B R A N D : S AV E N A C 18 21
Family Legacies Live on in
R I D E R S P OT L I G H T : S T E V E G U E R DAT • 10 T H I N G S : E Q U E S T R I A N N O I R E F E AT U R E : SA R A H M A S L I N N I R • H O R S E C O R N E R : I N T E R AG RO LU S I TA N O S WO R K I N G ON W E L L N E S S : DA N I G . WA L D M A N
SHP Spring Festival | Schooling Show April 17 - 18, 2021 SHP Spring Classic | AA May 12 - 16, 2021 HMI Equestrian Challenge | AA May 19 - 23, 2021 SHP Summer Solstice | Schooling Show June 12 - 13, 2021 HMI June Classic | A June 16 - 20, 2021 USEF Junior Hunter National Championship - West | AA July 20 - 25, 2021 HMI Equestrian Classic | AA July 28 - August 1, 2021 Giant Steps Charity Classic | AA August 3 - 8, 2021 Split Rock Jumping Tour Sonoma International CSI 2* September 8 - 12, 2021 Strides & Tides | A September 15 - 19, 2021 SHP Season Finale | A September 22 - 26, 2021 SHP Halloween Harvest Festival | Schooling Show October 23 - 24, 2021 SHP Holiday Spectacular | Schooling Show December 4 - 5, 2021
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
8 | FROM
10 | 10
Jamillah Scott of Equestrian Noire
14 | OUT
Winter Equestrian Festival
A Different Kind of WEF
18 | OUT
Erin Clemm Ochoa
The Latest from Susan Friedland
23 | BET WEEN THE LINES
24 | OUT & ABOUT World Equestrian Center Winter Spectacular 26 | RIDER SPOTLIGHT Steve Guerdat
30 | PREVIEW
Grab n’ Go: Healthy Snacks
33 | OUT
34 | EQUESTRIAN TASTEMAKER 38 | FEATURE Say “Yes” to the Vest!
42 | TREND
44 | OUT
Turf Tour at The Ridge at Wellington
46 | FEATURE
Spots Are In, and Famous
53 | NEW PRODUCT ALERT
Green is the New Blue
62 | ST YLE
70 | ST YLE PROFILES It Bag 72 | ON THE COVER
Family Legacies Live on in Prestige Saddles
82 | FEATURE
Sarah Maslin Nir
88 | FEATURE
Asmar Equestrian ON
Dani G. Waldman
96 | GIVING
Gentle Souls and Big Hearts
100 | FEATURE
An Interview with Elena Reynoso of Crescere
105 | FEATURE
The National Sporting Library & Museum
110 | H & S
CO P Y E D I TOR
Laurie Berglie, Pam Maley, Holly Johnson, Helen Pollock, Lindsay Brock, Lila Gendal, Jeanette Gilbert, Erin Gouveia, Annie Heise, Susan Friedland, Emily Pollard, Ali Sirota, Catie Staszak, Jacquelyn Kuba, Jump Media, Natalie Keller Reinert, Amanda Mactas, Terri Roberson, Psy. D., Carrie Wicks, Ph. D., Claiborne & Lime P H OTO G R A P H E R S
A Spring Moment
94 | WORKING
Jeanette Gilbert email@example.com
CO N T R I B U TO R S
Safety in Layers
57 | GREEN
Danielle Demers firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Neuhof, Alden Corrigan Media, Equinium Sports Marketing, Kristin Lee, Candace Meyer Photography,Tara Arrowood, Jessica Rodrigues, Jump Media, Benjamin West, Geoffrey Tischman, Giana Terranova, SRJT, A&S, Lauren Wardell, Carly Abbott, Stefano Grasso, Cynthia Smalley, Bayly Sophie, Ryan Heff, Caitlyn Connolly, Davi Carrano, Elayne Massaini, Fagner Almeida, Julia Wentscher, Teresa Pietsch, SportFot, Katie Browne Photography, Andrew Ryback, Lindsay Brock, Winslow Photography, Elaine Schott, Piotr Redlinski, Diana Zadarla, Erin O'Leary, Paws and Rewind, Sarah Scott, Janet Howard Studio
116 | RIDER
120 | HORSE
128 | THE
GOOD LIFE THE
138 | CURATED Dixie Abbott
Horse & Style Magazine is an equestrian lifestyle publication that is published three times per year 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 © 2021 Horse & Style Magazine LLC. TM
Inspired by: Citrus
130 | BEHIND
ON THE COVER: Family Legacies Live on in Prestige Saddles: Amy Millar competes at WEF in her Renaissance by Prestige saddle; photo © Ashley Neuhof
143 | ASK DR. CARRIE 144 | BEHIND THE LENS 146 | BUSINESS LISTINGS 148 | CAN YOU STAND IT? Horseferry House
2021 volume 1 ·
2021 volume 1
E D I TO R & A RT D I R E C TOR
A DV E RT I S I N G & SA LE S
A Sneak Peak at the 2021 LGCT... &
P U B L I S H E R & E D I TO R -I N-C HIE F
20 | PRO POP QUIZ
32 | GRAZE
© 2021 HORSE & STYLE MAGAZINE
16 | CATIE’S
AR D WIN
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 artwork, 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 as Copyeditor and Contributing Writer for H&S. She has a BA in English and History from Vanderbilt University.
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.
Natalie Keller Reinert
Terri Roberson, Psy.D.
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: nataliekreinert.com
Annie Heise is an actor, a lifelong equestrian, and now a designer and entrepreneur. With television and film roles to her credit, she has recently added founder and CEO to her resume with the launch of Two Bits Equestrian in April 2018. The collection features a sleek line of equestrian-inspired athleisure designed to be worn while riding, to and from the barn, and in daily life.
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.
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.
Erin Gouveia of Silver Oaks Farm is an accomplished equestrian, award winning photographer, and an artist. She was born and raised in San Diego, CA, graduated from Colorado State University, and now resides in Park City, UT on a small horse farm with her husband. Erin has had careers in Medical Research, Zookeeping, and most currently as a Photographer. She has an Etsy shop filled with her fine art photographs and handmade goods.
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.
Ashley Neuhof has rapidly become one of the most sought-after photographers on the worldwide equestrian circuit, known for her uncanny ability to capture exquisite moments both in the arena and behind the scenes. Her images have been commissioned by top brands and are published frequently in luxury lifestyle magazines worldwide.
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
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In 2015, Holly Johnson founded Equinium Sports Marketing, an equine PR and marketing firm in Wellington, FL. She has a Bachelor’s degree specializing in entrepreneurship and an MBA in Sports Management, as well as a strong FEI background. In her early 20s, Holly rode for the Lipizzaner Stallions, performing in multiple countries. Equinium represents clients in the US, Europe, Australia, and South America: equinium.com or @equinium
Helen Pollock lives in Los Angeles where she works as a marketing executive in the television industry. In her spare time, she competes as an amateur at California's A-Circuit shows. Helen is also the founder and CEO of Life Equestrian, a marketing company for riders and equestrian enthusiasts. With Life Equestrian, Helen brings together her business expertise with her lifelong passion for equine trends, products and safety.
Lindsay Brock is a writer, photographer, and social media guru from Saugerties, NY. A Houghton College graduate, Lindsay studied Writing and Communications, while riding on the hunter/jumper and eventing teams. When not at a horse show, behind a camera lens or fervently Instagramming, you can find her astride her Zangersheide gelding, Justice Z.
Author and creator of the awardwinning equestrian blog Saddle Seeks Horse, Susan Friedland shares an authentic look at life with horses via interviews, product reviews and riding recaps. Susan lives in LA and is owned by Missie, a cuddly Doberman, and Tiz A Knight, a tall, dark and handsome Thoroughbred gelding. Connect with Susan @ saddleseekshorse on Instagram or saddleseekshorse.com.
Claiborne & Lime
Dr. Carrie Wicks
Jacquelyn is a lifelong showjumping junkie and after a failed attempt at an office job, has managed to make a career out of it. As the Operations Manager at Sonoma Horse Park in Petaluma, CA, she spends her days helping to create and run horse shows and showing her own horse. Jacquelyn started riding at age 4, and with the exception of a small break to get a degree in Political Science and Communication, hasn’t stopped.
Laura Mormann and Antoinette Watson turned their love of entertaining and hospitality into an art form when they founded Claiborne & Lime. Catering to both lifestyle brands and private clients, they specialize in designing intimate, thoughtful gatherings and celebrations. C&L provides peace of mind, allowing clients to be fully present and enjoy their precious downtime with loved ones.
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.
Catie Staszak is the CEO of Catie Staszak Media, Inc. and the color commentator and journalist for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ NAL. Catie has announced at showjumping events across the globe and represented some of the sport's top athletes and operations. When she's not working, she's enjoying time with her superhero horse Zantos, whom she shows in the jumpers, and her dog/sidekick, Omaha.
Vol. 1: Giveaway closes 6/1/21
The Front Runner Racing Tote BY R E B E C C A R AY The new “Front Runner Collection” by Rebecca Ray is here! We can’t get enough of this fresh new bag. Constructed from Rebecca Ray’s signature heavy 100% cotton canvas duck cloth, the durability of this stylish tote goes without saying. As always, hand-crafted in America on a bench by Master Harness Makers. Lined with contrasting colors, this tote is everything you expect from the Rebecca Ray Tradition of Sporting Style. Each tote is customized with your initials!
Enter at horseandstylemag.com/giveaway for a chance to win. Questions? Email: email@example.com
F R O M the
As I sit here in February, my two daughters, Ella (nine) and Piper (six-anda-half), are just a week away from going back to in-person school. They will be in a hybrid program, still partially remote at almost a year since stepping foot into a classroom. While remote learning has had its highs and lows, one of the unquestionable benefits of canceled sports, activities and a more relaxed social calendar has been having the time to take the girls to the barn with me more often and to focus on their riding. Sharing something I love with the ones I love is a treasured experience that I embrace every day we have together at the barn – much the way amateur rider Mara Johnson and her mother bonded over barn time (read her fascinating story in the debut of our new “Rider Stories” column on page 116). And, while spending more time at the barn – and also channeling my inner Kris Jenner – I put together a kids spring fashion shoot with the help of some of my girls’ favorite equestrian brands (pg. 62). Though I typically enjoy spending more time behind the lens than in front of it, it was fun to play photo shoot with the girls. Thank you, Tara Arrowood, for capturing the fun spirit of being a young equestrian.
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Appel wearing a Criniēre shirt and Goode Rider breeches, with daughters Ella (left) wearing a Criniēre shirt, Kerrits breeches and Ariat paddock boots and half-chaps and Piper (middle) wearing a Criniēre shirt, Goode Rider breeches and Ariat paddock boots and half-chaps; photo © Tara Arrowood
One of the most iconic families in equestrian sport is the Millar Family, lead by Ian Millar, who is still the most decorated Canadian equestrian in history and owns and operates Millar Brooke Farm with daughter Amy Millar, son Jonathon Millar and daughter-in-law Kelly Soleau-Millar. We are honored to have such a legendary family in the sport grace the cover of our first issue of the year. A true testament to the family’s kind and loyal nature is their impressive thirtyplus year partnership with Prestige Saddles. With the launch of the new Renaissance collection, Prestige Saddles is preserving their respected position in the saddle market, and further setting the standard for precision and excellence. Read about the partnership between Prestige and Millar Brooke Farm on page 72. If a book could inhabit ‘life goals,’ it would be Horse Crazy by New York Times
· 2021 volume 1
staff reporter Sarah Maslin Nir. Since its launch in 2020, following Horse Crazy on social media has been as exciting as following a favorite globetrotting celebrity. The book, which details Nir’s love of horses and her venturesome travels through the world, also tells the tales of horse lovers across the globe and Nir’s adventures discovering them (pg. 82). To vest or not to vest has become an increasingly popular topic in our sport. With professional riders following suit, airbag vests are becoming more and more the norm in safety gear. We care about this topic so much, we have two articles dedicated to it; Helen Pollock dives into the importance of the safety vest – and also literally took a dive in the dirt wearing one – talking about her experience on page 38. Plus, with so many options to choose from, Pollock sourced the best of the vest for this issue’s “Trend Report” on page 42. While we have been yearning to bring back our beloved “Destination” column, this issue’s “Horse Corner” is a destination in and of itself. Set in a fairy tale tropical location in the Brazilian countryside, Interagro is home to 450 of the Lusitano breed’s finest mares, foals and stallions. Read about the stud, its idyllic setting and how, over its forty-plus year history, Interagro has become the world’s largest breeder of Lusitanos, on page 120. By the time this issue hits the horse shows, we will be a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. With what now seems to be an end in sight, I look forward to horse shows and everyday life slowly returning to normal. While we will likely still be masked up for the 2021 show season, each passing week brings a more hopeful outcome. I’m looking forward to another season of being a pony mom, with both girls planning to show this year! Best,
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photos by Janet Howard Studio
…you might not know about …
Jamillah Scott of
The visionary behind Equestrian Noire, Jamillah Scott is a novice rider who fell in love with equestrian culture overnight! The proud owner of an Arabian mare, Jamillah launched Equestrian Noire as a creative outlet to celebrate horses and horsemanship of all disciplines. As the Creative Director and primary model, she orchestrates each Equestrian Noire shoot with lavish costumes, vivid landscapes, and a variety of horse breeds, resulting in images bursting with grace, elegance, and beauty.
1. I was born and raised in Milwaukee,WI. I am the second child and only girl of three siblings. Growing up with brothers was always an adventure; I felt the need to be as rough and tumble as they were, and to compete as strongly and fiercely as they did. In that, I learned to use my imagination, be courageous, have tenacity and to lose gracefully. To my mother’s chagrin, I also quickly learned to wrestle, race and double dog dare. However, I was still very much a girly girl: I loved dresses, lip gloss, and became cultured in the art of carrying a purse while climbing a tree.
I despise cold weather. Temperatures below 40° propel me into hibernation. When I graduated from high school, I left the Wisconsin winters and moved to New Orleans, where I attended undergrad and graduate school. Once I moved south, the notion of returning home wasn’t an option. Coincidentally, all my immediate family and most of my extended family, have relocated to my current hometown, Atlanta, GA.
I was a latecomer to the equestrian world; as a matter of fact, I didn’t begin riding until two years ago when I turned 40. Unlike many couples who enjoy horses, it was my husband who exposed me to the sport when we began dating. He gifted me my first horse, a chestnut Arabian mare, as a birthday gift. My husband’s mother is an equestrian who competed in western
pleasure and saddle seat as a child in the 70s. He began riding as a child and has been a horseman for much of his life. My husband’s family are Arabian horse loyalists – his mom currently owns one and my husband and I currently have three (one mare and two geldings: Camille, Junior and Zee).
I believe there is power in a cute outfit! The first time I fell off a horse (I’ve fallen three times now), I was riding my mother-in-law’s horse Hope. Although Hope is older, she is my husband’s former polo pony and still has a lot of pep. On this day, my mother-in-law gave me a cute riding outfit, including her fancy tall boots. I’d just learned to post the trot and was feeling good about my riding and my new look. As I began picking up speed, I could hear my husband yelling, advising me to slow down. I lost my balance and fell off just shy of a small pond. Hope galloped back to the barn while I was immediately encircled by other boarders. My ego was as bruised as my backside. The moral of the story is to remain acutely aware of your skill levels and to avoid letting a cute outfit confuse your sense and sensibility! Halloween is my favorite holiday. I believe this was strongly influenced by the years I spent living in New Orleans. Each year for Halloween, Bourbon Street would overflow with daring costumes and the spectators
who came to see them! Although I don’t formally consider myself a costumer, I do enjoy being the Creative Director and Stylist for each Equestrian Noire shoot. It provides me with an opportunity to bring a theme to life by selecting the right horse, location and “look” (clothing and accessories) needed to make the final image pop!
6. I have spent most of my career working
in corporate America. Although I love my work, I found myself needing a creative outlet. I decided to merge my love for art and photography with my newfound love of horses to create Equestrian Noire. I wanted to spotlight diversity in equestrianism, and the fact that black women ride horses, while celebrating the multitude of horse breeds and riding disciplines. I wanted to create art with other artists who were as starved for a creative outlet as I was. I gathered a small band of very talented and creative women and challenged them to create in a way they’ve never done before: try something new, cross a boundary, explore an idea. I am fortunate to work very closely with these ladies on each of my shoots. This includes my photographer Janet Howard (@janethowardstudio), hairstylist Recon Nicole (@reconbeauty_) and makeup artist Candice Johnson (@ sweetgloss). Given we’ve only been in existence for a year, I am very proud of the art we’ve created.
Follow along on Instagram @equestrian_noire
I was pensive about starting Equestrian Noire. I doubted that other creatives would be willing to offer their time and talents to the project. Given my age and race, I had no faith that I could build an Instagram following. I was extremely insecure in my lack of horse knowledge and riding experience. My husband PUSHED me into my first shoot and I haven’t looked back! I share this because as women, we often let our insecurities and lack of confidence prevent us from trying new things. Be bold, be fearless; even if things don’t turn out as you planned, at least you tried!
8. I love cheese pizza and homemade
soup! I do not eat them together, but I could eat either one almost every day of the week!
I am a health and wellness nut. I love trying new healthy recipes and working out. As a matter of fact, I have trained and competed in several fitness competitions in the bikini division. I am motivated by the discipline, dedication, and hard work it requires to transform one’s body!
As I advance my riding skills, I want to begin jumping. It is a skill that I am afraid of (I’ve watched too many bloopers on Instagram), but I feel compelled to try. If I succeed, I’d like to join a hunt club – what’s better than racing through a forest on horseback wearing a very stylish outfit?
2021 volume 1 ·
Hunters Jumpers Equitation Ponies
7600 Lakeville Highway • Petaluma, California • 707-766-9066 Marian Nelson • Lauren Shepherd • Josie Ward
Marian Nelson Equestrian is located in Petaluma, California at a private barn on the beautiful Sonoma Horse Park facility. We enjoy the benefits of a top quality training facility with a quiet, family-oriented environment, and the advantages of access to eight hunter/jumper shows hosted on-site.
Lessons • Showing • IEA • Training • Boarding • Camps • Sales
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
5. 1. Harrie Smolders and Bingo de Parc under CSI5* lights 2. Karrie Rufer and Stern dei Folletti 3. Daisy Coyle making her WEF leadline debut 4. McLain Ward and Kasper van het Hellehof in the first Saturday Night Lights of the season 5. Just a Gamble in flight with Adrienne Sternlicht aboard 6. Emily Moffitt and Winning Good preparing for CSI5* competition
· 2021 volume 1
Photos © Lindsay Brock
7. The sun setting on World Championship Hunter Week with Kelly Tropin and Chablis 8. A grand prix win for Beezie Madden and Breitling LS 9. Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said showing off during the Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular 10. Hyde Moffitt and Grafton getting out on the derby field at Equestrian Village 11. A winning week from the equitation ring 12. Kent Farrington and Creedance 13. Bertram Allen and Castlefield Vegas leading a CSI3* victory gallop on the derby field at Equestrian Village
2021 volume 1 ·
C A T I E’S
by Catie Staszak
A Different Kind of WEF: Evolution and Appreciation F
ebruary 2021 couldn’t look any different from the same month just a year ago. But through it all, WEF remains. The Winter Equestrian Festival certainly has a different look and feel to it. While there are no spectators, the facility is still bustling with activity. Credentials are required for entry, and you must pass through a trailer that takes a thermal temperature scan. Security monitors your distance from others, and masks must be worn – properly. It might still be virtually impossible to find a space in the exhibitor parking lot, but there is less traffic throughout the facility. If you’re at the horse show, you are there to either work or ride. I feel exceptionally fortunate to have the opportunity to do both. Over the course of the last 11 months since the COVID-19 pandemic completely changed our world, I’ve begun looking at the industry in a different way. With no traveling and the cancellation of the North American League World Cup™ season, there has been far less commentary on my work agenda, and I miss it and my incredible team at FEI TV greatly. But I’m also as busy as ever, for which I’m exceptionally grateful. And I feel more connected to this industry than ever. This time has reminded me how fortunate we are to be involved in a sport that offers so many different ways to be involved. While I’m not in the booth as much, I’m ringside much more, covering Catie Staszak Media’s growing list of clientele. I was approached nearly two years ago now by an international rider who asked me if I would represent him and manage his media assets. I honestly had never thought about
· 2021 volume 1
it before, but, through his trust and support, I took the opportunity. Now, I work with a full group of exceptional individuals and businesses that allow me to share their inspiring stories and, in the process, promote our sport in a creative, storytellingbased way. The relationships I’ve formed in this time, even while socially distanced, have brought me close to many. When my clients jump clear, I feel like I have, too, and my team has never felt larger. For the first time in a decade, I also have a show horse of my own, and it feels tremendous to be back in the ring in a way I had only hoped for, since aging out of the junior ranks and taking on the costs of the sport on my own. I flatted horses, catch rode and managed a few short-term leases throughout my college years and beyond, focusing on my degree, my career, and building up my savings as responsibly as I could. Zantos entered my life on the day of my greatest loss. Sobrie, my horse of more than two decades, passed away in July after a three-year battle with cancer. As only fate would have it, I met Zantos just a couple days before, and I made the decision to bring him home with me just hours before I received that heartbreaking phone call. Like Sobrie, Zantos is small, a little on the chunky side (and consequently very food motivated), and a cribber, with a gigantic personality and even bigger heart. He also has the bravery and jumping talent that Sobrie did not. I can’t help but think, Sobrie made sure I was well taken care of before he left. Horses have truly lifted me this year. It took just three shows before Zantos had me jumping clear rounds in the Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions, a goal of mine for quite a few years. To ride in the ring and see my
Catie Staszak and Zantos; photo © SportFot
name listed as not only his rider, but also his owner, has brought me such pride and sincere gratitude. When I’m lacking selfconfidence, he, quite literally, pulls me and carries me forward, always getting me to the other side with gusto and enthusiasm. With work the primary focus during circuit’s busy season, our quiet morning rides, grazes and long grooming sessions bring me great comfort and moments of peace. Horses are tremendous healers, and in these continuing times of uncertainty, I am repeatedly reminded how fortunate we are to be surrounded by these incredible animals. Of the many extraordinary places my life and my career have taken me, from the broadcast booth at the Royal to center stage at the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, none has been more impactful than the back of a horse.
