Horse Connection Magazine

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jANUARY 2013 Volume XII Issue 1

acord III retires Words of wisdom

Buck Brannaman

OLYMPIC DREAM PROGRAM Experience the trip of a lifetime

Acord III & Jami Jensen of Crooked Willow FarmS


Photo: Janice Thompson

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Table of Contents



Acord III Retires


In Memoriam 2012


Olympic Dream Program Inspires Young Riders


Words of Wisdom—Buck Brannaman



About the cover


Publisher’s Page


HC’s Travel Connection


HC Lifestyle—Products


Adds & Scratches


Business Classifieds


HC Sport


Definitely Dressage


The Horse Connection

Jami Jensen, of Crooked Willow Farms, announces the retirement of her stallion, Acord III, at a special ceremony at the Colorado Horse Park. Photo by Sharon McElvain 8 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


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Publisher’s Page


here is optimism to this New Year that is unlike that of the past four years. Everyone that I have talked to has been upbeat about the possibilities that 2013 holds, and we at Horse Connection agree with that optimism. Change is good for everyone, and the beginning of a New Year is the perfect time to take a personal inventory and make some positive changes. Make 2013 a year to “Pay It Forward.” Take time to volunteer at a therapeutic riding center, a horse rescue, or get involved in fund raising for good causes. Those that give back, gets so much in return. If you don’t believe me, give it a try this year and see what wonderful things come your way. Those of us who love and work with horses and animals already have a big heart, but you would be amazed at how big that heart can get and how much it can impact on other’s lives. Let’s all give more than we take in 2013 and make it a memorable year. We are excited to return Horse Connection to a monthly magazine this year. It made sense to go bi-monthly for the last three years as we all did what we could to survive the economic downfall, but as far as we’re concerned, those days are behind us and we are going full gallop to bring the award-winning HC to you every month!


Geoff & Valerie L. Young Editor

Geoff Young V.P. Sales & Marketing

Valerie L. Young Art Director

Kathy Bone Copy Editor

T. J. Forrest Contributing Writers

Evalyn Bemis Kip Mistral Marc Patoile CuChullaine O’Reilly Butte Dawson Photography

Geoff Young Evalyn Bemis Sharon McElvain Meghann Norris Advertising & Rates General questions, advertising,

Print Tells It—Print Sells It! The talk about the Internet and social media being the end of print media was premature. Print has and will be viable going forward in this digital age, and all indicators are that it will be stronger and more essential in marketing your business in 2013. There are several reasons for this. Printed materials are still great branding tools. Nothing makes a brand more recognized than a beautiful ad in a glossy format. A well-designed ad is an engaging experience for readers. And by the way, according to a recent MRI/Next Step poll, 55 percent of young people say they pay a lot of attention to print ads. Print supports all your other marketing platforms. Print helps capture attention. With the online market getting more and more saturated these days, it can be quite difficult for a small business to be known out there. This is where print marketing can come in. According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, 47.2 percent of shoppers are most likely to start an online search after viewing a magazine advertisement. 75 percent of users type in the URL directly, which they likely got from reading the magazine. People consider print more credible than online content. Many customers still turn to print when making buying decisions. They perceive print to be more credible than what they will find on the web. They think that if a 10 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

and comments can be made to: or call 303.663.1300 Sorry, but Horse Connection cannot assume responsibility for unsolicited materials Horse Connection © 2013, Volume XII, Edition 1. Published monthly by Horse Connection, LLC., in Sedalia, Colorado 80135 and is provided to its readers free of charge. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs, artwork and ad designs printed in the Horse Connection are copyright and the sole property of HC and may not be duplicated or reprinted without express written permission from HC. Horse Connection is not responsible for typographical or production errors or the accuracy of information provided by advertisers. Readers should confirm any advertised information with advertisers. HC reserves the right to refuse any advertising. We will not knowingly accept any advertising or print any material which is offensive or in violation of the law.


Publisher’s Page

business invested in print marketing, they must be competent and professional. This increases their trust level on the business. Shelf Life: Magazine ads don’t whizz by. In fact, they stick around for a while. This makes magazines attractive to advertisers with long product cycles, such as durable goods, financial advertising and luxury products. A horse magazine is still the best way for horsepeople to stay connected and informed. After all, your iPad or iPhone won’t survive being dropped in the mud and stepped on by a horse. But a copy of Horse Connection magazine can handle mud, horses, and, rolled up, keep the barn flies away. It is disheartening to see so many free horses advertised online. I don’t have to tell you that there is no such thing as a free horse. The problem is that people who are not knowledgeable think that a free horse is just that, only to find that the cost of taking care of a horse is substantial. Offering a horse for free is the worst thing you can do for the horse. Things that are free are not as well taken care of as things that are earned. A horse advertised as free is basically a horse that has had its value taken away, and that tends to lead to a substandard level of care if not outright neglect of the horse. And I don’t have to mention the possibility that a free horse is likely to be shipped to a Canadian or Mexican slaughterhouse. Horses have value and deserve value! Horse Connection has expanded its operations and has opened a satellite office in the Pacific Northwest. We are thrilled that HC will have a higher profile on the west coast and look forward to getting more involved with the equestrian communities in Washington, Oregon, and California. We are still headquartered in Colorado but plan on being more mobile in 2013 and attending more horse shows and equestrian events. Let’s make 2013 the best year ever—for ourselves, those less fortunate, and our horses. Especially our horses.

Let’s all give more than we take in 2013 and make it a memorable year.

Geoff Young Publisher

We’ve Moved!!

Jennifer Rhodes and her clients are happy to be settled into their new location at Woodrun Farms in Castle Rock, Colo.

And we have a new Website! Achieve your personal riding goals with customized training programs for all levels of riders. (303) 929-7856



Connection The Bahamas Samantha Milbredt (founder of Rocky Mountain Horse Connection) and Norman Hansen (from the TV show “Deadliest Catch”) chilling out with Horse Connection magazine at Gun Bluff on Crooked Island, Bahamas.

Spain Lambert Bunker and Liza Dennehy with some old fashioned horsepower and a copy of HC magazine in Seville, Spain.

Send Us Your Photos Get a free subscription

Send us your photo holding up Horse Connection and get published in our next issue. Those chosen each edition will receive a free subscription to Horse Connection. Be sure to email a picture and a brief paragraph about who you are, where you are, and why you are there. It can be anywhere in the world. The more unique the place, and of course, the more “horsey” the place, the better chance you have of getting your picture in Horse Connection. Email your travel connection to gyoung@ 12 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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New Offerings for the New Year Yes, we know Christmas is over, and you are shopped out, but now is a great time to lift those post-holiday spirits by buying yourself a present that you know you will enjoy. Unlike the hideous Christmas sweater with the unicorn on it, we think you will love these items. SPIRIT HORSES

Through his luminous photography of horses, Tony Stromberg works to bridge what he calls “modern life’s disturbing separation between people and nature.” This gorgeous book of full-color photography is filled with 140 of Stromberg’s extraordinary portraits of horses, both wild and domestic, along with accompanying quotations from teachers and writers exploring equine wisdom and its intersection with spirituality. Stromberg believes that horses can be profound teachers, bringing deep awareness to a world dangerously out of balance. Through the power and mystery of the horse, Stromberg seeks to reignite qualities of freedom, spirit, power, grace, and harmony in people’s souls. “ Stromberg’s remarkable photographs express the beauty, grace, spirit, and devotion that all horses embody.” — Robert Redford

The Beka CHILL Knee Patch Breech From FITS

Cold rides in the saddle are a thing of the past with the new Beka CHILL breech. This traditional hunter/jumper style winter knee patch breech is designed specifically for cold weather riding. The Beka CHILL features a polyester twill outer fabric face with traditional looks and durability that you will notice right away. And you will love the fleeced and brushed rayon yarns that are soft and cozy, warm and toasty next to your skin. Add Spandex for stretch and you are sure to stay warm, not bulky in the saddle this winter. Visit

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Equestrian enthusiasts are always on the go—working hard and playing even harder. Sound familiar? And at the end of a day in the saddle, shouldn’t your mattress do more than just lay there? The benefits of the Invigo Collection of mattresses and toppers start at the core with our uniquely durable, yet comfortable latex foam construction. And all mattresses and toppers are protected by InvigoFresh—our exclusive odor-destroying technology that works nonstop to keep your bedroom fresh. Our exclusive technology works nonstop to capture and destroy common household odors—from pets, body odor, dirty laundry, cooking, and more. Our anti-microbial protection naturally inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungus, mold, and mildew, along with the odors and allergens they produce. The Invigo Collection offers an active solution for active people who need to wake up energized and hit the ground running...or riding! Ideal for the home, the cabin or the trailer, the Invigo Fresh natural latex mattresses & toppers are perfect for horse enthusiasts and for those that just want a comfortable and invigorating night’s sleep. Get Fresh Today! Invigo Fresh mattresses and toppers are available at several popular online retailers. Find out more at






