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August 2013 Volume XII Issue 7




Exceptional Equestrian Properties Proudly Offered For Sale PRIVATE AND SECLUDED EQUINE ESTATE IN ELIZABETH


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estled in the trees, this 4-bedroom, 5-bath beautiful home includes 40 well-kept acres that provide panoramic views of Pikes Peak. The property offers a barn, paddocks, loafing sheds with water as well as an apartment above the garage for your guests or on-site barn manager. Privacy is yours on this one-of-akind property.

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Table of Contents



The Drive to a World Championship


Tony Stromberg: It’s About Relationship


Words of Wisdom: Philippe Karl School


36 48

22 Photo by Pics Of You


About the cover


Publisher’s Page


Adds & Scratches


HC’s Travel Connection


HC Sport


Behind the Barn


Definitely Dressage


Product Reviews


The Horse Connection

MARKUS, Champion Pony Stallion, owned by Harmony Sporthorses and Trained by Paul Maye of Maye Show Ponies in Virginia. Photo by Amy E. Riley, STUDIO EQUUS STUDIOEQ.COM 508.527.6633 8 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Publisher’s Page Publishers


he Colorado Horse Park’s esteemed six-week circuit, Summer in the Rockies, might have to be renamed Kristen VanderVeen’s Summer in the Rockies after her dominant performance with her wonderful horse, Bull Run’s Eternal. VanderVeen, from St Charles, IL, won three of the six Grand Prix at the Colorado Horse Park’s popular summer show series, capturing the blue in the Summer in the Rockies II Grand Prix, presented by Littleton Equine Medical Center and Platinum Performance, the $40,000 Holiday Inn of Parker Grand Prix during Summer in the Rockies V, and the Grand Finale, the $50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix. This also marks the third year in a row that VandeerVeen has won the final Grand Prix of the Colorado summer circuit, winning the 2011 and 2012 $50,000 Grand Prix. Congratulations to Kristen and Bull Run, you two are the hottest pair of the summer! And speaking of a hot pair, congratulations to Colorado’s Harmony Sport Horses and Leslie Malone, on her incredible pony stallion Markus, who qualified for the Pony World Championships in Pau France, starting in October. With renowned trainer Paul Mayre in the drivers seat, Markus won the 2012 USEF Champion Single Combined Driving Pony, as well as the 2012 National Champion Single Advanced Pony. Horse Connection knows a winner when we see one and that is why we are privileged to have Markus on the cover of this issue. Good luck at the World Championships! We are pleased to present you an exclusive interview with Tony Stromberg, one of the most recognized equestrian photographers in the world. Tony’s images of the horse are iconic, and we are thrilled to include some never before seen images in this interview, conducted during one of his photography workshops in Spain by Kip Mistral. We are busy putting together HC’s Annual Fashion Issue, due out in September. We have been scouring the world to find you the newest, most beautiful and unique equestrian fashions Kristen VandeerVeen & Bull Run’s Eternal from well known and “best kept secret” Photo by Mary Adelaide Brakenridge design houses around the world. You don’t want to miss out on getting exposure in one of our most popular issues of the year. Contact Valerie at VYoung@horseconnection. com for special opportunities on marketing your fashions and accessories. There are a couple of more summer shows to attend in August, but as we head into the final weeks of the summer, stay cool, stay safe, stay calm, and most importantly, stay on your horse…forever!

Geoff & Valerie L. Young

Leavitt Equine Insurance


Geoff Young V.P. Sales & Marketing

Valerie L. Young

Your National Equine & Farm Resource Specialists Marketing Director

Leslie Gross C 281.773.3963 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, and comments can be made to:

Heather Lindsey or call 303.663.1300 Sorry, but Horse Connection cannot assume responsibility for unsolicited materials Horse Connection © 2013, Volume XII, Edition 7. Published monthly by Horse Connection, LLC., PO Box 775, Redmond, WA 98073, 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.


303.663.1300 Geoff Young, Publisher


Access competitive quotes at: 1-800-JOG-TROT |



for sale As Good As It Gets In Denver, Colorado Banbury Cross


Minutes to light rail Yet a Million Miles away from Busy

Lisa Dell took a riding vacation in Whitegate, Ireland (just off the River Shannon). These photos were taken at the An Sibin Riding Center in County Clare, Ireland.

An incredible historic paradise nestled between the grassland rolling hills and the water lands. Create the country lifestyle of your dreams. 14 to 21 acre custom home building sites. Prices range from the mid $300’s to the high $500’s. Gated community. Fantastic grassland horse property. Only 5 remain.

“The traditional farmhouse we are standing in front of is about 250 years old. We rode Irish Draught/Connemara crosses across the Irish countryside and were able to meet and ride with people from all over the world (Germany, Switzerland, Finland, France, and Holland). We also got to tour castles, monastic ruins and listen to traditional Irish music in the evening at the pubs. It was one of the most magical and exciting equine adventures I’ve ever experienced.” php?&tourid=22703&reloaded=true

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Jayne Cordes 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 12 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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Behind the Barn By Butte Dawson


sure hope Great Britain has recovered from the earth-shattering news that Kate and William had a baby boy. There must not be much going on there over the pond judging from the extensive coverage given this royal birth. And now that the baby has been named George, what are we going to do for news about this birth? I mean surely there must be more baby news to gorge on. Never fear faithful readers. Uncle Butte has the next scoop on the big decision facing the royal couple and their diaperwearing prince. WHAT WILL THE ROYAL BABY’S FIRST PONY BE? It’s never too early to focus on this next most important question. Although Kate is reported to be allergic to horses, there can be no doubt that the next heir to the throne will be expected to take up the family’s equestrian obsession. And on a side note, Kate must have kept that allergy a secret, because that would be cause for concern with all of the horse crap in and around the palace. So, what would be the most suitable pony for the job of throwing, and/or kicking, the future King of England to the ground? How about a Shetland? This would seem to be the most popular choice since The Queen’s first pony was a Shetland called Peggy. Their small size makes them a natural fit as a first pony, but they do have a reputation

for being petulant and ornery, or cheeky, as the Brits call it. This might not work. Do we really want to see a public flogging of the royal pony if it throws young George into a moat, or God forbid, smash-

soldiers using them for target practice and thieves killing them for their meat. As of 2010, there are an estimated 800 Exmoor ponies worldwide. And because George is a boy, poor Prince Harry, the baby’s uncle,

