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JUNE 2013 Volume XII Issue 5

The Lifestyle, The Passion Celebrating Equestrian Businesswomen Rolex Kentucky 3 –Day

Shery “Bear” McDonald-Galbreath Founder of the SaddleUp! Foundation

Join Us for the Soirée of the Summer


SaddleUp! and Pack Your Bags A Denver Suitcase Party Friday, August 2nd • 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mayo Aviation Hangar, Centennial Airport Dance, dine, see and be seen… Join Denver’s finest as we raise funds for SaddleUp! Foundation, a group providing equine therapy to those facing physical, mental and emotional challenges.

Two lucky couples will leave directly from the event on a private jet to California wine country for the trip of a lifetime! Tickets & Info Graciously Sponsored By

AAA Building Maintenance • Beringer Wines • Bianchi Wines • Borlino • Brio Tuscan Grille Brown Forman • Caricature Art, Inc. • Chinook Tavern • Chuck Latham Associates • Colorado Expression Colorado Golf Club • Epicurean • Equine Oasis • EXDO • Ferrari of Denver • Four Seasons Hotel Denver Freedom Press Gallo Wines • Groove Automotive • Horse Connection • Image Audio Visuals Jackson National Life Insurance • Majest International • Mangia Bevi • Mayo Aviation • McCormick & Schmicts Red Lion Vail • Reign Magazine • Restaurant Kelly Liken • Search Parker • Sonnenalp Hotel • Sugarlicious The Golden Bear • The Moderators • Towne & Country Transportation

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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

JUNE 2013


Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event


Women & Horses—The Passion That Drives the Lifestyle


HC Close Contact—Celebrating Equestrian Women


The Culture of the Horse Reflected in Stamps




About the cover


Publisher’s Page


HC’s Travel Connection


Behind the Barn


Adds & Scratches


HC Sport


Definitely Dressage


The Horse Connection

Shery “Bear” McDonald-Galbreath enjoys the property above SaddleUp! Foundation, in beautiful Parker, Colorado. Photo by Thomas Cooper, 8 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


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ollow your passion throughout your life, no matter what work you choose. Do it with all your heart and success will follow. Be happy to go to work with joy in your heart and purpose. The rewards will come, bringing you happiness on the road you chose.” —JoAnne Chapman, My Mom

Welcome to our First Annual Edition of celebrating Women in Equestrian Business— Part One. This feature showcases women who have forged a road, a journey, through all of the obstacles, through all the roadblocks, past hardships, with joy, while embracing the everyday challenges of running a business in the world of horses. Women have triumphed; they have dedicated themselves to a life with horses, through perils that non-horse people could only imagine. And do these women do it for the money? The last thirteen years I have been discussing this very question with women, from every walk of life in the equestrian world. From veterinarians, photographers, trainers, real estate professionals, retailers, workshop leaders, publishers, writers, breeders, farmers, horse show managers, public relations execs, marketing experts, farriers, leaders in nonprofit animal rescues and therapy centers for children, and every imaginable job you could create in the equestrian world. And the answer is always NO. Is it the passion that drives us to this business of horses? Is it the lifestyle? Or is it the connection to a magnificent creature that gives us everything they have to partner with us on a journey of dedication? Because true commitment and dedication is what it takes to make it in this industry. So please enjoy our special editorial section, Close Contact, in which we celebrate all women Molly Pearce Eaker with her horse and their passion to their one true love—the horse. These profiles will inspire future young girls to have the courage and determination to follow their dreams, as these women have, and enjoy successful and fulfilling lives. We enjoyed getting to know the women featured in Close Contact on a personal level, and so will you. This is part one in a two-part series. We have many more women to interview next month, to bring you their inspiring stories. Please let me know if you are that woman that wants to share your story with the readers of HC. Joan Ranquet wrote a lovely article for this issue titled, “Women and Horses—The Passion That Drives the Lifestyle.” This is a must-read and might provide boyfriends, husbands, and fathers a glimpse into our interesting psyche with horses. Butte Dawson is at it again and is eavesdropping on all you women and girls at the horse shows. Read his hilarious account of what he heard in our popular column, Behind the Barn. Celebrate love and life every day. As we were going to press, we received news of both sadness and joy. As we were sending off the magazine to the printer, we got a late-night call and ended up at the hospital sharing the birth of a beautiful baby boy, our newest nephew. And while it was a happy time we also received tragic news as well. We have been privileged to know an incredibly courageous young woman for many years. Melisa Pearce’s young daughter Molly Eaker has been fighting a battle for her life for many years, but her journey to peace is coming soon. She touched many hearts around this world. This special edition is dedicated to this inspiring young woman, Molly Eaker. Thank you for the sunshine and love you have brought to so many lives. June is always filled with anticipation and joy for the next great ride. Enjoy every ride, thank your horse, your support team, and most importantly, just be grateful for the wonderful world of horses.



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, 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 5. 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.


Amazing Sporthorses

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The Fountain Valley School from Colorado Springs, Colorado sent a team to the IEA finals in Syracuse, NY. Here, the team poses with copies of their favorite equestrian magazine—Horse Connection. Team member Adde Sharp wrote a brief account of the nightmarish trip to the finals.

Sleepless in syracuse By Adde Sharp It was an early morning, and despite the wet weather, FVS IEA Team: Skye Brennan, Cleo Muller, Freddy Junker, Erin Newell, Gloria Deignan, Adde Sharp, and Coach Hanna set off for Syracuse, NY—home of 2013 National Finals. Little did we know our journey would take a sharp turn for the worse upon landing in Detroit. What was supposed to be a one-hour layover turned into three, and due to thunderstorms and missing crewmembers, all flights to New York were cancelled. After many phone calls, visits to the “Help Center,” and frantic attempts to reschedule, the team (including moms Beth Sharp and Kellie Newell) opted to rent a SUV and drive the remaining 12 hours across country. Simple, right? Not quite. Just when we didn’t think anything could possibly get worse, there weren’t any more SUVs large enough for the whole team. Two rental car companies, five cars, and three hours later, we were crammed into the biggest Suburban available. By now it was nearing 10 o’clock (pm), with a 12-hour drive through Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York yet to come. Thanks to our tireless moms and Coach Hanna’s riveting ranch stories, the team arrived at 5:30 am, just in time for Cleo’s first round. Nationals, for the most part, went much smoother. Although we were a young team (three sophomores, three freshmen) and

drew some difficult horses, each rider rode their best and enjoyed being there. Getting to Nationals was a major accomplishment in and of itself. None of us will ever forget the trip, from the traditional Ring Master with his trumpet, to the nerve-racking line-up for drawing horses. We all left Nationals knowing what we needed to work on at home, what we did right, and the desire to take our dedication and strength to the next level. Our support system was amazing thanks to our moms (Annie Richardson, Kellie Newell, Kate Deignan, Beth Sharp, and Robin Poole) along with alumni Alexa Junker (class of 2011) and Coach Hanna. Three riders placed in their classes against tough competition and everyone made the most of their horse. All of us left New York with great memories—the freezing cold parade of teams, cramming in homework on the bleachers, team dinners, watching the sunrise, group boot polishing and hugging sessions, eating too much fried food, and memories of everyone totally slaphappy from the lack of sleep. The best parts of our trip can’t be explained; the excitement, exhaustion, the inside jokes, Mrs. Hanna’s hilarious stories and the quiet rhythm of four hooves and one pounding heart when entering the arena. Despite the rocky start to our trip and only three hours of sleep to our name, we made it!

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 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

It takes an understanding of the dynamics of a specialty horse property. That’s why I’d like to share my real estate, equestrian and training background to finding the perfect fit. By discussing property values, selling points, and preparing your home for sale, we’ll see a shorter time on the market, greater value and, best of all, a seamless experience. Whether ther buying or selling, Tenhulzen Real Estate is here for you.

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A Special Thank You

to all who participated in our First Annual Celebration of Equestrian Businesswomen, Part One.

HC’s Close Contact CeleBrAtinG WoMen in equeStriAn BuSineSS


he connection between women and horses has been

documented as far back as the Victorian Era. And any venture to a horse show will confirm this, as horse show participants are over 80% women. So, it is no surprise that a majority of equestrian related businesses are run by women.

You need passion to start-up, run, and be successful in owning your own business—and when it comes to the horse, there is no shortage of passion, or inspiration for that matter. One could say that horses indeed, inspire us to achieve many things, including owning your own business. hc’s close contact is a showcase that highlights women in equestrian business with questions that reveal their character, their humor, and their humanity. So, enjoy your contact with these equestrian women, who epitomize the phrase—who says you can’t have it all?

Kari Crawford-Clay � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �48 KC Douglas � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 52 Maria Katsamanis� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �54 Shery “Bear” McDonald-Galbreath � � � � � � � � 56 Melisa Pearce � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � pg Mickie Sage � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � pg Anne Sparks � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � pg Suzy Sweitzer � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � pg Susan Williams � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � pg Susan Williams � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � pg 38 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

We were overwhelmed with so many participants that we are continuing Part 2 in our July Edition.

Check out these fabulous women’s stories.


Please let us know if you would like to be included in Part 2! 303.668.1332 · 303.663.1300 (O)



Behind the Barn By Butte Dawson


really believe that having horses make better humans. Except when you’re at a horse show. What is it about the show ring that brings out the most inane, hilarious and nasty things ever to pop out of people’s mouths? I am so entertained when I’m at a horse show. I love watching the horses and hearing the comments coming from the hundreds of “equine experts” that hover around the ring. “That horse has three good gaits and four others for which there is no name,” said one savvy commentator observing a flat class. Another nodded, “That cow hocked horse doesn’t belong in the ring,” she exclaimed, moments before the judge pinned the horse with a blue. Young girls are the worst because they are still going to class but haven’t developed it. In other words, you had better hope your horse doesn’t get spooked by the presence of felines, because there will be catty comments. Lots of them. “Why is she still riding a pony, she’s way too big.” Ouch!


“If I had her horse I would like so win everything.” Bam! “The only reason she won is cause there was like only three people in her class.” Smack! “She thinks 2'6" is like 3'6" and I’m like, ‘how about no.’ ” Bing! “She paid $80,000 for that horse and my horse was like free, and I still beat her.” Oh no you didn’t! “She’s been there, done that, on a horse that hasn’t been anywhere or done anything.” Child, please! Of course the adults aren’t much better. I have always wondered why they have a judge up in a booth when there are so many of them in the stands. “That judge doesn’t know hunters, he’s wearing a cowboy hat,” said a woman in sweat pants and flip-flops. I overheard two women talking about the hunter class that was taking place, and they didn’t speak in sentences. It was a really strange thing to hear. It went something like this: “missed it, dropped it, left out, hesitated, four not three, three not four, not good, pick up the pace, not on the bit.” Then, their daughters must have entered the ring because their code talk suddenly changed. “Brilliant, collect, collect, beautiful, nice hands, good line, stride, stride, that judge better know he’s just seen a flawless ride.” You go, Judge Judy! I’m always hearing people say, get the horse on the bit, or he’s on the bit. The bit is in the horse’s mouth—of course he’s on the bit!! If you become a good rider,

and get your horse working correctly, he is really not on the bit; he’s on the rear and engaged at the shoulder and carrying himself naturally. I yell, “get off the bit,” and people look at me like I’m crazy. Especially that lady in the sweats and flip-flops. And where did all the chickens come from in the stands at a grand prix? I was watching a grand prix and all around me I heard these women clucking and clicking while a horse was on course. It’s as if they were telepathically riding the horse themselves, clucking and clicking the horse through each and every jump. I laughed so hard I almost lost my McNuggets. Judges need combat pay at some of these shows. I saw this woman, okay, it was the gal in the sweats and flip-flops; I saw her run across the ring and confront the judge. She was in his face yelling, “You pinned my horse down because of his tail.” “No, “ the judge said, “ the horse is lame and threw its rider.” I swear it’s an alternative universe at the horse show, because what you’re seeing, apparently, isn’t what these people are seeing. Let’s all just take a deep breath during this summer’s show season, and be supportive of each other and especially the horses, and by all means, keep the gossip going and limit the snide remarks. I still love gossip. I overheard a gentleman who was engaged to a prominent horse owner. “After she marries me, she’s gonna get rid of them horses,” he said. The marriage was annulled six months later.

