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EST. 1991

Plum Performance


Let’s hear it for the girls of the horse



Photo: Janice Thompson

Severn Highlife 2003 National Champion Section A Stallion Lovely temperament, incredible mover, very athletic. An ideal cross for larger mares to produce your next champion.

Photo: Kathryn Southard

Empires Peter Pan 2007 Large Crossbreed Gelding窶認rozen Semen Available Grand Champion in Hunter Breeding and Sport Pony classes as a yearling.

Paul and Cheryl Maye 540.377.9026 ツキ

All of the Stallions listed are owned by Harmony Sporthorses, Kiowa, CO ph : 303.621.8512 窶「 fax : 303.621.8511


Liver Chestnut, 14.1 hh. Approved ASP. Sired by the well known Makuba. This special Stallion has everything for producing top ponies for today’s Sport Pony market. ADS Intermediate CHAMPION, Single pony 2011. 2012 USEF Horse Of The Year combined driving single pony. 2012 First Place Kentucky Classic and winner of the USEF National single Pony Championship 2012 1st Place Southern PInes CDE Advanced Single Pony

Table of Contents

MARCH 2013


Aspen’s World Snow Polo Championship Is Hot!


Patience Pays off With Plum Performances


Portraits of the Horse


Let’s Hear It for the Girls




About the cover


Publisher’s Page


HC’s Travel Connection


HC Lifestyle


Adds & Scratches


Business Classifieds


HC Sport


Definitely Dressage


The Horse Connection

Plum Creek Hollow’s Con Capilot basks in the winners circle at HITS Thermal with owners Richard and Nancy Gooding and rider Mandy Porter. Photo by Arna Campbell 8 | MARCH 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


Publisher’s Page


ven though it was less than 100 years ago that we still depended on horses for travel and commerce, horses are still ingrained in the everyday fabric of our 21st century lives. And with 13 European countries embroiled in a horsemeat contamination scandal, horses again are in the news daily. It’s hard to believe that horses can co-exist in this high tech society, but sadly they still are and it’s not to their benefit. Thousands and thousands of horses are shipped across Europe every day in terrible conditions, to end up in a tray of frozen lasagna or hidden among the variety of meat scraps that are thrown together and sold as ground beef around the world. And with the news that companies like Burger King and Nestlé have sold products containing horsemeat, can we really be sure that we haven’t eaten horse here in the U.S.? In the age of “pink slime” being added to our ground beef, has anyone tested for horse DNA in our burgers? And with the track record of our own FDA and the epidemic of E.Coli, Salmonella, and Listeria poisonings, I’m betting that there is, and has been, horsemeat in the food supply here in the U.S. The food corporations are too big and too powerful to be constrained by any government agency, and profits over the welfare of the consumer is business as usual for these behemoth conglomerates. We know that medications given to domestic horses, especially Bute, are dangerous to human health. So what to do? HC is a strong advocate against factory farming and the cruel and inhumane practices that the industry subjects innocent farm animals to. Change comes in small steps and one thing you can do is buy from companies that treat their animals in a humane, sustainable and compassionate way. And, no one said you have to eat meat at every meal. Just the thought that horsemeat may be present in our food supply has me buying more fruits and vegetables these days. On a lighter note, we’re showing a little love to the equine ladies in this issue. The article “Let’s Hear it for the Girls,” on page 64, is a fun examination of the question—are mares better than boys in competition? The record speaks for itself in this lighthearted article by the infamous Butte Dawson. And speaking of girls, 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra is expected to fully recover from abdominal surgery due to a complication with her first foal. 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta had a colt in 2012 as well. Wouldn’t it be exciting if the two foals from these super mares met in the 2015 Kentucky Derby? They could complete the race that their two moms almost had to determine who was the best mare of all time. Now that’s something to hope for and look forward to in the future, when horses will still be a part of our lives and still be in the news.


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 2. 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.


Geoff Young Publisher 10 | MARCH 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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Connection iceland

Left to right, Betsy Benton, Jennifer MacDonald, Carla Stroh and Kimberly Burton prepare to ride out for six days on Icelandic horses from Austvadsholt Farm in Hella, Iceland. It looks like they’ll have plenty of reading material on the trip!

jordan Felice Gonzales and Navona Gallegos pose with their favorite magazine in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. Built by the Nabataeans sometime before the 6th century B.C., and later occupied by the Romans, Petra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This monumental site (recognize it from Indiana Jones?) was hewn into the limestone of the Arabah valley. If you look closely, you can see the outlines of Romanstyle horse statues, the heads of which were removed during the Islamic conquest around A.D. 630.