There can be no doubt

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that the next heir to the throne will be expected to take up the family’s equestrian obsession.

es his little royal nose with a throw of its head? Actually, since it looks like the child inherited the royal honker of a nose, getting it broken might be inevitable, and an improvement! Then there is the Exmoor pony. The Exmoor may be the preferred choice of the baby’s step-Grandmother Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, or otherwise known as Prince Charles’ longtime

mistress. She had an Exmoor pony but that would probably not work in the pony’s favor. The Exmoor nearly became extinct after the Second World War due to

is now out of the running to ever inherit the crown. Let’s just hope that Harry doesn’t need target practice or get hungry. It wouldn’t be pretty for the pony or little King George. What about a Welsh pony? The Welsh Pony not only has a tough, fiery, spirited, and hardy nature, but also has a fast and high-stepping trot that helps in driving and harnessing competitions. This could come in handy if George is out driving a cart around the countryside and has to step on the gas to get away from all of the young princess wannabees. On the other hand, if George wants to be the King of the People, maybe he should get a donkey instead. They are smart, able to carry heavy loads and very rideable with long backs and short necks. And, more importantly, when he rides by the commoners and lower-class people, and hears them yell out, “look at that jackass!” he can assume they’re talking about his donkey.

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he “Tara” cross-over is minimalist in size yet carries all your essentials to go into town or to the barn in style. LILO Collections is introducing elegant and classic black at the Fall/Winter 2013 equestrian trade show. Fine Spanish vaqueta leather is combined with a pebble grain canvas and accented with a silver-tone equestrian bit and racing stripe. Each purse is lined in rich red fabric and includes a La Espuela key fob, attached key snap hook, cell phone holder, and a zippered pocket. Suggested retail: $193 Dimensions: 8˝ x 8.5˝

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ew to the Prestige line, we would like to introduce the Bellagio. Cut for a close contact ride, the Bellagio offers a flatter seat geared towards our Hunter and Equitation riders here in the United States. Made with quality double-oiled calfskin leather, the Bellagio is customizable to fit you and your horse like a glove. Special Features: Small thigh blocks are standard, and larger thigh and calf blocks are available. Material: Grippy. Double-oiled calf-skin Panel: Wool-flocking or latex-foam options Tree: Flexible fiberglass, polyurethane and nylon; various tree widths that are adjustable one to two sizes narrower or wider throughout the life of the saddle. Seat Sizes: 16–18 whole sizes only Flap: Shore, standard, long or extra-long with XX-short and XX-long available for additional fees Color: Tobacco Price: $2,890 for latex panels, $2,990 for wool panels 16 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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Adds & Scratches

Adds & Scratches

Local Teen Raises $1,025 for Black Forest Fire Victims While many teens are spending their summers working a job or traveling, Fountain Valley School student Georgia Griffis is working to give back to those in need. At 17 years of age, Georgia has a heart for philanthropy, and this time the need falls close to home. When the Black Forest Fire took lives and over 500 homes, she knew she could not sit by without helping. “My family ranch is only about five miles from the burn area. I drove through the Black Forest area with my dad on the first day people were allowed back into area houses. Seeing people sifting through what was left of their homes was heartbreaking. I knew I had to do something,” says Georgia. She chose Tri Lakes Cares, a local community based volunteer supported resource center whose purpose is to improve lives through emergency assistance, selfsufficiency and relief programs. Georgia raised $1,025 by visiting local events including a July Grand Prix at

Grand Champions Take It to A New Peak at Mount Sopris Charity Polo Match

By Marc Patoile, Photos by Peter Feinzig

the Colorado Horse Park, where many horses were evacuated to, and where many families affected by the fire show their horses. “This is the first time I have directly raised money for a non profit and I trust the money will go directly to victims. Tri Lakes works with victims to support their needs,” says Georgia. Georgia is going into her senior year at the Fountain Valley School and is a rising leader in Youth Philanthropy. Georgia lives on her family’s Palmer Divide Ranch in southern Douglas County, Colorado and is a successful Junior Jumper Rider in United States Equestrian Federa- Georgia Griffis—photo by Lee Brown tion competitions. Last winter she had the sided over by Princess Haya of Jordan, was opportunity to compete to a win in Arezzo, the first time in the history of the competition Italy while attending school there. She also that Zone 8 (CO, NM, AZ, UT) won the Gold. For more on the Tri Lakes Cares visit previously won the team gold medal at the National Pony Finals. This competition, pre-

Polo players from Aspen, Denver and Wellington, gathered on July 13–14, 2013 outside of Aspen, Colorado, to play a charity match under the shadow of Mount Sopris. These twin peaks, which loom over the Roaring Fork Valley, were named for Richard Sopris, a former mayor of Denver who was part of the first European expedition in the Roaring Fork Valley. In 2011 a resident of Littleton Colorado petitioned to rename East Sopris “Mount John Denver” after the Colorado singer. A local poll in Aspen and Carbondale determined that 74 percent of the respondents were against the proposal. So the peaks remain as Mount Sopris and they hover just above the polo fields at Sopris Mountain Ranch in a picturesque setting, where the polo field appears to be nearly on the side of the mountain face. The charity polo event is organized by Geneve Kashnig to benefit the Rifle Animal Shelter. This year special guests

were on hand. Marc, Melissa and, their son, Grant Ganzi from Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington happened to be available to play. Teams sponsored by the Ganzis have won every major 20and 26-goal polo tournament, including

the U.S. Open, CV Whitney Cup and Piaget Gold Cup. Melissa Ganzi is one of the nation’s top women polo players, playing professionally with and against men, and is team captain of Piaget, based at Wellington’s Grand Champions Club.

