Horse & Style Magazine Fall 2019

Page 1



at Sonoma Horse Park



Split Rock Jumping Tour


Dec. 4 - Dec. 8, 2019 Dec. 11 - Dec. 15, 2019 Dec. 18 - Dec. 22, 2019 Jan. 1 - Jan. 5, 2020 Jan. 8 - Jan. 12, 2020 Jan. 15 - Jan. 19, 2020 Jan. 22 - Jan. 26, 2020

join us this winter

Jan. 29 - Feb. 2, 2020 Feb. 5 - Feb. 9, 2020 Feb. 12 - Feb. 16, 2020 Feb. 19 - Feb. 23, 2020 Feb. 26 - Mar. 1, 2020 Mar. 4 - Mar. 8, 2020 Mar. 11 - Mar. 15, 2020

Mar. 18 - Mar. 22, 2020 Mar. 25 - Mar. 29, 2020 Apr. 1 - Apr. 5, 2020 Apr. 15 - Apr. 19, 2020 Apr. 22 - Apr. 26, 2020

Quality. Class. Distinction.


Wilmington, Ohio •

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AG E N T • V











10 | FROM

THE PUBLISHER All the little things...

12 | OUT

& ABOUT Giant Steps Charity Classic

14 | 10




Hygain Feeds

Sarah Appel


THE LINES Horses Adored and Men Endured


16 | OUT

& ABOUT Menlo Charity Horse Show

18 | PRO

Emily Pollard



Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund

20 | TREND

Danielle Demers



22 | RIDER



Jeanette Gilbert

Jeff Gogul


Annie Heise

30 | NEW



Pam Maley

Marco & Co.

34 | CURATED BY AN EQUESTRIAN Sarah Lockwood-Taylor



A Collection of What’s Now...



Big Hearts and Quiet Hoofbeats



Laurie Berglie, Pam Maley, Alli Addison, Jeanette Gilbert, Taryn Young, Annie Heise, Julie Unger, Ali Sirota, Catie Staszak, Candace Fitzgerald, Claiborne & Lime, Alden Corrigan, Terri Roberson, Psy. D., Carrie Wicks, Ph. D.

Falling in Love Again


Split Rock Jumping Tour at SHP

64 | OUT


66 | DESTINATION Ojai, California


Orange County Polo Club

76 | H & S


An Atlanta Loft Turned Masterpiece

82 | HORSE Sirai Stud

90 | ST YLE



Alden Corrigan Media, Kristie Nichols, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, Caroline Holman, Otomí/Humberto Pacheco, Ashley Neuhof, 3rd Shutter, Julie Ferris, Cathrin Cammett, SportFot, Shawn McMillen, Annie Heise, Max Melesi, Jeremy Goss, Armory Macleod, Jay Macleod, Armand Barragan, Cameron Gardner, Mary Phillipp- Neiberg, Stephen N. Long/Phoxhunt, Polly Cutting, Winslow Photography LLC


Lauren Little

92 | CATIE’S



The Rise of Team Mexico Show Jumping

94 | OUT

& ABOUT Warrenton Horse Show

95 | ASK DR. CARRIE 96 | BEHIND THE LENS Kristie Nichols

COVER: Karl Cook and Facybelle compete at the Split Rock Jumping Tour at Sonoma Horse Park; photo © Alden Corrigan Media


Horse & Style Magazine is an equestrian lifestyle publication that is published quarterly and available at participating tack shops nationwide for $10, and while supplies last at large training centers and hunter jumper horse shows. 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 © 2019 Horse & Style Magazine LLC. TM



Chain Reaction

fall 2019 ·







fall 2019






HORSES, Family Fun & much more...

Magical night!

Join us for a


South Point Equestrian Arena – Doors open at 5pm, Competition begins at 7pm Admission only $20, includes the horse show and all activities • Free for ages 10 & under Tickets & info: •

Photos: Alden Corrigan Media, McCool, Smashbooth

Quality You Can Count On

HYGAIN® is the leading equine feed and supplement company devoted to bringing our customers closer to their dream by blending years of experience, innovation, up-to-date research and enthusiasm to nurture the best qualities in horses. As an equine only feed mill and manufacturing facility HYGAIN® is dedicated to equines and their special requirements, resulting in outstanding nutritional solutions that really make a difference to your horse’s health, performance and well-being.

We have a range of feeds ideal for the equestrian rider, breeder, trainer and high performance athlete. For more information about Hygain’s premium feeds visit:


Emily Pollard

Danielle Demers

Laurie Berglie

Pam Maley

Emily Pollard uses her BA in English from Saint Mary’s College of California to teach, write, and edit. She has worked in the equestrian industry for the majority of her life, as a groom, assistant trainer, barn manager, and everything in between. She trained and competed her horse, Skyler Ace, to the FEI level. She now enjoys sharing her passion for horses with her husband and two young daughters.

Danielle Demers lives on the coast of Maine with her husband and baby boy. A lifelong equestrian, she has always been inspired by horses. After graduating with a BFA in Painting, she worked to find a way to combine her passions for art, design, and the equestrian lifestyle. Through her work with EqSol, and as H&S’s Art Director, her interests have been melded together more perfectly than she could have imagined.

Laurie Berglie lives in the Maryland countryside where she enjoys renovating her fixer-upper farm, reading horse books, and competing in the hunters. Laurie is also an author of equestrian fiction and maintains her lifestyle blog and Instagram, “Maryland Equestrian.” She has a BA in English from Stevenson University and an MA in Humanities from Towson University.

An avid former foxhunter, Pam knows well that special bond between horse and rider. With her husband she was co-owner of Dunford Farm, a Thoroughbred farm in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was involved in every aspect of the horses’ lives. Her journey with horses continues as a member of the EqSol Team.

Alli Addison

Annie Heise

Taryn Young

Terri Roberson, Psy.D.

Alli was born, raised and still lives on a ranch that has been in her family since 1837, located north of Santa Barbara, CA. Alli holds a BS and MS in Business Marketing from California Polytechnic State University. A lifelong equestrian, she has a passion for riding hunter/jumpers, loves art and the equestrian lifestyle. Alli also enjoys spending time with her husband and children.

Annie Heise is an actor, a lifelong equestrian, and now a designer and entrepreneur. With television and film roles to her credit, she has recently added founder and CEO to her resume with the launch of Two Bits Equestrian in April 2018. The collection features a sleek line of equestrian-inspired athleisure designed to be worn while riding, to and from the barn, and in daily life.

Taryn Young is an Advertising Account Director by day and an avid dressage rider by nights and weekends. She is the founder of the equestrian lifestyle account @WarmbloodsandWine and resides in St. Charles, IL with her husband. She’s a USDF Bronze medalist and shows her 17.3h gelding Rayne Dance regularly. Taryn enjoys family, fitness, a good cab and her corgi, Derby.

A licensed clinical psychologist, Terri Roberson combines her passion for horses with her clinical work in equine-assisted psychotherapy. She currently sits on the board of Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Over 25 years on the show circuit has given her an eye for equestrian style and provides constant inspiration for her frequent contributions to H&S.

Claiborne & Lime

Jeanette Gilbert

Julie Unger

Laura Mormann and Antoinette Watson turned their love of entertaining and hospitality into an art form when they founded Claiborne & Lime. Catering to both lifestyle brands and private clients, they specialize in designing intimate, thoughtful gatherings and celebrations. C&L provides peace of mind, allowing clients to be fully present and enjoy their precious downtime with loved ones.

Jeannette owns and operates Jaz Creek, Inc. in Petaluma, CA. Offering rehabilitation, retirement and breeding services, Jeanette is intimately familiar with the 24/7 equine lifestyle, but wouldn’t change it. The Jaz Creek breeding program has now been in operation for over 10 years and Jeanette is proudly competing and selling her young future stars.

Julie Unger has been writing and editing for various publications for the last decade, including covering show jumping and polo events. She has lived in South Florida, New England and many places in between. She uses her MA in Mass Communication from the University of Florida to continue editing, writing and utilizing her communication skills at Sirota Public Relations. Her work can be found at


· fall 2019


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*Offer valid November 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 or while stocks last. Luggage must be redeemed through by January 31, 2020. Special edition, limited edition, ex-demo and clearance saddles are not eligible. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Saddle must be purchased through an authorized Bates Saddles retailer located in the United States or Canada and shipping must be to an address in the United States or Canada.

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F R O M the

publisher T

All the little things…

his fall marked the conclusion of my second season working at Sonoma Horse Park in Petaluma, California. The first three weeks in September, during which Sonoma Horse Park hosts the Split Rock Jumping Tour CSI 2*, followed by two back-to-back weeks of our own horse shows, have become the busiest weeks of my year. They are three weeks of madness and fun. As every horse show manager knows, it’s never just the event itself, but the months, weeks, days and moments leading up to the event that are the most intense. Every little detail of preparation comes to a head, and once the proverbial curtain has been raised, “the show must go on!” Planning and executing a horse show is no small feat, which is why I have personally enjoyed working with the Split Rock Jumping Tour team over the past few years. Watching this experienced team, led by Derek Braun, has been inspiring. Braun and his incredibly hardworking crew are changing the sport as we know it, and with more on the horizon for SRJT, we felt they were the perfect cover story for our Fall Issue. Read about their second trip to Sonoma Horse Park and their innovative plans for the future on page 54. Traveling from California to the Midwest, we caught up with Jeff Gogul in this issue’s Rider Spotlight. Gogul’s story is a heartening one, illustrating how hard work and an unfailing dedication to being the best horseman he can be have paid off in big successes in the show ring – and an enviable string of horses (pg. 22)!

L–R: H&S Editor-in-Chief Sarah Appel, Jenn Serek, Alexis Georgeson, Shannon Beck, Hannah Selleck and Lauren Whitlock at the Giant Steps Charity Gala; photo © Winslow Photography LLC

Many would be hard-pressed to name one thing in our industry that requires more patience, preparation and hard work than horse breeding. When the breeding facility is set in rural Kenya, Africa, the task becomes especially challenging – and completely awe-inspiring. Read about the majestic wonder that is Sirai Stud and their gorgeous Sirai Horses in Horse Corner on page 82. We are also happy to introduce artist Sarah LockwoodTaylor to the H&S community. I’ve been a fan of her linocut print portraits of horses and dogs for some time now. Our own Laurie Berglie caught up with the artist – I know you will love her work and her story (pg. 34). As fall turns to winter and all we take a breath before gearing up for 2020, I will be taking a moment to digest the greatness of 2019 and planning, preparing and visualizing a successful new year. I am especially grateful for this fall season because I love being home, baking with my girls and plotting the winter months full of wonderful parties and family time. Cheers,


· fall 2019


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6. 1. Nick Haness and As Requested 2. Weston Sereni, the most adorable little lead line rider, waves to the crowd 3. Zazou Hoffman and Samson II are named the $40,000 Wasserman Foundation Grand Prix Champions 4. Rebecca Bruce and Dollar Girl, winners of the $2,000 1.40m Jumper 2.2c 5. Vani Khosla and Billy Mexico, winners of the $10,000 HorseTaxi Welcome Prix 1.40m 6. Hermès essentials for the pampered pony 7. Junior riders hanging in the VIP


· fall 2019

Photos © Alden Corrigan Media






8. Aya Clear enjoying the gorgeous Sonoma Horse Park grounds 9. John French and Center Court, winners of the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by The Lindemann-Barnett Family 10. The giant Giant Steps Charity Classic rainbow ribbons are absolutely magical 11. Katie Gardner gives Philadelphia Story a well-deserved pat 12. Pre-Prix Cocktail Party (L–R): Annie Heise, Sarah Appel, Jana DeIanni, Vrishali Kuss and Emily Pollard

fall 2019 ¡




…you might not know about…

Hygain Feeds Hygain Feeds may be the largest equine feed mill that you might not know anything about! But, Hygain is working to change that. Over the past year, the company has been especially supportive of the hunter/jumper circuits throughout California – and it plans to continue expanding. With a mission of improving your horses’ health, performance and well-being, Hygain Feeds’ unique formulations and feeding methodology continue to grow a loyal following known as “Team Hygain!” Just to bring you up to speed, here are a few things that you may not know about the company:

1. Not satisfied with the feeds available on the market at the time, horse owner and competitor Greg Manley founded Hygain Feeds in 1983 in Victoria, Australia.


The product range now caters to all equine disciplines, from highperformance sport and race horses, to breeding and pleasure horses.


While Hygain has been available in Hawaii for many years, the company only recently officially entered the U.S. mainland market in 2018.


Now the world’s largest equine-only feed mill, Hygain serves customers in more than 25 countries.


Hygain’s grains are micronized, a processing technology not found in the U.S. Research shows that starch in micronized grains can be up to 95% digested in the horse’s small intestine, whereas starch in whole, crack, or steam-rolled cereal grains (barley, corn) is only 20–40% digested.


· fall 2019

6. Hygain Zero, a top-selling product,

is the lowest starch and sugar feed available in the U.S. with a 5% NSC.


Hygain’s formulations are more concentrated in vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins, achieving superior results by feeding less volume.

8. In addition to textured “muesli”

feeds, Hygain offers pelleted and extruded products ranging in levels of concentration to meet horses’ specific needs.



Hygain’s feeds are lower in starch and sugar due, in part, to the use of grainfree ingredients including legumes (fava beans, lupins and black sunflower seeds). After a successful launch on the West Coast, Hygain continues to expand with containers of feed now landing directly on the East Coast.

  @hygainfeeds_usa  @HygainFeedsUS

Left to right: David Snodgrass, Jess Wolfe and Martin Connell

To schedule a barn visit, Hygain encourages you to reach out to their representatives: Martin Connell Hygain veteran and Australian national, Connell developed a love for horses at a young age while visiting the racetrack with his father. If you haven’t attended one of his nutrition seminars, you are missing out. David Snodgrass Midwesterner who got lost in China and found horses, and wanted to feed them Hygain. A long way to find horses, no doubt, but Snodgrass, now settled in California, is humbled to be representing a premium equine nutrition brand in the U.S. market. Jess Wolfe California native and competitive show jumper with more than 25 years experience around horses. Crossing over from the saddle-fitting world, Wolfe is bringing excitement to the feed world with her friendly smile, knowledge and experience feeding Hygain.

