Horse & Style Magazine Spring/Summer 2020

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Hannah Selleck A Singular Vision

USEF Junior Hunter National Championship July 17 - 19, 2020 HMI Equestrian Classic | AA July 22–26, 2020 Giant Steps Charity Classic | AA July 28 - August 2, 2020 HMI August Classic I | AA August 4 - 9, 2020 Split Rock Jumping Tour *Sonoma International CSI 2* Bonus Week August 26 - 30, 2020 *pending USEF/FEI Approval

Split Rock Jumping Tour Sonoma International CSI 2* September 2 - 6, 2020 Strides & Tides | A September 9 - 13, 2020 SHP Season Finale | A September 16 - 20, 2020

S O N O M A H O R S E PA R K . C O M I G & F B : @ S O N O M A H O R S E PA R K Photo © Alden Corrigan Media

132 56


106 118




6 | FROM THE PUBLISHER Publishing in a Pandemic

Compton Cowboys Peace Ride

14 | 10


16 | OUT

& ABOUT Winter Equestrian Festival

POP QUIZ Bates Saddles

& ABOUT World Equestrian Center

18 | PRO




Danielle Demers

Yes You Can

THE LINES Summer Reading List


28 | OUT

& ABOUT SRJT Lexington International



SPOTLIGHT Old Dominion Saddlery

34 | TREND

REPORT Band Together

35 | OUT

ABOUT “Take Me to Tokyo” Gala

Jeanette Gilbert



37 | FEATURE EquiFit



Taylor Griffiths-Madden

47 | NEW PRODUCT ALERT Alpha2EQ™ by Astaria Global

50 | RIDER SPOTLIGHT Laura Connaway

56 | H & S

HOME Congaree and Penn

64 | ST YLE

PROFILES The Bold & The Beautiful

66 | ON

THE COVER Hannah Selleck: A Singular Vision




THE BRAND Stephanie Reppas and October Designs

88 | NEW PRODUCT ALERT Purvida Healthy Horse

92 | WORKING Vanessa Hood




THE SEAMS REIGNS by Savannah Fellers

102 | HORSE Baranus

Pam Maley



Emily Pollard, Laurie Berglie, Pam Maley, Natalie Keller Reinert, Jeanette Gilbert, Alli Addison, Lila Gendal, Julie Unger, Ali Sirota, Jennifer Leon, Emily Daily, Catie Staszak, Amanda Mactas, Terri Roberson, Psy. D., Carrie Wicks, Ph. D. P H OTO G R A P H E R S

Juan Lamarca, Kimberlyn Beaudoin, Lindsey Long, Ashley Neuhof, Kind Media, Alden Corrigan Media, Tara Arrowood, James Berglie, Kathy Russell Photography, Shawn McMillen, The Book LLC, Dani Maczynski, Bill Roughen, SportFot, Stephanie Keeler Photography, Jump Media, Sandy Gregory, Zequi Gasparini, Kaitlyn Karssen, Erin Gilmore, Krissy Collett, Cathrin Cammett Photography/Showfolio, White Fence Equine Photography, Winslow Photography, Andrew Ryback, Katherine Hay, Stephon Oh

Jenny Pfanenstiel

110 | DESTINATION Palm Beach

116 | OUT

ABOUT JustWorld Gala &

118 | CURATED Andre Pater



124 | OUT

& ABOUT Desert Circuit

126 | CATIE’S COMMENTARY 128 | OUT & ABOUT Live Oak International


ON THE COVER: Hannah Selleck photographed by Juan Lamarca at Bedford Park, Wellington, FL; styled by Emma Werner; makeup by Gina Simone using CHANEL Beauty. Shawl: Loro Piana; Dress: Stella McCartney; Shoes: Sam Edelman 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 © 2020 Horse & Style Magazine LLC. TM

Kimberlyn Beaudoin


spring/summer 20 ·




STAND IT? Mad for Madras


134 | BUSINESS 136 | CAN YOU


spring/summer 2020

Sarah Appel

20 | OUT

22 | GRAZE




THINGS North Peak Farms




Pam Maley

Laurie Berglie

Jeanette Gilbert

Danielle Demers lives on the coast of Maine with her husband and son. 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 Editor & Art Director, her interests have been melded together more perfectly than she could have imagined.

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.

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.

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.

Alli Addison

Emily Pollard

Natalie Keller Reinert

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.

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.

Based in Central Florida, Natalie is a novelist and writer specializing in the equestrian lifestyle. Her books have a popular following around the world and sport several award nominations and wins, including the 2020 American Horse Publications’ fiction award for The Hidden Horses of New York. With an eclectic background spanning many disciplines, Natalie is always looking for her next adventure on horseback. Website:

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.

Julie Unger

Lila Gendal

Emily Daily

Amanda Mactas

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

Lila Gendal is a 3* event rider based in New England and Ocala, FL. She trains and competes her own Irish conn x TB gelding, Rollo who only stands at 15.3 and has taken her to some of the biggest competitions of her life. Lila rides and trains event horses for a living and if she’s not on a horse she’s either by the ocean or writing! Lila graduated from the University of Vermont in 2010 with a degree in political science.

After graduating from Virginia Tech with a BA in Creative Writing, Emily Daily became immersed in the equestrian world – she was a trainer, photographer, magazine editor, and now works full-time at Jump Media. In her free time, she enjoys painting pet portraits, riding her Connemara, and spending a day at the beach with her husband, daughter, and two corgis near their coastal home in South Carolina.

Amanda Mactas is a freelance writer based in New York City, who covers all things food, travel and lifestyle. In addition to Horse & Style, her work has appeared in Forbes, PureWow, Wine4Food, Greatist, and BELLA Magazine, where she currently serves as the Food, Travel and Accessories Editor. Keep up with her work @ManhattanTwist.

photo © JXB

Danielle Demers


· spring/summer 20

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F R O M the


Publishing in

a Pandemic B

y now, the tough reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has settled over all of us. And while the equestrian community often feels like a utopian world with its own rules and social guidelines, it too will be forever affected by this pandemic. From canceled horse shows and shut down barns to the recent cautious reopening of a number of events and facilities, horse show managements and equestrian businesses have been struggling to survive in these unpredictable times.

the silver linings in all of this has been having more time to spend at the barn with my daughters, Ella and Piper, and our pony Willy.

Here at Horse & Style Magazine, we have also been riding the COVID-19 roller coaster. How do we publish a magazine about horse shows when there aren’t any horse shows? While much of the content in H&S is lifestyle-driven, horse shows have always been at the core. Where does that leave us, and how do we get all this wonderful content we’ve already produced out to our readers? All these questions and more led us to take a breath and decide to combine our Spring and Summer 2020 issues into one. This issue’s stories are wide-ranging, from pre-COVID-19 events early in the year, to content we created during the pandemic, to a look into horse shows now taking place in the eye of the storm.

While the pandemic has taken a brutal toll on many businesses, some are finding ways to embrace the challenge and thrive. This past Spring, EquiFit quickly pivoted production of their iconic horse boots to making much-needed masks. Read more about the choice they made to give back to our community on page 37.

We appreciate the continued support from our advertisers, subscribers and horse show partners. We are grateful that we were able to bring this issue to fruition. What lies ahead for all of us is still unclear, but for now, we will keep working on celebrating our love of horses, fashion and equestrian sport! For me personally, the pandemic has put a hold on our overly-scheduled lives. PreCOVID-19 we had sports, gymnastics, music, school plays, PTA… you name it, we did it. With the abruptness of school ending and the sudden shift to homeschooling, one of


· spring/summer 20

Without further ado, I will now introduce you to our spectacular Spring/Summer 2020 issue. The dynamic Hannah Selleck graces this issue’s cover. To know Hannah is to know someone who is kind, driven and hardworking. It is a treat to read Emily Pollard’s story on Hannah’s singular vision for success (page 66).

taken by photographer Lindsey Long captured an important moment in history. See her photos from the Black Lives Matter peaceful ride on page 8. In this issue we introduce a new feature titled “Graze & Sip.” Shelter in place + distance learning + canceled everything led to more time in the kitchen, and more time investigating new food and wine. Our inaugural “Graze & Sip” features our favorite canned rosés – yes, that’s right, canned wine! We hope everyone is staying healthy, and as horse shows begin to glimmer back into existence, please remember to wear your masks, social distance and stay safe! We have no idea what the future brings for us here at H&S, but you can believe we will do everything we can to keep going! Best,

On June 7th, Compton Cowboys and friends rode together in a momentous Peace Ride in Compton, CA. The photos

H&S Publisher and Editor-in -Chief Sarah Appel with her dau ghters, Piper (riding) and Ella, and their pony Willy at Burgundy Far ms; photo © Tara Arrowood

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photos by Lindsey Long

Compton Cowboys Peace Ride COMPTON , C A

On June 7th, the Compton Cowboys invited other equestrians from Southern California to join them on a peace ride through Compton, CA. Lindsay Long’s photos embodied the spirit of the day and the strength of the Black Lives Matter movement.




…you might not know about…

North Peak Farms

North Peak Farms is the dream-cometrue of Heesoo Bushnell, a life-long lover of all things horse-related. The boutique sales barn started as a way for Bushnell to combine two things she enjoys most: horses and investment opportunities. She began by seeking out and establishing partnerships with several industry professionals who boast long careers in the business, and who are also kind, honest, and easy to work with. Focusing on those key traits has served North Peak Farms well over the past year, as over 12 horses have now sold to satisfied buyers in the U.S. Bushnell also owns North Peak Equestrian, an equestrian facility in Walnut Creek, CA, but she prefers to allow her sales business to operate from multiple U.S. locations, so as to best serve North Peak Farms’ clients. She invests in both dressage and hunter/jumper horses, making for an exciting portfolio of talented mounts. Bushnell has high hopes for North Peak Farms, and is delighted about the addition of two most recent imports to the portfolio: Quinka and Classic Edition, who are with Meredith Herman in Sonoma, CA. Though North Peak Farms has only been in operation for a little under a year, it already has amassed enough intrigue to be fully 10 Things worthy!


· spring/summer 20

Heesoo Bushnell, owner of North Peak Farms; photo © Tara Arrowood

1. Bushnell grew up loving horses, but like

many, staying in the saddle was difficult as the demands of work, family, and children kept her busy. Now that her kids are grown, she is learning to ride on the perfect mount: Princess Diana


North Peak Equestrian by the numbers: NPE is the East Bay’s premier (AKA number one) equestrian facility, with 120 horses, six trainers, five barns, three arenas, two round pens, and miles of trail access.


North Peak Farms horses are imported from around the globe, with horses coming from Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Mexico.


North Peak Farms works to present the best Iberian and warmblood horses to the U.S. dressage market, and focuses on horses that are talented, sane, and safe as can be.


North Peak Farms sells horses from locations in Walnut Creek, CA, Sonoma, CA, Mt Vernon, WA, and Wellington, FL, each with a dedicated professional who supports the North Peak Farms program.

Meredith Her man of Burg undy Farms, hunter, jumpe NPF r and equita tion partner

Meredith Herman and Quinka at a Richard Spooner jumping clinic

6. Partner Meredith Herman works with

North Peak Farms horses at her facility, Burgundy Farm, in Sonoma, CA, where they are sold as hunters, jumpers, or equitation horses to an elite market.


H&S editor alumni, Emily Pollard, serves as North Peak Equestrian’s barn manager, as well as sales rider and manager for the Walnut Creek, CA North Peak Farms location.

with Jaime Amian works on in Spain NPF from his locati

8. One of North Peak Farms’ former horses, eight-year-old Atomic Blonde, earned a 65% at his first qualifier toward Festival of Champions at the USEF Developing Grand Prix in Wellington, FL with his rider Kati Dagge.


Quinka was jumping the 1.40 meter classes with Hikari Yoshizawa in Europe in 2019, Classic Edition did the 1.40 meter classes in January 2020 with Jens Vandenberk, and Herman will have them both in the ring as soon as the shows begin again this summer.

NPF dressage partner, Amanda Olson, rides NPF horse Flamnete in a demonstration in WA



North Peak Farms’ number one goal is always to pair together happy horses and happy riders! A well-chosen match is the key to a successful partnership.

Amanda Olson and Emily Pollard on a buying trip in Spain

spring/summer 20 ·




W I N T E R E Q U E S T R I A N F E S T I VA L – W E L L I N G T O N , F L




4. 6.



1. The Grand Hunter ring sees hundreds of beautiful rounds each week at WEF 2. A groom poses for a selfie with her horse while waiting for the next class 3. Jessica Mendoza looks picture perfect over an oxer in the International Arena 4. McLain Ward and Noche de Ronda capture the blue ribbon in the $401,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI 5* during Week 5 of WEF 5. Olivia Sweetnam: WEF Overall Pony Hunter Rider of 2020 6. Spectators seated in the Veuve Clicquot Suites during Saturday Night Lights enjoy a luxury dining experience 7. Judging takes place during one of two $5,000 Grooms Classes (with separate hunter and jumper divisions) held during the WEF 2020 season


· spring/summer 20

Photos © White Fence Equine Photography

10. 8.




8. A regular in the many Grand Prix held throughout WEF 2020, Daniel Bluman of Israel soars over the Fidelity Investments jump aboard Entano 9. A young competitor waits to order at the popular Tess & Co. food truck at Farmstand 10. A view from the iconic PBIEC bridge as the next rider heads into the International Arena 11. Friends stop to pose for the camera during a hack around the show grounds 12. Saturday night is everyone’s favorite evening at WEF

spring/summer 20 ¡


P R O pop


Photo showing a balanced rider; courtesy of Bates Saddles


n Bates, An interview with Ro Saddles tes Ba of or Managing Direct

Can the balance of your saddle affect your riding?   @batessaddles  @batessaddles Each issue, a new question is answered by an industry professional. Have a question you want answered? Send it to


· spring/summer 20


addle balance is critical for your position in the saddle and your ability to communicate clearly with your horse. Every rider has experienced the frustration of riding in a saddle that is unbalanced. I was no exception, and being a horseman, an avid polo player, and a saddler, I was uniquely positioned to find a solution; that was a key motivation behind how I pioneered adjustability in saddles. Over the last 40 years, I have been driven by a philosophy of innovation to unlock the potential of each horse and rider. The Horse and Rider Technology (we call this HART) featured in Bates Saddles allows every horse and rider to enjoy an optimized position, comfort, and performance over their riding partnership. There are many factors that impact the balance of your saddle over time. Horses and riders change with maturity and fitness among other things. Polo is perhaps an extreme example of this, where our horses would transform on returning to peak fitness, following the off-season. Without the ability to correct the balance of my saddle, my performance and comfort would inevitably suffer. When your saddle is balanced, you can remain effortlessly balanced with soft hands,

a secure seat, good leg contact; and your horse is able to move freely. It’s fundamental to maximizing our joy of riding and making sure it is the rewarding experience we and our horses deserve. As a rider, you may start to notice a general feeling of insecurity, you might become more aware of your saddle or readjust your position frequently throughout your ride. Maybe your horse is not responding to your aids the way it should. These are all indications that you should check the balance of your saddle.

Clues that a saddle is too high in front: The rider’s upper body has a tendency to tip back, behind the shoulder/hip/heel alignment and their lower leg swings forward, seating them in a ‘chair’ position. In this scenario, as a rider, we might describe the feeling as being ‘left behind;’ we would find it more challenging to get into a two-point position and posting trot becomes tiring.

alignment and their contact with the reins will be off and on, as they struggle with balance. In this scenario, as a rider, we may notice we are easily pulled off balance if our horse is heavy on his forehand, or stretches his neck. In Bates saddles with HART, riders have the ultimate adjustability for correct saddle balance with extraordinary close contact and stability. This is essential for riders at every level to get the most out of their riding, and vital for top riders such as Shane Rose (eventing) and Isabell Werth (dressage) to produce their best performances. It is a tremendous honor to have received the recognition of becoming the Official Saddle of the United States Eventing Association (USEA). The welfare of our horses is at the center of all we do and we will continue to leave no stone unturned in our research and development to ensure our saddles significantly improve your performance.

Clues that a saddle is too low in front:

It is my hope that with this information every rider will be quick to identify any riding issues that might be fixed with a quick adjustment to their saddle balance.

The rider’s upper body tends to tip forward from the hip, their lower leg may swing behind their shoulder/hip/heel

— RO N BAT E S , Managing Director of Bates Saddles

A saddle that is too high in front; courtesy of Bates Saddles

A saddle that is too low in front; courtesy of Bates Saddles

spring/summer 20 ·








3. 6.

5. 1. Izabelle Quadracci and Tipperary Hill 2. The Greg Kuti and Aces High fan club cheer the pair on from the sidelines 3. Kayley Kruse snaps a quick selfie in the arena 4. The adorable Aubry Jane Schaffer accepts her blue ribbon aboard the aptly-named Blu Venture Rockstar 5. Melissa Donnelly and Light Dance 6. Kristin N. Wozniak gives a celebratory fist pump aboard Picture Perfect


· spring/summer 20

Photos © Andrew Ryback Photography








7. Verity Vonberg studies the course aboard the itty-bitty – and super cute – Crackerjack 8. Camille Borres and Celtic 23 9. Madeline Sutcliffe gives Morewel High Tide a well-deserved hug 10. Kelsey Epperson and Fusion looking focused and determined 11. Multitasking Ivie Cullen-Dean: videographer and competitor 12. Sticking the landing in perfect form! 13. Elizabeth Twentyman and Sri

spring/summer 20 ·




by Sarah Appel




Yes You Can 3.



Nothing says summer like trips to the beach, lake, pool, and barn – or enjoying a lovely rosé! Rosé has maintained its steady climb up the wine charts and into our wine loving hearts, and icy cans. Canned wines today are not the boxed wines of our past (some of those are great now too). Here is a list of canned rosés we are just loving for us right now. No need to worry about packing wine glasses or a cork screw, these delicious canned rosés are making everyone want to jump on the rosé wagon and #drinkpink.

1. Yes Way, Rosé; 2. 14 Hands Canned Rosé; 3. Underwood Rosé Bubbles; 4. Babe Rosé with Bubbles; 5. Pop + Fizz Sparkling Rosé; 6. House Wine Rosé


· spring/summer 20

Ali Telatnik and Catan

Ali Telatnik and Somerset;

photo © GrandPix Photography

Ali Telatnik and Berliner

Landmark Equestrian is proud to welcome clients to our new location at the beautiful Canyon Creek Ranch in Castro Valley. As always, thank you to all my wonderful clients and my long-time mentor Buddy Brown. – Ali Telatnik




Ali Telatnik, Head Trainer • Lindsay Bowman, Assistant Trainer 425.241.1410 •

B E T W E E N the


by Laurie Berglie


“Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Or maybe it’s not – it is 2020, after all. But there’s one thing that always brings a smile to my face, and that’s a solid Summer Reading List, and we certainly have a good one for you. Our list is brought to you by the non-fiction genre, a personal favorite as there is little better than a thrilling memoir.

Patrick Smithwick; photos © James Berglie

Racing Trilogy PAT R I C K S M I T H W I C K Trilogy: Racing My Father | Flying Change | Racing Time Hardcover & Kindle: Pricing varies First up is Patrick Smithwick’s Racing Trilogy: Racing My Father, Flying Change, and newly published Racing Time. For Patrick, horses are in his blood. As a teenager, he began riding for his father, A. P. “Paddy” Smithwick, the legendary Hall of Fame steeplechase jockey. He worked his way through college by exercising Thoroughbreds and riding steeplechase races at major East Coast tracks. Patrick’s love for his father is at the root of Racing My Father, Growing Up with A Riding Legend, a coming-of-age story published in 2006. Set in classic Maryland horse country, the hell-bent-for-leather world of Thoroughbred racing serves as the backdrop as Patrick weaves an unforgettable narrative. “I loved my relationship with my father,” said Patrick. “I loved my entire upbringing, though many would call it tough. I had to grow up early: working every day of the year and even on Christmas – galloping horses at 5:30 a.m. at Pimlico Racecourse before classes at Gilman School and on the weekends.” Flying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing, was published in 2012 and it is where Patrick’s love of horses and racing and the countryside all collide. It won the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award. “This book is about making a big change at mid-life. Everything was going smoothly: job, career, family. What did I decide to do?