Adds & Scratches

HITS, Inc. Implements New Equine Health Requirements for Desert Circuit in Thermal With the Desert Circuit set to kick off January 22, HITS, Inc. has turned its attention to the safe arrival and settling in of equine guests at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal. New for 2013 are equine health and safety procedures designed to ensure a great show experience for all. For the first time, the company is implementing state-sanctioned Required Biosecurity Measures to decrease the risk of introduction and/or spread of contagious or infectious disease at the show. “This is new this year and we support the new requirements,” said the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute’s Dr. Jill Westerholm, attending veterinarian at HITS Thermal. “There has not been a confirmed case of EHV-1 in California since April, but this is a good precautionary move,” added Westerholm, who will be assisted on-site by colleagues Dr. Annie Ubatuba and office assistant Katie Gill and the Thermal clinic, where for the first time, chiropractic services will be offered. The California Department of Food

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and Agriculture’s equine medicine advisory committee, among other institutional groups, recommends the new health and safety measures employed by HITS. Required upon entry to the Hits Desert Horse Park all horses must have certification for: 1) Negative Coggins— Veterinary documentation dated within three months (90 days) of the start of the circuit. This includes horses that originate from the state where the event is being held. 2) Health Certificate— Issued within 30 days of arrival. Note: If the horse leaves the property of HITS Desert Horse Park, Hagyard Equine, which has been in Thermal for the past seven years, a newly dated health cer- will be offering state-of-the-art veterinary treatment on site. tificate will be required Any horse not accompanied by these upon re-entry. 3) Event Participation Declaration— documents will be directed to the show Signed by the owner/agent/trainer veterinary clinic to obtain the required verifying that the horse has been healthy documents and/or vaccinations. Horses with no sign of infectious disease and showing signs of fever, illness or stress are has not had a fever above 102°F within subject to examination by HITS officials 72 hours (three days) of entry. (Event Par- and/or the show veterinarian who may, ticipation Declaration Form available at at their sole discretion, place the horse in quarantined stabling or take further, and in the prize list.) 4) Proof of Vaccination—Via a signed action if deemed necessary. “In conjunction with Hagyard Equine, statement from the attending veterinarian that the horse has been vaccinated against which has been in Thermal for the past seven years, we’re happy to be offering the following: state-of-the-art veterinary treatment (Within six months/180 days of entry) 1. Eastern and Western Equine Encepha- on site,” HITS president and CEO Tom Struzzieri said. At the Desert Horse lomyelitis Park Clinic clients can access to digital 2. Rabies radiographs, digital ultrasounds and 3. Tetanus shockwave therapy. The clinic also offers 4. West Nile Virus off-site full service laboratory tests. (Within three months/90 days of entry) The new equine health and safety 5. Equine Influenza procedure requirements are also highly 6. EHV 1 and EHV 4 These health documents are required recommended for those attending the upon entry to the HITS Desert Horse Park HITS circuits in Ocala, Florida and Tucson, and copies must be filed in the Show Office Arizona this winter. For more details, see before any competition numbers will be the show Rules and Regulations located issued. The results on all required papers in all three online prize lists, available at should indicate the horse’s registered (show) name.

Adds & Scratches

Colorado Horse Park Installs New GGT Footing in Major Arenas The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) is excited to announce the installment of new footing in several of its major competition rings and warm-up arenas. Geo German Textile (GGT) is currently being installed in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix warm up ring, Hunter rings one and two, and the Hunter warm up ring. GGT is one of the most popular forms of footing on the market and is used in many major international horse show facilities. GGT was a vital part of the footing system for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, has been used at the FEI World Cup, and is the official footing for the FTI Competitors at CHP will experience the finest arena footing in 2013. Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. “We have always tried to have the best warm-ups. The CHP team is also upgrading North America’s top show facilities to see of everything at The Colorado Horse Park,” the facility by reconstructing fences and the products installed and in use. Curry reported Helen Krieble, President and other structures in and around the arenas, traveled to Woodside, Leone Equestrians in Sacramento, Horse Shows in the Sun CEO of CHP. “For us to continue to attract including the show announcers’ booths. “Installing new footing was vital to (HITS) Thermal, the Kentucky Horse international and national competitors, we needed to update our arena surfaces. the progression of the horse park,” said Park, and HITS Saugerties, NY. Footing is a major concern for all horsemen, CHP Vice President, Brian Curry. “Safe and we listened when they shared their footing is key to ensuring the wellbeing suggestions for enhancing the facility and of the horses and riders alike. After investigating a wide range of materials making it safer for all athletes.” The process began earlier this fall with and arena systems, we felt that GGT and the removal of all existing footing, the its accompanying arena blend were the installation of new drainage systems, and best choice on the market for our facility.” Before aking this investment, the laser leveling of the bases in each ring. Work is well under way and the process Colorado Horse Park reviewed dozens of top facilities and shows, along with their should be completed shortly. In addition to the rings receiving the GGT footing. This included facilities as varied footing, CHP is also improving drainage as Spruce Meadows and Rancho Murieta and conditions in other arenas, including Equestrian Center. This initial research the Derby Field, Coles Arena and various led CHP to plan site visits at a handful of

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Stay on TOP of the horse game with the HC Bulletin, emailed direct to you twice a month! With breaking news about clinics, shows, and horse related issues, the HC Bulletin will keep you on course. Email to get on the list! HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2013 | 17

Adds & Scratches “For more than four months the Colorado Horse Park reviewed a wide variety of footing options,” said Kyle Fenner, CHP’s Manager of Business Development. “After the completion of the research, GGT was the best and obvious choice.” Throughout his visits to some of the best horse parks in the nation, Curry met with experts, including, Tom Struzzieri of HITS, Robby and Bobby Murphy at the Kentucky Horse Park and Rudy Leone at Leone Equestrians in Sacramento. Curry was also pleased to have Pat Boyle, owner of Showplace Productions and comanager of the Colorado Summer Circuit, accompany him to New York. “I want to thank these gentlemen for so generously sharing their expertise with us,” Curry said. He also acknowledged the Coors family for their generous donation to the Colorado Horse Park. The secret to the GGT footing is found in the sand. Combining shredded textiles and fibers with the sand allows the particles to stabilize and therefore create an ideal surface for the horse. GGT reduces packing and holds the perfect amount of moisture at the surface, keeping dust to a minimum. GGT is one of the very best forms of footing for the wellness and performance of horses and recommended by top show managers, riders and trainers. With these massive upgrades to CHP, the team is excited to showcase the new and improved arenas throughout the 2013 show season. Check out all the new updates coming to CHP at and be sure to check out the new additions to the show schedule! Also, take a look at new photos posted on Facebook. Colorado Horse Park would like to thank their generous sponsors: The Coors Family, Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker Hospital Foundation, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Griffis Residential, Guaranty Bank, Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Suzy Sweitzer, Gesco Nursery, Bessemer Trust, Holiday Inn, Super 8, Hampton Inn, Norstar Industries, Nutrena, Pfizer, Grand Meadows, A Bit of Tack, Horse Connection, Equine Comfort Products, Days Inn, Sidelines, Comfort Suites, Chronicle of the Horse, Jump 4 Joy and Wild Ranch. 18 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

GGT footing is being installed in the Grand Prix ring at the Colorado Horse Park.

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The new pictograms will depict the seven disciplines of equestrian sport.

FEI Launches New Equestrian Pictograms to Celebrate Massive Sport Growth The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for horse sport, has launched new pictograms for its seven disciplines to celebrate the massive global growth of equestrian sport. Equestrian events in the seven disciplines governed by the FEI—Jumping, Dressage & Para-Dressage, Eventing, Driving & Para-Driving, Endurance, Reining and Vaulting—have grown by 33% since 2008, with over 3,200 events taking place on all seven continents in 2012. The new pictograms, unveiled today at the FEI General Assembly in Turkey’s capital Istanbul, sport bright colors to embody the passion and vitality of equestrian and depict the unique relationship between human athletes and their horses. The pictograms, which will be used by the FEI, its 133 National Federations and organizers of FEI competitions around the world, were inspired by the winning entry of an international design competition launched on the FEI’s Facebook page and website. The competition attracted 85 submissions from 17 countries, with entries coming from equestrian enthusiasts, athletes and designers aged between 15 and 74 years old. The winning entry by Peder Fredricson, who successfully combines his careers as a Swedish Olympic Jumping rider and graphic designer, was selected from an anonymous shortlist by a panel chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya. The panel members also included Kevin Staut, one of France’s most successful Jumping riders and the first Athlete Representative on the FEI Executive Board, Lambis Nikolaou, Chairman of the IOC Culture and Education Commission, and international graphic design specialists. “As a rider, I know how the pictograms should appear, the correct proportions, the connection and the movement. I’m really happy to have done this and I’m proud that my designs were chosen,” said Peder Fredricson, who started out in Eventing, winning two gold medals as a junior at the 1989 European Championships and finishing 14th in the 1992 Olympics. Since 2000, he has focused on Jumping, and in 2004 he made his Olympic debut in Athens where he finished fourth in the individual competition and played an essential role in securing the Swedish team’s Swedish rider Peder Fredericson created the winning design. silver medal. Photo by Dirk Caremans/FEI.