catiestaszak.com @catiestaszakmedia @catiestaszakmedia @catiestaszak
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DESERT CIRCUIT – THERMAL, CA
6. 1. Rachel Long and Pisco jumping their way to the Championship in the USHJA 6-Year-Old Young Jumper division 2. Big pats for Rahmanshoff’s Bamiro from Mavis Spencer after their ride in the $40,000 Sun Air Jets Grand Prix 3. Ali Ramsay and Lutz preparing for their rides 4. Nick Haness and Morrison on their way to win their second USHJA National Hunter Derby in a row 5. Friendship is always found in the warm-up arena 6. There’s no better place to spend your winter than with blue skies, palm trees, and ponies
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Photos © Katie Browne Photography
7. Victoria Lacagnina and Positano in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Open 8. Sleek and shiny 9. Belladonna 42 and Mavis Spencer make sure not to touch any poles 10. Ben Asselin and Jim-Bob H in the USHJA 8-Year-Old Young Jumper 1.35m 11. Shawn Casady sneaks a smile before heading in for his class 12. Carlee McCutcheon and MTM Unexpected in the $5,000 Jr/A-O/Am Jumper Classic 1.45m 13. It’s all in the small details
2021 volume 1 ·
P R O pop
DEFHR head trainer Sara Strauss greets a group of children visiting the farm; photo courtesy of DEFHR
THIS ISSUE’S QUESTION:
is the CEO Erin Clemm Ochoa rse Rescue Ho m Far End ys of Da bine, MD od Wo in sed ba
What is ‘humane education’ and how does it play a role in equine rescue? defhr.org
Each issue, a new question is answered by an industry professional. Have a question you want answered? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
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umane education is the idea that we can create a compassionate and caring society – and end the cycle of violence and abuse – by developing empathy, understanding, and respect for animals, people, and the environment. It’s something that we believe in wholeheartedly at Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR).Though the organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit horse rescue, and we’ll always have a component of rehabilitation, our team strongly believes that the future of equine welfare starts with community engagement and educating the public on topics related to humane education and animal welfare, so we place a lot of emphasis on developing one-of-a-kind programs for various ages and backgrounds. Broadly speaking, our community outreach program at DEFHR is multifaceted. Horses that arrive at the facility come to us from law enforcement and animal protection agency impoundments, and as a “forensic farm,” we leverage the horses’ rehabilitation processes to provide continuing education classes and trainings for animal control and law enforcement professionals. At the same time, there is so much that volunteers and visitors can learn from these horses and their rehabilitation journeys, so the facility also serves as an eco-educational community center for all ages. In fact, DEFHR is one of approximately 40 licensed Maryland Horse Discovery Centers, which means we are dedicated to playing an active role in educating the general
Humane education plays a critical role in DEFHR’s community outreach programs, especially in its youth programs; photo courtesy of DEFHR
public and helping to foster the horsehuman connection by assisting all ages and experience levels in learning about horses in a welcoming, beginner-friendly environment. Youth involvement in particular, is critical in our community outreach efforts.While many animal shelters have age restrictions, DEFHR is unique in that children as young as age five can volunteer or participate in several of our youth programs. I think this makes us wellequipped to take on the role of educator. Since the pandemic, we’ve had to get creative when it comes to engaging with the community, and especially youth, since we’ve remained closed to the public. Last summer, we launched a “Camp-In-A-Box” program for kids, that helped us adapt our educational offerings to a virtual setting. It incorporated hands-on projects, DIY experiments, online videos, and activities that all tied back to our horses. We also incorporated activities that demonstrated why caring for the environment is important to DEFHR. Each week, campers learned about an environmental theme as part of “WE CARE” (water, erosion, composting, agriculture, recycling, and ecology = WE CARE) – this helped children understand why caring for the environment also helps the horses. We feel strongly that we can effect change in equine welfare by empowering youth and future generations, but we also recognize the importance of engaging a broader audience. We’re currently developing a number of other virtual programs that will provide a
portal into our work and into multilevel educational experiences. We also have plans to expand our footprint in Woodbine, Maryland, to accommodate a larger classroom for law enforcement trainings and seminars as well as an activity center for hands-on, family-friendly experiences. Mahatma Gandhi said it best when he stated, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” At DEFHR, humane education is part of our ethos because we understand that it can benefit animal welfare and improve communities. The more we can play a role in helping to build stable and peaceful societies that are informed and empathetic, the more likely we will be to save more horses by putting a stop to neglect and abuse.
— E R I N C L E M M O C H OA , CEO, Days End Farm Horse Rescue About Days End Farm Horse Rescue: For more than three decades, Days End Farm Horse Rescue has been renowned for working not only to prevent equine abuse and neglect, but also to educate the public about equine welfare, and help their staff, volunteers, and members of the public become better horsemen and horsewomen. Learn more about DEFHR‘s adoptable horses as well as their numerous education and volunteer opportunities at www.defhr.org, email them at email@example.com, or follow DEFHR on Facebook (@DEFHR) and Instagram (@4TheHorses).
Erin Clemm Ochoa pictured with a rescue foal; photo courtesy of DEFHR
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Ali Telatnik and Somerset;
photo © GrandPix Photography
Ali Telatnik and Persuasion;
photo © GrandPix Photography
Landmark Equestrian offers boutique hunter/jumper training with the best in amenities, service, and location. Now based out of the Bay Area’s premier equestrian facility, Sandhu Stables. SANDHU STABLES 5900 O L D S C H O O L R D , P L E AS A N TO N , C A 94 5 8 8 S A N D H U STA B L E S . C O M L A N D M A R K E Q U E ST R I A N . C O M
Ali Telatnik, Head Trainer • Lindsay Bowman, Assistant Trainer 425.241.1410 • LandmarkEqCa@gmail.com
B E T W E E N the
by Laurie Berglie
The Latest from Susan Friedland Strands of Hope: How to Grieve the Loss of a Horse $13.99 paperback / $5.99 Kindle
Unbridled Creativity: 101 Writing Exercises for the Horse Lover $12.99 paperback only
I am officially dubbing Susan Friedland the “Queen of Equestrian NonFiction.” Two years after publishing her best-seller, Horses Adored & Men Endured, A Memoir of Falling and Getting Back Up, Susan has brought two new non-fiction reads to our bookshelves. The first is Strands of Hope: How to Grieve the Loss of a Horse. Admittedly, few will want to have to read this book, but, sadly, all of us will at some point. After Susan lost her heart horse, DC, she realized that the sense of loss she was feeling was different than that of losing a dog or cat. For whatever reason, horse owners experience a different type of grief, and Susan quickly realized there were no real resources to help her overcome her current struggles. So, she created one. She started by writing the blog post, “How to Grieve the Loss of a Horse in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps.” When it became one of her most popular posts, Susan knew there was a true need for grieving horse owners. In Strands of Hope, Susan shares advice and stories to help you heal. She will show you how to write an equine eulogy to share with those who also knew and loved your horse. She shares ideas to creatively commemorate by building shadow boxes with photos and horse show ribbons, planting a tree in his or her honor, and making donations to a worthy rescue in your horse’s name.
Throughout this book are a variety of interviews with equestrians who have also experienced the loss of a horse, ranging from losing a foal to saying goodbye to a childhood pony. Hopefully by reading the stories of others, you will feel connected in your shared sense of grief and feel less alone as you walk through this difficult chapter of life. Strands of Hope received a 2020 Winnie Award from the Equus Film & Arts Festival. And now we’ll move on to Susan’s most recent book, one that is a bit more fun and light-hearted, Unbridled Creativity: 101 Writing Exercises for the Horse Lover. With more than 20 years of classroom experience as a teacher, Susan has merged education’s best practices for writing instruction with horsey themes for your journaling pleasure. The book is organized so the prompts generally start out simple and grow in complexity. But you don’t need to go in order! Skip ahead, jump back and forth – it doesn’t matter. Just put pen to paper to hone your writing skills and nurture your creativity. Who knows, maybe this book will lead you to becoming the next equestrian author featured in Horse & Style! Both books can be purchased directly from Susan’s website, saddleseekshorse.com, or Amazon.
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WO R L D E Q U E S T R I A N C E N T E R W I N T E R S P E C TAC U L A R – O C A L A , F L
4. 1. 3.
1. The Equestrian Hotel at World Equestrian Center – Ocala makes a breathtaking backdrop to the Grand Prix arena (pictured on course: Baylee McKeever and Salvatore) 2. Peter Petschenig and Wannabe CS float over the Golden Ocala oxer 3. Aaron Vale and Candro Van De Zuuthoeve under the lights 4. Amanda Steege and Lafitte de Muze 5. Danielle Grice and High Life looking picture perfect in front of the Florida sunset
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Photos © Andrew Ryback Photography
11. 6. Brooke Kemper and La Vida Loca 7. Making an entrance! Stacy Ryback and Dinky Toy Van De Castershoeve trot into the Grand Prix arena through the glorious multi-pillared in-gates 8. Briley Koerner and For Jef Vd Wezelse 9. Andre Thieme and Chakaria soar over the WEC Chapel water jump 10. Shane Powell hacks out at sunrise, passing by the beautiful Chapel at WEC 11. The iconic Sgt. Reckless in her well-deserved place of prominence at WEC – Ocala
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by Jacquelyn Kuba photos by Jessica Rodrigues
The Best Begets the Best
STEVE GUE R DAT Steve Guerdat is arguably the best showjumping rider in the world right now. Many months atop the Longines FEI World Rankings will earn you that title. The 39-year-old Swiss rider is no stranger to success, beginning his winning ways as a youngster under the tutelage of his father, Phillipe Guerdat. The elder Guerdat retired from his own successful career to coach his son up through the ranks. And through the ranks he shot. Numerous 5* Grand Prix wins, World Cup™ titles, World Equestrian Games titles, European Championship titles, and Individual Gold at the 2012 Olympic Games just to name a few. With a string of accomplished mounts in his stable, Guerdat continuously wins everywhere he goes.
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lways looking sharp both in and out of the tack, Guerdat is a highly respected part of the international showjumping scene. Therefore, it was only natural that in early February, it was announced that Guerdat was to be the newest Hermès partner rider. One of the most exceptional equestrian brands on the market, Hermès is known for their high quality, exceedingly beautiful, and innovative products. Their commitment to the sport is wide-reaching, so it seems a perfect fit to have Steve Guerdat join their stable of partner riders.
H&S: Why do you prefer riding in a Hermès saddle?
Horse & Style caught up with Guerdat to get his take on his newest partnership.
SG: This is still quite a new partnership and I am looking forward to working with Hermès. It’s very important to me to make sure the product is good and the people behind it are good. Hermès gives me confidence – both for myself and for my horses.
Horse & Style: What does it mean to you to be chosen as an Hermès partner rider? Steve Guerdat: Of course it’s a big honor, I feel very privileged to be asked to be part of the Hermès family; it works well for me and my team.
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SG: I have tried a few different saddles in my career. Most of them were good and fit the horses well, but when I tried the Hermès saddle for the first time, I fell in love with it – something I had never felt in the saddle before. It made a big difference and I didn’t want to get out of the saddle. It was comfortable and, most importantly, it fit my horse. H&S: As a Hermès partner rider, your opinion is greatly valued as a technical advisor. What does this partnership mean to you?
H&S: What are your goals for these horses in 2021?
SG: All the major events: the Grand Slam, World Cup™ Finals and, hopefully, the Olympics. H&S: What was it like to have a small break from horse shows in 2020? SG: I did a lot less traveling across the world and spent much more time in the stables. Before, I was in the stable Monday to Wednesday and then gone at a horse show for the weekend. During the break, I was in the stable Monday to Sunday, working with my horses. H&S: You have accomplished so much already in your career, but is there one specific thing that is still a goal for you? SG: I am always motivated for the classics – extra motivated. What drives me everyday is to keep trying to improve; become a better rider, become a better horseman. I have lots of room to improve. Success is one side of the story, the main side is becoming a better horseman and better rider. Success comes with motivation and hard work.
preview by Lila Gendal photos courtesy of LGCT
photo © Stefano Grasso
A Sneak Peek at the 2021 Longines Global Champions Tour… Doha, Qatar: Mar. 4–6 Madrid, Spain: May 21–23 Ramatuelle/St-Tropez, France: May 27–29 Cannes, France: Jun. 3–5 Stockholm, Sweden: Jun. 18–20 Paris, France: Jul. 25–27 Monaco: Jul. 1–3 Berlin, Germany: Jul. 22–25 London, United Kingdom: Aug. 13–15 Valkenswaard, Netherlands: Aug. 20–22 Hamburg, Germany: Aug. 25–29 Rome, Italy: Sept. 9–12 Mexico City, Mexico: Sept. 16–19 New York, USA: Sept. 24–26 Shanghai, China: Oct. 22–24 Prague, Czech Republic: Nov. 18–21
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anuary 1, 2021 was arguably the most anticipated and sought after day in approximately three hundred sixty-five days. New Year’s Day inevitably represents hope and the ability to start anew. Perhaps nothing and everything changed on this particular new year, but the idea that there exists hope and possible solutions to massively complex global challenges allows thousands or millions to continue to wake up every morning. While the global pandemic continues to circulate and haunt most of the world, I believe there just might be a glimpse of the heavy clouds opening up, allowing a tiny light flickering at the end of this horrendous tunnel. The entire world basically held its breath in 2020. Jobs were lost, homes underwent foreclosure, children continued their education from home, and civilization as we knew it was left frantically biting its nails. And yet time has passed and parts of the world are opening up, with giant caution signs surrounding such locations. Masks are being worn and precautions are being taken, and slowly but surely we are stepping in the (hopefully) right direction. Like most sports, the equestrian world was basically stuck on pause, but with the new year there are exciting activities planned. In the world of show jumping, the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) has a much anticipated twelve months ahead. If all goes to plan, the Tour and dates have been set, and cities all over the world are anxiously awaiting the horses and riders
photo © Stefano Grasso
who make this Tour come to life. Here’s a sneak peek for all of those show jumping enthusiasts, owners, riders and spectators on what’s coming your way! The 2021 season will make its highlyanticipated debut in Doha, Qatar on March 4-6. Al Shaqab is home to one of the most stunning equestrian facilities in the world and will become the stage for the thrilling opening portion of the 2021 LGCT. From Qatar, the Tour continues to Madrid, Spain, May 21-23. The equestrian facility in Madrid is renowned for its breathtaking grass arena surrounded by a vibrant city and culture. On May 27-29, riders and their horses will head to Ramatuelle/Saint-Tropez. The alluring French Riviera town of Saint-Tropez will host the fifth leg of the Tour and draw crowds with the turquoise waters of Pampelonne beach as a backdrop for the arena. The fourth leg of the Tour will land in the picturesque and iconic destination of Cannes. This is home to the famous Cannes Film Festival and offers an elegant view of the spectacular Mediterranean coastline. From Cannes, the Tour will make its way to Stockholm, the beautiful Swedish capital with a history revolving around equestrian sports. Stockholm proudly held the 1912 and 1956 Olympics, so naturally this is a sought after location for the LGCT.
The next stop for the Tour will be Paris, on June 25-27. This might be one of the most spectacular locations. With the iconic Eiffel Tower as the backdrop, what more could you want in the French capital! From the Eiffel Tower to Monaco, on July 1-3. This venue draws spectators in with magnificent yachts and the Port d’Hercule as their view from the jumping arena. What makes this location unique for the horses and riders is the size of the arena, which happens to be one of the smallest on the Tour. When you combine enormous jumps in a smaller arena the results boil down to precision and accuracy from both horse and rider. Next stop will be Berlin, on July 22-25. The German capital is the largest city in the country and one of the most visited cities in the entire world, making this venue extremely popular. On August 13-15, the Tour will land in London, one of the most quintessential cities in the world, at the iconic Royal Hospital Chelsea. The highly-anticipated ninth leg of the Tour is sure to draw crowds. From London, the Tour heads to Valkenswaard on August 20-22. This state-of-the-art arena in The Netherlands is one of the leading equestrian facilities in the world, with lovely sand arenas and a vibrant atmosphere. On August 25-29, the Tour will arrive in Germany’s gateway to the world, the port of Hamburg. This leg will take place at the
historic Derby-Park Klein Flottbeck in Hamburg. A vast arena and huge crowds make this an exciting stop for the Tour. From Germany, the Tour heads to one of the most beautiful and historical cities in the world: Rome, on September 9-12. Rome always draws an energetic local and international crowd, and provides a backdrop like no other location. On September 16-19, it heads to Mexico City. This massive grass arena is located in Campo Marte at the Chapultepec Park, which is a rider favorite. Next stop will be New York on September 24-26. Taking place on Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan’s skyline will offer a stunning view for all involved. The finals of the LGCT and GCL circuits land in Shanghai, China on October 22–24. This particular venue draws riders and spectators from across the globe with its vibrant atmosphere and unmistakable skyline backdrop. And finally on November 18-21, the Global Champions playoffs will occur in the stunning Czech capital of Prague. This highly-anticipated finale will feature a wildly vibrant atmosphere, with unforgettable light and music shows in Prague’s beautiful O2 arena. And that’s a wrap! Here’s to a thrilling 2021 LGCT series!
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by Amanda Mactas
Grab n’ Go:
Healthy Snacks When You’re on the Run On your way out the door? Looking for some fuel to tide you over until your next meal? Swap out some of your favorite snack foods for some equally as tasty, yet way more nutritious options. Being healthier doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor, and these six food brands have it down to a science.
iscover the magic of popped water lily seeds, brought to you by mother and son team Asha and Jai. Long touted in ancient Indian holistic healing science (also known as Ayurveda), water lily seeds are packed with plant-based protein and magnesium, and are low in calories, vegan, and gluten and grain-free. Asha Pops combine the light and crunchy texture of popped water lily seeds with bold flavors like turmeric garlic, chili lime and even dark chocolate. Ditch those unhealthy granola and protein bars that are packed with sugar and instead reach for one of Kate’s Real Food Tram Bars. Created by a skier, Kate Schade found that energy bars often didn’t sustain her, or maintain their consistency, in cold weather. Her tram bars, which are packed with oats, peanut butter and apricots, remain soft no matter the weather, and are a tasty alternative to grab when you’re on the go. If you prefer to sip your fuel, look no further than OWYN’s Protein Shakes. The best tasting vegan protein on the market, OWYN’s protein shakes are packed with a whopping 20 grams of protein and come in an array of flavors, including cold brew coffee, chocolate, strawberry banana, cookies and creamless, and vanilla. An ideal option for anyone, and especially those with food allergies, Without A Trace offers a range of allergen-free snacks that certainly don’t lack in flavor. Their Power Bites, which come in apple cinnamonster and rad raspberry, supply a dose of sweet taste into healthy ingredients such as dates, apples, gluten-free oats and chia seeds. Nothing beats nature’s candy. Made with organic kelp, 12 Tides Puffed Seaweed Chips provide a tasty bite of umami flavor to hungry snackers. Filled with a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, kelp is known to help boost your metabolism, as well as aid in digestion. Plus, they are packaged with 100% compostable material. For all you chip lovers out there, trade in your Doritos for a bag of IWON Organics Protein Snacks. Using plant-based protein to give consumers a more filling and nutritious version of their favorite munchies, IWON stix and puffs come in a variety of flavors like nacho cheese, Korean bbq, and red pepper, to name a few. With 10g of protein per serving, you won’t experience that midday crash.
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D E S E R T H O L I DAY – T H E R M A L , C A
6. 1. Vani Khosla and Grand in the festive $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2. The view from the Grand Prix Stadium is nothing short of sublime 3. An elated Derek Chang after a great round during Desert Holiday 4. Post-ride conversations with your trainer 5. Sophia Siegel looking towards her next fence in the Grand Prix Stadium 6. All smiles, celebrating a great ride! 7. Nick Haness shines during the USHJA National Hunter Derby
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E Q U E S T R I A N tastemaker by Annie Heise
Happy New Year! Last year, I took time to evaluate what was truly elevating my life versus what was weighing me down. So, for me, this year is about filling my home and closet with only what is essential: quality over quantity. That being said, here is a list of not only what’s new, but what lasts!
Fresh Perspective Justina Reinhart With an artistic eye, Justina Reinhart takes a fresh new perspective on equestrian photography… Based in Kitchener, Ontario, her portfolio includes product, portrait and equestrian photography characterized by clean lines, warm light, and muted tones. Reinhart works with brands, “to create high-end, clean images that frame their narratives, translate a strong and consistent visual brand, and drive engagement.” Fine art prints of a selection of Reinhart’s work can be purchased directly on her website. Be sure to check her out and follow her journey! Prints from $150 CAD: justinareinhart.com
For the Horse Basics Equestrian Basics Equestrian’s line of horsewear is refreshingly clean, classic, and cohesive! The Canadian brand, founded upon the idea of simplifying equestrians’ needs, has one main goal, “to design and create functional horsewear that is beautifully designed and does not compromise on quality.” Quality, affordable, functional horsewear – we can all get behind that! Nash Exercise Rug in Grey: $75 CAD: basicsequestrian.com
Sculptural Emma Tate Ceramics Emma Tate is a ceramicist specializing in equine sculpture. Originally from central New York, Tate moved to the Netherlands in 2013 and now resides in Amsterdam. From small to large scale, and everything in between, her work is both charming and timeless. Tate’s sculptures have been featured at international competitions and across the pages of equestrian magazines from Europe to the U.S. Tate is available for commissions and also has pieces available for purchase at emmatateceramics.com
Curated Vintage Vollective One-of-a-kind vintage vessels and objects are having a moment. Founded in 2019,Vollective is the vision of two women who wanted to, “showcase the beauty and history of vintage while providing consumers with a sustainable way to shop.” Be sure to follow Vollective online for a curated selection of vintage housewares that will elevate any space. Be quick though... collections sell out in a matter of hours! Collection 11 launches March 4, 2021 at 11:00am ET: vollective.com
Perfect Leather Planner Gallery Leather Who doesn’t love a good planner? A chic planner is just as essential as any accessory... I carry mine around with me all year! It’s important to be able to see my week at a glance, which is why I love Bar Harbor, Maine based Gallery Leather’s Weekly Desk Planner. The flexibility of the “open format” pages is one of my favorite features. Leather bound and available personalized! Leather Weekly Desk Planner from $27.20: galleryleather.com
For the Coffee Table Stables: High Design for Horse and Home I have an ever-growing collection of coffee table books at my house. Rizzoli is known for publishing incredible books, and its newest equine offering, Stables: High Design for Horse and Home, is due this March! “From a ranch in the U.S. and a Finnish farmstead to a Spanish hacienda and Australian outback home, Stables is a celebration of horses and their extraordinary lodgings.” Get on the preorder list as this will most likely go fast… Hardcover: $55, available March 2, 2021: rizzoliusa.com
A Versatile Essential Two Bits Equestrian Two Bits Equestrian’s newest offering from their SS21 collection, The Mockneck, is perfect for riding, tennis, golf, yoga, pilates, hiking, and more! The essential base layer, with subtle elevated details, is made of fabric that offers UPF 50 protection for all day UVA and UVB sun protection. Plus, it pairs perfectly with all of T.B.E.’s sweaters and coats. The Mockneck, available in White, Black and Heather Charcoal: $130: tbequestrian.com
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FEATURE by Helen Pollock photos by Kristin Lee
Say “Yes” to the Vest! T H E A I R BAG T H AT H A S YO U R BAC K
is certainly an understatement to say that 2020 brought change to our world. Not only did the pandemic put a pause on what we thought was ‘normal,’ it also raised our awareness on health and safety in all aspects of our lives. The more conscious I was about washing my hands regularly, sanitizing surfaces and always leaving the house with my mask, the more aware I became of taking safety and precaution measures at the barn. One new trend I have noticed, both at horse shows and in my weekly riding routine, is that more and more riders are wearing airbag vests. I am now a proud member of this group. I’ve said “Yes” to the vest! I know I am not the only rider who is scared of falling off his or her horse. Ironically, when I first tried the airbag vest I was less afraid of falling off my horse than I was of having the vest go off while riding, and subsequently spooking
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my horse. That might sound silly, but having ridden for over 35 years, the idea of wearing a deployable C02 canister gave me the jitters. Nerves aside, I decided I wanted to give it a try, and, after my first ride I became very comfortable in my vest. Six months in, I am hardly aware of it while riding. I remember skiing as a young girl wearing a knit hat and goggles. My parents were one of the first to make me leave the hat in the car and try this new thing called a ‘ski helmet.’ Now ski helmets are everywhere, and I can’t imagine being on the slopes without wearing one. I truly believe this will be the way of the equestrian airbag vest. Ever since I started wearing the vest and writing about it on both my Instagram page and blog, I have had dozens of messages from fellow riders. Many have asked why I chose Horse Pilot’s vest in
particular. Before buying, I tried on both Helite and Horse Pilot, which are equally great vests. But, in the end, Horse Pilot was the vest for me for two reasons. First, the Horse Pilot vest was the only vest that had additional coverage through my lower back and tailbone area. Second, I chose Horse Pilot for their structured fit and overall comfort. The Horse Pilot vest has neck coverage that offers support without forcing my head forward which was a better match with my particular helmet. This was my own process and reasoning, but the most important thing to do when looking for an airbag vest is to TRY THEM ALL ON and pick the one that fits best for you. As it happened, in November of 2020 I had an unplanned dismount that put the vest to the test. I was in the jumper ring at Desert Horse Park and I thought it was a good idea to ask my horse to leave long, while cross-cantering to a skinny vertical.