· spring/summer 20

At the age of 47, the age my father died, I decided to go back to riding races, and I decided to focus on riding in one of the toughest steeplechase races I know, the Maryland Hunt Cup. Racing My Father was about my love for Pop. Flying Change is about being a father, my intense love for my three children, and handing down to them through riding with them what Mom and Pop had given me: my inheritance of a love and understanding of the horse – most of which is nonverbal.” Racing Time: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Liberation, is the final book of the Racing Trilogy published in 2019. This book celebrates Patrick’s life-long friendships with three men – each outspoken, authentic, and a lover of the out-of-doors. Racing Time delves into the psyche of men, taking the reader through the joy of shared youthful experiences, into the camaraderie of adulthood, and reminding us all to live life to the fullest. “This was difficult and emotionally draining to write. It often had me trembling and tearing up and thinking about the great beyond. It is primarily about my love for my childhood friend of a lifetime, Tom Voss, who went on to become a Hall of Fame trainer. And it is about my love and devotion to two other men, flat trainer and Green Beret veteran of Vietnam, Dickie Small, and boxer/horse whisperer/singer, Speedy Kiniel. The three died within a six-month period of one another. I gave the eulogy at each funeral.” Patrick lives with his wife, Ansley, on the farm where he grew up in Monkton, Maryland. He writes every morning in the refurbished milking parlor in the barn, and most afternoons, Patrick hops on his retired steeplechaser, Riderwood, and goes for a cross-country ride, galloping over the fox-hunting country of the Elkridge Harford Hunt Club. To learn more about Patrick, visit His books can be purchased at Amazon and found at bookstores and tack shops throughout the country.

Come to the X JULIA WENDELL 345 pages | Paperback: $25 We now head north from Monkton to Upperco, Maryland, where Julia Wendell’s Come to the X takes place on her An Otherwise Perfect Farm.You may recognize Julia from her previous memoir, Finding My Distance, published in 2009. Come to the X showcases this event rider’s life as she nears her 6th decade of life and follows her until her eventual move to Aiken, South Carolina. Come to the X is just as raw and real as Julia’s first memoir, as she holds nothing back from her readers. Day by day she takes us through horses and farm living, describing her many aches and pains, her husband’s health struggles, parenting challenges – all while trying to remain at the upper levels of the sport of eventing. Laced throughout the book are some of Julia’s poems, which spotlight her love of creative writing, and take readers into even deeper recesses of her mind. But always at the forefront? Horses. And readers will celebrate Julia’s successes, but they will also grieve with her with every fallen rail in stadium jumping and with every refusal on cross country. And we are saddened at the end when she decides to retire Calvin, her big horse, from competition, but we also feel the sense of relief we know she must have felt when she decides to take her foot off the gas and ease up on herself. I caught up with Julia and asked about plans for possibly writing a third memoir, completing her trilogy. “No, I don't have plans to write a third,” said Julia, “but then again, you never know. I thought after finishing Finding My Distance that I’d never write a second, and then several years later, voila! I think I need to do more living in order to better answer your question.” Julia closes her memoir by closing on the sale of her farm and moving with husband, Barrett, to Aiken, South Carolina. “It was a tough transition period, but we are really enjoying ourselves. And I am still riding and competing. I still have Shiva, and he and I are running around training level events. And Calvin is still with us, enjoying his well-earned retirement. I also have two young OTTBs that I’m currently working with: Go Global and Trade Zone.” We can only hope that Julia pens a third memoir, after she does more living, of course. I’ll be first in line to hear the tales she spins. Julia’s memoirs and poetry collections are sold on Amazon, and you can learn more about her at

spring/summer 20 ·


Girl Forward H E AT H E R WA L L AC E 153 pgs. | Paperback: $15; Kindle: $6 We round out our list with Heather Wallace’s Girl Forward, A Tale of One Woman’s Unlikely Adventure in Mongolia. Heather is known on social media as “The Timid Rider,” but there is nothing timid about this pint-sized firecracker. In 2018 she was presented with the opportunity to be the Media Coordinator for the Gobi Desert Cup, a 480-kilometer multi-stage endurance race on horseback. So she packed her camera, her laptop, and her sense of adventure and spent two weeks halfway around the world in the wilds of Mongolia. “My role over the 18 months consisted of photography and social media during the event, as well as writing press releases and articles,” noted Heather. “I worked closely with the founder, Camille Champagne, a 3* endurance rider, to excite potential riders and showcase each individual experience.” Heather takes her readers into the heart of Mongolia, a land largely unchanged for thousands of years. “The people are so full of pride for their culture and history, and very generous with strangers. Their love and honor for the horse is intrinsic. The horses themselves were so set apart from my own experience in the Western world, that it was incredibly eye-opening.”

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Each chapter focuses on an aspect of Heather’s experiences abroad, from sleeping on the ground in a traditional ger with no plumbing or electricity, to coordinating the actual event itself, to the surprise race for the “officials” to ride in. Though she was nervous, Heather took a deep breath, mounted up, and took off! Photographs are woven throughout the book so readers can see Heather on “Spanky” ready to make her racing debut. “I honestly cannot say what compelled me to apply for the position in the first place; it was incredibly outside my comfort zone. Everything about the trip and event was a challenge.Traveling to Asia alone as a woman, living in gers among the nomads for two weeks without basic amenities, and eating traditional food was difficult. Plus, I had never experienced an endurance race coming from the hunter/ jumper world. I learned that I am much more capable than I thought and felt myself more present in the moment, more grounded. It changed me and the way I view not only the world, but myself. I was uniquely able to experience something life-changing, and wanted to share that with the world.” Girl Forward, along with Heather’s first memoir, Confessions of a Timid Rider, can be found on Amazon. She blogs over at and is a co-host of the Equestrian Pulse Podcast.


This prize bundle, valued at $650, includes: • 1 Bonafide (bone growth supplement) • 1 Safeguard (mycotoxin binder) • 1 Super Anti-Ox (concentrated, natural joint/ tendon supplement) • 1 Smoochies (low sugar treat) • 1 Recuperate (B Group Vitamin, Electrolyte Paste) • 1 Regain (Daily Electrolyte) • 1 Team Hygain Hat • 1 Hygain Cooler

Enter at for a chance to win. Giveaway closes August 31, 2020 at 11:59pm P.T. Open to U.S. residents only, must be 18+ to enter. Questions?








6. 4.

5. 1. Hardin Towell makes the final push through the timers aboard Carollo 2. “Green is the New Blue” initiates the Green Movement at The Lexington International 3. Eric Beaty from Human Touch congratulates Jenna Vanerstrom and Tinka Lady on the win in the $2,500 Human Touch 1.25m Mini Prix 4. The New SRJT Wall, built by Dalman Jump Co., makes its first appearance in the $75,000 Grand Prix Presented by The Kentucky Invitational CSI3* 5. Steven Wilde conducts an interview at the Vitalize Interview Booth while socially distancing 6. Jessica Medoza gallops in Animo style aboard Dublin to take the win in the $75,000 FEI Grand Prix


· spring/summer 20

Photos © Winslow (1-5, 7,9-11,13), Katherine Hay (6,8,12)







13. 13.

7. All vendors, like Winslow Photography, taking extra precautions to make sure everything is sanitized and clean 8. Carly Sutherland’s Gemmy enjoys Hallways Handimash mix 9. Dominic Gibbs throws up a big fist pump after one of his impressive four wins of the week 10. Split Rock’s own Quinn and Shawn Cassidy fly high over the Vitalize Oxer 11. Big pats for Castello D from rider and owner Kady Abrahamson 12. Derek Braun and Mike Belisle walking and discussing final touches for the FEI Grand Prix 13. Lily Walton and Etou clear the Restylane Kysse Oxer in the 1.30m Jr/Amateurs

spring/summer 20 ·




by Lila Gendal photos courtesy of Old Dominion Saddlery

Think Small Business with One Big Vision OLD DOMINION SADDLERY Amidst this never ending chaos and horrible uncertainty that we are currently experiencing in the world, life must continue. Immense dreams and goals existed prior to the Novel Coronavirus, therefore such aspirations can be rediscovered, or started from scratch. Creating a dream, or building a small business, may seem like a daunting, or dare I say impossible, undertaking but this country was built upon such a rationale.


couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dina Mazzola, owner and manager of a small business with a clear and well-constructed vision. Old Dominion Saddlery, located in Bolton, Massachusetts, offers high-end used saddles from France and accommodates a wide range of English riding equestrians all over the country. How did this niche masterpiece come to life, you may be wondering? Dina grew up in Canada and spent a great deal of her childhood as a working student for various professional equestrians. “I put myself through college, I was a hard worker and showed in the junior hunters, as well as grand prix show jumping classes, near Ottawa. I went to grad school and I continued to work on


· spring/summer 20

horse farms. I flip-flopped between school and horses for a long period of time.” After graduate school, Dina worked for a consulting firm for five years, and made her way back into the horse world where she felt she truly belonged. She worked for Heritage Farm, traveling with them to some of the largest shows up and down the East Coast and essentially living a well-rounded life where she gathered tons of experience inside and out of the horse world, all the while making connections and contacts left and right. Dina and her husband found themselves relocating to Massachusetts once her husband started a new job. Dina ran her own riding and training business for five years, in which she built an incredible client

base. “I really enjoyed teaching and riding!” Dina talked about her student riders and adult amateurs who realistically fell into the mid-range salaries. They could either go to a big horse show one month or buy a saddle. These clients were not struggling to put food on the table, but they also were not buying Maserati’s. Because Dina had this particular clientele with a particular budget, she was forced to think outside the box, which ultimately led to this business of selling used, but high quality jump saddles. Interestingly enough, Dina became especially interested in saddles after she broke her ankle not once, but two times. We laughed and were able to commiserate over such injuries considering I hobbled into Stella's Pantry (Ocala, Florida) where we met that afternoon with an ace bandage covering my

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left ankle from a jumping accident. After her broken ankle on repeat, Dina knew her riding days were numbered and she had to come up with a plan that allowed her to stay working within the horse world, without working from the top of a horse’s back. “I had worked with lots of saddle reps, and I became not only interested in how the saddle fits the horse, but how the saddle fits the rider and how critical these two pieces are to the puzzle.”


ina started the business about seven years ago with a friend, while maintaining her horse training business on the side.Two years ago, Dina took over as the sole owner and manager of Old Dominion Saddlery. I was thinking to myself, and was able to ask, where do you keep all these saddles and are you a traveling salesman and saddle fitter, or do you sell more in house? “My business now consists of about 40% local, i.e. going to barns in and around the


· spring/summer 20

greater Boston area, and 60% of my work, or sales come from online customers.” Everything is done out of Dina’s house. She mentioned that online sales fit quite nicely into her schedule because she can always do online work from anywhere. She travels all over New England and further afield for saddle fittings, whether she goes to a huge barn, or to an individual who needs help finding the right saddle for her one horse. While her house is not open to the public for window shopping so to speak, you can call or email Dina to arrange a time to see a saddle, or have a saddle fitting done at your farm. Dina went on to tell me that most of her inventory comes from people trading in their saddles. She either takes a saddle on consignment, or she buys the saddle from a customer outright. With the trade-ins, or consignment, she handles all of the marketing, photos, and social media posts. “I really enjoy helping people find the right saddle for the horse and the rider. I have a lot of repeat customers, and my market doesn’t revolve around people who go to WEF all winter. I will work with any client and make a solution no matter what!” As a fellow equestrian, I found it refreshing to hear that Dina was not a brand snob amongst high end saddles. She has a variety of go-to French brands, but she prides herself on finding the appropriate saddle for a particular horse and rider. Dina has become well aware that customers love having choices and varieties of saddles to choose from.


ou may be wondering whether you can try a saddle from Old Dominion Saddlery. Absolutely! Dina offers a seven day trial in person and the same offer applies to online sales. There are no dressage saddles at this time, mostly because her primary market is hunter jumpers and some event riders, as well as breed shows who use hunter tack. As we wrapped up our conversation, I asked, “Despite this grey cloud currently looming above, what are your hopes or visions for the future of Old Dominion Saddlery?” “This is a hard business to scale! That being said, the harder you work the more money you make. I think just continuing to create awareness that my business exists is a huge component.” You can visit Old Dominion Saddlery online at

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The Apple Watch® is a necessity for riders, trainers and, well, everyone today; giving us the ability to track steps, set reminders to breathe, and the ability to quickly see and respond to texts. We are living the future, and much like the sleek Apple Watch® itself, the band you choose is a statement in its own right. The Iconic equestrian brand Hermès has even partnered with Apple to produce a match-made-in-heaven-worthy band for the Apple Watch®. The best part is that you can have it all! Swap out your band from sporty to chic in just a matter of seconds.

1. Mendoza Apple Watch® Band, La Matera, $145;

2. Double Tour 40mm in Bleu Encre/Béton, Hermès, $489; 3. Horse on the LOOSE Watch Band, C4 Belts, $34; 4. Apple Watch® Strap With Charms, Coach, $150; 5. Vachetta Leather 38/40mm Apple Watch® Strap, Kate Spade, $78; 6. White Zirconia Ceramic Band, Aottom, $25; 7. Mia in Rose Gold, The Ultimate Cuff, $74


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4. 7.


5. 6.

1. Brian Moggre (center), 19, of Flower Mound, TX, is awarded the 2020 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy by USET Foundation Vice President William Weeks (left) and USET Foundation Chairman, President, and CEO James McNerney (right) 2. USET Foundation Trustee Akiko Yamazaki welcomes guests to the USET Foundation’s “Take Me To Tokyo” gala 3. U.S. Olympic show jumping team silver medalist Kent Farrington 4. Bruce Springsteen served as chair of the “Take Me To Tokyo” gala and surprised the sold-out crowd by performing 5. U.S. Olympic show jumping team gold medalist Laura Kraut and her partner, 2016 British Olympic show jumping champion Nick Skelton 6. Beezie Madden (left) accepts the R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award from Kim Duchossois (right) on behalf of Abigail Wexner 7. Japanese-inspired décor at the “Take Me To Tokyo” gala, hosted by honorary chairmen Lou and Joan Jacobs at their Deeridge Farm in Wellington, FL

Photos © Jump Media

spring/summer 20 ·


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FEATURE by Natalie Keller Reinert

Alexandra Cherubini, EquiFit Founder; photo © Kind Media


EquiFit isn’t a medical supply company. They’re a tack manufacturer, dedicated to bringing innovative sports medicine technology to the equestrian market. From their shock-absorbing T-Foam technology to soothing GelTherapy and antimicrobial AgSilver, EquiFit has been cooking up equestrian uses for human-grade scientific advances for more than twenty years. With innovations originally created for NASA, military forces, and medical professionals, we’re talking serious technology for horses, here. spring/summer 20 ·



owever, in March of 2020, EquiFit’s equestrian-focused manufacturing took a sharp pivot. Since then, the EquiFit team has been producing thousands upon thousands of face masks – fabric face coverings, infused with AgSilver, which can be used in non-medical settings to help protect the population from the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. They’re working around the clock to fill orders, ship out donations, and continue to innovate their face masks for better comfort and protection. How does a company transition seemingly overnight from tendon boots to face masks? In early May, I spoke with Alexandra Cherubini, founder and president of EquiFit, to get details on this extraordinary business decision. “WE WERE ALL ON T H E S A M E PAG E .” It all started in late March, as Florida’s winter show circuits began to slow down and the coronavirus pandemic began to heat up. Cherubini, a lifelong equestrian, was quick to act on behalf of her team. She shut down the EquiFit offices, hoping to help protect her crew as well as heed doctors’ requests to help “flatten the curve” of hospitalizations, by keeping medical facilities from becoming overwhelmed with patients. As the first weekend of pandemic panic set in across the United States, Cherubini spent some time texting with her Research & Development team. She and her R&D engineers “were all on the same page,” Cherubini says. “We were sending each other articles about masks and the need for PPE at that time, and we found some Facebook forums talking about maskmaking: what people liked, and what the medical industry liked.” They started trading ideas, and agreed that they’d try out making face masks for their team, as well as for the team of neighboring business AliMed, her family’s medical manufacturing company. Inspired to create and feeling the urgency of the moment, the team moved quickly, and by Monday afternoon they had their first prototype mask, which they sent out to some contacts in the medical field for feedback. “And by that Thursday,” Cherubini remembers, “we started manufacturing for our team and for donations.”


· spring/summer 20

EquiFit Essential® 3-Ply Face Mask EquiFit quickly shifted their production to mask-making

“ Inspired to create and feeling the urgency of the moment, the team moved quickly...

FULL-SCALE PRODUCTION Initially, designing the masks was just an effort to protect their teams and provide some donations for medical professionals, but it rapidly turned into a much broader effort. “At the time, it wasn’t our thought process,” Cherubini says of scaling up mask production. But after a conversation with her doctor, who pointed out that the worldwide medical trend was towards wearing masks to lower transmission of the virus, she began to change her mind. In the meantime, she was getting constant texts asking if EquiFit was going to sell the masks to the general public. So, recognizing the need, they got down to business. First off, Cherubini says, they ensured that masks were going to first responders and medical professionals free of charge. Community support has been the backbone of their COVID-19 response. While the masks are not medical grade, they provide medical personnel with

valuable coverage when they’re traveling to and from work, or out on errands. Cherubini explains, “We created a system that is a one-for-one donation: you buy one and we donate one.The reception has been pretty unbelievable.The most amazing thing has been getting these notes or photos from people on the front-lines who are so thankful that there’s something for them to use.”

in New York – all over the country. Some have been direct connections to my team, but some have been through customers who write, order masks and tell us what they’re doing on the front line, so we send them masks to get them out on the front line. We try to get them to people who need them.” The demand has been insatiable. “For us it’s been awesome, because it’s kept our people at work. We’re busier than ever and there’s not enough time in the day.”

An important early link in the donation process was Dr. Les Fang, whose Fang Foundation helps provide medical equipment for underfunded medical centers and hospitals in the Boston area. “We sent him two thousand masks, and he gave them out to front-line workers at Massachusetts General Hospital,” Cherubini recalls.

FUTURE PLANS Looking forward, the EquiFit team is keeping a close eye on the latest United States Equestrian Federation guidelines for equestrian events. “We’re talking to horse show organizations and working on our next phase of face masks,” Cherubini explains. They’re hoping to build a more friendly version of face masks: “Something more comfortable to ride in, easier to put on, easier to breathe in. That has been in progress for the past couple of weeks.”