Jesse and Wyatt… You will live forever in my heart. Love, Suzy “The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared the pain of never risking love.” — Hilary Stanton Zunin



Adds & Scratches

Melissa and her husband, Marc, also a top amateur player, own and maintain the club year-round. She also breeds and trains polo ponies at her Santa Rita Farm in Ocala, Florida. Melissa Ganzi is all about diversity in polo. Her vision is to promote the sport of polo among the masses including kids and juniors, women and gay polo players. She would like to see polo embraced by the general public and mainstream sports followers and bring new people to the sport. She is quite probably the most gracious and giving person you will find, as we discovered her to be both on and off the field. Grand Champions Polo Team (Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bellini, Marc Patoile, and Rebecca Patoile) took home the first place prizes of original oil paintings by Campbell Hutchinson, outscoring the Proguard Protection Services Team (Tom Wisehart, Gene Burke, Donny Throm and Juancito Bellini) 9 to 4. The artist, Campbell Hutchinson, is a native of Louisiana who has lived and worked in New Orleans since 1960. He practiced law for more years than he would like to admit, but retired to pursue his passion of painting full time. R&L Farms Polo (Rick Lontin, Lise Stevens, Dave Starman, Marc Dominico), were out paced by Bighorn Toyota (Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Johnny Levine, Geneve Kasnig and Wayne Ewing). All of the players and, hopefully, all of the spectators were left with the memories of a great weekend of polo under the twin peaks of Mount Sopris.



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United States

has a rich

equestrian history with many American bred horses winning

top international competitions, but there has never been a pony, bred and born on U.S. soil, that has won the Pony World Championships. That could all change this October 31st through November 4th, 2013, when Harmony’s Markus heads to Pau, France to compete in the Pony Worlds.

The Drive to a

World Championship Photo by Meghan Benge

Reported by Geoff Young

Markus, owned by Leslie Malone of Harmony Sport Horses in Kiowa, Colorado, is a twelve-year-old, 14.1 hh dark brown German Riding Pony that has all of the talent necessary to bring home a world championship. Paired with renowned Pony trainer Paul Maye, of Maye Show Ponies, Markus was awarded the 2012 USEF Combined Driving Single Pony Horse of the Year title as well as the 2012 National Championship in Single Advanced Pony. Markus and Paul have been a winning combination for five years, and with their sights set on winning the World Championships, they could also find themselves in the history books of United States equestrian accomplishment. Combined Driving is modeled after three-day eventing and has an extra challenge generated by the addition of the carriage. Horses and ponies, without benefit of a rider’s aids, must exhibit the highest level of training and willingness to perform by voice command and reins along with just a touch of the whip instead of leg. Drivers must first present their horses or ponies in the dressage arena to demonstrate obedience, suppleness and the skill of the handler. Judges take into consideration standards expected at each level and score accordingly. The dressage test, while it is the most nerve-wracking for the competitor, is the foundation for the rest of the sport. The marathon, equivalent to cross-country, is the phase that draws many participants to the sport and provides the most excitement for competitors and spectators. It is on the marathon that the driver must be able to gauge speed and pace in order to finish each section within the time allowed. In the last section, drivers must complete a series of hazards negotiating up to six gates in each. Competitors approach the hazards, often at a gallop, threading their way through gates with inches to spare. It’s the hazards that give the sport its thrill/chill factor. The final phase, the cones, tests the ability of the driver to clear a course of up to 20 gates at the HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | AUGUST 2013 | 23

The Drive to a World Championship required pace without incurring penalties. Combined driving cones are wedgeshaped, with hollow tops, on which are placed balls. The slightest touch is enough to cause a knockdown and a five-point penalty. As drivers work up the divisions, the clearance between cones becomes narrower and narrower, testing the mettle of even top professionals. Like three-day eventing, combined driving is scored by a system of penalty points with the winner earning the lowest score. Combined driving has its roots in England. In 1970, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, established the first set of international rules that were implemented at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The sport of combined driving is growing every year in the U.S., and this could be the year that pushes that popularity even higher. Getting a pony to the Worlds is no easy task, and that is why Leslie Malone chose Paul Maye to guide Markus to the highest levels of the sport. HC had a chance to talk with Paul, as he and Markus are busy preparing for their trip to France and a shot at the world title in October. HC: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us Paul, and congratulations on qualifying Markus for the Worlds. What did take to qualify for the World Championships? PM: A lot of hard work—and it’s all

Photo by Ethan Maye 24 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Markus. He has an amazing work ethic and heart. He’s unbelievable. I brought him along very slowly up through the levels starting with Preliminary, then Intermediate and finally, Advanced, with the World Championships being our goal. We had three qualifying shows this year, two in Florida and one at Southern Pines, and Markus won the Everglades show and placed second in the other two. HC: What are the qualities that make a good driving pony? PM: The brain. For a competition pony,

navigator in it, across a course at a world championship level, through the hazards and all…it’s very tough. HC: What is the most bizarre hazard you’ve encountered at a competition? PM: I think the oddest one I’ve seen was at a competition at Hermitage Farms in Kentucky where they had these huge pink snails in the middle of a hazard. And they were huge, they must have been twenty feet tall, and the horse can’t be distracted and has to trust you 200 percent. HC: How popular is combined driving

He has an amazing work ethic and heart.

