is how the great horse shows do it, so that’s how I’m going to do it. H&S: What are your goals for the remainder of the show season and looking ahead to next year? LC: I’d like to win a couple more grands prix this year – that would be great! Really, I just want to continue to get better every day. Next year, my desire would be to even win more grands prix and pursue going to the World Cup. As I advance in my career, I want to be proficient enough in my abilities to meet the challenges and opportunities that arise. H&S: What excites you most about your current string of horses? LC: I think it’s the fact that my horses and I have a long-standing relationship. There is so much training and effort required to create that bond with a horse. My horses and I understand each other; I know their moods and they know my desire to win and really step up to the plate. My horses are always there for me. My current string reflects the progress I’ve made, and the partnership that exists. Opposite page: Lane and John, victory galloping after the 2012 Memorial Day Classic. Photo ©Bonnie Gainer This page: Lane and the aptly named Kiss the Sky clearing a 7’ oxer during the 2008 Del Mar High Jump. Photo ©Rick Osteen

From left: On Stephanie: the Ariat Bolton jacket; on Sami: Apotos show shirt, Olympia breeches, her own boots; on Jill: Bristol jacket, Olympia breeches, Monaco boots Opposite page: Bolton jacket shoulder detail.


Behind the Brand:

ARIAT By Tanya Zilinskas Naouri photos by Douglas Thompson

Revolutionizing an industry that hadn’t changed in over a century is no small feat, but when the founders of Ariat debuted their first boot in 1992, they immediately knew they had hit upon a winning formula.



Meaning “perfect performance” in Italian, Union City based Ariat has come to dominate the international equestrian footwear and apparel market, all from a small corner of Northern California. To talk about Ariat is to talk about founder Beth Cross, a visionary with entrepreneurship in the blood and horses on the brain, and the unique ability to source talent to both design and test Ariat’s products. Cross grew up on a working Thoroughbred farm outside of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. The daughter of two entrepreneurs, Cross worked her way west throughout her college years, receiving her BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1986, and graduating from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business with an MBA in 1988.

Bay Area Roots

Cross’ interest in horses carried over into her adult life, and she continued riding in the Bay Area after graduate school. While at Stanford, she met Pam Parker, a fellow horse person who would soon become her Ariat co-founder.


stagnant for the past hundred years when it came to innovation in apparel. With their respective equestrian backgrounds, Cross and Parker set out to create performance riding boots that treated riders like the athletes they are. With plenty of experience nursing their own sore feet; the result of hours spent at the barn in traditional boots, they knew as well as the next rider that there was a need to break away from stiff and heavy riding boots. In many ways, the start-up culture of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area played a critical role in the success of Ariat’s early days. In other areas of the country, Parker and Cross likely would have been turned away by investors when they set out to garner financial support. But with a wealth of mentors in the Bay Area who had a strong interest in funding entrepreneurs, and were ready and willing to provide muchneeded start up capital, Ariat came to life with a strong foundation underneath it.

The Next Challenge

The two horsewomen worked together at San Francisco consulting firm Bain & Company for Reebok and Avia, gaining experience about athletic footwear that would soon serve them well.

Cross and Parker then used their connections to assemble a top group of footwear engineers and designers, many of whom they had encountered while working at Bain. It was not a light undertaking, but they were bound and determined to create innovative performance

When it came to riding boots, they observed a vacuum of performance technology as well as an industry that had essentially remained

On Sami: Volant jacket, Olympia breeches, her own boots; on Stephanie: Beasley jacket, Olympia breeches, Monaco boots; on Brian: Tek Fleece Hoodie, Men’s Heritage breeches and Monaco boots


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boots for English and Western riders alike, and convince a staid and traditional market that there was a need for them. They presented new ideas and technology to an industry that was in many ways still stuck in the past, and it was tough going at first. The initial response to Ariat boots was somewhat mixed, as some retailers simply did not understand or appreciate how uniquely different Ariat products were from their traditional counterparts. However, those retailers who actively rode quickly grasped how unique the product being offered was. Consumers on the whole were far less hesitant to embrace the Ariat brand, easily appreciating the differences in performance and wear and serving as ready advocates.

A Cornerstone Technology

Ariat’s cornerstone Advanced Torque Stability (ATS) technology was new to riders, and the support and cushion given to the foot as it moved was an instant hit. Again, Parker knew from firsthand experience that Ariat boots would need to be comfortable when standing around for hours at a horse show, as well as in the saddle. They then went one better and designed their first boot to be attractive enough to easily transition to streetwear, foreshadowing the full line of streetwear boots that are now highly popular among equestrians and non equestrians alike. Prototypes of riding boots with ATS and other technologies were then created and tested by professional riders across the United States, who provided valuable feedback on the performance and fit of the boots. Ariat initially launched with three boot styles: a front zip paddock boot called the Mentor, a lace paddock boot called the Performer and a lace roper called the Competitor. While this triumvirate of styles was ontrend for the mid-1990s and utilized the same ATS comfort technology still found in today’s Ariat boots, they are still a far cry from Ariat’s better-known modern English styles like the Monaco and Volant.



However, the marriage of comfort and style continues to define Ariat’s past and present styles. While Ariat was groundbreaking with its integration of sports shoe technology into riding boots two decades ago, it continues to perfect the combination of style and functionality with its riding footwear and apparel. In the late 1990s Ariat developed their Hexcel shock absorption cushioning technology, simultaneously branching out to international markets in the United Kingdom, Australia and Europe. In the early 2000s, Ariat expanded into English breeches and technical shirts, employing its newly developed V3 waistband and Calf Fit System (CFS) for superior fitting and performing garments. Ariat also deepened its relationships with equestrian athletes, sponsoring riders like Beezie Madden, Will Simpson and Gina Miles. While the underlying technology applies to both disciplines, Ariat’s product team is made up of both English and Western competitive riders who inform their own unique niches. Ariat’s most recent collections have seen the launch of Ariat Denim in 2010 (led by 7 for All Mankind’s Stefano Aldighieri and Dan DiSanto of Levi’s) and the Volant collection in 2011. The Volant collection in particular is a perfect example of Ariat’s increasingly sophisticated approach towards form and functionality, balancing Ariat’s signature technology with modern design as well as elements of traditional English style. Ariat is also expanding into the lifestyle arena, releasing a collection of English and Western inspired designs in 2012 that will suit those who never have any intention of setting foot into a stirrup. It’s no wonder that Ariat would want to expand into the lifestyle market given the popularity of their riding boots as fashion items that have a certain authentic cachet. Celebrity fans include country singers Blake Shelton, Josh Turner and Lyle Lovett. Ariat was also projected into the celebrity sphere by an infamous 2006 Vanity Fair cover of Paris Hilton wearing Ariat breeches (and not much else).


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As a final exciting coup, Ariat outfitted the 2012 U.S. Olympic Equestrian Eeam when they traveled to London. A USEF sponsor since prior to the 2008 Games, Ariat’s continuing partnerships with world-class equestrians demonstrates the synergy between the brand and riders that was established with those first released styles. Ariat’s tremendous growth is evident in its recent acquisition by the Fisher Family, who also founded San Francisco based Gap Inc. The Fishers were one of the founding shareholders at Ariat, and they will continue to focus on developing and perfecting innovative and high quality products. Cross remains CEO of Ariat, continuing to manage and oversee the everyday operations of the company while riding with her children in her spare time whenever she can. Despite the numerous innovations and iterations of style that Ariat has gone through, there is something to be said about the endurance of that initial Ariat paddock style. Today’s best-selling English product is in fact the Heritage III zip paddock boot, offering a combination that is classic Ariat: traditional style and superior performance.

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Opposite page from left: On Robert & Ruben: Ariat team polos and Men’s Heritage breeches; on Sami: Women’s Hunter Rugby, Olympia breeches, her own tall boots. This page: On Stephanie: Aptos Sleeveless show shirt, Olympia Breeches, Volant boots; on Sami: Apotos show shirt, Olympia breeches, her own boots.