Needless to say, my mount felt otherwise, and added a giant chip which shot me out of the tack. This was, of course, Rider Error and – as my fellow equestrians know – these things happen. I was a few feet out of the saddle, over the top of my horse, and I distinctly remember thinking (while airborne, nonetheless), “The vest is going to pop! My horse may react and kick me!” The airbag inflated; the vest enlarged like a life jacket and my horse didn’t even flinch at the sound of the airbag being deployed. Of course, I can’t speak to the reaction of all horses, but I was relieved that the inflation noise didn’t cause any issues and I was able to get up with nothing more than a bruised ego and rear, and an inflated airbag vest in need of a new cartridge. With that fall behind me, I am grateful to have been wearing the vest and continue to use it for every ride, especially when jumping. Just like regularly wearing a ski helmet, wearing my vest doesn’t make me more risk intolerant, rather it provides a sense of comfort and confidence in the knowledge that, if I take a tumble, the airbag has my back – both literally and metaphorically.
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by Helen Pollock
Safety in Layers With the 2021 show season fully in motion, there is no better time to think about protecting yourself while in the arena. To be the best partner you can for your horse, you can’t be injured. And airbag vests and jackets, one of the newest trends seen at the show grounds, are a fabulous way to add an extra layer of protection. Check out these top two trending brands helping to add a literal layer of safety to your ride.
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H O R S E P I L O T : 1a. Airbag Light Safety Vest, $825, 1b. Air Motion Protect Competition Jacket, $675, 1c. Gillet for Airbag Safety Vest, $225; D A D A : 2a. Riding Airbag Liner Helite Zip'in 1, $559, 2b. Comic Star, airbag lining compatible riding jacket, $549, 2c. Riding Airbag Vest Helite Zip'in 2, $759
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T U R F TO U R AT T H E R I D G E AT W E L L I N GTO N – W E L L I N GTO N , F L
1. Headed to the in-gate during Turf Tour 3 at Black Watch Farm 2. Sam Walker and Gangster over the HorseLinc vertical, Turf Tour 3 3. Daniel Coyle lands off the triple bar during Turf Tour 5’s $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix at The Ridge at Wellington 4. Hanging out with a local at Polo West, Turf Tour 4 5. Olympic eventer Phillip Dutton on course in the $3,000 1.30m Speed Stake at Polo West, Turf Tour 4
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Photos © Equinium Sports Marketing
9. 6. Victoria Gulliksen and Carentina race through the timers to win the $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic at Polo West, Turf Tour 4 7. Black Watch Farm’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic, Turf Tour 3 8. Horses, riders and grooms at the warm-up in-gate, where the impressive main barn at Black Watch Farm makes a picturesque backdrop 9. Horses enjoying the beautiful grass footing at Polo West, Turf Tour 4 10. Riders and trainers walk the Grand Prix course ahead of the main event at Turf Tour 3
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FEATURE story and photos by Holly Johnson/ Equinium Sports Marketing hair and make-up by Style Me Jaime
Shirt and breeches by Vestrum America @vestrum_america
S P OT S A R E I N , A N D FA M O U S :
Wellington’s Spotted Sporthorse Garners National Attention
It was J. Crew’s creative director and American fashion designer Jenna Lyons who once said, “As far as I’m concerned, leopard is a neutral.” While neutral it may be, boring it is not, as testified by Wellington’s Danash’s Northern Tempest (aka Dani the Wonder Horse). Dani’s web of leopard Appaloosa spots accented by dark points, striped hooves, and a mottled mane and tail have speckled the imaginations of not only her fans, but also the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) judges and even a new national base of admirers. While it may be a neutral, Dani’s leopard coat is promoting horse sport and good vibes among equestrians around the globe.
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Gown by Rhode @shoprhode
the first days of 2021, Breyer Model Horses, the largest and arguably most prestigious maker of 1:9 size equine models, announced that Dani would be the star of their 2021 BreyerFest: the Celebration Horse. Breyer’s theme for the virtual event is a “Horse of a Different Color,” and Dani couldn’t be a better fit. Her brilliant coat pattern was a stark contrast to the typical greys, bays, and chestnuts of the performance hunter arenas, yet she brought in the ribbons. On any given day at the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds, she was likely to be the only spotted or even painted horse competing in any discipline. The Celebration Horse is the equivalent of a headline band at a concert, and as the headliner Dani’s model will be available
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exclusively to BreyerFest ticket holders. She will also likely be a guest attendee at future BreyerFests, which hopefully will go back to an in-person event in the coming years as COVID-19 succumbs to the vaccine. As one of the few mares ever chosen to be a Celebration Horse and one of the arguably most spectacular natural patterns yet crafted to a Breyer mold, Dani’s announcement and model have been welcomed with open arms by Breyer’s model collecting community as well as equestrians of all ages and demographics. But Dani’s story began long before Breyer, and couldn’t be told without the village of people, businesses, and events that have boosted her to BreyerFest and showring fame. Dani was foaled in 2013, a Leopard Appaloosa/Friesian cross bred by Jessica
Bowman of North Horse Farm in Cheboygan, Michigan. Dani’s sire, Danash K, is a classical Friesian stallion: upright, elegant, and solid ebony; her dam, Chief ’s Bold Angel, is a leopard Appaloosa mare by Chief ’s Big Hawk. The Appaloosa breed was founded by the Nez Perce Tribe, and originally were a variety of Spanish horses that became very much in demand in the mid to late eighteenth century. Today they retain a mixture of conformational elements similar to the American Quarter Horse, but are especially distinguished by their mottled coats, striped hooves, and visible sclera, the white outer layer of the eye. Dani is a unique mix of both: the Friesian’s proud carriage, uphill build, and exemplary bone, and the Appaloosa’s athleticism, versatility, and of course, coloring.
Dani was purchased as a filly and relocated to south Florida by Jessica Collins, where she began her formal training. She was properly started by Brandy Rivas of Equines and Equestrians in Southwest Ranches, Florida, about an hour south of Palm Beach. In 2017, Dani was purchased by Palm Beach Sport Horses, which is operated by Laura Reece. Reece is the driving force behind Dani’s ultimate fame. Having ridden as a young girl, Reece was determined to reignite her passion for horses after succeeding as a wife, businesswoman, and mom. When she found Dani, Reece was immediately drawn to her sparkling personality and willingness, a key attribute for an amateur mount. As a coming 7-year-old, and still growing into her 17-hand frame, Dani’s training progressed slowly at first. Reece and her trainer, Ashley Glica of ATG Equestrian, began to build upon the dressage and jumping foundation put in place by her former owners. Reece’s goal was to compete in the hunters, and eventually at WEF. A veritable mecca for horse sport, WEF’s hunter circuit is one of the most prestigious in the world. In early 2020, Reece’s goals became reality when she took Dani out in the Rusty Stirrup division. Her coloring, while not exactly an asset in the hunter ring, drew attention. Hunter judges have slowly became more accepting of palominos and paints, but Dani’s success marked a new era. Reece started an Instagram account for her “wonderhorse,” which quickly grew in popularity, and her spots began making headlines from the cover of Wellington the Magazine and Equine America magazine to digital features in HorseTalk New Zealand and The Chronicle of the Horse. Fast forward to December 2020, and the Holiday & Horses circuit, which takes place at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the same grounds as WEF. Dani has notched multiple circuit championships in the low hunter divisions, and WEF 2021 is on the horizon. Unknown to much of the equestrian world, Reece and her circle were sworn to silence regarding Dani’s title of 2021 Celebration Horse until Breyer officially made the announcement. The tension was undoubtedly palpable, but none of
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it seemed to rattle Dani. At the ESP Holiday Finale, Dani earned her largest cache of ribbons yet, including a blue in the Marshall & Sterling Medal class with Francesca Moore in the irons, and Circuit Champion in the USHJA 2' Hunters. Breyer’s official announcement and release (by photo) of Dani’s model took place on January 4th, 2021. The first week of WEF competition commenced January 6th, with Dani as an active competitor. “It’s really amazing and humbling to have Dani chosen as the BreyerFest Celebration Horse,” said Reece. “Last year people would recognize her at WEF and say, ‘Oh we know her, that’s Dani the Wonder Horse!’ from our Instagram page, and obviously just because she stands out in any hunter ring by being the only Appaloosa! We are just so excited for this next step and I’m looking forward to more adventures with her.” To see Dani’s Breyer Model is to see Dani herself. The artists at Breyer have captured every detail of the mare’s striking coat, including the mottled chest and neck, multi-colored tail, flared star on her forehead, and of course her striped hooves and spots. “Many people think Dani is a white horse with black spots, but the truth is the reverse,” said Reece. “She’s actually a black horse with a web of white overlaid. It’s a typical genetic pattern of the leopard Appaloosas.” Dani’s coloring has and will continue to spark attention and controversy in equestrian circles. Certainly very few of the hunter riders or judges consider leopard a neutral. But there’s one quality of leopard that is undeniable: its versatility. Leopard can be dressed up or down. It compliments most other colors and flatters all forms. It pops on the runway (and in the show ring, whether for better or worse you can decide). But at its core, leopard is an amplifier; it accents, it enlarges, it showcases. And like the leopard print, Lyon’s original quote distills the meaning of true individuality; even the boldest prints are just an accent to a truly great character, achievements, and ultimately the essence of existence. While Dani’s leopard coat has helped to define her story, it is a neutral compared to her willingness, heart, and the joy she delivers to those around her. Follow along on Dani’s journey her Instagram account @danithewonderhorse.
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WOOD • ALUMINUM • SCHOOLING • CUSTOM • RENTALS
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Los Angeles www.twobitsequestrian.com
Equestrian Inspired Tailored Athleisure
N E W product
by Laurie Berglie
Photo © Ryan Heff
Sixteen Cypress Inspired by the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center circa 1940 through 1970 – think show jumping, fox hunting, evening polo matches shrouded in a heavy coastal fog – Sixteen Cypress draws from the local and the natural. Trails winding through dense groves of Monterey Cypress trees, adventures on the sandy, rocky coves of the Pacific Ocean, an array of wildlife fluttering by – that is where you will find Sixteen Cypress.
COMPLEMENTING THE HORSE, RIDER & TAC K The creative vision of Emily Factor, California native from Carmel’s 16th Avenue, Sixteen Cypress is built from the highest quality materials and made here in the USA. In 2008, armed with a BA in Fashion and Textile Print from London’s Central Saint Martins, Emily worked as an independent textile and apparel designer while also maintaining freelance and collaborative projects. As her career in the fashion industry began to take shape, Emily’s love of horses remained steadfast and she continued to ride and train. It was then that she started having visions of applying her skillset in product development and design to horses.
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“As a business owner, I am new to the equine industry,” notes Emily. “However, I come with a lifetime of firsthand knowledge using the products I offer. Bringing my industry experience into the horse world has aided me in offering something unique, and I am able to inject the same amount of consideration, creativity, and detail into equine products as I would if designing and tailoring a bespoke jacket.”
constructed from 100% cotton outer layers with a soft, brushed underside for gentle grip and breathability. “The patterns on the pads are original and created from a range of vintage and antique textiles. I source remnants of all kinds of fabric I feel would look handsome on a horse, from traditional suiting fabrics to Japanese woven plaids. They are scanned into digital form,
re-worked, and then transformed to create more versions in different color combinations. They are digitally printed directly onto the cotton, which is an ecofriendly process, and set so they won’t fade with use or washing. The pads are finished with micro suede details and are designed to coordinate with our polo wraps.” 16C polo wraps come in a set of four, and are offered in a soft, lightweight anti-pill
Emily set out to create something the market was lacking – something less utilitarian – natural products that complemented the horse, the rider, and the tack itself. She chose historic woven patterns and classic suiting fabrics of herringbone, tweed, and plaid and developed authentic and durable products for the equestrian community. 16 C ’ S C U R R E N T P R O D U C T S The products available today are the quilted square pad, polo leg wraps, and protective canvas face masks. The 16C Square Quilted Pad is a simple design,
Photo © Bayly Sophie
Photo © Ryan Heff
polar fleece which makes them breathable but still protective while gently warming the tendons. They are secured with a specialized hook and loop closure that is flexible and collects little lint and debris. “I launched Sixteen Cypress at the beginning of March of last year, alongside the devastating arrival of COVID-19. Like everyone else, when the reality sank in that life would drastically and quickly change, I knew the process of growing this new business would not go as planned. I wanted to utilize my resources to help encourage the use of mask wearing, alongside an initiative that donates 25% of sales to the EQUUS Foundation, supporting the welfare of horses all over America.” The masks are constructed from the same durable woven cotton as the saddle pads and are lined with soft Lyocell twill. They feature a filter pocket and flexible aluminum nose pad for secure shape and to accommodate glasses. Available in solids and signature patterns, they are reusable, machine washable, and made in the USA.
CLASSIC AESTHETIC WITH MODERN ELEMENTS Emily’s design process is about working with the natural beauty of horses, so her products subtly blend in and complement without taking away. “All products are offered in a neutral palette with highlights of brighter and contrasting colors. I personally love a classic equestrian aesthetic combined with modern sport luxe elements.”
also closing in on a half pad, which will be streamlined and non-bulky with maximum benefit. It will have light wither shaping, and the cotton outer layers will be made from twill and duck canvas for added durability. This medium cushioning pad will also be extremely easy to wash. And finally, looking ahead to a COVID-free future one day, you can expect to see a Sixteen Cypress mobile Airstream store at events around the US!”
It was also important to Emily to produce her products here in the USA. It has made the process of creating Sixteen Cypress more challenging, but she prefers to keep production onshore, to support the skilled manufacturers in America, and looks forward to launching a variety of new products this year.
Over the years, Emily has immersed herself in just about every aspect of the horse. From hunter/jumpers to barrel racing, she constantly pulls from past experiences to build on future designs and styles. “I love horses, I’m grateful every single day for them. Having that unspoken bond, with the constant balance of trust and learning, is the greatest passion I can ever imagine in this life.”
“There are many products in the works right now with the goal to have limitless expansion one day. However, because I’ve been getting so much encouragement from dressage riders and requests for pads, they are currently in testing mode and will be available in the first quarter of 2021. I’m
When Emily isn’t hard at work on Sixteen Cypress, she can be found riding her mare, Willow, across the Hill Country outside of San Antonio.You can find 16C on Instagram @sixteencypress and online at sixteencypress.com.
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Photo by GrandPix Photography
On the road or in our store
brings quality equestrian products for horses and riders Proud to be a sponsor at Sonoma Horse Park for the 2021 season www.tackwarehouse.com | 917 Main St. Woodland, Ca 95695
GREEN by Erin Gouveia
Photo © Split Rock Jumping Tour
hy is Stephanie Bulger of Green Is The New Blue dedicated to making horse shows and equestrians more environmentally responsible? “Having my son in 2015 really cemented in me the urgency to protect the planet. It feels daunting a lot of the time, which is why I chose to focus on what was in my immediate surroundings; my home, my lifestyle, and my sport.” Bulger founded the environmental non-profit less than two years ago and the response has been overwhelmingly positive so far!
because I was always drawn to them and desperately wanted to be around them from the time I can remember. My mom found a stable near our summer home in Long Island, NY, and I started taking weekly lessons at age five. That turned into several days a week, then pony camp, then short stirrup, and, 30-ish years later, here we are today.
Horse & Style: Tell us a little about your
SB: Having my son in 2015 really
background and your love for horses.
Stephanie Bulger: I grew up in New York City, far from horse country. But I think loving horses was in my destiny
H&S: When did you realize you wanted to make environmental issues and a green lifestyle a priority? cemented in me the urgency to protect the planet and do anything I could to change the outlook for him and those who come after him. It feels daunting a lot of the time, which is why I chose to focus on
what was in my immediate surroundings: my home, my lifestyle, and my sport. H&S: Why did you start GITNB?
SB: I started GITNB because I saw the need for it. I realized that no one was out there focusing on the environmental impact of horse sports, so rather than just complain about it, I decided to take action. In the equestrian space there is not often a choice between a “green” option and a conventional option. Put it this way, if you were environmentally minded and loved coffee, you might choose a coffee shop that used organic and ethically sourced coffee beans, compostable cups, solar energy, and refused single use plastics, over one that did not. Horse people do not have these options because environmentally friendly
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horse shows and products simply do not exist. There is no competition in the market to inspire positive change. H&S: A big focus for GITNB are horse shows. What are some negative impacts that horse shows have on our environment?
SB: The immense volume of single use plastic waste is staggering. From shavings bags, feed bags, medication tubes, baling twine, not to mention all the garbage that people generate, there is a tremendous amount of trash that horse shows produce. Manure and shavings disposal is another big problem. Many people think that since it’s “natural” it will somehow magically biodegrade, but that’s simply not true. Those byproducts create a ton of methane gas. There is also the problem of water used to maintain grass or irrigate show rings. H&S: How can horse shows decrease these impacts and put sustainability practices to work?
SB: Horse shows can start with one area and make small changes. Whether it’s rain water collection, investing in
proper composting facilities, making sure there are plenty of recycling bins, providing refillable water stations and encouraging vendors to go plastic free, there are a ton of baby steps horse shows can take. Managers can also use their clout to encourage businesses – feed companies, supplement and medication manufacturers, jump builders, for example – to change their packaging. In the US, the burden of disposal lies on the consumer, not the manufacturer. So unless we the consumer put pressure on the manufacturer to change their packaging, it’s not going to happen. H&S: What are your green initiatives?
SB: We have several that I am proud of and excited about. For one, I believe the younger generation – the Greta Thunbergs of the world – are the real game changers. We partnered with CPI, or the College Preparatory Invitational, and created an environmental essay contest, an environmental stewardship challenge, and a scholarship for a collegiate equestrian who is planning on studying environmental science.
We have several prominent horse shows taking the “refuse to use” pledge, and banning single use plastic packaging. At the Aiken Horse Shows the food vendors switched to entirely biodegradable and compostable to-go products, including straws that are 100% marine biodegradable and styrofoam that is landfill biodegradable. At the Desert Horse Park as well as the Split Rock Jumping Tour shows, we provided reusable water bottles and had hydration stations all around the show for riders, trainers, grooms, and support staff to refill. COVID-19 has made this challenging, of course, so for now we are providing free boxed water. It’s not a perfect solution, but it is the best we can do right now in the midst of the pandemic. H&S: Who are some of your partners today?
SB: We have relationships with: Split Rock Jumping Tour, College Preparatory Invitational, The Washington International Horse Show, The Desert Horse Park, The Aiken Horse Park, The Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show, Endeavor Therapeutic
GITNB founder, Stephanie Bulger with her son, photo © Giana Terranova
GITNB reminders to conserve water at the wash racks on the Split Rock Jumping Tour Biodegradable and compostable to-go products; photo © Split Rock Jumping Tour
FloWater water bottle refilling station
Riding, Brandywine Horse Show Series, The Upperville Colt and Horse Show, Palm Beach Masters, the Gleneayre Equestrian Program, with more coming on board all the time. Please visit our website at greenisthenewblue.org and click on the “Green Partners” tab to find out more about becoming a GITNB partner. H&S: What can a new partner expect when working with GITNB?
SB: We will work together to identify specific goals for that show, especially the logistical ins and outs of the venue. For instance, when we worked with Washington, we had to be cognizant of the limitations of the Verizon Center itself which handles most of the horse show infrastructure. H&S: How has GITNB grown and changed over time? What results has your organization achieved so far?
SB: Green Is the New Blue is still relatively young, so we are evolving every day. The biggest and best change so far has been building our team from my doing everything myself to having an amazing group of people working together on our
shared goal. We have a creative director, Scot Evans, a marketing team headed by Michael Cruciotti, a wonderful intern named Anna Zygadlo, social media support by Emily Cleland, and a ton of incredible volunteers. H&S: What have you learned on your journey since starting GITNB?
SB: I have learned how hungry the world is for this kind of change. The interest and curiosity about our work is inspiring. I love talking about these issues and hearing the questions, concerns and frustrations people have, as well as the ideas we brainstorm together. H&S: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to build GITNB?
SB: Mostly the misinformation that is out there about the state of environmental practices in this country as a whole. It has become a political issue, rather than an ethical one, and that saddens me. I hear from people that they are diligent recyclers at home, and they are shocked to find out that only about 9% of all plastic waste in this country actually gets recycled. That means if you put 10 plastic water bottles in your recycling
bin, only one will actually be recycled. People also don’t understand that plastic can only be recycled once because the process denatures the molecular structure. A glass bottle can be recycled an infinite number of times, plastic only once. That is why we preach reduction rather than emphasizing recycling. H&S: What are your short-term and long-term goals for GITNB?