Adds & Scratches

USEF High School Equestrian Athlete Program Letter jackets and varsity letters have long been a tradition of the American high school experience. Whether it’s from track and field or basketball, earning your letter and wearing it proudly is a rite of passage but until recently, equestrian student athletes were left out of these acknowledged ranks. Today’s equestrians have more opportunities than ever before to compete on interscholastic equestrian teams and now thanks to the United States Equestrian Federation’s increasingly popular High School Equestrian Athlete program, teens interested in earning their letter in equestrian have got it made. The USEF High School Equestrian Athlete program began in the fall of 2009 and was born out of a growing number of high school students wanting their sport of choice—equestrian—to get the same recognition as all the other traditionally recognized sports. “What initiated the program,” says Jennifer Mellenkamp, Director of National Breed/Discipline Affiliates and Youth Programs at the USEF, “was simply supply and demand. We were receiving phone calls from parents saying, ‘Is there anything offered that would recognize high school equestrian athletes? They spend just as much time training or competing as football and basketball players,’ ” recalls Mellenkamp. The program quickly found its stride, and the response has been overwhelming. “Right now we have over 6,500 students enrolled,” says Mellenkamp. “Parents have told us the school systems don’t understand the training and dedication that is involved to be an equestrian athlete,” adds Mellenkamp, “and there is often no recognition for these athletes within their school systems. We felt we needed to start something to give all equestrian athletes the acknowledgement they deserve.” The USEF High School Equestrian Athlete program was created as a means for students to receive recognition for their individual achievements regardless of if their school recognizes 16 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

equestrian as a sport. Students are responsible for tracking their own hours and competitions, which means support from the student’s school, is not necessary to participate. Individuals who do compete interscholastically are able to use their team practice hours and competitions towards meeting the annual requirements. The program does provide schools with updates and information about the students. “We’re hoping this will initiate conversations

with the schools,” says Mellenkamp, “and that they will start taking notice of the equestrians that are enrolled.” The requirements for the USEF High School Equestrian Athlete program are simple: High school students must belong to USEF, log at least 100 hours of time training and participate in three competitions during the program year. The program is open to students participating in all breeds and disciplines of equestrian sport. Any

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level or type of competition can be used to meet the requirements. If you’re currently enrolled in grades 9–12 and just now hearing about the program, you’re not too late to get started and earn a letter for all four years. The program was expanded to allow any current high school student the opportunity to earn a varsity letter retroactively. You can also get started in the middle of the program year, and use hours and competitions from before you enrolled. The benefits of the program reach far beyond the varsity letterman patch, lapel pin, and Certificate of Achievement students receive upon completing the program. Skylar Rowan of Tennessee was another student enrolled in the program. When asked what the USEF High School Equestrian Athlete program meant

to her, Rowan responded, “What the program has given to me is validation and recognition from those who truly understand this amazing sport. By earning my varsity letter every year, I can also say to the world that I am an athlete… not just the girl who leaves school every day to ‘ride horses.’ Riding is my life, my passion and my sport. Yes, it would be great if my school were able to recognize me in the way that they do the other student athletes. But because of the USEF High School Equestrian Athlete program, I now feel every bit as empowered as those that parade across the stage each May to pick up a letter.” For more information about the USEF High School Equestrian Athlete program, please visit or email highschoolequestrianathlete@

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Adds & Scratches

USEF Equestrian College Search The search for the right college is often considered one of the m o s t exciting and potentially overwhelming times for young adults. With all of the information available and factors to consider, it can be difficult for a student to narrow the search to schools that fit best, especially for young equestrians. Between academic courses and equestrian opportunities, the idea that you may not have come across your “perfect” school is a constant concern. The United States Equestrian Federation has created the USEF Equestrian College Search to help guide students in making an informed decision about their future education. The Search is an online tool designed

It’s free! 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! 18 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

to help apprise students of the various opportunities available when looking for equestrian programs or teams at the college level. The Search asks students questions about what they are looking for in a school—everything from size of the school, location, academic interests, and equestrian endeavors. As each question is answered, the Search matches the criteria to qualifying schools to narrow the list for the student. Students will then be able to view a profile page of each institution that

matches their goals. At any time, students can click on the link to view results and see the list of institutions matching their criteria. Looking to ride on an equestrian team in college or earn a degree in an equine related field? Check out the USEF Equestrian College Search at www.usef. org/collegiatesearch today to see what schools match your interests!

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Reprehensible—76% of Horses Tested at 2012 Walking Horse Celebration Found Positive for Foreign Substances Tennessee Attorney General Asked to Investigate Discrepancies Between Federal Inspections and Industry’s Own In contrast to the two foreign substance violations reported by the Tennessee Walking Horse industry at the 2012 National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tenn., the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s testing revealed that 145 horses out of 190 tested, or 76 percent, were found positive. The Humane Society of the United States has requested that Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. open an investigation into the veracity of public statements made by officials connected to the Walking Horse Trainers Association Enforcement Initiative, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and the Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization about their initiative to detect unlawful

This is a grotesque image of a beautiful horse, cruelly and painfully forced to walk in an unnatural way, in order to allow someone to buy him or herself a championship. Associations like this need to be disbanded immediately.

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horse soring at the 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The HSUS maintains that this discrepancy raises a serious concern that participants and spectators at the Celebration were falsely assured that horses entered were compliant with the federal Horse Protection Act, when the organizers of the event may have concealed evidence of cruelty and cheating. The foreign substance testing is used to detect the presence of painful caustic chemicals that trainers apply to horses’ legs. Other cruel training methods—collectively referred to as “soring”—are used to obtain the prized high-stepping gait of the walking horse. Before the event, both the TWHNC and the TWSHO issued press releases assuring the public that every horse entered at the Celebration would be swabbed and tested for illegal foreign substances used to sore horses or to conceal that a horse was sore. They also promised to release test results promptly during the event and to immediately and severely punish any violators. However, it appears that the industry groups did not swab and test every horse, nor did they release the complete results of the testing, adding to suspicions that some positive test results may have been suppressed to protect the perpetrators. Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS, said: “The show organizations involved with the Celebration’s swabbing program failed to deliver on promises about protecting the welfare of horses and compliance with the law. We are urging Attorney General Cooper to fully investigate the industry’s deception.” The HSUS’ ongoing effort to protect Tennessee walking horses from abuse includes urging Gov. Bill Haslam to veto the dangerous anti-whistleblower bill, SB 1248, now on his desk. If SB 1248 is passed, it would outlaw the types of investigations that have exposed horse soring and ban one of the few ways animal abuse in stables and on farms is discovered.


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Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo take a victory lap after winning the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. Photo by

A Timely Win For New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson


nce again, the Kentucky Horse Park hosted the most exciting three days in equestrian sport in the US, with the 2013 edition of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. With a slew of international eventing stars and some promising up and comers, the Rolex Kentucky, once again, provided the ultimate test for horse and rider.

Dressage Great Britain’s eventing veteran, William Fox-Pitt and the eye-catching chestnut stallion Chilli Morning, threw 22 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

down the gauntlet with a superb Dressage test, to take the first day lead. “Chilli has an amazing presence and loves being in the arena where he thinks he’s king. I hoped the test would score in the 30s and I did have a sneaky look at the scoreboard, at which point I thought ‘OK, right!’ ” said Fox-Pitt, who has won at Kentucky twice before, in 2010 and last year. Chilli Morning was fifth at Pau, France last year, but a stallion has never won at CCI4* level before—there are currently only three competing at this level in the world. However, Fox-Pitt, who took

over the ride last year after the horse was produced by British rider Nick Gauntlet, explained: “It puts him under extra pressure, of course, but he’s got a great temperament. He’s a very dear, kind horse that you can give a cuddle to. He never puts his ears back and is a real gentleman.” Close on Fox-Pitt’s heels was New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson, who scored the only other sub-40 penalties mark with the exciting prospect Quimbo, to move into second place. Equally impressive was the performance of his

William Fox-Pitt takes the lead after dressage on Chilli Morning. Photo by

other horse, Calico Joe, who helped Nicholson to third place as well in the Dressage test. Nicholson, the current HSBC FEI Classics™ leader after his victory at Pau, France last year, put in a significantly improved dressage performance with his horses.

Cross Country Good fortune was in short supply on the second day for dressage leader William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning as they bowed out of the cross-country after the stallion, which had been jumping carefully, took a good look at the rails

Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo move into second place on a strong dressage performance. Photo by

into the first water complex and stopped. Fox-Pitt described Chilli Morning’s exit as “one of those things. Maybe he over-jumped the fence before and gave himself a bit of a shock. There was no point carrying on. He’s a 13-year-old and wasn’t here for the experience.” With William Fox-Pitt’s first place standing short-lived, Andrew Nicholson took over with a Cross Country performance on Quimbo that was legendary. Nicholson also put in an excellent early round on Calico Joe to additionally move into second place, but his performance at the end of the Cross Country on Libby Sellar’s talented ten-year-old Quimbo, was simply breathtaking—a joy to watch and a master class in accurate, sympathetic horsemanship in which horse and rider were as one throughout. “That was probably my most exciting ride ever,” said an understandably elated Nicholson. “Quimbo is an unbelievable horse. For the first time at this level, that was just an amazing performance. When I got to eight minutes, I said ‘Let’s get serious’ and he amazed me as he went faster and faster at the end.”

This was Nicholson’s first Rolex watch, the fifth CCI4* win of his 30-year career, and the third on the trot, following victories last year at Burghley and Pau. He put his current run of success in perspective. “It’s the realization about the sort of quality of horses you need nowadays and the great team work you need at home. When it dawns on you that you’ve won a four-star competition on a young horse, it’s a great buzz, and this is no ordinary four-star.” Nicholson spoke excitedly about Quimbo. “He’s a proper horse! He is exceptional and smart and very easy to ride. A win like this is great for the future. Nereo [Olympic bronze medalist] is my best horse at the Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo jump the trout on the cross-country course to move into first place. Photo by moment because he’s a hardened campaigner, and Quimbo is the new kid on the block, but I can see him nudging Nereo aside.” The New Zealander was now holding Stadium Jumping Buck Davidson, who had the best onto first and second place at the top of Andrew Nicholson entered the final finish for the Americans, secured fourth the scoreboard with a fence in hand over day—the stadium jumping phase—with place on Ballynoe Castle RM behind third-placed Buck Davidson of the U.S. a winner’s confidence on the beautiful Nicholson who also finished third on Nicholson had nothing but good black horse Quimbo, to secure his firstCalico Joe, and Fox-Pitt, who held on for things to say about cross-country course ever win of the Rolex Kentucky Threesecond place. designer Derek di Grazia. “I’d like to Day Event, the third leg of the 2012/2013 Nicholson has produced Quimbo since congratulate Derek. The course was HSBC FEI Classics™. he was a youngster. The ten-year-old big and horse-friendly. He started off Nicholson has made no secret of the fact gelding, bred in Spain by Anna Beca, by getting us thinking positively with that for him this season is “all about the is by Lacros, a son of the top jumping big wide fences and then there were HSBC FEI Classics—if William lets me!” technical ones like the hollow at fence six where you had to sit on your backside and work a bit. He mixed it up well.” In a day of positive riding on perfect footing, The U.S.’s Will Faudree and Pawlow climbed six places to fifth, followed by fellow American Lynn Symansky, who flew around on Donner to move up 13 places to sixth. Buck Davidson, whose father Bruce was one of the most successful riders around Kentucky, including winning individual gold at the 1978 world championships there, looked justifiably ecstatic at the end of the day. He thrilled both his family and a large home crowd by riding three committed clear rounds on the young horse Meghan O’Donoghue riding Pirate is presented the HSBC Training Bursary by USEF President, Christine Tauber at Mar de Amor. the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Photo by 24 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