Now, customers are connecting EquiFit with first response teams across the country who could use donated masks. “We’ve had a lot go to various police and fire departments, to [Memorial] Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

EquiFit’s core technology has been doing a full circle, from humans to horses and back again.Their current face masks include a layer of the same silver-woven fabric that they use in items such as their Essential Girth. It’s used

EquiFit Founder Alexandra Cherubini with husband and EquiFit Co-Founder/Owner Camilo Alvarez; photo © Kind Media

spring/summer 20 ·


EquiFit Essential® Cold Therapy Boot

as an antimicrobial measure and, Cherubini adds, it’s surprisingly earth-friendly. “We’ve been using this fabric for probably ten years,” she laughs, “and we just learned that it’s made of recycled plastic bottles with silver fibers woven in! We were excited to learn that.” They might be primarily a mask company right now, but EquiFit hasn’t lost sight of their innovative equestrian sports medicine technologies. “Thankfully, we’ve been able to get back to equine product development. We actually have a lot in the pipeline that is pretty exciting. For example, we just released new bandages and we have more products coming, in our Essential line, which is our everyday line.” PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST EquiFit’s people-first culture makes their new focus on serving the community easy to understand. The company started out scrappy and lean, with Cherubini and her husband fulfilling orders on their first product, ShouldersBack, from their Brooklyn apartment. The postureenhancing brace is still popular today, seeing use far and wide outside of the horse world. Originally, though, Cherubini saw ShouldersBack as a way to take her career into the equestrian industry she loved. “I was living in New York, working in fashion PR, and I had to get out of the rat race,” she recalls. “I had to get back to horses.” Coming up with a product based in medical research wasn’t too far out of left field for Cherubini, thanks to growing


· spring/summer 20

EquiFit ShouldersBack®

up around her family’s business, AliMed. “There were materials everywhere,” she says, describing playing as a child at the company’s headquarters. “I decided to try to combine my love and passion for horses with this background in manufacturing and creating products.” ShouldersBack took EquiFit places Cherubini couldn’t possibly expect. She and her husband would set up a card table at New Jersey horse shows to sell the product, and quickly found some prominent locals amongst their customers – “I thought this guy was so cool, and he walked away and my husband told me who it was: The Boss!” But if selling a ShouldersBack to Bruce Springsteen was exciting, meeting an editor at W magazine proved pivotal. “That following week, W contacted us, just to do a little blurb, but it changed things for us,” Cherubini says. “Then, we got a call from the Met.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute was putting on a new exhibition, Extreme Beauty:The Body Transformed, and they wanted to include a ShouldersBack. Alongside iconic pop culture pieces like Madonna’s golden bustier from the Blonde Ambition tour, the ShouldersBack went on display and officially arrived as a mainstream consumer product. “Then we were on HSN [Home Shopping Network] and all of these crazy avenues opened up,” Cherubini says. It took up all of her time to keep up with the ShouldersBack phenomenon, but eventually, she was able

to focus on developing new products. “As time went on, I knew I had to get back into horses, so then we moved into applying medical technology for horse boots.” Cherubini’s team today includes two Research and Development engineers, who turn ideas into reality. “Caitlin Thompson and Rich Clement are the dynamic duo,” she enthuses. “I’ve worked with Rich for a really long time, and he’s worked with AliMed as well, so we go way back. Caitlin has been with us for probably six years – it’s been a long time! They’re great as a team because they keep each other in check. They say in the office ‘Rich has gone rogue,’ and we’re always thinking things up, so it’s good that we have Caitlin to keep us on track!” Together with the rest of the EquiFit team, they’re working hard to keep communities across the United States a little safer while still maintaining focus on their equestrian roots. “We were in a pretty unique situation,” Cherubini explains of their ability to pivot directly into mask production. “This has allowed us to look at what we do, at how we do things and what we’re doing, and to think about what is really important, because our world is changed.” How can other business owners learn from EquiFit’s example? Everyone’s situation is different, Cherubini acknowledges. “The world as we know it is different, so just thinking about how you want to operate moving forward, and where you want to spend your time and your resources – that’s the best we can do.”


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FEATURE by Julie Unger

Taylor Griffiths-Madden and Mac One III; photo © Kathy Russell Photography


Griffiths-Madden At 18 years old, Taylor GriffithsMadden is already known for her achievements as an equestrian athlete, scholar, and volunteer in the community. Based in Wellington, Florida, GriffithsMadden has aimed high in all aspects of her life and that mentality coupled with her hard work has proven fruitful as she looks to take the next step in her riding and education careers. In 2019, she was awarded a full academic scholarship and a spot on the NCAA equestrian team at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Texas.


ecognition of her talents in the ring, classroom and her community didn’t stop there. Shortly after accepting SMU’s offer, Griffiths-Madden joined close friends and fellow junior riders, Avery Glynn and Emma Fletcher, as a 2019 LMCF WIHS Equitation Scholarship recipient. The financial scholarship recognizes junior riders on the basis of their riding achievements, academic merit, and commitment to volunteering in their communities. The experience of the prestigious LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals is unique for a variety of reasons, such as the smaller ring size and the class format; and is not something junior riders can achieve elsewhere during the indoor circuit.

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L–R: LMCF Scholarship Recipients: Emma Fletcher, Taylor Griffiths-Madden and Avery Glynn; photo © Alden Corrigan Media

“Just being at that final gives you so much experience and helps your riding immensely because it’s such a different atmosphere; just the way you have to ride in there teaches you so much,” Griffiths-Madden explained. Experience is exactly what GriffithsMadden and her 10-year-old AngloEuropean gelding, Mac One III, achieved in their second appearance in the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals where they finished 8th in the Jumper Phase. Following WIHS, the duo traveled to Lexington, Kentucky where they had a top 20 finish in the ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals. “I’m incredibly grateful that Lindsay has that scholarship for kids…since it is so expensive and it’s just a lot for my parents. I wanted to help them like they help me,” Griffiths-Madden said when asked what receiving the scholarship meant to her.


er parents not only support and push her to grow in the saddle, but also in the classroom. As the daughter of professional trainers, Griffiths-Madden has experienced what it means to run a business


· spring/summer 20

first-hand and plans to study more during her time at SMU. “Everyone in my family is interested in education,” Griffiths-Madden said when asked about her keen academic focus.“I’ve done very well at school, ever since I was very young, so my parents really want me to try my hardest and see what can happen in college for me.” As a result of her hard work in the classroom, Griffiths-Madden skipped a grade in middle school, which gave her the opportunity to take a gap year to focus on her riding before starting college in August. “Since it’s my last junior year, I’m taking time to ride all day, every day,” she said. Once it’s over though, she’s ready to hit the books. “I’m really excited. I’ve been going to online school for the last three years of high school, so I’m excited to go and meet new kids and non-horse people,” she said. “I still love horse people, but I haven’t had normal school friends in a while.”

Once school begins, Griffiths-Madden is confident that her experience from online school will prove beneficial in helping her balance her studies, the team, and her desire to continue competing outside of the NCAA. “It’s very hard – you have to do everything on your own pretty much, which is a lot of dedication, but I did it,” she said about her online class-experience. “I think it will be really helpful because I know college is going to be a lot more work than high school so if I was able to work on my own doing my homework in high school, that might give me a head start. I know a lot of kids who struggle with just sitting down and doing homework, and going online, you have to do that, so I think I’m already a few steps ahead.” However, Griffiths-Madden anticipates new experiences that go beyond academics and riding, and just come with being a freshman living on campus. “I’m kind of excited to go back into a school setting,” she said. “I love riding every day, but this will be a different experience

for me. I feel like I’ve been doing this for so long, and I’m still going to do it, but I am looking forward to having the experience of new friends and living in a dorm room and having to share a bathroom with a floor.” Coming full-circle in her hopes for college, Griffiths-Madden is also motivated to find ways she can continue her charitable work. Giving back to others is something that has been a priority for Griffiths-Madden since she was young.


hen she was a pre-teen, she learned about the work JustWorld was doing in Guatemala and how events and fundraisers in her hometown of Wellington affected their work abroad. “I started with JustWorld because at horse shows, I saw the horseless horse shows they organized and I was really into jumping as a horse when I was little,” she said. “I did that and I met some people on their team and they told me about what they do.” Since joining as a volunteer, GriffithsMadden has helped brainstorm and host numerous activities of all sizes to help promote awareness and raise funds for JustWorld. One bigger event she’s always wanted to attend is the Guatemala trip where she could see first-hand how the funds have benefitted their communities. “I’ve really always wanted to do that and see the kids in Guatemala and experience what JustWorld has put together for them,” she said. While attending SMU, Griffiths-Madden hopes to find local organizations and continue positively impacting neighborhoods near and far. “I really like giving back to the community,” Griffiths-Madden said. “We live great lifestyles, and we’re very lucky. There are a lot of people out there who aren’t as fortunate as we are. So, I just think it’s important. It’s just nice to see. Even though I’ve never been to Guatemala and experienced the kids’ faces of happiness, it’s always nice to see pictures of them and see how happy they are, that they have that wonderful school system.” As her final year as a junior winds down, Griffiths-Madden’s sights are set on college, horses, and continuing to find ways to positively impact her local and global communities. Taylor Griffiths-Madden and Mac One III; photo © Alden Corrigan Media

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by Danielle Demers

Alpha2EQ™ by


Biotechnology company Astaria Global recently brought Alpha2EQ™, a powerful new equine joint-injection therapy, to market. This completely drug-free regenerative therapy truly represents the future of medicine; utilizing patented equine plasma technology to treat the degeneration of joints, decrease inflammation, relieve pain and slow the progression of osteoarthritis in horses. Horse & Style interviewed Astaria Global’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stuart Shoemaker, DVM, DACVS, to learn more about how Alpha2EQ™’s patented equine plasma technology works.

spring/summer 20 ·


Horse & Style: Could you tell us a bit about Astaria Global and describe your role within the leadership team? Dr. Stuart Shoemaker: Astaria Global was founded by Bill Cramer and Mike Duval. They were involved with the original human Alpha-2 Macroglobulin (α2M) therapy and saw a need in the veterinary space for this product. I met Bill three years ago and have been doing the research to help bring this unique therapy to the equine market. I am serving as the Chief Medical Officer for Astaria Global, and I oversee the science and applications of the product line. In addition, I am working with Bill on some new products for the Astaria brand.

Russ Sakai, DVM, DACVS-LA, of Petaluma Equine administers Alpha2EQ™; photo © Krissy Collett

H&S: We understand that the clinical study process is extremely rigorous and would love some insight into the science and research behind bringing Alpha2EQ™ Therapy (Astaria’s patented Equine Plasma Technology featuring the α2M molecule) to market. SS: We know that the α2M molecule is found in all mammalian species. It is a part of the innate immune system. Our goal was to ensure the equine product was as good, and as specific, as the human product. We have done research to demonstrate the bioactivity of the molecule in the horse and that the AlphaActive℠ process purifies the α2M molecule. This process allows veterinarians

to be confident they are using a purified α2M with no other potential inflammatory components. Alpha2EQ™ is unique in that it represents the first orthobiologic that we know specifically what molecule we are using and what its biological activities are. H&S: What are the major healing benefits of AlphaActive Regenerative Therapy and – more specifically – the α2M molecule found within Alpha2EQ™? How does it work? SS: Alpha2EQ™ produces a high concentration of α2M serum that has demonstrated a clinical effect via three specific mechanisms:

Russ Sakai, DVM, DACVS-LA, of Petaluma Equine administers Alpha2EQ™; photo © Krissy Collett

photo © Krissy Collett

1. It is a nonselective protease inhibitor. Proteases are one of the major causes of cartilage damage in inflammatory joints. 2. α2M is a potent cytokine inhibitor. Cytokines, such as interleukin-1,(IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) produce inflammation and pain. By blocking these compounds, Alpha2EQ™ stops pain and inflammation. 3. α2M has been shown to up-regulate the genes responsible for cartilage matrix production. This means the body’s mechanism for maintaining healthy cartilage is stimulated by Alpha2EQ™. These three components provide a powerful anti-inflammatory tool for veterinarians to use in lieu of products that have negative side-effects on the cartilage. In addition, this product will stimulate the body’s own cellular mechanisms for maintaining cartilage integrity.

H&S: What sets Astaria Global’s approach to regenerative therapies apart from competitors?

SS: There are many good products on the market, and I believe we are all still trying to understand how regenerative and orthobiologics are best utilized to care for our equine patients. Astaria is committed to sound science to ensure a quality product, and to pursuing new ways to treat orthopedic conditions. We believe that Alpha2EQ™ is the first in a line of specific molecules that can be used to promote joint health and balance without the potential negative side effects seen with some pharmacologic agents. H&S: How can horse owners and trainers access Alpha2EQ™ for their horses? SS: Please ask your veterinarian for more information or to locate a veterinarian in your area, visit Veterinarians interested in learning more can contact KindredBio or visit for additional information.

Dr. Stuart Shoemaker

Stuart Shoemaker, DVM, DACVS, is a board certified veterinary surgeon with 36 years of clinical experience. He is currently a managing partner and director of the surgery and sports medicine division of the Idaho Equine Hospital. He has founded two successful businesses that have generated new advancements in veterinary and human medicine. Dr. Shoemaker is a former assistant professor of equine surgery at his alma mater, Louisiana State University, and he is also a consultant for Boise State University.

spring/summer 20 ·


Laura Connaway and Ceralena; photo © Sandy Gregory



by Emily Daily/Jump Media photos by Sandy Gregory & Zequi Gasparini


Connaway Horses have always been an integral part of Laura Connaway’s world. From an early age, she learned from her mother, an accomplished horsewoman, how to forge special relationships with her horses. Competing at the top levels in the jumper ring is Laura’s forte, and as an amateur rider and sport horse breeder, she’s found the perfect way to balance her love of competing with her thriving career.


ver 20 years ago, she launched Connaway & Associates, an equine insurance agency geared towards sport horses. She wanted to create a company where she and her customers could find common ground, and at that point, no such insurance agency existed for equestrians. These days, Laura often takes a “mobile office” on the road with her when she travels to shows away from her home in Arkansas. This way, she gets to enjoy the best of both worlds – her horses and her clients. Horse & Style: How did you get started in riding? Laura Connaway: I was really lucky because I have a sister that was absolutely horse-crazy. She’s a couple of years older, so she set everything in motion. I was the little sister who always wanted to tag along. My mother rode as well, and so the three of us would all go to horse shows together.

I was able to get to a higher level and take myself to some bigger shows, I rode with Laura Kraut. That was just the ultimate, because she was so welcoming and she had such a passion for the horses. I would read about some of the West Coast riders, too – to me, Hap Hansen was always the amazing one because he’d ride so many horses. It didn’t even seem like I was in the same sport as some of those Olympians. There were those riders, and then there were all the rest of us. There weren’t as many people at the top of the sport back then. H&S: Who do you look up to now as a rider?

H&S: Who were some of your idols as a young rider?

LC: Now, the riders I look up to and idolize the most would be the people that get so much enjoyment from their horses and have found their niche in such a massive sport. They set goals that are good for the horses that they have. We can’t all be in the top ten in the country or even the top ten in our division, but to be able to really enjoy the sport and the training is the best feeling.

LC: As a young rider in Arkansas, we were pretty isolated from top riding, but when

Often when I don’t have a top horse out competing, I’m back to enjoying the

tiny little things that a horse does better in their training. There are many times when top riders don’t have an upper-level horse, yet they can still find enjoyment with the training process. Or they can get that feeling of success when a student does something really admirable or when they help them become a true horseman instead of just a rider. H&S: Why do you love competing in the jumper classes? LC: When I think of the jumpers, I never really feel like I’m competing. It’s just all about fun.You have places that you gallop, you have places that you slow down, you turn, and then you gallop again. During that time, you’re so immersed in it… and to me, that’s the goal, which is to be completely immersed in it.You’re so focused on what you’re doing at that very second. In the hunters, I have a little bit too much time to think and then I can get distracted. But with the jumpers, I never really feel like I have that extra time. So, for me, the jumpers suit me better.

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Laura Connaway and Quite Funny; photo © Zequi Gasparini

H&S: What’s it like competing at the grand prix level as an amateur? LC: Right now, there are so many top amateur and junior riders who compete at the grand prix level. It feels really normal and like a perfectly natural progression. Just like if you’re riding a young horse and he’s jumping in the 1.10m classes, you’re always planning for him to move up to the 1.20m. And then you’re always looking for the next opportunity for him to jump the 1.30m. Once you jump the top of the amateur divisions, you’re looking at the next level, which would be the grand prix classes, so it just seems so natural. H&S: Tell us about your top horses, both of whom you bred yourself. LC: I have Quite Funny, who’s 11 this year. We call him ‘Hap’ at home which is kind of short for ‘Happy’ or ‘Hap Hansen,’ whom I named him after. When I bred him, I was really hoping to get a grand prix horse and Hap Hansen was such an amazing grand prix rider. I never got to know him, but I would hear his name all the time.


· spring/summer 20

photo © Zequi Gasparini

Hap is such a comic. All the horses have little charms on their bridles, and his charm is a surfboard, because he is totally a surfer dude. He thinks he’s too cool for school and really doesn’t think he needs to practice. He doesn’t take anything seriously. He has so much athletic ability that you may think he’s not paying attention, but he’s just like, ‘Hey, I got this!’ He’ll jump as high as he can, just because he can. I also have Ceralina, who’s a mare and is 13 this year. She is extremely business-like and organized in everything she does. She’s the exact opposite of Hap. She thinks that when she goes into the ring, she might be going into battle. She puts on her little battle armor and is ready to go. If you

wanted to go to war, you’d pick her! She also bosses me around all the time, because she doesn’t think I know much. On her bridle charm, she has boxing gloves because she always has my back. They’re both by Quite Easy, but they have different mothers. They’re not really the type I would’ve bought necessarily, but I’m much more committed to a horse that I’ve bred. A lot of it is just how much time and effort you put into them. H&S: What’s one of your most memorable achievements as a rider? LC: It would have to be jumping clear at the FEI level in the premiere class in Tryon last year. I still can’t believe that happened.

Laura Connaway and Quite Funny; photo © Sandy Gregory

Hopefully it’ll happen again! It was the ultimate thrill. I’ve also gotten to jump in some of the big grand prix classes at the Kentucky Horse Park, and that was pretty amazing as well. H&S: What inspired you to get started in the insurance world? LC: Years ago, when I would go to insure my own horses, I had no idea who the person sitting behind the desk was. If you had a problem, you could call, but they might not be able to answer your question, or maybe not even take your call. I thought it would be great if there were somebody out there that was your contemporary, knew the sport, and answered your questions face to face. It would be a lot more personal, too. H&S: What’s it like to see so many of your clients when you’re out competing? LC: It is so awesome because I get to cheer on all the horses and riders. Sometimes if it’s a big class and it’s a horse that we insure, I feel like it’s my own horse in the ring. In the office, we’ll all be watching them compete online and we’ll get so excited if one of “our” horses does really well. H&S: What are some of your riding goals? LC: I think one of my main goals right now is to have a horse that, when they’re 18, is sound and willing to go out there and still jump at the top level. That would show that I’ve kept them happy and healthy. It’s got to be the result of ultimate horsemanship. We have customers that do this, and I admire it so much. H&S: What’s something you’d like to do with your company?

Laura Connaway and Quite Funny; photo © Sandy Gregory


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LC: We have such amazing employees and I’ve really wanted to do a four-day workweek for everyone at Connaway & Associates. We are implementing that in April. I consider it a huge accomplishment because everybody who works in our business is basically a partner in the whole company. We have such longevity with our employees and they’re so dedicated and wonderful – they deserve this. So, this has been a long-term goal.

Los Angeles

Equestrian Inspired Tailored Athleisure

H& S


by Laurie Berglie photos by Stefanie Keeler Photography


¡ spring/summer 20

“Simple, Classic & Understated. Until I Win the Lottery.” Tucked away in a rural corner of Jacksonville, Florida, is Congaree and Penn, a farm dedicated to agriculture and culinary endeavors. This farm has been a labor of love for owners Lindsay and Scott Meyer, and in 2017, they laid down permanent roots after rehabbing and moving into the little farmhouse that has resided on the property since the 1930s.