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Adds & Scratches

Lane Clarke is a Rider to Watch in 2013 Lane Clarke, of Hayden Show Jumping, does it again. Winning the $55,000 “Villas at Rancho Valencia” World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix at the Del Mar Fall Festival marks the third time in 2012 for Clarke to win a big grand prix, and it puts him solidly in the top ten ranking of the North American West Coast World Cup League. Clarke has had much success recently winning or placing in many grand prix and other money classes on the West Coast circuit. At the Del Mar Fall Festival alone he won: 1st: $55,000 Del Mar Fall II WC Qualifier—Casseur de Prix 1st: $1,000 Del Mar Fall I 5- & 6-Year Old Jumpers—Caspar S 1st: $250 Del Mar Fall II 1.40M Jumpers—Caretol 1st: $250 Del Mar Fall II 1.35M Jumpers—Caretol 1st, 2nd & 4th: $250 Del Mar Fall I 1.45M Jumpers—Caretol, Casseur de Prix & Kiss the Sky These were all difficult classes with many entries and tough courses. In the World Cup Qualifier, 37 horse and rider teams competed and only four went clear on the challenging 1.60M course designed by Olaf Peterson. Of those, just two went double clear with Clarke besting second-place finisher Nicole Shahinian-Simpson by over six seconds. Clarke is also a down-to-earth, likeable guy. In 2008, his peers awarded him “Sportsman of the Year” at Del Mar. He is always there to tell a joke, help out a rider, or lift someone’s spirit. After being named PCHA “2003 Rookie of the Year,” Clarke now seems to have figured out what it takes in this sport. With each win, he

Lane Clarke racked up the wins in 2012 and looks to have an even more successful 2013. Photo by Rick Osteen

nods to the crowd then points enthusiastically to his horse as the reason for his success. With his skills, dedication, and attitude, he is certainly a rider to keep an eye on.

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Acord III is fitted with his new, soft, retirement halter. 22 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


cord III Bids Farewell To The Show Ring


ne of the most poignant and bittersweet ceremonies in the sport horse world is the retirement of a show horse from the competition ring. The retirement marks the end of a long relationship the horse has had with its handler, groom, rider, the owner, and the public. Such a ceremony took place on July 14th at the Colorado Horse Park prior to the $40,000 Grand Prix. Acord III, the last survivor of three brothers, was retired by his owner, Jami Jensen of Crooked Willow Farms. Sporting a blanket of flowers and a new retirement cooler, Acord III stood still in the sunlight of a late summer afternoon as Jami slipped off the competition bridle for the last time and put on a sheepskinlined retirement halter to applause from the crowd. The three Acord brothers brought great pride and fame to breeder Caspar Von Rumhor and his small stable located in the quiet farming community of Hemmelsdorf, Germany in the Ostholstein region of Schleswig Holstein near the North Sea. Each Acord brother followed very different but important paths and has had a dramatic impact on the sport of showjumping. Acord III was born in 1994 and was sold as a foal to the well-known Maas Hell Stables where he was developed as a young stallion. Following the stallion licensing in Neumunster in 1997 Acord III was leased to the very prestigious Haras Joter, in Brazil, where he stood for three years. Acord III produced many successful jumpers during his time in Brazil, including approved stallions Acland Joter and Acorav Joter. In 2000, Acord III returned to Germany Paul Rohrbach had a successful campaign with Acord III that included and Stall Hell where Jami winning the inaugural $10,000 USHJA Jensen, on a trip there, Hunter Derby in Colorado. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2013 | 23

immediately acquired him. At that time Acord III’s full brother, Acord II, was ranked as the #1 sire of International Jumpers by the World Sport Horse Breeders Federation. Jami knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring this special stallion and his genetics back to the U.S. for American breeders and to serve as a foundation sire in her growing breeding program. In 2001, Acord III made the trip from Germany to Jami’s Crooked Willow Farms in Larkspur, CO, which he has called home ever since. Acord III’s first offspring in the U.S. were born in 2002, and today, ten years later, the great impact he has had on the sport is evident, especially in Colorado where his offspring excel in the hunter, jumper and dressage rings. Although Acord III had a very busy breeding career from the start, his formal training under saddle didn’t begin until 2002 in preparation of the stallion test. That fall, Acord III was approved by the American Holstein Horse Association at Sandstone Farm in Thousand Oaks, California where the German panel gave him perfect scores of “10” for jumping scope and willingness. Less than a year later Paul Rohrbach and Acord III were the Level 6 Circuit Champions at the Arizona Winter Circuit. Acord III had much success with Paul in the jumper ring, as did owner Jami Jensen. In early 2008, the inaugural year of the Hunter Derby concept, Jami Jensen first heard Acord III is the last survivor of three Acord brothers.


about the idea and thought Acord III would be ideally suited for this special event given his exceptional rideability and handiness. She prepared him through the winter and was rewarded when Acord III and Paul Rohrbach won the inaugural $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby in Colorado with average scores above 100 with bonus points. Later that year, Jami also had much success with Acord III in the Amateur Owner Hunter ring. Acord III qualified for the USHJA Hunter Derby Finals in Kentucky in 2009, 2010 and 2011 following success with rider Shannan Gossman. This pair also won Acord’s owner, Jami Jensen, speaking about her stallion during his retirement ceremony, said, “May your retirement be long and carefree. many championships in May you finally understand that the pasture is a reward, and God the jumpers, Amateur forbid there is a heaven without horses, because I hope to see you in hunter and equitation a victory gallop again one day.” rings, as well as Medal Finals, further showing the great depth III’s sire Ahorn Z was himself highly successful in international sport. Ahorn’s and ability of this stallion. The importance and value of Acord dam—Acord III’s granddam—was the III’s genetics cannot be understated as famous Heureka who formed part of his pedigree represents the very best the international jumping elite with of Holsteiner breeding royalty. Acord Hermann Schriddle at the beginning of the 1970s, winning the Grand Prix of Aachen, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels and Geneva. Ahorn was a full brother to Argentina Z, dam of Olympic Gold Medalist and World Cup Champion Ratina Z. Acord III’s dam is States Premium mare Ribecka from the Holsteiner Stamm 7126. From this line descends many of the world’s best showjumpers— Charisma by Calido, Cascari by Cassini, Fra Diavolo, Laveletto, and Meredith Michaels Beerbaum’s Bella Donna. Acord III’s brother, Acord I, was bred in Holstein for a short time before being sold to the Netherlands where

he was ridden by Jos Lansink before he continued his successful career with Hap Hansen on the West Coast here in the U.S. Hap and Acord I led the West Coast World Cup League in the 1993–94 season and qualified for the World Cup Finals in Sweden. Acord I produced successful sporthorses such as Hap’s famous Amerika 7. The second brother, Acord II, was one of the most highly sought-after stallions in Germany in the late ’90s and had a dramatic impact on all breed registries there. As a young horse Acord II won the National Championships for 5-year-olds in Verden with rider Thomas Mohr. After success in the ring Acord II was almost exclusively used for breeding. Among many others he produced stallions like Acorado and Askari and Canadian Ian Miller’s In Style, an Olympic Silver Medalist in Hong Kong. The list of Acord III’s offspring is long with much success in the show ring. Some to note are Janine Carhart’s Grand Prix stallion Allegro, bred by Crooked Willow Farms; Attache, owned and shown by Christina Green and bred by Crooked Willow Farms; and Accolade CWF, who was shown to much success by Kim Barone at the Florida winter circuits and shows in the Midwest. And while Acord III won’t be performing in the show ring anymore, he will continue to stand at stud at Premier Breeding Services in Colorado, so that his incredible bloodlines will ensure quality sport horses for many years to come. We wish Acord III a very happy retirement.

Acord III and his handler, Matt Davis, leave the show ring for the final time.



2012 Washington International Horse Show Flourishes In the City By Lauren Fisher

The 54th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) hosted six days of competition at Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on October 23–28, 2012. With exciting competition, amazing exhibitions, and fun community activities with Barn Night, Kids’ Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, the show was a fantastic success. An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with leading riders, including Olympic medalists, and world-class horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show. Highlights include the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, the Puissance high-jump competition; and WIHS Equitation Classic Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. All six days of competition at WIHS were streamed live online at www.wihs. org. While numbers were impressive last year, they were unprecedented in 2012, with more than 180,000 views of the live stream worldwide in over 40 different countries.

Reed Kessler won the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI 3*-W, presented by Events DC, aboard her phenomenal mare Cylana.