sire Landgraaf. Nicholson has long favored horses bred in Spain on jumping lines. The mare Qwanza, bred on similar lines, was seventh at Kentucky last year, and Anna Beca’s brother Ramon bred Nereo, who he will ride at Badminton. American Lynn Symansky, who was competing with a broken finger, scored her best international result with a meteoric rise from 25th place after dressage to eventual fifth on her ten-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Donner, ahead of fellow countryman Will Faudree and Pawlow, who placed sixth. Buck Davidson was ninth on Mar de Amor, and gained a bonus prize with a two-year lease on a Land Rover due to being the American rider nearest the optimum Cross Country time. Davidson admitted he was a little disappointed with his two rails down in the jumping phase. “My little horse was great. This is my third national championship here [as highest-placed U.S. rider], all on three Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo confidently tackle the stadium-jumping course on their way to their first different horses. Maybe we can keep victory at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. Photo by these New Zealanders and Brits away and I’ll win here one of these days. But start. O’Donoghue previously worked as Dressage phase to eventual 11th, adding all of my three horses are in great shape, barn manager and assistant trainer to Jan only four Cross Country time penalties and that’s exciting for me for the future.” Byyny, and is now based in Illinois. and seven Jumping penalties. Meghan O’Donoghue, a member of She only rode in her first CCI3* last the USA’s under-25 training squad, made year, finishing 12th at Fairhill (USA) on a brilliant CCI4* début to win the HSBC About The Winner Pirate, a horse she has produced from Training Bursary worth $1,000. Andrew Nicholson 51, leader of the a youngster since she spotted him as a Riding her own Pirate, an 11-year-old HSBC Rankings and the HSBC FEI three-year-old on the racetrack, where he American Thoroughbred, O’Donoghue Classics™ series, is acknowledged as one was being used to ‘pony’ racehorses to the of the most hard-working and naturally climbed from 25th place after the talented horsemen in eventing. He first came to England as a 19-year-old in 1979 and worked with racehorses. His first CCI4* was Badminton in 1984 where he earned a place on the first New Zealand Olympic team, at Los Angeles. He went on to ride at five more Olympics, winning team silver in 1992 and team bronzes in 1996 and 2012, when he finished fourth individually on Nereo. He also won team gold at the 1990 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Stockholm, and team and individual bronze on Nereo at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky. Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM had the best finish for the Americans, taking fourth place at the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Photo by HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JUNE 2013 | 25


Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final Madden Makes it Two for Two for the U.S. After being shut out at the London Olympics, U.S. show jumping got back on track when Beezie Madden won the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final at Gothenburg, Sweden aboard the 14-year-old Dutch-bred gelding Simon. With Rich Fellers as the defending World Cup Champion, the U.S. has now won back-to-back World Cup Jumping Championships for the first time since the early eighties, when Melanie Smith won in 1982, followed by Norman Dello Joio in 1983.

Starting in the Pole Position The first day of competition would belong to Beezie Madden and Simon as they topped a field of 39 starters from 17 countries. The 49-year-old from Cazenovia, New York produced the quickest run with Simon, stopping the clock in 62.28 seconds to set a target that could not be bettered. Beezie talked about her preparation for the Rolex Final this year. “We competed in the Nations Cup at Wellington and then in Paris. Simon is a very seasoned indoor horse so that seemed to be enough before coming here. Before this my biggest successes with Simon were winning the Queen Elizabeth Cup at Spruce Meadows and coming in second in the Masters there last September.” U.S. riders were highly impressive, filling five of the top 13 finishing spots at the end of the first day, but for defending champions Rich Fellers and Flexible, the dream of a back-to-back championship already seemed out of reach. The defending champions were firing on all cylinders until turning to the double, vertical to oxer. Fellers came around the third fence so quickly on the approach that the 17-year-old stallion seemed to be taken by surprise


Beezie Madden becomes only the fifth woman to hoist the World Cup Jumping trophy. Photo:Kit Houghton/FEI.


The Pressure Builds

Beezie Madden and Simon put in a spectacular round in the jump off to win the 2013 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final. Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI

by the double and scrambled through the first element before grinding to a halt at the second. They composed themselves and finished without further drama, but the mistake was very costly as they ended up in 34th place going into the second

day of competition, and for all intents and purposes, their bid for another championship was over. History shows that a prominent placing in the opening speed class is essential to remain in contention for the Rolex title.

Olympic champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, won the second leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final with a spectacular performance from his London 2012 ride, Nino des Buissonnets. But Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Lennox held the lead going into the final deciding competition after the three riders lying ahead of her on the leaderboard all faulted. Guerdat went into the ring and, as he said afterwards, “My plan was to win. I knew if my horse was clear he would be difficult to beat.” His breathtaking run to the penultimate oxer and his racing gallop to the final Rolex oxer brought gasps from the crowd as the clock showed 34.09 seconds. First-day winners, Beezie Madden and Simon, looked cool as cucumbers over the early part of the track, but it suddenly fell apart coming down to the second-last and although they cleared that, their frenzied run to the last resulted in a very expensive four faults that saw them finish ninth in this competition and slip down the overall standings to second place. It was deep disappointment for

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Sweden’s Rolf-Göran Bengtsson retired his wonderful horse, Ninja La Silla, to a standing ovation after the Finals. Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI

Madden after her opening-day triumph, but she trailed Diniz by just a single penalty point going into Sunday’s third and final leg.

An Unbelievable Finish The concluding day of the World Cup Finals saw an epic battle between the top horse and rider pairs in the world, that was so close, it forced a third head-tohead jump-off round that was sizzling with tension and thrills. This was a tough day of jumping and

a cliffhanger of a competition right to the very end. Not one of the 23 starters managed to complete Uliano Vezzani’s first-round track without penalty, and only three left all the fences up in the second round and one of those— Sweden’s Rolf-Göran Bengtsson— collected just a single time fault. Questioned afterwards about the intensity of the test he had set throughout the entire day, Vezzani said, “I think it wasn’t too easy for the riders and horses but these are the best in the world. It was

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sport big, difficult and technical, but the horses jumped well.” Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Lennox stood atop the leaderboard heading into round one, but three fences down ended their day early. Beezie was one of eight riders who posted four faults, and it was enough to move her into first place heading into round two. Round two opened with France’s Kevin Staut lying in second ahead of Guerdat and America’s McLain Ward. Olympic champion Guerdat rode a brilliant clear round and when Beezie dropped the second element of the nextto-last double, she and Guerdat were tied for first and it would take a jump-off to separate them. And you couldn’t have predicted what was about to happen!

easy for me as long as I can get him there in range. I got him 18 months ago, and he’s great because he’s a fighter!”

About the winner Beezie Madden was the first woman, and first American, to reach the top three in the World Rankings (in 2004) and the first woman to pass the $1m mark in prize-money. Riding the brilliant Authentic, she helped the U.S. team to gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, took team and individual silver at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Aachen, and returned to the

German venue to clinch the Rolex Grand Prix in 2007. Once again with Authentic, she took team gold and individual bronze at the 2008 equestrian events of the Beijing Olympic Games in Hong Kong. In 2010, she again took the Aachen Grand Prix, this time with Coral Reef Via Volo, and in 2011, she claimed team gold and individual silver at the PanAmerican Games.


Red, White, Blue & Gold Guerdat and his Olympic partner Nino des Buissonnets are one of the fastest duos on the planet, and the Olympic champions took off like a rocket over the new jump-off course. They looked as if they would post a time that Beezie would be hard-pressed to beat, but suddenly the impossible happened. Turning too tight to the penultimate vertical, Guerdat found himself with no real sight of a stride and when that fence fell, they galloped down to the last and hit that too. “I was trying to go clear and fast as possible. I have a very fast horse, and I just wanted to win. Last year I had to go first in the jump-off but I wasn’t quick enough so I finished second and I didn’t want it to happen again. Maybe I took too much risk,” explained Guerdat. Beezie entered the arena knowing that a sensible clear would be good enough to take the title and that was exactly what she produced. “It was great to win the first leg, but I was kicking myself after the second day. And today it was different again. It was a bit like the cards landed right for me when Steve left the door open in the jump-off,” the new champion said afterwards. Madden talked about Simon, saying, “He’s a very sensible horse, there has always been a question about rideability and we’ve played around with bits and found one he likes now. He can get strong, but he’s not too difficult and he’s careful, he wants to do his job and he makes it


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France’s Kevin Staut and Silvana HDC were one rail from winning it all. The pair settled for 3rd place. Photo:Kit Houghton/FEI.

Swiss Olympic Champion, Steve Guerdat rode Nino des Buissonnets to a second place finish in a thrilling jump off with Beezie Madden. Photo:Kit Houghton/FEI. 30 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE



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Women&Horses— By Joan Ranquet




That Drives the


o me, the equine is a better friend to the human than the canine friend.

We co-created our current society with the horse. The dogs have benefited from our friendship, and of course, we have benefited by befriending the cat. In the meantime, we wouldn’t be our modern world without the partnership we share

with the horse. Human and horses work well together. As a team, we have accomplished a lot!

I grew up with horses, essentially. More years of my life at this point have been sustained by equine companionship and for the last 18 years, I have had the great fortune of working with horses (and dogs and cats). Is it the smell that ends up in my hair and follows me for hours later? Is it the dirt under the fingernails that is an embarrassment and a badge all at the same time? Is it that, no matter what work coat or city coat I have on, if I reach my hands in the pocket, I can feel hay? Is it that connection that continues long after the visit of just grooming? Is it the muscle memory all day long of a perfect trot/canter transition that just carries me through anything unpleasant? Is it the feeling of “I missed the mark” with my horse today even though I’m a rock star at work? The real truth is, there are flies all around and I could be dismissed with the swing of a big horse butt or the swish of a tail in two seconds. This isn’t exactly the sexiest way one could live their life. Yet, if you took a poll, many women would choose their horse after a few years of marriage—or they enjoy their marriage because they have a horse! What is that? And, why? What do we share? It is right up there with the seduction of a bad boy, swimming with wild dolphins or believing in unicorns. In other words, we love magic and enchantment—even if it goes badly for a day, a month or a year! The magic far outweighs the challenge. And, we require passion. That magic is what has babies staring in wonderment at a horse. Some of us never grew out of that! And, we must have it with us at all times.


orses exude power, they champion freedom, and their movement in its most pure form is an unadulterated expression of grace. All the while they embody the paradox of strength and vulnerability, flighty yet assured and they can be terrified and seem so centered. They can act like the wisdom keeper of your life and still need so much caring and tenderness to stay alive and sound.

In that last paragraph, we could have replaced the word horses for women. The entire paragraph still works with the replacement. Perhaps that is why women are so drawn to horses and identify so profoundly with them. And those are just the words. The words are a very limited version, a black and white line drawing of a very complex, colorful picture so to speak. Those words don’t even scratch the surface on the feelings. The sensations. Or the best part of all, that silent world we share. I personally am in the business of that silent world we share with horses as an animal communicator. When people ask me what I do, I say, “I travel around talking to animals and write books about it!” In my business, in my practice, it is about empowering others to keep that deep connection going whether that is in a pasture, the show ring or an endurance race. It was the course of three horses that got me here doing this work. Two of the horses were part of a tragic story that I tell about in the introduction of my book, Communication with all Life, Revelations of an Animal Communicator (Hay House). Yet the third horse, at 24, is who I stare at out the window at all day long when I’m working from home. A lameness of unknown origin, a lost business card of an animal communicator I had used and taking one animal communication class to figure out the lameness landed me in my current day job! It was years before the lameness revealed itself, but I was hooked on this work. It would be that way that I could be around animals (and even my own) all day long. As a child I would tell my mother that I wanted to breed horses for a living. She said I would never make a living then because knowing me I would never sell any of them. At five, I had to rethink the work plan with horses. It was about then that I discovered women

“Because of passion, need, and creativity, we want to give back because of that special horse.” 34 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

couldn’t be priests, the only other thing I wanted to be. So I really had to get creative. At the time, pet psychic was not on any career list.


omen in the equestrian business are driven by passion. Horse people can be dramatic, let’s face it. It’s not always the billion dollar business, even though there is a lot of money floating through barn aisles. I started questioning—what drives people (women) into working with horses or in the equestrian business? Is it one horse? Is it a lifestyle? Is it because we want to stop someone from making our terrible mistakes? Is it all those above mentioned intoxicating feelings we get with the connection, plus an opportunity to have it all day long? I know so many body workers that started in the corporate world, thought they had a horse that was misbehaving, only to discover it was a physical issue, and the next thing you know they are enrolled in acupressure school or massage school for horses. They leaped, by choice, right out of the corporate world to make less money and smell like a horse all day. They could go back to cute clothes and fancy lunches and refuse!