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ongaree and Penn, once a tiny rice farm in Jacksonville, Florida, has expanded its milling operations and grown into a thriving farm of orchards, you-pick vines and fields, and is home to a variety of chickens, ducks, goats, horses, and thousands of honeybees. It’s also home to Lindsay and Scott. “Scott had just finished graduate school at the University of Miami, we were about to get married, and we had no idea what we were going to do,” states Lindsay. “Scott’s father offered us the opportunity to do something with this land; he’s owned it since the 80s. It was his former landscape tree farm, but when we took over in 2014 it was mostly weeds and dirt. It took a whole lot of vision and Scott’s wonderful optimism to coax the farm into what is today. We still have a long way to go, of course, but sometimes I have to make myself stop and realize that we’ve come so far.” Sitting in the middle of this farm was a small house that they both took a liking to, and it wasn’t long until a renovation began in earnest with a goal of moving to the farm for good. “After a year of gutting and remodeling, we moved into our little farmhouse in May of 2017. It’s been around for close to 90 years, and when we acquired the house, it was all crusty windows and shag carpet and moldy ceilings.” L E O PA R D P R I N T IS A NEUTRAL Now their adorable white-painted abode happily sits at the end of a long drive, surrounded by enormous live oaks, and flanked by an elegant new stable. Inside the house you will find Lindsay’s collection of artwork, trinkets old and new, and a multitude of farm animals – every equestrian’s dream. “When we first began construction, my vision was to create a canvas that felt like it could be finished, but still had plenty of room to decorate over the years. I am not one to purchase pieces that I don’t love just to fill a space. Whether it be furniture, hardware, lighting, or artwork, it has to feel good and it has to have a story.” Lindsay notes that they have pieced things together as they’ve gone along, and they are definitely drawn toward mixing aesthetics and rearranging to let


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Lindsay & Scott Meyer



the overall result “feel right.” She’s a bit of a traditionalist in design, and finds that she gravitates toward the color blue, and to leopard print, (“It’s a neutral, you know”), and is also partial to brass. As much as Lindsay loves Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, (the white that most of their walls are painted), she can’t wait to slap some wild wallpaper on those walls. “Most people compliment my minimalist sense of design, but I’m a maximalist at heart. It’s only for lack of funds that our home is not wallpapered head to toe with custom window treatments and gallery walls full of original artwork. Someday, my friends.” While Lindsay’s quest for discovering original artwork and “trinkets with stories” will never cease, she also has a scene in her mind she’d love to recreate. “It sounds incredibly cheesy, but I have a photo of a western saddle slung over an exposed ceiling beam saved on my Pinterest page. It’s just done so tastefully. We don’t have any beams, but I would build one just so that I could find a good old saddle to throw on top of it.” FLORA , BUT M O S T LY FAU N A Lindsay grew up on a farm in Anthony, New Mexico, where she, “begged and begged for a real menagerie, but it was all flora and no fauna.” She was also a horse crazy girl but didn’t begin riding until after she graduated from college. “I formed a good base for my riding education in South Florida, (being near Wellington was a dream). When we moved to Jacksonville, I continued riding lesson horses until I purchased Charley. Of course, I still ride lesson horses, and I’m still learning every day. I am an amateur and real chicken through and through, but I won’t ever stop striving to become a better horsewoman. Thank goodness it’s a lifelong sport.” It’s only natural that she’s drawn to horsey décor, but she tries to balance that with intentional design that isn’t overwhelmingly equestrian. It’s no surprise, however, that her favorite piece of décor is her Charley piñata. “Scott gave it to me the Christmas before I purchased my first horse, Charley. It was filled with cash. Ha! Not quite enough cash, but it was more of a symbolic gift; a concession

from Scott that, okay, you can finally get a horse, Lindsay.” Now Lindsay is blessed with mostly fauna as her herd has expanded to include Charley and Moose (an OTTB), a Great Dane (Lula), an Irish Wolfhound (Seabiscuit), some “artistocats,” some barn cats, a flock of chickens, a team of ducks, a few Guinea fowl, and four goats – most of which make their way in and out of the house regularly. “Charley and Moose moved to the farm in February of 2019. I’ve kept them alive for over a year now! At first it was terrifying. I was an anxious horse momma. The boys were not allowed in the same paddock, they were only turned out during the day, and if they even broke into a trot, I’d run outside to bring them back into their stalls. Now they’re turned out together 24/7. Unless the weather’s terrible, their stall doors are open for them to make their own choices. They gallop, they roughhouse, they act like brothers. Momma took a chill pill, and it’s made everyone happier. Seeing them from any window of our house still makes my heart flutter. Charley loves to stare longingly into the windows. He just wants to be a house horse already.” The barn is a Morton Building and has two stalls and a tack/feed room. It’s simple and efficient, and Lindsay loves everything about it. “The pieces hanging in my tack room are also pretty special. I have Charley’s AQHA certificate framed, along with Moose’s racing record. He won one race. Which says a lot about why I, an amateur who really enjoys a kick ride, own an OTTB.” Lindsay and Scott will continue to grow their farm and business and make their house a home. With the addition of storied pieces, and hopefully some wallpaper, the farmhouse will take shape as the years unfold. For now, Lindsay describes her equestrian style as, “Simple, classic, and understated. Until I win the lottery.” You can follow Lindsay and Scott’s adventures at Congaree and Penn online at and on Instagram @congareeandpenn. Lindsay’s Instagram is @oldkingslane where she shares snippets of “mostly my animals and other family.”


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Agatha the chicken with Lindsay’s beloved ‘Charley’ piñata in the background

Charley & Moose


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Trendy Trainer

by Sarah Appel & Terri Roberson

The Lawrence, Vanner, $180 Crossbody Bag, Petite Apolis + T.B.E., $78 Dorset Slide Sandal, Katharine Page, $375 Sharon Blouse, Rönner Design, $169 Le Crop Mini Boot High-Rise Jeans, Frame, $230

The Bold The Beautiful


Summer is the perfect time to make a statement and to be bold. That can translate into how you approach the world, how you define yourself and how you dress. Bold patterns paired with neutral hues make summer outfits pop. Take charge of whatever you are passionate about and lead with kindness, compassion and stylish silhouettes.

Ambient Amateur Marcie Mini Fringe Satchel Bag, Chloé, $1,390 Horse Print Dress, Stella McCartney, $740 Rimless Square-Frame Metal Sunglasses, Gucci, $505 Cavalli Horse Cuff, Evocateur, $395 Oran Sandal, Hermès, $650


· spring/summer 20

Jovial Junior Ipi Horse Jacquard Shorts, Maje, $295 Smocked Button Blouse, One Clothing, $29 Caspian Necklace, AtelierCG, $99 Hana Suede Crossbody, See by Chloé, $295 Transport Sandal, Steve Madden, $80

Pony Mom Boho Shopping Tote, Etro, $1,030 Belcanto Blouse, Rönner Design, $179 Helena High-Rise Jeans, GRLFRND, $230 Blanche Herringbone Large Brim Hat, Maison Michel, $696 The Chelsea Boot, Rothy's, $145

Gorgeous Gent Royal Belt Buckle and Reversible Leather Strap, Hermès, $765 Multi-Strap Horsebit Bracelet, Gucci, $580 Ball Star Sneakers, Golden Goose, $335 Simon Fluid Horse Shirt, Acne Studios, $350 Slim-Fit Jeans, Tom Ford, $650

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O N the


by Emily Pollard photos by Juan Lamarca styled by Emma Werner

Makeup by Gina Simone using CHANEL Beauty; Shoes by Sam Edelman; Location: Bedford Park, Wellington, FL

Hannah Selleck

A Singular Vision

I had the pleasure of meeting Hannah Selleck during a trip to the 2019 Saut Hermès, where I really got to know the woman beyond the famous name and FEI professional equestrian profile. Selleck is just the woman you would want to spend your girls’ horse-show-weekendaway with. She has a sharp sense of humor that keeps you laughing, loves hunting down incredible, hole-inthe-wall restaurants, and is always willing to explore the city by foot and marvel at the sights. Each day, before the night classes, we would wander through the city, walking ten or so miles, all the while chatting about everything from the trivial to the more serious. As I listened to her stories, horse-related and otherwise, it became apparent that Selleck is whip-smart, highly analytical about the world and her role in it, and incredibly hardworking.


ur interview for this article, happening a little over a year after our time in Paris, confirmed the conclusions I had previously drawn about Selleck while on our Paris trip. Connecting over the phone, I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with her and was impressed with how much she had accomplished in the short time since we last spoke. At the time of the interview, Selleck was in Wellington with several horses, and over the course of the call, she shared her recent successes with each of them. She spoke about the future of her business, Descanso Farm, which is currently transitioning from a boutique breeding farm to a boutique sales business. She also gave me great insight into how she manages to keep all the balls in the air (breeding, showing, sales, self-care); insight which is easily summarized in one word: work. It is late afternoon when we settle into our call, allowing Selleck time to work with her horses earlier in the day. Our call is somewhat delayed as Selleck was unexpectedly hung up with one of the horses at the barn who was being shod; she needed to be there to work with the

farrier on a particular issue. This slight timing glitch highlighted an incredible aspect of Selleck’s program at Descanso Farm: she personally oversees every part of running it. When I ask how she does it all, she explains, “I make the time, because I believe that how you do anything is how you do everything. In this sport, there is such a small margin that separates each of the top athletes, every decision is a variable in the equation of success. I want to be the one in control of those variables.” This answer, given quite decidedly, is the first of many reminders during our interview that Selleck’s success is determined by her willingness to work hard. Attention to each variable is one of Selleck’s hard work super powers, and what it looks like in practice is a great deal of planning, controlling, reviewing, and revising a strategy for the training and care for each horse at Descanso Farm. She decides each horse’s nutrition plan, veterinary care, training schedule, show calendar, time-off requirements, and more. Selleck offers some insight into her approach, “I spend the majority of my time with each horse living and breathing

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Good Times in Wellington As Selleck describes her 2020 Wellington winter circuit, she outlines her successes by first giving credit to her horses. She begins with “Rumple,” a seven-year-old mare that Selleck bred herself for Descanso Farm. Known to the scoreboard as Rumpleteazer DF, the mare is an American Warmblood by Flexible that Selleck recently took over riding from Will Simpson. Instead of starting with a list of her impressive victories with Rumple (which included top ribbons in the Seven-YearOld Jumper division at WEF and a successful FEI debut at the Palm Beach Open), Selleck tells me the story of the how she and the spicy mare came to work so well together. As the interview progresses, I realize that Selleck’s natural inclination to tell a horse’s story, rather than simply recite facts and show results, clearly demonstrates how she is just as excited by the process of the endeavor as she is by the product. Rumple’s journey became particularly challenging after Selleck sustained a significant injury that required time and rehab to heal. After being cleared to ride, Selleck found she was struggling to work through the fear of riding the young, often wild, chestnut mare. Selleck reflects on the experience, “I have come to understand that there is a fine line between being brave and pushing through fear, and being smart about my limitations and asking for help. I realized, during this time with Rumple, that this was a time for me to use my colleagues as a resource.” Soon after enlisting the help of Michelle Grubb and Ali Wolff, Selleck was back on Rumple and in the ring. “I knew I was going to have to conquer my fear eventually, but I needed to be in the right headspace to do it.” This type of self-work, focused on analytical self-awareness and self-reflection (as opposed to the too-often celebrated grin-and-bear-it attitude toward working through struggles), is another valuable practice that Selleck is committed to applying in her business and her life.


· spring/summer 20

As the conversation transitions from Rumple to “Barla,” the 16-year-old Oldenburg mare that Selleck has owned and ridden for eight years, Selleck’s manner becomes less businesslike and serious, and more similar to that of a mother gushing about her firstborn child. And as with Rumple, she starts by telling their story: “In the beginning, Barla was just wild; she and I could barely get around the ring. But she could jump the moon and she was so careful over the fences. I knew this was a horse worth fighting for.” Over the years, Selleck put in an incredible amount of time and effort with Barla, working with Ian Miller on Barla’s ground manners and lunging basics in order to enhance the mare’s rideability. In time, and with Ilan Ferder’s help managing the mare, Selleck’s hard work paid off. She and Barla experienced great success together in the

In this sport, such a small margin separates each of the top athletes, every decision becomes a variable in the equation of success.

the details, which is especially important given that these are partner athletes that cannot talk. But then, when I enter the ring before a round, I release those details and just go, knowing that I took care of everything else as best I possibly could.” This strategy has served her horses well over the years, and certainly contributed to her success in Wellington this winter.

show ring, including a 1st place finish in the $38,000 Canadian Pacific Grand Prix CSI2* at the Los Angeles Masters in 2015. From Selleck’s story and tone, it is clear that Barla has been a significant horse in her life, and that she has learned a lot from the mare. Selleck also makes a point to gratefully credit Barla with bridging her journey from a junior and young rider to a professional, a notoriously challenging transition for riders to navigate. When Selleck tells me that Barla’s time at WEF this year marked her last season in the show ring, I can feel that retiring the mare from competition was a tough, heartfelt decision for Selleck to make. But Selleck always does what is best for her horses, and, as she succinctly states, “It was her time.” Selleck also explained that although bittersweet, the timing for

Barla’s retirement seemed fitting, as shifting Descanso Farm’s focus from breeding to sales will keep Selleck quite busy. One of the sale horses with her in Wellington is Kasper van het Leliehof, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding who has already proven his talent in the arena in their short time together. Selleck begins “Kasper’s” story by explaining how excited she is to have this special horse with her at Wellington. At my request, she takes a moment to detail their wins, which are extensive, including the $2,500 1.35m Jumpers during week five of WEF, a sixth place finish out of 80 entries in the $8,000 CSI2* Griffis Residential 1.40m Jumpers during WEF week nine, and closing out their season at the Palm Beach Open with back-to-back clear rounds in the $10,000 CSI2* Bruins Tour 1.40m Warm Up and the $10,000 CSI2* Bruins Tour Qualifier with a third place finish out of 76 entries. The list goes on and on, but suffice it to say, he is a real winner – in all senses of the word – and Selleck is thrilled to have him with Descanso Farm until he sells.

Descanso Farm: A Perfect Pivot Kasper has proven himself a great horse to mark Descanso Farm’s pivot from a boutique breeding program to a boutique sales program. Selleck thoroughly enjoyed her time running the breeding operation for the past ten years, amassing a wealth of knowledge from Grand Prix rider Soehnke Theymann, as well as Barbara Ellison, the owner of Wild Turkey Farm in Oregon. Selleck is quick to interject that learning from other professionals has always been a key to her success – in the breeding world and otherwise – stating, “Learning from my colleagues makes me better at what I do.” She and Ellison forged a strong friendship that allowed Selleck to learn as she developed her breeding program, and soon her education and hard work yielded talented (and adorable) sport horse foals. Selleck was drawn to the world of breeding through an earnest understanding of its significance for the sport in the U.S., “It is so important for the U.S. to produce high quality sport horses, and for U.S. riders to be educated in how to start and train young

Hannah Selleck and Barla; photo © Ashley Neuhof

spring/summer 20 ·


Fitness as a Priority As H&S readers learned in Selleck’s “Working on Wellness” feature in the Summer 2019 issue, Selleck has an incredibly holistic approach to her health; one that combines the physical, mental, and emotional. She explains that finding and maintaining this balance is especially important on the road, when life is about long days, hotel beds, and restaurant food, all of which tend to disturb her equilibrium. She tries to limit caffeine, eat healthy, and make choices that feel right for her body. But Selleck admits, everything is best in moderation – once in a while, her night ends with room service mac n’ cheese and some TV time. To maintain her physical and mental well-being, Selleck loves to run, go to a spin class, or do HIIT workouts. “Cardio is really important for me. It helps me dissipate any anxiety I am feeling. Even when I am traveling, I will run on the hotel treadmill and visualize my rounds. It is a physical act that brings me mental clarity.” When asked if she meditates, Selleck admits, “I try...” But she is quick to laugh and explain that’s why they call meditation a “practice” and not a “doing.” Based on my observation, as opposed to Selleck’s self-admission, laughter (and her great sense of humor) is another self-care practice of hers, a practice that even those around her get to benefit from.

Hannah Selleck and Barla; photo © Ashley Neuhof

horses. A home-based breeding program is a great way for U.S. riders to be able to afford high-quality, competitive horses that they might not otherwise have access to.” Selleck herself is proof of her own beliefs: Rumple, a Descanso Farm foal all grown up, is winning in the jumper ring. Selleck admits that balancing an international show jumping career and a breeding program was a challenge, and a few notable riding experiences led her to realize that her heart truly lies in the show ring. In 2016, Selleck competed in Europe, including stops at the Madrid and Valkenswaard Global Champions Tour competitions, and she thoroughly enjoyed competing at that level, as well as traveling throughout Europe. She also spent some time working for Burgundy Farms which yielded quite a bit of time in the saddle, as well as valuable experience working in an equestrian sales program. More recently, Selleck rode and showed Sheikha Melissa AL Fahad’s Cuzco QR while Sheikha Melissa was pregnant. It was a rewarding experience because it was Selleck who sourced the gelding. Sheikha Melissa asked Selleck to find a high amateur prospect that she could enjoy riding and competing after having her baby, but until then, could be competitive and exciting to watch with a professional in the open ring. Cuzco QR certainly fit the bill, and Selleck claimed top ten finishes with him on the West Coast FEI 2* circuit. Selleck explains, “Those experiences,

among a few others, made me realize that I really enjoy showing and sales, and that I was ready to spend more of my time riding seasoned show horses.” As a sales business, Descanso Farm will embody and maintain the same high standards it held as a breeding business: boutique, high-caliber, and completely managed by Selleck. She has a European partner that she is working with on the new venture, and the two have developed a sales program that will offer a wide range of exceptional high-end horses perfect for the U.S. amateur and U25 market. Utilizing her conventional equitation and classical riding background, Selleck will manage, train, and show each of the sales horses. At any given time, Descanso Farm will only manage between three and five sales horses, which will allow Selleck to devote the time and attention to each horse that her personal equestrian philosophy requires. Selleck is beyond excited about this new venture, and the energy she is bringing to this new phase of her life is palpable, even over the phone. “I just love the whole process. It was incredible bringing Kasper to the U.S., settling him in and building a rapport with him. Then, as soon as we clicked, I loved getting him into the show ring, especially the speed class – I really relished that opportunity.” Although Selleck loves the horses, it is also very clear that she is a fierce competitor, and this new venture will allow her to gain

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Selleck’s long history as an industry professional, her show experience, and her reputation for honesty all but guarantee that repeat business is inevitable.

more experience on new and different mounts and in many different venues. Selleck also explains that this is just the beginning for Descanso Farm’s sales operation, and she has countless ideas about how to expand the business (by partnering with compatible investors) and how to enhance the buying experience for buyers (by offering buyers a beautiful sales barn to visit in California). But really, her main goal? Repeat business. She elaborates, “I believe in each of the horses that I have at Descanso Farm, so I know which type of buyer will be successful on each horse. I want to find each buyer his or her perfect match, so the next time that rider is looking for a horse, I get the opportunity to help them again.” Fortunately, Selleck’s long history as an industry professional, her show experience, and her reputation for honesty all but guarantee that repeat business is inevitable.