B E T W E E N the


by Laurie Berglie

Horses Adored and Men Endured SUSAN FRIEDLAND-SMITH 304 pages Kindle: $7.99 Paperback: $16.99 “Loving horses came easy. Dating and finding someone to love was hard.” Susan Friedland-Smith started her life as all normal horse-crazy girls do, dreaming about riding, showing, and one day having a horse she could call her own. And those dreams came true – not without her fair share of challenges – but Susan was blessed to know and love a variety of wonderful mounts from adolescence through adulthood. She was not so blessed, unfortunately, in the wild world of dating. Finding the right horse to love had never been Susan’s problem; it was finding Mr. Right that was difficult. Susan has one adventure after another as she searches for someone with whom to spend her life, and she has chronicled the funniest and most outrageous moments to share with us in Horses Adored and Men Endured, her first book and memoir. When I first read this book, I was on an airplane heading on vacation. I had the window seat where I sat quietly snickering to myself as I quickly turned the pages of Susan’s life. Some parts had me laughing out loud, but most of the time I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at this poor woman’s bad luck. “I just can’t believe it,” I uttered when I read the “Police Scene” chapter where Susan has to hide in her date’s bedroom when his ex-girlfriend shows up, a fight ensues, and the police are called by a neighbor! And that is just one incident of many Susan endures on her journey to finding true love. But what the men in Susan’s life may lack, horses more than make up for. She is in her early twenties when she purchases her heart horse, a big bay Thoroughbred gelding named DC. DC is her constant companion for years as Susan trains and shows, and he follows her from Illinois to California and back again. He is the tall, dark, and handsome guy who never disappoints. As Susan says, “This book is dedicated to anyone who has experienced a steady stream of bad dates and felt like giving up on love.” This book also encourages that person to keep moving forward and to get back in the saddle no matter how many times she falls. While I don’t want to go into too much detail and give anything away, Susan’s story does have a very happy ending, both with horses and with humans.

Give the gift of Horse & Style this holiday season... PURCHASE A SUBSCRIPTION AT S H O P H O R S E A N D S T Y L E .C O M









6. 1. Jamie Sailor and Hopeful – ears forward, knees up! 2. John French and Center Court, winners of the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Dr. Daryl K. Hoffman 3. Everything is better with Hermès 4. Delicious Menlo Pony Palooza cupcakes 5. Harley Brown and Mylord Cornet, winners of the $40,000 Stephen Silver Grand Prix, with class sponsors Stephen Silver, MCHS Executive Director Betsy Glikbarg and MCHS Co-Chairs 6. When the fashion is more eyecatching than the sport


· fall 2019

Photos © Alden Corrigan Media







12. 7. Avery Glynn and King of Hearts (left) with Brooke Morin and For Fun (right) 8. Emma Borders and Cavito 2 place 6th in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 9. Rose Hill Stables’ gorgeous set-up wins the 2019 MCHS Tackroom Award 10. Guy Thomas and Jonkheer Z 11. MCHS Co-Chairs (L–R) Catherine Harvey, Jen McDonald, Wendy Baum and Suzanne Rischman on Derby Day 12. The Color Guard 13. Ilana Halpern and Mr. Incredible

fall 2019 ·


P R O pop


This page and opposite: Lindsay Maxwell and Belgravia (Prince), photos © Caroline Holman


How does the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund help to increase access and inclusion in equestrian sport?   @lmcharitablefund Each issue, a new question is answered by an industry professional. Have a question you want answered? Send it to


· fall 2019

In 2019, the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund (LMCF) expanded its mission statement to read:

Charity Horse Show, Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic, Brandywine and the Big 3 Virginia Horse Show Series.

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is a private philanthropic fund that prioritizes improving the lives of children with special needs; enabling access opportunities to educational experiences; and providing care, compassion, and protection to animals.

For example, in working with the Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show, we helped blend daily local classes into the recognized week of classes, and reduced ship-in fees for local competitors. This allowed more equestrians from the local community to have the opportunity to compete at this wonderful charity horse show.

Every charitable organization wrestles with questions of breadth of giving vs. depth of giving. There is no secret formula and we’ve experimented in both directions. I have increasingly come to believe that our greatest opportunity to make a meaningful impact is to go deeper on what I perceive to be the largest opportunities for our sport. Access and inclusion are paramount to ensuring the future vitality of equestrian sport, and addressing those imperatives in our mission statement reflects my belief that this is the biggest opportunity to make a difference. It is important to remember that our sport is not immune to prevailing world factors and conditions. As the income gap widens, are we doing enough to create affordable access opportunities for people to participate and grow with us? As our world becomes more globalized and diverse, are we supporting a culture of inclusion where everyone feels safe and welcome? With few exceptions, most of us fell in love with horses at a local level. Will these same opportunities be available for future generations? I do not deign to have all the answers, but I’m extremely interested in the conversation. The people who do have ideas about promoting access and inclusion are exactly the types of partners whom the Fund wants to support.

A more individualized way that LMCF attempts to address inclusion for riders is though the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Washington International Horse Show Equitation Scholarship. Now in its third year, the scholarship has continued to grow and help support participation for promising young riders who have qualified for the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals in Washington, D.C. The scholarship covers all travel and housing fees for the rider and a parent, as well as many related show fees. In 2017, we awarded one scholarship; in 2018, we expanded to two scholarships; and this year, we are extremely excited to have awarded the scholarship to three very deserving and talented young riders. We also sponsor the LMCF USHJA Emerging Athletes Program. This nationwide program provides remarkable

access opportunities for the riders who represent the future of the industry. Additionally, the Fund provides grants to numerous programs and initiatives that are perhaps not as widely known or supported. For example, earlier this summer the director of a therapeutic equestrian program reached out to us because their newly-formed Special Olympics equestrian team had been invited to compete in the Georgia State Equestrian Games. This partnership was an extraordinary opportunity for the Fund to fulfill all its mission objectives. Private partnerships play an increasingly important part in addressing opportunities surrounding access and inclusion. As the Fund continues to grow, I look forward to increasing the ways that we can make a positive impact on current and future equestrians. It is my hope that the Fund and its activities serve as a source of inspiration for others with the opportunity and means to become similarly involved. There is an opportunity for all of us as equestrians – collectively and individually – to consider what we can do to support access and inclusion.

— L I N D S AY M A X W E L L, LCMF Founder

To help provide opportunities for more access and inclusion, LMCF has focused its charitable giving in three primary categories: show sponsorships; program partnerships; grants and scholarships. Local and regional shows provide vital access as entry points to participation, so within show sponsorships, LMCF has integrated the addition of local days at the horse shows the Fund sponsors to allow more local riders to compete at nationally ranked shows. Some of the shows where we supported this programmatic expansion in 2019 were the Ox Ridge

fall 2019 ·



report 2.





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· fall 2019

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Jeff Gogul

When I am not here anymore I want people to remember me not by what I won, but that I was a good horseman.

Horse & Style: How did you get your start in riding? Jeff Gogul: I always loved animals and had a fascination with horses. I had a friend across the street that rode, and in 5th grade, I finally got riding lessons at Holly Hill Farm, Avon Lake, Ohio for Christmas. I was a timid rider. My first trainer, Leslie Monaghan, was tough. She pushed me through that, and I made it only because I wanted it badly enough. I became accurate at finding distances at an early age because I was afraid to make a mistake. I competed on a local level, and when I was beyond the capabilities of my first horse, I didn’t want to sell him. So, in order to afford two horses, I moved to a self-care barn and started to train myself. At that time I was really selftaught and lived vicariously, read as much as I could, and watched other riders. I read Practical Horseman cover to cover every month, and I’d recreate the exercises from the professionals that were featured in the magazine. At 16 I was not only taking care of my horse, but everyone else’s horses and all of the other animals in the barn – like chickens, goats and sheep – to the point that I never rode anymore. It was then that I decided if I was going to go back to riding,


· fall 2019

I’d do it at a competitive level. So for the last 18 months of my junior riding career I rode with Beth Nielsen and did the Equitation. H&S: Who were some of the people who influenced you as a young rider? Any idols? JG: I grew up in Cleveland and each year I’d look forward to the Cleveland Grand Prix, the oldest Grand Prix in the United States. My barn rat friends and I would have a parent drop us off for the day so that we could watch. I had shown only locally at that point. I liked to stand at the Grand Prix schooling ring where I could watch top riders like Michael Matz, Katie Monahan Prudent and Leslie Burr-Howard getting ready for the class. It was amazing. I’d spend hours walking through the barns and watching how the horses were being cared for at that level. I just observed and tried to absorb as much as I could from watching those trainers, riders and grooms as they worked with the horses. H&S: What do you love and enjoy about the sport? Hunter Derbies in particular? JG: What’s intriguing about the sport, to me, is what it takes to form the partnership. It is so much hard work and dedication and it is the ultimate in teamwork. What these horses

do for us is so generous; I always try to be empathetic and the best horseman I can be. There are always hills and valleys; you get something right and are on a high, and then you need to go work to improve on this or that to produce good rides consistently. The winning round is really rare; it’s like an endorphin high, so it keeps you going to get that feeling again. But it might be six months before you produce another 90 or 92 round. I enjoy the thrill of helping a student get to that breakthrough moment when the whole experience comes together. I think the Hunter Derby concept is interesting because it adds a level of sophistication to the Hunters – especially because of what is has evolved into: jumping huge jumps while looking so soft and appearing to be doing almost nothing. So that is intriguing to me – particularly doing the handy in the international derby with those huge jumps and turns – managing those with the invisible ride of a hunter round. H&S: Could you tell us about the horses you are currently competing on? JG: Just Ask: So, so much ability, and such a match for my style of riding.

photo © SportFot

photo © SportFot

Jeff Gogul and Maverick, photo © Shawn McMillen

Maverick: He’s a super-exciting six-yearold. He has been with us a year and has a tremendous amount of jump. We’re doing 3'6" now, but he is so brave and amazing, he’ll make a great high performance hunter as well as a junior hunter. Graciano: Super elegant and with the talent to move up to 3'6". Count Me In: He rose to the occasion at the incentive finals and was 5th out of 142. At five he is one of the greenest horses we have purchased, with only 90 days under saddle when he arrived in the United States. But, he has such a great jump and is so good natured. We’re going to let him stay at 3'3" for now and allow him time to mature physically. Witness: A horse we bought from Larry – he has an amazing presence and is already forming a great partnership with Sofia. They’ve had great results in the Small Junior division. Stand By Me: Another young horse, he is really flashy and fun to ride, with a great gallop and the best personality. He enjoys working every day. At Last: A gray mare by Last Man Standing, she has an incredible jump, is extremely brave, and has a ton of ability. We are hoping to move her up to the 3'6" greens. She has been worth the wait.

H&S: What have been some of your most memorable achievements as a rider? JG: Sometimes it’s the thrill of the small things like improving a lessor horse or a horse that has difficulty changing leads. It’s an accomplishment to teach a horse to go straight, or to perfect a lateral movement. Also thrilling were the top results we had at the fall indoor horse shows in the last couple of years, as well as making it into the WCHR Pro Final, where I was reserve this year. Growing up, and as a young professional, I was given so much opportunity to ride horses of quality. I wore a lot of hats and learned all aspects of the horse business. I worked for the Bass family at Maypine Farm in Willoughby, Ohio for 10 years. I trained Lauren Bass and Grappa to the Maclay win in 1996, and again in 1997, when the finals were still at Madison Square Garden. Showing the Bass family’s horse Just Harry in the Regular Working Hunters at the Garden was amazing. Harry and I won a lot of Reserves competing against the great Rox Dene. H&S: What are your personal goals, both inside and outside the equestrian world? JG: To try to maintain a great life balance both in and out of the horse business, and to accomplish things on my bucket list – inside

and outside of riding – before I am too old to do them. I love the gym. It has made a huge difference in my riding; the strength has made it possible for me to control my position so much more when jumping. H&S: What are your plans for 2020? JG: My plans are to keep producing good young horses, keep the clients at their competitive best and to continue to learn and keep improving. I live in the moment. I’m satisfied with each round I do because I know I’ve done my best. I always try to look at it that way, and I don’t beat myself up afterwards.There’s always another horse show, another class, and if I’ve made a mistake, I look at it as an opportunity to improve upon the result at the next competition. My goals are to compete again in the WCHR Hunter Spectacular at the Winter Equestrian Festival, to win the North American Future Hunter class at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and to be Champion at the National Horse Show. An important part of the success I’m experiencing now is due to the amazing team at Roberts Stables, and to Patty Rogers and Bibby Farmer Hill, who are both invaluable to me on the ground. My whole life I rode by feel, but having them there now to help me is making a huge difference in my riding.

fall 2019 ·


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WO RKING on by Annie Heise

wellness 1. M I N D Meditation. I have been trained in Transcendental Meditation, but I do guided meditations on my phone as well. Meditating is a great way to reset when my day becomes stressful or I need a second wind of energy in the afternoon. 2. BODY My diet is really important to me. I’ve had to travel a lot for my business in the last year and being on the road can make it tough to eat right. I always make sure to get enough vegetables, but at the end of the day, it is about balance. My mom always said be sure to have a colorful diet – don’t just eat white food – and that’s always a nice way for me to think about it.

Annie Heise pictured wearing "The Black Wrap Coat" by Two Bits Equestrian

Mind, Body, Soul … Sip, Snack, Squat A perfect mix of creativity and passion, Annie Heise is an actor, a lifelong equestrian, and now a designer and entrepreneur. With television and film roles to her credit, she has recently added founder and CEO to her resume with the launch of Two Bits Equestrian in April 2018. Two Bits features a sleek line of equestrian-inspired athleisure designed to be worn while riding, to and from the barn, and in daily life; and all are produced sustainably and ethically right in downtown Los Angeles.