He’s unbelievable. they’ve got to have a good deposition to put up with the discipline needed for a dressage test, and not be distracted by the wheels of the carriage and the various obstacles on the cross country course. The horse needs to be extremely fit and strong, especially for an advanced level pony. To me, that is the hardest thing for any pony to be able to do. Markus is 14.1 hh and he needs to be strong enough to pull the carriage with myself and the

here in the U.S. as opposed to Europe? PM: A lot of people here are going to pull my leg about it, but in Europe, they are years ahead of us. The European drivers, say the four-in-hand drivers, are treated like the football stars are here. They have sponsorships and fans and are really quite popular. HC: Would you say that combined driving is getting more and more popular here is the U.S.? PM: Oh it is, for sure, and we’re lucky to have the advanced drivers that we do here in the states. But we have to put up with more traveling here than they do in Europe. This winter we had to travel 12 hours to get to some of the qualifying events, and you compare that with getting on a plane at JFK and you’re in Amsterdam in eight hours, so yes, travel is a bit of a hardship here. HC: Are there any special preparations you go through to get ready for the Worlds? PM: I try to treat the World Championships as if it were just another show, and not put too much pressure on myself and Markus, because what we’ve been doing for the last five years has been working. We probably do two to three days of roadwork; a couple of days dressage work in the ring, and then work through the

cones. Right now, the only thing that I’m doing differently is that we’re going to the Virginia Horse Center, which is close by, and schooling on the cross country there to get him in better shape with his cardio. HC: You are an accomplished driver; tell us about some of the competitions you have won. PM: I’ve won at Walnut Hill, which is the biggest pleasure driving event in the U.S.—actually have won it several times. I’ve won Devon and of course, Markus and I were the national Single Pony Champions in the U.S. last year. HC: Your family is involved with ponies as well? PM: Yes, my wife Cheryl competes in the Pony Hunters, and my son competes as well. It’s very rewarding to have my family involved in the same passion for ponies. HC: Outside of competition, Markus has another job in the breeding business as well. How many foals has he sired?

PM: With owner Leslie Malone, we have four Markus offspring, three fillies and a colt foal from this year. Leslie had two fillies born this year in Colorado at Harmony Sport Horses, from warmblood mares. HC: After the World Championships, what is next up for Markus and Paul Maye? PM: A bit of down time I would Paul, Ethan, and Cheryl Maye. think. We didn’t stand him at stud Photo by Janice Thompson this year, so he was just concentrating on work and that’s it. His studbook is It takes dedicated people like Joanna filling up for next year, but until then, a bit Wilburn, who has been my navigator for the past four years. I couldn’t compete in of a rest is in order. HC: Your partnership with Leslie these shows without her. HC: Thank you for spending time Malone and Harmony Sport Horses out of your busy schedule talking with appears to be a very successful one. PM: Yes it has. Leslie is a fantastic owner us Paul. I’m looking forward to doing who is so supportive of everything we do. another interview with you when you She’s just amazing! We just have a great and Markus come back home with a team. They say it takes a village to raise a world championship. PM: Hopefully yes, that would be fantastic. kid and that’s what we have for Markus.

Photo by Ethan Maye HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | AUGUST 2013 | 25



North America 2013 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships Individual Gold Medal Show Jumping Young Rider winner Lillie Keenan (Zone 2) and Londinium at the 2013 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo:

Athletes from the USA, Canada and Mexico lined up for the 2013 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, where there were a total of 20 sets of medals up for grabs. Competitors between the ages of 14 and 21 years were in action once again, and with 222 entries across five disciplines it was another hectic and spectacular event. These Championships date back to 1974 as an Eventing challenge between the USA and Canada, with Dressage added in 1981 and Jumping a year later. The first complete Young Riders Championship was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982 while Juniors joined the ranks in 2006 and the discipline of Reining was added to the schedule in 2008 with Endurance added in 2011.


Gold Medal Zone 2 Young Rider Show Jumping Team, Michael Hughes, Gabrielle Busano, Ralph Caristo (Chef), Lillie Keenan and Mattias Tromp at the 2013 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo:

Zone 2 put in a stellar effort and clinched team gold in both Young Riders and Juniors. The course was a tough track for the Young Rider team event and there were only two clear rounds, the winning side completing on a total of 36 faults. Lillie Keenan and Londinium led their side to victory with a single fence down in each round. Keenan described the course as “challenging” but said she didn’t give her horse the best ride. “He rose to the occasion, though,” she said.

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The Junior Jumping team title went to Zone 2, led by Allison Toffolon (Kadans Webster) and Katherine Strauss (Chellando Z), who went double-clear. Victoria Press (Cayenne) was foot-perfect first time out but left two on the floor in the second round while Kira Kerkorian (Leopold) suffered elimination in both rounds. The final team total however was just eight faults. At just 14 years of age it was quite an achievement for Strauss, who said, “I just came from Spruce Meadows and I was nervous coming here because the courses at Spruce are in a big field, and you go in an open gallop and there are a lot of unrelated lines. There, if you mess up a line, you can usually continue the rest of the course better. Here, if you mess up one line you might mess up a few to come.” The stage was now set for the Individual finals, and they didn’t disappoint with Keenan taking the Young Rider title and Eugenio Garza Perez claiming Junior gold. There were 18 through to the closing stages in the Young Riders division and it came down to a three-way battle between Kate Morrison, Keenan and Charlotte Jacobs—the latter in the lead carrying 7.58 faults going into the final day. A pole down hurt her chance of gold, however, and she had to settle for bronze when Keenan jumped clear to stay on her running tally of eight faults and Morrison, carrying 13.70, did likewise for the silver. Keenan described Londinium as “a really special horse. We started showing this year and he was a star right away. We got along very, very well.” Jacobs said of the pressure, “I took a lot of deep breaths and tried to do the best of my ability,” Junior champion was Garza Perez with Bariano, who was tied with three continued on page 30 HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | AUGUST 2013 | 27

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continued from page 27 others going into the last day and who never touched a pole over five rounds of jumping. He understood the consequences of his last-day effort not just for himself, but also for the Mexican team. “We knew that one rail could cost us and we would be out of the medals. I was nervous, I’m not going to lie,” he admitted afterwards. “I felt like I rose to the occasion when I needed to and performed well under pressure. My coaches believe in me, and I’m glad I could show them!”