Competition and Goals Selleck’s history as a competitor is a long one, beginning with many accolades as a junior and young rider, programs which she credits with having taught her how to handle pressure, both from trainers and in the show ring. Her junior career also gave her a read on whether she wanted to become a professional, something she was not absolutely certain of at first. In a very relatable story, Selleck described how after graduating from Loyola Marymount University, her family told her she either had to work to be able to afford to ride, or she had to find a way to work as a rider. Selleck tried the former first, but it was not a fit. She explains, “I felt as though I was being taken away from the horses, and I couldn’t do it. I realized that despite the long hours, the physical labor, the travel, I needed to choose a riding career. So, I made the switch and though it hasn’t been easy, it was the perfect choice for me.”


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As we begin our discussion about her goals, Selleck offers one of the most refreshing outlooks on goalsetting that I have heard in a long time, and her honesty strikes a chord with me. She begins, “I am cautious with setting goals; I think they can cause burn out.” It is not exactly the response I was expecting, so I ask her to elaborate, which she does, with a story, “As a junior, I was incredibly goal-oriented, and I achieved the vast majority of the goals I set: Reserve Champion in the USEF Hunt Seat Medal Finals, Champion in the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals, and winning individual and team Gold at the North American Young Riders’ Championship. But in this sport in particular, chance plays a role, and horses go lame or riders sustain injuries. You cannot control all the variables to be completely goal-oriented; goals need to be set as moving targets.” Selleck shares one experience in particular that shaped this viewpoint. A horse she purchased as a potential Nations Cup™ prospect almost immediately started having health issues. Her budget was invested in that one horse, so finding an alternative mount was not an option. It was a heartbreaking experience, but like so many equestrians, it was just one of many similar stories Selleck could tell. “Comparison can steal your joy,” she goes on, “I had to realize that my journey is my own, my timeline is my own, and both will look different from another equestrian’s. My job is to work hard and to be in a place to be able to accept what comes when it comes. That has been the most successful philosophy for my life.” Certainly wise words, and it is clear that she applies that same philosophy to her approach with her horses and her business, that is: hard work, patience, and a good dose of self-reflection yield the best and biggest rewards.

Giving Back Selleck has been involved with charity work for the majority of her life, and credits the faith-based schools she attended with fueling her desire to make the world a better place. She offers insight, “Show jumping is such a small community, and it can often feel like that arena is your entire world. But it is important for us equestrians to remember that there is a big world around us, and that big world needs a lot of help – and we are in a position to provide it.” Right now, Selleck is partnered with Brooke USA, an organization that works to improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules, and the people they serve. They do this by helping the animals become (and remain) healthy and happy, which benefits the very poor families who depend on those animals to help them earn a living. To learn more about Brooke USA, see page 76. Beyond her charity work, Selleck would love to see the show jumping community embrace the intersection of sport and philanthropy. She explains that while she enjoyed riding at charity shows as a junior, real recognition for these causes would be best served by showcasing them at 5* events. “This,” she explains, “would help to broaden our blinders a bit.”

Despite a more spiritual approach to goal setting, Selleck has her sights set on hitting several career milestones. After taking some time off to completely heal from an injury, Selleck would love to come back to the sport showing consistent results in the FEI 2* and 3* rings, as well as return to the Longines FEI Rankings list. As I encourage her to share just a few heartfelt big, long-term goals, she takes a breath and divulges that she would love to show in the big Derby at Spruce Meadows or Hickstead, and qualify for the World Cup™ Finals. She finishes by saying that her real enjoyment comes from showing the horses she has in whichever arena they can be most successful. With a philosophy like that, it is easy to understand that the horses in Selleck’s program are lucky ones.

Barla-Billy Baby As we begin to wind the interview down, and we shift from serious questions to light conversation, I ask Selleck what Barla’s retirement will look like. She laughs lovingly and – of course – explains with a story, “The first year at Blenheim’s 3*,Vani Khosla and I were in the ribbons and chatting during the awards ceremony. I was on Barla, and she was on Billy Mexico, her amazing stallion. We complimented each other on the horses, and realized that we should make a Barla-Billy baby! We laughed it off back then, but with Barla retiring, I thought, this is the time to make that happen. So she will be bred to Billy Mexico and Vani and I will get to meet our Barla-Billy baby soon.” I too give a loving laugh, secretly glad Selleck is not entirely done with breeding, despite her exciting new ventures, because I too can’t wait to see a Barla-Billy baby. We soon hang up, as Selleck has to run and start the second wave of her busy day: office work. Reflecting on our call, and after the hours spent listening to Selleck’s excitement, her innovative ideas, and her determination, I imagine how great it will be to catch up with her a year from now to hear all about how she and Descanso Farm are reaping the benefits of all her hard work. Until then, I plan to use this time spent with Selleck as inspiration for my own life. So, wasting no time, I take out my computer, and get right to work on this article.

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by Pam Maley photos courtesy of Brooke USA


invisible workers


2016, American polo player Nic Roldan urged the country to help Brooke USA “Buy a Donkey a Drink.” And the country did. The summer campaign raised nearly $100,000, making possible the construction of three permanent water troughs in market centers in Ethiopia to provide water to overworked and overburdened donkeys as they toil for their owners. All day long, donkeys carry heavy loads of water, crops, and goods from their owners’ homes to the marketplaces, walking long distances in hot, dry, dusty conditions, to the point of exhaustion and dehydration. Now in at least three places, the donkeys can have drink of water. In addition to helping provide water, Brooke USA supports projects that send teams directly into the villages to involve local animal owners and their families, in keeping with the Brooke philosophy of employing and educating nationals, because that is the most effective way to implement long-term, sustainable change. Something that to us seems so simple,


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such as showing the owners how to make a pad for the donkey’s back to keep their heavy loads from causing open wounds, or using available resources to help existing wounds heal, can make a big difference for these patient animals. And this pattern is repeated to meet other crises throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, where 100 million horses, donkeys, and mules support 600 million of the world’s poorest people. A similar risk of heat exhaustion and injury exists in the brick kilns and coal mines of India, Pakistan and Nepal. Over 500,000 animals transport wet and dry bricks by cart or by pack, to and from the kilns. The workers are paid by the brick, so there is a forceful incentive to overload the donkey. Additionally, 8,500 equines work in dark, rugged terrain, thousands of feet into the earth in the horrific conditions of the subterranean coal mines, where long hours, heavy loads, untreated wounds from ill-fitting harnesses and overloaded packs, injuries from stumbling while carrying heavy loads, and

respiratory difficulties, make life tough for both donkeys and people. In these situations, Brooke teams work to help the people understand that overloading and overworking hurts – and eventually kills – the donkey, which destroys a family’s means to a livelihood. They teach simple, doable things: first aid, cart building, shade shelters and of course, access to water. In 2017, the year after buying a donkey a drink, Brooke USA celebrated Horse Heroes. This year-long campaign marked the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I and the service of the horses that were so essential to the war effort. The slogan and ambitious goal was “One Million Horses, One Million Heroes, One Million Dollars.” The American equestrian community stepped up with its extraordinary generosity, and Brooke USA far exceeded that goal. The next two years saw exponential growth, as Brooke USA took its place as one of the major sources of funding for Brooke. Emily Dulin, Executive Director

Top: Donkeys drink from a water trough funded by the Brooke USA “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign; Above: working donkeys; Right and Opposite: For many Kenyan families, donkeys play a crucial role in accessing and transporting fresh water and supplies

In 2019 Brooke USA partnered with and provided funding to:


Volcano, and frequently and adversely affected by its eruptions.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners to support the care of horses impacted by the wildfires in Southern California and the North Valley Animal Disaster Relief Group to support horses impacted by wildfires in Northern California.

Equitarian Initiative to provide education, equipment, supplies and medicine for places where veterinary services are not available.

ESAP (Fundacion Equinos Sanos Para El Pueblo) to build a shelter for 25 families and 150 animals (equines and cattle) in Panimache II, Guatemala, located only seven kilometers from the Fuego

LOPE to put on a two-day clinic (that extended to four days with an urgent plea to return yearly) on animal safety and husbandry at Camarero Racetrack in Puerto Rico.

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Women4Donkeys to arm Kenyan women with eduction on basic care, feeding and disease prevention for their donkeys.

The Brooke affiliate in Nepal for training to improve the physical environment for working equines in brick kilns, rice mills and milk chilling centers. Brooke West Africa in Senegal to sustainably improve the welfare of equines used to pull carts and carriages, improve animal welfare management and disaster preparedness skills of equine owners, and to improve the regulatory environment for working equines. Brooke Ethiopia to build two shelters to provide food, shade, shelter and rest for working equines at marketplaces.

of Brooke USA, regularly attends meetings of Brooke at global headquarters in England, she says, “To keep up the bond between the two sister organizations.” (To clarify: ‘Brooke’ refers to the international organization begun in 1934, while ‘Brooke USA’ is the organization here in the United States.) The public face of Brooke USA is its ambassadors – prominent people in the US horse world. “Brooke USA counts on the support of 18 ambassadors,” Dulin explains, “and they come from all disciplines – to name a few: polo (Hope Arellano), dressage (Olympians Ally Brock and Kasey Perry Glass), para-dressage (Paralympian Rebecca Hart), show jumping (Olympian Laura Kraut), eventing (Olympian Boyd Martin), and thoroughbred racing (threetime Eclipse Award winning jockey Ramon Dominguez, who was a model for Andre Pater’s jockey series (see page 118). “The equestrian community,” says Dulin, “has always been involved with Brooke USA because of their natural love of equines. But there’s beginning to be a shift in our strategy to bring in Ambassadors from outside the equestrian community (New

York Times author Mary Alice Monroe and celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman, for example), as Brooke USA has increasingly raised awareness of the important role equines play in the economies of developing countries.” THE HORROR OF THE DONKEY-HIDE TRADE Now in 2020, both Brooke and Brooke USA find themselves grappling with a quickly escalating, tragic crisis of huge dimension that threatens to eliminate donkeys entirely from large swaths of territory: the donkey hide trade, primarily in East Africa. Donkeys have long been slaughtered in China for their hides, to meet an everincreasing demand for Ejiao, a substance used in traditional Chinese medicine and beauty products. But in the last 20 years, the donkey population in China has dropped from 11 million to 6 million, causing the producers of Ejiao to look outside China’s borders, creating an explosion of donkey smuggling and slaughtering across Africa to feed this awful industry. Ejiao is a jelly-like substance that is obtained by boiling the hides of donkeys. With the rise of the middle class in China, there has

been massive growth in demand. “We need to ban that trade,” says Dulin, “but we also have to control the black market.” Kenya has been at the epicenter of the crisis, although it goes on all over the world and is quickly spreading. “Because of Africa’s proximity to China via longestablished trade routes, Africa is the place of choice,” says Dulin. “Some countries have stepped up and banned the trade. Ethiopia already has a ban in place and most recently was joined by Kenya, which announced the closure of its four slaughterhouses, each with the capacity to slaughter 1,000 donkeys per day. Tragically, the illegal trade continues, with smugglers stealing working donkeys, which has devastating effects, not only on the donkey population, but on the families who depend on their donkeys for survival. By losing their donkey, many families lose access to water, their ability to earn money and send their children to school, and to put food on the table, plunging people already deep in poverty further into despair. And the prospect of replacing a donkey has become so far out of reach as to be virtually impossible.

Above: A farrier working in Senegal; Right: A Senegalese family and their donkeys

Women are highly dependent on their donkeys, as they struggle with subsistence farming and household tasks, such as collecting water and firewood that sometimes must be transported over distances as much as 10 miles to and from their homes. One Kenyan woman explained poignantly, “Without a donkey, I am the donkey.” “Many donkeys are slaughtered in the bush,” says Dulin, “just outside the owner’s property. The smugglers will steal the donkey and even skin it alive. It’s horrifying!” Brooke USA began working on this problem in 2019, and has committed to continue to do so in 2020. “On the ground,” says Dulin, “it can be as simple as teaching the community to build a shelter that can be locked, to put bells on the doors of the stables, to bring in dogs, organize a neighborhood watch, install solar powered security lights. It’s about working handin-hand with the community to build programs that are most suited to them.” GLOBAL OUTREAC H Ultimately, governments have to become involved, to ban the donkey trade and outlaw slaughterhouses, in a pan-regional effort across Africa that goes beyond passing laws. Much of this work is done at the local level


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with long-term goals in mind. The regional director of Brooke West Africa, for example, recently had a meeting with the president of Senegal, in which they discussed education; creating a path for young people to become veterinary support workers, adding basic equine care to the school curriculum, and raising awareness of the terror of the donkey trade. The approach must be different in every place, tailored to the specific needs and resources of each community. “There’s a huge global advocacy component to all of this, and Brooke is bringing the plight of working equines in the developing world to the attention of the United Nations,” Dulin explains. “The UN has created sustainable development goals, among them economic growth, social inclusion, environmental protection; and Brooke is integrating its strategic plans into those goals. In a huge step forward, Brooke has attained consultative status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). This allows Brooke representatives to participate in meetings to spread awareness of the way in which the livelihoods of the people and their equines are inextricably intertwined, and framing the argument in terms of the pivotal role the working equines play in aiding the economies of the developing world.”

ENDING SUFFERING W H E R E N E E D I S G R E AT E S T This story is just a sampling of the worldwide network of projects that Brooke USA funds or helps to fund. “By partnering primarily with Brooke and other NGOs,” says Dulin, “Brooke USA is able to deliver our priorities around the globe.” For those of us lucky enough to be able to meet our basic needs and more, and who have an innate love for the horse, it can be difficult to fathom the maltreatment of these working animals. But Dulin emphasizes, “It can be so easy to criticize, but we have to understand that the human conditions are just as bad. These people are so, so poor.” We at Horse & Style, and all who love a horse, applaud Brooke USA and Brooke for their compassionate work to end suffering where need is greatest. For more information or to make a contribution, please go to (A happy footnote: on February 26, 2020, CNN reported that Kenya has announced a ban on the slaughter of donkeys. And a sad one: the Chinese manufacturer of Ejiao is promoting it as a treatment for COVID-19, the new Coronavirus, so the thieves and smugglers will likely just move to new venues.)

Stephanie Reppas, founder of October Design

B E H I N D the


by Natalie Keller Reinert photos courtesy of October Design

Stephanie Reppas and October Design Old things: as equestrians, we tend to love them. We live in a culture steeped in tradition, bound by convention and the practices our trainers taught us, dressed in leather and trimmed with brass. So the rising popularity of October, the company run by designer and artist Stephanie Reppas, comes as no surprise. Reppas takes cast-aside equestrian bits and bobs – among other things – and turns them, with a keen minimalist eye, into strikingly original decor.


here’s a certain warmth to Reppas’s particular brand of industrial chic, a life lent to wooden tables and bold oval mirrors by the objects she chooses to decorate with. An ornate driving bit serves as an ingenious mirror hanger; oiled leather and a single bridoon bring simple elegance to an antique side-table; a long-shanked curb bit proves perfect for hanging a kitchen towel (or even a roll of toilet paper). There’s nothing chintzy or kitschy about these repurposed pieces of harness and saddlery, but there are no hard edges, either. At October Design, Reppas crafts each of these unique creations by hand. Her popular mirrors feature frames accented with hand-tacked leather, which has been cleaned, conditioned and waxed to restore its natural gleam. The backboards are cut by hand and detailed meticulously;

the glass itself is buffed to remove every imperfection. Whether accented with a full driving bridle or just a snaffle bit, these mirrors make a show-stopping delight for any equestrian entering the room. It’s the attention to detail and the handcrafted polish which is putting Reppas’s work into homes and businesses across the country. But even as the accolades and orders pour in, she isn’t about to cut any corners. “I’ve had opportunities to expand into wholesale and large-scale retail,” Reppas explains, “but it meant mass-production… using cheap, non-sustainable materials. That just goes against everything my business stands for. Plus,” she adds, “it seems boring!” Instead of going mass-market, Reppas is digging into the equestrian communities around her. From Saratoga Springs and

Saugerties to the Hamptons and Wellington, Reppas is reaching out to the horse-people who can appreciate her unique work – and who can never have too many equine accents around the house. THE WEIRD ARTIST KID This self-proclaimed “weird artist kid” has come a long way since her desk job as a graphic designer. After fifteen years playing the corporate game, tired of having no energy to work on her own projects (“twenty sketchbooks of unrealized ideas,” Reppas relates, mentioning tantalizing concepts such as “defeated umbrellas” and pinhole cameras) she decided to learn the new skills she’d need to bring her ideas to life: woodworking, welding, wiring. A return to school and a degree in industrial design followed. “So now I’m the weird artist kid armed with torches and power tools,” Reppas explains. Plus, the learning continues. “I’m enrolling in blacksmith classes this summer.” A B I T O F A S C AV E N G E R When we see a room full of old junk, Reppas sees artistic opportunity. “I’ve always been a bit of scavenger,” she says. Upstate New York is a scrapper’s dream, and while Reppas started out in the industrial lighting industry, she found

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the market quickly oversaturated. “It’s hard to stand out in that environment when everyone’s designing the same lamp.” A flea market find of a finely-crafted driving bridle would prove positively serendipitous for Reppas, even though she didn't have a use for it at first. Eventually she’d wrap the leather around glass and create her first equestrian mirror. From that mirror, Reppas has turned her equestrian line into a design essential for equestrians in the know. Lighting, home decor, furniture: it all gets the vintage equestrian touch with leather, stirrups, chains, and bits. Mirrors detailed with blinders and browbands are a bold equine look; for something more subtle, a snaffle bit acts as a hanger and soft brown buffalo leather encircles the mirror frame. “The leather mirrors really took on a life of their own,” Reppas says. While she still creates plenty of unique and quirky pieces, the popular mirrors are a bastion of October Design’s online store, and are snapped up by decorators for use in homes, tack rooms, and commercial spaces. Each mirror is unique, its accents created with tack found around upstate New York, or sent to her for a bespoke piece. Reppas accepts bridles and other pieces of leather tack for personal commissions, creating a unique design which stands as a lasting tribute to a prized horse. “It’s a really special experience and an honor when clients provide their own tack from a beloved horse,” Reppas says, describing her chats with equestrians who are looking to her to create a memento from their bridles or bits, often to commemorate a certain horse or a special time in their life. “They describe their equine companions as soul mates, best friends and significant others.” The authentic warmth of October Design’s equestrian decor is no accident. Reppas has a horsey background, with a childhood spent in rural Ohio amongst farms and horses. From English riding lessons to what frankly sounds like an extremely fun Girl Scout Camp (“a whole week of trail riding and sleeping with the horses in the barn”) she isn’t a stranger to the mysteries of saddles and bridles. Reppas can tell her surcingles from her snaffles, and in the equestrian market, that’s an absolute must. SUS TAIN ABILIT Y IS THE BUSINESS So, with an expanding business, why the hard focus on bespoke, unique, and upcycling? “The common thread of all of my designs


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has been repurposing discarded materials and giving them new life,” says Reppas. Citing the craftsmanship which characterized the hand-made elements of nineteenth-century life, Reppas points out the difference between our mass-produced world of plastic and the elegant beauty of yesteryear. “People took the care and time to hand-forge beautiful, decorative details into something so utilitarian, like a pulley used to haul bales of hay from one end of a barn to the other.” It’s a care Reppas still sees in saddlery today, calling tack “one of the few things still designed and created with that fine craftsmanship in mind.” So she simply extends the long lifespan of leather even further, with a second career as a bespoke memento. RUNNING THE BUSINESS Creation is just part of the job when you’re a one-woman show. Reppas does it all, from getting on the road to source materials to pulling up a chair to update October Design’s website. With most sales taking place online, the internet side of things is important: page design, SEO, photography and product pages all have to be kept up-todate. Other days are all work: “nose-to-thegrindstone production,” as Reppas describes it, “kicking out designs and filling orders.” With the freedom to set her own hours, this night owl can take advantage of her most productive hours late in the day and sleep away the morning – a clear advantage of running one’s own business! “I don’t do (or miss) 9-to-5 life,” Reppas says. “I sleep mornings, and I work afternoons and evenings when I’m most productive.” For aspiring creators, Reppas has the most simple advice, “Do it now. Do one thing every day that moves you forward, even if it’s just a tiny step. Research something, make something, talk to other makers to get advice. You might be surprised to find where you are in five or ten years.” For Reppas, she’s gone from a city life in graphic design to a DIY life of industrial design in upstate New York. What’s coming up next? This artist’s mirrors are going magical, as she collaborates with an interior designer on the renovation of Walt Disney World Resort’s Tri-Circle-D Ranch in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It’s sure to be a welcome glow-up for a beautiful bespoke brand. To purchase an October Design original, please visit

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N E W product


by Laurie Berglie photos courtesy of Purvida Healthy Horse

Purvida Healthy Horse We all have that horse – the one with the sensitive skin that is irritated with just about every single product we try. The solution? Purvida Healthy Horse – a product line that combines the best of science and nature to bring natural grooming and care solutions to horses that react poorly to synthetic ingredients found in many conventional products.