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Union Jack Messenger Bag, Barbour $170 Union Jack, Converse All Stars $66 Alex Sunglasses, Jimmy Choo $275 Lauren Mens London Polo, Polo Ralph Lauren $145

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Crowning Glory Canvas Bag, Harrods $45 Jubilee London Charm Bracelet, Topshop $29 Horse Necklace, Stella McCartney $375 Union Jack Wellies, Joules $58



Trendy Trainer Union Jack Trench Buckle Hat, Barbour $78 Burghley Polo, Joules, $70 Ceramic Check Link Bracelet Watch, Burberry $795 Filipa Wallet, Jimmy Choo $550 Jeans, Burberry $195

Polished Pony Mom

Brit Honey Bromshire Jacket, Burberry $654 Mena Patent Espadrille, Valentino $475 Voyages Union Jack Cuff Bracelet, Evocateur $298 The Skinny Jean, Rag and Bone $187 Diamond Jubilee Edition Pandora Clutch, Charlotte Olympia’s $947 Union Jack Gloves, Dents Leather $154

Ambient Amateur Britannia Skull Leather Box Clutch, Alexander McQueen $1,545 Gradient Shield Sunglasses with Crystal Bridle Temple, GUCCI $395 The Stiletto Jean, Current/Elliott $218 Union Jack Scarf, Erfurt $140 Queen Watch, Juicy Couture $350



Amanda Shoemaker Teal 38


by Tanya Zilinskas Naouri

Amanda Shoemaker Teal’s storied equestrian background has shaped her current career as an interior designer in more ways than one. Much like one of her interiors, her path in life has seamlessly blended seemingly unrelated elements and experiences for a beautiful final result. As the daughter of Bill Shoemaker, a legendary Thoroughbred racing jockey, Teal grew up with horses in her blood. Raised in the city of San Marino outside of Pasadena, California, some of Teal’s fondest memories were weekend mornings spent at the track with her father during morning workouts, something she far preferred to the afternoon races themselves. “In my opinion, that is when the track really comes alive,” explains Teal. The backside is

the heart and soul of a racetrack.

For a few summers Teal even pitched in, working as a stall cleaner and hot walker during the Del Mar racing season and relishing her time spent with the horses.

From Track to Arena After the track, Teal would head to the barn, where she trained with National Show Hunter and Show Jumping Hall of Fame inductee Marcia “Mousie” Williams at the San Pascual Stables in Pasadena. Williams would have her clients do their own grooming and general equine care, something that came naturally to the hands-on Teal. Teal still considers Williams to have been a major influence. “I feel so blessed to have ridden with Mousie,” Teal states. “She taught me how to be a horsewoman, not just a rider.”

In 2002, Teal left the familiar home of her youth, making the move to Northern California to work for Millennium Farm in Menlo Park. After several years at Millenium, Teal transitioned to working at other Northern California barns, including for notable hunter jumper trainers Lenny Marconi and Debbi Sereni. Interestingly enough, it was her love of horses that ended up leading Teal to her current profession as an interior designer. While working at the Portola Valley Training Center, Teal befriended fellow rider Rebecca Bradley, the owner and founder of a wellrespected San Francisco interior design firm. They quickly bonded over their shared love of horses and design, something that Teal had developed an interest in at an early age while exploring her grandmother’s antique-laden house.

A New Path It was through Bradley that Teal realized that she could actually have a career in design, and upon Bradley’s recommendation she started taking classes at the Academy of Art University San Francisco to obtain a degree in design. Bradley also gave Teal an internship at her firm to help give her a leg up in the business. Teal immediately knew she had found her true calling. Teal went on to earn a degree in Interior Design and Architecture from the Academy of Art, and

Determination by Design This page, from top: A classic place setting styled for a Matchbook Magazine tabletop shoot is filled with personal touches; Amanda Teal; Under Teal’s inventive eye, a functional and well-styled bookshelf provides ample opportunity to display more than just paperbacks.



further honed her education by studying the History of Decorative Arts at Sotheby’s in London. By the fall of 2010, Teal was ready to strike out on her own and launched her own eponymous design firm, Amanda Teal Interior Design . Teal’s work in interior design has been lauded as fresh, warm and subtly striking. Her interiors encourage the eye to travel and follow the story of a room rather than being overwhelmed by it. Instead of following fleeting trends, she embraces the more timeless elements of both traditional and modern design that will continue to complement a space for years to come.

Classic Makes Courant Given Teal’s design philosophy, it’s no surprise that she champions details that hold a certain understated originality. Her recommendations for sprucing up any interior with au courant items while keeping it classic? “The current trends that have staying power are grey painted walls and kitchen cabinets, brass hardware, orange decorative accents and graphic wallpapers,” says Teal. For those looking to refresh their homes with a little retail therapy, Teal’s favorite Northern California shopping spots include HD Buttercup, Big Daddies Antiques, Summerhouse, Sue Fisher King, Antique and Art Exchange, Tony Kitz Gallery and Heath Ceramics. Despite her horse heavy background, don’t expect to see too many equestrian items in a signature Amanda Teal interior. “I am not a big

fan of anything themed,” explains Teal. “It will look tired and dated really quickly.” Instead, she recommends bringing in a few suggestively equestrian items into each room. “Hang a framed Hermes scarf, create a conversation area with two old leather chairs, or style a bookcase or side table by adding some antique riding paraphernalia.”

The Balance of Symmetry To remedy the typically cluttered tackroom or horse show set up, Teal

I think the most important thing when decorating your tack room is to approach the whole set up with an editing eye,” she says. “Adding too many elements can end up looking messy and overdone. Symmetry and simplicity rule. advocates a minimalist approach.

Though currently taking a break from riding in order to start a family, Teal does plan to return to the ring soon. While her path may have diverged from the one that seemed inevitable given her family connections, Teal is quick to credit her equestrian background for her success in the highly competitive world of interior design. “Every important life lesson I have learned has come from my experiences with and around horses,” Teal says. “Riding has taught me me a lot about discipline, determination, empathy and gratitude. It has given me the ability to believe in myself and the confidence to take on challenges I don’t think I can overcome.”

Opposite page, clockwise: Teal with her father during a riding trip he took to Australia in 1988; A recently completed Teal designed kitchen is warmly modern; This stylish nursery has an irresistible sense of whimsy; Teal’s attention to detail includes the addition of floating shelves and a marble mosaic back splash to give even basic storage a special charm. This page: Teal riding Victor (owned by the Pinnacle Equine Group) in Pebble Beach. Bright pops of coral lend eye-catching appeal to a bedroom.



TRAINER SPOTLIGHT Horse & Style: Your interest in horses isn’t contained to the hunter/jumpers, yet your barn is a hunter/jumper barn. Why do you continue to pursue knowledge in other disciplines? Brittany Haynie: I started showing Arabian and Half Arabian show horses, and I’ve competed in everything from three-day events to Morgan saddleseat. All of the sport horse disciplines share the basics of classical dressage flat work, forward seat jumping principals, and each can help improve the other. I love what cross country jumping does for my hunters and equitation horses, making them brave and forward thinking, while keeping the jumpers careful and confident. I love what the natural horsemanship can do for maintaining horses that are easy to load, clip, tie, and generally handle. Blending these together just keeps the horses well rounded.

Brittany Haynie Treating horses with respect is just one cornerstone of Brittany Haynie’s program in Fair Oaks, Sacramento. The 28-year-old horsewoman has a firm grasp on the training style that she instills in her students and her equine charges, a “natural” outlook that blends principles of quality, lightness and skill to create strong and successful horses and riders. Based out of a private facility that she feels blessed to have, Brittany Haynie Equestrians is purposely small, with no more than 10 horses in training, to allow Brittany and her small staff to properly focus on every horse and rider in the program. While her client base and show schedule is centered around the A-circuit hunter/jumper world, Brittany makes it a habit of clinicing with horsemen outside the show jumping circle. Regular weekends with eventing great Jimmy Wofford and horseman Buck Brannaman give her horses and students extra tools that they might otherwise not encounter. A passionate advocate for the good of her horses, Brittany’s clear outlook and solid fundamentals make her a compelling young trainer with a bright future.