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New York McLain Ward Wins Back to Back Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson McLain Ward and his new mount Love beat a star-studded crowd to pick up the top prize in the $50,000 Horze-Equestrian Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. After only two days in the country, Love—a nine-year-old Selle Francais import from France—arrived at HITS-on-the-Hudson on Wednesday, jumped Thursday and Friday, and won Sunday in the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium with Ward in irons. “He had a nice record in France, but he is off to an even more impressive start in the U.S.” said Ward, who hails from Brewster, New York. “I am most impressed with this horse’s character— he is willing, generous, careful and easy to ride. When he walks in the ring, he doesn’t want to knock the jumps down— he makes my job easy.” One week later, McLain Ward’s mount Zander proved that he is coming into his own in the grand prix ring as well. The nine-year-old gelding was purchased by Ward and Grant Road Partners a year and

a half ago and picked up several respectable wins over the last year, including the $75,000 AIG Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis at HITS Saugerties. Ward admits that Zander, the young gelding he purchased with an eye on the future, is well on his way to the top. “His McLain Ward and Zander. Photo by ESI jumping style is spectacular; he has beautiful technique is starting to jump every jump the same, and is a very careful horse. He has had which will be the key to his long term to learn how to use himself—he used to success,” said Ward. Ward has now won go in the ring and over jump the first two Grand Prix in a row at HITS-on-thepart of the course and tire early, but he Hudson.

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Colorado VanderVeen Triples Down at Summer in the Rockies The crown jewel of the Summer in the Rockies six-week series, the $50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix, was held on Saturday afternoon of Week VI. It was Military Day at the Colorado Horse Park, honoring and welcoming military and first responders to enjoy family activities and great show jumping. The first horse appeared promptly at 4 p.m. to tackle international course designer Danny Foster’s course, a big and winding course that tested the maintenance of pace around turns, lengthening in forward lines and shortening in tight combinations. It wasn’t until six rounds in that Kristen VanderVeen from St Charles, IL, produced the first clear round aboard Bull Run’s Eternal. Several rounds later, Alex Granato and Gangsta put in a clear effort, followed by Karen Cudmore and Southern Pride, and finally John Pearce and Son of a Gun. All together, seven horse and rider combinations met Foster’s challenge and progressed to the jump-off round.

VanderVeen was the first to return for the short course with Bull Run’s Eternal. She delivered a flawless, clean round and tripped the timer at 40.035 seconds. Granato and Gangsta managed the double clear in a time of 41.170, putting them in second place. Then Cudmore and Southern Pride were clean with 41.318, placing them in third. Last to go in the jump-off round, Pearce and Son of a Gun attempted to come in clean and best VanderVeen’s Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Eternal. Photo by Mary time, but the pair had a rail Adelaide Brakenridge and with a time of 42.069 ended up in fourth place. VanderVeen had the win, her third Holiday Inn of Parker Grand Prix during grand prix win of the circuit. She had Summer in the Rockies V. In addition, VanderVeen had won captured the top honors in the Summer in the Rockies II Grand Prix, presented the 2012 $50,000 Summer in the Rockies by Littleton Equine Medical Center and Grand Prix and the 2011 $50,000 Summer Platinum Performance, and the $40,000 in the Rockies Grand Prix.

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Karina Aziz and Top Gun Have Their First Grand Prix Victory at Summer in the Rockies IV

Karina Aziz and Top Gun Photo Credit: Flying Horse Photography

A large audience filled the VIP area and the grass bleachers with the spectacular view of the Kathy and Brad Coors Family Grand Prix Arena at the Colorado Horse Park on Saturday, July 6, to watch the highlight of Summer in the Rockies IV, the $30,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix. In the first round of the completion, 34 horse-and-rider combinations battled it out over FEI course designer Marina Azevedo’s track, attempting to progress to the jump-off round. Eight would succeed for a try at the win. “I went late in the order and there was only one double clear,” said Karina Aziz, who rode Top Gun to take the lead, breaking the beam at 39.685. “I thought

about doing a safe double clear round and Blair and Karen [Cudmore] told me I better not do that. I went for it and it worked out.” “The courses were really good all week,” she added. “The horses have been jumping very well off the footing. It’s nice—you go out there with confidence. This is my first time at Colorado Horse Park. It is so great to come here and have my first Grand Prix win.” Aziz hails from Toronto and has been doing the jumpers since she was 18. “It is so exciting that we’ve had this success so soon,” she said. “I just started working with Karen in May. She’s very supportive as a coach. I am just really grateful.”

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Hardin Towell and Flip for the Grand Prix Win

Vainer Victorious in the $30,000 Showpark Racing Festival Grand Prix It was an idyllic week in Del Mar with a well-earned high performance victory gallop by David Vainer and Vario, who won the $30,000 Showpark Racing Festival Grand Prix, presented by SmartPak. It seemed that the opening ride, Gabriella Salick, representing Israel on Centuria 2, would be the first clean until she stopped the clock at 84.94, almost three seconds beyond the 82-second time allowed. She was the first, but certainly not the last, to trip those timers in a tardy fashion. A total of 26 entries accumulated time faults. Five of those didn’t lower the height of a single jump on course, though they walked away with time penalties. After 50 rounds, seven pairs made it to the jump-off. First in for the jump-off was Vainer, who laid down a super speedy clean ride in 33.66—a time that held up throughout the jump-off for a welldeserved win. Surrounded by his exuberant family, the winner explained, “I had to take the risk in the jump-off because all of the other six are really very fast, good horses and riders. I took my chance and it worked.” Speaking fondly of his mount, David said, “I have been riding this horse for almost two years. He is an eleven-yearold KWPN stallion, very explosive and amazing. He is the best partner.”