SB: Our short and long term goals are similar: to enact change in the governing bodies of the sport so that green practices are required for competitions, not simply up to the competitions themselves to try and make them happen. Often green practices cost more money than conventional ones; if the federations supported them financially, it wouldn’t be cost prohibitive for shows to make the green choices. H&S: Can you share some of your favorite green products that will help readers practice a more environmentally conscious lifestyle?
SB: We love Go Pure Pods (gopurepod. com) water filters. They are tiny, last for six months, and purify ANY water in about 30 minutes, even water from a garden hose. They have saved me from getting
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GITNB living jump; photo © A&S
desperately thirsty and reaching for a plastic bottle when I can’t find a place to refill my reusable bottle. I also have been giving Cora Dryer Balls (coraball.com) out as gifts. They catch the tiny micro plastics from our clothes – especially synthetic fabrics – and prevent them from going into the water stream. The ball just lives in your dryer, and needs to be shaken out over the trash to clear the little bits of plastic once in a while. These micro plastics are eaten by the smallest animals in our marine food chain, that is why they are so dangerous. Cora balls are great for the barn as well, as they catch the micro plastics in polo wraps, bandages, saddle pads, and blankets. For Christmas my husband gave me a Vitamix Food Cycler (vitamix.com). Some people ask for jewelry, some want a composting machine! It has drastically helped cut down our food waste by turning kitchen scraps into compost in a matter of hours. It only takes up one cubic foot of counter space and is super user friendly. It was an investment, but a valuable one. You will notice I don’t have many suggestions for equine products because
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there sadly aren’t that many. We do love Oaklyn girths (oaklyntack.com) which are made from recycled water bottles. It’s a women-owned and operated business and we are big fans of the girths. They look and perform great. H&S: What are some green practices that we can begin to practice in our daily lives at home and at the barn?
SB: I have noticed that people have really caught on to bringing their own bags to grocery stores – and that’s great! What hasn’t caught on yet are reusable produce bags. People are still reaching for the flimsy plastic ones. I suggest investing in a handful of canvas or mesh ones. They are vastly better for the earth and keep your produce fresher which saves money in the long run. I wish that single use coffee and tea pods would go away forever. They are such a scourge on the planet and I think the product tastes gross too! They sure are convenient though, so find a way to streamline your morning beverage routine to make it faster. My husband and I set up our coffee maker the night before so all we have to do is push the button and we have coffee in less than five minutes. When I
know I am going to have a rushed morning I even put oat milk in my to-go mug and leave it in the fridge so I can make coffee with my eyes closed. I also suggest keeping some utensils and cloth napkins or even old bandanas in your car, purse, backpack, tack trunk, or barn kitchen so if you do have to grab lunch to go, you don’t have to use plastic ware, which is not recyclable. I am not perfect, when I have an early class at the show I often don’t have time to pack a lunch for myself between making my son breakfast, getting his lunch ready, feeding myself breakfast, oh and taking care of the dog and bunny! So on those occasions when I do have to get something to go, I know I have real silverware and a napkin ready so I don’t have to rely on plastic. H&S: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers about GITNB?
SB: I am overwhelmed by the positive support and interest in our work. I encourage people to reach out, check us out online or on our socials, and join the conversation. It feels so good to make positive changes in the horse world that I love so much.
STYLE photos by Tara Arrowood styled by Sarah Appel
a spring moment As the cold winter months slowly melt away into the past, we begin to bask in the warmer days outside. Spring riding is in full swing as the younger equestrian generation preps for a summer of pony camps, lessons and horse shows. These sought-after styles are creating a spring moment in equestrian kids fashion. Flourishing color palettes and peaceful prints will keep the budding young riders looking fresh and ready for fun days spent with their favorite four-legged partners.
Opposite, Ella (left) wears an Ariat Sunstopper 2.0 Quarter Zip Baselayer with Ariat Heritage Knit Knee Patch Breeches; and Piper (right) wears an Ariat Emma Reversible Insulated Vest and Crinēre Girls Ideal Show Shirt with Ariat Heritage Knit Knee Patch Breeches
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Above, Ella wears an Ariat shirt with Ariat Heritage Knee Patch Breeches Right, Piper wears an Ariat Taryn Polo with Ariat Heritage Knee Patch Breeches Opposite, Ella (right) wears a Kerrits Kids Ice Fil® Lite Short Sleeve Riding Shirt with Kerrits Kids Crossover II Breeches; and Piper (left) wears a Kerrits Kids Ice Fil® Lite Short Sleeve Riding Shirt with Kerrits Kids Crossover II Breeches
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Ella (left) wears a Kerrits Kids Ice Fil® Lite Short Sleeve Riding Shirt with Kerrits Kids Knee Patch Performance Tights; and Piper (right) wears a Kerrits Kids Pony Power Tee with Kerrits Kids Knee Patch Performance Tights
Top, Ella (left) wears a Goode Rider Girls Champion Polo with Goode Rider Horsebit Jeans; and Piper (right) wears a Goode Rider Girls Ideal Show Shirt with Goode Rider Girls Horsebit Jeans Left, Ella wears a Criniēre Margo Girls Riding Show Shirt with Kerrits Kids Stretch Denim Knee Patch Breeches Above, Piper wears a Criniēre Amelie Girls Riding Shirt with Goode Rider Horsebit Jeans
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Above, Ella (left) wears a Goode Rider Girls Champion Polo with Goode Rider Horsebit Jeans; and Piper (right) wears a Goode Rider Girls Ideal Show Shirt with Goode Rider Girls Horsebit Jeans Right, Piper wears an Ariat Emma Reversible Insulated Vest and Crinēre Girls Ideal Show Shirt with Ariat Heritage Knit Knee Patch Breeches Opposite, Ella (left) wears a Criniēre Margo Girls Riding Show Shirt with Kerrits Kids Stretch Denim Knee Patch Breeches; and Piper (right) wears a Criniēre Amelie Girls Riding Shirt with Goode Rider Horsebit Jeans
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by Sarah Appel & Terri Roberson
Trendy Trainer Paresi Straw Hat, Le Fasho, $200 The Small Jodie, Bottega Veneta, $3,350 Carmela Blouse, Rönner Design, $169 Trapunto Denim Midi Skirt, Frame, $270 Suede Knee Boots, Khaite, $1,480
it bag You can flip through fashion magazines and devour social media posts looking for the current fashion trends. Everything falls short of the most quintessential trend-spotting location for all things new and stylish: a horse show! The best place to spot the current equestrian ‘it bag,’ is at the back gate or in the VIP. We’ve gathered our favorite ‘it bags’ from the last two decades, some still in production and some vintage styles we will never tire of spotting in the equestrian wild!
Ambient Amateur Champagne Pink Cap Sleeve Down Vest, Le Fash, $199 Tripper Sneak HighRise Straight-Leg Jeans, Mother, $230 Saddle Bag, Dior, $3,350 Mamadrague Leather Ballet Flats, Christian Louboutin, $595 Vienna Wide Cuff, Judith Ripka, $1,095
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Jovial Junior Blanche Straw Sunhat, Maison Michel, $730 Studded Suede Ankle Boot, See by Chloé, $475 Printed CottonPoplin Mini Dress, GANNI, $285 Diamond Charm Necklace, Vincent Peach, $225 Evelyne 16 Amazone Bag, Hermès, $1,800
Pony Mom Lou Suede Ankle Boots, AEYDE, $385 Marcie Handbag, Chloé, $2,350 Fulmer Bit Earrings, Vincent Peach, $795 70s Originals Stove Pipe Cropped High-Rise Jeans, Re/Done, $250 Diamond Quilted Panel Check Fleece Jacquard Jacket, Burberry, $1,320
Gorgeous Gent Arceau Watch, Hermès, $3,375 Angler Leather Boots, Yuketen, $590 Herringbone Wool-Blend Blazer, Polo Ralph Lauren, $800 Slim-Fit Stretch Denim, Loro Piana, $625 Horsebit 1955 Mini Bag, Gucci, $920
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O N the
by Lindsay Brock photos by Ashley Neuhof
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Family Legacies Live on in
Prestige Saddles 2021 volume 1 ·
hen Ian Millar looks back on the evolution of tack over the course of his career, the transformation is prolific. As he sat beneath the shade of a palm tree and the brim of his characteristic cowboy hat at Millar Brooke Farm South in the heart of Wellington, FL, Ian recalled the details of an observed shift in saddle making. He even mused on a time when saddle pads were non-existent. “It was leather and the horse’s back,” he laughed. “The only reason you used a saddle pad was to compensate for a saddle that didn’t fit particularly well. But, in the last 40 years I have had very few problems with saddle fit.” Ian credits many influences with his success over that last 40 years, which includes 10 Olympic Games and a Canadian team silver medal, four FEI World Equestrian Games™ appearances, three World Championships, two victories in 14 FEI World Cup™ Final bids, and
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four combined gold medals in eight challenges at the Pan American Games. He is steadfast, however, in giving credit where credit is due by saying there is one reason for his seemingly unflawed relationship with the leather that links horse and rider. Ian gives all that credit to Prestige Italia. F R O M O N E FA M I LY TO ANOTHER In 1974, the Stocchetti-Rasia family set out to change the tradition of European saddle making. While most of the more renowned brands were produced in Germany and France, they felt that it was Italy’s time to shine. In 1977, their first saddle hit the market, and they have since grown to be one of the foremost saddle makers in Europe. To be frank, they put Italian saddle craftsmanship on the map. “What makes Prestige Italia unique is that it has been a family-owned business since its inception,” said Aurélie Ferrut, North American Area Manager for Prestige Italia. “It’s not all about profit for the Stocchetti-Rasia family because they have
a very personal investment that extends from generation to generation. They want their product to be the best because they have worked hard to develop something that they are proud of.” Prestige Italia produces saddles for all Olympic disciplines, as well as tack for law enforcement mounts and even hippotherapy work. Several years after the first Prestige Italia saddle was released, Ian threw a leg over one at the urging of a friend in the tack business. “I fell instantly in love,” he said. “That was the early 80s and there was no formal [sponsorship] contract, but I started riding exclusively in Prestige.” The early workings of a relationship between Ian and Prestige soon evolved and one family’s legacy merged with another. Today, Millar Brooke Farm – based in Perth, ON, and Wellington, FL – is an unwavering proponent of the Prestige Italia products. Together with his children Johnathon and Amy and daughter-in-law Kelly Soleau-Millar, Ian and the entire
...that was the early 80s and there was no formal [sponsorship] contract, but I started riding exclusively in Prestige.
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Millar Brooke Farm team believe that the saddle they sit on makes a world of difference in their horses’ performance. L OYA LT Y T O I N N O VAT I O N A key element in the success of the Millar family’s partnership with Prestige Italia came when Master Saddle Fitter Audrey Samara was introduced to them at a small horse show in Jacksonville, FL. “They saw the Prestige sign in front of my tack shop and stopped in to say hello,” recalled Audrey, who has also been a Prestige Italia dealer since 2006. “Within a year, I was fitting all their saddles for them. At the time, both Ian and Amy had Olympic caliber horses, and it was an honor for me to not only call them friends, but also fit saddles to horses that had either been to or were headed to the Olympics. They are very particular about saddle fit and have taught me a lot because I am expected to get it exactly right.” Just like the precise attention that is given to the nutrition, veterinary care, and conditioning of their horses, the Millars
devote themselves to proper saddle fit as part of their program.
You could go on a three-hour trail ride and be very comfortable in that saddle.”
“It’s all about the details,” said Johnathon, who manages a newly formed U.S. base for Millar Brooke Farm alongside his wife Kelly, who originally hails from Connecticut. “There has been such an evolution of expertise when it comes to saddle fit, and it’s really interesting to see the process and the precise eye Audrey and her team have for how each saddle will affect the rider’s position and the horse’s way of going.”
A SADDLE RENAISSANCE In 2016, Prestige took their dedication to innovation to a whole new level with the unveiling of a line of saddles entitled Renaissance. Through a collaboration with an iconic French saddle maker, Prestige merged the technical craftsmanship of Prestige Italia with the quality of French tanning leather to introduce a contemporary interpretation of the show jumping and mono flap saddle.
In the early 2000s, Audrey approached Ian and inquired about designing an Ian Millar signature saddle by Prestige Italia. Ian jumped on board without hesitation.
The result was a flatter, more close contact saddle with a tree made of a nylon composite material that can be heated and reshaped to different wither shapes throughout the life of the saddle. Additionally, the panels can be made of latex or flocked with a synthetic material, allowing a saddle fitter to completely customize the fit and create an unmatched feel for the horse.
“They gave me complete freedom to design it,” said Ian. “I wanted to create a saddle with a longer flap so that when the stirrup is shortened to jumping length your leg still sits nicely on the flap. I was most comfortable at the time in a middle depth of seat, so that’s what I created. It’s still one of my all-time favorite saddles.
Just like the precise attention that is given to the nutrition, veterinary care, and conditioning of their horses, the Millars devote themselves to proper saddle fit as part of their program.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” asserts Ian. “You get the ability to achieve a close-
to-perfect fit on the horse while the rider gets the benefit of comfort from the softer French leather. Horses smile when you put the Renaissance saddle on their back.” Ian has observed decades of change at Prestige Italia – all for the better – but it took a bit of magic within his own string of horses for the Renaissance saddle to replace even his own signature saddle in merit. When the Renaissance line was first introduced, Ian – together with Amy – was working with a horse that displayed a severe right drift while jumping. “I put the saddle on the horse, came in the ring, and jumped a course doing nothing to manage the right drift and the horse jumped around perfectly straight,” said Amy. “I had been riding this horse for two years with Ian and Johnathon’s help and it was always an issue. I pulled up and said, ‘I can’t believe it.’ It almost felt like we went back to basics and I could feel the horse underneath me and didn’t have to sit on a tower of saddle pads. It was a big turning point for me.”
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Amy remembers a saddle maker explaining to her that the “flat saddle” allows the rider to be in the correct position on top of the horse in order to achieve perfect balance, and there are no pressure points on the shoulders, which allows the saddle to move on top of the horse while not pressing on one side of the horse. “I had a horse that was a beautiful, loose mover on the lunge, but when you would get on the trot would change,” said Ian of another horse that benefited from a Renaissance saddle. “When we tried the Renaissance, the horse moved exactly the way it did on the lunge line.” Johnathon and Kelly not only appreciated their own experiences with the Renaissance saddle, but also watched the clients of Millar Brooke Farm achieve a new level of security and comfort while jumping. Kelly admits an attachment to a deeper seat, but could not have fathomed the change in her position in a flat-seat saddle. “The flatter seat allows more movement so you can follow the horse, which
becomes imperative when you are jumping bigger jumps,” said Kelly. “It also transcends what we normally think of as appropriate sizing. We have a student who most would think should be in a smaller sized seat, but we did an experiment and when she jumped in a 17-inch saddle on a very powerful jumper she was almost past the saddle in the air.” “The next day, she tried an 18-inch and she even said she felt more comfortable,” continued Johnathon. “You could clearly see when the horse jumped hard, her position moved back and she was more balanced in midair. We had a group here watching and their mouths hit the ground.” GOING WEST “Over the past several years, our focus has shifted to North America,” said Aurélie, who is determined to see Prestige Italia at the forefront of Canadian and American minds when they think of their go-to saddle. “There are disciplines in the U.S. and Canada that don’t exist in Europe like hunters and equitation. We are working hard on investing in growth in those areas
The Prestige Renaissance Saddle at a Glance THE TREE • • • • • • • •
in line with French tradition, characterized by a very flat seat for closer contact made from a special blend of synthetic fibers available in seven unique sizes can be widened or narrowed for precise fit shape remains stable over time and is not deformed by humidity weighs at least 1kg less than traditional wooden trees does not require metal reinforcements backed by a lifetime warranty
T H E PA N E L S • hand-stuffed by Prestige artisans •
option to combine a synthetic Dacron (polyester) fiber flocking with an elastic honeycomb membrane cover and a layer of soft rubber
offer freedom of movement for the horse
prevent the rider from excessively weighing down on the withers
non-latex panels can be re-flocked when required, offering unmatched versatility
THE FLAPS •
fit according to rider anatomy to allow for varied stirrup lengths
soft, French leather for maximum comfort and close contact with the horse
and meeting the needs of every rider, including the traditional jumpers. Word of mouth is working very much in our favor in these new markets.” According to Audrey, the reputation that Prestige has developed in North America is not only one that benefits the horse, but also the rider. “Prestige is known for helping to improve movement issues related to saddle fit in horses, but also back pain in riders,” she said. “We have customers who have experienced such excruciating back pain after riding multiple horses a day that their careers were in jeopardy. After sitting in a Prestige saddle, they have experienced remarkable improvements.” While rider feedback is paramount, Aurélie and Audrey are also proud to work with some of the country’s most renowned veterinarians at their North American base in Wellington. “We have seen vets endorse our product after seeing cases of horses that have
soreness in their backs because of ill-fitting saddles,” said Audrey. “After changing over to Prestige, they have experienced a drastic improvement. Soreness dissipates, muscles grow and strengthen, and performance improves.Vets are very happy when they don’t have to inject a horse’s back, and since the horse can’t talk except through pain, it’s our commitment going forward to involve veterinarians in our development. Their endorsement is one of the best we can have.” As Prestige Italia adapts to provide the best possible product to its customers, the Millar family has also entered an era of transformation of late. Jonathon and Kelly are delivering the best of both Canadian and U.S. competition experiences to their clients with a summer base in Kentucky. On an international level, after announcing his retirement from FEI competition in 2019, Ian has stepped into a new training role at Millar Brooke. There are no other riders in the world
who can say that a 10-time Olympian helps develop their horses other than Ian’s daughter Amy. “I am incredibly lucky,” she said. “All four of the horses I show Ian has at one point ridden and competed. He has been critical in the development of two of them. As everyone knows, buying a top-end horse is a very expensive and risky endeavor. All of the horses I have now we purchased as seven-year-olds and developed ourselves. We see raw talent in them, so with the support of our partners and owners we are lucky enough to be able to invest two years of work in order to have really special animals at the end of the process.” As Prestige Italia and the Millar family see their way through a season of change, innovation, and triumph, both appreciate a certain level of tradition coupled with ingenuity. Each family-run endeavor has set its sights firmly on big goals in the coming years, and each is well on its way to achievement.
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Sarah Maslin Nir at the Waldorf Astoria; photo © Piotr Redlinski
FEATURE by Susan Friedland
Sarah Maslin Nir Loving Horses and Healing the World Through Words
hen Simon and Schuster reached out to New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nir to ask her to write a book based on her Pulitzer Prize-finalist series Unvarnished that investigated the exploitative labor practices of New York City nail salons, she said no. Sarah felt she had already written the book over the course of the year she had been reporting on the topic. When asked what subject she would want to write a book about, the answer was easy: horses.
“As a journalist, using the word ‘I’ is beaten out of us,” Sarah laughed. “I never would have thought to write about myself, but I realized horses are so deeply personal. Something I like to say is when you look at a dog or a cat, you think, ‘Oh that’s cute.’ But when you look at a horse, you feel something kind of tug, the way a mountain vista makes you feel, or looking out at the sea. And that to me speaks to how personal the experience of a horse is, so of course it became my story.”
“I dreamed up the idea for Horse Crazy as more of an almanac of horses and the stories I’ve been told about them as I traveled all over the world.” In her 800word email to the publisher fleshing out the idea, Sarah closed with, “This isn’t my story. This is a story of the horses I’ve met.” The editor responded that he really liked the concept but wanted to push back on one thing.
Sarah’s memoir Horse Crazy: a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal is peppered with horses she’s known and loved and stories of equestrians ranging from Dr. George E. Blair, who taught her the erased history of the Black cowboy, to a Chappaquiddick resident who smuggles Marwari semen into the United States. Through her artful narratives, readers join Sarah’s immersion in the equine world from a fox hunting gallop to riding in Central Park serving on the city’s
He told Sarah, “This is your story.”
Auxiliary Mounted Patrol, to observing Pony Penning Day on Chincoteague Island, and beyond. Her passion for ponies pops off the pages from the front cover’s gold Wesley Dennis foal design hidden under the book jacket (a nod to beloved horse book author Marguerite Henry) to the final page. THE MAGNETIC PULL OF HORSES Sarah fell hard for horses, and her entry into the horse world was a bit unconventional, but no obstacles could keep her from them – not age, geography nor lack of tack. She’s a first-generation equestrian who grew up in Manhattan. When introduced to equines during her family’s weekend getaways to East Hampton, her first instructor wasn’t a trainer, but a horse-owning sculptor Sarah’s mother talked into teaching Sarah how to ride. There was no saddle small enough for a toddler that also fit the horse, so a homemade “saddle” was created from
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“I love stories because I love people,” Sarah explained. . . “It’s just a compulsion to figure out the world, to crack it open and share it.”
cloth with stirrup irons sewn on. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Sarah and Guernsey; photo © Diana Zadarla
During her third riding lesson at age two, Guernsey, the sculptor/instructor’s pinto, lumbered into a canter, unintentionally unseating his young rider. As Sarah lay on the ground, the gelding circling at the end of the longe line leaped over her. In that one airborne stride, Guernsey both saved her life and perhaps foreshadowed her passion for jumping. Sarah continued to ride Guernsey until she was old enough to attend pony camp and further her riding education – one that continues to this day. She currently rides with hunter/jumper trainer Leah Epstein at Ithilien Stables in Whitehouse, New Jersey.
Sarah with Cutie and Guernsey
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Sarah, a self-proclaimed “hunter princess,” both loves and loathes the discipline. “It’s unperfectable, which is just beyond infuriating. Half a skipped lead change, a slightly close distance, and you’re just out of the running. . . But when you get that feeling, when you get those eight jumps straight out of a rhythm, and the moon and the sun and the stars align, and somehow you have a flawless hunter course, there’s no other feeling like it. And I think as a very driven person, that drive to perfect the unperfectable is what makes the hunter ring so compelling to me,” Sarah said. Over the years Sarah has owned several horses that readers meet in Horse Crazy. Willow, a gray Thoroughbred mare Sarah owned when she was 17, is described as, “The seat of my highest equestrian glory and my lowest low.” During one of their earliest rides, while executing a flying lead change, Willow tripped and Sarah fell, breaking three vertebrae. She was told she could no longer ride. Six weeks later, while still in pain, Sarah entered the hunter ring of The Hampton Classic on Willow. The pair placed second in a class of sixty.