H&S: You’ve worked with Buck Brannaman multiple times. What is your biggest takeaway from his clinics, and how do you apply it to your hunter/jumper training? BH: The biggest thing that I’ve learned from riding with Buck is to offer the horse a good deal regardless of the situation. Never dominate or force them in any way, it serves no one, especially not the horse. No matter how frustrated you feel, no matter who is or isn’t watching, no matter how big of a hurry you are in, it does no good to take away from the horse’s ability to make a choice. H&S: How has working with such legendary figures as Buck, and eventing great Jimmy Wofford, influenced your own riding skills? BH: Riding with such accomplished and incredible horsemen has really left me in awe of what is possible with horses. I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface of what true, connected, beautiful riding can be ... but I am definitely trying to learn as much as I can. Buck’s clinics keep me grounded and realistic about what we ask of these animals. He is always looking for softness and a less is more approach, which is what I try my best to emulate every day at home with my clients and horses. I come away from each clinic trying to be a few steps ahead of the horses so I can produce the best movements with the least amount of interference. Buck reminds me to be humble and grateful about what I get to do for a living, which keeps me less demanding and more focused on quality for each horse. Jimmy is an amazing theorist and problem solver. After his clinics I take away a reinforced sense of simplicity with my horses. Jimmy focuses on correct, quality exercises that improve horses’ confidence and rideablity, no fuss, no muss, he makes the riding as simple and beautiful as it is functional. His gymnastic exercises are invaluable. He also offers excellent insight into simple things like teaching horses up and down banks and how much this half-jump can improve bascule and jumping style. He is so educated about what he does and dedicates so much time to the study of the sport.

H&S: Your training approach could be called more “natural” than others, i.e. no medicating, lunging or earplugs. What led you to take such a firm stance on this? BH: I think that riding is more than ribbons and recognition, and if we have to take away from the horse in any way, it’s just wrong. I

abhor medication for any reason other than keeping a horse physically comfortable after an injury, colic etc. I think that drugging an animal to make them suitable for a rider is not only physically detrimental to the horse but teaches the rider that instead of taking the time needed to train the horse what he needs to know, they can short cut and cheat their way through riding. To me, drugging is the equivalent of professional athletes doping themselves to be more competitive (something none of us seem to approve of so why is it ok with horses??) Earplugs I just find silly, horses need to be able to hear what is going on around them in order to process what they see. I won’t use martingales to produce a false frame, I won’t lunge a horse to get it tired. An exhausted or drugged horse does not hold true to the basic riding principals of hunting and jumping; they should be bright and interested in their jobs. The sport is straying from its roots in this way.

H&S: So, you clearly place a high value on horsemanship. How do you emphasize the importance of horsemanship among your students? BH: I

expect my students to show their horses the same respect they expect their horses to show to them. There is nothing that my clients are left out of when it comes to their horses; therefore they can make educated decisions about their horse’s needs. My students also attend Buck’s clinics so they get first hand information and reinforcement of these principals. All of my students can lead, groom, tack, load, bathe and clip their own horses, as well as most of the horses in the barn, if and when needed. It is the rule in my barn, not the exception.

H&S: What are some of your personal training/riding goals, and how are you making them happen? BH: Right now I have a few very talented young horses that are leased to some of my older equitation riders. Some of these horses have come from troubled backgrounds and I am really excited to see what they can become with the right amount of time and patience. I personally don’t have any huge goals, it’s about the clients, and I have based my program on teaching people to ride. In this business it’s very difficult to do it all well. I think that there is a difference between being a professional trainer and being a professional rider and I enjoy being a trainer. H&S: What have been some of your biggest riding/training accomplishments thus far? BH: I suffer from a ton of performance anxiety so I never really enjoyed showing. I have done quite a bit on several circuits but never pursued it past being able to resell my projects. I prefer preparing horses for other people to show and enjoying the view from the gate. I have been very proud of my students since I started this business three years ago. I have one student who went on to the second level of the Emerging Athletes Program when Melanie Taylor and Mindy Bower were still running it with a horse she had really struggled with, and then went on the same summer to be top four at Carousel Medal Finals. I have another student who I started teaching at age 5, she is now 8 and started showing over fences in February of this year at Northern Winter Classics and has been Champion in every division from the cross bar hunters to the Childs Pony Hunters in excellent company. I am very excited to have such a young student so capable and able to show her own pony with no preparation. I’ve had students in the top ten of several medal finals, winning in the hunters, equitation and jumpers on the A circuit all without meds, lunging, and all in egg butt snaffles, no martingales, and I am proud of them all.

H&S: Where do you see yourself in five years? BH: I would love to regularly be taking students to pony finals, all of the west coast medal finals and regional finals, and eventually sending them on to east coast finals with capable and complimentary trainers that I trust with my horses. I will always continue to purchase and bring along troubled but talented horses and if I can do all of this with horses that are sound, happy, and able to show without the influence of anything but their riders I will be very happy. Left: Haynie offers last minute pointers from ringside with a student.



A Faultless Performance

Northern California’s Peyton Warren leaves her mark at Spruce Meadows You’re standing at the ingate as the 1.00m Friends of the Meadow Final Four competition at Spruce Meadows begins. In the qualifying rounds leading to this moment you have not dropped one rail, and now you are poised to possibly take home a Final Four title…what do you do now? If you are fourteen-year-old Peyton Warren, what you do next is ride your horse, Sherry Lady, and the mounts of the other Final Four competitors to a flawless result thus earning the right to stand at the top of the podium and hear your National Anthem played. But at just the start of her teenage years, how did Peyton arrive at this place and where did she garner the poise and presence to pull off a victory?

Waiting for a “Prince”

Warren began her riding career almost ten years ago at Leone Equestrians in Sacramento. She and her family; dad, John, mom, Jennifer, and younger sister, Avery, live just down the road in Rancho Murieta, and from the start she has trained with Rudy Leone and Jill Humphrey. After beginning on school horses and practicing her new skills at local Sacramento Area Hunter Jumper Association (SAHJA) shows, Warren formed her first serious partnership with Sunny Side Up, a small palomino pony known at the barn as Prince. Warren and Prince teamed up for several years, earning countless championships and year-end awards. At the same time, she took every Friends of the Meadows 1.00 Grand Prix winner Peyton Warren & Sherry Lady Photo ©Spruce Meadows Media Services



opportunity to ride additional horses in the barn and to catch ride ponies for other trainers or riders when help was needed. As she came to the end of her pony career, Warren also was crowned the winner of the SAHJA, Horse & Hound, and NorCal Pony Medal Finals.

Movin’ On Up

As Warren and her trainers began to feel she had reached her goals with Prince, they started thinking about what was next. “I had fallen in love with an eq horse,” Warren remembers. “Having just spent several years on a bit of a hyper pony I was looking forward to kind of a lazy horse to ride, and I really wasn’t interested in jumpers. A gray Westphalian mare, named Sherry Lady was at the barn and one day Jill suggested I ride her. I thought ‘I know what you’re trying to do here’, but thought one ride wouldn’t hurt. The lesson was kind of fun and Jill encouraged me to take Sherry to the Sacramento International Show. I fell in love with her and we’ve been a team ever since.” According to Humphrey, “We weren’t really shopping and there was no rush. But sometimes, what’s meant to be just sort of falls into place. It was a good match.” Warren and Sherry picked up where she and Prince had left off. Warren learned the world of jumpers while she and Sherry began

winning stakes classes, show championships and making themselves a force to be reckoned with in the children’s jumpers.