Thursday at WIHS was the alwayspopular “Barn Night,” presented by Dover Saddlery and media partner The

This year’s professional World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Scott Stewart continued his winning season with multiple division tricolors, the overall Grand Hunter Championship aboard Rose Hill Farm’s Enjoy, and the award for Leading Hunter Rider among his many accolades at WIHS. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography 26 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Equiery. Eighteen-year-old Reed Kessler, a member of this year’s U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team, jumped her horse Ligist to the high score in the $20,000 International Open Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume class to the delight of the Barn Night crowd. Kessler went on to win Saturday night’s $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI 3*-W, presented by Events DC, aboard her phenomenal mare Cylana. Kessler has become a fantastic young ambassador for the sport of show jumping and greeted enthusiastic fans at Verizon Center throughout the week. Exciting exhibitions were highlighted in between competition, including Mutton Busting, the U.S. Army’s Caisson Platoon military horses, terrier races, and amazing demonstrations from Australian horsemanship master Guy McLean. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. For full results and more information, please visit


Brianne Goutal, of New York, NY, rode Remarkable Farms LP’s Onira to victory in the $32,000 International Open Jumper jump-off class. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

The $25,000 Open Jumper Puissance was the highlight class with a win for 19-year-old Belgian rider Olivier Philippaerts and Chicago VH Moleneind. The Armed Forces Cup, sponsored by The Boeing Company, was awarded to Olivier Philippaerts and Chicago VH Moleneind for clearing the seven-foot wall in the final round. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

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THE ICELANDIC HORSE The 2012 WIHS Equitation Finals concluded on Saturday evening with an exciting win for 18-yearold Elizabeth Benson of Whitehouse Station, NJ. Benson rode her own horse, San Remo VDL, in the hunter and jumper phases and showed Catherine Tyree’s Patrick in the final work-off. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography



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Twelve-year-old Daisy Farish, of Versailles, KY, earned the coveted Grand Pony Hunter Championship aboard Bibby Hill’s Sassafras Creek after topping the Medium Pony hunter division. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2013 | 27


2012 Washington International Horse Show

Lauren Hough and Ohlala were the winners in the $32,000 International Open Jumper 1.50m faults converted class, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

The U.S. Army’s Caisson Platoon military horses move in precision formation. Photo by Alden Corrigan

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The Las Vegas National Karl Cook Hits the Jackpot in Las Vegas with a 1-2 Finish in the $50,000 Fisker Automotive World Cup Grand Prix Photos by Amy McCool Photography

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Saturday night’s opening ceremonies got the crowd fired up. 30 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

The $50,000 Fisker Automotive World Cup Grand Prix was the pinnacle of the Las Vegas National beginning with a fiery opening ceremony act. Welcoming the local crowds, fans and competitors was a one-of-a-kind fire infused performance that set the stage for some hot competition. Thirty-five rounds of international talent prepared to take on German course designer, Olaf Petersen Jr.’s World Cup Qualifying test. From an early stage it looked as if the young stars were taking control of the class. Petersen set a track that was not intimidating as riders perused the course, however it proved to be more difficult than many had anticipated. “After the course walk, a majority of the riders told me it was an easy course.” Petersen added, “I built a technical track and I think they noticed that once they rode it.” Only five of the 35 horse and rider duos were able to the master the course and move on to the jump-off. Coming off his win in the $30,000 EQU Lifestyle Speed Classic on Friday night, the young and fearless Karl Cook (USA) took to the track on his first of two mounts, ASB Conquistador, to post the first clear round. Just two rounds later, veterans Helen McNaught (GBR) and her 17-year-old Caballo were able to produce a clear round. Thursday night’s $32,000 Markel Insurance Jumper Classic winner, 20-yearold Saer Coutler (USA), guided her winning mount to a blazing fault-free round. Fifteen rounds and several four faulters later, 19-year-old Lucy Davis (USA) and her rambunctious gelding, Nemo 119 joined the second round group with a clean effort. The final of the five to qualify for the jumpoff was 21-year-old Karl Cook on his second mount, Jonkheer Z. Petersen designed a long, flowing jump-off that demanded riders to cut corners, angle jumps, and gallop between obstacles. Cook returned on his first mount, ASB Conquistador. With an unfortunate rail, Cook

Karl Cook and Jonkheer Z take the blue ribbon in the $50,000 Fisker Automotive World Cup Grand Prix.


Fans had a chance to meet and get autographs from all the Grand Prix riders including US Show Jumping coach Robert Ridland.

charged to the final oxer, stopping the clock in a speedy 44.46 seconds. McNaught (GBR) and her trusty Caballo attempted to top the leaderboard, but with a similar unlucky rail down and not quite as speedy, McNaught would have to settle for a four fault score in 45.93, good enough for third place. Coulter attempted to cover the ground between jumps with Graciella 50’s speed; however, she ended up with two rails down in 46.14 seconds and a fourth place overall. Despite Nemo 119’s usual parade of bucking and kicking, once the clock started Davis and her talented mount were all business. Well on her way to a winning round, Davis attempted a tough angle at an oxer. The risk didn’t pay off when Nemo 119 refused. The pair ended up with 13 faults, settling for 5th respectively. Cook came into the final round knowing that all he needed to do for the win was post a fault-free effort. With a few rubs and nerve-wracking approaches, Cook was able to guide Jonhkeer Z to the only double clear round of the night, securing the top two spots on the leaderboard. “I’m lucky I guess,” Cook



The Las Vegas National

Helen McNaught and Caballo.

Eduardo Menezes and Quintol Mercedes Benz win the $10,000 Royal Champion Classic. 32 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


Saer Coulter and Graciella 50 win the $32,000 Markel Insurance Jumper Classic.

smiled. “I have a great trainer, a great program and great horses. I’ll admit that I also thought the course walked easy, but it rode much harder. Overall, after last night and tonight, I couldn’t be happier.” Within a two-day span Cook earned four top placings aboard four remarkable horses owned by Signe Ostby. Leading up to the Grand Prix was the $10,000 Royal Champion Classic. A class with a unique format, the top ten scoring teams from the first round return for a second round with a clean slate to compete for the win. Eduardo Menezes

A fan gets an arm up on the other autograph seekers.

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(BRA) came back in the jump-off with two mounts, Quintol Mercedes Benz and Audi’s Reflection, taking the top spot as well as 4th place. The evening concluded with a raffle drawing where over 30 fabulous prizes were up for grabs. Spectators, exhibitors and fans lined up around the corner of the main entrance for a chance to meet the evening’s competitors as well as course designer Olaf Petersen Jr., reigning World Cup Champion and Olympian Rich Fellers, and the newly knighted U.S Show Jumping coach, Robert Ridland.

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Minutes from Denver and the Rocky Mountains

In Memoriam 2012 HC would like to acknowledge these exceptional horses, who gave us their all, and then left us.

Photo by Tamara Torti

Coconut Grove


he Thoroughbred sporthorse legend, Coconut Grove, was humanely euthanized on August 14, 2012, following a colic surgery at the Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery hospital in Weatherford, Texas. Coconut Grove is one of showjumping’s most prominent Thoroughbred stars. Colombian rider German Camargo and his wife Paula trained the South American-bred stallion. The Camargos brought Coconut Grove to U.S. competitions in 2000, where he won third in the $100,000 U.S. Open Jumper Championships in Miami and fifth in the $25,000 WEF Grand Prix of Tampa. These placings and others earned the stallion a ticket to the Sydney Olympics representing Colombia, but a lack of funding kept the stallion at home. Capping that outstanding year, Coconut Grove qualified for the AGA Championships, the American Invitational, and was ranked third in the AGA Rookie of the Year standings based on only six starts. In 2001, he placed fifth in the $25,000 Wellington Grand Prix and was retired shortly after. Since 2001, Coconut Grove has been under the ownership of Tamara Smith of Tamarack Select, which promoted the stallion to the burgeoning American sporthorse breeding industry and shortly made him a “must-have” for many perceptive breeders. In 2003, the American Holsteiner Horse Association became the first Warmblood registry to approve Coconut Grove for use as a sire, making him the first Thoroughbred stallion ever to receive breeding approval in any major North American Warmblood studbook. The stallion repeated history in 2004 by being the first Thoroughbred stallion to receive a breeding license from the American Hanoverian Society. Many other American studbooks followed suit and, setting worldwide precedents, multiple European-based registries granted him approval, including the Selle-Francais, the German Oldenburg Verband, the Belgian studbook, Zangersheide, KWPN of Holland, the Trakhener Verband, and the Irish Horse Board. No other Thoroughbred stallion in history has gained such status as a sire. 36 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Heartbreak Hill “Harry”

Tragically, Roxy was ten months pregnant carrying her first foal on the night of her accident. Unable to stand, even in a sling, after shredding ligaments and muscles, she was humanely euthanized. The vet staff did their best to save the little, sorrel stud colt Roxy was carrying, even though he was 30 days premature. They performed a C-section, but after two hours of oxygen support, the colt failed to respond and was also euthanized. Those that saw the performance of Stacy and Roxy in 2006, witnessed the possibility of what can be attainable between a horse and human, two species partnering as one in total trust and harmony. That is the legacy that Roxy has left us. “What made her special was that she was willing to give so much of herself,” says Jesse Westfall. “She allowed herself to be developed into an amazing partner, a work of art. Not many horses, or people, are willing to do that.”