David Vainer and Vario. Photo by Captured Moment

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Tony Stromberg: By Kip Mistral Photos by Tony Stromberg

It’s About Relationship

O “

ne of the most difficult things in the world

is to photograph a horse,” equine photographer Tony Stromberg told me when we did our first interview 10 years ago. “They move so fast and you can’t pose them, not the horses I photograph. You let it happen. I can feel I might have captured something special, but I don’t know what I’m going to get until later. You can edit a weeklong shoot down to 20 images, and then you realize that the three or four best have that something that you can’t put your finger on.” We’ve stayed in touch off and on… doing articles along the way. I’m thinking of the things that have happened in Tony’s career since that first interview. Two gorgeous coffee table books published by New World Library, to start: Spirit Horses (hardbound September 15, 2005 and paperback October 16, 2012) and The Forgotten Horses: The Beauty of America’s Unwanted Horses (hardbound October 1, 2008 and paperback October 1, 2010). For a fact, once you have seen a Tony Stromberg equine image, you don’t forget it. His ability to capture horses in a breathtaking moment is so compelling that increasing numbers of amateur and professional photographers are signing up for his U.S. and international photographic workshops to learn from him. I went along this spring with Tony’s workshop to Andalucia, Spain to see what I could see.

KM: When you started out in equine photography did you seek out a “style”? In particular, your use of light in your images is unique. TS: Going back thirty years, as an advertising photographer in San Francisco, my early photography was in the studio, so I developed a good sense of light and its use. You start with a black room and then add light, like composing a piece of music. You fine tune and fine tune until the light is just right. I think I carried that into my work with horses. When I started doing advertising photography, I shot fashion, food, portraiture, products, and also did catalog work. In time, I learned that each field is very specialized and the most successful photographers specialize in something, or else they have a very well-defined sense of style or a very unique look. I began to copy them, thinking I wanted to be like them. One day while I was taking a workshop, a woman instructor who looked at my work commented, “You do a lot of things very well. Technically, you are very advanced. But as far as a unique look, I don’t see who you are.” That was a turning point in my personal identity. Who am I? I had to ask. Who am I without trying to copy everyone else? What happens if it comes from within rather than from the outside? And it was then I started developing my own unique style in photography, and that eventually translated into my work with horses. The style that you mention is something that has developed over the past 20 years. KM: When you say your work evolved over 20 years of advertising photography, in doing the math you must have started photographing horses about 15 years ago. What happened in the overlap? TS: Someone said, “Horses are my church.” When I was first exposed to horses, I spent time photographing them on the weekends for my own pleasure, not intending to do anything with it. I was going through a kind of dark period and 38 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

horses did become something very sacred to me, a kind of church. When I made the decision to move from the Bay Area to New Mexico, I was still doing commercial photography, but the crossover with the equine photography began at that point. When I took the job managing a ranch in New Mexico, I discontinued my commercial photography business because I no longer had to pay the rent with it, and started doing my equine photography in the field as part of my daily routine on the ranch. With my proximity to Santa Fe, it was a natural step to get representation there, and visibility for my work happened in that way. KM: A quick internet search will reveal that your work is distributed not just in expected places, such as galleries in locations like Santa Fe, but places less expected, such as online poster venues and even TS: I have fine art prints in a few galleries right now, though I’ve taken my

energy away from that a little to work with designers and private clients from time to time. But yes [smile in his voice], I saw that a framed poster of mine has been sold at Home Depot online, as well as at The Bombay Company, Coldwater Creek, Z-Galerie, and many others. KM: You took some time to develop one rather astonishing new creative outlet…a few years ago you announced that you’d built a house from scratch. And what a beautiful house! How did that come about? TS: My dad was a field geologist who worked for Shell. It was like being an army kid…we moved 18 times in 18 years. That nomadic feeling carried over into my adult life and it seemed I was always on the move. It’s why I relate to the wild horses, because they’re very similar, they’re always moving. In my adult years, I started to dream about landing somewhere and having my own house. And in time the dream seemed to come

to fruition. I bought 50 acres. I’d always had a fascination with alternative/ indigenous building, and the house was built with straw, used for insulation, and earth, for adobe mass, packed together about 13–14 inches thick. I like the idea of building where all the material comes from, right there on the land. I bought a sawmill and every piece of wood was cut from trees right on the property. The earth came from the property, and the straw came from down the road. The building is very clean. KM: How long did this house raising take you? TS: It took about 13 months for the house itself from breaking the ground to actually moving in. But, I kind of borrowed that sense that raising a house is not a solo thing, and though I created the basic design, I executed it with outside help. A local guy helped me with the design and engineering details—for instance he


“ The house in many ways becomes a reflection of you. It becomes a process of self-discovery. And the house builds you in return; together you develop a symbiotic relationship, very much like the human and horse relationship.�

Tony Stromberg goes over photos of the days shoot at his workshop in Spain. Photo by Lesa Molitor (Spain 2013)

specified what size the timbers should be. Over the course of the year, seven or eight people helped. It was a fascinating process…actually it was a process of defining myself. If you build a house, you have to ask yourself who am I? What do I want? The house in many ways becomes a reflection of you. It becomes a process of self-discovery. And the house builds you in return; together you develop a symbiotic relationship, very much like the human and horse relationship. KM: The house is full of light. How did you finish it inside? TS: It’s a small house, 900 feet, all open. I made the cabinetry and the windows. All my life I’ve learned how to do things myself. That’s how I learned photography. I just started. I use books or DVDs… I do not do well in a classroom, that prospect of so many linear hours each week. KM: Let’s talk about your workshops, which are in high demand, almost all sold out well in advance of the dates. How do you translate what you’ve learned when you work with your students? TS: Well, the students are there because they like my work and they want to improve their photography. Each week’s program starts with handouts describing the different elements of the aspects of photography that I emphasize. To some extent, we follow my process through the week…shooting, editing, selecting an image and transforming it. Of course I’ve found that it’s hard to encapsulate 30 years of experience in five days. But I do find that people learn the most from following me through the process, getting more of a sense of who I am, how I see the world, how I see horses. I had a friend who went to study with a teacher in the Amazon. My friend had wanted to do this for a long time and the teacher finally allowed it to happen. 44 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

But after following him around all day for some days, with no apparent teaching happening, my friend asked the teacher, “When does the teaching start?” The teacher replied, “You spend a month with me and part of me will become part of you.” Learning happens by osmosis, not through the mind. So the lesson here, and the one that I took from the story, is that you learn by not doing. You learn by being there and absorbing and allowing. You let yourself be open to what needs to happen. It’s an interesting way to learn. I learn much more that way myself, when I can get a taste of who the “teacher” is energetically. It’s not about the educational technique; it’s about the essence of who the teacher is. It’s the same in approaching a relationship with the horse. I have had people come to the workshop without cameras, to just absorb. Then they go home and take pictures with what they’ve learned. It’s hard to teach that sense. It’s about the relationship.


had one last question for Tony, but stopped for a moment to get some thoughts from two students who had just completed the Spain workshop. Lesa Ann Tetrault Molitor, a student and workshop assistant was eager to share her thoughts on Tony’s workshop. “The trip to Spain was incredible! The horses were beautiful and the scenery was breathtaking. I learn so much from every workshop I attend with Tony. He makes things so simple and easy to understand. A year ago I didn’t even own my own SLR camera… now I am selling prints and have even had one of my photographs chosen by a publisher. I have heard many returning workshop clients thank Tony for changing their lives by what he has taught them and I am no different. He has taught me how to capture

light and movement, and then how to process these images into works of art.” Another student, Jessie Marianiello, reiterated what Tony had talked about regarding the relationships that develop from his workshops. “I was 36 years old when I first stumbled upon Tony’s photography and, despite being a full-time professional artist, it was the first time in my entire life that the work of another visual artist moved me to tears. I knew in that moment that I needed to work with this man. Since then, Tony has become both my mentor and friend—and my work has evolved in deeply transformative ways because of it. For me, the creative process of photographing horses has been a healing journey. I’ve walked away from Tony’s workshops, including this spring’s trip to Spain, not only with incredible images but also with extraordinary new friends—the kind of friendships that last a lifetime. I’m not sure what Tony is better at… creating incredible workshops or bringing all the best people together. This is truly his gift and, every day, I am grateful to have experienced it.” It’s obvious that Tony’s workshops have a powerful and emotional impact on his students.

KM: Besides keeping up with the increasing demand for your workshops, what do you see in the future? TS: The future? That’s a good question. I’ve talked to my publisher about doing another book, rekindling the idea of a book about the essential nature of the horse, that thing that speaks to people sitting in an office who have never seen a horse in their lives. The archetype of the horse is, in fact, a very powerful symbol in Jungian psychology. This book would ask the question, what is that archetypal energy that appeals to us? And the book wouldn’t just be about images, it would be writings from people who are working in the field of equine experiential learning. And taking it further, I’m beginning to think about a place where people could come not just to learn about photography, but to work with horses in some experiential way to learn more about themselves and their relationships. My world is going to shift to reflect this. The next chapter is starting…I’m selling my house this year. It’s time to move on. For more information about Tony Stromberg, his photography and workshops, see Contact Kip Mistral at newhorsearts@


Philippe Karl School of Légèreté Clinic—taught by Bertrand Ravoux Santa Fe, NM, July 16–19, 2013

Photos by Evalyn Bemis

“ We slow down the horse not by braking but by changing the balance of the horse through counter flexion.”



Words of Wisdom


i ding with lightness and suppleness does not mean to drop the contact. The horse can reach into the contact softly and politely.”



“ Work on the difficult (stiffer) side of the horse, then the easy side, and once more the difficult side. Get a few good steps, relax, ask again. Don’t drill.”

Course Organizer and Rider Terry Flanagan, Santa Fe, NM, on Oliver, Fell Pony: “I am attracted to the Philippe Karl school because it gives all of us participants, riders and auditors alike, access to a classical system that is fair, respectful of the horse, and completely natural. I love how light and responsive all of my horses have become as I apply this work, all without the use of force or any constraining auxiliary equipment. I am finally learning how to be the equestrian I’ve always dreamed of being, and my horses are moving better, with more balance and impulsion, than ever before.” 50 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

“ he hands follow T

the mouth. Take only the amount of rein the horse is offering you.”




Jack Lieser, Chappell Hill, TX, on Nisa, 7-year-old Nakota mare: “I am a trainer and clinician in Natural Horsemanship, Western Riding and Western Dressage. I felt I was as far as I could go with the tools I had and I was drawn to Philippe Karl after studying with Thomas Ritter. I am leaving now with a new understanding of the importance of the horse yielding to your hands.”

“ H ands control the head, neck and shoulders. Legs control the power and sideways movement of the hindquarters.”

James Reideman, Albuquerque, NM, on Clemente, 15-year old Warmblood cross gelding: “I am a professional dressage instructor, with my primary focus on developing the relationship between the horse and rider. I have always been looking for a way to be lighter and progressive in training.” 52 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

“ In the extension of the neck, the neck is level with the back and the nose is forward. The poll of the horse is open. You must keep the contact. It takes a really soft and consistent action to follow the neck.”




hange only one thing at a time in your training so the horse is clear what you are asking. Horses learn quickly this way.”