Send Us Your Photos Get a free subscription

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

Properties for Sale Premier equestrian estate

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This 37 acre estate features a beautiful all brick ranch with over 4800 fin. sq. ft., garden level basement, open floor plan, new carpet, great mt. views, 10 stall barn with tack room and indoor riding arena (180’ × 80’), in ground pool, and great outdoor decks. This property offers the perfect combination of wooded acreage with fenced pastures.

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This beautiful equestrian property features a 3 BR 3 bath + study/master retreat, custom home on a 25+ gorgeous acres. It features a gourmet kitchen w/slab granite, large family room, formal living and dining rooms, deck and hot tub overlooking Castlewood State Park and Canyon. The horse facilities include an indoor arena with an 8 stall attached barn, an outdoor arena, also included is a 50’ × 80’ shop. MUST SEE. A great property at a great price.


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questrian fashion is known for its classic style and functionality, but it can also be fun and blingalicious (I think we just invented a word). Spring is right around the corner and with it the colors of a new season. Our spring offerings feature the classic with color thrown in and some blingalicious (don’t you love the way that sounds?) to bring it all home.

Weatherproof Luxury Boots from Däv March is usually one of the wettest months but that is no reason to sacrifice fashion for weather resistant apparel. These waterproof riding boots from Däv are anything but ordinary. Make a statement with these eye-popping boots.

The Ashley Ombre Stunning, bold color and sleek design, these boots are gorgeous. A padded fleece lining makes them super comfortable—you won’t want to take them off. Authentic equestrian design with slip resistance textured sole makes them a great riding boot as well. Fit Note: Due to extra plush fleece lining, boot fits one size small in the foot area. Calf fits a medium to narrow calf only. If you have an athletic or large calf, please view our collections Eve, Victoria or Ricki.

The Eve Plaid Red Bright, preppy and fun, you can wear these boots with your favorite skinny jeans, skirt or shorts. Features include a super soft, padded fleece lining that adds comfort and warmth, an authentic riding design and a adjustable corset lace calf that fits almost everyone. You won’t want to take them off. Fit Note: Due to extra plush fleece lining, boot fits one size small in the foot area. Order one size larger than you normally wear. Fits most calf sizes.

Tredstep Ireland Debuts the Symphony Breech Collection Rosa—3rd Symphony The Rosa is a fresh, modern take on a traditional breech. Designed with classic beauty and high performance features to give riders a beautifully balanced breech with unmatched performance and style. It features TS Evolution fabric in conjunction with Schoeller Nano Sphere to create a high-performance mix of microfiber, cotton and yarns that produce a 4-way stretch breech with ultimate shape retention and a soft, skin-friendly feel for the rider. Available in three styles including a front zip knee patch, front zip full seat and a side zip knee patch, the Rosa colors include White, Tan, Truffle and Blue. Available at fine tack stores.

The Tail Coat from Asmar Equestrian This Vancouver, BC equestrian apparel company provides stylish equestrian apparel with fabulous color collections, for riders of all disciplines. The Tail Coat is one versatile jacket that can be transformed into four incredible color styles. The unique feature about this coat is that it comes with four interchangeable tips in plum, pewter, deep red and golden/yellow. The lightweight durable stretch fabric is enhanced with elegant details such as welt pockets, Asmar Equestrian buttons, and weighted tails for a stunningly tailored fit in the saddle. Available in navy pinstripe and black.