Cup Qualifying final at the Royal Winter Fair, as well as nine out of 11 Grand Prix competitions that year. Elizabeth Armstrong Powers, a Grand Prix rider from Dover, MA, took over the ride, and competed with Asanti from 1995 until 1999. Together they went on to show internationally at the North

American Championships, and at CDI competitions in the United States with many wins along the way. Asanti retired sound and happy at age 20, and was lovingly cared for by Katrina Leandro of Wellington, Florida. He had ten great years in retirement.

Whizards Baby Doll “Roxy”


oxy (aka Whizards Baby Doll), best known as horsewoman Stacy Westfall’s bareback and bridleless mount, died from traumatic injuries she sustained after apparently becoming cast in her stall sometime during the night of Feb. 5, 2012. Many will best remember Roxy from a YouTube video that became an Internet sensation in which Stacy rode Roxy with no bridle or saddle, winning the Freestyle Reining Championship at the 2006 American Quarter Horse Congress. The performance, coming less than a month after Stacy’s father passed away, touched an appreciative audience worldwide. “It was the perfect partnership,” Stacy says. “[Owner] Greg Gessner believed in us — in Roxy, and me. There aren’t many oners who would let a fairly unproven trainer do something as crazy as ride in a competition with no bridle, let alone saddle. But he always wanted what was best for Roxy. He loved her.”



he much-loved dark brown Hanoverian Asanti (by Abseits) passed away at age 31. Originally owned by Joan Farlinger of Toronto, Canada, and ridden by Canadian Tom Dvorak, Asanti was a top Grand Prix performer for Canada. The pair won the 1994 Volvo World


outh Africa event horse Heartbreak Hill died after breaking his leg on the flat during the cross county at Burghley Horse Trials. The 16-year-old South African–bred thoroughbred, known as Harry, and his rider Paul Hart, represented South Africa at the 2012 World Equestrian Games and was to compete at the Olympic Games of London 2012 until a selection dispute with the country’s Olympic committee. “I have lost my best friend trying his heart out for me like always,” said Hart. “I held him in my arms until he was gone. He died so bravely doing what he loved best. I will miss my Harry so much who took me places I dreamed of as a kid.” Heartbreak Hill, a 16.2hh gelding, was by the U.S.-bred stallion Rocky Marriage out of The Alchemy Stud’s Jungle Cove mare, Boomy Hill. Rocky Marriage is a son of 1972 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Riva Ridge, who was Penny Chenery and The Meadow Farm’s first champion, until Secretariat burst onto the scene. Rocky Marriage raced in Britain and stood at stud there for a season before going to South Africa in 1988.


Photo by Becca Brown Macanas

Jude’s Law

Photo by Calina

Icarus “Fly”


ichael Pollard suffered a terrible tragedy on May 25, 2012 when an oncoming car pulled out in front of his trailer loaded with his team of international event horses just five miles from their training center in Chatsworth, GA. Michael & Nathalie Pollard’s Four Star 14-year-old grey Thoroughbred gelding Icarus (Fly), was euthanized on Saturday, May 26th 2012 at Rood & Riddle Veterinary

Clinic in Lexington, KY after suffering from severe ligament and lacerations sustained in his right hind fetlock from the accident. The previous month, Fly competed at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event and according to Michael was “the best horse in the world.” His wife Natalie also added “He was my friend, and his absence will be felt painfully for some time.”

Lord Killinghurst


he 21-year-old four-star Eventer, ridden by New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson, died of a heart attack shortly after he had been turned out into his paddock. Lord Killinghurst was due to be officially retired from Eventing at the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials in May, along with Lucinda Frederick’s mare Headley Britannia. Lord Killinghurst had a great deal of success at top level including events such as Badminton, finishing 2nd in 2004, 4th in 2005 and 5th in 2007 as well as finishing 3rd at Burghley in 2003, 2004 and 2005.



ichael Pollard & John Bryant’s Three Star 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Jude’s Law “Jude,” was fatally injured in the same accident that took Pollard’s event horse Icarus. Jude was also transported to Rood & Riddle and was found to have a ruptured secum resulting with him being euthanized on Sunday May 27th 2012. Jude was one of twenty horses still in contention for the 2012 Olympic Games and was the third ranked USEA horse through the first half of the year.

Sea Fox


Photo by Cealy Tetley

anadian Olympian Leslie Reid and her mother Edith Thomson lost their renowned Grand Prix horse Sea Fox, which successfully competed for Canada in the 1990s. In 1995, Reid and the Dutch Warmblood stallion made their debut at the international grand prix level, earning many top 10 finishes at prestigious CDI competitions in Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Donaueschingen. In November of 1996, Reid and Sea Fox captured the Volvo World Cup Dressage Canadian League Final held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Horse Show. Reid and Sea Fox showed at Grand Prix level until he was 17 years of age. For the next few years, Sea Fox taught Reid’s young rider students the ropes of upper level dressage until he was officially retired at the age of 20. “He was the perfect horse,” said Reid. “Handsome, honest, and the most gentle stallion one could ever have.” Sea Fox’s well-earned retirement consisted of relaxing in his field until he was almost 30 years old.



ew Zealand’s 2008 Olympic horse, Sugoi, a 15-year-old thoroughbred gelding by Coral Reef, broke his neck on a fall at Tattersalls International Horse Trials near Dublin.

America’s Wild Horses


ver 150 wild horses have died at the BLM’s Palomino Valley holding facility near Reno. A local news team reported that 130 wild horses had died at the facility in September. The BLM says the animals died of salmonella poisoning. The facility has been shut down and quarantined. On Oct. 10, BLM confirmed that 26 more horses have died, which the agency characterized as “an improvement.” The BLM says the horses died because they could not adapt to the type of feed given them at Palomino Valley. The inhumane consequences of the BLM’s efforts to eradicate our wild horses will continue into 2013. How many years will we let pass until we no longer have this iconic animal that symbolizes the heart and soul of our western heritage? HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2013 | 39


Enter at “D” for

Definitely Dressage DEFINITELY DRESSAGE is a new HC feature that is all about the ballet of horse and rider. Each edition of DEFINITELY DRESSAGE will highlight the personalities and horses of the sport as well as showcasing new products, announcing upcoming shows and clinics, as well as the latest news, both here and abroad. If the art of classical riding is your passion, then be sure and enter “D” for DEFINITELY DRESSAGE. If you have news, tips, products, or ideas for this feature, email them to

Charlotte Dujardin and her Olympic Champion horse Valegro set a new world record on a score of 84.447% for the sport’s grand prix discipline. Photo Kit Houghton/FEI

Double Olympic dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin sets a new world record at the London International Horse Show Charlotte Dujardin and her superb London 2012 horse Valegro set a new record of 84.447% for the sport’s grand prix discipline. It broke the previous record of 84.08% set by Dutch star Edward Gal and Totilas at the 2009 European Championships in Windsor. Dujardin, 27, now holds world records in the grand prix and 40 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

grand prix special phases, while she also set three Olympic records at Greenwich Park earlier this year. The Olympia masterclass was Dujardin and Valegro’s first competitive outing since the Olympics. “The horse is amazing, I am just so lucky to have him,” she said.


or dressage enthusiasts, winter in Wellington is the best way to usher in the New Year. Each year, familiar faces and new ideas, steeped in long standing traditions, are a big part of the equestrian community celebrations. 2013 will be no exception, especially with the debut of the Dressage Summit. From February 9–11, this threeday unprecedented event bringing together the best of classical dressage, competitive dressage training and natural horsemanship methods presented by five of the top names in the business. Featuring Klaus Balkenhol, Walter Zettl, Christoph Hess, and Linda and Pat Parelli, the Dressage Summit will focus on working together to build stronger horse/human partnerships in classical dressage. These renowned presenters will demonstrate how to apply the fundamental principles of classical dressage to every level of the Christoph Hess and Linda Parelli schooling Emily Wagner aboard the 6-year-old AWR stallion sport while respecting the dignity of both WakeUp. (Photo courtesy of Parelli Natural Horsemanship) horse and human. This groundbreaking collaboration between dressage masters and top horsemen is a German dressage trainer and rider with multiple Olympic provides an exciting new perspective where dressage and medals to his name. He won Team Gold and Individual Bronze natural horsemanship converge to enhance the training of the at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and Team Gold at the 1998 Atlanta Olympics. He also won the Team Gold and Individual dressage athlete. “Dressage is not only about the fancy piaffe,” states Christoph Silver at the 1994 World Equestrian Games, and has trained many Hess. “It is about the art of the simple essentials like transitions, champion riders. He is the author of several dressage books and good riding and the careful training and development of the he also served as coach of the U.S. Olympic team in 2008. Linda and Pat Parelli will also be contributing their vast equine athlete.” Hess is an FEI “I” judge in both dressage and eventing, and is currently the Head of Instruction and Head of the experience with equine behavior, psychology, and training. In Personal Members Department at the DOKR, or German National recent years, Linda Parelli has devoted herself to the study of Federation, which is the German equivalent to the United States classical dressage with dressage master Walter Zettl. Through Equestrian Federation. He is actively involved in the education this collaboration, and using her extensive knowledge of equine of judges and instructors in Germany and worldwide. He has psychology, she has developed a systematic way to teach contact written and co-authored several books, videos, and articles, with the horse. Following the classical training scale, Linda and conducts workshops, forums, and symposiums for judges, Parelli’s “Game of Contact” provides a step-by-step method to trainers, and riders throughout the international dressage and train a horse to willingly seek contact with the bit, as well as eventing communities. Hess will be presenting a tremendous solve problems associated with the bit. The Parellis’ collaborative amount of information gained over his years of experience work with Walter Zettl has opened the door for their training throughout the techniques to merge with classical dressage principles for truly astounding results. event. “It’s a matter of trust and we need to make it playful so the Klaus Balkenhol will also share his horse enjoys his training,” states Zettl. “You should be able to insight during the train the most complicated maneuvers without the horse even Dressage Summit. realizing it is difficult.” Zettl has a lifetime of valuable experience “Don’t force the that he will be sharing at the Summit, including his belief in the horse; it’s all importance of cross training for the horse, patience for the rider, about the seat,” he and the development of trust between them. His long list of instructs. Balkenhol global accomplishments includes numerous awards and medals.