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TAKIN G A LEAP Amanda Lee has always been a horse girl, but until starting Purvida Healthy Horse, she had never worked in the industry. She studied business in college and shortly after graduation started the 9-to-5 grind at one of the largest companies in Canada. “Shortly after that, I bought my horse, Finnegan, who was at the time, terrified of spray bottles. After noticing a huge difference from switching to natural skincare products myself, I wondered if maybe some of the harsher ingredients

found in conventional products were irritating his skin. I began working on my own natural formula that would not only clean and condition Finnegan’s sensitive skin, but repel insects, promote hair growth, soothe his skin, and kill bacteria and fungus. I was really happy with the way the end result left his coat, and Finn loved it so much he was even letting me spray him in the face!” It was at this point that Amanda realized it was time for a change, professionally. “I really wanted to own my own business, and as a horse owner who had

personally struggled to find effective natural grooming products, I realized that I probably wasn’t the only one who could use a solution. So, after much deliberation, I took a chance, quit my job, and invested what I had into developing my homemade conditioning spray in a lab and manufacturing a small batch to sell.”

further develop the at-home recipe that I had created a couple years prior, using only natural ingredients that served a specific purpose. After months of testing, we perfected the formula and launched our Original Conditioning Spray. This all-in-one coat spray contains only a few simple ingredients.”

THE ORIGINAL C O N D I T I O N I N G S P R AY T H AT S TA RT E D I T A L L All of Purvida’s products were created not only to solve common grooming issues, but to change the way these grooming products were used. Amanda was frustrated by the number of spray bottles she had in her grooming box, so she looked to combine them to create a single coat spray that was both effective and gentle on her horse’s skin.

Coconut Oil: gently cleans and conditions, and contains vitamins C and E which help promote healthy skin and hair.

“In November 2017, I began working with a biochemist to

Amanda Lee, Purvida Healthy Horse Founder

Witch Hazel: a natural toner that also removes stains and won’t over-dry your horse’s skin or coat. Vegetable Glycerin: is intensely hydrating curing dandruff, rubs, and dry, flaky skin. It also leaves your horse’s coat with a beautiful shine. Cedarwood Essential Oil: This essential oil is a special one as not only does it smell incredible, it is a super effective insect repellent, naturally antibacterial, antifungal,

and antiseptic, promotes hair growth, treats itchy skin, and is even known to calm nervousness and anxiety in your horse! E X PA N D I N G T H E I R GROOMING PRODUCT LINE After the success of the Original Conditioning Spray, Amanda began partnering with other experts to create a larger product line. “After obtaining a Veterinary Healthy Product Number and approval for use on horses, we launched Purvida Healthy Horse’s Roll-On Relief Liniment powered by MuscleCare, a drug-free, scientifically proven analgesic that’s approved for use on both humans and horses, quick and easy to apply, and immediately starts working to relieve any muscle pain and/or inflammation.” At the same time, she began working on a new shampoo. “Another grooming frustration I’ve had is using shampoos that are next to impossible to rinse out, so one big thing I was looking for was that when I sweat scraped my horse after a single rinse, I didn’t find any residual soapiness. This one took a bit of trial and error, but eventually we found that the most effective way to do this was to create a super concentrated shampoo designed to be mixed into a bucket of water.” After consulting with a few farriers, Amanda developed the Purvida Polish Hoof Oil, which is made with avocado oil, tea tree essential oil, and a hint of beeswax. The sponge-top applicator makes it quick and easy to apply a thin, even layer of oil to your horse’s entire hoof, including sole and frog, helping to lock in moisture, treat and prevent thrush, and promote healthy hooves. Through years of hard work and trial and error, Amanda has developed an incredibly effective grooming product line that is transparent about the ingredients used. “As we continue to grow and expand, I love connecting with customers on social media to learn about their experiences and if there are other opportunities for us to use the power of nature and science to solve any grooming issues they might have. If you’re interested in finding a better, more effective way to groom your horse, I would love it if you followed us on Instagram or Facebook at @purvidahealthyhorse and joined the conversation!” You can shop Purvida Healthy Horse products online at


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Fine-art Equine Photographer

Equine Portraiture Horse and Rider Private Cleint Horse Show Photographer Tara Arrowood 415.596.3646

WO RKING on by Vanessa Hood


Mind, Body, Soul … Sip, Snack, Squat

photo © Kaitlyn Karssen

Vanessa Hood is an equestrian based in Wellington, Florida together with her daughter Milly and husband Gavin. She grew up competing in the pony, hunter, equitation and jumper ranks nationally and, later, internationally. After attending Yale, she took over a decade off from the horses to work in government and business, a career which took her from D.C. to New York, London, the Netherlands and California. After returning to the sport a few years ago, she quickly realized that working with horses is her life’s work. She currently trains with American international show jumper Kent Farrington and spends her time competing on the circuit with her team of high-level jumpers.


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1. M I N D I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks. It’s like chatting with a star athlete, business leader, musician, or leading doctor – I love it. Boss Files with Poppy Harlow and The Goop Podcast are my favorites. As for audiobooks, I often listen to sports psychology books. Having a healthy mindset is important to persevering and succeeding in show jumping, so I like to keep growing in this area. Then, there are some books that just beg to be read the old-fashioned way! The best book I’ve read in hard copy recently is The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I also enjoy meditating; I notice a big difference in my quality of life when I keep up a daily practice.

4. SIP Tea is my hot drink of choice. I have a cup in the morning and one to jump-start my afternoon. I look forward to those few simple moments everyday! I’m a big hydrator, so I drink a lot of water. If it’s really hot, I’ll add an electrolyte packet once a day like Electrolyte Recovery Plus or Liquid IV. For cocktail hour, I recently discovered Ketel One Botanicals with lots of lime and a splash of soda.

2. BODY Working outside everyday, sunscreen is key. My two favorites are EltaMD UV sunscreen and Supergoop! PLAY Everyday SPF 50.

5. SNAC K Recently, I experimented with going vegan and I felt good and energized. After a while, I craved meat and fish and started eating some animal protein again. I think going vegan improved my diet and taught me to incorporate much more fruit, veggies and seeds into my diet. To treat myself, I’ll eat savory (specifically french fries!) over sweets any day.

3. SOUL The best thing for my soul is spending time with friends and family. In Wellington, I’ve reconnected with a lot of old friends, some of whom I’ve known since our pony days, so it has been really special to catch up. I’m not sure any of us have changed that much since we were 12! The best therapy I’ve found is reading chapter books with my daughter Milly. I hope she still wants to read with me many years from now. It’s so important to take regular breaks since the horses are time-consuming. My favorite off-duty activity is chilling by the pool with my husband Gavin.

6 . S Q UAT We ask the horses to be in top condition so I try to be as fit as I can. For strengthening, aligning and recovery, I do Pilates. I’ve been working with California-based trainer Tom McCook for many years, and now that I live in Florida, we do weekly virtual sessions. Sometimes I’ll supplement with his videos on the Pilates Anytime app. He’s truly a master at the mechanics of movement for athletes. Pilates is a great complement to riding and even short 10-minute sessions help me get ready for or unwind from my day.



6. 2.

photo Š SportFot

with Vanessa Hood daughter Milly


Vanessa Hood and her husband Gavin

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B E H I N D the


by Alli Addison photos courtesy of REIGNS by Savannah Fellers


REIGNS by Savannah Fellers


he world could use a little more positivity right now. With more clarity than ever before, we are witnessing a cultural shift, both in the equestrian world and the world beyond, toward an entrepreneurial spirit; brand transparency; a sense of connection and relationshipbuilding; business ingenuity; the continued rise of both body positivity and selfreflection; and an unparalleled appreciation for our past, our heritage, mistakes made, successes accomplished and the future that lies ahead. It is during this historic chapter that the team at H&S is taking notice of the individuals and organizations that are doing an exemplary job navigating this complicated course with poise, grace, empathy, positivity and an unwavering commitment to quality. Savannah Fellers is

just one of those individuals, and we were thrilled to catch up with her to discuss her modern equestrian wear venture that launched late last year: REIGNS by Savannah Fellers. Horse & Style: Let’s begin with a “what” and an introduction to the brand. Savannah Fellers: REIGNS by Savannah Fellers is a premium equestrian wear brand for the modern rider, rooted in equestrian heritage, passion, ethics, unparalleled quality and reinterpreted for today’s equestrian. We have been very focused on creating a brand that recognizes the need for inclusivity and body positivity. After navigating my own struggles with body image, I wanted to be extremely

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intentional in curating REIGNS’ size chart. Unfortunately, our culture is unkind to the female body. It expects all women, regardless of body type and genetic makeup, to fit into the same tiny mold. As its ideal is rarely achievable, women feel compelled to obsess over their measurements rather than focus their time and energy on their aspirations. Not only is this system unhealthy, but it also prevents progress. Thus, our size chart is a paradigm shift. We have thrown out the numbers and the limiting language. Rather than placing sizes on a range, we utilized uplifting descriptors to treat each size as an individual. REIGNS’ size chart supports the idea that every size is equally valuable, inviting women to celebrate their uniquely designed figures. H&S: What inspired you to create REIGNS by Savannah Fellers? SF: My experiences have shaped my aesthetic perspective and business strategy, although I was most inspired


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by equestrians’ unfulfilled needs. Before transitional items were available, a rider’s wardrobe served one purpose; to comply with USEF’s standards. Most often, these items were only worn in the ring or around the show. Sporting breeches and paddock boots after the conclusion of the day’s classes meant accepting bystander’s confused expressions, “Why would you layer colorful tall socks over long pants with ankle-height shoes?” Designing items that enhance performance, yet transition seamlessly into different environments provided a clear and defined space for me to experiment. REIGNS does not directly compete with existing brands, as it is fulfilling a unique need. It does not provide basic, carboncopy garments. It respects and abides by our sport’s traditions and standards, while pushing boundaries in a way that allows our designs to double as attractive, elegant streetwear. It caters to individuals, women who carve their own paths. Our limited supply preserves the special feel of our designs.

H&S: Where do you do your manufacturing, and how did you find the perfect relationship in this process? SF: For our first season, we partnered with an Italian-based manufacturer who produced our samples and patterns, while coordinating the cutting, shipment, and customization of our textiles, trims, and grips. The garments were then stitched in a neighboring country, Albania. Finally, finished pieces were shipped back to Italy for additional quality checks before making their way to the U.S. We traveled to Italy several times before identifying quality-focused, small-batch manufacturers. We are pleased with the relationships we have developed and hope to continue creating durable and attractive garments every season. H&S: What does your premiere collection include? SF: We launched with several beautiful pieces including a show coat, a show shirt, and breeches, available in several classic color options, as well as a schooling shirt and accessories.

Fit and function were paramount in the design of these pieces. For example, we focused on strategic seam placement to help frame the female figure and elongate the backline, elliptical hems, all-way stretch fabrics, and more, prioritizing innovation while respecting tradition. H&S: Tell us about some of your personal favorite pieces of the collection. SF: I feel passionate about every piece, although I consider the Vani show coat to be the most symbolic piece in the collection as well as the most daring – for equestrians. Unlike other show coats, the peplum silhouette enhances and defines the feminine figure, which makes this coat particularly eye-catching. At the same time, the satin lapel offers a balancing juxtaposition. Traditionally viewed as a formal, masculine element, this tuxedoinspired detail adds a sense of strength and authority to an otherwise playful design. The Vani is incredibly versatile. As a base layer, it can be subtle and alluring. With a show shirt, it is elegant and refined. Styled with a tank and jewelry, it offers class and a beautiful shape. Worn unzipped over a tee and denim, it elevates casual streetwear. The Vani’s versatility furthers the idea that the wearer writes her own story. H&S: Where and when do you find the most inspiration? SF: Visually, I am inspired by my travels. More specifically, I am interested in different countries’ perspectives. Cultures, and their signature architectural styles, fascinate me. When I am visiting a new place, I am drawn to unique structural patterns. Furthermore, I love observing the colors and textures used to enhance existing shapes. In the design process, I also intend to incorporate my values. In my eyes, the Vani redefines traditional gender roles. Through incorporating traditionally masculine elements, REIGNS suggests femininity and masculinity are not mutually exclusive: a woman can wear a man’s shoes; a woman’s place is wherever she wants to be. H&S: Tell us a bit about your background. SF: I had an equestrian upbringing, traveling internationally while attending and participating in shows. I catered to my artistic interests as I acquired a formal



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education. Then, I supplemented my business degree with fashion courses and runway experience, working as a part-time model for several years. Lastly, I combined aspects of my background with my passions to thoughtfully curate this brand. H&S: What has this past year looked like for you as an entrepreneur? SF: Growth. H&S: And now with so many societal changes occurring, how is REIGNS adapting to this new current-COVID-19 and postCOVID-19 atmosphere? SF: Well, we are working hard transferring our in-person interactions to online forums, making all of the information, both verbal and visual, available online. This means refreshing website copy, adding video to product descriptions, creating a YouTube presence, creating new Pinterest pages, etc. Because our face-to-face education and relationships are being prevented, every piece of info we give a customer in a store needs to be accessible on the platforms that our customers prefer, at the time they use it, and in a format that appeals to them. We are also working to stay relevant by increasing every purchase’s intangible

value, and asking questions such as, “Does the product support a particular cause?” and “Is this product offering more than it's material weight?” Crisis changes people’s perspectives; crisis reminds everyone that the most important things in life are not objects. As a customercentric business owner, I want to invest in small details that showcase what makes REIGNS the brand it is. We are a socially conscious, wholesome brand that offers more than a superb finished product. And we want our clients to feel confident about how we conduct business, give back, and market a lifestyle.

No one is immune to the effects of COVID-19. Businesses will survive if our dollars vote for them. So we urge the community to purchase from your favorite creatives, makers, and advertisers. Repost impressive social media content. If you are running a business, invest in releasing products with companies you admire. As cliche as it sounds, teamwork will make the dream work. Adopt an abundance mindset, be intentional about your purchases, and be a friend to both your friends and competitors. H&S: What’s next for REIGNS?

We’ve also worked to offer our buyers a financial incentive, while preserving and enhancing the value of each purchase, through intentional sales, where everything is done with thoughtful reason. Recently REIGNS held a photoshoot sample sale, which acknowledged the financial pressure of the pandemic, and generated sales without devaluing our current inventory. In the near future we will also be working on incentives with ethical motivation, so stay tuned for a great partnership with CPHA.

SF: More transitional interpretations of the equestrian lifestyle. Eventually, I would love to design menswear. H&S: Where can fans purchase the collection?

And lastly, we will continue to promote the collective health of our industry and the small businesses within it.

SF: All items are available now at – although our pieces are released in limited editions, so numbers are dropping daily. If your size is no longer available on our site, please check with one or several of our customercentric retail partners: LA Saddlery in Southern California locations, Sheerify in Wellington, or Sun Valley Saddlery in Idaho. All owners would be happy to assist you.

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by Jennifer Leon

Baranus Oldenburg | Breeder: Gestüt Lewitz

photo © Shawn McMillen


oaled in 2003 by German breeder Gestüt Lewitz, Baranus made his international debut nine years later in 2012 with Dutch show jumper Eric van der Vlueten. The then nine-year-old exploded onto the international stage with notable placings culminating with a win at the 3* Grand Prix in Humilkon, Switzerland.

Balou du Rouet

Baloubet du Rouet Georgia


Centauer Z Garonia

The late Baranus categorically radiated greatness. Known fondly around the barn as “Bear,” his greatness was not solely defined by his remarkable athleticism and breeding; instead, his ultimate greatness was a product of his kindness, character, and competitive spirit. One of the few horses in recent memory to achieve the highest levels of success in both 5* International Grands Prix and the most prestigious hunter competitions in the United States, Bear was a uniquely talented horse who leaves a legacy measured as much in smiling reminiscences as in championship trophies.

accolades with Team Millar. He was a podium regular at some of the most prestigious grands prix in North America, including Spruce Meadows, Miami GCT, and the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Baranus, like many Balou du Rouet progeny, possessed an innate gift for speed and nimbleness, often compared to that of a cat, by Millar.

The immense potential that Baranus displayed in his 3* Grand Prix victory did not go unnoticed. Later that year, he started a new chapter in his career as he commenced training under the practiced eye of ten-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar who began showing Baranus in early 2013.

Baranus also exemplified a dedication to winning. His great success stemmed from a fierce competitive spirit and resolute work ethic. It was this same competitive spirit that led to Baranus competing 16 times for Team Canada and 28 times in World Cup™ competitions.

By 2017, the then 14-year-old veteran showjumper had garnered numerous

By 2017, the time had come for Bear to step down from the 1.60m fences that


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signify the highest levels of international showjumping, but his career in the ring was far from finished. Well aware of Bear’s athletic prowess, scope and perfect form over fences, Team Millar thought that Bear’s talents would translate well to the international hunter derby arena. Thus, after a 10-year showjumping career highlighted with numerous international championships, Baranus officially began his second career as a hunter with Cassandra Kahle in the irons. The transition was faster and more successful than anyone could have reasonably expected. Over the course of mere weeks, Bear jumped from competing with Millar in the 4* Nations Cup in Ocala, FL to a top-three finish in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

“ It has been a privilege to

both witness and experience Bear’s remarkable greatness.” — Lindsay Maxwell photo © The Book LLC

Ian Millar and Baranus; photo © Shawn McMillen

When asked to comment on Bear’s career, Millar said, “It is the exceptional horse that can win consistently in the hunters and grands prix under the lights on a Saturday night at such prestigious events.” By June of 2017, Bear had joined Lindsay Maxwell’s program under the tutelage of renowned trainer Archie Cox. The duo wasted no time in collecting tri-colors. As Archie Cox said, “Baranus was an undoubtedly talented horse” but it was the seemingly enchanted pairing of Maxwell and Bear that was most remarkable. “Lindsay and Baranus were a uniquely magical partnership between horse and rider,” remarked Cox. In the ensuing years, Baranus established himself as one of America’s great hunters, accumulating tri-colors at multiple indoor championships and similarly prestigious competitions. He also helped Maxwell secure the title of High-Scoring Amateur at their USHJA International Derby Finals debut. No stage was too big for Bear…


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Lindsay Maxwell and Baranus; photo © The Book LLC

even if the spotlights occasionally created a bit of discipline confusion. “Occasionally, during a handy hunter round in front of a large crowd under the lights, Bear would think we were in a jump-off. The judges may not have always appreciated the accelerated pace, but I promise you that we never had any time faults!” said Maxwell. The appreciation for Baranus in the ring was transcended only by the love for him in the barn. Longtime admirers, newfound friends, and complete strangers alike were reliably and magnetically drawn to his sweet, goofy demeanor. His irresistible

personality was all-consuming and never failed to inspire smiles and laughter from all who passed his stall. Baranus passed away on June 5, 2020 due to complications stemming from a rare microbial infection. His greatness lives on in the hearts of those who loved him. Sarah Gordon, Maxwell’s manager who helped care for and ride Baranus during the last three years of his life, said, “Bear had so much love to give…he always knew how to make you smile. His passing weighs heavy on the heart but we will always remember how truly special he was.”