Canada Bound

2011 was Warren first year at Spruce Meadows, and early on one of her goals for 2012 was to return. Through the fall and early winter she qualified for a place on two of the NorCal Hunter Jumper Association teams; the 1.00m team with Sherry Lady and the 1.20m team with her newer jumper mount, Lysander 99. On arrival, her memories from last year were confirmed. “I really love Spruce Meadows,” she says. “It’s such a beautiful place, even on a rainy day. The Southerns and every member of their staff are so professional and treat all the exhibitors so well.” Throughout the week, she and Lyle had a few challenges with the 1.20 competition, but under the guidance of NorCal chef d’equipe, Gry McFarlane, Warren and the other members of the 1.20 team earned a 9th place finish in the team competition.

A Teen Queen

I couldn’t even finish my question before all the girls said, ‘Peyton!’ They were a great group with a lot of team spirit.” And Warren justified her team’s vote of confidence when she rode a clear round and cemented the Championship for the NorCal team.

On the Way

Day Three was the 1.00m Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix and Warren and Sherry continued their winning ways, again finishing the class with the win and no faults. At the end of the day, she had earned a spot in the next day’s Final Four competition.

The Spruce Meadows Skyliner Tournament: Explained The Skyliner Tournament made its debut at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada in 2006. The week-long focus is on junior and amateur riders looking for that one-ofa-kind Spruce experience under a World Championship format.

On the first day of competition for Warren, she and Sherry were entered in the 1.00m speed class with more than 40 horses. “I went to Spruce this year with somewhat low expectations, we didn’t do so well last year and so I would have been happy just to improve over that performance,” Warren explains. “But I was really excited to be in the lead after the first day with no penalties.”

Designed with a Prix de Nations competition as its main element, the Skyliner brings teams of horses and riders whose compiled time and faults determine whether or not they advance to the next round. Teams compete at varying heights, first in a speed class, followed by a team competition on the second day, and culminating in the Final Four event.

Day Two was the team competition. The 1.00m NorCal fielded team sported the name NorCal Teens and Queens and in addition to Warren, other members were Amanda Nichols, Teresa Keville, and Kris Loewenthal. Jan Pearce served as the chef d’equipe. All teams competed in the first round, then the Top 4 teams from Round 1 returned for a second round over the same course. At the end of round two, three teams were tied for the top spot and rules of the competition called for a jump-off to decide the winner.

The Final Four takes place under Table A, with the top four horse/rider teams invited to compete. Riders jump the course with each of the four horses qualified, beginning with their own. Each rider may use the schooling area to school their own horse before their ride, but may school the other horses they are to ride for no more than 2 minutes in an enclosed area built inside the main arena.

“When we realized there would be a jump off, Peyton was elsewhere riding her other horse,” Pearce recalls. “When it came time to decide who would ride in the jump off,

Final Four competitions are held at heights of 1.00m, 1.10m, 1.20m, 1.30m, 1.40m and the winner at each height is decided by the least amount of penalty points after riding all four Final Four horses.

The day dawned cool and damp, but Warren was ready. “I really seem to work better under pressure,” she says. I try to

greet each day of competition with no expectations and look at it as just another day. What stresses me the most are conflicts with my rides, but that wasn’t an issue with the Final Four. I will admit to a few superstitions, like wearing the same belt I wore when I won a class, stuff like that. She took to the course with Sherry first, and again they posted a clean round with no penalties. As the rounds continued, Peyton again posted clean rounds on the other horses. When all four rounds were finished, Peyton was tied with Canadian rider Karly Lowe and again, the rules required a jump off to determine the winner. Each girl rode her own horse in the jump off and Warren posted a no fault round on Sherry. Lowe and her horse were fast but they had a rail. The Final Four Championship belonged to Warren, and she was pleased that Sherry Lady was selected to share Best Horse honors along with Tupasy Aquiles.

Just the Beginning

Warren and her horses remained at Spruce for the Canada One Tournament the following week. Though she and Lyle had a few more challenges, she was so excited that he won his last class that week. Sherry won every class but two; one where she placed second but was still clean, and her last class of the show where she had a rail. “She was just tired,” Warren says. “I didn’t blame her.”



Humphrey returns the compliment. “Peyton has a great balance of natural ability and desire. She has a real talent for riding, but she works hard and puts in many hours in the saddle to learn and improve.” As fall approaches, Warren is looking forward to starting her freshman year at Sacramento’s St. Francis High School. In October, she plans to again compete in the $25,000 PCHA Equine Insurance Childrens/Adult Jumper Championships. She was 4th last year and is anxious for the chance to try and improve her performance. She is also talking with Humphrey and Leone about possibly moving up to the 1.30m soon and about what her long-range goals are regarding trying to qualify for Young Riders.

Not one to rest on her successes, Warren has already been working with her trainers and discussing upcoming riding goals. “Jill and Rudy aren’t just my trainers, they are family to me,” she says. “I look up to them both, I guess you could say they are kind of my heroes. Even the assistants at Leones, everyone there has had such an impact on my life and my riding. Even though I’m challenged in my riding, if I get nervous, I trust Jill and know she will never make me do anything that puts me in danger.”

No matter where she finds herself as her riding progresses, Warren knows she can always count on her biggest supporters. “My parents are so supportive of me and my riding,” she grins. “They were both involved in sports and competitive when they were young so they understand my drive. My dad is always at the ring, but I don’t think he’s ever captured a good video of me riding. He’s always so nervous!” Friends of the Meadows 1.00m Final Four: Karly Lowe, 2nd (CAN); Peyton Warren, 1st (USA); Gwendolyn Sontheim Meyer, 3rd (USA) and Isabel Cowles, 4th (USA) Photo ©Spruce Meadows Media Services

UP AND COMING by Anne Polli

The Pieces Are Falling Into Place for

Matt Sereni

Via his horse family background and lasting role models, this young professional is following in many footsteps. In today’s vernacular, the word “family” carries many nuances. We hear of the nuclear family, the family unit, and in the equine world, the horse show family. Northern California horse shows have been home to many families through the years that have participated as trainers, exhibitors, horse show staff, transport drivers, ring crew, the list goes on. The Sereni family has horses in their blood. And just a bit south of the Los Altos Hills in Santa Clara County, young professional Matt Sereni has chosen to stay close to the community that raised him as he makes his own way in the world.

Family Matters

Sereni grew up in Los Altos Hills at Fremont Hills Country Club and Stables. He began riding at four years old and was showing ponies by age six. His mom, Debbi Sereni, was the trainer at Fremont Hills. “She took me to every show and filled out every entry blank while I maintained my life at school and in school sports,” he says. “There is absolutely no way I would have had any sort of

show career if it had not been for my amazing mom; from the remarkable horse purchases, getting the most bang for the buck on a professional’s salary, keeping the show schedules and maintaining the everyday life of a wife and mom of two.” Richard Sereni, Matt’s dad, drilled horsemanship and stressed the importance of doing everything yourself. He would always say, “Nobody takes care of your horses like you can.” Though he helped Matt with his riding and took him to clinics, as a jack-of-all-trades, Richard made sure Matt had a well-rounded upbringing. “Not only has my dad successfully managed Fremont Hills for over 35 years, he once held five judging cards, used to professionally ship horses, and used to own a successful plumbing company. He taught me to start young horses, safely transport horses and now is teaching

Top: Matt with Bay Rose’s Niko, owned by Bay Rose, LLC and Wendy Carter. Bottom: Hanging with Microchop the pony.



me the art of plumbing, which is paramount at our new farm,” Serenisays with a grin. He credits much of what he is able to do now to his father’s unwavering support.

Mentors and Friends

Throughout Sereni’s junior career, his mom helped him at home but always endeavored to obtain as much outside support as possible. He praises several professionals for their help along the way, the first being Michael Henaghan. Sereni rode with Henaghan from age 13-17 and says to this day he would jump at the chance to ride with him again and that when he is cantering to a jump or giving a lesson, it is more often than not that Henaghan’s words are in his ear. Sereni finished his junior career with Archie Cox, a professional Matt believes knows how to strike confidence in his riders and can get both riders and horses to perform to their optimum abilities.