Sarah with Pulitzer (left) and Gold Standard (right); photo ©Erin O'Leary
Seventeen years later, Sarah’s heart horse Trendsetter, who launched her adult riding career, literally fell for her. During a canter-to-walk transition in a flat class, the bay KWPN gelding somehow caught a front hoof on the pristine arena footing. Sarah writes the two “locked stares” mid-fall. From the ground, Sarah knew his powerful haunches were plummeting in her direction – but they never made contact. Trendy flipped himself mid-air to avoid crushing her, and in doing so got caught on a half-barrel planter of flowers. He was essentially cast. Through the quick thinking on the part of her trainer Leah, a leadrope placed around his fetlock enabled the women to pull him to freedom. An onlooker approached Sarah and said she had never seen anything like it – the horse intentionally flipping himself the opposite direction of the rider – and that her horse saved her life, and she had better thank him. Thank him she did.
Sarah’s gratitude for her horse is ongoing and today, at 21, Trendy is leased out, doing cross rail classes and living the horsey dream in South Carolina. A Breyer miniature of the gelding has taken up residence in Sarah’s home so she can always keep him close. “It’s nice to have clients like Sarah who really love the horses that have brought them here, and have found a way to keep them and keep caring for them… Sarah has found really good leases for her horses. So they’ve been able to keep working at a lower level, but they’re really well cared for,” said Leah. S TO RY T E L L I N G I N T H E B LO O D Although equestrianism does not run in Sarah’s family, writing and the helping professions do. Sarah’s mother is a psychologist who has written self-help books and with Sarah’s late father, coauthored books on marriage. Sarah’s father,
a Holocaust survivor and child psychiatrist, also wrote a memoir. His book, The Lost Childhood, chronicled the years he posed as a Polish Catholic to evade the Nazis. Storytelling came naturally to Sarah even though she describes herself as borderline dyslexic and a terrible speller. She reads each article backwards from the bottom up in order to detect errors before submitting them for publication. In high school, Sarah got Cs and Ds in English the same year she got a perfect score on the English SAT. “I love stories because I love people,” Sarah explained. “Nothing was going to stop me from telling stories. . . It’s just a compulsion to figure out the world, to crack it open and share it.” Sarah said, “What’s great about my job is that every day is unbelievably different. Yesterday I was running around the horse country of
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Sarah aboard Gold Standard; photo © Paws and Rewind
Sarah and Trendsetter
“As the great horse whisperer Monty Roberts says, ‘They only demand one thing: that you’re their safe place to be. Horses don’t care who you are, they care how you are.’ That to me means that they’re for everyone...” Bedford, New York, chasing a llama that’s gone missing for a story. The week before, I’m writing harrowing stories about the virus and covering the presidency and it’s just a tremendously fascinating profession.” Early in Sarah’s career, she spent two years as a spa reporter, which she describes as an incredibly indulgent experience, but not how she was raised. “My father is a Holocaust survivor and my mother was abandoned at birth, and they basically sculpted their lives to help others heal from trauma.There’s a Jewish precept I write about in the book called tikun olam – healing the world. . . I realized that all of my healing was directed at sun damage on my own skin and that was a very blissful, but very meaningless life. I had to find a way to use my skills, which were journalism, for the good of someone other than Sarah.” An opportunity to do just that presented itself when Sarah treated herself to a pedicure on her birthday several years ago. While making conversation with the woman painting her toenails, she was alarmed to discover the manicurist worked both the
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day and night shift of the 24-hour salon. The woman explained she slept in a barracks above the salon and would be awakened in the night if a customer came in for treatments. This disturbing conversation led Sarah to write a series of articles probing the dark underbelly of New York City’s nail salons. As a result of the articles, legislation was enacted to protect salon workers.
original manuscript. By initially leaving the painful memories out, it was as though she was subconsciously pretending it hadn’t happened. Sarah realized it was a part of her story and she was omitting the truth. According to Sarah, memoir, in order to be good, has to be true. She submitted “Benediction” late and the presses were stopped in order to include the chapter.
In 2018, Sarah’s reporting shined a light on dark secrets within the horse show world. Sarah interviewed 38 individuals affiliated with Flintridge Riding Club and wrote the New York Times Jimmy Williams exposé, which gave voice to the victims of the late show jumping trainer. In the wake of the Jimmy Williams article, Sarah began to explore the rumors surrounding George Morris and wrote another exposé.
Sarah believes horses are an excellent model for recovery. “Seeing these prey creatures that somehow go around the world and go through their lives and are so bold for us, despite it being against everything in their fiber to be, really is inspiring.”
Sarah’s empathy for survivors of physical assaults is deeply personal. In 2010, in her own apartment, Sarah was stabbed by an intruder. The chapter “Benediction” in which she details the crime and how horses aided her healing was not in the
Leah, Sarah’s trainer and friend describes Sarah as dedicated. “Sarah is so invested in trying to make people’s lives better, whether that’s by telling stories that draw attention to injustice, or just loaning a friend her car because that person doesn’t have a car and they want to come take a riding lesson. I think that’s what drives her.” Just like her parents, in her own way, Sarah participates in healing the world – through her words.
RIDING, WRITING AND WHAT’S NEXT Like many amateur riders with demanding careers, pursuing excellence in one’s work and in the saddle is a dance requiring flexibility. “I’m very passionate about journalism and I’m very passionate about horses. I have to have those things in my life to have a chance of feeling fulfilled,” she said. Sarah’s barn commute from her West Village home to Ithilien Stables is about an hour. She rides one day a week in the morning before work and then twice on weekends. “It’s very hard to be as good as I want to be, being a weekend warrior, but that’s taught me to cultivate other pleasures in riding.” Sarah cited a breakthrough in working on smooth downward transitions as an example of riding gratification. “I bought an AO Hunter with a part of my book advance and my mom said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Mom, the book isn’t called Horse Sane.’ So I’m always looking, looking at horses. A writer’s salary doesn’t really allow you herds of horses, but I am always looking for one to sort of fall through the cracks. One that’s a little discounted or has a funny story. I do have this little bit of a side hustle of leasing out horses, which funds my riding.” Currently, Sarah is in talks with Hollywood to make Horse Crazy into a docuseries. She is also working on a “super secret” project with renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts. One of the most thrilling effects of putting Horse Crazy into the world, according to Sarah, is that the information provided has powered conversations of inclusion in the equestrian world. Sarah devotes a portion of Horse Crazy to the erased legacy of Black cowboys from the pioneer era – one in four cowboys were in fact Black, though they have often been excluded by racism from the historical record. “Black riders have always been there. They’re not new just because you saw them riding through Compton in a protest march. They’ve always been part of the story and they’ve been totally marginalized in our sport. There need to be dramatic steps taken to increase inclusion in the sport… Horses are deeply democratic, you know. As the great horse whisperer Monty Roberts says, ‘They only demand one thing: that you’re their safe place to be. Horses don’t care who you are, they care how you are.’ That to me means that they’re for everyone,” said Sarah. And that is the essence of Horse Crazy: horses are for everyone, gifts to us all.
Sarah with Gossamer, her newest addition to the herd; photo © Sarah Scott
This page and opposite: Helen Pollock in Asmar Equestrian; photos © Kristin Lee
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FEATURE by Helen Pollock
Asmar Equestrian Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation, Community and Style... from the Barn, to the Board Room and Back Home
COVID-19 brought the world to a pause. We quarantined, we masked-up, and we tested. We also reflected; as citizens, colleagues, family members and friends. Many businesses have been severely impacted by the pandemic. They have had to learn how to keep their staff safe, while at the same time adapting to operational and supply chain challenges. S T E P P I N G U P TO T H E P L AT E Asmar took this time to re-imagine the future of their brand, and have emerged energized, inspired and more connected with their customers than ever before. In evaluating the current and post-pandemic consumer landscape, Asmar stepped up to the plate in a number of ways to support the equestrian community. At the height of the pandemic, acknowledging the financial stress on many members of the horse world, Asmar created CAP, their COVID Assistance Program, to help riding coaches during the months when many stables and barns were forced to shut down. To date,
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over 500 coaches have participated in this innovative program. Asmar Group designed their own INSPIRE Face Masks and Face Shields to help slow the spread of COVID-19, while their Uniforms Division donated medical uniforms to hospitals and home care facilities. “When our businesses came to a halt, the only thing we could do that felt good for our team was to find ways to solve some of the new PPE challenges and give back to front line workers that were weathering the unthinkable,” noted founder Noel Asmar. As the CEO and founder of Asmar Equestrian, Noel is not only fueled by her passion for the sport but by a deep understanding of the apparel business. With Noel Asmar Uniforms, she and her team work tirelessly to design and deliver quality wellness uniforms, accessories and services that elevate the performance of their clients worldwide. The Asmar brands are focused on a functional and purpose-driven design. Asmar dresses some of the most iconic hospitality brands in over 65 countries including Montage, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Fairmont and more. “One of our proudest moments was dressing the Canadian Equestrian Team for the RIO 2016 Olympics. It was one of the greatest honors of my professional life,” says Asmar. ANNIVERSARY & I N N OVAT I O N In celebration of Asmar’s tenth year in business the brand has released a special Anniversary Edition of their numberone selling “All Weather Rider Jacket™.” When Noel and her husband built their equestrian home in Vancouver, Canada – with horses and kids in tow – she crafted this essential jacket which is perfect for life at the barn, hacking in the rain, picking up the kids at school or heading out for a night on the town. With an eye toward the future, Asmar Equestrian is excited to announce that their 2021 collection is available exclusively online and features recycled and sustainable materials in over half of the collection. By 2023, the brand’s goal is to offer sustainable fabrics across every collection. This step toward a more sustainable future “is a stride that’s necessary for the well-being and growth of our planet,” according to Noel.
photo © Kristin Lee
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Asmar Equestrian has introduced a children's line for 2021; photo © Candace Meyer Photography
Wool blankets from the new Asmar At Home collection; photo © Candace Meyer Photography
Asmar is also building a closer relationship with their clientele in many ways. The “Asmar Insider” rewards program gives clients access to new products, private sales and new initiatives from the comfort of their home – all while earning points for every dollar spent. Taking into account the rise and frequency in online shopping, Asmar waived all ground shipping costs and provided their loyal customers with a free return policy within the USA.
Scan to visit asmarequestrian.com:
With so much time being spent at home, Asmar Equestrian has also launched their exquisite Asmar At Home line. Some of their most popular pieces are their buttery soft wool blankets; aromatherapy eye pillows and an array of new home entertaining accessories. In the true spirit of team building, Asmar is excited to introduce a new line of barn apparel, offering custom embroidery for riders, trainers and barn managers. Continuing to jump full speed ahead, team Asmar has created a men’s line
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which includes sweaters, technical tops and outerwear. And, in response to the growing trend of riding families, Asmar is excited to bring their first ever children’s line to the 2021 market. This new collection is geared toward young, first-generation riders and mothers and daughters who want to sport their equestrian style together. Noel, a proud mother of two boys and a girl, was inspired to create a children’s line after witnessing her daughter’s instant love of riding and a lack of kid’s apparel in the equestrian market. Asmar Equestrian is an elegant, thoughtful, purpose-driven equestrian brand that is a leader in our community. Asmar continues to bring together equestrian style from the barn to the board room and back home. To learn more about the latest collections, visit asmarequestrian.com or follow Asmar Equestrian on @asmarequestrian on Instagram and Facebook.
An Interview with
Noel Asmar I am excited to share a little more about the mind behind this incredible brand. Noel Asmar is a fearless entrepreneur, mother, wife, designer and animal lover. You might be asking yourself, how does she do it? The thought has certainly crossed my mind. Noel has so much on her plate yet handles it all with grace and class. With each conversation we have about the future of Asmar Equestrian, I always feel empowered about my own riding and business goals. Here are a few questions I asked Noel in one of our more recent chats…
Q: What are your hopes for women and
Q: Favorite drink?
what advice do you give your kids?
A: Scotch or an Old-Fashioned,
A: I want women to celebrate
preferably paired with dark chocolate (my ultimate weakness).
every stage of life. From youth to the metamorphosis of our bodies into adulthood, motherhood and beyond. As we age, our bodies change shape and sadly media has conditioned us to equate beauty with a particular body type. Well, the tides are changing: beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. As parents of three children (two boys and our young daughter), my husband and I teach our kids that the only limits they have are those they put on themselves.
Q: Which places have inspired the look and feel of your brand?
A: After I received my degree in
Hotel Management in Vancouver, I had the opportunity to work in Beirut on a hotel opening. What I thought would be a one-year gig turned into ten years working in the Middle East, Asia and throughout Europe. I have since spent time in over 33 countries. I love learning about ancient cultures and I believe my style is a culmination of my global travel and world experiences.
Q: Favorite restaurant? A: ILILI Restaurant in New York
City. I love their stylish and creative Mediterranean meze dishes and the great Manhattan vibe.
Q: You always look so fresh and well rested, what’s your skincare routine?
A: I have been using Eminence
Organic Skin Care since 2000. I love their loose mineral tinted powder and use it every day. I also love their face masks, serums and stone crop cleansing oil. I also make sleep a big priority, ideally nine hours a night.Yikes! Noel Asmar, Asmar Equestrian Founder and CEO
Q: When you head out the door to take a meeting with new vendors or potential clients what is your perfume of choice?
A: I always layer according to my mood. I love Le Labo. I discovered this line in their early days at their shop in NYC. My favorite scents are Rose 31 and Lys 41.
As the founder of Life Equestrian, I aim to support and champion female-owned businesses, and when it comes to equestrian products, Asmar fits perfectly into my life.Their pieces have everything that matters to me: fit, function, style and extreme comfort. I am proud to wear Asmar knowing Noel’s personal story and the brand’s mission.Whether I’m in the show ring, training at the barn, lounging at home with my husband, or taking meetings in the city, I always know that in an Asmar outfit, I will look and feel my best. And, isn’t that the definition of being empowered?
“Getting dressed is an important ritual that sets intention for the day. When I zip up my boots and reach for my riding helmet, I get a slight adrenaline rush. When I am well dressed, I feel more empowered and confident…that’s how we want our customers to feel.” — N O E L A S M A R 2021 volume 1 ·
W O R K I N G on
by Dani G. Waldman
Mind, Body, Soul … Sip, Snack, Squat 1. M I N D I am alway continuing to explore my identity, so recently I’ve been listening to a lot of TED talks and podcasts on shame, vulnerability, identity and self-awareness. I find Brené Brown fascinating so I’ve been listening to her podcasts a bunch lately.
American-Israeli show jumper Dani G. Waldman is perhaps most instantly recognized in the arena for her nowiconic tumble of thousands of home-made feather extensions – as colorful and free flowing as the equestrian herself – that cascade through her long curly hair. Dani was one of the riders who helped qualify Israel for the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and, among others, she is a proud ambassador and advocate for gender equality in sports. Now based mainly in The Netherlands, Dani and her husband Alan Waldman own the internationally renowned Waldman Horses, where they breed and train horses, with around 600 currently under their care.
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2. BODY I made one new year’s resolution… They say it’s important to make realistic and attainable resolutions, so this year I made one single resolution to eat more slowly. Normally, I eat crazy fast and then feel regret and discomfort afterwards, so that’s my goal this year – change how quickly I eat! I have also decided to be more diligent about my skincare routine, so I added three new products: the new organic Symbiome line is fabulous, as are the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Cream and the Strivectin Anti-wrinkle SD Advanced Moisturizer. 3. SOUL To be perfectly honest, the one thing that eases my soul the most is watching movies and YouTube videos! Especially about finding one’s identity. As many people know, I’m a huge LGBTQ+ cinema fan so I love a first-love story or a coming of age drama that explores identity and coming to terms with oneself. I can escape my busy mind and sometimes even learn something about myself – that’s what I do for my mental
well-being. I recently watched Your Name Engraved Herein, a new Taiwanese film that I loved! 4. SIP My current and (always) favorite drink is Mountain Dew. It is unhealthy sugar water but it brings me so much joy and happiness! It’s truly my guilty pleasure and we all need those sometimes! 5. SNAC K I’ve been creating lots of fun snack ideas on my cooking show Flaming Feathers: a nice ricotta dip with honey, rosemary and black pepper is a favorite go-to; or roasted figs with goat cheese and date honey; or even roasted baby eggplant with tahini and feta. Loving all of those at the moment! 6 . S Q UAT I love doing self-defense training – Krav Maga is definitely a favorite. I love the feeling of exercising while learning a useful skill. Plus, I feel so badass; it’s like the definition of female empowerment and I freakin’ love it! Plus, recently I’ve been working on a lot of hand-eye coordination exercises to help with mental acuity and reflexes. I think that helps my riding a lot. My favorite is an exercise where you are tossed a three-prong multi-colored baton and the trainer calls out a color as he throws it, so you have to catch that specific color while you’re in motion moving sideways down a line – really awesome!
REC O M M E NDE D: Nicolás Catena Zapata
by Pam Maley
Gentle Souls and Big Hearts “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — D R . S E U S S
In recent years, as a nation, we have become increasingly aware of innocent animals in trouble: dogs threatened with euthanization, horses being slaughtered. As we have awakened to this tragedy, generous, caring people have stepped up to protect these voiceless creatures that depend on the humans that they trust. We highlight here a few of the pioneers in this effort, and as animal lovers, we salute them. On January 20, 2021, for the first time ever, a rescue dog moved into the White House. Major Biden was one of a litter of sick puppies that had arrived at the Delaware Humane Society in Wilmington. Joe and Jill Biden volunteered to foster one of them and provide the care he needed to get well, and in the process, the Bidens became arguably the most famous ‘Foster Fail,’ a term you'll read about in our first segment.
SPREADIN G JOY
Thrive Animal Rescue
eCe Bloum had retired from a successful career as a trainer of “A” circuit riders and horses (during which she inspired The Horse Show Mom’s Survival Guide, by Susan S. Daniels), because she felt that her three children needed her full attention. By 2014, they had all grown into young adults, and it seemed a good time for a new adventure. When her friend Ron Spogli asked her what she’d like to do, the answer came without a moment’s hesitation, “A dog rescue!” It turns out that Ron’s wife, Georgia, had the same dream, and immediately, a partnership was
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formed. They recruited dog-loving friends from the equestrian world, put together a board of directors, applied for 501c3 status, and began the journey that continues to this day. For this story, Horse & Style interviewed CeCe, Susie Saladino, another of the original founders, and Nicole Velazquez, the Executive Director. Their delight in the growth and success of Thrive Animal Rescue, and their love for what they’re doing, was palpable throughout the conversation. CeCe and her husband Steve dedicated a large grassy fenced area on their Newmarket
Farm to Thrive, as a place where the dogs could come to roam free after leaving the shelter, a ride dubbed by Susie the ‘Freedom Ride.’ Board members and volunteers would comb the most overcrowded and underfunded shelters to find dogs facing euthanization that would be safe around children, horses, and other dogs; and load them up for the Freedom Ride. But as Thrive has become better known in the community, they are getting more and more calls for help. “The calls come from all over,” says CeCe. “Thrive has developed really good relationships with the Humane
CeCe, Nicole and friends; all photos courtesy of Thrive
Societies, and they will call if they have a dog that fits the profile. And then there are the individual calls about dogs whose owners succumbed to COVID-19, dogs orphaned or displaced by the wildfires, dogs pushed out because their owners had to downsize … We’ve seen people having to make hard decisions.” The day after our interview, they were going to answer a call to pick up two dogs whose owner had passed away. Thrive has seen phenomenal growth since 2014, in community recognition and numbers of successful adoptions, as well as in the physical size of the facility. Still on the grounds at Newmarket Farm, it now has 12 more big fenced turnout yards, a meet and greet area where a dog and a would-be adopter can connect, a vet office – yes, there’s a vet on-site now, and a puppy nursery. The Freedom Ride always ends at the farm. There, the dogs will be evaluated as their personality traits emerge, and all medical needs will be taken care of. They will be walked and crate-trained, and cared for. Some will then go to foster homes (about ¼ of them), and the rest will remain on the farm to await adoption. As unique needs have come to the attention of the Thrive staff, new programs have been launched to meet them. There’s the Forever Foster program for senior dogs. Seniors are pulled from shelters and brought to the farm, where medical needs are assessed and tended to. They can then remain on the farm (right now there are 12), or if they go to a foster family, Thrive will cover their medical expenses, which can be extensive and often a deterrent to adoption. They told us about a senior, Hugh Hefner, who recently died after spending two years in the program at the farm, and obviously had found a place in their hearts; and a new senior named Molly who had just arrived because her owner had died of COVID-19. So the circle goes around. The puppy nursery was created because they take pregnant dogs or dogs with litters, and the pups can stay in the nursery to get a good start on life before they go up for adoption. They have also welcomed ‘Momma Dogs’ from Mexico, part of the huge street dog population that is a well-known problem there. In Mexico City alone, authorities report that they capture and kill an estimated 20,000 dogs per month. To help address this tragedy, in addition to taking in Momma Dogs, Thrive is also helping to spay and neuter the street dog population.
The new meet-and-greet area was born of their determination to find just the right match between dogs and their adopters, and a behaviorist works in this niche at the farm to help achieve a successful pairing. “We’re very picky about our adopters!” they all agreed. Susie manages their social media presence. “People really do pay attention to the website; they’re familiar with our adoptable dogs,” she tells us. “The internet has been very good for dog adoption. When we’re out and about in town, people will stop us and ask about the dogs, or about a certain one that they’ve been following.” Thrive puts a great deal of effort into matching a dog with a foster family, just as they do with adopters. An adoptable dog’s stay with a foster family (or at the farm, for that matter) is usually somewhere between two weeks and a month. But because of the care that is taken to choose just the right dog, the foster family sometimes finds that they can’t bring themselves to give the dog up, giving rise to another staff-generated term: ‘Foster Fails.’ Every foster family sets out determined not to be a Foster Fail, but sometimes it just happens; love takes over. The most famous Foster Fail, as mentioned in the introduction, is now living at The White House! Some of their fund-raising and adoption events have had to be curtailed due to the pandemic, but the equestrian community continues to offer their support and donations. And though the adoption events at horse shows have taken on a different look, with social distancing and safety measures, they have continued. “Horse people are the best adopters!” Nicole said emphatically. It seems that it is a rare occurrence for a dog to return to Newmarket after one of these events.They almost always go to a new forever home. Nicole’s takeaway, she told us, “Is that it has been really heartwarming to see the people in the dog and horse community step up with their support, so that we can help people through these troubled times. After adopting, the new owners stay in touch, send pictures even years afterward, and express their gratitude.” Clearly, this dedicated staff has not only created a remarkable organization that has offered new life to scores of dogs, they have created a phenomenon that brings happiness to everyone involved in the process. In addition to giving back, they are spreading joy! To learn more about Thrive, or to make a donation, visit thriveanimalrescue.com
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Georgina Bloomberg and Rocky; photo © Geoffrey Tischman
THE POWER OF ONE
ften thought of as an aspirational ideal, the power of one is alive and well in the person of Georgina Bloomberg. After adopting a dog from a rescue in Miami, she saw a need and set about filling it.