Joan Ranquet with one of her beloved horses

Two different saddle fitters that I know got into the saddle fitting business because ill-fitting saddles were having epic repercussions to their own horses. They felt driven by their deep love for their horse, their mistakes and the fact that people don’t know enough about saddle fitting itself. They are driven by the concept that the average horse owner is listening to the horse trainer who is not a trained saddle fitter. This becomes a true labor of love as it is certainly rewarding to see people gain perspective and the horses shift for the better. Yet, this labor of love becomes immensely disappointing to know that so many people don’t realize the value of a proper saddle fit. Saddle fitting lands at the bottom of the list of priorities, so it becomes a race to get out there and educate. Jill Todd, a holistic veterinarian, told me that while she was in Vet school at Texas A & M, she adored and loved a horse that she was riding. He had navicular disease and was experiencing navicular changes. He was such a great horse, and she was able to really help him. She loved all horses and was drawn toward holistic medicine after seeing a chiropractor work magic. By being an active equestrian, she was getting the best of both worlds—an ability to see the stressors on the horses from an equestrian perspective and to be able to really help the horses she specifically was riding because of her education. M. Douglas Mutch, owner of Gracie Street Interior Design Studio and Boutique in Palm Beach and Wellington, actually has a store right on the show grounds! Her interiors “reflect the lifestyle of the equestrian” and are steeped in beautiful design and expression. The store in Wellington becomes a place where riders will gravitate to for the cozy, home feeling amidst the horse show madness! Her career ended up being a unique way of blending being around horses and horse people! When I asked her if it was one horse or a lifestyle, she was very quick to respond! “For me, it was probably lifestyle driven—or even more important, animal driven. I was so fortunate to have had so many horses to ride throughout my life.

Many are that ‘special’ kind of horse, so I would say that I just wanted to be around the horses, and I figured out a unique way through my career choice to do that. Thinking back though, as a child, I do remember I used to draw and layout barn after barn after barn design, and at the time I did so, never thought about following a career in Interior Design—it just happened. Perhaps it was my destiny all along!” Ellen Beard, assistant Professor in the Equestrian department at Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri has gone on to train numerous world and national champion horse and rider combinations. A nationally recognized USEF judge and clinician, Beard currently co-chairs the USEF Saddle Seat Equitation Committee and USA Saddle Seat World Cup -Committee. It all started out cutting out paper ponies, pictures of ponies, and just being obsessed. Her father would then be the advocate of her getting lessons. Working for a big national show barn in her teens, when she was faced with some difficult times, kept her out of trouble! She was too exhausted because of the rigorous show schedule she was employed by. Her dedication and ability to give back to the horses that helped her is poured forth onto the horses and the young women that come through her barn aisles for a degree in Equestrian science. Holistic Veterinarian and Equine Dentist Dr. Erin Zamzow found herself literally in the horse’s mouth—driven by lifestyle and need. The need was the equine community—dentistry, at the time wasn’t being provided and it got her out of being in a veterinary office. Dr. Erin is very passionate about the care of horses—“I loved horses, always wanted one, but never had one. I got my first horse when I was in vet school, yet another of the poorly treated horses donated to a vet school. I adopted my second horse my senior year of vet school so she wouldn’t be killed—another donation for ‘learning.’ What I learned is to make sure I told everyone I knew to never donate an animal to a veterinary school!”


othing to me is more satisfying then helping a horse and rider shift their relationship. I can hear the light bulb go off on the phone when a client understands her horse more clearly. I love to stand in the barn aisle and see the human faces light up and the horse’s eye soften. I am driven by the passion of connecting with all life, and I’m driven by helping. I’m driven by the mistakes that I made so that nobody has to repeat those. Nothing but unbridled passion makes us blindly think we can change the world with our little equine business. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it. Because of passion, need, and creativity, we want to give back because of that special horse. And some of us find out how to be human again. We might choose to work with horses at first glance because we like them better. Horses generally are owned and become attached with an owner, a human. Because of horses, we have to relate better as humans. Great teachers, those horses. Joan Ranquet is a screenwriter, actress, playwright, animal communicator, and author of Communication with All Life: Revelations of an Animal Communicator. A frequent speaker, Joan has been featured on The Today Show and Good Morning America. Her next book, Energy Healing for Animals, will be released next spring. For more information visit: HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JUNE 2013 | 35


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

Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage

The Reem Acra Dream Comes True at Last for Langehanenberg By Louise Parkes

Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill win the 2013 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final. Photo: Roland Thunholm/FEI.


ermany’s Helen Langehanenberg lived up to all the promise she has shown over the last few seasons to clinch the 2013 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage title in style with the fabulous stallion, Damon Hill. She was a lady on a mission from the outset, driven on by the huge hunger she felt after having to settle for runner-up spot at last year’s Final before missing out on individual bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games by an agonizing 0.03 percentage point.



Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage

Defending Dutch Champion Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival had to settle for second place this time at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final. Photo: Roland Thunholm/FEI.

The 30-year-old rider pushed all that into the past, producing a breathtaking performance that catapulted her into the lead. And despite their best efforts, defending champion Adelinde Cornelissen and her Dutch colleague Edward Gal could not do better, having to settle for second and third places respectively. Langehanenberg is the eighth German rider to take the coveted trophy in the history of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage series, and the first since Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht FRH in 2007. “It’s just a dream come true, it’s a great feeling!” she said afterwards, hardly daring to believe what she had finally achieved. But her success was hard earned, as this Final was fiercely fought by some of the most polished, talented and experienced riders the sport of dressage has ever produced.

Out in Front It was Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno who were out in front at the halfway stage. The 27-year-old from Milan, and daughter of dressage judge Enzo Truppa, threw down one of her daring trademark performances that included one-handed piaffe for a score of 79.696.

The Netherlands rider, Edward Gal and Glocks Undercover were impressive in a third place finish. Photo: Roland Thunholm/FEI.

Sweden’s Patrick Kittel and Watermill Scandic HDC met a wall of sound from the spectators when entering the arena, but despite great piaffe and passage their score of 78.393 wouldn’t upset the leader or the top end of the scoreboard. It took German veteran, Isabell Werth and her “work in progress” Don Johnson FRH to do that when raising the game with a score of 80.429 with just four more left to go.

New Standard But Langehanenberg set a whole new standard when next in, her stallion punching out great piaffe and passage and devouring the ground with his long, loping walk as they executed their floor-plan with absolute accuracy. Any fear that the one-tempi canter changes would haunt them after their error in this movement during the Grand Prix were dismissed by the consummate coolness of it all. Clearly this was a test that would take some beating as the scoreboard showed 88.286. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven could have been intimidated to find herself and Don Auriello sandwiched in between Langehanenberg and 2010 Reem Acra champion Edward Gal from The Netherlands, but instead the Swede simply

rose to the occasion. Her elegant 13-yearold bay gelding showed wonderful extended trot en route to a mark of 82.661 to show that his place amongst the stars was well-deserved. Gal then followed with the “dark horse” of this Reem Acra Final, the black gelding Glock’s Undercover who some thought might just spring a surprise in the closing stages. But while the 12-yearold horse demonstrated exquisite piaffe and passage their total of 84.446 was well short of Langehanenberg’s target. Only defending champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival now stood between the German and the biggest result of her career, and the Dutch rider’s big gelding was his usual flamboyant self as he strutted his way through passage, piaffe and his trademark pirouettes. The crowd held their breath as the judges took their time in posting their marks. But when 86.214 came up on the scoreboard it was clear that the hat trick Cornelissen had been hoping for would not materialize and it was Langehanenberg holding the Reem Acra trophy aloft at the end of the day.

A Champion at Last The German rider has trained with continued… HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JUNE 2013 | 37


Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage double Olympic gold medalist Klaus Balkenhol for the last ten years and her back-up team also includes her parents, particularly her mother who travels to all her shows, and her husband Sebastian who steps into the coaching role in Balkenhol’s absence. She said that one of the things that amazes her about her horse is his continual improvement and his self-assurance. “He gave me so much confidence during the test today, it felt like the best test we have ever done, I was scared to do too much but he told me, ‘take it easy, Helen, we can do this together’!” She reflected on what has happened over the last eight months or so. “After London (Olympic Games 2012) I wondered what we could do, because I thought it was already perfect, but this is my horse, I think he’s perfect and then he just does it even better again, he is amazing! He really is something special, he can read and write!” she said smiling.

Super Riding Ground Jury member, Sweden’s Gustav Svalling, pointed out that five horses got a score of over 80 percent in the Final. “It was super riding, they are incredible athletes and I was so pleased to be judging. It was very tight, Helen was fantastic, her horse has such a good walk and Parzival was so close. I gave Edward a 10 for piaffe and transitions, they were so soft, but the walk for his horse is not the strongest while Helen’s horse has a super walk,” he pointed out. “Before Totilas we (the judges) didn’t give 10s, but now we do,” to which Gal quickly retorted, “so you all have to be thankful to me for that!” The mood was celebratory as the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final drew to a close. There was the sense of the time having come for Langehanenberg to shine and for the new champion it is now time to step back and enjoy her success.

Edward Gal, who took third place, congratulates World Cup Champion Helen Langehanenberg while second place finisher Adelinde Cornelissen joins in the celebration. Photo: Roland Thunholm/FEI.

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Regional championship show for andalusians and lusitanos plus Open Breed Dressage show and Open Breed Working Equitation Competition

Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill put in a brilliant test that led to the top step of the medal podium. © Roland Thunholm/FEI. 38 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

castle Rock, Douglas county Fairgrounds september 6, 7, and 8, 2013

Interagro Lusitanos International Horse Auction Aug 31, 2013 Interagro Lusitanos Itapira, Brazil

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Peters and Hassler Return to Succeed/USDF FEI-Level Trainers’ Conference Olympian Steffen Peters will headline the 2014 Succeed/ USDF FEI-Level Trainers’ Conference with USEF National Young Dressage Horse Coach Scott Hassler. The United States Dressage Federation announced that Olympian Steffen Peters and USEF National Young Dressage Horse Coach Scott Hassler will return to headline the 2014 Succeed/ USDF FEI-Level Trainers’ Conference. The conference will be held January 20–21, 2014 at Mary Anne McPhail’s High Meadow Farm in Loxahatchee, Florida. During the 2014 conference, Peters and Hassler will focus on the critical stages of development and training. Peters will, again, be hands-on with FEI-level horses, spending time in the saddle as he identifies where riders “get in trouble,” and showcasing his techniques as he works through “real life” issues as they relate to the Pyramid of Training. Peters and Hassler will also engage attendees in peer–to–peer discussion throughout the conference, as they evaluate each situation. Steffen Peters is one of the most sought after trainers and clinicians in the world and is known for his correct and sympathetic approach. In addition to his training credentials, Peters has a highly decorated international competitive career. He recently made history in having the number one and number two horses for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and has been named as USEF Equestrian of the Year an unprecedented three times, and has won six USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship titles. Scott Hassler, a well sought after clinician, is one of our country’s most respected allaround horsemen and is an internationally respected and accomplished trainer and educator. Hassler’s straightforward and simple training and coaching techniques have been used to successfully develop horses of all ages through the Grand Prix level, as well as helped achieve the best U.S. result to date at the World Championships for Young Horses, with a fourth place finish in 2005.