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Adds & Scratches

2012 USEF Horses of the Year Named Finals that was the highlight of their 2012 campaign. In an absolutely thrilling jump-off, Flexible bested Nino Des Buissonnets by .64 seconds. It was the first time in 25 years that an American pair won the Rolex/ Flexible He’s a little horse that wins big, and FEI World Cup Final. “This little chestin 2012 he won the hearts of fans all over the U.S. Flexible’s victories at U.S. nut horse turns up at Olympic Team observation events in Del the farm one day...I Mar (the $50,000 Surfside Grand Prix and thought he was a the $100,000 Hermes Grand Prix of Del pony” joked owner Chapman Mar) and at Spruce Meadows (the $35,000 Harry Husky Energy Cup and $200,000 CN about his first time Performance Grand Prix) never seemed in seeing Flexible, be- SBS Farms’ Jersey Boy was named the 2012 USEF National Horse of the Year. Photo By: SportFot. doubt and earned him a ticket to London fore going on to say, where he and rider Rich Fellers led the “the first few miles on the road to success place after the Classic Hunter round. U.S. Team. Their 8th place finish in the were a little bumpy...but once the road So, with ground to make up, in front of Olympic Individual Jumping competition smoothed out, I have to say it was a hell a packed house at Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, Jersey Boy had to made them the highest placing American of a ride and I sure hope it’s not over. be at his best during the Handy Hunter pair, but it was a performance earlier in round. He was. On the strength of that the year against Olympic Gold medalists Jersey Boy Steve Guerdat and Nino des Buissonnets Jersey Boy dominates. Describing superb round Jersey Boy ended up at the Rolex/FEI World Cup Jumping why he is the 2012 USEF National Horse with a 588.25 score, clinched the USHJA of the Year is as easy as that. If International Hunter Derby presented by you’re unfamiliar with SBS Farms’ Dietrich Equine Insurance win, and put impressive 11-year-old gelding, the exclamation point on his bid for 2012 his accomplishments in the hunter USEF National Horse of the Year honors. “You know, Jersey Boy is an ring are unparalleled. For the four years that the exceptional horse, probably the best USHJA International Hunter hunter to have gone through the SBS Derby has been in existence stables,” said Mason Phelps, accepting Jersey Boy has ruled it. He is the the award on behalf of SBS Farms. “I’m leader on the International Hunter honored that they asked me to accept this Derby lifetime earnings list with award on their behalf.” “I’m thrilled for Jersey Boy,” said a total of $196,640. He has won a total of 20 Hunter Derby classes, rider Jennifer Alfano. “It’s very exciting, and has three series titles to his and he deserves the recognition. He’s an name. He’s been described as the awesome horse and he had an amazing “quintessential Derby horse” and year. Many people have called with his record proves it. Jersey Boy congratulations, and it’s nice for him to came in to 2012 still striving for one have his own fan base.” Based out of Buffalo, NY, SBS Farms’ major title: USHJA International Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano run Hunter Derby Finals winner. The field at the finals was one of the foremost show hunter training the best it’s ever been and, with operations in the country, and travel longtime rider Jennifer Alfano, nationwide to compete in the nation’s Jersey Boy was sitting in third most prestigious horse shows. Rich Fellers and 2012 USEF International Horse of the At the USEF Annual Meeting, the horses Flexible and Jersey Boy were named 2012 USEF International Horse of the Year and USEF National Horse of the year respectively. These two winners, determined by a vote that was open to the public, were superstars of their disciplines in 2012 and earned the admiration of voters with big wins and sustained successes. 

Year, Flexible. Photo by Kit Houghton


MOUNTBRIDGE FARMS 223 Acre Equestrian Retreat located in Douglas County, Colorado Offered For Sale $2,700,000


ou can have it all! Surrounded by spectacular views of the Front Range, the Perry Park Golf & Country Club, and numerous large-acreage equestrian properties, Mountbridge Farms is an ideal country retreat where you can RIDE HORSES, fish and enjoy 18 holes of golf. Located just north of Perry Park Country Club off Country Club Drive, this 223 acre equestrian property includes a residence, a horse barn, stables, multiple garages, and a hay shed. Elevated with panoramic views of the lower lying meadows, several red rock formations, and MILES OF RANCH property along Perry Park Road. The western side of the property has historically been used for polo fields and hay production. Mountbridge Farms has an abundance of WATER RIGHTS that run with the land, which consist of ditch rights, wells and storage rights. RESIDENCE: Built in 1940, this 2,310 SF home has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a fenced in yard. HORSE BARN & STABLES: Includes a 1,688 SF horse barn plus a 650 SF, 4-stall horse stable. APARTMENT & GARAGE: 2,088 SF structure includes a 4-car garage and a large upstairs apartment, separate from the main residence. SHOP SPACE: This 820 SF structure is currently used to house equipment and tools. 755 SF HAY SHED Presented By:

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Adds & Scratches

U.S. Bureau of Land Management Emphasizing ‘Compassion and Concern’ for Wild Mustangs The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is issuing new policy directives emphasizing “compassion and concern” for wild horses on federal lands in the West, in response to a growing public outcry over alleged abuse during roundups of thousands of mustangs in recent years. Federal laws protecting wild horses since the 1970s require the government to treat them humanely when culling overpopulated herds to reduce harm to public rangeland. But BLM officials said a series of new internal policy directives would better protect free-roaming horses and burros by centralizing oversight and stepping up daily reports at each individual gather across 12 Western states. “Press/media, congressional and public attention to recent gathers have compelled the BLM to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information,” one of the new directives states. The announcement drew, at best, a chilly response from most in the horse protection community skeptical of the agency’s intentions and a harsh rebuke from the largest national coalitions, which called it a “step backward.” “It’s an attempt by BLM to address criticism, but will do nothing to change the practices on the ground at the roundups,” said Deniz Bolbo, spokeswoman for the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign made up of more than 50 groups. Among other things, helicopter contractors will have to take




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extra care not to separate slower young animals from their mothers during roundup stampedes. The new orders also require the agency to make sure the public has reasonable access to observe the roundups, in compliance with federal law. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently granted a horse advocacy group’s appeal and ordered the BLM to review its practices to ensure it didn’t violate the First Amendment by keeping some critics away from a 2012 gather in Nevada. BLM spokeswoman Michelle Barret told The Associated Press, “All of this is in response to public concerns that were raised in a number of gathers. ... The welfare issues, the humane animal treatment during gathers, we realized that we needed to step it up here and address some of the public concerns.” Laura Leigh, president of the Nevada-based Wild Horse Education, who appealed her case to the 9th Circuit, is glad BLM is addressing the roundup concerns but doesn’t “hold much hope that I will witness much change.” “I’ll believe it when I see it,” added Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs in Berkeley, Calif. American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign founder Neda DeMayo criticized part of the new policy that specifies BLM treat horses “consistent with domestic livestock handling practices.” That’s a significant step back from the standard BLM Nevada Director Amy Lueders established in a December 2011 memo that said it should be consistent with “domestic horse handling procedures,” she said. “Although domestic horse handling practices are a step above the livestock industry, wild horses are neither domestic horses nor livestock. They are wild animals and as such must be humanely managed as a wildlife species on the range where they belong,” DeMayo said. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is stepping down in March,

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has called wild horse management “the most difficult issue we have dealt with” in his four-year tenure. “We’ve had hundreds of meetings on it and there are still a lot of problems,” Salazar told The Gazette of Colorado Springs last fall. He made the comment after apologizing for threatening to punch a Gazette reporter who asked him about problems with the wild horses at a campaign event for the President.

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What makes AHT the best option?

Keiri Kaneps photo by Julia Jaschke

The Colorado Horse Park announced the creation of the Keiri Kaneps Memorial Equestrian Education Grant with up to $1,000 toward actual expenses awarded to a Colorado resident who is pursuing a career as a Steward, Judge, Certified Trainer, Show Secretary or Course Designer. One grant annually will be awarded. The person seeking the grant must apply by essay and the Horse Park staff will determine who gets the grant. The 2013 winner has already been awarded. It goes to Vic Kaneps. Vic will be traveling to Thermal to add Equitation to his judging credentials. Please consider applying for the 2014 grant. The process is now open for next year! More details are available by emailing CKenney@ You may also submit your request essay to this same email address.

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Former 10-goaler, Carlos Gracida, playing for team L’Hosteria, sends the red ball flying.

Carlos Gracida leading Selby Stout of Team Tempus Jets on the way to victory in the final.


he 2012 Tempus Jets USPA World Snow Polo Championship was the place to be during the holidays in Aspen, Colorado. The Snow Polo World Championship, one of only two in the world (the other is held in the glitzy Swiss town of St. Moritz) keeps getting bigger every year. In its 15th year, the fund-raising tournament has become the kick-off event of the Aspen winter season. Event founder and local polo pro Barry Stout again provided fit and ready ponies from his Stout Ranch for the Championship that was held on December 15 and 16, 2012. The festivities kicked off on Thursday night with cocktails at the Buffalo Gallery, followed by Friday night’s player and team introduction media party at the Hotel Lenado. Then it was off to dinner at L’Hostaria where fans could meet and mingle with the pros. More than 500 people a day gathered under the heated tent in Aspen to watch the two-day tournament. The Championship attracts top polo pros from all over the world, and this year a stellar roster showed up that included Tommy Biddle, Pelon Escapite, Carlos and Carlitos Gracida, the Beh brothers, Darrell and Dale Schwetz, Doug Barnes, and Kelly Wells. Against a mountain backdrop, Aspen’s beautiful spectators cheered on the pros as the red ball flew up and down the snow-white field as Ciroc Vodka flowed and tasty food from L’Hostaria was consumed. Will Shorre The founder and organizer of The World Snow Polo Championship, Barry Stout, with Helen Roche. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | MARCH 2013 | 25