Walter Zettl.



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continued from previous page In 1984, he coached dressage for the Canadian three-day event Team at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. For the last 28 years Zettl has continued his lifelong work of teaching riders the art of dressage combined with communication with the horse. In 1998 his book Dressage In Harmony was published. He has also written many articles for German and U.S. publications such as USDF Connection and Dressage Today. He also released a five-volume DVD library, an instructional series called A Matter of Trust. His latest work is a book entitled The Circle of Trust. In 2013 Walter will release his third book titled Ask Walter. Topics for the Dressage Summit range from developing the basics in any horse; overcoming training issues; developing a confident, willing horse; practical application of the dressage training scale for Klaus Balkenhol. any horse; developing a physically and emotionally fit athlete for competition and applying psychology for the horse (and rider) to improve the partnership. Whether you are a dressage competitor or a horse owner with a desire to use dressage principles to improve your horse’s training, the Dressage Summit offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add to your training toolbox. Along with an unparalleled experience at the Dressage Summit, attendees will also have the opportunity to experience the resort destination of Palm Beach County, Florida. Wellington, Florida is known as the Sport Horse mecca of the U.S., and worldclass show jumping and dressage CDI competitions are taking place within minutes of the Dressage Summit. In addition, there are pristine beaches, international polo, golf, shopping, fine dining and posh Palm Beach all in a 15-mile radius. The Dressage Summit sponsors, Premier Equestrian, Dressage Today and the United States Dressage Federation, will also be onsite to ensure attendees are treated to three days of elegant, exciting education. Three-day tickets for the 2013 Dressage Summit are available for only $195, and one-day tickets are $95. Limited VIP tickets are available for $395 and include catered food, complementary beer and wine, as well as the chance to mingle with Dressage Summit presenters. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 1.855.727.3554.

These are the nine basic areas that should be taken into consideration when determining whether or not the saddle fits your horse—and many more to consider for the rider!

Saddle Balance

Saddle Straightness

A saddle too high in the pommel and too low in the cantle causes pressure on the horse’s back. It will be difficult to engage his back because too much of your weight is on his last two floating ribs. A saddle that is too low in the front will pinch the shoulder.

The center of the saddle should be in alignment with your horse’s spine. A saddle that falls or twists to one side can lead to problems with your horse’s SI (sacroiliac) joint;

Wither Clearance No clearance on the side and top of the withers will restrict movement and free range of motion through his shoulders— resulting in reluctance to go forward.

Gullet/Channel Width A gullet that is too narrow or wide can cause permanent damage to your horse’s back. The width of each horse’s spine will determine how wide his saddle’s gullet must be.

Full Panel Contact The saddle should sit evenly on the saddle support area of the horse’s back, ending at the last rib.

Saddle length Even a horse with a back that appears to be of normal length may actually have a very short saddle support area (SSA). The length of the SSA will determine the length of the saddle panels.

Tree Angle The angle of the tree should match the angle of the horse’s shoulder to allow the shoulder to slide freely up and back during movement.

Tree Width The tree width must be wide enough for the horse’s shoulders to rotate freely under the tree. Sometimes you have the paradox of a “narrow wide” tree (narrow angle with wide width!).

For more information on each of these points go to and click on the YouTube channel.



The Nine Points of Saddle Fit

Courtney King-Dye Receives the 2012 Against All Odds Award D E F I N I T E LY D R E S S A G E



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iders4Helmets, the popular helmet awareness campaign, is delighted to announce that 2008 Olympian and traumatic brain injury survivor Courtney King-Dye has been named the recipient of the 2012 FEI Against All Odds Award. King-Dye suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2010 after a horse she was riding tripped and fell, putting her in a coma for four weeks. King-Dye, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, has endured intensive rehabilitation therapy over the past two and a half years and still suffers coordination and speech difficulties. “I normally don’t care much about awards or prizes, but this one was very meaningful because it’s done through nominations,” said King-Dye. “Anyone can make a nomination and just the fact that people thought of me means my accident affected people, gives it value. The fact that my accident brought such attention to safety, particularly helmet use, gives it a purpose. I wouldn’t do it again mind you, but if it saves one life, it makes it seem worthwhile.” King-Dye strongly believes the FEI should make wearing helmets a rule in Dressage as they have done in show jumping and other equestrian sport in competition on all levels at all ages. “While we can’t control what people do at home we can control what people do at shows and like with show jumping it creates a habit,” said King-Dye. “Many people came up expressing their sympathetic gratitude. My response to which I’ve said before but I think bears repeating: ‘I think my accident was necessary in the fight for safety because an Olympian who sustains a brain injury while riding proves that injury has nothing to do with level of skill. For 15 years, I was a person who only rode the young or “dangerous” horses with a helmet, but my horse did nothing naughty; he just tripped over his own feet.’ ” Since her accident, King-Dye has been a huge advocate of the Riders4Helmets campaign and has produced several videos, in addition to being featured in numerous articles in order to get the message of helmet wearing out to equestrians around the globe. “The Riders4Helmets campaign was founded in April 2010 as a direct result of Courtney King-Dye’s accident,” said Lyndsey White, Riders4Helmets founder. “Riders4Helmets is immensely proud of Courtney for winning the 2012 FEI Against All Odds Award. Courtney sharing her story has enabled some of the stigma associated with suffering a traumatic brain injury to be dispelled as she has shown the equestrian world that great things can result from one’s own personal misfortune if you have the right attitude. Courtney’s videos and stories on www.riders4helmets. com have been viewed by more than 100,000 people and have no doubt convinced numerous equestrians around the globe to ride with a helmet.” While still undergoing rehabilitation therapy, Courtney qualified for the U.S. Paralympic Team Selection trials for London 2012 but made the decision to put her goal of once again representing her country on hold and will now aim to qualify for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014. For further information on the Riders4Helmets campaign please visit


Olympic Dream Program Inspires Young Riders By Jenna Detandt 46 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Left to right: Jess Blackmore (the luckiest 16 year old in the world), a student of Monica Theodorescu’s, riding Balagur. Balagar competed in the 2008 Olympics with Alexandra Korelova of Russia. The group poses with the famous Totilas. Morten Thomsen schooling the extended trot. Thomsen trains all of his horses gymnastically, and combines lots of forward work when schooling collection. Monica and Whisper schooling canter pirouettes. Monica has said that when riding pirouettes, “You must always ride the canter forward, and feel like you can ride out of the pirouette at any stride without getting stuck.” Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff, schooling halfpass.


’ll never forget the morning of May 10th, when I woke up, turned on my laptop and saw an email from The Dressage Foundation. I remember feeling my heartbeat quicken as I excitedly clicked on the email. “Dear Nicole, Catherine, Jaclyn, and Jennifer, please see the attached and Congratulations!” A few months prior, I had applied for “The Dressage Foundation’s 2012 Young Rider Olympic Dream Program,” which is an educational trip that gives young riders the opportunity to travel to Europe for ten days and learn from some of the world’s best dressage professionals. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2013 | 47

Morten Thomsen in Spanish Walk. Morten teaches all of his horses this movement.