Offering For Sale “Luxembourg”

This 2011 gelding has everything he needs to be an outstanding competitor in any of the sport horse disciplines. Exceptional breeding (Limoncello II X Rampal) siblings competing at the top levels in jumping, eventing and dressage. Calm, confident demeanor. Super jumping technique. Gorgeous mover. All in an impressive package. This tall boy is sure to go to the top. 20k

Contact: Alison Ashbaugh 425-241-3701


hile dressage has European roots that date back hundreds of years, the fact is that today, the USA is breeding top quality horses that can successfully compete with those born anywhere else in the world. “Born in the USA Breeders Awards (BITUSA) is the only program of its kind in the country. It was developed to recognize and reward the achievements of sport horse breeders in the United States,” said Lori Kaminski, President and CEO of Dressage at Devon. The idea caught on. In recent years Sport Horse breed shows on the East Coast have joined in and in 2010 Born in the USA Breeders Awards have been presented at shows from New York to Kentucky. A BITUSA award is a good omen for the winners. Many previous winners have gone on to be true champions. Beatrice VDL, (Prestige VDL) a Dutch Warmblood and a 2012 BITUSA winner, was named the 2012 Devon Grand Champion at the Devon Breed Show. Beatrice is owned by Pieter Ruig from Shelter Island, NY. It was not an easy task, Osborne says. “She had to go in to compete the mare championship, and then she had to go compete against the champion stallion, then compete against the champion young horses.” In addition to winning the breed championship, Beatrice was named Mature Champion at only six. The mare is now carrying a UB-40 (one of the stallions at Iron Spring Farm) baby. Dazzle, a two-time BITUSA winner, is a KWPN ster-predicate mare by Broere Jazz x Special D, bred by Victoria Lamas Wanner of Greifenstein Farm. Dazzle was the Grand Reserve Champion of the Dressage at Devon breed show in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In 2011,

Dazzle was the Young Horse Champion at Dressage at Devon, and the Reserve Mare Champion in 2012. Dazzle also was the 3rd place KWPN-NA Dressage Mare of the North American Keuring Tour in 2011. Pikko del Cerro HU, by Pik L out of Rohweena and bred by Horses Unlimited was a 2005 BITUSA winner and has gone on to live up to the honor. In 2007, he won both USEF 4-Year-Old classes at Dressage at Devon with scores above 80%. Pikko del Cerro HU was named the 2007 USDF All Breeds Award (AHS) 1st place 4-Year-Old Materiale Stallion. Pikko del Cerro HU was the top placed American bred at the 2008 Markel/ USEF National Championships in the 5-Year-Old division. In 2009, he was named the 2009 Markel/USEF 6-Year-Old National Dressage Champion as well as being awarded the prestigious Stallion Championship at Dressage at Devon. Under saddle he continued his Devon dominance winning all 6-Year-Old classes and scoring above 85%. Born in the USA Breeders Awards are open to horses and ponies of any breed conceived and foaled in the USA. Cash prizes are awarded and divided among the highest scoring horse in each category, provided the score falls within the top 50% of the class. The highest scoring horse overall is declared champion. Through the overwhelming generosity of the sponsors, more than $60,000 in prize money has been awarded since the program began. Several sponsorship levels are available for this prestigious class. For more information, contact Melanie Sloyer at msloyer@aol. com or Lori Kaminski at To enter, to view the prize list, or for more information, please visit


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 | JUNE 2013 | 41


Born in the USA Awards: Celebrating U.S. Born and Bred Sport Horses at Dressage at Devon

HC’s Close Contact Celebrating Women in Equestrian Business


he connection between women and horses has been

documented as far back as the Victorian Era. And any venture to a horse show will confirm this, as horse show participants are over 80% women. So, it is no surprise that a majority of equestrian related businesses are run by women.

You need passion to start-up, run, and be successful in owning your own business—and when it comes to the horse, there is no shortage of passion, or inspiration for that matter. One could say that horses indeed, inspire us to achieve many things, including owning your own business. HC’s Close Contact is a showcase that highlights women in equestrian business with questions that reveal their character, their humor, and their humanity. So, enjoy your contact with these equestrian women, who epitomize the phrase—who says you can’t have it all?

Anne Sparks ���������������������������������������������������������������44 Maria Katsamanis �����������������������������������������������������46 Susan Williams ���������������������������������������������������������48 Melisa Pearce �������������������������������������������������������������50 Susan Williams ����������������������������������������������������������52 Shery “Bear” McDonald-Galbreath ���������������54 Mickie Sage ����������������������������������������������������������������� 56 K.C. Parkins-Kyle ����������������������������������������������������� 58 Kari Crawford-Clay �������������������������������������������������60 Suzy Sweitzer ������������������������������������������������������������� 62 42 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Close Contact When did you start? I bought my first horse for breeding in 1999.

First business? Breeding and showing Polish chickens called “Chickens Unlimited.” That is how the name for Horses Unlimited was born.

Tell us about yourself. I have been breeding sport horses in New Mexico for a little more than ten years. In that time, I have achieved things that many never will in a lifetime. My program is a unique combination of my internationally successful stallions and broodmares that combine proven athletic talent in various disciplines. The stallions’ accomplishments include the Olympic Games, World Cup Finals, Pan Am Games, CDIO Aachen, USEF Horse of the Year and USDF National Championships, and the resulting offspring prove that my methodology is sound and successful. Horses Unlimited is currently the leading USEF Dressage Breeder. In 2011 and 2012, they were Reserve Champion Breeder. We have licensed six stallions in less than a decade and two are now competing at the FEI level. Galante HU, by Galant du Serein x Landor S, is a competitive FEI eight-year-old Jumper and will start in his first Grand Prix in 2013. Pikko del Cerro HU, by Pik L x Rohdiamant, is an excellent example of the dressage horses produced by Horses Unlimited. Pikko del Cerro HU is a CDI-Grand Prix winner in his first season, three-time National Champion, Dressage at Devon Stallion Champion and


nne Horses Unlimited

AHS Licensing Champion. They currently stand five stallions and produce a small number of foals each year.

will be expressed and what you are going to get. You have to be educated but both genes and luck definitely play a part.

Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses? I’m

What is the least fulfilling? Not understanding what some people want from you in this industry.

back competing as an amateur in dressage with my Hanoverian stallion Pik L. It is great to be in the saddle after a long hiatus and I’m honored to ride Pik L after what he has achieved, not to mention what he has done for my business. I’m working hard to brush up my skills but it is paying off. I’m more than halfway to obtaining my USDF Bronze medal. In addition to competing, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Hanoverian Society in 2012. It is important to be involved in many aspects of the industry and I’m happy to volunteer my time.

What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? My

Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business? Patience! Who inspires you? My sons, my parents and my grandfather.

What do you consider your toughest challenge? It is hard to not be misunderstood in this business. Many times you are just trying to do the right thing and some people can mistake that for something else.

What movie title best describes your life? It’s

a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

grandfather was a breeder so I guess it’s in my blood. In the nineties, I had the ability, and was motivated to provide a job for my childhood friend.

What is your favorite charity? Through my

What is the most fulfilling part of your business? Seeing the

beautiful and magical Switzerland was.

new babies. You never know how their genes

family foundation work I have encountered many unique and valuable charities. One that touches me and I actively donate to is Community Action Head Start of Haverhill, Massachusetts.

What is your favorite country that you have visited? I look back and always recall how Favorite book? Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez Contact Information:

RPSI Stallion Galante HU competing in the 8-Year-Old Young Jumper Finals at WEF. He is already proving himself as a sire having produced multiple premium foals from a limited crop. Photo: SportFot


email— 505 873 9043

Sparks Favorite shoes? Running shoes with orthotics. Who is your favorite stud? Pik L, he’s the man! What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate and brownies.

Where do you live in your dreams? In a country house in the middle of the city.

Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love? My kids and family. Dogs or children? No, dogs AND children. Greatest regret? Waiting too long to “walk away.” Greatest fear? Something happening to one of my kids.

Number one on your bucket list? New Zealand. Who would you most like to have dinner with? My great grandfathers. I’m dedicated to genealogy and I have so many questions.

What is your motto? With determination, anything is possible.

What’s on the horizon for Horses Unlimited? Horses Unlimited has undergone several operational changes since 2011 but they have had a positive impact. After scaling back my business to focus on some family matters, I have been able to dedicate my time and resources to a smaller herd while pursuing riding again. This spring Horses Unlimited welcomed three beautiful foals, two out of maiden Elite Mare Candidates and one from a maiden Premium mare, all bred by Horses Unlimited. These mares will add another generation of refinement to the broodmare band. The veteran Elite Mare Rohmanie, by Rohdiamant x Warkant, is awaiting her 2013 Galante HU baby.

Pikko del Cerro HU winning his third

national championship. He was named Currently I have several USEF National Champion as a 6-Year-Old, horses of varying ages Developing Horse and Developing Grand competing in jumping Prix Dressage Horse. Wilcox and Cerro are and dressage around the now winners at the CDI-Grand Prix. United States. I will also Photo: send another young stallion to the 70-Day Performance Testing in the fall. By placing horses with various trainers, I can match them with the best program for their individual talents. Olympian The coming year is full of new milestones and Lisa Wilcox will travel to compete in Europe goals, but my dedication to producing top-level with Pikko del Cerro HU thanks to the Anne athletes that even amateurs can ride is stronger Barlow Ramsay Grant awarded to them this year. than ever. The generous support from Ms. Ramsay, and The DresAnne Sparks has a little chat with sage Foundation, her foundation stallion Pik L. Photo: Chispas Photography makes it possible for US-bred horses to travel, compete and train in Europe. Cerro will be available for the first time to breeders via frozen semen this year and I am eager to see his get in 2014. Other Horses Unlimited Alumni have successful performance careers with their new owners. The USEF Horse of the Year stallion Pik L was represented during the 2012–2013 show season with five homebreds competing at the FEI Prix St. Georges level or above. This out of only 24 riding age eligible candidates!


Close Contact


aria Katsamanis

MK Training—High Heals and Horses

Tell us about yourself. As a twin, I have always been accustomed to a close connection with another human being. Perhaps that became an advantage for me in the animal kingdom. With a doctorate in psychology, I know just how much horses heal. Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses? I am fortunate that I have been able to make my passion of horses my most important business.

What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? A strong desire to be a part of the paradigm shift occurring for humanity and our co-inhabitants.

What is the most fulfilling part of your business? Watching a healthy connection grow between a horse and owner. Seeing two living creatures become one.

What is the least fulfilling? Office work! Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model? Always be clear, stay open and be fair. Don’t take things personally—the good or the bad.

Who inspires you? My twin sister. What do you consider your toughest challenge? Recognizing that timing and feel are always a work in progress. And that’s not just for riding!

What movie title best describes your life? Eat, Neigh and Love, as my dear friend Elizabeth coined.

What is your favorite charity? Spring Reins of Life 46 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

What is your favorite country that you have visited? The country I have not been to yet.

Favorite book? My car manual. It always saves the day. Favorite shoes? Valverde boots by Lazo y Duque. Who is your favorite stud? The Equicizer! Favorite saddle? The one that is most comfortable for my horses.

What is your guilty pleasure? Eggs Benedict at Mom’s Restaurant.

Were you a wild or mild child growing up? Mildly wild! Where do you live in your dreams? On a beautiful island with my flying horse Pegasus.

Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love besides you? Fishing and long drives. Dogs or children? Dogs and children. Greatest regret? Not realizing sooner in my life that everything happens exactly as it should, for my highest good.

Greatest fear? FEAR= False Evidence Appearing Real. Number one on your bucket list? To be accepted and live with a pack of wolves for a month.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Viggo Mortensen for his worldwide support of horses.

What is your motto? Commit to staying kind, connected and grateful— Take your glass of sunshine every day.