Snow Polo called the matches and DJ Kevin kept the tent a-bumping as VIPs and players mingled. The Saturday matches started with BP Polo lined up against L’ Hostaria, which ended in a shootout with team L’Hostaria being the victors. The Tempus Jets team took down sponsor Ciroc Vodka’s team, with Tommy Biddle scoring the winning goal in the final seconds. Sunday’s games were just as exciting as the previous day, with hard fought consolation finals between the Beh brothers of BP Polo, and team Ciroc, featuring Pelon Escapite and Dale Schwetz. The BP Polo team played strong but went down by one goal to the Ciroc team. The finals between Tempus Jets with Tommy Biddle, Kelly Wells and Selby Stout riding were narrowly defeated by one goal from L’Hostaria’s team of father/son combo Carlos and Carlitos Gracida and Guillermo Steta, the President of the Mexican Polo Federation. Tempus Jets hosted a cocktail party at Aspen’s famous Caribou Club on Saturday night, and everyone got their festive groove on at the closing party at Sky Hotel. Next year’s World Snow Polo Championship will be held on December 21 and 22. Snow polo is played on a snow-packed arena-sized field with soft fencing around to keep the ball in play. Teams consist of three players, and the ball is much larger than a regulation polo ball and is bright red so as to be seen against the snow. The horses are fitted with special traction shoes for safe maneuvering around the field. For more info on the tournament and to see additional photos go to

Victory for Team L’Hosteria!, left to right—Carlos Gracida, Guillermo Steta and Carlitos Gracida.


Kelly Wells hooking Carlos Gracida in the final. Kelly is the highest rated female arena polo player at two-goals.

Legendary Andalusian Stallion April 14, 1982–February 10, 2013

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National Western Stock Show For 107 years, horsemen have been coming to Denver and the National Western Stock Show to show and sell their horses. It is the only horse show that takes place during the winter in Colorado and draws competitors from all over the country. Two of the most popular “sell-out” events at the stock show are the $10,000 Gamblers Choice and the $40,000 Grand Prix. The Gamblers Choice course has a series of fences that are worth points depending on the height and difficulty of the jumps. The course can be ridden in any order or direction and a specific fence can be jumped more than once, with the goal of accumulating the most points. At the end of the allotted 60-second time limit, the rider may elect to jump the 5-½ foot tall Joker fence. The Joker is worth 200 points for a successful jump and minus 200 for a failed attempt. Karen Cudmore, who has won multiple times at the stock show added another blue ribbon to her collection by winning the Gambler’s Choice on her horse Southern Pride. Her daughter Brooke, also a previous winner at the stock show, placed in the money at seventh. Cudmore also added another win in the previous evenings $5000 Top of the Rockies Jumper Stake on Ocelot.

The $40,000 Grand Prix presented by Big-O Tires saw the first four places go to Christian Heineking and his fiancée Erin Davis. Between the two of them, 73% of the prize money went back home to Texas with them. Heineking took first on his horse River of Dreams followed by Davis in second riding On Target. It was Heineking again, taking third on NKH Selena and Davis adding a fourth place finish riding October Hill’s Concho. Christian Heineking is currently the head trainer at the North Texas Equine

Center. “I like the Stock Show. This is my fourth year and I think it’s a great show. It’s a great start for my horses after a winter break. I’m excited to come and even more excited to win the class. My fiancée Erin [Davis], she took second, I took third, and she took forth again, it can’t get much better for us,” said Christian Heineking. Erin Davis is the owner and head trainer at October Hill Farm and has had her horse On Track for eleven years and bred and raised Concho from a baby to a ten-year-old grand prix jumper.