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3. SOUL Journaling. As an entrepreneur, I often feel like I have a never-ending list of things to do. Journaling in the morning helps me clear my mind, get out all of the brain clutter. I like to free write. I never go back to read it – it’s not meant to be beautiful or judged – it’s an opportunity to check in with myself and get a clear head for the day in front of me. 4. SIP Fresh juice. I bought a masticating juicer recently and it has been a game-changer. It has made my skin so happy, and my system just runs better. My go-to is celery, cucumber, mint, ginger, and lemon. I am always sure to drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. 5. SNAC K Dried fruit and nuts. I keep little individual packets in my car. This way I never get too hungry and keep clean eating a priority. 6 . S Q UAT Recently, I got into reformer Pilates. I go to a great studio in Santa Monica called Spier Pilates. Growing up as a serious tennis player, I am a lot stronger on my right side than my left, which isn’t great for my riding. Pilates has really helped me with balancing and strengthening my body. It’s also amazing for flexibility.


1. 2.

5. 6.


N EW product


by Alli Addison photos courtesy of Marco & Co.

Marco & Co.


There is no denying the sense of tradition deeply rooted in equestrian sport, but we can’t overlook the memories and experiences that come to cement our lifelong passion. The equestrian lifestyle is one that truly ignites the senses; the sounds of the stables on a cool, crisp fall morning, the feel of a horse’s coat after being freshly clipped, the sight of sunlight delicately peeking through the trees during a trail ride, and the scent of a time-worn saddle lovingly tucked in a tackroom – all evoking a resonating memory that seems to unite all equestrians.


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ustralia-based entrepreneur Angela Ceberano always understood the impact these memories and experiences had on both a professional and personal level. “Some of my happiest times have been the days spent with my horse, Marco. But as work and my professional career started to take off, life also started to become overwhelming. I found myself wanting to escape and unwind, and began the process of creating something that would allow me to close my eyes and be transported to a time and place of peace and happiness when I couldn’t physically be with my horse,” said Ceberano. From this, Austraila’s first luxury equestrian-inspired candle range was born: Marco & Co. By Angela Ceberano. The recently-launched collection is both wonderfully memory-evoking and sophisticated; transporting you emotionally, while gracefully capturing the equestrian passion. Four hand-crafted, bespoke blends compose the unique range, with each telling a story and symbolizing the hope, joy and passion found on the back of a horse. The result is nothing short of (layered and complex) pure elegance. MOUNTAIN TRAIL RIDE This scent was inspired by a ride through the Australian countryside. There is a freshness of eucalyptus layered over crisp pine and warm cedar wood and amber. The result is entirely intoxicating, warming and emotionally grounding. IN THE S TABLES Rich and earthy aromatic notes capture the moodiness of the stables. A complex blend of crisp hay, vintage leather, warming clove, woodsy cedarwood and subtly floral moss facets are layered to waken your memory of slow days spent at the barn. OCEAN RIDE The fresh and clean scent of Ocean Ride was inspired by an early morning ride along the crashing waves and amid the salted air. Layers of feminine jasmine, crisp citrus, rich gardenia, sweet coconut and warming driftwood compose this uplifting fragrance.

WESTERN SADDLE Often described as the most masculine and dynamic offering of the four, Western Saddle was inspired by the craft and skill of leather making. It is distinguished, dark and smokey with complex aromatics of birch tar, spicy cumin, powdery violet, Moroccan cedarwood and dry labdanum. The power of scent is often unparalleled and can unlock some of our fondest memories. For Ceberano, the favorite scent memory is Marco, the namesake and inspiration behind the brand, and her experiences surrounding the gelding. “He has brought me so much happiness and he’s undoubtedly calmed my restless mind, warmed my soul and reignited my passion for life.” “So much love, joy and passion has been hand poured into each candle. At Marco & Co. we are a brand that encourages quiet moments and selfreflection. May our candles encourage others to pause and reflect on all the beautiful moments amid the chaos of a ‘busy’ life,” said Ceberano. Each Marco & Co. 280g soy candle ($79USD) is hand-poured into a classic glass vessel and available globally through their website Find Marco & Co. on Instagram @marcocandles.

C URA TE D by an by Laurie Berglie


Sarah Lockwood-Taylor Horse & Style recently caught up with the ever-evolving equestrian artist Sarah Lockwood-Taylor. Specializing in linocut printmaking, Sarah happily divides her time between her art and being a horse show/barn mum. She has lived in six different countries and draws inspiration from her travels around the world when working on her latest masterpiece.

Horse & Style: Tell us a little about yourself as an artist. Please describe your style, technique(s), etc. Sarah Lockwood-Taylor: I am originally from England; however, I have been based in the United States for nine years and lived in southeast Asia for seven years prior to that. My family and I recently relocated to New Jersey where we have purchased a new home. I enjoy and prefer working at home. I love to paint with gouache and acrylic as they are always full of color and add so much life to the portrait. However, my current favorite is the linocut medium, which is predominately always in black and white. Linocuts, also known as relief prints, have been my main subject and focus for the last three years. Instead of a block of wood, an image is carved into linoleum. With chisels, you carve away the

areas that will remain white space. The linoleum that remains will become the main print. Ink is then rolled over the top of the linoleum block, the paper is placed over the carving, and finally, the image print is then transferred to the paper by hand. Linocuts have a very traditional, yet modern classic feel. My background is in textile design, but with moving around the world due to my husband’s job, my style has changed. Experiencing new places allowed me to expand into fine art, printmaking, and murals. I have been fortunate enough to exhibit and sell my work worldwide, further defining who I am as an artist. H&S: Are you an equestrian? SLT: I am now a horse show/barn mum. My daughter, Georgie, has two jumper mares, and I am the groom and

president of her fan club! I love being with my three girls, and I am very happy grooming, grazing, bathing, or setting jumps. In all honesty, I am happy doing anything that involves horses. I so enjoy being with them as they are truly therapeutic. They de-stress me, keep me grounded and humble, and always make my day better. I miss the horses and my kids so much now that they are off at college. I frequently facetime the horses as well as my kids; it is always an eventful call full of laughter! H&S: What made you want to become an equestrian artist? SLT: Five years ago, one of our horses had a serious injury. It was here I found great therapy in drawing her; little did I know it was the start to a new career path! The World Equestrian Center was also a significant start to this journey. I was at a

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horse show with my daughter and had a chance meeting with Robbie Roberts, which led to another meeting, which led to my working with the World Equestrian team. Together we worked to hang eleven linocuts in their beautiful Paddock Club. I am also fortunate to say they have built an amazing booth to exhibit my artwork through the winter months. H&S: Did you ever doubt if you were on the right career path?

Sarah Lockwood-Taylor, artist photo Š 3rd Shutter

SLT: From the age of nine, I knew this was the field for me. I went to art school at the age of 16 for six years, where I studied textiles and specialized in fabric printing. I feel textiles have given me versatility, allowing me to easily step into other mediums and styles of artwork. We have traveled the globe with my husband’s job, relocating our family eight times in the last 23 years. His work allowed us to live in six different countries: Nigeria, England, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, and Switzerland. I knew my life and career path would always evolve around artwork; I also now know my artwork will always include animals, especially horses. H&S: What were your formative years like as an artist? SLT: Moving so often has made me adaptable to different paths in my art career so, naturally, there have been many different styles in my work over the years. I love to use different mediums, and my work is constantly evolving and changing. I have worked in so many different fields through my design background and have enjoyed them all. They vary from textile design for interior furnishings to textile design for apparel in women, men, and children’s wear. I have also designed for boutique hotels, top fashion designers, high street stores, solo fine art exhibitions, career wear, event planning, and many more. H&S: What is your state of mind while you are working in the studio? SLT: I work alone in my home studio; I have always liked to work solo. I focus so much more easily, and I especially work better in my own home and environment. I love working and feel fulfilled in what I do. I can easily get lost in my studio and am happily absorbed in my work for ten

...there is something extra special in creating a portrait of a horse or dog that a client has lost and being able to capture an essence of their spirit in something that will live on forever.

hours a day. My mind is at peace, as it is just me in my own realm of time and space. I typically work while listening to music or audiobooks, and I am usually accompanied by one of my doggies.

from criticism but not let it break you down or deter you.

H&S: What’s the best piece of criticism you’ve received? What was the hardest to swallow?

SLT: It has been an interesting two years hearing and seeing people’s reactions to my work, especially at horse shows. My pieces typically have a very strong, bold impact. To add to this, when people see how it is created, it definitely generates interest and a level of surprise. Once an audience gets nearer to a framed portrait, they can then see all the fine details of each chisel mark. I try to capture each horse’s characteristics within the portrait: their charm, power, movement, and kindness. I hope my audience is drawn in and fully-intrigued, allowing them to

SLT: Constructive criticism is a time for growth. It is a time to reflect and a time to move forward. It allows an artist to try a different direction. Artwork is like music and clothes – it’s not always going to be everyone’s cup of tea and not everyone is going to like your style, and that’s ok. Galleries can be very hard on artists, so I feel some of it you can also dismiss. Most importantly, I have learned that you have to take what you need

H&S: What do you hope an audience will perceive when looking at your art?

see a depth of texture and contrast. I have met so many touching people and heard so many awe-inspiring stories that it is such a privilege to work with each client, especially when creating a custom portrait. H&S: What inspires you? SLT: I am inspired by everything around me: a sunset, the way the sun hits a surface, a skyline, my travels, emotions, even something as simple as a texture. I am a very visual person, so I am always seeing everything with a design eye. H&S: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date as an artist? SLT: This year I was asked to do a solo exhibit in all the VIP tents at The Land

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Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, which was an incredible experience. However, to me, there is something extra special in creating a portrait of a horse or dog that a client has lost and being able to capture an essence of their spirit in something that will live on forever. Hearing the stories of people through loss, grief, and despair touches the heart. I would consider this my biggest accomplishment, being able to give back to my clients and establish these close relationships with them. H&S: What’s next for you? SLT: I am working hand-in-hand with the creative director at USEF as I have been asked to create artwork for their new office in Kentucky. My pieces will be displayed in the USEF building’s main entrance. This has been a really exciting and involved project. I have learned so much new information about breeds and disciplines when designing this work. I also love to work big and these pieces will be 6ft x 6ft. The official date of their opening is November 1st. I have also recently been invited to exhibit my artwork at the National Horse Show in November and the American Gold Cup in the VIP lounge, so I am greatly looking forward to that, and to be working with the Morrissey Management Group. Personal life updates include a new puppy on the horizon! She will be a high-drive working dog, so I will have my work cut out for me. The house in New Jersey will consume a lot of my time with construction and interior work which I will oversee and manage. H&S: What do you like to do in your spare time? SLT: I seriously don’t have spare time. That sounds like a luxury. We have a son in university in Arizona and our daughter is at college in Ohio with our horses. Spending time with them both is wonderful, so if we ever have a spare minute, my husband, Patrick, and I are usually driving or flying to visit one of them. Also, being in New Jersey so close to the Newark airport, we plan on going home to England more often to visit family. To see more of Sarah’s work, please visit her website at, on Facebook @SarahLockwoodTaylorArtist, or on Instagram @sarahlockwoodtaylor.

E Q U E S T R I A N tastemaker by Alli Addison

Every year without fail, our team falls in love with fall. But why? Is it the crisp, cool mornings spent at the barn, the stunning change of colors around us? The flavors, aromas, and possible overdose of pumpkin spice? The last remaining fall horse shows? Or the fall fashion – sweaters, scarves, beanies and puffy jackets – we’ve been patiently waiting to wear? It’s all of that, and so much more. This season has our minds focused on tasteful accents for the home, the latest fall styles for both in and out of the saddle, heartwarming stories of organizations doing incredible work in the equestrian community and creating memorable moments with friends and family.

Burgundy and Bodysuits Free x Rein Burgundy is still having it’s seasonal moment and we are so here for it. Last year Free x Rein released it’s very popular collection of equestrian-inspired bodysuits, including the chic and transitional Elite Equestrian Bodysuit. “We designed this competition bodysuit with the working woman in mind. It is a perfect crossover blouse to wear to the office and the ultimate equestrian show shirt for the hunter or jumper ring,” says Free x Rein. It was a slam dunk. And now the team has just released the latest color evolution of its most popular bodysuit in the form of a rich, saturated and ever-classic Burgundy. “It still has everything you love from the OG designs,” laughs Free x Rein,“just now in a gorgeous, autumn-approved Burgundy!” Free x Rein, The Elite Equestrian Bodysuit, $200.00:

On Our Radar Bespoke Short Boots by Celeris UK These fully-customizable short boots combine the best of both worlds: supreme function and unsurpassed style. With the ability to customize leather styles, colors and more, it’s no wonder the RTW short boot line by Celeris UK is paving a new road in bespoke equestrian footwear options:


It’s Time Galop d’Hermes Timepieces The deeply-rooted equestrian culture of Hermès has emerged once again, and this time in the form of an exquisite timepiece collection: Galop d’Hermès. With a strong nod to the equestrian aesthetic, superb crafting and elegant styling, the watch is destined to be a treasured timepiece for generations to come. Galop d’Hermès, prices start at $3650.00:

Get Rewarded Ultra-Lux Rosettes by Skinny Wolf for Life’s Biggest Celebrations Jaw-dropping design, unparalleled materials and time-honed techniques make up the foundation of Australia-based designer/crafter Leila Sanderson’s Skinny Wolf Rosettes. Grosgrains, linens, and velvets in a rainbow of colorways adorn these elegant, impactful and playful rosettes. “The rotational symmetric design or cockade, derived from a French word meaning, coq, or showoff, is an 18th century millinery technique. It is made by precisely folding ribbon anchored with stitches and knots,” explains Sanderson. Made for celebrating major milestones or simply for just showing off, the rosettes make a picture-worthy addition to any space. Skinny Wolf Rosettes:


Custom, Chic and Cute AF A Stitch In Stride Earlier this year, California-based equestrian Karina Harris launched her equestrian-inspired mixed media embroidery art brand A Stitch In Stride, and hasn’t missed a stride (pun-intended) since. “I’ve been doing mixed media embroidery art for years, but only for myself or as gifts for friends. The opportunity arose for me this year to really focus on offering commission pieces, and I’ve been enjoying the process so much,” says Harris who is paving a new dream by combining her passion for animals and art. The pieces form a unique blend of old-world charm and modern day chic, all while remaining immensely personal. “Our four-legged friends mean so much to us, and I love getting to capture the little details that make them unique.” A Stitch in Stride, available for commissions:

For the Coffee Table ‘Wellington: The World of Horses’ by Assouline

Transformative Horse Power Gallop NYC What better way to make an impact than with horses?! GallopNYC is setting a new standard in therapeutic care, offering therapeutic horsemanship programs to children and adults with disabilities, including veterans, at-risk youth, and seniors. “We provide lessons to over 600 riders a week across the five boroughs of New York City, and are committed to serving low-to-middle income families. Even with our barns across the city, we can still hardly keep up with the demand for therapeutic riding in the area,” says the organization. At the core of the organization are the riders and the horses, whose grace, patience, gentleness and empathy are making a positive impact on the lives of those most in need. Learn more about the transformative power of horses and the incredible work being done by GallopNYC by visiting:


How best to pay tribute to the one and only Wellington, Florida? Create a behind-the-scenes, visually stunning tome. Ideal for every equestrian aficionado’s coffee table, Wellington: The World of Horses takes its readers inside the rings of the world’s largest and longest competitive equestrian extravaganza, WEF. Wellington: The World of Horses, $85.00:

Los Angeles

Equestrian Inspired Tailored Athleisure



by Pam Maley photos courtesy of Central Kentucky Riding for Hope

Big Hearts and Quiet Hoofbeats “There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.” – Sir Winston Churchill


e would add at the end, “. . . woman, or child.” And nowhere is this wellknown quote any better personified than at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope. My tour of the facility with Executive Director Pat Kline began with two large portraits of former students, and their stories. One was a young boy mounted on ‘his’ horse, a partnership that had begun before Kline arrived in 2003. That young boy is now an adult, and works with the Athletic Department at University of Kentucky. An unmistakable success story, he recently visited the place that gave him so much. The other was a happy young girl mounted on ‘her’ horse Chico. When she began riding at age five, her ability to sit was minimal, and she wasn’t expected to live for more than a few years. Her relationship with her riding team, the most important member of which was Chico, helped to develop her core strength, and more importantly to engage her brain, the essential part of the therapy. With few exceptions, the same team worked with her throughout her tenure, developing a deep trust between them. Though she was


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Martha and Chico

non-verbal, she recognized their voices, and when she heard them, her little face would light up. In the end, CKRH gave her 20 years of joy, and when she died at age 30, Chico went to her funeral. Recently elevated to star status, Chico was named by the American Hippotherapy Association as the 2017 Therapy Horse of the Year and by PATH International as the Region 4 Horse of the Year. But with characteristic humility, he remains hard at work as a valuable part of the team at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope. “Chico was donated to the program long ago,” says Kline, “and through his time here he became the go-to horse. He can serve our more seriously disabled, because he truly knows how to take care of his children. He doesn’t suffer fools lightly, but if you need him, he will help you. He’s been here so long, that if he’s not 30, I’d be surprised!” E A R LY B E G I N N I N G S The program was begun in 1981 by Dr. Peter Bosomworth, then Chancellor of the University of Kentucky Medical Center, in collaboration with a group of area horse enthusiasts, and was originally called Central Kentucky Riding for the Handicapped,


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soon to be known as CKRH. The experiment began with borrowed horses, dedicated volunteers, and four participants, and was so successful that they were given the use of a converted tobacco barn at the newly opened (in 1979) Kentucky Horse Park – a barn that had begun its life as the Horse Park’s steeplechase barn. At this point, because it was all outside, the program was a seasonal one; and in that form it pursued – and achieved – accreditation through the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Int'l) in 1987. PATH Int'l is headquartered in Denver, and according to Kline, accreditation required adherence to seven or eight basic principles. She pointed out that because they depend to a large part on donations, it seemed important to have solid credentials when raising funds to operate.When they were raising the capital fund and reaching out to groups like the Veterans Administration to form partnerships, Kline says “They would often look at us and say, ‘You want to do what with what?’The PATH credentials helped in that regard!” But they didn’t stop there; they went on to pursue Premier Accredited Center status, and

achieved that goal in 1998. “To operate at this level, we have to follow about 200 standards, and PATH conducts an on-site evaluation every five years.They come here and go over us with a fine-tooth comb.We’re the only Premier program in Central Kentucky.” A BEAUTIFUL NEW HOME Kline came on board at a time when the program was growing exponentially. Soon, they could no longer cram their work into a seasonal program, and Kline and the CKRH Board of Directors launched a $4 million capital campaign in 2005. Wanting a name that reflected positivity, but not wanting to change the acronym, they chose Central Kentucky Riding for Hope. “It took five years to raise the money,” says Kline, “but that turned out to be a good thing, because we had time to give a lot of thought to the design.” The facility encompasses 55,000 square feet under one roof, and was completed with no debt. The design is functional in ways that the average person doesn’t necessarily think about. Everything is laid out for visibility, so that many eyes can be on the participants. The hall of the barn is wide, designed to accommodate a person in a wheelchair leading a horse and having to turn the

horse around. The area for the equineassisted mental health program includes a large porch, quite private, with tables and chairs for consultation, offering a quiet place in close proximity to the horses. The large tack room is shiny clean and meticulously organized with saddles and bridles numbered, and a schedule chart on the wall showing what tack will be needed at what time. This careful organization, says Kline, is to help the large number of volunteers who might come in only a few hours a week, to do their jobs efficiently. Near the grooming stalls are small kindergarten-like cubbies with a photo of a child and ‘their’ horse above each cubby, for the I RIDE program for at-risk youth. How many of us, throughout our childhoods, wished and wished for a horse? And now, these kids who were dealt a difficult hand from the start, have a horse, and the picture above their cubby to prove it. These are, in fact, their horses, never mind that others ride them, too. What a gift to be able to give! We wondered if the program uses speciallydesigned saddles. Kline explained that while they do have one saddle designed for disabilities that they bought with a grant, they mainly use regular saddles, primarily Western style to begin with, moving to English saddles when possible because it’s less weight for the horse to carry. And they often use no saddle at all, just a saddlepad, in cases where the warmth of the horse’s body can help loosen and relax the muscles in a

child’s legs. “However,” says Kline, “if a young participant wants to be a cowboy or cowgirl, CKRH will get out a Western saddle and do our best to make them one!” “We do not fasten them in, but just let them move freely to do the tasks they’re given, such as two-step instructions, learning left from right by steering the horse, and much more,” Kline pointed out. “If they can do it, they should do it. If we need to, we can get them off.” Every rider has a person leading the horse, and two who walk along beside – one on each flank. CKRH has recently, through a grant, purchased an electric lift and pulley that can get a rider out of a wheelchair, raise them up, and slide them over and onto the horse. THE S TABLES In what seems a monumental achievement, CKRH has partnered with the Fayette County (Lexington) Public Schools to establish The STABLES, an Alternate Education Program designated as an ‘Opportunity School,’ providing high school students with disabilities a nontraditional setting and a path to graduation; they can graduate from The STABLES with a high school diploma. The school was part of the original plan for the building, and it’s made up of three classrooms: science, math, and language arts, all staffed by public school teachers, and served by a yellow public school bus. All doors in the building are built wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and a horse,

and the classrooms are no different. When they can be of help in the teaching process, the horses are brought in. All floor surfaces in the building are covered with rubberized non-skid footing, so the horses can go anywhere they are needed. Grooming and caring for the horses is, of course, part of the program, as is riding, and there’s a large garage-type door adjacent to the classrooms that opens onto the riding arena and the barn. “Unless we need it open, we generally keep it closed,” says Kline with a smile. “We don’t want to tempt the students with the question of ‘would you rather be in math class, or in the barn?’” H O R S E S T H AT H E A L At any time, CKRH will have 28–30 horses, with more that are there on trial. We wondered what they look for in a horse, and how the horses come into the program. “Temperament!” was the emphatic and obvious answer to the first question. They also need horses of varying sizes, because they serve people of varying sizes. A rider who has cerebral palsy needs a horse with a consistent movement to help the rider establish a steady rhythm. The horses need to be sound when they come, because riding an unbalanced individual is hard work. The horses are the part of the team that makes the magic happen. Over the years, all have been donated, with one exception: they became interested in Norwegian Fjords and bought one, a

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purchase that was so successful, they now have several on the team. “They’re small in stature but very sturdy and affectionate, and you can NOT make them mad!” says Kline. “They’re also good at providing us with a bit of comic relief!” Minis are a big part of CKRH as well. Many of the small children are curious about the horses, but afraid, and they can more easily learn to be comfortable with a horse of that non-threatening stature. They are particularly useful for children with autism. “If you can learn to be comfortable enough to express affection for a horse,” says Kline, “you can learn to go home and kiss your mom.” Some time ago, CKRH began working with a generous woman who raised and showed minis. Along the way, she began to think that her minis could serve a much more important purpose, so she donated three minis to the program – and to the delight of all involved, they found that little Jubilee was pregnant! The CKRH staff began to learn what they could about foaling a mini, and it appeared that unlike a full-size horse, there seemed to be plenty of things that could go wrong. So, rather than try to deliver the foal at CKRH, they found a farm in nearby Shelbyville, Kentucky, that was willing to


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shepherd Jubilee through her foaling as a donation to CKRH. Her baby was named Happy Feet, and was so popular, CKRH had to organize visiting hours. Says Kline, “She became very spoiled, which was no surprise to anyone, and we found ourselves having to say to students, ‘No, you may not carry the baby everywhere.’” PROGRAMS FOR DIFFERENT NEEDS Though the participants in most of the programs are youngsters, CKRH works with the Kentucky National Guard to design programs for veterans who suffer from injuries and trauma. There is a women’s empowerment program that CKRH has in partnership with the Rape Crisis Center, as well as the afore-mentioned equine-assisted mental health program. Therapeutic Riding can take place outside as well as inside, and the paddocks, each with a run-in shed, are laid out with the same careful thought that went into the building. There’s a beautiful sensory integration trail where riders can feel as if they’re in the wilderness, with gurgling brook sounds and wonderful sights and smells. The horses, for the most part, live outside, because it’s healthier for them, and because it minimizes the workload for the small staff.

The 24-stall barn is used for horses preparing for lessons, or for ones that are sick or in need of treatment for lameness. “These horses are not retired,” Kline tells us emphatically. “They are part of the team. And when they can no longer do their work we try to re-home them for retirement. But if we can’t, they live out their lives here with us.” CKRH has three main fundraisers every year. There’s a glittering gala called Night of the Stars held at Keeneland, and in the spring they have the Paul Frazier Memorial Combined Test and Dressage Competition, possibly the longest-running horse show at the Kentucky Horse Park. In October, they have their annual used tack sale. People who come to the Kentucky Horse Park for shows and competitions often donate tack, as do riders and farms in the area. “People camp out in the driveway the night before the sale,” Kline tells us, “and there’s a huge rush when we open the doors. We’re the Black Friday of tack sales!” “We are also blessed with in-kind donations, from veterinarians to feed and hay,” says Kline. “In this town that takes its identity from the horse, almost everyone in our equine world is involved with us somehow.” Find out more about this extraordinary program at

Holiday Boutique An event to benefit Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center

DECEMBER 9 | 10:30-2:30 or 5-7:30 STONETREE GOLF CLUB, NOVATO Featuring holiday shopping with: Âme Soeur  barnstyle  Fairy Kiss Botanicals  Flat Top Wines Kathy Kamei Designs  Stick & Ball  Two Bits Equestrian The Wild Pear Co.  And more! Sip, shop, support

Tickets available October 1-November 25th, or until sold out. Early bird prices available!


Questions? Contact 707-769-8900 or



Trendy Trainer

by Sarah Appel & Terri Roberson

Sutton Waterproof Tall Boot, Ariat, $200 Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans, Madewell, $158 Herringbone Rifle-Patch Equestrian Blazer, Smythe, $795 Horse Charm Necklace, TEN79LA, $60 Atlas Bucket Bag, Rag & Bone, $695


in love again

Sweater weather goes hand-in-hand with indoor shows, Medal Finals, crisp mornings at the barn, copper colored leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes. Finesse your fall wardrobe with a boldly printed sweater, a herringbone hunt-inspired coat, and the perfect pair of boots, and prepare to fall even more in love with fall! .

Ambient Amateur Sterling Silver Horse Head Cable Cuff, Caracol, $299 Sorrento Boho Bag, Asmar Equestrian, $510 Olivia Printed Sweater, RĂśnner Design, $179 Karolina High-Rise Skinny Jeans, GRLFRND, $230 Slouchy Scrunch Suede Booties, Aquazzura, $825


¡ fall 2019

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O N the


by Jeanette Gilbert photos by Alden Corrigan

Split Rock Jumping Tour

at Sonoma

Horse Park


he drive into Sonoma Horse Park has a mysterious quality: as you hit the long winding driveway bordered by grapes, you certainly get the sense that you are truly in wine country; but where are the horses? The hidden treasure at the end isn’t given away until you approach the final straightaway, and instantly, a beautifully designed horse park unfolds before you. For the past decade, Sonoma Horse Park has produced several top “AA” and “A” rated horse shows with some of the most exciting jumps and prizes on offer in the United States. In 2018 Derek Braun, founder and president of Split Rock Jumping Tour, brought his international


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show jumping event to California for the first time, and in 2019, the special Sonoma twist on the event made mystery turn to magic for all parties involved! BUILDING BETTER: SPLIT ROCK JUMPING TOUR Derek Braun founded Split Rock Jumping Tour in 2015 out of what he saw as a necessity. As a rider with international experience, he knew that events could be better in the U.S., and he was prepared to work to create the changes he wanted to see. “My frustration with other shows in America; how shows were managed, the details that were incorporated, and just feeling like I didn’t get my money’s worth [led me to start Split Rock Jumping Tour]. I always wanted to try to do things a little bit better, a little bit more elaborately, and