Andrew Ramsay, who he first met while riding ponies at a show in Santa Cruz. “Andrew is one of the most stand-up, moral, genuine, integrity-filled individuals you will ever meet,” says Sereni. “He leads by example and lets his actions do the talking for him.” Ramsay is currently living in Holland and is one of the Top 200 FEI riders in the world. Second, Sereni looks up to the Pinnacle Equine Group, LLC (Darlene & Mike Billig), generous sponsors of a large portion of his riding career on their horses, Fare Niente, Regal Bay, The Saint, and Keepsake. He knows without their backing he would not have been able to make multiple trips indoors or have had the opportunity to ride such outstanding animals.

Horse Sense On Every Horse

Sereni believes that every horse he sits on has at least one thing, if not multiple things, to teach him so that his next ride is even better. One horse in particular stands out; Fare Niente, owned by Pinnacle Equine Group was a small Jr. Hunter that Debbi bought from Rudy Leone for Darlene Billig. Sereni took him indoors to do the Junior Hunters, won the 2001 CPHA Jr/Am Medal Finals with him, and in 2003 rode him to the win in the ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals in New York.

It was a great culmination to our career together,” Sereni remembers. “The Maclay was my last show as a junior and it was only fitting that my last rounds were aboard the horse that got me there.

Arial shot of Sterling View Farm. Others that Sereni recognizes for helping, encouraging and mentoring him in his young riding career are Carlton Brooks, who allowed Sereni to catch-ride his hunters and instilled values of care and horsemanship that he utilizes on a daily basis; Lauren Hough, for whom he was a working student for stints in Spruce Meadows; Linda Hough, John Wohr, and Stephanie Simmonds (aka the trainers at Shalano Farms) who were a constant at every horse show and life in general. In fact, he says Andrew and Nonie Ramsey’s Shalano Farms was a second home for him. Sereni’s list of important individuals in his “junior life” wouldn’t be complete without the mention of two more. First, his best friend



There is also Keepsake, who Sereni owns to this day and feels is more responsible for shaping his personal and professional life than any other horse. When “Keeper” sustained an injury, the decision was made to breed her. Little was Sereni aware that that would bring him to the next stage in his life. He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after graduating from high school. He put his riding career on the back burner, but continued his equine education by majoring in Animal Science with a concentration in Equine Reproduction. In his final year, Sereni was one of the breeding managers in the school’s program and was responsible for foaling out 25 broodmares and breeding them back for the following year’s program. Because of the Cal Poly program and some amazing professors, notably Dr. Matthew Burd, Sereni became confident in his ability to manage the broodmare’s cycle, manage a breeding stallion, artificially

inseminate, palpate, ultrasound, etc. and he is even certified to breed dairy cows! After graduating Cal Poly in 2008, Sereni accepted a job with Laura Gerst. Her training business is at Fremont Hills where he grew up and he jumped at the chance. He enjoyed his time there very much, but soon decided to freelance, which led to the chance to work with Bob Walker. Sereni feels that Walker is everything the sport needs. “Integrity, morals, Bob is a true horseman. I strive to ride as well as Bob, to prepare a horse as well as Bob, and simply, to conduct myself however Bob Walker would. It may sound corny, but when I find myself at a crossroads, I ask myself, ‘What would my dad do, what would Bob do’?” It is his great appreciation for what has been given him in time, advice, and teaching that has created in Sereni the desire to give back and brought him to his new venture in life; Sereni Enterprises.

Shape of the Future

Sereni Enterprises is located at Sterling View Farm in Morgan Hill, CA. Sereni and longtime girlfriend, Carly Bechtel, recently purchased the 120-acre property. Their focus is training for horse and rider through private lessons and small groups. Sereni wants to be intimately involved and totally hands-on with every aspect. He says, “The facility will be fully integrated to manage the entire life cycle of the horse from conception to sale or retirement.” He continues, “I had no idea I was going to meet the love of my life at 17, but now at age 27, Carly is my rock, encouragement and motivation. She has been there through every high and low, yet we continue to grow together and are embarking on our biggest adventure yet. We have both taken on the biggest project of our lives but most importantly we are doing it together. It is our plan to offer a state-of-the-art horse facility to include amazing retirement options and a motivated training program. It is Carly’s and my dream to live on our farm together. We have great visions for the facility and think here we can truly care for our horses in the environment they were meant to live.” While at Cal Poly, Sereni bred Keepsake a few times and now has three young offspring; Lulu, Double ‘008, and Marvin. Two of those are by Bechtel’s stallion, Sterling, and one by Barbara Ellison’s LaMarque. As he drinks his coffee and looks out at the horses in the morning, he can’t believe how happy he is at this point in his life. He loves working on the farm, but he is quick to

From top: Sereni and Bechtel jumping the same jump at Junior Hunter Finals in San Jaun Capistrano; Sereni with his parents at Cal Poly SLO graduation; with one of the foals he bred during college; Sereni and Bechtel.


point out that he lives by one important credo, if he’s not on a horse, he should be on the water.

Gone Fishin’

Sereni loves to fish, most of the time with his Dad and brother, R.J. The men fish locally from their boat, The Keeper, and also go out for tuna out of San Diego. Sereni has even spent time in Canada, lake fishing from a kayak. Sereni’s brother R.J. is his farrier and fishing mentor. The brothers are very close and spend as much of their leisure time together as they can but he also notes they “spend a lot of time following each other’s truck and trailer up and down the road.” No mention of Sereni’s family would be complete without a nod to the newest member, seven-year-old Mia. Debbi Sereni had always wanted a daughter. Though his parents divorced when he was 14, Debbi put a plan into action and adopted Mia.

I was pumped when I learned my mom decided to adopt Mia because she has so much love to give. Mia is an amazing girl and we are so blessed with her presence and the dynamic she brings into the family. She not only brings joy to my mom, but to all of us. To no one’s surprise, Mia is currently riding ponies with Debbi in Petaluma. With Sereni Enterprises and Sterling View Farm, Sereni is well on his way to realizing his professional goal of offering a top-notch training, riding and show program. He notes that he enjoys spending as much time as possible with Bechtel and that personally, he always strives to be “the best son, brother, friend, boyfriend, rider, shipper and fisherman that I possibly can!”

Above: Matt with siblings Below: With Ramsey after a great day of fishing in Canada.

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OUT AND ABOUT (916) 804-5254

Penryn, CA


From lead line to grand prix, we can accommodate your needs. 1. Trudy Perrien stays cool in her shades 2. Sara Wortley and student on the move 3. “You talkin’ to me?!” Course Designer Chris Collman 4. Niki Hirt and her Hawaiian flair 5. Don’t worry folks, Heather Whitney doesn’t always teach lessons like this! 6. Emma Hainze and Dusty Blackwood hanging out 7. Sophia Kregowski studying the course ringside 8. Beach decor at Rosehill Stables barn 9. Pheasant Grove gets in the beachy groove Cavallo Stables is sponsored by Intelligent Stirrups®

Photos ©Ryan Anne Polli


Addyson Cord Champion Jr/Am Modified Jumpers

1st $2,000 Van Vleck Jr/AO Stake Champion Low Jr/AO Jumpers

Northern Winter Classic 3

Golden State Horse Show

7th 1.25m Mini Prix

8th Mini Prix Champion Low Jr/AO Jumpers

Northern Winter Classic 4

Let’s Show Beach Party

3rd 1.30m Grand Prix Brookside Welcome Show

Reser ve Champion Jr/AO Jumpers

Champion $500 Low Ch/AA Stake Reser ve Champion Ch/AA Jumpers

3rd $1000 Ch/AA Stake Champion Jr/Am Modified

Northern Winter Classic 3

2nd $5,000 Julie Gray Jumper Classic

Champion Jr/Am Modified

Pickwick Summer Tournament

Almaden Farms Summer Classic

Northern Winter Classic 4

4th $2,500 Adeptus Nutrition Jr/AO Classic Champion Low Jr/AO Jumpers

Reser ve Champion Jr/Am Modified

Headlands Management Inc Classic

Golden State Horse Show

Capital City Classic

4th $2500 Rockridge Equine Jr/Am Modified Classic Headlands Management Inc Classic