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FEATURE by Pam Maley photos courtesy of Formé Millinery

JENNY P FA NENSTIEL Featured Milliner of the 146th Kentucky Derby In almost a century and a half of Kentucky Derbies, Jenny Pfanenstiel is only the second person to be named a Featured Milliner. A Louisville-based Master Milliner, Jenny is known throughout the world for her one-of-a-kind creations and her dedication to crafting them totally by hand, using a technique that dates back more than a hundred years. “Being named Featured Milliner of the 146th Kentucky Derby,” declares Jenny, “is like winning the Miss America Pageant for hats!” But there’s so much more.

In making the announcement on December 11, 2019, Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack said, “The Kentucky Derby is synonymous with great hats. So it’s an honor to feature a local Master Milliner of Jenny’s talent at the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby.”

H AT S O F F TO J E N N Y In our story “Hats Off to Jenny” in the May/June 2016 issue of Horse & Style, we said, “Walk into Formé Millinery and meet Jenny Pfanenstiel, and you’ll know you’ve met a force to be reckoned with.Young, attractive, and prodigiously talented, Jenny is making a name for herself in the world of millinery, and doing it with abundant energy and contagious enthusiasm.”

schools on a big event called Horsing Around with Art. The children create a Derby-related painting, sculpture, or other work of art, which will be showcased at the Museum for two months. Jenny is one of the judges, and the Mayor of Louisville, the President of the Museum, and other key speakers attend the awards ceremony.

At about the time that issue was going to press, Jenny was named Official Milliner for the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, an ongoing and active position. There is a permanent plaque dedicated to Jenny, and a hat display that she changes frequently.

The Grand Prize includes a lovely cache of art supplies, a donation to the child’s school, and Derby tickets for their family. For those who submit hats, 6 millinery fashion awards are given, and Jenny does a fascinator workshop with the 6 winners. “We get wonderful feedback from both parents and children,” says Jenny. “I love it – it’s inspiring for me!”

WinStar Farm, a large thoroughbred farm in Lexington, joins with Jenny and the Derby Museum every year, to partner with the Jefferson County (Louisville) public

WHAT TO WEAR TO THE DERBY Now four years on, she has proven us right – and then some. She has moved into

a larger and more elegant shop, and has put together a team to help with things like making sweatbands, stitching labels, and doing wiring. It’s clearly a working shop; visitors, including Derby executives and special guests, can see where and how the hats are made, and Jenny is proud to provide a quick tour. In addition to her hats, guests can see the profusion of raw materials that she uses, and luxuriate visually in their colors and textures. Her dye makers are the same artisanal craftsmen she has had from the beginning. During the pandemic, Jenny and her stitch team, in-between custom hat orders, have been creating stylish masks, putting their sewing skills to good use for those in need. Jenny is featured in the “What to Wear to the Derby” section of the Kentucky Derby website, and their promotionals support her as the chosen milliner.

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“What sets the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks apart from other sports and entertainment events? Is it the world-class horses? The Hollywood stars? The romantic Twin Spires? Well, first and foremost, it’s the hats!,” the website declares energetically. “Part Southern tradition, part spectacle, the Kentucky Derby hat parade is much of what makes ‘The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports’ one of the greatest peoplewatching events in the world! Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is believed to bear good luck!” Then follows an introduction to Jenny, and striking photos of some of her hats. As we all know, COVID-19 has moved the Derby from its famous ‘first Saturday in May’ to the first Saturday in September, the sound of which, to a Derby fan, doesn’t have quite the


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same cachet. But this Derby is bound to be a celebration like no other, as it will mark a huge milestone for people hungry to gather once again for a truly festive occasion to put our nation’s cares aside for a day, and for the sport of horse racing to come roaring back. Always a lighthearted, gala occasion, this year’s Derby will be that and more, as Churchill Downs comes alive after its long hiatus. World class horses? Check. The Twin Spires? Check. Jenny’s stunning hats? Check. Mint juleps? Check. “The Kentucky Derby’s iconic hats are part of what make it one of the world’s greatest spectacles,” Jenny pointed out. “As a milliner, I am thrilled to become part of its history and help make Derby fans feel sensational in my hats on a day where fashion takes center stage.” A TORY BURC H FELLOW 2019 also brought Jenny the honor of being named a Tory Burch Fellow of the Tory Burch Foundation, which supports women entrepreneurs. Every year, 50 Fellows are chosen, and the Foundation provides resources and support for their endeavors. That might be connecting them with investors, or facilitating the sharing of ideas and experiences among them by virtual connection, as well as providing a grant for business growth to each of them. “I’m the only milliner in the group,” she tell us. “As far as I know, they’ve never had a milliner – so I was different from everybody else, in a good way.”

photo courtesy of Wakefield-Scearce Galleries

In case a proper mint julep is to join your hat as part of your Derby Day, we asked a lifelong Lexingtonian for advice on making them.

Kakie Hester’s Mint Juleps Simple syrup* Fresh mint leaves Crushed ice Good Kentucky Bourbon** In the bottom of a julep cup (preferably sterling silver) or a double oldfashioned glass, muddle 5 or 6 mint leaves, and fill with crushed ice ¾ of the way to the top. Pour one ounce of bourbon mixed with one ounce of simple syrup (equal parts) over the ice. Garnish with a mint sprig long enough to tickle your nose. *Mix 1 part sugar to 1 part water, heat until dissolved and allow to cool **Woodford Reserve or Makers Mark, or Pappy Van Winkle if you can find it

And then you might need a proper vessel: When Jenny started her business, she needed hatboxes that were durable, collapsible, and the right size for the hat. There was a business in Canada that could make them for her, but when they closed, the hatboxes she needed simply were not to be found. Her husband suggested they expand Formé Millinery to include a hatbox division, which was music to Jenny’s ears. He now runs that part of the business, called Hatboxes, USA. The two of them, along with their now 4-year-old daughter Amelia, “are one big, happy hat family!” she says. “I’m so thrilled that I make a living doing what I love and am passionate about. I’m very, very grateful.” A force to be reckoned with, indeed! Learn more about Jenny Pfanenstiel and view additional designs at

A Cup of Kentucky Kindness In the post-World War II years, during a silver shortage, Kentucky jeweler Mark Scearce embarked on a quest to find and restore old silver pieces. In so doing, he became fascinated with the American coin silver julep cups that he found. His favorite was a style with beaded top and bottom borders, made by a 19th century silversmith located in Scearce’s home city of Shelbyville, Kentucky. With determination, Scearce set out to acquire the tools and expertise needed to make cups with the same size, proportion and exquisite beading as the cups he had found. Wakefield-Scearce is still making them today, under the stewardship of his grandson, Matt Burnett. One of the unique markings of the Wakefield-Scearce julep cups is a hallmark on the base: an eagle cartouche combined with the initials of the current President of the United States, hence their name: Presidential Mint Julep Cups. Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, each new President is presented with “a cup of Kentucky kindness,” a julep cup bearing their initials. Every President, save one, has sent a personal letter of thanks; and all are on display at the Wakefield-Scearce Galleries in Shelbyville, Kentucky. To learn more about the Gallery, or to place an order, go to

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DESTINATION by Sarah Appel photos courtesy of Palm Beach



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Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa


locking to Florida for the winter is an annual ritual amongst many of the East Coast equestrian set. For those who can, who wouldn’t want to leave behind the icy driveways, frozen barn aisles and months of cold, cold weather? Setting up shop in Wellington, FL at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and other surrounding venues, are the iconic show circuits that kick off the winter season. From my home base in California, it is often challenging to make it to Florida during the winter, and although our winter weather does not rival the East Coast, just after the New Year hits, I start jonesing for my annual Florida trip. I could hear the Atlantic Ocean callin’ my name, so this past February I traded in my rain boots and sweaters for swimsuits and sandals, and headed to Palm Beach and Wellington for a weekend full of luxury, self-care and horses – of course! YO U H A D M E AT E AU One of only two Forbes Five-Star resorts in Palm Beach, the Eau Palm Beach is the ultimate destination for luxury, relaxation and an opportunity for fun! The Jonathan Adler design throughout the hotel is a perfect marriage of Adler’s modern, vibrant aesthetic and contemporary Palm Beach style. I was fortunate to have stayed on the Eau Club Level, which included access to the lounge, where I was able to enjoy a continental breakfast, drinks and appetizers in the afternoons and desserts and aperitifs in the evenings. The full time concierge, was one of the most pleasant people I have ever met in my life. If it weren’t for the draw of the Eau Spa, restaurants and pool area at the Eau I could have easily spent my entire time at the Eau in the lounge, eating, drinking and chatting with him. I’m glad that I did finally pull myself away from the lounge to experience the Angle restaurant in the Eau; the farm-to-extremely-eleganttable restaurant, featuring locally sourced ingredients and hand crafted cocktails, was a delight in itself. If I had to pick a favorite moment from my time at the Eau, it would be when I traveled to a land of relaxation at the Eau Spa. Their theme is “Pause, Play, Perfect” and that I did. Upon arrival, the spa host invites you to light a floating candle and make a “self-centered” wish. As a working parent, most of my thoughts and


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Eau Palm Beach's vibrant Jonathan Adler-designed guest rooms

Eau Spa

Sarah Appel at the International Polo Club wearing the dress she rented from Lady JetSet; photo © Gina Samarotto

wishes are not about myself, so having that moment to think about my selfcare and what centers me was magical and something I’ve continued to think about since leaving the Eau. Taking care of myself and creating moments of being centered, allows me to be a better parent, partner and employee. The Forbes Five Star Eau Spa is 42,000 square feet of bliss. R E A DY, S E T, L A DY J E T S E T One of the challenges many women face in travel is what to wear; did I bring the right outfit and do I really need to lug around all these clothes? Bethany Sharp, founder of Lady JetSet, created a solution to the travel woes of stylish women. With Lady JetSet, you can rent designer dresses, separates and even ski clothes and have them delivered to your destination, saving the trouble of over-packing and spending a small fortune on a new wardrobe for a single trip. If you are in Palm Beach, you

can also visit their showroom for a private shopping experience. I had the pleasure of visiting the showroom and picking out a dress to wear to a polo match at the International Polo Club later in the week. The dress I chose was totally outside the box from my normal, pretend I still live in New York and always wear black, style. I felt incredibly glamorous yet also comfortable in the dress. It was also such a statement dress that I couldn’t have imagined wearing it more than once, so luckily when the day was over, I simply put it back in the easy-to-return bag and sent it back to Lady JetSet! LIVING THE ISLAND DREAM My equestrian travels have taken me to many places all over the world, and while I try to venture out when I can, I tend to spend most of my time at the horse shows. However, as this trip was not centered

around a particular horse show, I was able to experience Palm Beach and all its greatness as a tourist. Palm Beach is an incredible place, from sailing on “The Mistress” with Captain Mike from Lots of Yachts, to touring the historic Flagler Museum, to tea at the Café des Beaux-Arts. One of my favorite tourist moments was a seven-mile bike tour with Leslie Diver from Island Living Tour. Leslie epitomizes the spirit of Palm Beach and has a neverending supply of historical facts and stories of Palm Beach – even some you may not be able to find in the history books! WO R T H T H E WA I T For most, living in Palm Beach is a fantasy, and shopping on Worth Avenue, the iconic street that is home to some of the top brands in the world, is even more of a fantasy. However, if you take a step back from the drool-worthy shopping experience, the European-inspired architecture and beautifully crafted layout make walking down

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Palm Beach

by Amanda Mactas

You can have fun in the sun in authentic Palm Beach style at The Colony Hotel’s CPB, their colorful poolside restaurant. The epitome of Palm Beach chic, the outdoor locale is equally enticing for its people watching as it is for its food. Executive Chef Tom Whitaker showcases classic brasserie dishes along with creative twists underneath the lush, green, hanging garden terrace, with standout dishes including the Bimini Chicken Stack and brunch favorite, Cereal Crusted French Toast. The restaurant’s signature cocktails go down a little too easy, having mastered the fine art of balancing the potent with the refreshing.

  @TheColonyPalmBeach 

Whether or not you’ve already dined at one of his restaurants, Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud is a must-try spot. Located at the glamorous and historic Brazilian Court Hotel, this awardwinning restaurant makes for an ideal place to celebrate a special occasion (even if that occasion is simply a much-needed vacation). This French establishment is full of delicious surprises, but none more satisfying than their fresh Dover Sole, expertly fileted tableside. Don your finest outfit and prepare to be impressed by the quality service, elegant dining room, and unforgettable food.

  @CafeBouludPB 

Another outstanding hotel restaurant, Florie’s, located within the Four Seasons, offers diners unparalleled Mediterranean cuisine. As the first restaurant in the United States to partner with the chef of the number one restaurant in the world, Mauro Colagreco (of Mirazur fame), Florie’s utilizes live fire cooking in an open kitchen setting and focuses on dishes inspired by nature. This isn’t surprising once you see the dishes; bright, dazzling colors adorn the plates, with pops of bright red pomegranate seeds and neon green purée of celery complementing the otherwise monotone snapper ceviche. The menu is concise yet complex, offering food with influences from all over the globe, each done to perfection. Seasonal cocktails set you back a pretty penny, but the creative flavors and pleasing presentation make it worth every sip.

   

114 @FloriesPB @FloriesPB · spring/summer 20

Worth Avenue an experience in its own right. While I do love a good window shop, I did manage to pop into a few stores myself. It’s impossible to walk by any Tiffany & Co. store, let alone the one on Worth Avenue and not take a gander at the incredible one-of-a-kind jewelry. Maybe it was the diamonds calling, or maybe my inner Miss Holly Golightly, but I just had to take a peek. The Palm Beach Tiffany’s houses some of the most exquisite pieces in the country. Currently, a rooftop condominium above the store is being built and is slated to go on the market later this year. The modern home will boast a rooftop pool as well as every amenity imaginable. You really will be able to have Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and lunch and dinner too! The one brand that epitomizes Palm Beach would have to be Lily Pulitzer. The bold and archetypal prints that first adorned a line of shift dresses have evolved into a worldwide brand of authentic American resort wear. The flagship store in Palm Beach has everything you could possibly imagine for the whole family. One of the best parts about visiting the store was designing my own signature Lily Pulitzer clutch. I worked with the manager on creating an exclusive print that one of the LP designers will be hand painting on the bag. With warm days upon us, I know that when I wear that bag, I will have a one-of-a-kind piece of luxury and history! MY KINGDOM FOR A POOLSIDE TA B L E AT T H E C O LO N Y If you want to truly, and I mean truly, get a feel for what Palm Beach is like, you must visit the historic Colony Hotel. Known as the “most pink” hotel in Palm Beach, the crown jewel of Worth Avenue has been attracting celebrities, royals and socialites alike since 1947. Poolside brunch at CPB is an experience! Their famous French toast and signature cocktails are enough to make you never want to leave. Be prepared for a slew of selfie-takers – and how can you blame them, with the palm tree wallpaper, outdoor wall of flowers and so, so much pink! G R A N D P R I X & P O LO D R E A M S Of course I couldn’t spend a week in Florida without breathing in some horses. I hit all the major spots: Saturday Night Lights at WEF, a polo match at the International Polo Club, where I got to debut my rented dress from Lady JetSet, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the

Palm Beach Masters Series just weeks before their season kick-off. Like many equestrian communities throughout the country, the camaraderie of a shared passion seeps throughout Wellington and Palm Beach. Show jumping, dressage and polo have become integral parts of the social and economic make-up of Florida. It’s no wonder that it’s long been called the equestrian’s playground. TIS THE FOUR SEASONS I ended my trip with a stay at the newlyrenovated Four Seasons. Inspired by the calm yet extravagant Palm Beach lifestyle, the Five-Star, Five Diamond beachfront resort blends the relaxing beach life with true Palm Beach style. Once again, I made my way to the spa. After being transported into a state of relaxation and calmness, I sat and read in one of the relaxation chairs, and I would

have stayed until closing if it weren’t for the impending dinner reservation at Florie’s, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with live-fire cooking and earth-conscious offerings. The gardeninspired cocktails with herb and citrus blends were an excellent end to my time at the Four Seasons. FA R E W E L L F LO R I DA While I would love nothing more than to whisk my family away from California once a year to spend a few months in Florida, the reality is that, at the moment, it isn’t possible. However, it makes my annual trips to Florida all the more special. The warm weather, exquisite culinary delights, blissful accommodations and splendor of everything I enjoyed on my trip makes the Palm Beaches the ultimate destination for relaxation, rejuvenation and a little bit (or a lot) of fun!

Poolside at The Colony Hotel

Tiffany & Co. on Worth Avenue Flagler Museum

Poolside dining at The Colony Hotel Palm Beach

The pool at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach









6. 1. 17th Annual JustWorld Gala – raising money for underserved children around the world 2. Irish Show Jumper and Olympian, Kevin Babington 3. Gala Emcee Steven Wilde with JustWorld Founder and President Jessica Newman 4. British Olympic gold medalist Nick Skelton and U.S. Olympian Laura Kraut 5. Guests enjoying the photo booth presented by Horseware Ireland 6. Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes, Founder of Los Patojos, JustWorld Guatemalan partner organization, and JustWorld Advisory Board Member Olivia Chowdry


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Photos © Erin Gilmore, Stephon Oh (4, 8, 11)







13. 13.