Karl Cook and Fecybelle


a little bit more detail-oriented,” Braun stated when we chatted about his shows and experience in Sonoma. At the time, the rider and sponsor experience at shows in Europe was far superior to existing events in the U.S. European events offered better prize money and attention to detail, along with a “jumper only” schedule which allowed exhibitors time to rest and enjoy themselves at the event. Braun knew he could offer something similar. He began hosting a few small oneday jumper shows at his home farm “Split Rock Farm” in Lexington, Kentucky, and used these first shows as a way to gain insight into how to manage larger events. In 2015, the Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) began. The first two events were

held at Split Rock Farm and offered FEI 3* prize money and a Toyota RAV 4 to the leading rider. The Tour’s strong start has steadily evolved to become a fullblown traveling road show. “In our first year we held two events – one in May and one in October. Since those first events, we have become so much more efficient. I think that is the biggest thing; we are able to predict and prepare for almost every variable we could encounter during each week. That ability only really comes with experience,” noted Braun. As time marches on, the SRJT team has shown their mettle. From working with the massive crowds of the 3* Kentucky Invitational, held in concurrence with the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, to the smaller issues posed by

inclement weather, footing, or anything else new venues may throw at them, they have managed to step up each time. “We have become better and more efficient at setting up and tearing down events and moving on to the next. Really, in the first year, my team was only able to handle one or two shows; our whole brain capacity went to figuring everything out for those events. Now when we go to each different facility, we are much quicker at knowing what is ‘right’ in each place.” “A N U N PA R A L L E L E D S H O W JUMPING EXPERIENCE” Split Rock Jumping Tour is an experience, and to fully immerse yourself in it, SRJT recommends you participate in the “luxury of all-inclusive.” All FEI riders have the option to purchase a package

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that includes everything from stabling and class fees, to VIP hospitality, to stabling concierge services and special exhibitor events. Extra perks such as extravagant awards, a full bar, and next-level VIP catering – including caviar and a mimosa bar – all add to the rider experience. Additionally, the entire event is livestreamed with free access to videos of all rounds and in-ring video boarding. 2020 will see some of the biggest changes yet as Split Rock Jumping Tour’s schedule continues to expand. Beyond the six venues and eight events the Tour will grow to include in 2020, the year will begin with the “Ante Up Grand Prix,” an exciting and unheard of concept in show jumping. The class, a 1.50–1.60m standalone event to be held at Karl Cook’s stunning Pomponio Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe, California, will offer $1,500,000 in total prize money to fifteen invited riders. The winner will receive $1,000,000 – the single largest payday in the world – with $350,000 to second place and $150,000 to third. Each of the invited riders will have the option of paying the $125,000 entry fee themselves (for a chance of keeping 100% of their potential winnings), or if they choose to have one of the sponsors (provided by SRJT) pay the entry fee, they will be able to keep 25% of any winnings. Invitees will include the top five riders on the Longines Show Jumping Rankings list, the top five American riders on the Longines Rankings and five wild card spots. The whole event will air live on NBC and Braun hopes a class of this caliber will help draw new fans and sponsors to the sport. This exciting class is just one example of Split Rock Jumping Tour’s mission to create “an unparalleled show jumping experience.” The Tour will also run one of only eight Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifiers to be held under the revised North American League schedule in 2020. This event, held in Fort Worth, Texas in December 2020, is the first international show jumping event to take place in the state, and Braun’s first indoor event. The stadium at Will Rodgers Coliseum holds around 6,000 people and Braun looks forward to bringing his exciting brand of show jumping and hospitality to a large-scale audience in a new way. “For sure it will be the biggest


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caliber event we have ever done. In that regard, we expect to have all of the best riders [competing],” said Braun. THE SONOMA HORSE PA R K M AG I C “Sonoma Horse Park was the perfect fit for us. They pay attention to the details like we do,” said Braun, “The facility is set up perfectly for my format of horse shows, and the Northern California location is great. We get people down from Oregon, Washington and Vancouver to compete; everyone from Southern California can get to it easily; and the weather is perfect this time of year. It all makes for a very successful show.” All of these variables also make for the largest attendance of any SRJT show, something that incoming facility manager Sarah Appel is very happy about. “We knew right off the bat that Split Rock Jumping Tour would be a great partner for Sonoma Horse Park. Over the past decade we have built trust with our clientele, and it was exciting to see them participate in, and enjoy, an event like SRJT at our venue.” Appel went on to speak of her joy in bringing a new experience to everyone who shows at SHP. “The loyal Sonoma Horse Park

exhibitors have always been supportive of our trying new things. Whether it be our wild jumps and ribbons, or our exciting classes like Les Talents Hermès where you can win a trip to Paris, or the EquitationTransportation Challenge that pairs up teams of riders to win amazing moving prizes, or the next-level hospitality that we offer weekly, we knew they would be supportive of the first FEI events at SHP.” As the brand new facility manager, Appel also had a few thoughts regarding the future of Sonoma Horse Park. “Over the past decade the Herman family, with Ashley Herman at the helm, has created one of the top horse show venues in the country. I aspire not only to continue the wonderful traditions and high-level events they have created, but to also use my experience – from entry-level riding with the Campfire Girls, to competing on the ‘A’ circuit, to covering events at the 5* FEI level – to continue to bring exciting and innovative new events to Sonoma Horse Park.” FROM FIST PUMPS TO F I N E W I N E : S R J T AT S H P The event itself was not to be missed, with something for every level of jumper rider (the 0.85m jumper champion Cash

Delia was also the co-champion of the “Fist Pump” competition presented by Horse Flight), and featuring amazing food and fine wine in the VIP, as well as the ever-popular SRJT swag shop. Exhibitors and spectators alike found something unforgettable at Sonoma Horse Park throughout the first week of September. The two-ring competition featured young jumper classes and lower-level classes on one side of the VIP berm and international classes and upper-level open and amateur classes held on the other side of the berm in the Grand Prix Arena. During a typical Sonoma Horse Park event, the ring across the VIP berm hosts hunter and equitation classes – another fun change for SRJT. Driving onto the grounds, riders were treated to a revamped SHP with Split Rock Jumping Tour flags decorating either side of the driveway. Riders enjoyed the new layout which included international flags and attractive sponsor banners that completely bordered both arenas, a special SRJT entry archway and a live video screen in the Grand Prix arena. The courses, designed by Alan Wade, provided new challenges West Coast riders do not often have the opportunity to experience. Throughout the week, West

Exhibitors and spectators alike found something unforgettable at Sonoma Horse Park throughout the first week of September.

Cash Delia fires up the crowd during his victory gallop; Below: Cash Delia and Nick Dello Joio were named co-champions of the Fist Pump competition sponsored by Horse Flight

Joie Gatlin and Sandetto, winners of the $10,000 Rhys Farm 1.35m National Prix

Coast riders and their horses stepped right up to answer Wade’s questions beautifully, showing that talent on the West Coast is always improving. A number of West Coast competitors earned top spots on the podium – even when up against top East Coast talent who had made SRJT the first stop on a West Coast fall tour. Another fun aspect of the SRJT events are the formal awards presentations for each and every class, with a podium, national anthem from the country of the winner, and a victory gallop for the top six horses. One major event that is unique to Split Rock Jumping Tour at Sonoma Horse Park is the Friday night Split Rock Gala presented by Big Bay City and benefiting Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center. The gala brought riders, sponsors and friends out in their best formal wear for a fun evening that included


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opportunities to learn more about Giant Steps’ mission, a wonderful speech by Big Bay City’s owner Kaley Cuoco (of “Big Bang Theory” fame), and upscale food and drinks by Preferred Sonoma Caterers. After dinner the lights were dimmed and riders hit the dance floor. Braun even created a private cabana on the fly, complete with velvet rope, for a patron who had made a large donation to Giant Steps – just to add to the “Club Sonoma” feel! As previously mentioned, one standout rider of the week was Cash Delia on his buckskin pony Trewithian Hawkeweed. Delia not only led the victory gallop in the Friday 0.85m class, but also won the Sunday 0.85m Final by almost three seconds to stand at the top of the podium. He was also named co-champion of the Fist Pump competition alongside international show jumper Nick Dello Joio.

The Fist Pump competition sponsored by Horse Flight is a highlight of SRJT events. Throughout the week, riders vie for the honor of wearing a special neon green armband and the chance to earn a $500 cash bonus by showing the most enthusiasm, firing up the crowd, and displaying the best ‘fist pump’ during their winning rounds. As the week goes on, and the Fist Pump armband gets passed from rider to rider, excitement builds. The judges make a final determination on Sunday after the Grand Prix. At SRJT at SHP, the presentation was especially cute with a rather diminutive Delia sharing the podium with Dello Joio for the win picture. The highlight of any horse show week is the Grand Prix, and in this case the $100,000 1.45m FEI Grand Prix presented by Horse Flight certainly did not disappoint. The course was challenging in all of the great

Karrie Rufer and Mr. Europe

Karl Cook and Fecybelle

Top-placing riders in the Grand Prix: Karl Cook (1st), Karrie Rufer (2nd) and Keri Potter (3rd)

The Sonoma Horse Park mystique combined with the lively, unique spirit of Split Rock Jumping Tour to create a magical week enjoyed by riders, spectators, and sponsors alike.

ways that push riders and test horses but never ask unfair questions. Course designer Alan Wade had a strong field of horses and riders to work with overall, but even with some junior and amateur riders new to the international ranks, it was a fair test. After 51 horses crossed the start timers there were ten clear rounds, making for a very exciting jump-off. It looked like Karrie Rufer, first to go in the jump-off, was going to hold the lead through the entire field of the nine remaining horses and riders with her very efficient clear on her up-and-coming star Mr. Europe (Mr. Blue x Cassini I). But third-to-last to go, Karl Cook on Fecybelle (Carambole x Sjapoo) snatched the lead away by 3/10 of second when he took the short track. For Cook, the week could not have been much better, taking two wins in the three FEI classes aboard Fecybelle. The 9-yearold mare is a new ride for Cook. His first FEI starts with her were in May and these were the first two international wins

they had together. Keri Potter galloped to third place on Ariell La Sirene (Arioso du Theillet x Silvio I), a ten-year-old mare owned by Hannah Loly that also enjoyed her best international placing to date. Celebratory champagne showers among the top three riders on the podium, followed by the victory gallop and naming of the Fist Pump award co-champions capped off an incredible week of fun and top competition at one of the best venues in the country. The Sonoma Horse Park mystique combined with the lively, unique spirit of Split Rock Jumping Tour to create a magical week enjoyed by riders, spectators, and sponsors alike. I would definitely recommend adding September in Sonoma to your calendar if you are looking for excellent prize money, great sport, amazing accommodations, top restaurants and fine wine tasting opportunities – not to mention top-level on-site hospitality and an all-around phenomenal experience.

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3. 1.


5. 6. 7. 1. Kaitlin Campbell and Stakato Onyx, winners of the 1.20m Class 2. (L–R) Kylee Arbuckle, Heather Roades, Rebecca Bruce and Ned Glynn 3. Split Rock Jumping Tour “California Hats” 4. Karrie Rufer and Quite An Art 5. Beautiful SRJT sashes 6. A Rich Fellers Stables horse enjoys some snuggles between classes 7. Looking sharp, Hannah Selleck and Cuzco soar over a fence in perfect form


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Photos © Alden Corrigan Media


9. 13.



12. 8. Ponies at the podium 9. (L–R) Nick Dello Joio, Hannah Selleck and Sophie Simpson 10. Karl Cook tests the footing with his custom-made machine 11. It’s a dog's life at SRJT at SHP 12. #KindEyes 13. Lauren Whitlock and Djin Djin

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DESTINATION story and photos by Annie Heise



Topa Valley Winery

Annie Heise and her sister enjoy a trail ride guided by the Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company


y sister was visiting from Minnesota for a week and I thought, “What could be better than a little road trip to get in some quality girl time?” I had been dying to visit Ojai, having heard it’s the perfect quick trip to escape the bustle of the city. So we rented a GMC Sierra truck and headed north! And I can tell you, Ojai definitely didn’t disappoint. Ojai has been a draw for SoCal locals for decades now. There, the air is clean and smells of native orange blossom. The sunsets – referred to by locals as the “pink moment” – are unlike any you’ve ever seen. Bike paths, horseback riding, hiking, charming artisan shops and lovely, locally run cafes make the town of Ojai a perfect weekend retreat destination.


The Ranch House Lunch by the pool at the Ojai Valley Inn Spa

Caravan Outpost

RES TAURANTS The Ranch House: For over 60 years The Ranch House has been a staple in Ojai. Offering fresh California cuisine (they have their own on-site herb garden), this upscale restaurant is famed for its awardwinning food. Locally-sourced, organic vegetables and farm-to-table protein selections drive their ever-changing menu. Dine in a beautiful outdoor garden setting, surrounded by bamboo, streams and a koi pond. Servers are kind and conversational – it’s really a place to experience. Be sure to check out their wall of fame. Many stars have happened upon this hidden gem, including John Lennon, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand… just to name a few. Azu: Family-owned and operated since 2000, Azu quickly became a stand-out in the Ojai dining scene. Conveniently located on Ojai Avenue, it’s hard to miss – and you don't want to. This cozy restaurant specializes in Spanish and Mediterranean comfort cuisine. Laurel Moore, the executive chef and owner, provides her customers with a local farm driven produce approach – even the cocktails are made with fresh local juice!

Beacon Coffee: Beacon – by far – offers the best coffee in Ojai. And, this is more than just a coffee shop; Beacon sources coffee directly and roasts it in Ventura, CA. All pastries are made in-house and gluten-free and vegan options are also offered. Be sure to try their almond milk – they make it from scratch and it’s delicious. My sister and I happened upon it on our first day and returned every morning after that. It’s that good! AC CO M M O DAT I O N Ojai Valley Inn: This resort spans over 220 acres and artfully adorned Spanishstyle casitas are sprinkled amongst the beautiful property. Be sure to stop by the Moroccan Hammam-style spa. It offers two pools and a full-service spa menu as well as a delicious pool-side menu. In need of some serious R&R? Look no further… Ojai Valley Inn has you covered. Caravan Outpost: For the more adventuresome traveler, it’s no surprise that Caravan Outpost has become such a popular destination. Stay in one of their eleven refurbished Airstreams where you can enjoy nature without sacrificing the comforts of a boutique hotel. Plus, this hotel is right next to the bike path that takes you anywhere in town you’d like to

go. And did I mention that they offer free bikes? Glamping anyone? I think so. HORSE BAC K RIDIN G Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company: Take a trail ride into the Enchanted Forest, along the Ventura River valley, or through some of the most beautiful horse country in California. We opted for a private trail ride led by the Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company and it was worth it! Two-and-ahalf hours in the saddle with kind horses and a great guide – what could be better? OUR WHIP GMC Sierra: We opted to rent the latest GMC Sierra for our trip and were so happy with our choice. The truck is pure luxury on the inside with leather seats, a navigation system, and all the technology you could want, including phone charging stations where you just set your phone down and it charges. The coolest part was the MultiPro Tailgate; it has six positions, making loading and unloading our luggage beyond easy. A really fun truck for the winding roads of Ojai! Annie also recommends: gem shopping at Ojai House, wine tasting at Topa Valley Winery and exploring along the bike path to Downtown Ojai.