What’s on the horizon for Maria? I am

Contact Information: Dr. Maria Katsamanis email—mskatsamani@aol.con

looking forward to making more connections nationwide and worldwide as I expand my clinic tours, including gearing up for more display riding and exhibitions. Teaming up with venues to develop a clothing line and equipment that are woman-friendly, that merges timeless elegance of the classics with modern advances.


Close Contact


When did you start? From childhood! Horses have been a lifelong passion of mine since I was a toddler and when I could not be with them I would draw them. Later that translated to working with a camera, which became a bridge to my connection to the unseen realms where horses live. After a career at Olympus America, where I managed digital cameras, the horses kept calling and windhorseOne was birthed in late 2008.

First business? windhorseOne is my first business. Other businesses? windhorseOne Collective is a trio of services (windhorseOne Studios photo art, windhorseOne Creativity Coaching & Horse as Muse Workshops and windhorseOne branding & identity) for the complete creative expression resource for the Art of Equus. Tell us about you. I wanted to be a horse more than a person as a youngster. I love horses, art, storytelling and technology. Translation— equine photo artist, author and techie. My mission is to create beautiful and emotive works of art that raise levels of consciousness as well as give back to equine organizations. Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses? My involvement with horses transcends owning and riding. Horses are my muses, passion and inspiration. Horses transformed my life and now my art has become a vehicle for transforming the lives of women primarily. I believe the essence and spirit of the horse lives in each and every one of us.

What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? windhorseOne was born from my 48 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


childhood passion for horses and art combined with what the horses gifted to me. I believe we can all create the life of our dreams if we look to what we loved and dreamed in childhood.

Gone With The Wind. I am forever a Windhorse, overcoming obstacles in my way and allowing myself to be lifted by the wind.

What is the most fulfilling part of your business? Meeting and touching the souls of people

Ranch. I love how Jodi and Paul Messenich have turned their world-class equestrian facility into a sanctuary for abandoned horses and foster children.

who connect to the horses through my artwork as well as being able to support organizations that rescue and support horses in need.

What is the least fulfilling? Time away from my horses due to a busy travel schedule. However, I have learned that for a business to grow you must embrace and love all of it!

Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model? Horses have taught me to follow my heart and listen to my intuition to live and embrace life authentically. That is how they live their lives, with wild abandon and passion.

Who inspires you? So many people! Steve Jobs, for I too want to leave a ding in the universe. Leonardo da Vinci who embraced his left-brain and right brain as well as creativity and imagination. Artist Wyland’s model of success is to educate, conserve and preserve while giving to our oceans and its wildlife. For me it’s the horses.

What do you consider your toughest challenge? Our current economy and our society’s lack of appreciation of the arts. Art is one of the first things people realize they do not need but in fact I feel people really do need art.

What movie title best describes your life?

What is your favorite charity? Zuma’s Rescue

What is your favorite country that you have visited? Spain. I love Andalusia and the horses and feel as though I could live there.

Favorite book? The Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov is probably my favorite book. Favorite shoes? My sexy Old Gringo tooled mules. Who is your favorite stud? Art Deco, who recently passed, but now I have my very own Sempatico tri-color young mare named Syche’s Sweet Serenade with heart shaped patches.

Favorite saddle? My cushy, tushy Bevals Natural. What is your guilty pleasure? Probably having three horses, two more than I need! Were you a wild or mild child growing up? I was fairly mild, yet a dreamer in my home, but a wild child who lived with wild horse-like abandon outdoors. Where do you live in your dreams? My dreams are a special place where I embrace and envision daily; one where horses, art and transformation live.

Susan Williams windhorseOne

Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love besides you? My partner in life and windhorseOne, Brad, loves and understands how horses are my muses. He also has learned to love that I live life in the flow and that my creative spirit is not so linear and logical.

Dogs or children? Both! Children and dogs enhance and add so much to life. Dogs teach us to love unconditionally and children teach us to embrace our inner child and play.

Greatest regret? Having to let go of some of my first horses due to life’s circumstances. Greatest fear? My greatest fear is that I can’t do enough for the horses in this lifetime.

Number one on your bucket list? My number one bucket list is to learn how to dance and be in un ity with my horses.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Johnny Depp. Pure imagination and creativity!

What is your motto? My motto and mantra is I embrace the powerful and magical essence of the horse! Don’t you? What’s on the horizon for Susan Williams? On my horizon is a dream where we all live like horses and embrace their essence, beauty, harmony, heart, intuition, community, personal power and grace. I will continue to educate people about the healing power of horses as well as use my artwork as a vehicle to conserve and preserve our precious resources— the horses, wild and domestic.

Contact Information: email— Studio 303 697 5665


Close Contact

Melisa Pearce Touched By A Horse, Inc. When did you start? In 1992 I incorporated Touched by a Horse®.

First business? I have owned and operated a Stallion Breeding Station and two large (75 horses +) boarding and training facilities called Lil Bit North Ranch in both Arizona and Colorado.

Tell us about you. As a lifelong horsewoman, professional Coach and Gestalt therapist, I have devoted my 27-year career to pioneering and developing unique methods for translating the healing that horses provide to humans. As an alchemist of Somatics of horses and humans, I work with horses and their human partners for healing and achieving a Gestalt or collective consciousness.

Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses? All my life my best partners, most trusted confidants and true friends have been my horses. They are always there for me as healers of the heart and sweet guides in my life.

photos by Kim Beer

What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? As a therapist, who was

Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model?

also a ranch owner, I observed that my clients were always curious about connecting with our horses. Combining my Gestalt sessions with interactive contact with my horses was a new medium in the late ’80s. The efficacy was so apparent, I began to develop the Equine Gestalt Method® that I teach today in our Certification Program as a Coaching practice for deep process transformational healing.

Each in their own way and over time they have reminded me of the four essential rules of business and life which are; to show up, speak my truth, truly listen to other’s hearts and never be attached to the results.

What is the most fulfilling part of your business? I am honored to play a role in the transformational healing of my clients— improving their lives and relationships with both humans and horses.

What is the least fulfilling? The endless email necessary to have a successful business today and I know it is an important way to correspond. Yet I so appreciate phone or face time where I have an opportunity to sit with someone in the present with full awareness of who we each are in the moment.

Who inspires you? My 24-year-old daughter Molly who has had severe chronic illness her entire life. In 2006, after over 20 major surgeries she received one of the first bowel transplants. In 2007, I gave her my left kidney, and in 2012 she lost both organs from a medical error. Now as I write this, I am by her bedside in the Nebraska Transplant Center (the leading hospital in the world for her situation). We have been waiting nine months for a multi visceral transplant of four organs to save her young life. She is amazingly positive and strong with a drive and desire for life that inspires me.

What do you consider your toughest challenge? Balancing my growing, flourishing, Touched by a Horse business while also supporting my daughter in her life’s journey.

What movie title best describes your life? Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken

What is your favorite charity? Non-equine— DonateLife.Net. Equine—Zuma’s Ranch, Colorado.


What is your favorite country that you have visited? I spent some incredible time in Malaysia a few years ago. Lush beautiful jungles, super clean cities, and sweet, friendly, peaceful people and horses.

Favorite book? Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh Favorite shoes? I understand you are referring to my shoes (Ariat), but one inch sliders on my Reining horses popped into my head! 50 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Who is your favorite stud? I was blessed to have owned All Around World Champion American Paint Stallion, Go Robin Bar. He came to me when he was seven years old and lived to be a grand old man of 27.

Favorite saddle? I love my custom Saddles by Rocky, whose workshop is in in Gilbert, Arizona.

What is your guilty pleasure? Going for a spa day whenever possible, for the works! Were you a wild or mild child growing up? I was a strong, independent child living in the awful storm of my parent’s troubled marriage. I was not really wild but sought solace with my horses and ditched school every chance I could, to go to the barn.

Where do you live in your dreams? I adore living in colorful Colorado. Our facility is at the base of the Rockies to the west, but in a dream I suppose a magical beach on the ocean would be there on our east fence! Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love besides you? My students come from all over the U.S., Canada and Australia to train with me for four to ten days at a time. Many stay on site in our home and often eight or so are there for a CORE Training. My husband Dane is outgoing and a wonderful host with a great sense of humor and a huge heart of love so he joins in, and loves them all!

Dogs or children? Both of our children are grown and have become truly wonderful young adults with great mates. As for dogs, I am a huge Bernese Mountain Dog fan and have my fourth Berner now who works alongside me every day. Greatest regret? Never being a person who is willing to settle in life, I left a marriage with a good man who was also totally emotionally unavailable. I look back now with some regret knowing I could have handled it with more kindness.

Greatest fear? That humanity will continue to attempt to resolve its conflicts through hatred and war instead of listening to each other’s pain and viewpoints and solving it through compassion.

Number one on your bucket list? A nap! But

the UK and tour some of the Gypsy Vanner Breeding Farms.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Oprah, with a huge thank you to her for inspiring women to reach for creating their best life!

Contact Information: email— 866 652 8704

What is your business motto? As a graduate of Anthony Robbins Mastery University for Business, I believe and institute in my business the energy of “C.A.N.I.” which stands for Constant and Never-ending Improvement. This is in tandem with my central belief to always UNDER promise and OVER deliver on products and services. What’s on the horizon for Melisa Pearce? My horizon is continuing on a journey with my daughter to whatever conclusion that leads us to accept. In our business, to continue to create consistent positive growth, producing more products, publishing additional books, and mentoring more students globally to believe, trust, and have faith in horses for all the miraculous healing capacity they long to share.

after that I plan to travel with my husband to HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JUNE 2013 | 51

Close Contact

Left to right: Haxtun, Mr Bear, Pudge and Cubby. Part of our service-dog gang in 2005. Three of them are doing great in 2013. (Haxtun was killed June 6, 2010. So hard.)

When did you start? 1999. Other businesses? Adding an extension to Ambulatory Equine Medicine that focuses on all things related to the human–animal bond.

Tell us about you. I graduated from veterinary school at Colorado State University in 1998. I have my own solo ambulatory equine veterinary practice. I live in Loveland, CO and needless to say, I Iove animals. We have seven dogs, nine horses and five cats. Several dogs were rescued. One of our

Slaughter-bound mare, Minnie, and her colt, Boulder, born Apr 15.

golden retrievers and my corgi, both rescues, go in the vet truck with me everyday. My corgi is almost 11. She locks the truck, moves the mirrors, puts the windows up and down and sometimes snoozes on the dashboard while I am out of the truck working. The human–animal bond is my passion and my life is impacted by wonderful animals every day.

Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses?

What is the most fulfilling part of your business? Having long-term relationships with my clients is very special. Not only have I seen their horses grow up, but I have seen the


I started riding when I was two years old. My dad would take me to ride ponies every night when he got home from work. I have no siblings so horses became my life. For about three years my dad and I would rent a horse and pony every Saturday morning and go for a trail ride by ourselves. I got my first horse when I was about seven or eight years old. We boarded at the Capistrano Saddle Club for many years—it is now The Oaks. Being in Southern California in the 1970s, ’80s and the early ’90s was truly the ride of a lifetime in so many ways.

What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? I wanted to be an equine veterinarian forever. Our horses were always at boarding stables. I would see a vet “Patrick 69.” My horse of a lifetime and my soul mate. 1979–1991 52 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

driving in and would get goosebumps and knew that was what I wanted to do.

human family evolve as well. Of course, when a tough case turns out well and I see the fear in my client’s face turn to joy, which is also fulfilling.

What is the least fulfilling? Knowing that horses are being mistreated. The practice of slaughtering horses is abysmal. The price of hay is discouraging as many people are already struggling financially.

Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model? Know, like, trust and listen. Having the like and trust of your clients is an absolute must. But listening to both the human and the horses is a must. I learn so much by listening.

Who inspires you? There are so many. I am in awe of what people do for each other and animals.

What do you consider your toughest challenge? Being a great mom and spouse and finding the time to spend with my family.

What movie title best describes your life? Six Degrees of Separation. I am amazed how closely all of us are connected. I experience it all the time, both with horses and humans.