7. Angela Covert, Susan Burkman and Jessika Burkman 8. Gala Co-Chairs Evelyn Treacy and Maria Newman 9. DJ Adam Lipson, Amanda Beckwith and Allisun Church 10. Swiss Olympic show jumper Martin Fuchs, Israeli international show jumper Danielle Goldstein Waldman, Paris Sellon and Alan Waldman 11. Richard and Danni Gaff 12. Bubbles the mini horse, an auction favorite donated by the Peeps Foundation 13. The Gala boasts over 700 attendees from the equestrian community

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CURATED by an by Pam Maley photos by Bill Roughen


ANDRE PATER Standing before an Andre Pater, you know you’re in the presence of extraordinary talent. His use of light, the vibrant colors, and the palpable energy and movement reach out to you. It’s easy to see why his works are treasured possessions to those fortunate enough to own one. The leading living artist in the genre of Sporting Art, Pater has moved quite naturally into the place vacated by the death of Sir Alfred Munnings.


a young boy in his native Poland in the 1950s, Pater was inexorably drawn to horses. When he was very young, six or seven years old, he would go with his grandmother to the farmer’s market. “It was a long time ago,” he says, “everything then was delivered by horses. The farmers would bring their wagons and arrange them in a circle. While my grandmother was inside the circle doing her shopping, I would be outside the circle with the horses. The sights, the smells – for me it was heaven.” But he was a city boy, in Krakow. “My real contact with horses was summer vacation, when my family went to stay the summer and early fall in the countryside. I still remember at a very young age, learning to drive the horse and wagon. When we harvested potatoes, I would move the


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wagon from one pile of potatoes to the next; and I also drove the wagon to spread manure. I was so proud of myself! Each summer, wherever we went, I’d look for an opportunity to be close with horses.” Following the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he entered the Architectural Division of the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts. As we would expect, he found that he was good at architectural drawings. “It was then that I started doing horses. I would spend my summers riding them, drawing and painting them. I never thought at that time that this would be my occupation.” In the first collection of his paintings put into print, his recently released book, A Matter of Light,The Art of Andre Pater, he wrote, “The horse as an animal is an already beautiful, physically finished composition. There’s nothing you can add or take from it. So, any kind of approach to change it from a contemporary point of view doesn’t work. A horse must be a horse.” After graduating Summa Cum Laude, Pater decided to come to New York. When asked why New York, his answer was “Why not?” He came with a lot of pluck and courage, but not a lot of money. “We were an intelligentsia family.” He was in America only three weeks when Poland declared martial law, in December 1981. “I didn’t come to stay; I was 28 years old, and had a pretty good life in Poland,” he tells us, “My family was from Eastern Poland, now Ukraine, and when my mother advised

me not to come home, my world was turned completely upside-down.” He found a job in a restaurant in Manhattan, but since he didn’t yet speak English, he couldn’t be out front. “So I hung out in the kitchen, and after a few months, I became a pretty good sous chef. I learned about cooking not as a profession, but as a creative process. I was learning with open eyes, like a boy. I learned a lot, and I still like to cook.” Out of the blue, and facing a personal emergency one day, the owner asked him if he could run the kitchen. Once again, his answer was, “Why not?” Pater lived on the East Side, and worked on the West Side. It was a long commute, but he didn’t have to go to work until 3:00 pm; so he went every morning to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to study. One morning someone stopped him and asked who he was and what he was doing there. She told him that the surveillance cameras saw him every day. “It’s exactly what you see,” he told her. “I come, I study, I draw. I’m from Poland, and I’m an artist.” He showed her his sketchbook, with written observations of the paintings – how the artist solves the problem of a nostril, or an eye, for example. It turns out, she was the main curator, and, saying she wanted to show him something, she took him to the top floor that housed a whole magazine of screens of all the paintings and the art – a complete library. When she asked what he was interested in, ‘the horse’ was his answer, and she pointed him in that direction, telling him that he no longer needed to

“Racing Stable No. 2,” 2016, oil on board, 36 x 24 inches

buy a ticket. “It was the only thing that kept me in the right mental state,” he says with feeling. “I felt safe there. It kept me growing. It still holds a special place in my heart. Whenever my wife Kasia and I, and now our two adult children, are in New York, we always go to the Met.”


hen he had been in New York for a while, a friend from academia, now living in Dallas, encouraged him to come there and take a job as an architect. “Though I loved New York – it was a fabulous journey – I realized that if I stayed there, I would end up just another immigrant. It’s really a cruel system that grinds people down. I knew I didn’t want to make a career as a chef, and living was too costly in New York.” So he moved to Dallas. In July 1988, Pater and Kasia moved to Lexington. “Texas wasn’t a good environment for me. It was so hot and dry, I felt I would lose my mind; we had to protect ourselves nonstop from annoying things like


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chiggers; and I missed the four seasons.” He had come to Lexington in connection with his Egyptian Collection, a series of paintings of Arabian horses and nomadic life that he had done for the Pyramid Society at the Horse Park. On his way into town, Pater took a wrong turn and found himself in the center of thoroughbred horse farm country. The lush countryside and the magnificent fall colors – not to mention the horses – spoke to him. When Phil Rice, a Lexington gallery owner, encouraged him to relocate, Pater said, “If you can find me a place to live, we can do business.” Rice picked up his phone and called Hilary Boone, Jr., owner of Wimbledon Farm, one of Lexington’s premier stud farms. Yes, there was a cottage available on the farm. Pater met Boone in May, and two months later, he and Kasia arrived a half day after the movers had been there. “It was late afternoon, and we went for a walk that evening. There was a beautiful sunset, and the grass, about a foot tall, was wet. I

thought, ‘If this is the last moment of my life, let it be. This is right; I feel safe and comfortable.’ It was my moment of wow!” They quickly were embraced by the Boone family, in particular the younger Boone and his wife Cabby, who brought them into their

This page: Above: Portrait of Andre Pater; Below: “Late February,” 1993, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches; Opposite page: “Before the Race,” 1997, oil on canvas, 28 x 34 inches

circle of friends. Early on, the Paters invited the younger Boones to lunch. That morning, Pater was jogging and Boone was exercising his polo ponies. As they crossed paths, they agreed to a 12:00 lunch. “They came at 12:00 noon and left at 12:00 midnight. We were all young and crazy, and it was a great party!” A close friendship was forged. The move to Lexington introduced Andre to other aspects of horse sports and life on the farm, and he began to branch out to paint hounds, cows, fowl, polo, jockeys, foxes . . . He was commissioned to paint the Boones, father and son, in their scarlet coats, mounted on their foxhunters with hounds at the horses’ feet. At about that same time, another young man in Lexington was gaining a name

for himself in the art world. Greg Ladd, with his discerning eye for quality art, had opened Cross Gate Gallery. With his gregarious personality, his love for what he does shows, and he is now regarded as arguably the premier international expert in Sporting Art. Pater had heard about Ladd, and had taken a polo painting to Cross Gate to show to him. Ladd thought it too contemporary. Much later, he took the painting of the Boones on their horses to the gallery to be framed, and it caught Ladd’s eye. “Who did that?” asked Ladd. “It’s signed,” answered Pater. “The painting was so detailed, so beautifully done,” says Ladd. After a bit of discussion, a handshake cemented an informal partnership and a longstanding friendship (now nearly three decades).


ater speaks with great enthusiasm about entering a new phase in his subject matter. He has been visiting the Crow Nation in south central Montana on shooting (camera) trips. His first visit was in 2016 to see the 140th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Little Big Horn. “Scenes rife with stories to be told unfolded before my eyes. With native models wearing historic costumes and mounted on painted horses, I got to see the tribe as it was one hundred fifty years ago.” (from his book) On subsequent trips, Andre and his native guide would share ideas and come up with a specific subject. “Then we make a movie with me as director. The participants (models) share their ideas as well. I always learn something that I didn’t know.Very few artists come and work this way.”

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“Kennel Light,” 2009, pastel on board, 27 x 22 inches

Most recently, he has been commissioned to do a large painting of Native Americans. With real feeling, he explained, “I want to show them as people.We are overrun with historic paintings of them as savages, fighting. They love like us, have fun like us, love their children as we do. And it would be hard to find a more handsome people.” He has chosen to do a wedding scene, with the bride and groom moving toward the viewer, flanked by the wedding party, all on horses, with people and horses in beautiful costumes. Alongside the wedding party is a loose herd of horses. This is a matriarchal society; the groom joins the bride’s family. So the first part of the ceremony is with his family. The mother of the groom gives the bride a lovely ceremonial blanket to symbolize warmth and closeness. Then they travel to the bride’s family with the groom’s gift of 200 horses for the father of the bride. That journey is what Andre is depicting. He had talked with his contacts on the reservation to discuss details, costumes, colors. When he arrived, models had been chosen, and there were boxes and boxes marked ‘Andre.’ “The best thing that happened was when she [the young woman playing the role of the bride] put her dress on,” he remembers. “Suddenly, it was her wedding. Oh, the way she looked at him! When I zoomed in on her face, she made the painting for me. If I can capture that aura – it was wonderful.” And there’s no doubt that he will.

“Hounds Off the Scent,” 1998, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches “Red Arrow,” 2016, pastel on board, 36 x 24 inches

“I am the typical American success story; I did it in a unique way, and I did it well,” he said as we parted. “I adopted this country. Some people live in a place, and others just have an address. I’m proud to be Andre Pater from Kentucky. It has been 30 years, half my life. I’m proud of my Polish culture and heritage, but my home is Kentucky now. It’s a beautiful feeling when the plane lands in Lexington, to say, ‘Thank God, I’m home!’” With hard work, courage, and immense talent, he has forged a brilliant career that continues to gain momentum. His work is so sought after, that people will buy paintings sight unseen. All of us who deeply admire his work hope that the future holds much more of his stunning art. It is, after all, “a matter of light,” and we want to keep it in our lives. To learn more about the artist, or to purchase A Matter of Light, the Art of Andre Pater, go to

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D E S E R T C I RC U I T – D E S E R T I N T E R N AT I O N A L H O R S E PA R K , T H E R M A L , C A








1. Waiting in style alongside the arena 2. New improvements at Desert International Horse Park’s Equitation Arena offer exhibitors a place to grab a snack and relax between classes 3. Four members of the Karazissis Family in DIHP’s first ever “Family Class” 4. Alexis Georgeson and Dark Boy Du Bustelo fly over the HorseTaxi jump 5. #Winning! Finding that perfect selfie angle 6. An inspiring performance by Endo the Blind during Week IV of Desert Circuit 7. Taking place during Desert Circuit Week 1, the USHJA Gold Star Clinic - West provides education for riders, supporting their journeys to becoming well-rounded horsemen and horsewomen


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Photos © Cathrin Cammett Photography/Showfolio, ESI (4)





12. 8. L-R: Victor Segovia, Angel Karolyi and Nicolas Dello Joio study the course 9. Kaitlin Campbell aboard Palina de L’escaut zooms into first place in the $200,000 Go Rentals Grand Prix 10. Lisa Carlsen and Livestream 2 steal the victory in the $200,000 Valencia Saddlery Grand Prix Week IV 11. Small but mighty, Peyton Finch and Meatball celebrate their Champion in the Walk Equitation division 12. Carlton Brooks putting in his best course

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by Catie Staszak photos by Kathy Russell Photography

More than a Helmet Editor’s Note: This article was originally written for our Spring '20 issue.


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Each year, the month of March recognizes several milestones – the ending of the winter circuit in Wellington; the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere; March Madness; and St. Patrick’s Day. But to me, the most important March milestone is that it’s Brain Awareness Month.


rain injuries have had a significant impact on my family. My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease nearly 10 years ago, and in 2017, he underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery to treat his symptoms. My dad lived his dream and made it to the National Hockey League in the mid-1980s, but the lack of knowledge professional sports teams had about concussions and brain trauma took its toll. “Back in the day,” there were no concussion protocols in place in professional sport leagues, not for any reason other than that the research and knowledge clubs have now didn’t exist 35 years ago. No one is tougher or has a better attitude than my father, who regained control of his left side thanks to his incredible team of doctors and DBS. Still, needless to say, the importance of head protection resonates greatly with me.

which helmets meet the minimum requirements and which exceed them? When reviewing helmets online and in brochures, descriptions focus on how

with the hockey brand TRUE, creating the Dynamic 9 Pro model. After I learned about that association, I was sold.


According to the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, riding carries a higher injury rate per hour of exposure than football, downhill ski racing, hang-gliding and motorcycle racing. In another study, Medical Examiner reports that 60 percent or more of horserelated deaths are caused by head injuries, but helmets can reduce this possibility by 70-80 percent. We never think about these statistics when we saddle up, and we shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be properly protected. So, when it came time for me to get a new helmet, I really thought about it. Which helmet is the most advanced when it comes to safety features? As a commentator and journalist, I thrive on research, so I began seeking out pertinent information, and I was surprised to discover the lack of independent studies on the subject. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets standards for helmet safety, but how are we to know

fashionable and trendy a helmet is, rather than prioritizing its safety features. Then I came across the Folksam test (via Folksam conducted an independent study with 15 riding helmets available on the Swedish market at the time, and the results were eyeopening. Just three helmets from the study obtained the Folksam “best in test” or “good choice label” ratings.

I purchased a TraumaVoid Lynx helmet with MIPS – the toprated helmet from Folksam’s study – last December, and I absolutely love it. Not only do I feel confident that my brain is fully protected, but the helmet is also exceptionally comfortable, breathable, and light, with a sleek exterior and an unbeatable fit, thanks to its adjustable dial. In our sport, we have a tendency to get caught up in trends, but it’s important to remember that your helmet is more than an accessory. Prioritize brain protection over embellishments. Do your research before you make such an important decision and make sure that any helmet you purchase is ASTM-SEI certified – at the very least.

In the few months since I purchased my TraumaVoid helmet, I’ve become a brand ambassador, but I would wear my helmet regardless of having an association with the company. I wear my helmet to protect my greatest asset – my brain – and to honor a cause that is incredibly important to my family.

The two top scoring helmets were equipped with Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS). The MIPS Brain Protection System is a low-friction layer in the helmet that is designed to reduce the risk of rotational motion transferred to the brain from angled impacts to the head. Essentially, this layer creates a way for rotational force to be absorbed and redirected, rather than transmitted to the brain during impact.


he more research I did on MIPS, the more I became enamored with it. Bicycle helmets with MIPS have also been rated best in class in independent studies, and in 2019, the company that created MIPS announced its partnership

    @catiestaszakmedia @catiestaszakmedia @catiestaszak

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L I V E OA K I N T E R N AT I O N A L – O C A L A , F L




4. 5.

6. 1. Live Oak International (LOI) is held on Live Oak Stud’s gorgeous 5,000-acre property in Ocala, Florida (pictured: Michael Kearins and Sligo Balou Boy) 2. The four-day event wouldn’t be possible without the help of generous volunteers 3. Spectators enjoy food and refreshments – including a Stella Atrois Airstream – in the Audi Biergarten 4. Chester Weber and his talented team of four (Julius, Amadeus, Boris and Reno) capture the Advanced Four-In-Hand USEF National Championship for a record 17th time 5. Devin Ryan and Caspar’s Lasino 6. Darryl Billings’ handsome four-in-hand team await their turn during the Driving Jog


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Photos © Erin Gilmore







11. 7. Adrienne Sternlicht and Benny’s Legacy finish 3rd in the $36,600 LOI CSI3* Longines World Ranking Class 8. The iconic Budweiser Clydesdales are stabled on-site throughout the show, treating spectators to regular driving exhibitions 9. Enjoying a bath on the picturesque Live Oak Stud grounds 10. Ireland’s Daniel Coyle wins the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala at LOI aboard Farrel 11. Celebrating a great round during the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala 12. Deborah Lawrence and Top Secret 53 in the Driving Jog ahead of placing 2nd in the Intermediate Single Pony Dressage 13. Jenni McAllister and Batida PJ looking fierce as they land off the Lugano Jump

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A S K dr.


Dear Dr. Carrie, My daughter is a freshman in high school and she rides in the meter jumper division. She has lots of goals for the year that include moving up to the 1.10m by a certain time in the year and qualifying for some Nation’s Cup™ teams, as well as year-end USHJA 1.10m championships. She is well-mounted and her trainers are quite realistic with their expectations. How do I support her with this plan, especially if detours emerge?

Sincerely, Realistic Jumper Mama Dear Realistic Mama, Since you have been around the sun a few more times than your daughter, you seem to know that life is what happens when you are making plans! In a nutshell, do not worry. We live in a goal-centric culture where bigger, better, faster, and stronger often seem to drive the bus. Orienting toward goals is a healthy way of orienting toward the future. However, where we are positioned on the personal growth path is in a constant state of flux; and even championships, qualifying, and wins are snapshots of a moment in time. What you can do to support as a parent is focus on the here and now challenges and successes, while checking your own potential identification with your child’s experiences. I am not suggesting that you become callous or cavalier, rather, empathic with realistic boundaries. Your job is to support your daughter on her equestrian journey in the same way you

parent her on her life path. The actions here are to have appropriate and articulated boundaries and behavioral expectations (“I will support you on your horse show path and I expect to be treated with respect…”); act as a nonjudgmental witness when she struggles and succeeds (“I am happy/feel happy for you, and I watched you work very hard in the ring today.”); help her recognize her needs and learn to meet them on her own as she matures (“You sound frustrated/tired/grumpy/irritated, what do you think you need to rebalance?”); and guide her to learn from her relationships with the horses and trainer(s) by asking questions that guide her toward her own answers (“I hear your emotion and wonder if there are questions you can ask your trainer/self that will help you better understand this challenge?”). And, sometimes, no response is the best support; just loving silence with nods and “uh-huhs” added to sustain connection and empathy. Returning to this supportive mindset when the triggers are up will allow you to continue to see the magic as your daughter learns from horses and horse showing.

Dear Dr. Carrie, What is an appropriate consequence when my teenage equestrian daughter breaks rules at home or at school? My impulse is to ground her from riding or a horse show as these are huge privileges that she seems to take for granted. But I also want to teach her commitment and support her with her goals. Please help me parent my sometimes-entitled-butoh-so-wonderful daughter!

Yours, Mom on the Edge

Dear Mom on the Edge, You have named the billion-dollar question for all parents of teens. What are the correct consequences? I believe in following the order of natural and logical consequences as they make sense to everyone involved and tend to remove shame from the equation. Teens need to know the expectations and boundaries of your household in advance. Natural and logical consequences are a very personal choice and require thorough thinking about your parenting philosophy and what is important in advance. This needs to be considered and reconsidered regularly. Having said this, teenagers are masters of acting out of left field and triggering the heck out of parents! If you are triggered by a situation and enraged or highly activated, use the 24-hour rule to simmer down and get clear on what really matters to you. As far as using horses and horse shows as a consequence, only do so if you have a very clear reason why that actually applies to the offense.You may be angry at your teen for a behavior or attitude and just not want to go out of your way for them. To me, this is not an acceptable reason to cancel.You have both made a commitment to your trainer, horse, and the process; and removing the privilege just may be unaligned with the lesson of commitment that is wrapped into raising a horse girl. Perhaps the consequence is that while at the show, she can’t attend barn dinners or social events and all energy is focused on riding and homework. Ultimately, remember that the word discipline comes from the word disciple, which means to teach. Make the consequences and results of your teen’s actions into teaching opportunities, not power struggles.

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 © Dani Maczynski

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B E H I N D the



Beaudoin A love for horses has pulsed through Kimberlyn Beaudoin’s veins for as long as she can remember. Growing up in a small town in Maine, Beaudoin clambered onto the back of a horse at the age of five with the help of her grandmother, and never looked back. She acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Equestrian Business Management from Cazenovia College and went on to intern at Dressage Today Magazine. It was there that her first creative articles were published, and the fire of her passions was fueled; one that led to the high-performance world of equestrian sport. Beaudoin continued, interning with Jennifer Wood Media, and later moving into a marketing position at Equestrian Sport Productions. It was at ESP that she first picked up a camera, simply to acquire photos to accompany social media and PR copy for ESP’s venues and events including: the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, Winter Equestrian Festival, Tryon International Equestrian Center, and The Colorado Horse Park, as well as the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, and the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Upon the conclusion of the 2018 WEG, Beaudoin started her own equestrian marketing company, KTB Creative Group, and transitioned into a role working with, and learning from, International Equestrian Sport Lifestyle Photographer, Ashley Neuhof. Beaudoin now plans to focus more on her own business, providing equestrian businesses and athletes with a boutique, all-encompassing marketing experience, and immersing herself in storytelling through photography, writing, and social media.  |  @ktbcreativegroup  @ktbcreative_photography


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mad for madras The eco-friendly Rothy’s brand has made it’s mark both in terms of sustainability and fashion. From the brand’s first pair of shoes made from recycled water bottles, to a newly-extended line of handbags made from ocean-bound plastic, the Rothy’s brand is trailblazing sustainable fashion trends. We couldn’t be more in love with ‘The Handbag,’ a stylish handbag made with recycled materials – and it’s machine washable! What more could a busy equestrian want? Offered in six colorways, you’ll want one of each, but doesn’t the Peach Madras color just make you want to jet to the Hamptons for a glass of rosé on the beach? Friendly warning: Rothy’s are addicting and each new collection only deepens the obsession!

‘The Handbag’ in Peach Madras, Rothy’s, $350


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