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T H E good


by Claiborne & Lime photos by Armand Barragan

Orange County


Club Nestled in the heart of Silverado Canyon, the Orange County Polo Club is set in a location so unique, it will leave you questioning how you could possibly be only thirty minutes from Newport Beach. A family affair thirty years in the making, the polo club recently found its permanent residence at Rancho Silverado Stables, where the Geiler family spent four years transforming the property into an inviting gathering place as well as a state-of-the-art polo facility.


he Geiler family worked closely with interior designer Lithe Sebesta and landscape architect Tim Smith of Wynn-Smith Landscape Architecture, ensuring no detail was overlooked throughout the process. In particular, the clubhouse sets the tone of this modern yet rustic retreat, with its high ceilings, natural plaster walls, floorto-ceiling sliding glass doors that open onto the viewing deck, and custom brass bar. The equestrian influence is apparent throughout the space, and can be seen in meaningful details like the Simon St. James chandelier made of polo mallets

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from the founding members, as well as custom mirrors created from pieces of tack the family collected over the years. Artwork was also important to the Geilers, and they made sure that the Alice Gipps triptych of famous polo pony, Nicotina, would be featured prominently on the clubhouse walls, along with smaller vintage polo paintings and trophies.Throughout the property, OC Polo’s signature green color in particular makes frequent appearances and unifies the interiors with the outdoor landscape. However, within the clubhouse, the green, black and white color palette and pattern was kept to a minimum to showcase the beautiful cement tile from Cle Tile, along with other attractive architectural details. While the Club was created with the sole intent of serving its members and continuing the Geiler family’s dedication to the sport of polo, it quickly became apparent that the property was too special to keep under wraps. After numerous inquiries and much interest, it was decided that the Orange County Polo Club would open to the public as an event venue. Enter Claiborne & Lime. A luxury hospitality company based in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange County, our highend clientele, and particularly our experience and ties to the equestrian community, made it a perfect fit. From there, Jay’s Catering joined the team, bringing along their fifty plus years of experience serving the Orange County area. As a third generation, familyowned company committed to handcrafted food and exceptional service, Jay’s fit seamlessly into the mix. The only polo club located in Orange County, it is one of the newest and most unique spaces available in the Orange County area. The club will offer guests one-of-a-kind polo experiences when they book their celebrations at the venue. Offerings range from an exhibition polo match, the perfect accompaniment to cocktail hour, to an intro to polo clinic or group lessons, where more adventurous visitors can saddle up and try their hand at the sport. The property’s picturesque views and rolling hills lend the perfect backdrop for weddings, celebrations and experiences for non-profit organizations, lifestyle brands, and private clients. We sat down with Shelley Geiler, owner of the OC Polo Club, to learn more about the Geiler family’s history and love of the sport of polo, the inspiration behind the club and what drew them to the Rancho Silverado Stables property.

Claiborne & Lime: What’s the story behind the Orange County Polo Club? Shelley Geiler: The club had its start over 30 years ago at a stable near Anaheim Stadium and was originally known as the Winston Polo Club. It was here that my dad first became involved in polo; he would later take on the role of Club President. Over the years, the club has been located at many equestrian facilities throughout Orange County. Recently, our family jumped at the chance to ensure that OC Polo will always have a place to call home in Orange County. In 2015, we purchased an older commercial stable that had fallen into disrepair. In order to comply with current building and fire codes, it became clear that we would have to start from scratch. In the end, we built a brand-new state-of-the-art polo and event facility. The new ranch includes two polo arenas, a Jumbotron, stabling for over 60 horses and a clubhouse that acts as a central gathering place for family, club members, and friends. C&L: Tell us a bit about your new facility Rancho Silverado Stables… SG: Located in Silverado Canyon, Rancho Silverado is the final and permanent home to the Orange County Polo Club. Having seen so many stables in Orange County close down due to encroaching development, it was very important to my father that the property be passed down for generations and remain equestrian use. Now that we own the land, and are operating the stables ourselves, we’ve been able to build a permanent facility based on the knowledge that we’ve gained over the last 30 years.We built the clubhouse right next to the arena, for watching the games and enjoying post-match asado with family and friends. In addition, we built a locker room for the club members and the stabling has been designed with polo horses in mind. C&L: Who designed the plans, and what element of the design are you most excited about? SG: The whole design process has been a very collaborative affair.There are so many different elements that come into play when you are designing for horses and people.We were very lucky to find Tim Smith, of WynnSmith Landscape Architecture. He designed the layout of the site and provided a lot of encouragement and expertise along the way. He had extensive experience with horses and that expertise was crucial in every aspect.

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My dear friend, Lithe Sebesta, of Lithe Sebesta Design, was my collaborator from start to finish. She started working on this project before we even closed escrow, and her careful attention to detail and ability to take chances created a personal and uniquely California feeling throughout the property. Plus, she is a vintage shopper extraordinaire so there was no source too far or too rare to search for a unique item or detail.We bought things from as far afield as England, France, the East Coast, Buenos Aires, and even went on a shopping trip to Mexico City. My goal was to build something that fit within the vernacular and rich history of California, and specifically Silverado Canyon. The Ranch is located near the site of an old coal mining town called Carbondale, and portions of the area were part of the former Mexican land grant, Rancho Lomas de Santiago. I have to say that I am most excited about the Clubhouse because it is the place where everyone wants to be at the end of the day to swap stories and talk horse. C&L: What can you tell us about the members at the club? SG: Members of the Orange County Polo Club, past and present, have come from all different socio-economic backgrounds with a varying degree of horse experience and athletic ability. They have ranged in age from 10 to 80 years old.We have had former fighter pilots, race car drivers, accomplished equestrians and people who squeal with delight when they break out of a trot. Most people start out because it is on their “bucket list” but then, after one lesson, they are hooked. My father is 76 years old and he is showing no signs of hanging up the mallet. Heather Perkins, who is our club manager, was 15 years old when she started grooming horses for the club in Huntington Beach; she now runs our polo and riding school. She taught her father how to play and now her husband plays, and her son will hopefully join my girls one day on the OC Polo interscholastic team. Right now, I think we have at least five other families who play with a spouse or child or both.There is nothing more heartwarming or hilarious than hearing a kid tell his mom “good shot” after a play, or a wife yelling in the heat of a moment at her husband because she thinks he’s fouled her (and he probably has!). My dad always says, the people make the club. We are so fortunate to have people,

like Heather and her family, who share our dedication to the sport and dedicate their time and effort to make the club what it is today. C&L: What’s your earliest horse-related memory, and was it love at first sight? SG: My earliest memory of being on a horse was on a gentle old quarter horse on my great-uncle’s cattle ranch in Arizona. I was about three-and-a-half years old and I think I rode that poor horse from dawn until dusk. It was definitely love at first sight. C&L: Who started riding first – you or your dad? SG: My father grew up riding on ranches in Arizona during family visits with his cousins, and worked many summers driving cattle for local ranchers there. Back at home in Los Angeles, his mother and sister both rode, so the whole family was pretty horsey. C&L: We hear there’s a great story behind your dad’s love affair with polo… can you share it with us? SG: I started riding hunter jumpers when I was 7 years old. After a while, my dad couldn’t take being on the sidelines any longer, so he donned the breeches and velvet hat and joined me on the local show circuit. One day my mother walked into a tack store near one of the horse shows and saw a sign for polo lessons. She thought to herself that it would make a great birthday present for my dad to give him ONE polo lesson. When he came home from the lesson at Winston Polo Club, he said it was the most fun he had ever had. I think he sold everything he could get his hands on, and bought his first polo pony within a month. The rest is history. C&L: Does your mom ride as well? SG: My mom doesn’t love to ride, but she is our biggest supporter. She has been at every horse show or polo match cheering us on, and making it all possible. When my father or I get caught up in the competitive moment or the frustrations of trying to run a club, she is always there reminding us of what is important. C&L: When and how did you discover polo? SG: When my dad first started playing, I was in junior high school and still riding my hunter/jumper horse. But I loved to go to the polo barn with him, help tack up the horses and warm his horse up for him. This usually entailed my getting on and galloping around the arena as fast as I could


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Shelley Geiler, photo © Cameron Gardner

until someone came out to stop me before I wore the horse out for the chukker. It was so exhilarating and not something you got to do in my world, so it was very tempting. It wasn’t long before I was spending more time at the polo barn and less at the show barn. It took me awhile to learn how to hit the ball though because I am left handed and you have to play polo right handed. We used to drive up to the LA Equestrian Center to watch the high goal professional games and it was magical to watch them play at such high speeds. There would be thousands of people there to watch the games, and the stars that came along to see the show. One of my earliest and funniest memories was playing in a polo tournament out in the Desert with Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees, when I was about 13 years old. I was so star struck. I think he found it very amusing that a teenager in the 80s knew who he was. C&L: What do you like most about polo vs. other equestrian sports like jumping? SG: I love being on a horse, whether its playing polo, sorting cattle at the Circle S Ranch, or trail riding with my kids. Just being on a horse makes you feel better about yourself and the world around you.That being said, polo is obviously my favorite thing to do on a horse because there is nothing else like it. You get to hit a ball, engage in intense strategy

with teammates of all ages and skill levels, and ride your horse – all while playing a game. The camaraderie between horse and rider, and the rider and teammates, is so unique, and obviously, the speed component is a draw for the adrenaline junkie.The fact that I get to play a game with my father, my kids, old friends and cherished equine companions is a dream come true.There is also a wonderful social component that comes along with playing polo.We have a lot of families where one person starts playing and before you know it the whole family is playing.There are not many sports where you get to play with people of all different backgrounds, skill levels, young and old. For me, there’s no better way to spend the day than with family and friends at the polo club. C&L: We know the club is now available to book for private and corporate events… what do you think are the most unique features of having an event on the property? SG: There’s really nothing else like it. As soon as you get off the main road, you are out in the country, and yet only 30 minutes from the coast.You feel like you have been transported to another time and place. When you arrive and see the horses and the buildings that remind one of old California, your shoulders just relax immediately. But at the same time, you have a state-of-the-art facility at your fingertips. It is bespoke and then some.

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by Laurie Berglie photos courtesy of Julie Ferris

An Atlanta Loft Turned Masterpiece


ou may know Julie Ferris for her stunning equestrian portraits and ability to capture the soul of a horse with a paintbrush.You may follow her on Instagram where she shares her latest commissioned pieces and other artistic pursuits. What you may not know is that she calls the Buckhead area of Atlanta home, and she happily shares her two bedroom condo with her dachshunds, Gretchen Wieners and George Louis. A Home in Historic Buckhead Julie purchased her 2005 high-rise loft condo in April of 2018 and moved in two months later. It is on the 5th/6th floors and located approximately 15 minutes from the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. It is a two story loft with airy 30ft ceilings in the main room and 15ft ceilings in the others. “The oversized windows are initially what I fell in love with and the beautiful light that fills the space because of them,” Julie recalls. “I had some major issues with a renovation project when I first moved in, so it was rough for a while with no master bath and no kitchen for months. But as of October

2018, everything was finally corrected and completed, and I finished moving into my home and really set out to make it mine.” The town of Buckhead was purchased for $650 in 1838 by Henry Irby and consists of the 202 acres surrounding the present intersection of Peachtree, Roswell, and West Paces Ferry Roads. By the late 1800s, Buckhead had become a rural vacation spot for wealthy Atlantans. In the 1890s, the name was changed to Atlanta Heights, but it returned to its original name by the 1920s. The stylish Buckhead area is known for its upscale malls and the independent art galleries that cluster around Miami Circle and Bennett Street. Locals frequent the trendy restaurants along Peachtree Road and Roswell Road, while the younger crowd hangs out at lively bars and clubs. Marrying the Old & New Julie has always been that horse crazy girl. She was five or six when she went to horse camp, which led to her begging for riding lessons. “In elementary school, people knew me for my horse drawings. Though I took a break from riding in high school to pursue

tennis, horses always came first. Every chance I had I would go riding, and when it was time for college, I knew I wanted to ride on an equestrian team. Once I decided to go to The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), my plan was to ride on the team, major in Painting and minor in Equine Studies. I wanted to lay a strong foundation for the creative career I wanted to pursue as an equestrian artist, and I am so thankful for the education and amazing experiences I received while I was at SCAD.” It is now, of course, only natural that one of Julie’s biggest passions in life is expressed in how she decorates and designs her living space. “I love finding ways to incorporate equestrian design into my home without it feeling too horsey or overwhelming. I like simple, equestrian-related objects or hints that are more subtle and elegant. I think every home should have at least some sort of equestrian art or decor. Horses make our lives, and our homes, better.” One quick glance around her condo and it’s easy to see that Julie’s equestrian influence is distinct yet subtle. “I would describe my style as extremely transitional

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with a strong Scandinavian influence while also absorbing rustic, modern, French, and antique elements. I have always had trouble narrowing down my style, and so I enjoy the challenge of finding a way to make all of the things I like somehow work together. The vision for my home is for it to feel comfortable and functional, yet modern. I have always been drawn to history and I love antiques, but I find that I like them most when they are contrasted with simple, more geometric pieces, so I try to marry the old and the new wherever I can. When anyone enters my home, including me, I want it to feel simultaneously welcoming and design-focused.” Horses in the Home Julie’s home has a very relaxed feel, as she gravitates towards whites and neutrals with black and brown accents. “I am very much a tonalist and don’t like using bright colors, only using them in very inconspicuous places where they don’t attract too much attention. I love organic and wood textures, and anything linen or marble. I really dislike the color red and anything super bold and bright for walls or furniture or prominent decor items.” With large windows and high ceilings, Julie has worked to enhance the existing architectural elements in her home. “I planned my bedroom around the large equine oil painting I did titled, ‘It is Plain to See,’ to hang over my bed. I opted to surround it with two oversized mirrors that would also help accentuate the 15ft ceilings and vertically expand the space.” Another favorite piece can be found in the living room where Julie’s “Pictograph” media console table anchors the space. The small, gold-framed paintings which flank the television subtly draw the eye down to the bronze horse-head bookends. Other personal touches are found in the paintings Julie herself has created, such as ‘Architectural.’ It is the first in a body of work she has planned which will focus on the horse, “as architecture.” Like any décor enthusiast, Julie is always on the hunt for unique pieces that will work with her space and enhance her equestrian style. It is important to Julie that her home come together very organically, gradually filling it with cherished objects collected over time. “I would be thrilled to find some antique equestrian lithograph prints and etchings.