Pippa Callanan, Portland, Oregon, riding Legacy, 13-year old Lusitano stallion: “I first saw Philippe Karl’s work 10 years ago and was completely moved by his way with horses. Since then, I have been striving to better understand the French Classical system of dressage. When the opportunity arose, I eagerly applied for the Teachers’ Course because of the school’s clarity and methodical approach.”

Auditor Carol Townsend, Gunnison, Colorado: “After 40+ years riding in all different disciplines, for me this is the Holy Grail because the first emphasis is on the education of the hand and the horse’s mouth in a feeling of softness and lightness.” For more information about this three-year riding program, please visit 54 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE



“ Counter-bend on a half circle and then return to the wall. You are putting the horse on one shoulder so that he can not rush, at the same time as you are asking the horse to extend his neck.”

Definitely Dressage



Enter at “D” for

Junior and Young Rider Championships 16-year-old Naima Moreira Laliberte (Windbreaker), Laurence Blais Tetreault (Lowelas), 17-year-old Felixe Cote Villeneuve (Pissaro) and 15-year-old Betrice Boucher

New Stars Shine at FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships


(Dante) racked up a score of 201.864. Tetrault said the team win was the result of hard work. “I think we just trained really hard. Naima and I are from the same state, so we train and work together. Working together I think really helped us,” she said.

thletes from the USA, Canada and Mexico lined up for the 2013 FEI North American

It was a close contest for the Junior Individual Dressage medals but Lindsey Hol-

Junior and Young Rider Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington,

leger from Region 3 won with a great performance from Friedenfurst to edge out

where there were a total of 20 sets of medals up for grabs in five disciplines.

Naima Moreira Laliberte and Windbreaker from the gold medal winning Canada Quebec team.



The USA Region 7 team won the Young Rider Dressage Team title with a finishing

Region 7 claimed the Young Rider Dressage team title at the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky. On the podium from L to R: Teresa Adams, Ariel Thomas, Jaclyn Pepper and Jamie Pestana. Photo: FEI/StockImageServices


champion was 16-year-

score of 206.421, improving from silver medal position at the 2012 Championships. The


highest score for the winning side was 71.105 registered by 20-year-old Jamie Pestana,

Tetreault who had al-



who was Junior Individual and Freestyle champion in 2010. Pestana clearly understands


the concept of team sport, commenting afterwards, “it’s great when you’re out there and

ada Quebec to the

your team is cheering for you and you know that you’re not just there for yourself, but for

team gold. Riding the

your team-mates and your region”. All four members of the US team were from California.





The Young Rider Individual and Freestyle medals went to Ayden Uhlir from Region 6,

Tetreault posted a fan-

with her horse, Sjapoer. It was a clear-cut result on both occasions with Sjapoer racking

tastic mark of 71.525,

up 71.605 to top the Individual and an impressive 72.175 to clinch the Freestyle. Double-champion Uhlir showed her class when she refused to become unnerved when the music stopped during her Freestyle, continuing on as if nothing had happened, and then picking it up again when the music was restored. “I just stayed on my

Ayden Uhlir (Region 6) and Sjapoer, win the Gold Medal for Region 3 in the Individual Young Rider Dressage Championship. Photo:

and said afterwards, “I would definitely recommend NAJYRC (these ChampiLindsey Holleger (Region 3) and Friedensfurst, are the Gold Medal Region 3 Junior Individual Dressage Champion at the 2013 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. Photo:

onships) to other riders. It prepares you if you want to go further (in the sport). In my future, I think I’m going to look back and be so happy that I got the chance to do this.”

exact pace” she said afterwards, “I knew that when the music would come back on I’d be where I was supposed to be...I just rode it, and it all worked out in the end!” The Canada/Quebec team took Junior Dressage team gold for the second successive year, pinning USA Region 7 into silver and Region 3 into bronze. The winning side of

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Gold Medal Region Quebec Junior Dressage Team, Naima Moreira Laliberte, Betrice Boucher, Felixe Cote Villeneuve and Laurence Blais Tetreault. Photo:

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August 31–Sept 1 Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Golden, CO Classes to include: Lightness, Doma Vaquera, Alta Escuela, Garrocha, Spanish Walk, Piaffe/Passage Visit our website to find the rules and the test for each level. Go to for more information. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | AUGUST 2013 | 57

The Horse Connection

Be Seen JOIN US FOR OUR FABULOUS FALL FASHION PREVIEW This picture makes me laugh. This is my daughter, Tinsley (who appeared in HC as a four-yearold with her welsh/paint pony, Sugar and Spice, December 2008). Tinsley is now nine and has outgrown her wonderful pony (who continues “living the life of Riley” at our farm). This is a photo of Tinsley with her new horse, Triple Sec. Clearly, only one of them is excited to go for a ride.

September 2013 edition

The latest, greatest equestrian fashions from around the World.

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58 | AUGUST 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE 303.668.1332 303.663.1300

Suzy Sweitzer tHE EQUEStRIAN PROPERtY SPECIALISt SOLDS 5530 E. Highway 86 $2,150,000 5540 E. Highway 86 $675,000 11225 Random Valley Circle $499,000 5113 Pronghorn Avenue $999,000 36040 Irish Hills Circle $450,000 3774 Palmer Ridge Drive $849,000 37031 Fox Run Drive $279,000 8780 Steeplechase Drive $1,249,000 2470 Driftwood Circle $999,000 12923 Perry Park Road $429,000 33591 Pine Hills Place $899,000 10237 E. Democrat Road $899,000 80 acres in Elizabeth $459,000 4753 Cty Rd 128 in Elizabeth SOLD IN 1 DAY—40 Acres

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