Lasher Polo Classic

to benefit the Sacramento SPCA photos ŠRyan Anne Polli




Over 1,000 spectators lined the polo field at Chamberlain Ranch on July 1 in Sacramento to take in an afternoon of polo, show jumping and dressage demonstrations. The event, which was sponsored by Lasher Auto Group of Sacramento, was an overwhelming success, and the local equestrian community hopes to see it return again in 2013! 5













1. Players from the Santa Rosa Polo Club went head to head with River Ranch Polo Club riders for the exhibition match. 2. Cian O’Neill during the High Jump demonstration 3. Christine Gale and Allison Holtzcloaw of Sacramento pose with a classic Rolls Royce from the personal collection of the Lasher family 4. Go Girl... the drink of champions! 5. Winding up for the hit 6. It wouldn’t be a day of polo without a stylish oversized sun hat. 7. Pint sized polo players provide entertainment prior to the match 8. Past SAHJA President and Co owner of Setzer Forest Products, Jeff Setzer and wife Pennelyn with Ted Grebitus of Grebitus & Sons Jewelers and Christine Manolakas 9. Alise Levine, daughter of former State Assemblymember Lloyd Levine and KCRA-TV News Anchor Edie Lambert 10. Clint Sawyer of High Standard Equestrians helps with the Jumping demonstration 11. The Dodge Ram team included players from Santa Rosa Polo Club, while River Ranch Polo Club represented for the Subaru Team 12. Jan and Megan Hainze of Jem Stables 13. Shari Lasher and Linda Lasher 14. Mackenzie Reed of Leone Equestrians (with Rudy Leone providing commentary in the background) shows the crowd what the high jump is all about.




I am at the show and I think I am PMS-ing. I don’t feel like myself. I don’t like how I look and feel in my britches. How can I feel confident in who I am as a person so that I can be confident in the ring?

A: Let’s start by addressing the physical discomfort. Crazy as it sounds, I

encourage all female athletes to consider purchasing a varied wardrobe that accommodates for this water retentive, sensitive time of the month. The body is not static and is in a constant state of flux, requiring varied size, shape, and fabric to allow for comfort. Undergarments are critical elements in this system. Choose thoughtfully and shop at different times of the month for truly comfortable clothes.

Carrie Wicks, Ph.D. As a sport psychology consultant, I assist equestrian athletes to optimize their performance at all levels of competition. My varied background as an A-circuit Junior and Amateur competitor as well as mother of two daughters - a jumper rider and elite gymnast - has deepened my understanding of what a rider needs to grow and thrive. From medal finals to the grand prix ring, I support athletes to attain their goals while developing a mental practice that is useful both on and off the field. If you would like to meet with me to develop questions and comments for this column, please call or email. I am interested in learning about how riders of all levels prepare themselves for competition as well as how they connect with their horses.

707-529-8371 Contact Carrie for individual and phone sessions.



Once the physical layer is addressed and you are in your one-size-uplooser-clothing, you can begin your mental practice without worry. The truth is that you don’t have to look cute or feel confident to connect with your horse and ride well! Be powered up with appropriate food and water, and be willing to accept that these emotions can actually be useful. This is a time to utilize your mental practice of being in the moment via breath, meditation, and visualization in order to connect with your athletic self and your power. Follow these steps to get to the ring: 1. Take some alone time in the dressing room to get centered, allowing all emotions to be present. If you need to cry, let the tears flow as they will move the energy. Remember that you are not trying to get rid of the insecurity. Instead you are making space for insecurity to exist along side of confidence as well as all of your other emotions – both negative and positive. 2. Once you feel yourself calming, take a moment and visualize one of your best rounds of your life. Feel into each sense as you picture in your mind’s eye the specifics of the ride. Notice if any of your senses were heightened or turned off. Imagine the feeling you had when you completed the course and were walking out of the ring. 3. Imprint your mind with these pictures and when you have given the insecurity and the confidence equal airtime, get on and ride! Do your best to use your observing mind, not your inner judge to witness your riding, knowing all along that the more authentic you are, the more interested your horse will be in doing his best too. One more thing: Regardless of gender and hormones, when we are pulled to an internal place (no matter the reason), we are at our most intuitive. This means that your feeling sense is at its strongest. This also means that your analytic, thinking mind might be a bit off. Since you may be feeling timid or weak, let your powerful intuition connect you to the rhythm of the ride as though you are one with the horse. Your ability to connect to your horse is heightened, so take advantage of this potential symbiosis.


The Tack Room A NorCal nook with rustic charm In The Beauty of the Horse, author Hans-Heinrich Isenbart pens, “[m]an has always attempted to become one with his horse when in the saddle, and he constantly seeks moments of perfect mutuality of movement, moments in which the skill becomes an art – if only for the duration of a heartbeat.” The ability to practice our art is only accomplished by the synergy of many, and a dependable tack store is an indispensable element of these efforts. A knowledgeable, skilled tack shop can supply a horse and rider with the appropriate accoutrements that convey a distinctive blend of both substance and style. The Tack Room in Modesto, California is reminiscent of an equestrian Cheers – where everybody knows your name and, of course, the shop is always glad to see you – even if only to share stories of your weekend trip to the barn. Indeed, Alek Majtenyi, manager of the store, finds the customers to be the most rewarding aspect of the business.

The customers are amazing,” she attests. “We learn something new all the time. We love how people love their horses! We love when they come in and share their victories and triumphs. Catering to both individuals starting out in the sport as well as the seasoned competitor, the shop knows what it takes to stay in

business – and has done so successfully for 18 years. Despite the lackluster economy, the Tack Room finds avenues to share bargains with its customers. “We are continually on the lookout for high quality items for a good price,” adds Mejtenyi. “We shop company clearance lists regularly and then pass the savings on to our customers.” This meticulous attention to customer service is what Majtenyi feels sets the store apart. The spirit of the shop is an approachable combination of luxury and no-frills that emphasizes affordable quality. The equestrian consumer understands that the sport can be an expensive undertaking and is often well versed in various brands and products. As many specialty shops can attest, a tack store must know its products thoroughly in order for customers to feel comfortable. As Majtenyi states, “most customers come into the store with a good base knowledge of what they need and what they are looking for. They are savvy about finding good deals but understand the ‘you get what you pay for idea’ too.” Of course, if you are not quite certain what you’re looking for this shop is replete with possibilities. The sense of expecting the unexpected is exemplified in a pair of flamboyant plaid breeches or a horse head water fountain for that special nook in the barn or garden. A wonderful assortment from whimsical to practical is available for discovery.

Instant Gratification

Majtenyi knows the allure of convenience with online shopping but still believes walking through the door of a brick and mortar offers much appeal, particularly for the horse shopper. “The biggest draw is being able to touch the merchandise and instant gratification. You do not have to wait 4-6 weeks for your items. A lot of items like saddles, boots, helmets, hunt coats, breeches are almost impossible to shop online for sizing reasons.” (I am a true testament of this notion as I would have never started begging Ariat to carry the Olympia breech in a rainbow of colors had I not been practically forced into the fitting room by a very savoir faire tack shop employee at a horse show last year). In-store shopping allows a highly customized experience that engages your senses more satisfyingly – the scent and feel of a buttery leather bridle happens to be a favorite. Left: Equestrian gear took on an Olympic flavor in mid summer. Above: A whimsical accessory to make the home a little more horsey.



From Pink to Bling

The craziest trend she’s witnessed throughout the years in the hunter/jumper ring has made the shift to the more subtle. “Bling” can still be found but in much smaller quantities. “At one point they put crystals on everything… bits, spurs, boots, half chaps, saddle pads, bridles, helmets, breeches, shirts, EVERYTHING! That’s pretty radical for an industry that almost exclusively believes in navy, hunter green, or burgundy!” Perhaps its time to put my “lucky” show belt with the rhinestones back in the loops of my jeans instead of the breeches. There are, however, colored extensions that are now being spotted in the manes and tails of the jumper crowd – possibly the hottest voguish trend on the horizon? On a more practical level, another development Majtenyi has noticed is that many equestrian sport companies are adapting and utilizing products and materials from other sports. “Improved product materials from other industries like motorcycles and cycling have been seen. These materials and fabrics have a lot of offer the equine industry.” The trend du jour that incorporates the latest innovative improvements are featured in several of the Tack Room’s popular products - Thinline saddle pads and Charles Owens and Ovation (especially the new One K Defender) helmets.