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I also would love to find a unique bronze equestrian statue or oil painting. I love to incorporate the old with the new and live with little special pieces of the past.” An In-Home Studio Julie has been an equestrian artist for six years, and until this move, she has always had a separate studio space. After evaluating the rooms in her condo, however, she decided to merge her work and home life. “My studio is now in the comfort of my home. This has been more enjoyable than I originally thought because it helps to simplify things for me, and I don’t have to worry about driving anywhere or the complications of needing to work late sometimes. All of my personal and work things are in one place, under one roof, rather than spread out in multiple spaces. I turned one of the bedrooms into my studio, hung extra ceiling lights, and made it a room dedicated just to


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my art. It is smaller than some of my past studios but the limited space forces me not to take on as much work at one time, which I have been notorious for doing. My main requirement for what I wanted in a studio was enough space for me to work on a few paintings at once and also a large enough wall space for a life-size painting, which the 15ft ceilings provide for me.” It is in this room that Julie lets her talents flow, but she is mindful to still get out of the house and enjoy her town of Buckhead. “Having a home studio also makes it very easy to have the dogs with me and be able to keep an eye on my work at all times. I initially thought I would go stir crazy and get lonely living and working from home, but I have loved it. I do make sure to get outside to walk the dogs or meet a friend for lunch or dinner, or wander around somewhere cool

in Atlanta when I need to get out to clear my head. Balance is key!” Even though Julie has completed quite a few house projects, she still has some small renovations in mind for the future. “I would love to add a gas fireplace or two. I would also like to add classic “Provençal French” limestone rock to the wall in my entryway. Most of the major projects, however, I had completed when I moved in: sanding and re-staining the wood floors with a light ashcolored stain, renovating both bathrooms, resurfacing the kitchen cabinets, and adding new quartz countertops with a honed marble backsplash.” Julie has designed a tranquil, soothing space where she can come home from visiting her horse Vienna at the barn, unwind with her dogs, and maybe grab a paintbrush and create a masterpiece or two.

THE SHOW JUMPING WORLD KNOWS A BIT A B O U T W H AT I T F E E L S L I K E T O F L Y. B U T I F Y O U A R E L O O K I N G T O TA K E I T E V E N H I G H E R , A N A E R O B AT I C F L I G H T E X P E R I E N C E I S T H E P E R F E C T WAY T O D O I T. aerobatic flight experiences for pilots and non-pilots aerobatic training and full service flight training scenic tours of the Bay Area M P AV IATIO N | MAR K POLL A RD C FI, C FII, MEI, ATP | BAY A REA , C A MP - AV IATION .COM | 9 2 5 -5 9 5 -19 8 0



by Taryn Young

SIRAI STUD A Kenyan Breeding Stable

Located at the foot of Mount Kenya and just miles from the equator, a small stud farm sits alongside one of the most beautiful conservancies in the world. Sirai Stud is nestled within the 38,000 acre Borana Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya, a place endangered species and big game call home. Horse & Style was honored with the opportunity to “peek behind the gates” and unveil what this elite breeding stable and exclusive destination is all about.


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photo Š Max Melesi


photo Š Max Melesi

Homebreds Sunszot and Sakurå in front of Mount Kenya, photo © Max Melesi


is no coincidence that the Spencers founded Sirai Stud on this lush piece of sprawling property thick with lions, rhinos and giraffes. The Spencers are extremely passionate about conservation, and their love for the horse is deep-rooted. Sarah Spencer had always dreamt of owning a stud farm and running a herd of horses on a ranch. Her dreams started to be realized in 2012, when Sirai Stud was founded in conjunction with their African home, Sirai House. Perched at an elevation of 7,000 feet, on Kenya’s Laikipia plateau, Sirai Stud strategically and selectively crossbreeds horses and places them for sale in Africa. The stable itself is comprised of 15 stalls, along with a stock room for breeding, a lab and a tack room. But one element that certainly makes this stud farm vastly different from others is the Stud’s location, surrounded by acres and acres of safari animals in their natural habitat. “Breed the best to the best and hope for the best” is the Sirai Stud vision. The ideal Sirai Horse is well-suited for today’s safari adventure and general-purpose riding. Hacking out on safari and relaxation are all very much a part of these horses’ lives. In Spencer’s quest to produce the best Sirai Horse, the stable originally sourced the top bloodlines available in East Africa,

but the choices were limited. Spencer and her team then traveled the globe to carefully select stallions with renowned bloodlines to further enhance the pedigree, temperament and conformation of Sirai offspring. Spencer, with a natural affinity for horses and a keen eye for conformation, sought out the very best. The chosen breeds, with their unique characteristics, play a significant role in producing these horses with a range of desirable qualities. I’ve had the pleasure of conversing with Venetia Philipps, the Stud Manager of Sirai Stud. Venetia grew up amongst Europe’s leading stud farms, spent time in racing stables outside of London, England, and later traveled to the U.S. where she furthered her equestrian education in Wyoming. Philips also lived in Southern and East Africa for a number of years, but in 2010, she settled in Kenya. After years of equine globetrotting, she found herself at Sirai Stud in 2012, and has worked at the Stud since its inception. Together, Philipps and Spencer have worked to seek out the best, and most athletic, bloodlines to produce heavier-boned horses that will improve the quality of East African horses for years to come. Thanks to Spencer and Philipps’s breeding expertise, Sirai Stud has grown immensely over the past seven years, but they are in

great company. The breeding program is mentored by Dr. Sandra Wilsher and Professor Twink Allen. Allen is one of the most influential and recognizable figures in the field of equine reproduction. For 50 years, he and Wilsher have been at the forefront of scientific discovery into reproductive endocrinology and embryo and placental development. Their expertise is a wonderful benefit to Sirai Stud, which offers both Embryo Transfer (ET) and Artificial Insemination on-site. While the process of breeding may be foreign to some, this A-Class crew has it down to a science.When a client is ready to breed their mare, Philipps provides a selection of suitable stallions for the client.The Sirai Stud team then provides support services, inclusive of expert veterinary advice.The welfare and management of the mares and progeny are crucial to Sirai Stud and the team ensures that all mares are closely monitored and treated with the utmost care throughout the process.


ince the beginning of Sirai Stud, the breeding crosses have involved a number of Friesians, Thoroughbreds and Boerperds. While the Friesian and Thoroughbred breeds are familiar to those of us in the U.S., the Boerperd breed might not be. The Boerperd is indigenous to South Africa and is said to have originated from

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photo © Armory Macleod

photo © Armory Macleod

the Cape Horse. Boerperds are renowned for their endurance, intelligent spirit and toughness. Combined with the noble good looks and hardiness of a Friesian and the athletic, high-spirited temperament of the Thoroughbred Sirai Stud has produced many trainable horses with plenty of scope. Many of the horses bred and sold at Sirai Stud have gone on to do well in endurance riding and general purpose riding with both children and adults. One horse, sold to Safaris Unlimited, the oldest and most respected horse safari company on the African continent, was awarded the Safari Cup, presented to an individual horse in recognition of successfully completing all of the safaris that year. Another Sirai homebred was runner-up that same year, demonstrating the success of the Stud’s breeding program. The love for the ‘hot blood’ of the Thoroughbred runs deep for both Spencer and Philipps. Spencer owned race horses in England and Philipps grew up in Newmarket, England – the home of British Thoroughbred racing. Together, they decided to start injecting a bit of the Thoroughbred into safari horses at the Stud. Additionally, Sirai Stud jumped at the opportunity to support the local Ngong Racecourse in Nairobi, Kenya by raising and developing a number of South African Thoroughbreds. The Stud typically runs these horses at Ngong for a few years before retiring them for breeding. Racing is a popular sport in Kenya and Sirai Stud was eager to get involved in a different equestrian discipline. In the Stud’s first year of racing, their colt Freewheeler was crowned the Kenya Derby Champion and went on to win several other races. Freewheeler now stands proudly at Sirai Stud as a racing stallion but also happily treks out on safaris as one of the lead horses.


photo © Jay Macleod


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very horse at the Stud is cared for in the most precise ways. In Kenya, there are no internationally approved or imported feeds, so the staff is left to formulate the best feeding program for each individual horse. Situated on the equator, and at a high altitude, the Sirai Stud horses eat the natural grass that grows in abundance. For the horses in training, the staff will generally feed a mix of locally-sourced grains rich in protein, such as barley from a neighbor’s farm. They’ll also integrate fats like milled sunflower cake or bran for additional carbohydrates. For young horses, nutrition is tremendously important. The staff will often test soil,

Two days old: Uni (Kyoto x Party Trick), an embryo transfer foal from an impressive eventing lineage, photo Š Max Melesi

Borana Conservancy, photo Š Jeremy Goss

photos © Max Melesi

water and feed to see which vitamins and minerals they are lacking naturally. Philipps and her staff will then import supplements containing certain vitamins to accommodate for any deficiencies.

the project grew. A conservancy is a body of land set aside for the preservation of pristine terrain, specific species, or natural resources; and the Borana Conservancy is dedicated to the protection of all three.

Training programs vary from horse to horse at Sirai Stud based on their age, discipline and their jobs. Many of the older safari horses, who are owned by the Spencers, are kept in great shape with interval training to maintain their fitness.Variety is the key to success for many of the horses – maintaining interest and contentment in their work.When the horses aren’t out on a safari following a herd of elephants or spending the night under the stars, they enjoy the rolling acres of turnout under the supervision of the Stud staff.

The Spencer family became shareholders in the Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the sustainable conservation of critical habitat and wildlife. Their mission is to provide a sustainable ecosystem, in partnership with their neighbors and community, for critically endangered species on the brink of extinction. Their holistic approach commits tourism, ranching and other enterprises, to building local livelihoods and enhancing ecosystem integrity.

The Stud has recently acquired more land to the southeast side of the current stables, which will soon be developed into the hub of the Sirai breeding program. This, of course, in addition to the magnificent 38,000 acres of the Borana Conservancy to ride through and explore.

The sad truth is that the wildlife, and the environment on which they depend, are facing severe threats, such as commercial poaching and the fight for natural resources. Even so, Borana has seen animals who were severely endangered prosper over the last few years.

Why Borana?

What does ‘Sirai’ Mean?

For several years, the Spencer family had searched Kenya for the perfect spot to build a contemporary East African home. In 2009, a serendipitous meeting was held with a thirdgeneration member of a Kenyan family who established the Borana Conservancy – and

Sirai takes its name from the Maasai word for the euphorbia tree, which, along with wild olive trees and cedars, dot the ridge on which the house and stable sit. Every view from the house and the stable is picturesque and Sirais are in plain sight.

‘Fall in love with the World again’ is the Sirai Stud slogan and after researching this remarkable destination, I think we’ve already done that. Guests staying on property can delight in Horse & Style’s favorite pastime: spectacular riding safaris! Experienced riders can delight in exploring Borana from the saddle on an early morning hack or a ride out to an elephant herd. For the ultimate riding experience, the Sirai team is more than willing to prepare an overnight safari with exhilarating, adventurous days on horseback and nights in their luxury campsite where none of the comforts of home are left behind. Although this destination will be a dream for many, we’ll bask in the stories and photos captured and shared by the Sirai Stud staff. Interested in a Sirai Horse? Due to the current export and strict import regulations, it has been difficult to spread the Sirai Stud bloodlines outside of East Africa, but the staff is happy to speak with anyone who may be interested. For more information on the stallions that are available through Sirai Stud, and associated fees, please contact Venetia Philipps at To learn more about Sirai Stud, visit or follow along on Instagram @SiraiStud and @SiraiHouse.

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photos by Cathrin Cammett


Little and Surf’s Up recently won the 3'3" Junior Hunter Classic Circuit Award sponsored by The Plaid Horse

At age ten, after years of pleading with her parents, Lauren Little finally succeeded in convincing them to let her begin riding at a local schooling barn. As so many of us have, she fell in love with the sport the moment she sat on a horse...


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One year into her riding career, after competing at a handful of in-barn schooling shows, Little decided to become a member of her local Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team, “Showing in IEA gave me a great taste of what the real riding world was like. I loved watching the older girls ride, as I gained experience from riding different horses.” While competing in IEA, Little began leasing a horse and showing on the local “A” circuit. Her interest in the sport continued to grow, and with the support of her parents, she was finally able to purchase her first horse Regalo (a.k.a. Reggie). “Reggie was truly the one who got me hooked on the sport and helped me realize that riding was something I wanted to pursue whole-heartedly. Although Reggie is now retired, he will always have a special place in my heart,” said Little fondly. Following success at larger shows, Little was met with increased opportunities to lease and/or buy new horses, and over the past year her riding career has truly taken off. In September, Little was awarded Classic Circuit Grand Championships in both the hunters and the jumpers at the conclusion of Blenheim EquiSport’s

summer season. Recently, Little learned that she qualified for the AON/USHJA National Championships held in November at The Las Vegas National Horse Show. She is over the moon at the prospect of traveling to Vegas and is looking forward to all of the fall shows. Horse & Style: Describe your riding (apparel) style: Lauren Little: I would consider my riding style to be very classic. I love the look of a navy hunt coat and tan breeches. H&S: What is your head-to-toe riding outfit? LL: At home, I tend to wear colored breeches and Lululemon shirts. I wear a variety of belts and socks at home, but I can’t ride without my Parlantis and Premium Miss Shield. H&S: Do you wear anything for good luck? LL: Although I'm not very superstitious, I do wear my favorite pair of Dreamers & Schemers socks every Sunday. I call them my “Money Socks.” H&S: What are some of your favorite equestrian brands? LL: Some of my favorite brands are Samshield, The Fit Equestrian apparel,

Hermès, Kingsland gloves, Struck Apparel, Equiline, Essex show shirts, Parlanti boots, and Dreamers & Schemers socks. H&S: How do you handle high pressure situations, for example, right before you enter a big class? LL: I go over my course a solid 5,000 times, and try to remember to breathe! H&S: What are your riding goals? LL: My biggest riding goals are to qualify and compete at indoors with my hunters, eventually show at Devon, and compete in an international hunter derby. While getting more experience under my belt in the show ring, I really developed a passion for hunters. Although I do love the equitation and jumpers, there is something about the hunters that makes it different from the rest. H&S: What’s one thing you never go in the ring without? LL: The support of my family and team. My five years of riding have been amazing, but I wouldn't be able to pursue this sport without the help and support of my parents and trainer. I am so thankful that I get to experience such a cool sport. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!