What is your favorite charity? Any animal charity with integrity. Locally, Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies for dogs and Denkai Animal Sanctuary for many species. What is your favorite country that you have visited? I have only been abroad once. In 1994, I went to Amsterdam to see the World Equestrian Games. I then visited several other countries and found Salzburg, Austria very comforting and peaceful. I still have roses from Salzburg.

Favorite book? A topic I love to read about is soldiers in the Middle East that find and befriend dogs and cats and then make the ultimate effort to bring these pets back home with them. So touching! One book I loved is From Baghdad with Love.

Where do you live in your dreams? Where animals all have homes and don’t suffer. Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love besides you? Must love family life.

Dogs or children? Dogs until I was 40. Now two wonderful boys and seven dogs. Greatest regret? Opportunities that I have missed because of not taking action. Greatest fear? What the world will be like for my kids.

Number one on your bucket list? Going on a family vacation, hopefully this year.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Probably Reiner Klimke, if he was living. What is your motto? Quality Service— Compassionate Care—Always. What’s on the horizon for Susan? I am

Contact Information: Susan J. Williams, DVM Ambulatory Equine Medicine, Inc Loveland, CO 80539 Office 970 461 2061 (answering service) Cell 970 214 1777

always going to serve my wonderful clients, both horse and human. I love my job!

Williams Ambulatory Equine Medicine, Inc.

Favorite shoes? Sorrels for winter, sturdy hiking shoes for work, comfortable tennis shoes and the Dansko clogs that I got at my son’s preschool sale for $1. Who is your favorite stud? As a kid, receiving the stallion issue of all the horse magazines was my highlight. I am not involved enough right now to know all of the “big guys.” One of my current horses is by Frohwind and she has the most amazing personality and mind and is talented to boot. What is your guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate. Sitting in the barn at night and just “being.” Were you a wild or mild child growing up? Mild.

There is going to be a new arm of my business that is solely focused on the human– animal bond. I also plan on becoming more involved in the anti-slaughter movement for horses as well as continuing to rescue dogs. I am becoming a certified grief coach to help people through the pain of losing a pet, any pet. I just completed writing a booklet on the grief of losing a pet.

Molly, born May 6. Her mom, Kime, and unborn Molly were headed to Mexico for slaughter. They were rescued the day before they were to leave. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JUNE 2013 | 53

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SaddleUp! Foundation

Shery “Be ar” McDonaldG a l b r e at h When did you start? In 2002, in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado.

Tell us about yourself. I am a native of Colorado. I grew up in Aurora, Colorado raised by my mother, Arlene—“Grandma Bear” to most—and Grandmother Emma. I am blessed to have been raised by strong yet loving women. Bear hugs were given on a daily basis—hence my nickname “Bear.” I am the founder and president of the SaddleUp! Foundation. What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? What I realized in the beginning is that families were driving all over Colorado for their therapies. Up north for OT, down south for PT, east for speech, etc. I wanted to create a family friendly setting where they could drive to SaddleUp! Foundation and get everything under one roof. While the student is with the therapists, the family can BBQ on our grill outside—with a mountain view that will take your breath away. The siblings can play with toys and have fun. The parents can relax and know that the entire family is safe and loved. It took me two full years to build our SaddleUp! Foundation dream, but it was worth it!

What is the most fulfilling part of your business? Knowing that we have the best therapists in Colorado. I know this because I see it with the success of our students.


Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model? Be gentle yet firm.


inspires you? My mother and grandmother. They taught me to be strong, never give up on a goal, admit when you have made a mistake and always wear pearls.

What do you consider your toughest challenge? Balancing my work with SaddleUp! Foundation and my family life.

What movie title best describes your life? Baby Boom—I love Diane Keaton. What is your favorite charity? For the past eleven years, I have devoted the majority of my charitable time to raising funds for SaddleUp! Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that is dedicated to empowering individuals with special needs through equine assisted activities and therapies. This is “where hope reins.” SaddleUp! Foundation is a unique, family friendly ranch, where a student can accomplish many therapies (Speech, OT, PT, ABA, Music, Art, PATH, EGALA) all in one beautiful location.

What is your favorite country that you have visited? My husband Jim and I traveled to Greece—very romantic!

Favorite shoes? In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “Hello Lover!” Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo.

Who is your favorite stud? My husband Jim and of course my horse.

What is your guilty pleasure? Cakebread chardonnay.

Were you mild or wild growing up? Mild.

Number one on your bucket list? Enjoying the

As much as I respected my mother for her independence, when you have a father that leaves when you are five years old, it does something to your confidence. My brother became “the man of the house.” He was father, brother, friend all rolled up into one. Unfortunately, a drunk driver killed Larry in 1974. I miss him more and more every day—I know he would have been something special! For someone who did not go to college—I tell our SUF students—you can do anything you want if you believe in yourself and work hard. I’m the epitome of hard work paying off! I met Jim Galbreath on the anniversary of my brother’s accident, 22 years later, Dec. 7, 1996. I was covering a charity event for my friend, Jan Helen. My mother believes that Larry brought Jim into my life on that day so that I would celebrate Dec. 7th instead of being sad. When Jim proposed, the fragrance of lilacs surrounded us—I knew it was a sign from my grandmother that he was the one!

outdoors and becoming 53 and fabulous.

Where do you live in your dreams? Where I am right now, living my dream.

Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love besides you? My dogs. I could collect dogs like Betty White and Doris Day put together!

Dogs or children? Both! Greatest fear? I’m really not afraid of anything.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? The two people I love that are no longer here, my brother Larry and my Grandmother, Emma.

What is your motto? I have two—“It takes a village,” and “Why compete when you can collaborate.”

Photo by Thomas Cooper

Contact Information: Shery “Bear” McDonald-Galbreath Founder and President SaddleUp! Foundation 303 788 1666

What is on the horizon for Bear? From our humble beginnings of 3 students in CHV, we have grown to 150 students with a wait list of 150. I’m proud to announce that after 11 years, we expanded to our second location. SaddleUp! Foundation has another center where we can accommodate all of the students on our wait list. I’m so proud! I will also focus on enhancing our Military, Firemen and Policemen programs with their four-legged best friends. I will concentrate on enhancing our literacy program called “Reading with Randy,” In addition to working with Certified Therapy Dog trainers and continue to train our therapy dogs, Bernice, Gus, and Daisy.

What does SUF mean to you? Unconditional love. Photo by Thomas Cooper HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | JUNE 2013 | 55

Close Contact Contact Information: Mickie Sage 720 470 0180

When did you start? I started riding professionally in 1989 and started my own training business in 2002.

Tell us about you. I am 42, married to Rob Faber and I run Mickie Sage Incorporated Show Stables in Parker, CO. I’m a USHJA Certified Trainer and currently a member on the USHJA Zone 8 Jumper Committee. I grew up on a horse farm in New Hope, PA. I’ve been riding and showing since the early seventies. I’ve trained and shown on the east coast, west coast and Colorado. As a junior rider I was fortunate enough to catch ride some incredible horses and ponies for many east coast professionals. In 1996, I graduated from Temple University, Philadelphia with a BA in Film Media and the Arts. I rode professionally throughout college. My plan was to either be a horse professional or a special effects artist. After graduation, I had job offers for a riding job in Palm Beach, FL, a television postproduction job in Philadelphia, and an offer from a best friend to surf her couch, in Denver, CO. I decided to move to Colorado in 1998 to explore the West. It was then I decided to go the horse industry route. Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses? I was born into a family of horsewomen. My grandmother, my mother and my aunts’ fox hunted and showed hunters and jumpers. We even had horse shows on our family farm, Shamrock Hill Farm.

What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? I always knew at some point I would be in the horse business. My mom often encouraged me and kept telling me I was a good horsewoman. Only after I had graduated from college and worked for some of the best hunter and jumper professionals coast to coast did I consider establishing my own business.


Mickie Sage Mickie Sage Incorporated Show Stables What is the most fulfilling part of your business? Seeing one of my students come out

Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love besides you? Live music and

of the ring with a big smile because they knew they rode well or seeing one of my clients with a big smile when I walk out of the ring on their horse after their horse performs well.


What is the least fulfilling? The business’s book work.

Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model? Patience.

Who inspires you? My sister Deirdre, my mom and my husband, Rob. They believe in me and support me.

What do you consider your toughest challenge? My focus before a big class. What movie title best describes your life? Brave.

What is your favorite charity? USHJA Horseman Relief Fund.

What is your favorite country that you have visited? France.

Dogs or children? Dogs. Greatest regret? I try not to have any. Greatest fear? Lightning. I’ve been very close to lightning strikes one time too many!

Number one on your bucket list? Number

working harder than you and practicing harder than you. Most importantly, you are never done learning from a horse or another horseman.

What’s on the horizon for Mickie? Of course I hope to continue to be successful in the show ring both as a rider and coach. I have plans to become a USHJA judge and course designer and I hope to learn to play golf well enough to play with my husband.

one on my bucket list is to ride in the Grand Prix at Devon, and hopefully do well. After all, I am a product of Devon. My parents met at The Devon Horse Show in 1968. My dad was jump crew and my mom was working for the Philadelphia Inquirer recording the horse show results that year.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? My grandparents. What is your motto? Even if you have the natural talent, you have to work hard and practice hard to be good at this sport and business. There is always someone out there

Favorite book? To Kill a Mockingbird. Favorite shoes? Reef flip flops. Who is your favorite stud? Heartbreaker. Favorite saddle? CWD. What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate Were you a wild or mild child growing up? I was a mild child.

Where do you live in your dreams? On the beach.


KC Close Contact


When did you start? Technically, 1985. Other businesses? I started selling beaded brow bands a few years ago. At this point, it’s officially a hobby, but I have done many special requests for people. Of course it has blossomed into jewelry as well, which all relatives and friends get for gifts now. Tell us about you. I was born and raised in Michigan and began riding through a Parks and Recreation program. It was English (the only style my Mom would approve of), but it was Hunter/Jumper. I did that for eight years.


I attended an Equestrian College (Lake Erie College), where I first saw a Grand Prix Test in Dressage, done by Carol Grant. That was the first time I thought Dressage was interesting. After jumping many jumps with my new, green horse, it was suggested by my instructors at college, that Dressage may be helpful to me, and so I began my pursuit of Dressage. I still love jumping; but a person has to choose which they want to excel at. I knew I could not be the Dressage rider I wanted to be and also be the Jumper rider I would like to have been. I moved to Colorado for a job in 1986 and now make this my home, with my husband and son.

Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses? I have dabbled in breeding but that is a whole different ball game. I have done small barn management several times, but that interferes with riding quite a bit. So, mostly I have taught riding and trained horses.

What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? It started as an experiment, to be honest. I never dreamed people would pay me to ride their horses. I initially went to school and planned to get a PhD in Adolescent Psychology. After college, I took a year off and trained at I.E.S.S. (International Equestrian Sport Services) in New Market, Ontario. I thought I would boost my riding skills for a year, and then go to graduate school, get my PhD, and open a private practice. You know that “path” that Robert Frost talks about in his famous poem? Well, I remember that day when I finally had the nerve to tell my mom that I kind of wanted to try this teaching and training thing and see if I could make a go of it. She was amazingly okay with the idea and even supportive. The rest, as they say, is history.

What is the most fulfilling part of your business? I really get a kick out of seeing people get that “light bulb” moment.

K.C. and Ready with Emily and Anna at NWSS Dancing Horses. Photo: Kathleen Bryan 58 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

When all the pieces fall into place, even if only for a moment, and the experience of riding becomes miraculous.

What is the least fulfilling? I hate hay. Horses eat hay; therefore, I have to handle and deal with hay. I don’t like that. Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model? Probably patience.

Who inspires you? Anyone who seems to be “one” with his or her horse. Anyone who overcomes adversity to accomplish his or her goals. Anyone who strives to continue to learn and develop even though they are “accomplished.” Nancy Smith, Marty Marten, Charlie Hill, my students and my husband all inspire me. And of course, the horses are an inspiration to me. We put them in quite a peculiar situation from their natural habitat.