Georgina Bloomberg and Manhattan; photo © Jump Media
Three groups in New York partner with her: Animal Haven in New York City, SPCA of Westchester (New York), and Adopt-a-Dog in Armonk, New York. She began putting out feelers, and if someone was headed north on a private plane, or in a van, private or commercial, she would ask them to transport some rescues. Even her boyfriend has transported dogs for her.
High-kill shelters are a huge problem, particularly in the Southern states. They are usually government-run, with little space and meager funding. By law they can’t refuse to take a dog, so in order to make room for new ones, some of the ones that are already there are euthanized. Sadly, the average length of a dog’s life in one of these shelters is about two weeks; the need is urgent!
The woman that runs the rescue where she adopted has been a big help to Bloomberg. “She knows dogs well, and can help select ones that will be good candidates for adoption. Being selective and leaving some dogs behind may sound like a bad thing, but it’s better to choose the right dog than to waste a foster opportunity on one that has little chance of success,” Bloomberg explains.
Bloomberg’s show jumping career takes her to destinations all over the world, but her primary residences are in New York and Florida, and that set the parameters for her efforts. She realized that rescues have no problem pulling dogs from the pound and finding places for them; the problem is transporting them. With her large network of friends and colleagues in the horse world, who frequently travel between New York and Florida, she knew that she could help get dogs north from the kill-shelters in Florida to rescues in New York, where they would have a better chance of finding a home.
She also knows what type of dog her rescues are seeking. For example, in New York City, small dogs are preferred because of limited living spaces, while in Westchester, where spaces are larger and houses have more property around them, large dogs are popular. Rescue dogs often need veterinary care, rehab, or surgery, and the rescues take care of that. But Bloomberg is quick to point out,“Shelters often get healthy litters of puppies, and young thriving dogs.While behavioral issues develop the longer they stay in the shelters, for the most part, once a dog realizes that they are ‘out of jail,’ they do a quick turnaround.”
THE BUGLER’S CALL
a lot about the fate of thoroughbreds after their racing careers ended. They realized that many of the horses were going to auction, and they were well aware of the kill-trucks awaiting them.
Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue
bout 20 years ago, friends Bev Strauss and Ginny Suarez (now Cole) were trainers at Delaware Park Race Track. Suarez was also running a successful dog rescue that she had started, called Paws for Life, and in that context, they talked
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In all equestrian disciplines, the horses are the centerpiece of the sport. Horse Racing is no different. Every day, thousands of
The pandemic, she tells us, has given adoption a lot of exposure, and in that way, it has been good. When the country went into lockdown in March, the numbers of foster volunteers skyrocketed, as did requests for adoptees. Post-pandemic, that might slow down, but we all join Bloomberg in the hope that the interest in adopting will continue. On the other hand, there has been an increase in the number of people who are facing poverty, eviction, or illness, who are forced to make the heart-wrenching decision to give up a beloved dog. Bloomberg hopes to create temporary sanctuaries that can keep a dog while the owners get back on their feet. She has begun working with ACC (Animal Control Centers) in New York to make this a reality. There are times when an owner is forced to give up a dog because it needs medical care or surgery that the owner simply can’t afford. “People are quick to judge owners in that position, but it’s very real, and I hope to include in this project an organization that can provide owners the help they need.” Right now, the owner has to face the decision to give up their dog permanently. “I want to change that. My goal is to get them fostered or into a temporary place, so that when the owners are able, they can take their dog home again. That’s what I feel really passionate about.”
thoroughbreds answer the bugler’s call. But the working life of a racehorse is short; and the sad reality of the industry is that a lot of healthy, young, sound thoroughbreds never get a second chance. Many years ago, the slaughter of horses was made illegal in the United States, but unscrupulous agents have managed to work around that by loading their trucks with no-bid or cheap horses at the auctions, and
transporting them to Mexico to sell to the slaughter-houses there. In 2002, Strauss and Suarez decided to take the leap, and set about forming an organization that they would call Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue. They attached it to Paws for Life to get it started. By 2011, though, they had to split, but for a happy reason: both had gotten too big.
MAHR Team Members
“At the beginning, all of our rescues came from the New Holland Livestock Auction near us, in New Holland, Pennsylvania,” says Strauss. She and Cole would go to the auctions and keep a close eye on the kill-pens (horses bought by kill buyers) to find and buy horses (they only buy thoroughbreds) that looked promising for a new career. “Over the years, though, the racing industry has become aware of the need for aftercare, so we can now work directly with many of the racetracks as well. Our main contact is with Delaware Park – we handle the aftercare there – but we also work with the Maryland tracks, Penn National, and Mountaineer in West Virginia. And still . . . many of our horses come from the kill-pens at the auctions.” The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), begun in 2012 and funded by the racing industry, was a real game-changer, Strauss says. Mid-Atlantic was one of the first rescues to receive accreditation from TAA, and they regularly receive generous grants from them, and from other national organizations like the ASPCA. Their first grant came from Thoroughbred Charities of America, when “in 2002, Ginny and I went with our hats in hand to ask for our very first grant as a newly formed rescue, with just three horses and a rented field.” How they have grown!
Morgan Hayden with Whiskey Sour and friends
They now have a beautiful farm in Eastern Maryland, 158 acres, with 80 acres fenced and a full-time staff member living on the grounds. They have a barn and several small paddocks, because horses recently in training need some let-down time. “They lose weight at first, they look thin, their muscles sag. At the track, they’re in the stall 24 hours a day, except for workouts and races.We give them high-concentrate feed, and they begin putting on weight and learning ‘to be horses again.’ Sometimes it takes a while for them to get used to being turned out in a big field with other horses.We like for them to be out 24/7, if possible.We find that they are happier, and it saves on our expenses.” Right now at the main farm, they’re at capacity with 45 horses. They have also established four satellite farms: two do rehab
for horses that need time off, stall rest, or postsurgical care; one is a boot camp for those that need a bit of attitude adjustment; and the third is a farm in South Carolina that has only horses that are ready for adoption. Most adoptions, though, are done at the main farm. Once on the farm, the first step is quarantine for a minimum of 30 days. During this time, they are evaluated as to general health, soundness and rideability. The latter depends a lot on the skill of the would-be adopter. Some are more challenging to ride than others, which makes finding the right adoption partner important. The horses are ridden to assess each one according to energy level and movement. Higher energy horses are pointed toward jumping or eventing; those with a smooth, long gait are groomed for the hunter ring; some are just for trail riding; some for dressage or foxhunting; then there are those that are only able to be pasture pets. Their adoption fee is $1.00, with the agreement that they can come back to Mid-Atlantic if need be. “Would-be adopters fill out a simple application. When people reach out, I try to determine what they’re looking for, what their goals are; did a horse on the website catch their eye? We prefer potential adopters come to ride,” Strauss says, “and I’m always there. If they’re interested in a horse that doesn’t seem right for them, we try to guide them to a good match. Safety and suitability are the overriding goals. We won’t adopt a horse to a person if the match seems wrong.” Since its inception, Mid-Atlantic has rescued and found homes for over 2,000 horses. They now have lots of individual supporters and donors, in addition to grants from national agencies. Their adopters, says Strauss, are their best advertising. There is no shortage of candidates for rescue. “We get calls from farms, and from people who have gotten horses elsewhere that are not working out. Horses from our partner tracks and in the kill-pens are our first priority. We will always take any horse back that came through our program. We wish that we could help every horse that needs us, but we just can’t rescue all of them.” Even through the pandemic, adoptions and donations have held strong, despite worries to the contrary. “We think of our adopters as partners. We stand behind our horses always, we guarantee them, and we’re always there to help.” To learn more about Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue, or to make a donation, visit midatlantichorserescue.org.
Morgan Hayden with Big Birdie
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FEATURE by Emily Pollard photos by Cynthia Smalley
Grit, Wit, Horses & Wine:
An Interview with Elena Reynoso from Crescere
Horses and wine. What long, emotionally charged show day has ever wound down without a glass of wine? What competition makes itself grand without the sponsorship of a local winery? What windy, rainy, wild barn day doesn’t end with the “pop” of a bottle of wine aimed at soothing an exhausted, nerve-wrecked equestrian? I think the equestrian community can agree, there is a definite symbiotic relationship between horses and wine, and for that, equestrians are grateful.
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nd so, as the background research for this article started, the focus was mainly on that surface level of interconnectedness between the equestrian world and the wine world. However, one fun, engaging, hours-long conversation with the owner of Crescere, a Sonoma County wine producer, knocked that premise on its head. By the end of the conversation, Elena Reynoso made me realize the connection that we both shared was deeper than sips of wine at the end of a show day. We both knew intimately, and had felt deeply, the pain and pleasure of choosing a passion that is inherently agricultural at its roots. We both understood that despite the expense, sophistication, and frills of our industries, it is the animal (horse) or the plant (vineyard) that is running the show and calling the shots. We are mere co-conspirators, or often just spectators, in the process that is riding horses and creating wine. The struggle of working in a world with such a delayed
sense of gratification makes for women who are gritty, clever, and determined, which is exactly how I would describe all equestrians – and Reynoso. Reynoso began her career in the wine world while also pursuing an English degree, after a family friend got her a position as a clerk in a local wine shop in Chicago. There she started to grow her knowledge of wine, and her love for the industry grew along with it. Part of her job was to taste the wines as they were brought in, and it was her job to determine if each was good enough to put on the shop’s wine list. Reynoso laughed when asked if she enjoyed that job and exclaimed, “I had the opportunity to taste some really wonderful wine, but oh my goodness did I also taste the bad. But I learned from each wine, and it added to my knowledge base. Each wine was worth it for that reason.” This was the beginning of my realization that Reynoso’s path in the wine world mimicked the path of equestrians in the horse world. Replace “wine” with “horse” and “taste” with “ride,” and she could have been describing any dedicated equestrians’ early 20s experiences. At the wine shop, each day brought Reynoso a new experience, a new varietal, a new vintage, as well as the opportunity to meet new people in the wine industry. One of the most influential people she met there was her future husband, Joe Reynoso, with whom she would go on to found Crescere. He too had fallen in love with the wine world, and as their relationship developed, he encouraged her to come out west with him to Sonoma, California. During his years as a piano delivery driver, he had ventured into the area and found it to be one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. He was determined to own land and plant vineyards there one day. After a trip to the region, Elena was also struck by Sonoma’s beauty and embraced Joe’s plan. Their long term goal set, the two worked in and out of the wine industry for the next decade or so to make it happen. After years of playing the sole role of farmer on their land, and selling their grapes to other wineries to produce wine, Elena and Joe decided it was their time to play creator. Reynoso describes their conversation, “But as we started talking about this, we realized we didn't want to do this just to do it. We wanted to make a really incredible wine, one that
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would showcase the best that this land could produce, one that people would love and really find special. We just were not interested in doing anything less.” To this end, they enlisted the help of Philippe Melka as winemaker, a top industry expert with experience in European wines as well as other American winemaking ventures. Reynoso explained, “After hiring Melka, we really just did what he said. He was the expert, and we trusted his vision. That trust made our relationship easy, and of course, the wine turned out just beautifully.” I smiled after realizing that this was a sentiment most riders would share about their trainers. They trust them, they do what they say, and the result is beautiful. So much of what Reynoso was sharing rang true to the equestrian spirit. As Reynoso started describing the individual wines, the level of dedication, knowledge, and work became apparent because each wine’s story begins at the
soil level. Reynoso described learning about the nuances of the soil, working the land, planting the vines, caring for and nurturing the vines, watching for the perfect time to pick the grapes, and on and on. The attention to detail going into each bottle of wine from Crescere cannot be oversold – blood, sweat, and tears went into each one, and Reynoso shared a story about each instance to prove that point. One such “tears” story nearly had me in tears as she described the deep disappointment of an unpredictable, late season storm decimating a vineyard they had hoped would produce a full perfect harvest. The story held the same sadness any rider has felt when their horse goes lame after being in top shape heading into the beginning of show season. Whether plant or animal, planning can occur, but absolute control cannot. But, as with horses, when it goes right, it is incredibly rewarding. Reynoso explains, “In the end though, each bottle of Crescere wine
represents so much effort, so much time, so many people’s investment in a dream. The result is just magic.”
hen asked what their hopes are for a Crescere bottle of wine, Reynoso’s answer comes quickly and easily, “Crescere wines are sophisticated enough for collectors, and each does well aging in a cellar. However, when I imagine a bottle of Crescere wine being opened, it’s for sharing with loved ones, or with family. It is for drinking while a table of people who care for each other are sharing a meal they created with love. Or, in these times of COVID, it is for sharing in the backyard sitting six feet away from your dear friend in a lawn chair. Wherever love and laughter are being shared, Crescere can be shared too.” She then tells her own horse-related story to illustrate this point. Her neighbor had recently lost her husband, and was quite isolated because of the pandemic. Reynoso made sure to go visit often, and the two
developed a close friendship. Their days started with grooming and riding her friend’s horses, and ended with a bottle of Crescere wine on the back porch. After the story, we both agreed, there is no better way to forge a friendship than with horses and a nice bottle of wine. As the delightful interview ended, Reynoso invited me and my family up to see their farm as she remarked, “Please come… I love seeing the property anew through other people’s eyes.” As we giggled about a few silly family anecdotes, I realized Crescere wines are the embodiment of Reynoso herself; full of love, laughter, and a knack for creating magic moments. As those are three things I aim for when I ride my horses, a Crescere Pinot will definitely be coming with me to my next horse show. To learn more about Crescere, please visit crescerewines.com or follow along on Instagram and Facebook @crescerewines.
As part of my research, I had the opportunity to try several of Crescere’s wines. Each was so well-balanced, absolutely true to the varietal, and paired easily with the appropriate dinner course. True to Reynoso’s dream for Crescere wines, each sip was enjoyed in between belly laughs, while sharing a bottle in the backyard of dear friend and H&S founder/owner, Sarah Appel. It was a wonderful evening made even better by the incredible wines. Crescere Ritchie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 2018: Bright and crisp with tropical notes and hints of pink grapefruit and lime zest, this is a substantial Sauvignon Blanc that has the body to pair with a hearty first course. This wine spent some time on French Oak, so it has a depth and character not often found in your traditional Sauvignon Blanc. It was the perfect accompaniment to the cheese based appetizer, as its bright acid cut the fat of the creamy goat cheese. This is a true wine person’s Sauvignon Blanc, I have not tasted another more sophisticated or elegant. Crescere Proprietary Red Blend, 2017: This beautiful blend was a fun one to blind taste and guess the varying varietals. The notes of cassis, ripe raspberries, and even coffee beans lead the taster to deduce it is
a Bordeaux style wine, and sure enough, the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Petit Verdot confirm that fact. This wine was excellent paired with a hearty tomato based cream soup, with the red fruit and earth notes of the wine bringing out the best in the bright but substantial course. While this wine is great with food, it could certainly be a wine-only-night wine as well. It is quite versatile and would be a great gift for a wine aficionado – it is a little geeky and is such a well done red blend. Cabernet Sauvignon: This Sonoma wine is everything a wine drinker comes to expect from a California Cabernet Sauvignon: deep, aromatic stone fruit on the nose, excellent tannin structure on the pallet, and a body heavy enough to stand up to any rich, hearty main course. What makes this beautiful wine special is that it is done on French Oak, so the notes beyond dark fruit are allowed to surface. Hints of leather, tobacco, and a hint of earthy barnyard give this wine a deep complexity and make it perfect for the equestrian drinker. Crescere wines also offers Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah (among others), so be sure to visit their website for a complete list of wines. Ordering is easy from the website as well. Enjoy!
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DO WHAT YOU LOVE (I LOVE WHAT I DO)
LET’S WORK TOGETHER Private Client Horse Shows Equine Portraits Horse and Rider Family and Lifestyle
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T H E N AT I O N A L S P O RT I N G LIBRARY & MUSEUM telling the story of sporting life through books and art
Photo courtesy of National Sporting Library & Museum
the center of Middleburg,Virginia, a gem of a town that lies at the heart of the beautiful, historic Virginia foxhunting country, is a quiet, elegant treasure known as the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM). Founded in 1954 by four gentlemen steeped in the sporting life, the NSLM highlights the rich heritage and tradition of country pursuits.Visitors can explore angling, horsemanship, shooting, steeplechasing, foxhunting, flat racing, polo, coaching (driving) and wildlife in the general stacks, rare book holdings, letters and art collection. “The NSLM currently houses 20,000 books in the library and 1,300 objects in the permanent art collection. Every year, we will have two or three major exhibits, plus the rotating exhibit of permanent items. We plan several years out for our exhibitions,” Executive Director Elizabeth von Hassell tells us.
Standing in a sculpted garden in front of the Library and Museum buildings is an important monument commissioned by horseman and philanthropist Paul Mellon, and gifted to the NSLM. Called the Civil War Horse, it stands in honor of all the horses, mules and donkeys on both sides of the fighting that died in the Civil War, a number estimated at about one and a half million. Beautifully executed by sculptor Tessa Pullan, it remains a permanent exhibit. A JOYFUL REOPENIN G In July 2020, the NSLM joyfully began reawakening after a pandemic hiatus. The first exhibition to open was Thrill of the ‘Chace: Steeplechase in Art. It combines paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the permanent collection, along with some that are on loan from different venues and private collections. A quote from the website
sums it up well: “Jumping fences, leaping ditches, and streaking across the countryside in brightly colored silks, skilled jockeys and their mounts have won the hearts and minds of spectators and artists across centuries.” An exhibition that tugs at the heart, Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration reopened after the pandemic closure, and has been extended to March 13, 2021. It remains on loan by the artist, Phyllis’s husband Jamie Wyeth. Phyllis Wyeth, who died in January 2019, was a lifelong horsewoman, philanthropist, and advocate for art and for people with disabilities. She grew up in Middleburg, and lived her adult life in the Brandywine country of Pennsylvania, on the Delaware border. At age 21, she was working in the Kennedy White House, when a terrible auto accident left her with permanent injuries that eventually confined her to
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This Photo: Museum exhibition gallery featuring A Sporting Vision: The Paul Mellon Collection of British Sporting Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, on view April 13 - July 22, 2018; Below: Photo courtesy of National Sporting Library & Museum
the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. As all exhibitions in the NSLM, it is accompanied by a selection of books from the library that relate to the collection. “We try,” says Von Hassell, “to incorporate scholarly works to accompany the exhibits.” That sentiment was echoed by Director of Development Reid O’Connor. “Often exhibitions on loan come with their own catalogues, but for exhibitions that we curate, we create wonderful scholarly catalogues.”
a wheelchair. With her characteristic positivity and indomitable spirit, she continued her equestrian pursuits by, among other things, becoming a skilled driving competitor, and a thoroughbred breeder who bred Union Rags, the winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes. The NSLM was the third stop for this wonderful exhibit, and to many it was a sort of homecoming. This was the first time the artist himself had attended an opening. He simply couldn’t bring himself to go to the first two. It was a truly memorable evening. His speech was poignant and loving, and the listeners were enraptured. Phyllis was his muse. He said that he had once asked his famous father, Andrew Wyeth, why he painted, and the answer was, “Well, Jamie, I paint for myself.” Jamie said he had thought of himself in the same
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way, but “Now I know I was painting for Phyllis.” (from the NSLM newsletter) “Theirs is a wonderful love story,” said von Hassell. “Because Phyllis grew up here, we have been able to assemble a collection of personal photographs, as well as the Belmont trophy and Jamie’s painting of Union Rags to accompany the exhibit. People come in and share their stories with us, and even people who didn’t know her get emotional. It’s an incredible and intimate location for this exhibit, a beautiful old federal building. The rooms are small and the paintings well mapped.” C U R R E N T LY O N D I S P L AY Current exhibitions also include A Horse of Course:The Equine Image in Art, a traveling educational exhibition featuring 12 photographs of iconic works from
Five recent acquisitions by the artists Frank Weston Benson and Ogden Minton Pleissner, are also on view; works that increase the evergrowing footprint of angling and gunning subjects in the permanent collection. In 2020 the Museum also added two important works by the sculptor Herbert Haseltine: Messaline and Foal and Percheron Stallion: Rhum.These impressive third-scale (⅓ life size) sculptures are casts from the artist’s famous series “Champion Domestic Animals of Great Britain” and have counterparts in the Paul Mellon Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The extensive angling collection in the Library, comprised of many unique rare books, includes a 2,000 volume donation from George Chapman, a unique collection of tied flies, and a first edition of the famous Compleat Angler from 1653. While the Library encompasses all field sports,
Nic Fiddian-Green (British, b. 1963), Still Water, 2011, hammered lead with copper rivets on an oak base, 9 feet tall, NSLM Collection ©Nic Fiddian-Green
John Ferneley, Sr. (English, 1782-1860), The Hunt in Belvoir Vale (detail), c. 1835, oil on canvas, Gift of Kathryn James Clark in Memory of Stephen C. Clark, Jr., 2013
July 1886 issue of The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (left) where Theodore Roosevelt’s essay (right) Riding to Hounds on Long Island was published. NSLM Manuscripts Collection, F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room
“Geometric Measurements of Eclipse,” from Essai sur les Proportions Geometrales de l’Eclipse, Charles Vial de Sainbel, 1791. National Sporting Library & Museum, acquired 1976, the gift of the Arundel Foundation John Emms (English, 1841-1912), Foxhounds and Terrier in a Stable Interior, 1878, oil on canvas, 39 x 52 inches, Gift of Felicia Warburg Rogan, 2008
NSLM campus; photo by Benjamin West
the earliest book dates from 1523 and is on dueling, which, many of us would be hard pressed to think of as a sport! LOOKING TO THE FUTURE The NSLM holds only one major fundraiser: the yearly NSLM Polo Classic. Contemporary artist Andre Pater, who was featured in our Spring/Summer 2020 issue, donated the use of his painting, The Last Chukker, for the poster, program and promotional materials. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the event moved to an all tailgate format with a gourmet picnic lunch for guests, which, by all accounts was a success. In conjunction with the event, Pater also taught a virtual drawing Master Class on behalf of the NSLM, with O’Connor as the polo model. Some of the exhibits for the coming year will feature works of Tucker Smith, a nature and wildlife artist, on loan from the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and an indoor and outdoor exhibition featuring the sculptures of Walter Mattia titled Field Notes. FROM SMALL BEGINNINGS At its inception, the Library began with the combined collections of the sporting books belonging to its founders: George L. Ohrstrom, Sr. and Lester Karow, both deeply involved in foxhunting; Fletcher Harper, Master of the Orange County Hounds for more than three decades; and Alexander Mackay-Smith, who was in the
second year of his 24-year tenure as editor of The Chronicle of the Horse, a weekly tabloid dedicated to equestrian sports, that had just grown into a magazine in the first year of his editorship. Mackay-Smith was also the prolific author of numerous articles and books on a variety of sporting topics, and known as the “Father of the USCTA” for his promotion and fostering of the sport of combined training, and his founding of its association. The Chronicle of the Horse had its offices in the historic Duffy house in Middleburg, and the basement was given over to what then was the National Sporting Library (NSL). Both the magazine and the Library grew steadily until 1969, when they needed more space and moved to Vine Hill, another historic home, this one Federal-style, circa 1804, now the Museum. As word of the NSL spread, sporting enthusiasts from all across the country began donating books from their collections, and each acquisition was noted in The Chronicle. “We grew together,” says von Hassell. In 1994, one of the board members of NSL donated his 5,000-volume collection that included rare and antiquarian books, and with this addition, the decision was made to expand the space. Construction was begun on a new library building, as well as a separate office building for The Chronicle, both in 1998.Though now under new ownership, The Chronicle still leases the office building on the NSLM campus, and
maintains a symbiotic relationship with the Library and Museum, which remains open to the editorial staff for research. The growing art collection was displayed throughout the library building until 2008, when with the gift of 15 paintings from the collection of Felicia Warburg Rogan, the NSL Board of Directors made the bold decision to establish a fine art museum dedicated to sporting art. The Felicia Warburg Rogan Art Initiative was created in her honor to encourage others to do the same, and generous donors heeded the call (from the NSLM website). Vine Hill was enlarged to 14 exhibition spaces, the NSL became the NSLM, and in 2011 opened with its inaugural exhibition, Afield in America: 400 Years of Animal & Sporting Art. Soon after the re-opening in July 2020, Emily Day, a granddaughter of Alexander Mackay-Smith and the Executive Director of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, the oldest and one of the most prestigious shows in the country, along with her mother Mrs. Mathew Mackay Smith, paid a visit to the NSLM, pulling a thread that runs through the Museum’s history. Says von Hassell, “Frequently our guests think they’re visiting a small country museum, and then are blown away with the quality of our exhibits and collections. It’s always fun for us to see that!”