Little won the final Veredus Low Children’s Jumper Classic at Blenheim EquiSports aboard Ultra D’Eclipse and was also named the leading Children’s Jumper rider



by Catie Staszak photos by Otomí/Humberto Pacheco


the Rise of Team Mexico Show Jumping


last year’s Palm Beach Masters Series, Team Mexico made a splash – a literal one, that is. The four-man squad of Fernando Martinez Sommer, Eugenio Garza Perez, Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado and Manuel Gonzales Dufrane jumped in the lake at Deeridge Farms, fully dressed, after recording a statement-making victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA. The young men’s ages averaged just 24.5 years, the result of a shift in show jumping culture in their home nation. Mexico’s deep pool of riders combined to sweep the 2019 North and Central American and Caribbean division of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series and to take home the team silver medal at the Pan American Games (PER) in August.Team Mexico didn’t just quietly signal its readiness to contend on the world stage; they have shouted it unabashedly from the mountaintops. Mexican Equestrian Federation (or the FEM, as the locals call it) President Juan Manuel Cossio told me the nation’s seemingly meteoric rise in the sport has been a plan long in the making. He attributes the ascent up the ranks to Mexican riders’ deep, enduring passion for the sport; a strong camaraderie


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between veterans and young riders; and the establishment of a strong show circuit within the country. Working on the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North America League, I have traveled to both Guadalajara and Leon; I’ve also had the pleasure of working at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City. But I never got a clearer picture of the state of Mexican show jumping than when I journeyed to Otomí for its May circuit this past summer. Otomí is located in the heart of San Miguel de Allende, a historic city in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato; the show is named after the Otomí tribe that historically occupied the area. The drive to the venue is authentic, down a long, winding cobblestone roadway past acres of farmland. Behind the grand entrance are two grass jumping fields, a sand arena, a large domed VIP structure, an on-site full-service restaurant and – something I have yet to see anywhere else – a full scale, on-site residential community. In Mexico, hospitality is paramount, and show owners Eduardo Leon and Daniel Rihan were exceptionally welcoming to me – as were show manager Mary Walker and event director Francisco “Pancho” Tello.

All four have worked to make Otomí a fixture on the Mexican circuit – and they have, with six FEI weeks on the calendar (two each in February/March, May and September/October). There is always an abundance of international shows in a given week in the U.S., but the Mexican calendar really works, because the FEM has created a circuit where each show series flows naturally into another – Mexico City, San Miguel (Otomí), Balvanera, Xalapa (Coapexpan) and La Silla (Monterrey). And all the riders are so supportive of one another. On a given weekday – a quieter show day – the VIP tent at Otomí is still buzzing and cheering for clear rounds, regardless of division. The main meal of the day is “la comida,” which happens at 3 p.m. The horse show puts out an elaborate spread of both buffet style and made-to-order dishes, and if you haven’t eaten or don’t appear to have enough food on your plate, anyone within arm’s length will be quick to remedy the issue. The line for comida is always long, and every exhibitor present will stop by your table to embrace you, welcome you and ask how you’re doing. I had great conversations with Nicolas Pizarro, the true equestrian businessman of Mexico; Juan Manuel Luzardo, who won

Staszak at the Live Aqua Hotel

Bruno Cavalheiro Rebello (BRA) and Chabello, winners of three straight 2019 Otomí Grand Prix events, became just the second rider in the venue’s history to win the prestigious Challenger Cup

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel

the very first Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ event in Mexico; and Alberto Aldana, who famously developed Beezie Madden’s Darry Lou. He told me the story of when Beezie and husband John Madden visited his farm to try the horse.

Otomí Grand Prix top finishers celebrate with a champgne toast

the luxurious hotels of Live Aqua and Hotel Rosewood, which has the most breathtaking views of the San Miguel skyline. It’s a true tourist destination that you won’t want to leave off your bucket list.

Luzardo, while riding for Uruguay, is a fixture in Mexico, basing close to Guadalajara; the always-kind rider even recognized me out of my typical horse show context in town and invited me to enjoy lunch with his team. It would be impossible to list every rider who provided thoughtful conversation about the sport; I have never left a venue with more compliments on the live stream or new followers on social media.

There’s a large expat community, and nearly every restaurant menu is in both Spanish and English. Each dining establishment is nicer than the next, with a more stunning rooftop terrace. I fell in love with the views at Atrio, the authentic cuisine at Tio Lucas, and the stunning vineyards at Tres Raíces. Mostly, I fell in love with the young talent coming up the pipeline; 8-year-olds Bingo Ste Hermelle and Golden Diamonds look like serious horses.

I won’t deny it: The first time I went to Mexico, I was a little nervous. But San Miguel is not only one of the safest cities in Mexico; it’s probably one of the safest cities in the world. Walking the streets of “Al Dama,” known as the “Fifth Avenue of San Miguel,” you’ll never feel unsafe – unless you’re worried about spending too much in the authentic Mexican shops full of handmade goods. I experienced the full tour, from the art district, to the Otomí pyramids of la Cañada de la Virgen, to historic churches like la Parroquia – which has a jump modeled after it at Otomí – to

The young riders look serious, too. Daniel Rihan, Jr., 18, bested a field of veterans, including coach John Perez, to win the CSI2* Clasico; and Maya Ines Denis, 16, was catapulted from the Otomí May circuit to a team gold medal in the junior division at the 2019 North American Youth Championships in North Salem, NY. I, meanwhile, left Otomí to find more riders from Mexico on the FEI definite entries than from any other nation at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Canada at Thunderbird Show Park. There were 15 CSIO5* riders representing Mexico;

Tres Raíces

meanwhile, there were six for home nation Canada and 11 for the U.S. One of my very favorite quotes is from writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie: “Enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” This describes the show jumping community in Mexico. I’d be hard pressed to find a more passionate, enthusiastic group of athletes. They’re serious about their craft, too – and their success is undeniable. Without a doubt, Team Mexico is here to stay.

Staszak at Hotel Rosewood

    @catiestaszakmedia @catiestaszak @catiestaszak

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1. Newsroom, ridden by Elizabeth Rock (left), and Fine Art, ridden by Pamela Cibula (right), winners of the pair class, are presented with the Caroline Hunt Challenge trophy 2. Claire Dart 3. The Russell Family present Karen Crane with the Special Achievement award 4. Warrenton Horse Show announcer Richard Isner 5. Polly Cutting and brother Jack present the Hesperides trophy 6. Eliza Van der Woude and Hunt'n Around


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Photos © Stephen N. Long/Phoxhunt (1,3–6), Polly Cutting (2)

A S K dr.

Q: A:

Q: A:


I am a high-level jumper rider with many successes under my belt, but I am currently in a low spot in my career. My trainer says I think too much. How do I stop thinking when riding but remain focused on the plan, numbers and course? Although this may seem crazy, riding is simple if you orient yourself toward feeling rather than thinking.You can analyze and discuss as much as you want after the fact, but during the walk, warm-up and ring experience, it is essential to allow your body to stay present in order to feel each stride.When observing and walking the track, imagine being on course with your horse. Pull your shoulders back, engage your core, close your fingers, fix your eye on the jump while walking the rollback and consciously feel the cues in your body as though you were riding.This purposeful connection between mind and body will allow your subconscious to be privy to your intentions.When actually riding the course, your body will intrinsically be ready to execute so your mind can stay

present with each stride and the track. Practice this at home first so that you build the confidence and habit of letting your mind and body work in this synchronistic way. I often mention devoting yourself to a daily mindfulness or quietude practice to support present moment experience. All you have to do is sit quietly for five minutes with your eyes closed. As thoughts come up, release them and focus on your breath gently entering and exiting your nostrils.There is no such thing as a good or bad practice. Some days the mind is active and others it rests easily. Just observe the experience and commit to a daily practice.Your mind will evolve, your attention will sharpen, and your emotions will soften.

I am a junior rider showing in equitation and the jumpers. I have had a decent season, but the year is coming to an end and I have not reached my goals. Many of my friends have moved up multiple divisions and I feel like a failure. I love riding and showing but wonder if I should keep going? First and foremost, hang in there! Goals are in place, then life happens! Look at the whole year as a journey and assess the ways in which you have grown. We learn from adversity and challenge, and get our confidence to keep going from our successes. Also, successes are not always in the form of blue ribbons and levels, but in achieving heightened focus for an entire round or schooling session.

what you smell, taste, feel, see and hear as you go. There is no good or bad here, just experience. After becoming comfortable with this home practice, take it to the barn. Become aware of the present moment like a horse by using your senses, not your inner narrative. By the time you apply this practice on the horse and in the ring, it will become a natural behavior. Once you have learned to engage with your experience, rather than with the story you tell yourself and the world about your experience, you will feel differently inspired. When you shift your gauge of what success looks like and start focusing on your growth as a rider, your passion will be reignited. Commit to the practice and let me know how it goes!

Focusing on present moment experience allows you to grow even when making mistakes. Learning to apply present moment attention begins off the horse. Observe yourself in simple situations: brushing your teeth or walking from room to room in your house. Observe your experience from a sensory perspective by noticing

Dr. Carrie Wicks divides her time between her private sport psychology consulting and family therapy practice, traveling with athletes, and writing. She completed her doctorate in psychology while researching the mental practices of equestrian athletes. Her passions include horses, yoga, mountain biking, skiing, and time in nature with animals. If you would like to ask a question for this column or ask about a complimentary Performance Strategy session, please contact Carrie.

Carrie Wicks, Ph.D. | Photo Š Ashley Neuhof

| summer 2019 ¡


B E H I N D the




It is hard to pinpoint whether Kristie Nichols’s first love was horses or photography, as the two seemed to go hand-in-hand. Quite frankly, she has always been a bit obsessed with both. Her most cherished memories are of carefree days spent at the barn, photographing friends and their horses with her stepdad’s Canon F-1 film camera. Since then, her riding has become more focused and purposeful, and her photography has evolved into an art she is proud to share with others. Nichols began her photography career as an understudy for national show photographer Don Stine. In 2011, she launched her own business, Moonfyre Photography, named after her Arabian horse. As she began traveling to, and photographing, shows on her own, Nichols was able to focus on the more creative aspects of photography and find her own artistic style. Since founding Moonfyre Photography, Nichols has served as the official photographer for hundreds of shows and equestrian events. Her work in the show ring, combined with her lifelong love of horses, has given her a unique blend of experience that allows her to capture the genuine connection between horse and rider in a way that is both meaningful and artistic. Today, Nichols’s lens is focused outside the arena. Based in Houston, Texas, she travels to barns throughout the country to shoot custom portrait sessions. Her goal is to capture each client’s unique personality and create beautiful images that will be treasured for a lifetime.   @moonfyrephotography  @moonfyrephotography Photo of Kristie Nichols © Mary Phillipp-Neiberg


· fall 2019

fall 2019 ·



Equus Now!

8956 Cotter St. Lewis Center, OH 43035

Gallops Saddlery Shop these select tack store locations in the United States and Canada to purchase your copy of Horse & Style! Do you want to see Horse & Style near you? Let us know at

Absolute Horse Inc. 2221 NE 3rd St., Suite B Bend, OR 97701

17937 SW McEwan Ave. Portland, OR 97224

Horse Country Saddlery 60 Alexandria Pike Warrenton, VA 20186

Maryland Saddlery 14924 Falls Rd Butler, MD 21023

Calabasas Saddlery

Olson’s Tack Shop

Equestrian’s Concierge LLC

Tack N Rider


Valencia Saddlery

23998 Craftsman Rd. Calabasas, CA 91302

7600 Lakeville Highway Petaluma, CA 94954

Highway 22X W Calgary, AB, Canada CarolinaCoSpring2018_magQTR 2/21/2018 6:10 PM Page 1

11408 NE 2nd Place Bellevue, WA 98004

3031 Fortune Way, Suite A9 Wellington, FL 33414

11355 Foothill Blvd. Lake View Terrace, CA 91342

Aiken, South Carolina

Homes . Horses . History. Hospitality

Fire Tower Farm L

ocated in a popular equestrian area just ten minutes from downtown Aiken, this delightful horse farm offers a like new home and barn on eight acres of coastal Bermuda pasture. Encompassing over 2400 square feet, the contemporary home has high ceilings and wood floors and features a great room with fireplace and formal dining room open to custom kitchen with granite and breakfast bay. There are four bedrooms and two and a half baths, including master suite on main level, a screened porch and attached two car garage. For horses, there is a four stall center aisle barn and board fenced fields planted in established coastal Bermuda with sprinkler system. While the home has community water, a new well supplies water to the barn and fields. Fire Tower Farm is offered in move in condition. Offered exclusively by the Carolina Real Estate Company at $499,000

Courtney Conger 803.645.3308

Made for Manes Horse Show Emergency Kit

Always be competition ready with your Horse Show Emergency Kit! Each kit contains a hair net, safety pins, tweezers, blister pads and more! Available in five unique colors.

100% of proceeds goes to USEF Disaster Relief Fund


C A N you

stand it ?

CHAIN REACTION Leave it to Stella McCartney to inadvertently design the “it” ring bag for the most stylish of riders. The Eco Nylon Falabella GO Backpack is eco-friendly and ever so chic. With room for even the widest brimmed helmet, it really is the perfect ringside backpack!

Eco Nylon Falabella GO Backpack, Stella McCartney, $770


· fall 2019


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