Reaching Out

Recognizing the importance of engaging youth as they are the future of the sport, the Tack Room opens the store after-hours on specially designated barn/club nights. “We open the store afterhours for either clubs (4H, Pony Clubs, etc) or barns/trainers to come shop together! We require a minimum of 10 people and advanced notice. We provide food and drinks, 25% off purchases, and a custom atmosphere! Customers get to have their trainer and friends shop with them! It’s a lot of fun for everyone!” A knowledable, friendly staff that genuinely cares about its clientele and the essence of the sport it embodies is becoming something of a myth in a bygone day. Yet, the Tack Room is one shop that excels at establishing a personal relationship with its customers. A successful small business doesn’t come easily, but this shop has hit its stride.

Coming to to Sacramenll! this Fa

Massage Therapy for the Equestrian Athlete ON LOCATION AT THE FOLLOWING SHOWS! September 25 thru October 7


October 10 - 14


October 18 - 21




In tune with show ring trends, Majtenyi thinks one color is here to stay and hold its own amongst the mainstay colors of the hunter/jumper industry – pink! “It is here to stay in some form or another. It came on really strong a few years back and it really stayed! You can find most any product with a pink option now. Not a bad thing, especially when it’s for breast cancer awareness!”

15 min for $20 30 min for $40 45 min for $60 60 min for $80

PRE-PAY BY SEPTEMBER 20TH: 3 - 15 min massages @50 3 - 30 min massages @ $100 | 707-494-7020

Hunters . Jumpers . Equitation . Sales . Clinics

Charlebois Farm

Portola Valley Training Center

100 Ansel Ln. Menlo Park. CA

Horse Treadmill Covered & Outdoor Arena Feeding 4 x a day Daily Turnout 1 /2 Mile Exercise Track

Saratoga Farm

22490 Mt Eden Rd., Saratoga, CA Pictured above

Irrigated Turnout Covered & Outdoor Arena Miles of Trails Laundry Facilities Exceptional Footing

Providing Excellent Care, Training and Facilities for Horse & Equestrian John Charlebois - Trainer, Owner . Haley Perkins, Charlotte King & Jennifer Koval - Assistant Trainers Barn (650) 854-2607 . Cell (650) 303-2641 . Fax (650) 854-2607 .

by Molly W. Chappell

Rhinestone Cowboy As Rhinestone Cowboy stood for the first time, he wasn’t greeted with the soft nicker of his mother or met with her warm nose to reward his effort. Instead, he was surrounded by cheers and encouragement from the team of veterinarians that had just saved his life. On April 24, 2012, Cowboy’s dam Tule went into labor at Pioneer Equine Hospital in Oakdale, Calif. Tule was an experienced broodmare, and the proud mother of nine other foals, all of whom had been deemed premium foals at their inspections and gone on to national championships. But on this day, the birth was going anything but smooth. Breeder and trainer Sue Lightner usually helped her broodmares through the foaling process at Lightacres, her farm in Modesto. But for the 21 year-old mare’s last foal, she was sent to Pioneer because Lightner was traveling for horse shows and wanted to make sure someone would be there for her. Before heading on the road, about a week before Tule went into labor, the mare was dropped off. That decision turned out to be a fortuitous one, as the birth quickly became complicated when Tule began to go into labor. She was rushed into surgery because Cowboy was not in the proper position to be born, resulting in a necessary c-section. Incredibly, just after the decision to operate was made, Tule cantered from her stall to the emergency room, as if she were determined to make sure that her foal would have a chance to live. Even more incredible is the fact that Tule is blind, and relied completely on her other senses to follow Dr. Luke Bass and rush to where the vets were waiting. “If Tule had been at Lightacres, we would have lost them both,” said Dr. Karen Unger, one of the veterinarians who was with Cowboy in his first minutes of life. Lightner reflected that being blind never got in the way of Tule’s ability to be a great parent. “The mare knew she needed to follow the vet,” said Lightner. “And she did everything she could to make sure her baby would be okay.” Tragically, before the colt could be delivered he put a hoof through Tule’s uterus, rupturing it and ultimately causing her death.

Although Lightner was deeply saddened and blindsided by the loss of one of her favorite mares, she instantly fell in love with the handsome chestnut colt. “He was about a week old when I had a barbeque at my house. I went and got him from his stall and he followed me into the backyard, where he played with the dogs,” recalled Lightner with a smile. “He would just follow you anywhere.” Lightner has raised orphaned foals before and was prepared to take care of Cowboy, but Dr. Bass had an idea for Lightner, if she would go along with it. Pioneer employee Meghan Schappman owned a 26-year-old Quarter Horse mare named Jonsey that had been a broodmare in her younger days. She was willing to loan Jonsey to Lightner to serve as a surrogate mare. Dr. Bass believed that through a new hormone treatment they could get the mare lactating and producing enough milk for Cowboy could nurse from her. While skeptical, Lightner agreed to be Pioneer’s test pilot for the treatment. Jonsey was moved to Lightacres and started on the hormone treatment and Cowboy moved into a stall next to hers so they could begin to get to know each other. To Lightner’s amazement, eight days in she noticed that the mare was starting to produce milk. On the tenth day, the two horses were put together with no sedation to see if Cowboy would nurse and if Jonsey would accept him. She did, and from that day forward treated Cowboy as her own foal. Jonsey and Cowboy bonded quickly, and the mare wasted no time protectively letting the horses and people around her know that the colt is her baby. “Jonsey is a very special mare,” said Lightner. “Her easygoing, relaxed temperament made her the ideal candidate. Everybody is thrilled this worked out.” His mother’s trust in the veterinarians around her guaranteed Cowboy will enjoy the rest of the year playing in his pasture. Jonsey will soon be leaving her surrogate son, as Lightner will wean him and move him into a pasture with other foals. But for now, he’s spending his days with his stepmom, among friends, and growing towards a bright future. Bottom right: Cowboy and Sue Lightner, playing in the backyard at Lightacres Bottom left: Cowboy and his surrogate mare Jonesy



2012 LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES by Erin Gilmore

The Styles and Stories of the

U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team

In early August, they arrived at the biggest athletic competition in the world with the smallest horse, the youngest rider, one bum knee, and the support of millions behind them. The members of the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team each wrote their own story on the way to the 2012 London Olympic Games. They were veterans, they were rookies, they were the defending champions of Olympic show jumping. This issue of H&S went to print before the Games’ conclusion, and by the time you read this you’ll know how our favorite team of horses and riders performed on the biggest international sporting stage in the world. Win or lose, we know that you joined us in cheering them on from your hometown!

Rich Fellers

THE STORY: At 54 years old, Rich Fellers has been in this game for over three decades, with 2012 marking his first Olympic Games. With Flexible, the incredible 16-year-old Irish stallion, Fellers had an absolutely epic year. Becoming the first American in 25 years to win the 2012 Rolex FEI World Cup Final (Horse&Style, June/July 2012) was just the start. They went on to win all four of their required

Olympic Observation Events in March and June, and to no one’s surprise were ranked first on the Olympic Team. Flexible has been Fellers’ ride for the duration of his career, and Fellers always speaks of the horse as a friend. THE LOOK: Nicknamed “The Silver Fox” for his bright shock of silver hair, when Fellers and Flexible compete they are outfitted nearly head to toe in gear by Antares Sellier, Fellers’ most visible sponsor. From his American flag helmet to his saddle, bridle, girth and martingale, Fellers always shows up to the ring ready, functional and stylish. That bright pinque team coat doesn’t hurt, either.