What do you consider your toughest challenge? Trying to transfer what the customer says they want, into realistic steps that are achievable. This sometimes leads to difficult decisions. Trying not to measure my success by others.

What movie title best describes your life? The Wizard of Oz. What is your favorite charity? Any quality Animal Rescue. There are so many: Humane Society, Colorado Horse Rescue, Dumb Friends League, and many more! The animals need our stewardship and we fail them way too often.

What is your favorite country that you have visited? I think I have yet to discover that. So far, Canada.

Favorite book? There are many, but if I have

to pick one: My Horses, My Teachers by Alois Podhajsky.

Favorite shoes? CFMP (can I say that?)

Who is your favorite stud? My husband Roger Kyle, of course. Oh wait, you mean horses? His Highness, a Hanoverian and the father of my new horse, Hudson.

Favorite saddle? Right now, Borne on some horses. The County Perfection on the others. What is your guilty pleasure? Cake frosting right out of the container.

Were you a wild or mild child growing up? Wild, but usually within the legal limits.

Where do you live in your dreams? In a log house with a big field and my favorite horses.

Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love besides you? Horses, dogs and cats too.

Dogs or children? Well, I have three dogs and one child. Is that an answer? Greatest regret? I wish my had had been able to meet my husband. Greatest fear? Being alive, but not able to function. I hope someone has the courage to allow me to die, if that ever happens.

Number one on your bucket list? Visit Africa to

K.C and Roger Kyle so that I can finally compete at Grand Prix. Not only that, but I look forward to finishing another horse, “Hudson,” whom she recently purchased for me to show. Hopefully, I can finish the requirements to complete my USDF Bronze medal on Hudson, and maybe even get closer to acquiring my USDF Gold medal with Olaf. (I completed the USDF Silver in 2009 on Olaf.) Mostly I look forward training enjoyable horses to ride and hopefully Dressage horses who enjoy their job.

Contact Information: K.C. Parkins-Kyle Hidden Ridge Farm 303 478 3637

see the wildlife there.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? My dad, once more.

What is your motto? “You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.”

What’s on the horizon for K.C.? It looks like Olaf and I will finally break into the Grand Prix this year! My dear friend and sponsor, Sarah BushongWeeks, has provided Olaf


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Kari CrawfordKari Crawford Horse Training at Applecross Farm

Tell us about you. I began riding when I was nine. My mom waitressed nights at a truck stop to buy our first pony for m $450 POA mare was part of the family, I would fight my brother and sister tooth and nail if they showed any interest in riding her, so she became exclusively my pony. My mom’s grandparents had a ranch in South Dakota where they had raised cavalry horses, and she grew up on horseback, so she had some idea of just how important this was to a nine-year-old horse-crazy girl.

and last chance horses, studying classical dressage, training and showing nationally on the Andalusian and Arabian show circuits in all seats and in harness, mounted archery and shooting, doing medieval gaming and bridleless exhibitions, dabbling in jousting, competing in fifty mile endurance races, and these past five years training and competing in USEA horse trials. While in college attaining a BS in Equine Science and a MS in Animal Behavior, I ran a stable and trained horses full-time.

First business? After that first pony, we had a number of rescue wild horses and ponies that I gentled and started on our Iowa acreage, and by the time I was fifteen I was starting Thoroughbred race horses and young pleasure horses under saddle professionally. Since that time I’ve worked in a variety of facets of the industry: gentling and starting Mustangs, retraining Thoroughbreds off the track for polo, dressage, and eventing, re-training “problem”

Other businesses? In addition to the past twenty-five years as a horse trainer, I spent ten years as a professional big-band swing and acrobatic dancer and dance instructor. I’d train horses all day, teach a dance class or two, and then go dancing all night. Not a bad life!

Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses? My business is horses, 24/7.

What encouraged you to create an equestrian business? The first outside horse

I trained when I was fifteen was in trade for hay to feed my own horses. I was neither particularly skilled nor experienced at that time, but was gentle and willing to listen to the horses, and there was no one else around who was willing to start young horses. The mainstay of my business today is still starting young horses. I feel that these first few months under saddle are the most crucial part of a horse’s training, and I see a number of horses whose minds and spirits have been shattered by unclear or harsh training early on. It’s so rewarding to watch a young horse’s trust in me as their confidence in themselves grow. I believe my job, and all of ours as equestrians as well as trainers, is to make it easier for our horses to do the job we’re asking them to do.

What is the most fulfilling part of your business? Having the honor of partnering with the most incredible creatures in the world, every day, in Colorado.

What is the least fulfilling? I have a very difficult time relating to riders who seem to view horses as sports equipment.

Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model? Three key principles of horse training that we must always abide by in our interactions with horses apply equally well with dealing with humans; always be fair, clear, and consistent.

Who inspires you? The horses. Every time I think I’ve reached the boundary of communication subtlety possible between my horses and myself, I find that we are all capable of so much more when we are willing to pause, let go of our egos, and listen. It’s amazing how 60 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


far we can get with our horses when we put into practice the belief that, as long as my horses are trying, they are never wrong.

What do you consider your toughest challenge? Maintaining a functional business model that pays the mortgage and buys hay while not cutting corners on the time and focus that each horse deserves.

What movie title best describes your life? Five-Foot Tall and Bulletproof.

What is your favorite country that you have visited? Bulgaria. Favorite book? The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Favorite shoes? My boy Super Noah’s eventing shoes, drilled and tapped for studs. Who is your favorite stud? Some of my alltime favorite horses have been the Spanish stallions I’ve partnered with. The stallions of the Wilbur-Cruce Spanish Colonial herd in California, who had been wild for over one hundred years prior to my meeting them, were responsible for my falling in love with the Spanish horse. Others favorites include two stallions of Grand Prix Andalusians: the legendary Temerario VII, whom I was fortunate enough to partner with for medieval gaming exhibitions and their former junior stallion Grandezo GPA who I trained in harness and under saddle.

What is your guilty pleasure? Someday I want to be able to sleep in as long as I want, even for just one day!

Contact Information: Kari Crawford-Clay 720 563 9973

Were you a wild or mild child growing up?

What is your motto? Well, what my students

Seemingly mild; I was very soft-spoken when around other people during my youth, but was often behind the scenes instigating activities that were technically not entirely safe or legal.

most often hear from me is to “put on your big girl pants,” suck it up, and just do what needs to be done.

Where do you live in your dreams? In a mountain valley in the Colorado backcountry, near a ranch I used to lease and operate as a training stable.

Your partner “must love horses.” What else must they love besides you? The outdoors, staying fit, adventures and learning new things.

Dogs or children? CATS! Greatest fear? There are things worse than death. Being injured to the point that I could no longer ride, train horses, remain physically active, or support my animals, and myself would be extremely difficult. Number one on your bucket list? Today it’s just getting my “to do” list done; I get to live my dream every day. When the time is right, I look forward to doing more international travel. I especially want to meet the original horsemen of Mongolia.


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Tell us about you. I began my real estate career in Pennsylvania and owned and ran our HarleyDavidson dealership at the same time. In 1984 I decided to move to Colorado and continue my real estate career there. I did some research and discovered that Douglas County had one of the highest per capita horse ownerships in the nation. I packed up the dogs and horses and moved. It was an adventure as I then began to rebuild my Real Estate business. It was a lot of long, hard hours, but it soon began to pay off, and I haven’t looked back since.

Besides your business, what is your involvement or connection with horses?

business? Finding that perfect match of property for horse and human. What is the least fulfilling? The endless amounts of paperwork involved in real estate transactions.

Is there anything that horses have taught you that translates into your business model? Patience. Who inspires you? Condoleezza Rice. What do you consider your toughest

wonderful food, wine and culture. And riding horses through Tuscany is one of the great experiences you can have.

Favorite shoes? Sneakers. Who is your favorite stud? Kevin Costner. What is your guilty pleasure? Martinis. Were you a wild or mild child growing up? Well, I can tell you that I became a wild child when I became an adult.

Suzy Sweitzer

Dogs or children? DOGS, DOGS, AND MORE DOGS.

Who would you most like to have I have owned horses all of my life, dinner with? It would not be President starting at eight years old with my Shetland Pony, then a Morgan, then Re/Max Alliance, Colorado Obama. thoroughbreds. I began in 4-H, then What’s on the horizon for Suzy? I started showing in the east coast am looking forward to planning to circuit of horse shows. Unfortunately, building challenge? Time; there is never enough of it travel more, which I really enjoy. I will also be my business here in Colorado did not allow me to handle Real Estate, friends and my animals. involved in more dog rescues, because that is enough time to ride and continue to compete. What is your favorite charity? I have really a passion in my life, and of course trying What encouraged you to create an equestrian many charities that I support including the to work a little less and enjoy life a little more. business? It was a natural for me once I got in Morris Animal Foundation, Freedom Service Real Estate and moved to Colorado with all of Dogs and the Lycoming County SPCA in CONTACT INFORMATION: the great horse properties and horse people Pennsylvania. I also foster Rottweilers for Suzy Sweitzer everywhere. It was a no-brainer and it has Rottieaid, a Rottweiler rescue, here in Denver. Re/Max Alliance worked out wonderfully.

What is the most fulfilling part of your 62 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

What is your favorite country that you have visited? That is easy, Italy, with its

Lifetime Achievement Award & Hall of Fame 303 888 6282 Direct 303 841 6567 Fax





The Culture of the Horse


he first stamp commemorating China’s Year of the Horse, which starts in 2014, has been released and it got us thinking about other

stamps featuring horses from all over the world. When the first postage stamps premiered in the 1840s, they followed an almost identical standard in their shape, size and general subject matter. They were rectangular in shape. They bore the images of Queens, Presidents and other political figures, and they also depicted the denomination of the postage and, with the exception of the United Kingdom, depicted the name of the country from which it was issued. Nearly all early postage stamps depicted the images of national leaders only, but before long, other subjects and designs began to appear. For example, in 1869, the U.S. Post Office broke from its tradition of depicting presidents or other famous historical figures on the face of postage stamps and instead used other subjects, like a train or a horse. Almost every country on earth has produced stamps with depictions of historical events or cultural importance, and many of those depictions feature a horse; further evidence of the equine’s critical importance to the development of all nations. Here is just a small example of the beautiful images of horses that have graced stamps from all over the world.


Reflected in Stamps This stamp was recently issued to commemorate the Year of the Horse in China. According to the Chinese calendar, when it comes to fortune, 2014 will be a good year for those people who were born under The Year of the Horse. Horse people are energetic, intelligent and are physically strong. They like to stay in peaceful places and they are very good when it comes to communicating with other people. You are a Horse person if you were born in these years—2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954 and 1942.


From Paraguay, this stamp depicts the nation’s birthday with the Spanish horse contributing to an image showing conquest and power.

On May 1, 1993 the USPS issued this set of four stamps in Louisville, Kentucky at Churchill Downs in conjunction with the running of the 119th Kentucky Derby. Each stamp features an artist’s depiction of sport horses involved in steeplechase, track racing, harness racing, and polo. 66 | JUNE 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Top: This stamp, printed in Czechoslovakia, shows a postal rider on a horse, circa 1983. Another stamp printed in Czechoslovakia (right), shows the postal rider ten years earlier, circa 1974.

This is the artistic sheet of a four stamp mint set from India, depicting the four equine breeds, Marwari, Zanskari, Kathiawari, and Manipuri, that are a part of their national heritage.


Issued by the Soviet Union on July 20, 1988, this mint set of four stamps features paintings in the Timiriazev Equestrian Museum of the Moscow Agricultural Academy.


This stamp printed in Switzerland shows a Postilion (mail) man on horseback delivering mail and blowing a postal horn, circa 1972.

This stamp from Ireland, 2011, showcases the four breeds of Irish horse—The Coloured Horse, The Irish Draught, The Connemara Pony, and The Thoroughbred.


The Horse Connection

Devon Meagher’s red hat must look like an apple to this foal, while the mare shoots a look that says,”child, please!” Photo by Cindy Spilman—Zone 8 Photography

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