Michael Poulin developed the vision behind the trip over eleven years ago. He saw the need for American young riders to experience the European training system in order to gain a bigger picture of the sport of dressage. He also wanted to give these young riders a gift that would follow them throughout their riding careers—the gift of inspiration. After months of waiting, August 12th had finally arrived, and I was boarding a plane to fly from Florida to meet up with the others in New Jersey. After everyone was introduced, we grabbed a quick dinner and prepared for our long flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Our wonderful chaperons, Eliza Sydnor and Ashely Perkins, advised us to use the long flight to sleep so that we would be well rested and ready to learn on the first day. We arrived in Düsseldorf at dawn and were quickly onto our first stop. We reached Jan Bemelman’s stable after a beautiful drive through the German countryside. Jan, coach of the Spanish Olympic Dressage Team, was just finishing up schooling a beautiful stallion. We watched as he rode two more horses. Jan made a point to emphasize how important 48 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

“feel” is to understanding how much to ask of the horse. It is critical to know what you are actually capable of teaching the horse each day. While we watched him ride, Jan never remained stuck in one exercise movement. He moved the horse around, he rode transitions within the gaits, and he allowed the horse to stretch down frequently. There were two things that Jan considered certain about training: One—Every horse is different. Two— Horses must be trained gymnastically. Jan explained that he trains as if every horse will become a Grand Prix Dressage horse. When asked what a young dressage rider should focus on, Jan replied, “Body control. It is impossible to try to teach a horse how to use its body, if you have not first learned to control your own.”

After a lovely lunch and more amazing horse talk, we said goodbye and headed straight to our hotel in Borchen.


ay two of the trip was packed full of excitement as we visited one of Germany’s top trainers, Olympic Gold medalist Hubertus Schmidt. We arrived at Schmidt’s stable, “Fleyenhof,” to watch him and his bereitas train over twenty horses. It was incredible to watch so many high quality horses all in one arena. Although they were each very different in movement and conformation, they all had a similar steady way of going. One of the fascinating things about watching Hubertus ride was observing the way that he quietly trains his horses. After schooling a difficult movement, Hubertus would ride the horse forward and down into a stretching frame. He explained that it was necessary to test this and to always feel as if you could ride the horse’s frame forward and down at any time. He emphasized when the reins soften, the horse should follow the bit straight away and not remain stuck with a stiff neck, neither should he hang on the bit nor fall onto the forehand.

While training, Hubertus rode multiple half passes. When asked about why he is so good at training this particular movement, he chuckled and explained that the half passes were not good because he was very good at riding them, but because he does many suppleing and loosening preparatory exercises. He said that when he teaches younger horses, maintaining cadence and relaxation takes precedence over sideways movement. He begins on a “flat” or “shallow” half pass in order not to disrupt the horse’s rhythm. After about four exciting hours of watching Hubertus’s morning training schedule, we felt that we had much to take away from our second day in Europe. From watching a young four-yearold, to a five-year-old qualified for the German Young Horse Championships, to several successful Grand Prix horses, we observed quite a bit in a short amount of time. We also saw Emma Kenevera, and her Olympic horse, Spirit. Emma rode for Finland in the London Olympics, where she and Spirit placed 22nd in the Grand Prix Special on a 71% score. Hubertus said that she has been riding with him for six years now, and that they were very happy with this year’s results. Day three took us to the beautiful town of Warendorf, one of my favorite stops! We toured the German Olympic Equestrian Training Center, known as the DOKR. It was very interesting to see the history of dressage in this country. Not only is the facility used as a training center, it is also where riders come to take their exams if they want to become professional trainers. Our next stop that morning was “Langestut,” the Westphalen State Stud Farm founded in 1826. The buildings and barns were absolutely magnificent. An average of 105 stallions are stabled at this location, which exists to preserve history and to make the state’s highest quality breeding available at a reasonable cost. We left that unforgettable experience and headed straight to the farm of Monica Theodorescu.


e arrived at Monica’s farm as she was training an eight-year-old black gelding named “Tattoo.” She rode over to greet us, introduced the horse and his history, and instructed us to make ourselves at home. We also had the pleasure of watching Monica teach a very talented Australian Young Rider named Jess Blackmore. Monica is very consistent in her work; there are no shortcuts in this barn. A system is in place and it works very well for all the horses. It was difficult for us all not to feel a little star struck as we had the opportunity to take a group photo with two superstars—Monica’s Olympic horse, Whisper, and the famous Russian Olympic horse, Balagur! Even at age 22, Balagur can still piaffe at a “10”! When the afternoon came, we said our goodbyes and began the seven-hour drive to Denmark for the next part of our trip. Our next two wonderful days were spent in Silkborg, Denmark with Morten Thomsen and his wife Sarah. We arrived at the farm excited to meet the man famous for his inhand

work and ability to teach piaffe and passage to any horse. We were welcomed by Sarah, who made us all feel right at home. She showed us into the enormous barn and to the gorgeous indoor arena where Morten was busy working with a horse. After a tour, we returned back to the ring where Morten had a wonderful day planned to show us the progression of training. He showed us how he teaches horses at each stage of training from threeyear-olds to Grand Prix. His philosophy is “Our goal should be Grand Prix. That should always be in our minds as we train.” He spoke about teaching horses, and not keeping them in the dark; from day one of training they are taught how to answer what is being asked of them, without being punished for making a mistake. It was very apparent that Morten really understands horses and that he loves teaching them. During


one discussion in the room overlooking the indoor ring, he stated that, “We as trainers should be the teacher, and the horse is the pupil.” He went on to say how horses cannot speak our language and they cannot learn how to do dressage movements from watching other horses. The only way that they can learn is if we teach them in a way that they understand. He used an example of how dogs learn tricks through “positive reinforcement” such as getting a treat when they learn the sit command. However, horses cannot learn collection by being fed treats. They are taught these things through “negative reinforcement” which is actually not as negative as it sounds. It means the horse learns to yield to pressure. Another teaching analogy that Morten made was about the difference between good teachers and bad teachers. “Imagine you each had a pen and paper and I told you to write a word in Danish, except every time you got a letter wrong I whacked you on the hand with a whip. You would be so scared to write the next letter that you would just give up entirely. Now imagine for each letter that you write,

even if it’s wrong, I give you a cookie. Then, each time that you get a letter right, I give you ten cookies. Think about how eager you would be to keep trying and striving for the right answer. This is the mentality that I use when training horses. Punishing them is like telling the horses not to give you an answer, and I would hate to discourage them from giving any answer at all.” What impressed us the most about Morten’s training was that all of his horses were relaxed, confident and trusting of their riders. This is because Morten takes as much time as needed to let the horses develop happily. After two amazing days in Denmark, we headed back to Germany. We arrived in Verden that evening and got to experience a German foal auction! It was an exciting night watching so many high quality foals, one after the other. The next morning we left Verden to make the two-hour drive to the city of Rosendahl, the home of Klaus Balkenhol. We arrived and were greeted by Klaus and his wife, Judith. Mr. Balkenhol showed us around his beautiful barn and took us out to see the three-year-old

“ Our goal should be Grand Prix. That should always be in our minds as we train.”

Monica and one of her Grand Prix horses in the extended trot.


Anabele Balkenhol in passage.

horses that were turned out together in a big pasture. As we talked about young horses, Klaus emphasized how important it was to keep the horses happy and not to stress them too much mentally or physically while they are young. Then we all walked over to the barn where the older horses were stabled and were introduced to every horse. This is where we got to meet Anabel Balkenhol’s Olympic mount, Dablino! He was a bit overwhelmed by all of us when we first walked up to the cross ties, but he warmed up quickly after a couple of sugar cubes.


udith showed us to the indoor arena where there were three horses being schooled: a stallion, a four-year-old, and an eight-year-old gelding that was returning to work. While watching these three very different horses go, it was obvious that they were very classically trained in dressage. In the warm up, they were quietly ridden around the ring and were very relaxed, straight, and rhythmic. They were all given frequent walk breaks as well. Judith explained that, “walk breaks keep the muscles from getting too tired, which prevents injuries.” Klaus said the he likes to approach each training session in the same way that he goes about his own day. In the morning, he needs time to loosen up and plan what he needs to do that day. Then, he carries out his work

Matthias Martin-Rath schooling Brenton Woods, a seven-year-old stallion. Matthias used lots of long and low work to keep Brenton Wood’s back supple as he has a very hot temperament.