Beezie Madden

THE STORY: She’s a two time Olympic veteran, a gold and silver medalist, and a veritable institution in American show jumping. Beezie Madden rose to fame aboard the unforgettable stallions

Photo ©Cheval Photos



the Gear Authentic and Judgment, and now that those two are retired, Madden has turned to her next generation of stars, including Coral Reef Via Volo, a 13 year old mare that at 15.3 hands tall was the smallest horse at these Olympics. But size is no matter for the mare, who is said to get better with every round she jumps, and carried Beezie to Pan American gold and silver last fall in Guadalajara, Mexico. Even when this winter, when Via contracted a skin infection in Florida, and had to miss the Olympic Trials to heal, she bounced right back during the Observation Events in May and June to earn a spot on the team. THE LOOK: Way back in 2005 when velvet helmets were still in style, Beezie Madden took the daring step of donning one of the very first “skunk stripe” GPA helmets. She willingly became a helmet trendsetter for then-sponsor GPA, which was the first helmet manufacturer to produce an alternative to the all velvet look. Always quiet and confident, Madden thought nothing of the stares directed at her unusual helmet, and of course the trend caught on. Madden has since switched helmet sponsors, and is never seen aboard a horse without her Charles Owen helmet. When airbrushed flags on shiny helmets became the latest helmet statement, Madden again became one of the first to set the trend. This time, everyone followed suit without question.

McLain Ward

THE STORY: McLain Ward has been at the top of the sport for the last 15 years, swiftly rising from young prodigy, to grand prix winner, to two-time Olympic gold medalist. It seemed harder for him to lose than to win, and his riding has long been remarkably flawless. But with an uncharacteristic crash this January during what should have been a warm up grand prix round for Ward, he shattered his kneecap and was forced to sit on the sidelines for the entire winter season and Olympic Trials. But instead of letting frustration consume him, the consummate athlete put his energy into coaching and rehabbing his knee. It paid off when he won his first three grands prix classes back in the saddle in May. One of those classes was the

Olympic Observation Event at Devon, with his Olympic partner Antares F. If anyone can counted on to put in consistent rounds when it counts, it’s Ward.

Ariat’s Team USA gear was designed exclusively for the American show jumpers at this year’s London Olympic Games.

THE LOOK: Much like his riding style, Ward’s look is always polished, buttoned up, crisp and nearly flawless. His white tie stays tucked neatly under his hunt coat at all times, and his FABBRI tall boots are never unpolished. Ward is a superstitious rider; he has a different pair of socks for each day he competes, and he always puts his boots on in the same order for good luck. Those habits might not be the only reason he’s become one of the country’s most decorated riders, but if they helped to play a role, perhaps we all should start following along!

Team USA cap

Hunt Coat

Reed Kessler

THE STORY: If you’re just a tad envious of this teenage phenom, it’s ok, you are not alone. Eighteen-year-old Reed Kessler came out of the jumper ranks this year to compete in her first 1.60m grand prix classes – and soundly whooped all comers. The co-winner of the U.S. Olympic Trials in March (with Margie Engle) has smoothly stepped up and answered every challenge in the ring with an unshakable level of confidence. After top finishes in the Olympic Observation Events and a solid string of wins with her other horses all spring, Reed was named to the team with her own Cylana. She sits so chilly that her more seasoned competitors are fairly convinced: this young lady has ice in her veins.

Fitted Team USA polo shirt

THE LOOK: With her long dark hair and wide brown eyes, it’s no surprise that Reed became a bit of a media darling in the lead up to the Games, doing over 100 interviews for the mainstream and equestrian media alike. With her eyes to the sky style in the saddle, she’s become a fitting model for the wide-brimmed GPA First Lady helmet, which wisely nabbed her support just before her picture was snapped hundreds of times over this year. Just before her 18th birthday on July 8th, (by the way, she’s the youngest equestrian in history to make the Olympic team) Reed received a very special gift: her very first pinque Team USA coat.


Navy blue windbreaker





Jeanette Sinclair

It was a move to Northern California in the late 90s that reignited Jeanette Sinclair’s passion for photography. After her daughter’s first pony walked off of a trailer in Woodside, California, Jeanette’s passion for equestrian photography was born, and soon after she formed Woodside Images.

The work of Woodside Images has been featured in numerous equestrian and horticulture magazines. Jeanette’s images have been said to convey the essence and soul of their subjects; preserving not only the visual beauty of an event, but also the feeling of a very specific moment in time. The connection between Jeanette’s lens and the special moments of countless beautiful horses and riders she has captured in her photoraphs is a strong one. Jeanette spends much of the year traveling to horse shows throughout the state of California. She strives to have her clients become an integral part of the process of creating artistic photography to show the beautiful bond between horse and rider. From special moments at the barn, horses and riders in the peak of competition, as well as candids of the people and animals that lend to riders’ passion and lifestyle, Jeanette finds them all through her lens.


e k i l e c a l p o There is n

A I N r o f i l Ca the Fall! in

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©Katie Foster

DEAR FASHIONISTA Dear Horse & Style Fashionista, My husband has recently started coming to the horse shows with me, which I love, but I’m not sure he dresses the part. I don’t want him to look like a horse show dad, or that he’s trying to look like a rider (he’s not one.) How can he have a horse show chic look without looking like a horse show poser? ~With Hopeless Hubby in Tow

Fashionista’s Picks

Dear Hopeless Hubby, First off, I wouldn’t have him invest too much money in his horse show wardrobe, because all too soon he’ll discover that at most shows, he will be standing around in the dirt, in either extremely hot or freezing conditions waiting for hours to watch you ride for minutes. Not every horse show has wine in the VIP tent and a variety of yummy food trucks! Even though us riders love every waking moment of being at a horse show, that is not always the case with our significant others.

So, I suggest that he sticks to the following rules when picking out his horse show ensemble: keep it stylish, classic & comfortable. Make sure he knows that he is not going to the rodeo nor attending The Kentucky Derby.

I would dress him in stylish designer jeans, a fun but fashionable classic polo and comfortable loafers. Lastly, cheers to you for finding a man that is interested in your passion, and loves you so much that he wants to play a part in it! Hat: Men’s Horseshoe ball cap, True Religion $85 Polo: Maserati Mens Polo Shirt, La Martina $195 Jeans: Austyn Jean, 7 for All Mankind $198 Belt: Western Basic Perfed Edge, Ariat $40 Shoes: Honor All Driving Shoe, Kenneth Cole $128

Horse Show Hubby

Dos & Don’ts!

DO! Keep them informed, the more he knows about what you’re doing the more interested he’ll be

DON’T! Allow him into the schooling or show ring (he is not your trainer, nor does your trainer think it’s cute that he wants to help set jumps.) DO! Make him comfortable while he’s waiting, set him up in the VIP, get him a drink, and find him another male counterpart with whom he can have a mini-bromance with for the day DON’T! Leave him alone for too long while you gossip with your equestrian besties DO! Point out gift ideas on vendor row

Love, DON’T! Let him see your show bill!


Do you have an equestrian fashion question for the H&S Fashionista? Send your questions to



BUSINESS LISTINGS We love horses and fashion just as much as you do!

T-Shirt Co. Terri Lee Roberson Psy. D. Clinical Psychologist 707-771-0337

woodside images

Private Sonoma Office/ Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

jeanette sinclair equestrian – horticulture – lifestyle

w o o d s i d e i m a g e s. c o m

John Charlebois

100 Ansel Lane Menlo Park, CA 94028 Phone/Fax:650-854-2607 Cell: 650-303-2641 email:




photo by Ryan Anne Polli


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Profile for Horse & Style Magazine

Horse & Style Magazine | August/September 2012 | Issue 6  

The August/September 2012 issue of Horse&Style Magazine features coverage of the show jumping competition at the 2012 Olympics, a brand prof...

Horse & Style Magazine | August/September 2012 | Issue 6  

The August/September 2012 issue of Horse&Style Magazine features coverage of the show jumping competition at the 2012 Olympics, a brand prof...