2021 volume 1 ·
by Laurie Berglie photos by Lauren Wardwell
An Update on Rebecca Smith’s Chagrin Valley Farmhouse If you’re a regular reader of ours, you may remember we featured Rebecca Yuhasz Smith’s house in our Horse & Style: Home column in the May/June 2017 issue. Rebecca’s 1920s farmhouse graced our pages, and if you’re like me, you swooned over her décor and design choices. Fortunately, I was able to see the house in person later that summer when I was in Chagrin Valley, Ohio, on another assignment for the magazine. I can tell you that Rebecca’s home was even more beautiful in person than it was in the pages of our spread.
one of the last paragraphs of my article, I wrote that, “large renovations are on the horizon for ‘Hemlock Lane at Valley High,’” but I couldn’t imagine Rebecca changing anything as I felt the house was absolutely lovely in its current state.
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Now here we are, just a few years later, and the large home renovations are complete. The house seems almost unrecognizable from its original form, but Rebecca has successfully updated the home with modern elements while maintaining its classic equestrian elegance.
Horse & Style Magazine: Please give
us a little refresh on the history of your home. Where is it located, and when did you move in?
Rebecca Yuhasz Smith: We’ve been in our home for ten years now. It’s located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, which is a very picturesque, horsey area 17 miles to the east of Cleveland. When we moved in, the farm had essentially been empty for 12 years, and the architecture was original from when it was built in 1924. It’s an elegant farmhouse designed and originally owned by Dominick Benes, who was a partner in the grand architectural firm Hubbell and Benes. Their firm built most of the substantial buildings in the City of Cleveland at the turn of the century, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the West Side Market, Lake View Cemetery, and Wade Park Circle. By the time we got to this house, the last family
who owned it had scattered throughout the country, and we took out 11 industrial dumpsters from the property filled with random stuff and raccoon poop.
H&S: Why did you decide to do such a large renovation? If I remember correctly, your home was beautiful as it was!!
RYS: Thank you so much! The home was
indeed cozy, but not only was it an impractical 1920s floor plan, but the interior of the house was slowly coming apart. As you know from being here at the farm, the first thing we did was rebuild all the exterior structures, fencing, outbuildings, and most importantly, put up a barn for our Percheron driving horses. Then, we turned an old barn on the property into a guest home for my parents who reside in Cleveland during the summer. By the time we turned our attention to the main house, we had been living in it for about five years. That gave us plenty of time to think about how we lived in the various spaces of the house. We knew we didn’t need more space, just a better use of it. We really aren’t into overly big houses; our daughter, Lizzie, is about to leave for college so it’s just the two of us and a gaggle of show dogs.
My style is definitely traditional, and I love a generous room size, but I like defined spaces. For example, I couldn’t give up the formal dining room even though it would have made things much easier had I done so! We kept the original footprint of the house, but the renovation really affected every single room. We opened doorways, repurposed rooms, and changed the entry and flow of the house. In a house this age, 100 years really is the point where everything needs to be new; the mechanical infrastructure was badly in need of an upgrade. Given the house’s historical importance, we were mindful about keeping and reusing everything that we could. We moved the stainless-steel countertops from the kitchen into the laundry room. We managed to preserve and refinish all of the original floors, and we matched all the trims, staircase details, etc.
H&S: Can you give us some in-depth details about a few of the changes you’ve made?
RYS: We added two mirror fireplaces to
the house, one as the centerpiece of the kitchen and one as the centerpiece of the dining room. They were an expensive
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splurge, but we haven’t regretted the sacrifice for a minute. We use the fireplace in the kitchen all day long in the winter months and on cool evenings. Above each fireplace opening is a solid barn stone that we found on the property, and we also used two barn stones from the property as natural steps down into the gallery of the house where we have a wall of windows and where I display much of my china collection on the opposing wall. The stone herringbone pattern on the floor there coordinates nicely with the natural barn stone steps. All our windows are new and being able to look out in any direction and see this beautiful property and the horses grazing is a daily treat. The hood over the stove that we built was patterned after a very expensive hood I had ordered for a design client. But we made ours out of plywood and stainlesssteel strapping so that it looks hand-forged, but it’s not! Another big change we made to the downstairs was turning the large formal living room into an everyday family room, big enough to have multiple seating areas and a sizable farm table for casual dining. We no longer waste this room by rarely using it. And, by keeping
the proximity of the dining room close to the open kitchen, we use it far more often, especially for entertaining. We are completely spoiled with four brand new bathrooms, each one like their own jewel box, especially the downstairs powder room that is glazed in hunter green with a stone sink, Pratt pottery wainscoting, and all original oils of dog portraits floor-to-ceiling. The rest of the bathrooms are done with honed grey and white marble, and neutral colors in traditional penny tiles. These bathrooms will look new and architecturally fresh for years to come. I tell my design clients the number one mistake I find made in renovations is the lack of classic materials and longevity.
H&S: How did your equestrian style influence the renovations?
RYS: As my husband Derek will tell
you, I had to make room for all of my “stuff.” Derek and I have been collecting Canine and Sporting Art since we were first married, and we are fortunate to have some absolutely wonderful things that always make us feel at home no matter
where we are. I’m a nester at heart and as we designed this renovation, I was acutely aware of where major pieces and displays were going to go. But one of the most fun things in the world to me anytime we move is reimagining where everything goes. It’s the best puzzle ever. But from a practical sense, this house has to work hard to keep up with our real-life farm existence with animals in the house and a climate that includes mud, both Winter and Spring, and lots of it. So, my laundry room works as hard as my kitchen, and truthfully, the laundry room in this house worked hard 100 years ago as well. When I have puppies, I have a wonderful dog room off the main laundry room, and my washer and dryer go non-stop and I need every inch of that black farm sink, which is also original to the house. We kept it and reglazed it black. Muddy boots, muddy paws, and wet jackets have met their match!
H&S: Has your equestrian style changed with the renovations?
RYS: I would say through the years our
style has become more sophisticated. As we have been able to buy better antiques and
art as we get older, I have kept only the very best. And I think my style in general has become more contemporary and eclectic. I love mixing high and low. That being said, some of my most cherished finds come from dumpster diving.You just never know where you are going to find the best things!
H&S: Your daughter Lizzie’s room was
featured in Pony & Style Magazine in 2017. I can see by the photos that her room also received a nice refresh – can you tell us a little about it?
RYS: Lizzie, who is graduating from high school this year and has been accepted to Miami University and the School of Architecture, was given the opportunity to plan her bedroom and bathroom. She decided to move a few doors, utilize some under-the-stairs space, and was
able to carve out a walk-in closet, built-in dressers, and a bath with both a freestanding tub and a shower. In the bathroom, we used classic colors, and she decided on a small black herringbone matte tile for the floor. We splurged on an artisan penny tile, all-geometric pattern, on the floor of the shower. Subway tile and marble Carrara counters complete the look. An antique bathroom mirror is painted in a grey/blue with lots of patina. Her lighting fixtures are very fun and blingy. In her bedroom, we refinished the existing hardwood floors and added desk space as well. Lizzie wanted a curated, eclectic look, and we reined in, (no pun intended), her ribbon wall. Two giant black and white photos of her on her horses really pulled everything together. It’s definitely a more grown-up look!
H&S: If you could go back and do it
again, would you have done any of the renovations differently?
RYS: I have to say for us, the renovation
was terrific, and we have no complaints. The entire thing took exactly six months, start to finish. Luckily, we were able to live in my parent’s home while the main house was under construction.
H&S: Any recommendations for those getting ready to live through large home renovations?
RYS: Be on-site every day and maintain a sense of humor and flexibility. Things don’t always go the way you anticipate, but sometimes changes turn out to be the best accidents!
H&S: Any other projects on the horizon? RYS: We are finally taking some time
to just enjoy the house. We have found that the level of work to maintain this farm leaves us little time for other things. We do everything ourselves with my husband feeding the horses at 5:30 am every morning before he starts his regular workday. But COVID has made us so appreciative that we have a beautiful place to stay, surrounded by the family and animals we love. You can find Rebecca on Instagram @ rebeccaraydesignsusa where she shares some tidbits from her farm life, as well as the latest products for her company, Rebecca Ray Designs. She is currently hard at work on The Frontrunner Collection, which will launch this Spring!
2021 volume 1 ·
by Pam Maley photos courtesy of Mara Johnson
A Horse Girl’s Journey
“I think I was born loving them. And if science ever looks into it, I believe they would find that there is a genetic code that predisposes some of us to have an affinity for horses.” — BO DEREK
“For as long as I can remember” was the answer when Mara Johnson was asked when she knew she was in love with horses. In thinking of Mara, the word ‘bright’ comes immediately to mind, as in the brightness of light. Her bright face, bright smile, and bright lilting voice are a pleasure to all who know her. THE JOURNEY BEGINS Like many parents of their generation, Mara’s wanted to give her a chance to try different things, so she had dancing lessons, as well as brushes with various sports. But along the way, she went to a party that had pony rides, and she was hooked. Soon after that, her mother woke her up one morning and said, “Today you’re going to do what you like to do best,” and the answer was swift: “Ride horses!” “I was eight years old, and my mom took lessons with me; we enjoyed it together,” she remembers fondly. Her mom had been the daughter of a widow, so riding lessons for her had been out of reach while she was
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growing up. They found a lesson barn in their town of Tinley Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago, where they took lessons and Mara competed in schooling shows and small local shows on her first horse, M&M, a ten-yearold appendix quarter horse. “There was no A-circuit stuff till I was in college,” she says. None of this was easy for her parents, Mara acknowledges with deep gratitude. Her father and mother were both academics; her father was a school principal, and her mother, a librarian, went back to work to pay for the horse and the board.
For part of her high-school years and her early college years, Mara was without a horse – one of the few times in her life. Unable to stay away, she rode the Virginia Intermont school horses almost every day, and in her senior year she bought an Off-Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) in Illinois and brought him to Virginia. In an interesting crossing of paths, Beezie Patton (now Madden) was at Southern Seminary, a sister school to Virginia Intermont. When Mara went to local shows, Beezie was often competing. “I just enjoyed watching her; she was such a beautiful rider!” Mara exclaimed.
After high school graduation, Mara’s parents asked her what she wanted to do; where she wanted to go from there. “When I told them that I thought I’d like to just figure out how to make money riding horses, their answer was a resounding ‘No, you’re going to college!’” She chose Virginia Intermont, located in southwest Virginia, a lovely independent school, nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with a deep connection to horses.
BAC K TO C HIC AGO Upon graduating college, she went back home to Illinois, and with horses still her guiding light, she got a job with the Illinois Racing Board, where she had worked during the summers while she was in school. Her dad also worked there part-time; he was in charge of collecting blood samples for drug testing, making an official identification of the horse, and boxing the samples to send to the lab. Mara’s job was to take notes
when the vets drew the blood samples, and she was also the ‘pee catcher’ for that part of the drug testing. By that time, she had sold her first OTTB, and had bought some other ones that she was boarding and riding, buying and selling. Most were horses she had met in her work at the track. After a time, she decided to trade the frenetic work environment of the racetrack for the more bucolic setting of the farm. She began teaching lessons at Cinnamon Creek, where her horses were boarding. The barn owner, Dede Boeninger, and Mara are still the best of friends. She did her lesson program for seven or eight years, learned dressage from Dede, and was thrilled to be able to participate in clinics at the barn, led by such luminaries as Ralph Hill, Anke Herbert, Bodo Hagen, Julie Julian, Beverly Rogers, Jeff Katz and Chris Kappler. Before long, she moved to the house on the Cinnamon Creek property, with Dede and her husband. “It was just me and my little Jack Russell.” She continued her teaching
Mara and Fantastique compete at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping in Calgary
and training, and competed in A- and B-circuit shows with her students. Riding the same circuit at that time, was a young boy named Kent Farrington, on a little spotted leopard appaloosa named Buster. FROM COAS T TO COAS T AND BAC K TO C HIC AGO Growing a bit restless, with a desire to explore some new places, she succumbed to the entreaties of her college roommate to join her in California. She – and her horse, of course (she was down to just one horse then) – moved to Solana Beach, where she found a corporate job and a barn to board her horse. She continued to compete in Aand B-circuit shows, though she never got to nearby Del Mar. “The big-time shows were just too expensive,” she says ruefully. Soon, a long-distance relationship in Boston drew her to the other coast. She had done a clinic in California, and the instructor had made an offer on her horse that she couldn’t refuse. Another college girlfriend – a fellow horse girl – had invited Mara to stay with her
in a suburb of Boston near the Cape, and she moved, immediately bought another horse, showed her girlfriends’ horses at Fieldstone, did some lower-level eventing and some hunter paces, ended the relationship, and remained about two years before she and her horse moved back near Chicago, back to her old farm, which was now in a new location about 20 minutes away from the old one. She found herself wishing to be once again in a place that was bustling with people, and she rented an apartment in a high-rise near Navy Pier in Chicago, commuting to the farm. It was here that horses, the love of her life, had to move over and make room for Tim. She had reached her 40s satisfied with her life and her horses, and suddenly, here was the person that she wanted to share the rest of her life with. MONTAN A AND THE PAC I F I C N O R T H W E S T On their first date, Tim mentioned that he had always wanted to live in Montana. “So have I,” Mara interjected. Tim soon acted
on his wish and moved to Montana, and “I decided maybe it was time for a re-do. My students had grown up, and it seemed to be a good time for a new beginning.” She and her horse made the trek back to the West, and they settled with Tim near Whitefish. In a serendipitous stroke of luck, Mara found Grand Prix rider Brynna Closson’s barn in Kalispell. “What a Godsend to find someone like her just by chance! We share the same views on horsemanship and training; I was so lucky to find her!” Mara began teaching the beginners at Brynna’s barn, and her role soon grew into overseeing the lesson program while Brynna was on the road competing.
Mara and Fantastique at Spruce Meadows in 2016 Mara and Farrah at Brownland in 2020; photo © Elaine Schott
Together Brynna and Mara competed at The Oaks at San Juan Capistrano, and even showed at Spruce Meadows, five and a half hours away, the closest FEI recognized show. “What a thrill it was to compete at Spruce!” said Mara. “It’s on the bucket list for so many amateurs like me! Just driving there through the Canadian Rockies was breathtaking. One morning while driving home from Spruce, I saw elk, moose, and a large stag, all on the same trip! Riding with Brynna opened lots of doors for me to compete in places I never imagined possible. In addition to Spruce Meadows, there were local shows, Rebecca Farms, where they host a three star event in the summer, and a chance to show at Cle Elum, Washington, in the Cascade Mountains – beautiful!” When Tim got transferred to Las Vegas, Mara found a nice farm there for her horse, but they were there less than a year when it was time to make another move. AND NOW – KENTUC KY When asked what brought them to Kentucky, Mara said, “Tim and I were in the pool, asking each other ‘Where should we go now?’” A girlfriend suggested Kentucky, “There are lots of horses there!” Mara had competed at the Kentucky Horse Park and enjoyed it, and certainly Kentucky would be closer to her family in Illinois. So the decision was made. Another girlfriend had boarded at Elaine Schott’s River Mountain Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, a suburb of Lexington and home to countless thoroughbred farms. Elaine is a prominent show horse trainer in the area. “When I got in touch with Elaine, she couldn’t have been more welcoming. ‘Sure, we have a stall,’ she told me. I asked about a realtor that could find us a place close to
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Mara and her husband Tim with Farrah at Split Rock this winter; photo © Winslow Photography
my horse, and Elaine said, ‘We have a house you can live in.’ I was bowled over!” In July of that year, Mara’s horse Fantastique arrived on the farm, soon followed by Mara and Tim. They began settling in, Mara competed once again at the Horse Park, and they set about finding jobs. In October, she began work at Keeneland, a famous, elegant racecourse and sales venue with a long history of excellence in the Thoroughbred racing world. She was to be the administrative assistant to Geoffrey Russell, the Director of Sales, and the go-to person for any and all questions, requests and problems. To Mara’s delight, she was once again surrounded by horses and horse people. She was replacing a much-loved woman who had been in the job for 27 years – big shoes to fill. But she did it with aplomb, immediately endearing herself to all constituencies, and particularly to her immediate co-workers. Her ready smile and unfailing cheerfulness shortly became a part of the Keeneland aesthetic.
With the challenges of a new job, finding and buying a house, and settling into new surroundings, Mara found that carving out time for her horse was a challenge, so Fantastique went to stay with a friend in North Carolina. But a few months later, the COVID crisis hit, closing everything down. Not wanting her horse to be a burden in the crazy circumstances of the pandemic, Mara sold Fantastique to her friend. For a second time, she was without a horse for a short period. But she was always welcome to go out to River Mountain Farm to ride when she could find time. And as the months went along, and she became more comfortable in her position at Keeneland, she was able to find time to do that. Enter Farrah. Elaine let Mara ride one of the horses for sale at her barn, a lovely eight-year-old Holsteiner. “I was immediately in love with this horse,” says Mara as her eyes light up. “She’s sweet and she’s beautiful. I loved riding her, and I knew I would love to own her. At that
time, though, I knew I didn’t have time to campaign her, and people were telling me to save my money. But if COVID has taught me anything, it’s to do what you love, so I bought her. She gives me so much joy! At the end of the day when I get out to the barn, it’s usually just the kids and me, but I always know that for me, this is a dream come true.” This past fall, Mara and Farrah went with Elaine to Brownland Farm in Tennessee; and more recently they rode the course at Alltech Arena at an event hosted by Split Rock Show Jumping, and open to anyone wanting to school their horse. Another bucket list dream fulfilled! Mara’s journey is a story of horses, but there’s another thread running through it: her amazing friendships with her girlfriends. “They’re all horse girls!” she says. “It’s a special bond.” Because horse girls share a secret. They know better than anyone that “To ride a horse is to fly without wings.” (anonymous).
2021 volume 1 ·
by Holly Johnson/ Equinium Sports Marketing
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Photo © Fagner Almeida
DES TINATION LUSITANO:
brazil’s hidden equestrian center & their fairy tale sporthorses
2021 volume 1 ·
In the rolling foothills of Brazil’s Sao Paulo district, flanked by tropical rainforests and exotic fauna including parrots and monkeys, lies a fairy tale equestrian destination. From elegant architecture and tropical foliage to the cultural flavors of Portugal and Brazil, the only thing more magical than Interagro Lusitanos’ home farm is their horses.
he stud and training center’s more than 1,300 acres have been a beacon of evolution for the Lusitano breed since its founding in 1975, and a home to more than 3,000 famous, influential, and competitive horses over the past 40 years. Every year, hundreds of horses are bred, foaled, trained, sold, and exported across four continents, where their competitive and breeding legacy continues. The origin of Interagro’s horses is an important part of both the breed’s history and its future. The barns, picadeiro (covered arena), and living spaces of Interagro reflect aspects of traditional South American and European architecture and are adorned with iterations of Interagro’s St. James cross logo. Features across the property include a parade square, wrought iron accents, decorative fountains for horses to drink, and courtyards incorporating the fantastic and flamboyant flora of Brazil. Interagro’s lush fields are dotted by broodmares and their foals, herds of yearlings and young horses, and crisscrossing paths that lead to the farm’s focal point: the training barns, residences, and arenas. The main home, offices, central barn, and picadeiro are built into a sloping hill, providing sweeping views of Brazil’s pristine countryside. For more than 40 years, Interagro has been breeding a modern Lusitano sport horse, focusing on developing the pure lineages preserved from near extinction during the Portuguese Revolution, into top FEI prospects and competitors. Each year Interagro carefully pairs elite broodmares with elite stallions, all of whom live full-time at Interagro. The stallions are chosen for their beauty, bloodlines, conformation, talent, and,
Photo © Davi Carrano
This page: photos © Davi Carrano
2021 volume 1 ·
Photo © Julia Wentscher Photo © Davi Carrano
This photo and below © Fagner Almeida
especially, their character and rideability. The stallions and broodmares stamp their offspring with the looks, temperament, brains, and beauty that have defined the Pure Sangue Lusitano (PSL) breed, and Interagro’s owners and managers know each bloodline, mare, and stallion as closely as their own family, able to recite full family trees upon sight of a horse. As Interagro’s breeding population ages, a majority of their foundational broodmares and stallions enjoy a luxurious retirement at the farm where they were born and/or lived for decades.
nce foaled and weaned, Interagro’s horses roam in yearling bands, only handled for medical reasons or for basic training. At three-and-a-half years of age, they begin their formal training, having been closely evaluated for their talent at dressage, jumping, driving, or working equitation. Interagro also conducts thorough examinations of each horse, including extensive x-rays, blood tests to rule out piroplasmosis, and veterinary exams, to ensure any issues are identified and addressed. Interagro then offers a selection of that generation for sale, including young horses and those further along in their training, while also retaining some horses to continue their breeding program in Brazil. In the past two decades, Interagro has hosted yearly National Auctions in Brazil, as well as a few International Auctions in Wellington, Florida, featuring a handpicked selection of horses flown to the United States. In Brazil, a day at Interagro is similar to any typical day at a sporthorse training center, with a few unique additions. The seasons are reversed, with October through March bringing summer rains and tropical temperatures, and April through September heralding fall and winter. Horses are fed, groomed, tacked up, and ridden; schooled in basics or working at the FEI dressage level. The shade of the picadeiro protects from the brilliant Brazilian sun, but monkeys can be a nuisance, damaging the shingles on the roof and distracting the young horses with their mischief. Before COVID-19, guest clinicians and FEIlevel judges would visit multiple times a year to freshen up Interagro’s riders and provide feedback on training. Horses are loaded and unloaded onto trailers, learning this necessary skill, or departing for shows or for transport to the local airport and a plane ride to their ultimate destinations. Carriages with two- and four-in-hand teams pass regularly on the red dirt roads surrounding the farm, including a matched team of four buckskin
Photo © Elayne Massaini
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Lusitanos who are nationally competitive in FEI Driving. And, in the dappled shade of the tropical foliage, majestic retired stallions roam, with flowing manes and tails catching the breezes as they watch their progeny train in the outdoor arenas on the hill below. Each Interagro horse is the living embodiment of the careful planning, breeding, husbandry, training, and culture of the Interagro Lusitano breed, an epitome of baroque equine evolution that, when exported, adds a unique flair to show rings and pleasure riding around the globe. As recently as January 2021, an Interagro Lusitano made his Grand Prix dressage debut at the recently opened World Equestrian Center Ocala, and others are planning FEI-level exploits at Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival. With over 300 horses exported as of 2019, and Interagro Lusitanos in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia, their growing international influence on professionals and amateurs alike cannot be denied. It’s not hard to understand the allure of the Lusitano breed: easy to ride, easy to train, ‘in your pocket’ personalities, and the exotic good looks of a Brazilian heartthrob. But beyond their athletic talent, raw beauty, and the unique bonds they form with their riders, each Interagro Lusitano begins life in a world of tropical beauty and exceptional care, a combination of nature and nurture that has created the modern Interagro horse. Brazil may seem like a galaxy far, far away, but the fruits of Interagro’s labor have a universal appeal and are leaving hoofprints on equestrians’ hearts.