The 2012 Young Rider Olympic Dream Program participants, from left to right: Nicole DelGiorno, Jaclyn Pepper, Catherine Chamberlain, Jenna Detandt

and toward the end of the day, he needs to slow down and relax. In the same way, horses need to be allowed to “wake up” before going to work. Then after work, it is just as important to let them unwind at the end so that they are happy to return to work the next day. While watching those first three horses being trained, Klaus asked us to observe each one of them. He pointed out how each of them is supple and straight. He stressed the importance of training horses according to the Training Scale. When we watched Klaus ride, there was never any restricting of the horse’s neck. He didn’t make the horse hot by asking it to be extravagant. Instead, he asked the horse to be relaxed and supple through its back; and then the horse seemed to dance. Balkenhol stated that, “When things get difficult, it is better to walk, and then start again new.” If you were to observe the training at Balkenhol’s, you would not see anyone drilling movements. Everything

The only way that horses can learn is if we teach them in a way that they understand. is quiet, relaxed, and methodical. We also got to watch Belli (Anabel) ride a couple horses as well. She is a beautiful rider and has a lovely upper body position all the time. It was very interesting getting to meet her and hear about the Olympics. She talked about what goes on behind the scenes at big shows with so many high profile riders. She also talked about the spirit of everyone at the games, and said that the Americans always have the best team spirit and wonderful attitudes. On day eight of our trip, we arrived bright and early at the beautiful farm of Wolfram Wittig. Mr. Wittig greeted us warmly and guided us to the outdoor ring where his wife, Brigette, was schooling horses. They keep an average of 40 horses, and out of those only a maximum

of twelve belong to clients. Wolfram has spent years breeding his own horses. The horse that Wolfram rode was a ten-yearold stallion named “Bertoli.” Although Bertoli is an amazing Grand Prix horse, today Wolfram didn’t do too many upper level movements. He focused instead on getting the horse to be supple and stretch over its back. Wolfram spent a lot of time in the walk, especially in the warm up. Wolfram explained that the walk is the most important gait to ride well. In a dressage test, it counts for double and can cost two or three percentage points if it is done incorrectly. In the warm up, Wolfram didn’t push the horse’s rhythm in the walk. To get Bertoli to open his stride in the extended walk, he adjusted the walk by collecting HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2013 | 51

Anabele transitioned into piaffe.

and then allowing the horse to stretch down and take longer steps. He stated that for a walk to be good, the horses must have three things—relaxation, good rhythm, and a good attitude. Another thing that Wolfram was insistent about was that both horse and rider should be happy when training. Wolfram stated over and over again how important it is not to try and control every single thing that horse does. “They are animals, not soldiers.” When he was riding, the horse kicked out a little, but Wolfram didn’t punish him. He said that

the horse was feeling good, and that he shouldn’t be punished for that. However, the horse should always be under control. It was wonderful getting to meet this amazing trainer, and it was interesting to see his training philosophy in action. As we said our goodbyes, Wofram gave us some great words of wisdom. “Dressage isn’t about miracles. It’s hard work, every day. Success is easy. Reproducing success year after year is very difficult. But most important, we should never forget to enjoy life with our horses.”

“ Success is easy. Reproducing success year after year is very difficult.”


e spent our last day at “Schafhof,” the barn of Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff, Klaus Martin Rath, and Matthias Rath. We pulled up to the gates around and were greeted by a friendly lady who said, “This way, Matthias and Totilas are waiting for you!” Those words made our trip without a doubt! As we walked through the main barn to the indoor arena, Matthias greeted us. After watching several horses being ridden, we went to a beautiful ring outside and sat at an old stone table by “C,” where we observed Matthias ride “Bretton Woods.” The stunning seven-year-old stallion was pretty hot, but Matthias rode through everything and was always very fair with his corrections. Whenever the stallion spooked, Matthias was right there with him and kept the stallion together. We also had the opportunity to watch several other riders that morning, including Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff who is an Olympic Gold medalist. She is such a lovely rider, and you can really see the partnership that she has with her horses. In fact, all of the riders at Schafhof were exceptional. They were very quiet with their aids, yet still effective. It was incredible to see all of the history Matthias’s family has in dressage. After we had watched most of the horses work, Klaus Martin and Ann-Kathrin asked if we had anything that we wanted to know. I asked Klaus

Wolfram Wittig explaining his philosophy of training dressage horses. He believes that it is important to make sure the horses remain happy and enjoying their work. He said that we must remember that they are animals, not soldiers and should never be punished for being horses. 52 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

The foal auction in Verden.

Martin if he had any advice to give to us as young riders about what our focus should be, and what we should remember as we continue in our dressage training. He replied that he believed that there were many answers, but that he really believed it was important to learn how to tune into every horse that you have the opportunity to work with. He said that is a very important quality to have as a rider. Since the purpose behind this trip was to go and observe training in one of the best dressage countries, I thought it would be informative to get AnnKathrin’s summary of why Germany is so successful. She said that her belief is that the tradition is strong in Germany, but there is also a strong commitment to proper training and teaching. Well, the best was saved for last, and were finally able to meet Totilas! He was so gorgeous and well behaved. It was a dream come true to stand next to him, and none of us wanted to leave. After a couple of pictures, we said goodbye to one of the greatest dressage horses of all time! From there we traveled back to the airport hotel in Dßsseldorf, where we would spend the night before flying back home to America. What an incredible trip

we had! We were all so grateful to have been chosen to represent this amazing program. So many young riders dream about reaching the top in the sport of dressage. The Young Rider Olympic Dream Program is so named because it is meant to encourage young riders to strive toward their dreams and get a glimpse of what it takes to turn dreams into reality! Bottom left to top right: Klaus Balkenhol schooling an FEI horse. Balkenhol focuses all of his training around The Training Scale. Anabele competing a stallion at 4th level. Matthias and Brenton Woods at the canter. Matthias continued the long and low work in the canter as well.


“Feel of your horse, feel for your horse, and you can both go together.�

Auditor—“You can apply everything Buck says to life—use patience, respect, humility and humor—and don’t hold a grudge. I plan to use ground work with my next boyfriend.”

Words of Wisdom Buck Brannaman Photos by Evalyn Bemis

One of the most entertaining and enlightening clinicians, Buck Brannaman, gave a clinic in Santa Fe, New Mexico in late September 2012. These “pearls of advice” were overheard during the clinic.

“Do less than you think it will take to get the job done, but then get the job done.”

“ I’m headed to the dark side next week, to the East Coast. The horses live in a damn box back there and their owners think they are doing the horse a favor since the stalls are lined in mahogany and have a fancy plaque on the door. The horse would rather live out in the field so no wonder they get a little crazy at times.”


here is nothing wrong with being strict. But I am fair, I am the same every time, I am reliable. My horse counts on that.”

“ People tell me, I got this horse at a great price after he bucked a lot of riders off. Isn’t he a pretty color? And I think to myself, what the hell is the matter with you?”


“ Don’t treat them like they are, treat them like you want them to be.”

—from Tom Dorrance, one of Buck’s teachers.

Story from Buck about the first time he went to a clinic with Ray Hunt— “ People would bring horses that were pretty rank to Ray to saddle-break. These two local ranch guys brought a really rough, fire-breathing dragon of a stud horse. They seemed to be thinking this horse would defeat Ray and embarrass him. The horse went after Ray in an aggressive way in the round pen so he went out and got on his mare, came back in and roped the stud, and worked him from the end of the rope for about ten minutes. He saddled the stud, let him loose to go bucking around for another ten minutes, and then got on him with just a rope around his neck, no bridle. He was able to ride that panther of a horse and when he was done, those ranch guys loaded the horse, went home, and never came back. Ray had a genius with horses like no one else.” HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2013 | 57

I “

have a trade agreement with my horse. He wants peace and comfort. I agree that when he gives me what I am asking for with his feet I will give him peace. You must be reliable with this agreement. Horses remember liars.”

“ Never say no to the horse without offering a yes at the same time.” 58 | JANUARY 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

“ Running martingales and draw reins act as pulleys which increases the response you get to the reins but the problem is that every bend in the reins doubles the release time. That is why I don’t use them. Practice a soft feel a thousand times at the walk. Every halt, every request for a step back must be asked for with a soft feel.”

“ There’s nothing wrong with trail-riding as long as you take a little quality with you. You can be working with your horse as you go down the trail or you can be just bumping along following the one in front of you, doing nothing but chatting about the weather.”


on’t try to make two wrongs a

right. If you start to back up and your horse teeters onto his forehand, don’t continue like this. Lighten the front, and then resume.”

“When I am working on the ground, I am always offering my horse the opportunity to move forward from a soft connection on the rope. I am thinking, don’t make me drive you. Keep a float in the rope. You are trying to build a feel in your horse.”

“If my horse says, ‘I think I want to go forward,’ I’ll say ‘Let’s go backwards.’ And then he says, ‘I want to go backwards,’ so instead we’ll go forward. And pretty soon the horse says, ‘I have an idea, what do you want to do?’ ”


he trailer only demonstrates if you can lead your horse. If the horse will lead with a soft feel, it will load.”

“ The horse is really keen to figure out if he can move your feet or if you can move his.”


The Horse Connection

Meera Paranjape and her pony Duncan get in the horsey holiday spirit. Photo by Cynthia Spilman

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Big Heart & Character Sea Lion 1998 Dark Bay Thoroughbred 16.1+ hands, Breeding fee $1500.00 Licensed to Breed Thoroughbred, Trakehner & Oldenburg

PERFORMANCE FOR ALL DISCIPLINES CCI four star level Rolex Won races in NY at Belmont Reserve Champion Circuit Jumper at H.I.T.S USEF/PHR National Reserve Champion Horse of the Year and ADVANCED HORSE OF THE YEAR

Pam Fisher 970-379-6676 email: Los Alamos, California

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