This photo and bottom-right © Julia Wentscher Photo © Davi Carrano
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Photo © Julia Wentscher
T H E good
by Claiborne & Lime photos by Teresa Pietsch
inspired by | C I T R U S
A private garden in Montecito, CA. THE DETAILS
Brushed copper flatware and tumblers, organic cotton napkins, handmade ceramic plates, a citrus garland table runner and individual potted herbs doubling as place cards and guest favors. THE EXPERIENCE
Guests were greeted with Saint Germain and elderflower welcome cocktails served out of an antique wooden farm stand, then led into the organic hydroponic gardens for a tour guided by the private chef, who offered guests the opportunity to taste various herbs and ingredients that would be used throughout their meal. WHAT WE LOVE
The citrus chandeliers crafted by our talented friend Diana Dolan, Oprah’s long-term personal florist and the owner of Porch Summerland. The hay bale lounge furniture set amongst the oak trees, where guests mingled upon arrival. DON'T FORGET
Hair ties for windblown hair, peppermint and lavender essential oils to act as a natural bug repellent, and cozy throws so the celebration could continue post-sundown.
2021 volume 1 ·
B E H I N D the
by Natalie Keller Reinert photos by Caitlin Connolly
SAV E NAC 1821
Classic. Timeless. Heirloom. When Lisa Harris set about creating her own jewelry line, these three words were her talismans.
ith a background in fashion design and buying, a second career in luxury jewelry sales, and a love of horses bred in the bone, Harris debuted her own jewelry company in 2018. Her goal? To create fine accessories which never go out of style, and reflect the equestrian lifestyle’s tradition of casual elegance. For the equestrian enthusiast, few promises could be more appealing. Harris’s own equestrian background goes back to her childhood, so she understands the timelessness of equine culture. “There’s something visceral in it,” she explains as we discuss the perennial charms of hunt coats, tall boots, and buff breeches. Harris has been describing her return to equestrian life after a decade spent in Los Angeles and New York City, working in fashion and far from her equestrian roots. “The elegance, the style, the formality of it. I love formal hunts, horse shows.” Even the name of her company evokes the long traditions of the equestrian world. “Savenac is the name of my grandmother’s
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horse farm, a historic property in Virginia,” Harris says. The house’s building year, dating to 1821, finishes out Savenac’s online presence, but it’s really the mistress of Savenac who has most inspired Harris’s work. A single photo of Harris’s grandmother, dressed in a smart riding habit of the 1930s and mounted on a gleaming Saddlebred, seems to encompass the brand image. It’s prominently featured on the company website – you can even make out a rebellious cigarette delicately held in one white-gloved hand, speaking for an era when women put on men’s clothes and customs, but didn’t dispense with their own innate elegance. “It encompasses the equestrian: elegance, beauty, power, and a little edge,” Harris says of the photo. “It’s a sense of casual, everyday elegance. Casual elegance is the idea I have for this jewelry collection.” In the 1920s and 30s, Harris continues, “Women really started coming into their own, adapting men’s styles, a sense of being feminine, but strong. I think my grandmother had that sensibility to her as well.”
A BAC KG RO U N D I N FA S H I O N D E S I G N With horsemanship rooting her to the past, this Pony Clubber-turned-fashion pro has put in the work on both sides of the coin, from her childhood at rallies and hunting meets, to earning a degree in art and design from VCU, to her days as a buyer in Los Angeles and New York. But what could bring a horse girl to the world of city streets and high fashion? I had to ask: why fashion? “I was always attracted to clothing and style,” Harris tells me. “I am a very visually stimulated person, and clothing was the first thing I was attracted to as a child.” As evidenced by her second love, architecture, Harris is drawn to the clean lines and clarity of design. She got into clothing design very early – her bedroom walls were papered with photos torn from Vogue, and by high school, she was making her own clothes. In the end, fashion design called her from the country to the city. But after spending a decade living a fast-forward, bi-coastal lifestyle in the world of fashion, Harris felt
Stacked Lace Rein Bands in 18k Yellow and White Gold
Lisa Harris’ grandmother, photographed in the 1930s; mistress of the Savenac estate and Savenac 1821 muse
herself pulled back to her Old Dominion roots by her love of architecture. “I was sitting at a fashion show reading Old House Journal,” she recalls, laughing. “I was reading about how to remove paint from 200-year-old wood planks as the show was beginning.” Always one to follow her instincts, Harris realized her cycle in fashion was about to end. She was feeling the yearn for a more classic lifestyle, and the need to build things that last. “I got tired of the constant overturn in trends,” Harris recalls. “I wanted to design something more timeless, with more sustainability.” Fashion’s fast turnover, always chasing the next hot thing, had begun to feel a bit like creating things to be thrown away. Now, Harris says, “I’m trying to create something that outlasts me, something that people will enjoy years from now – even if they don’t know my name.” F RO M FA S H I O N D E S I G N TO JEWELRY DESIGN Back on her home turf and restoring a historic house, Harris found a new calling in fine jewelry. It’s not much of a shift from fashion design, she tells me. “You’re still designing for the body and something to be worn.” The difference between fashion and jewelry, she explains, is how jewelry can make a customer feel.
Lace Rein Diamond Horseshoe Pendant in 18k Yellow Gold
“When I moved to the jewelry business, everybody looking for jewelry came in happy and left happy even if they didn’t buy something. That stood out to me: it always fits, and if not we can make it fit.” There are a hundred reasons a person might buy jewelry, and many of them are joyful. “Jewelry is so emotional, even if it’s a self-purchase. Just buying yourself something special, you’re rewarding yourself. There’s a story to every piece of jewelry,” Harris says. “And it doesn’t have to be a big story. It can be a small one.” Harris even suggests her clients write down why they bought their piece, adding a story for future generations to enjoy. Any piece of jewelry has the potential to become an heirloom. One concept Harris loves is the “Thursday gift” – a purchase to reward oneself for whatever personal reason one might have. That personal purchase holds a story, which can get passed down as the item is
Lace Rein & Diamond Stack Bands, both in 18k Yellow Gold
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Lace Rein Initial Pendant in 18k Yellow Gold
Diamond Lace Rein Ring in Sterling Silver
passed down, through the generations. “The reasons why people bought these things gives them permanence and meaning,” Harris says. BUILDING HEIRLOOM CL ASSICS The equestrian jewelry market has some key design components: the horseshoe, the snaffle bit, the field boot, and the saddle, to name a few. Their specificity appeals to equestrians, but it doesn’t always spark familiarity for those outside this highly specialized interest group. How then, to create heirlooms from equestrian design themes? For one thing, subtlety. “It’s literally a little less equestrian,” Harris says of her concepts. “Something to touch on the equestrian feel, because I want the actual equestrian to look at it and think ‘that looks just like that element,’ or ‘I recognize that and she’s got it right.’ But I also want the non-equestrian to be attracted to it. I want the element, but I don’t want it to be screaming ‘horses’.”
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The other key to Savenac’s universally appealing equestrian jewelry? The way it looks on a body. “I think shape and proportion are so important. Bits and stirrups are hard shapes to make beautiful on the body. If you try to do different things with them, it can come out awkwardly.” Often, Harris explains, working with the literal proportions of items like stirrup irons or snaffle bits just doesn’t work on the human body. “Other equestrians like it, but other people might see that’s not a good shape on the body.You can go to extremes, but it’s got to be pleasing to the eye. It has to have flow.”
Equus Enamel Rings
repeating pattern of traditional laced reins. The continual motion of the pattern translates well to jewelry. But just because a pattern presents itself doesn’t mean the design process is easy. The details matter, but so does the fit, proportion, and overall aesthetic. The Lace Rein Band currently available is “the sixth incarnation of that ring,” Harris says. She worked overtime with her CAD designer to get the shape just right. “He’s not a rider. I had to get him to make that curve right, raise the lacing a little.”
Harris wants her designs to evoke equestrian life, but they have to look good on the wearer, too. That’s the challenge, but it’s something her life in fashion design has prepared her for.
The end result is an equestrian motif with a classic styling and casual elegance which anyone can appreciate. “[Equestrians] look at the ring and say, ‘oh I know that shape,’ but a lot of people don’t know what it is. I have two clients who want wedding bands in that style, and neither of them are riders.”
Savenac’s popular Lace Rein Collection is a stunning example of this design philosophy. Harris found beauty in the
Harris worked in the opposite direction on the Equus Collection, finding inspiration in 18th-century memorial rings. She brought
Lace Rein Hoops in Sterling Silver
an equestrian flair to these wide statement rings by adding snaffle bits and stars to vibrant blue or black enamel, set in gold with hand-cut coin edges. The goal? To produce a “symbolic heirloom,” Harris says, “a unique piece to be enjoyed and handed down to the next equestrian generation.” M AT E R I A L S M AT T E R There’s one more element to design that needs special attention, and that’s the material. Jewelry that stands the test of time needs to be made from high-end metals, although that doesn’t necessarily mean the price has to be boosted to match. Harris saw a gap between fun, inexpensive jewelry and designer house pieces form Gucci or Hermès. “So I decided, let’s do it right,” she says of her materials. “High quality means 18-karat gold instead of 14-karat.” Diamonds have to be the right quality and type – which, fortunately, is another expertise Harris has picked up in her fashion and jewelry career. She also decided to offer silver, unlike some other fine jewelry designers. “Silver can be handled in the same way as gold, so it can be considered fine jewelry.” Plus, silver offers an additional price-point which makes her work more accessible. “A mother might pick up a gold piece and pick up a silver for her daughter. Silver offers approachable, gift price-points. Plus, women like both color metals and we mix them.” T H E F U T U R E O F S AV E N AC This luxury lifestyle brand is launching plenty more heirloom-quality, equestrian-inspired accessories in the future. I’m especially taken with Harris’s plans for a line inspired by show jumping. “It’s more modern, more clean,” she says of her upcoming designs. “A non-equestrian will appreciate it.” The popular Lace Rein and Equus Collections will soon add bracelets to their portfolio, and Harris intends to continue expanding the Savenac brand of timeless elegance with luxury leather goods, larger jewelry collections, and the added sparkle of diamonds and gemstones. Whatever Lisa Harris plans to design, you can be sure equestrians and non-equestrians alike will be eager to add it to their collections. To learn more, visit savenac1821.com or follow along on Instagram @savenac1821.
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Be as one
...the secret to ignite your dressage performance
C U R A T E D by an by Pam Maley photos by Carly Abbott
equestrian ART FOR RESCUES
Leapin Lizards, oil on board
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” — JANE GOODALL
Horses have accompanied Dixie Abbott all along her life’s journey. An “A” pony clubber, horse show competitor, avid foxhunter, passionate dog lover, and co-owner with her husband Rick, of Charlton Farm, a thoroughbred breeding farm and sales agency; her recent retirement has opened new avenues for philanthropy and volunteer efforts on behalf of equine causes.
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ixie’s an artist, and it shows in everything she does: her paintings, of course; the eclectic and very personal look of her home, with the beautiful treasures she has gathered placed randomly and artfully all around; the way she dresses, with things that suit her set off with playful accessories; and her gardens, that put her design and color sense on display in the most natural and appealing way. Even so, one of her great personal attributes is humility. The art that permeates everything she does is simply a part of who she is. With an abiding interest in thoroughbreds, having spent her working life with them at its center, and an awareness of the bleak future that often awaits them at the end of their short racing careers, she and five friends, all equestrians, decided to produce a horse show that would feature former racehorses (OTTBs) only. [For purposes of showing and other competitions, an OTTB (offtrack-thoroughbred) is defined as a Jockey Clubregistered thoroughbred that was previously racing or in training to race, and has since been retired.] The Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show began in September 2011, “to raise awareness of the Thoroughbred’s usefulness after racing, by producing a quality competition to showcase the successful transition from racetrack to sport.” (from their mission
statement) In addition to being part of the organizing and planning, Dixie was to run the silent auction, the profits from which would go to support the show. Having lived her life in that part of Pennsylvania, she could call upon legions of friends who were happy to make donations to be auctioned – “fun, ‘horsey’ stuff.” In addition, Dixie used her talents to contribute paintings, lively and appealing baskets of donated horsey things, and other items curated by her artist’s eye. “I was so surprised that they sold!” she said. The Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show began and will remain an annual two-day show held in September. “Our aim is to keep it as it is,” she tells us. “We have every level of fence, with Hunters on Saturday and Jumpers on Sunday. We decided that we would give really good prize money, along with other prizes, and pick riders from the show to participate in free clinics with renowned trainers that would focus on helping them re-train OTTBs as sport horses. We’re a 501c3 and we also raise money with sponsorships and donations from the community. We give as much as we can in prize money and clinics.” To the surprise and delight of the organizers, they were able to produce the high quality
show that they envisioned, meet all their expenses, and still show a profit. They put their heads together to decide where to donate that money, and four beneficiaries were chosen: Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue (see our story on page 96), Foxie G (a horse and cat rescue), the Retired Racehorse Project, and the Fair Hill Foundation. Two years ago, in 2019, the Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show organizers were approached by Anita Motion (wife of trainer Graham Motion) and Maggie Kimmett, to combine the ‘Real Riders Cup’ with the show. In the Real Riders Cup, teams of four compete over the Show Jumping course, and each rider must raise at least $1,000 to enter. It had had a successful first year, with three teams competing: four vets, four jockeys, and four trainers. They decided to hold the Real Riders Cup on the eve of the show, on Friday night. “The silent auction was open on the grounds, and it was a really fun evening,” Dixie reports. The partnership was cemented. Selling a few paintings at the show started Dixie thinking. “I really just paint for fun; but there was a plan forming in my head – I had no idea what the outcome would be. I never had thought that I might sell my paintings, but I decided to start my own website to offer my paintings for sale
Ladies Who Munch, oil on panel
Dixie manages the website, and her daughter Carly, a professional photographer, takes the pictures of the paintings. All money paid for a painting goes directly into an account set up for Mid-Atlantic, the sole beneficiary. Prices listed are suggestions, but people often go beyond that, adding on an extra donation. Top: Blue-Footed Boobie; Above: For Your Love, commissioned oil on panel
with all proceeds going to Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue. My grown children didn’t believe that I could do it! But with a lot of work and research, and a little help from my friends, I opened the site on December 20, 2020 (my mom’s birthday), and sold 31 paintings in the first month! I was shocked! $1,775.68 went directly into the MidAtlantic bank account!” To date, after just six weeks, she has raised almost $2,500. The paintings are done in oil and acrylic, on canvas and board, with a focus on humor and life: animal, human, and plant. They are all framed. “I’m always on a search for frames. I find them at used furniture places and antique shops. I just forage for frames. Friends give them to me; a woman who bought a painting gave me eight frames. I’ve collected a big supply that either Rick (her husband and a skilled woodworker in retirement) or my friend at a store named Rag and Gilt, will cut to size.”
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When the website first launched, “I woke up the next morning,” she says with wonder, “to find that some of the paintings had several would-be buyers! I was shocked, I was flattered, I couldn’t believe it – I had to get straight to work! I sold them to the first bidder and promised to paint more for the others.” One that has proven particularly popular is the Blue-Footed Booby, painted from a photo taken on a trip to the Galapagos Islands. It was sold on the first day, so she painted another, put it on the website, and four people instantly signed up for it. “I paint – it’s what I do for fun; and because of COVID, I’m painting more than usual. As soon as the paint’s dry, I add the painting to the website, so it’s constantly changing.” Recently, she accepted her first commission, and it opened a new window for her efforts. “Kerri Ginn, an OTTB owner from Maryland, bought a painting of tomatoes. She loved it, and called to ask if I would paint her horse, For Your Love, known affectionately as Lily. Once again, I had to
scramble: I didn’t know what to charge, or how to organize it so that the proceeds, like all the others, would go straight to MidAtlantic Horse Rescue.” “The popularity of her sire, Not For Love, helped Lily to sell for $40,000 as a yearling in the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale at Timonium, MD, and now she has come home to enjoy a happy retirement at our farm,” her owner explains. “Dixie created a beautiful painting that I hope will help to bring attention to this incredibly generous concept that benefits horse rescue.” Dixie decided that it would go up on the website and be pre-purchased, by Kerri of course, through the regular channels. And Art For Rescues is now open to commissions. “Here’s another thing,” Dixie said with real excitement, “Two other artists have asked if I would put their paintings on my website! One of them is an established artist. It has been my hope that other artists would be willing to join me to help. I’ll still manage the website, and still direct all the money past me to Mid-Atlantic. And in time, I hope to add other horse rescues as well.” “It’s all really exciting, but I can’t take myself too seriously here. I just hope my paintings can make people smile.” To find out more about Dixie, and to see her paintings, visit dixieabbott.com.
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Dear Dr. Carrie, Everyone in my barn is starting to wear safety vests. I am an amateur grand prix jumper rider, and I sustained a neck injury earlier in my life. I know the risks of this sport firsthand. But I feel that putting on a safety vest everyday will remind me of my vulnerability and cause me to ride with a timid and cautious attitude. Can you help me make sense of my resistance?
Signed, Safe or Sorry Dear Safe or Sorry, I hear what you are saying. Remember, you are in charge of the associations you connect to the equipment you use when riding. Be in charge of your thoughts rather than letting your thoughts be in charge of you! Wearing a state-of-the-art helmet, boots, and couture are part of the tradition of the sport that developed out of safety concerns. We are lucky enough now to have an added layer of protection in air vest technology. Like wearing a seatbelt in a car, my question is why not? Why not be more protected so that when
you go for one less stride in the last line of a jump-off, you have all the possible confidence in the outcome?
Dear Dr. Carrie, I want to talk about goals. I am an amateur hunter rider and I got my dream horse last March, just before the COVID-19 lockdown. I have not been able to show him yet and really don’t know when my season will begin due to family responsibilities. How do I create goals for this year? I need to know what I am working toward so I can measure my progress. Help!
Signed, Goal Seeker
Here are some ideas for focusing your mental practice on deepening the connection with your equine partner: 1. Commit to a daily quietude practice for 2-5 minutes that focuses on your own sensory awareness. Your partner navigates the world through the senses, so this is the language of the horse. Learn it! 2. Let riding be your break from the rest of your life by training yourself to see the value added to your mood, physical practice, and self-concept after each ride. Rather than gauging your ride by how close to perfect you were, see the ways in which you communicated with your horse, how you visualized the outcomes you intended, and when you were able to translate frustration, fear, or confusion into actions that supported execution.
Dear Goal Seeker, Goals are like dreams as they help propel us in an intended direction, but they are not a recipe with a specific outcome. I encourage you to refocus onto your relationship with said dream horse and on how you want to feel while training and learning together. Take this time to deepen your mental practices so that when you find yourself under pressure, no matter the situation, you will be equipped.
3. Increase your awareness of when you are emotionally regulated and dysregulated. Once you learn about your patterns, learn to let dysregulated moments remind you to breathe, soften your inner judge, and reconnect to your horse’s stride. 4. Create fresh, daily intentions for your ride that are aligned with the challenges and progress in your life.
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 © Ashley Neuhof
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B E H I N D the
Photo © Stephen Diao
Corrigan Alden Corrigan began her career with horses under the tutelage of industry icons Ronnie Mutch and Emerson Burr. After graduating from Garrison Forest School, Alden worked for Champ and Linda Hough while attending Sweet Briar College. What followed was a highly successful 30-year career in high-end specialty store management at Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Hugo Boss on Rodeo Drive. It was during her time with Ralph Lauren that she began to develop her eye for imagery and what was later to become her recognizable storytelling style and aesthetic. Near the end of her retail career Alden was given the opportunity to write and photograph for Phelps Sports, which led to launching the Devon Horse Show eNewsletter on the East Coast and lifestyle photography for Reining shows on the West Coast. Known for her ability to capture the feeling of the moment in her imagery by illuminating passion, emotion and the highly personal bond between horse and rider, her photography gives the viewer an intimate, and often deeply personal glimpse into the equestrian world and lifestyle. In 2014 Alden combined her love of horses with her business acumen and founded Alden Corrigan Media, specializing in equestrian consulting, bespoke marketing strategies, and curated photography across all disciplines. Today, Alden Corrigan Media counts over 40 competitions across multiple disciplines, as well as associations, corporations and publications among its clients. @alden_corrigan_media @aldencorriganmedia
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