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Grand Prix winner Christian Heineking and his horse River of Dreams relax with the current issue of HC after winning the $40,000 Grand Prix. Photo by Steven Wiskow

Christian Heineking and River of Dreams wins the NWSS $40,000 Grand Prix. Photo by Sharon McElvain Prior to winning the NWSS Gambler’s Choice on Southern Pride, Cudmore also took the blue in the NWSS $10,000 Top of the Rockies Jumper Stake with Ocelot. Photo by Sharon McElvain

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505.884.0777 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | MARCH 2013 | 31


HITS Desert Circuit – Thermal, CA Bond and Wistful Win the Night in the $54,500 HITS Grand Prix CSI-W2*


Ashlee Bond and Wistful on their way to a win in the $54,500 HITS Grand Prix CSI-W2*, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal with their sights set on a 2013 World Cup appearance. Photo by Flying Horse Photography • Front fly, snap closure, belt loops • Two flat front pockets with suede detail • Durable stretch fabric provides “no-show” coverage • Stain resistant • Perforated Nubuck™ fullseat panels grip like leather MSRP $119 Style# 50148 S, M, L, XL white, tan, mushroom, navy, black Close Up of Perforated Nubuck™

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Before the start of the $54,500 HITS Grand Prix CSI-W2*, presented by Zoetis, course designer Florencio Hernandez of Mexico said that his goal was to have between one and three clear. He landed on the low side of that projection with no need for a jump-off, as Ashlee Bond was the only one to go clean in the first round aboard Wistful. The Grand Prix took place under the lights in a ring that was shrunk to about 150 by 400-feet, or half its normal width, to better-approximate the tight indoor ring where the World Cup Final will take place in Gothenburg, Germany in April. “It was a very technical and careful course— definitely big enough,” Bond said after the class. “The oxers were super-wide, and tall. It was very difficult.” The event was the second World Cup qualifier of the 2013 HITS Desert Circuit. Bond said if she qualifies for the World Cup Final her plan is to take both Wistful and Cadett 7, her winning horse in the $33,000 HITS Desert Classic Grand Prix, to Gothenburg. “The first round I would do Cadett,” said Bond, already a veteran of two World Cup Finals. “He’s really good at speed and she’s [Wistful] not ready to run at that level, so if I can do the first round on him and have her take over, that would be ideal.”


Victory Marks Triumphant Return for Beerbaum and Cantano It was a triumphant return to Southern California for Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Cantano, owned by Octavia Farms, LLC, with a win in the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. The pair topped a field of 42 entries and produced the faster of two clears among eight jump-off contenders. Indeed the trophy ceremony wound up a Team Beerbaum affair, as student Saer Coulter of Stanford, California, and Don VHP Z placed second with the only other double clear. Meredith’s husband Markus Beerbaum finished third on Lancero. For Michaels-Beerbaum, who grew up in Southern California, the win in front of her hometown crowd—and that of Cantano, who successfully competed on the grand prix circuit here for many years—was particularly meaningful. “Cantano was out for a while with an injury, and this is the first grand prix we’ve done in about five months, so it was a nice comeback that shows he’s back in super form,” said Beerbaum. Markus Beerbaum said he was thrilled

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Cantano made a triumphant return to the grand prix ring this weekend with a win in the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal. Team Beerbaum had a great weekend and swept the top three spots. Photo by Flying Horse Photography

to see his wife and student do so well today, and that the top three placing was gratifying because, he says, he has been so

busy training he hasn’t had much time to ride competitively.

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Rusty Stewart and Bristol Triumph After a Two-Horse Duel in the $54,500 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Speed, scope, strategy and nerve were pushed to the extreme in the $54,500 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix CSI-W 2*, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Desert Circuit II. Ultimately, it came down to a contest of two in which Rusty Stewart of Camarillo, California, prevailed on his Grey Fox Farm entry, Bristol. His contender was Lucy Davis and Old Oak Farm’s Nemo 119. The event, which took place under the lights before a capacity crowd, was the West Coast’s first FEI World Cup qualifier of the winter season and also the first show jumping competition to take place under the banner of Zoetis, the new name of the company formerly known as Pfizer Animal Health. Zoetis will continue to manufacture products such as Strongid® C 2X, Fluvac Innovator® and Quest® Plus. “It was definitely a tough course, a real World Cup class—plenty big enough for our first one on the West Coast this year,” said Stewart. The victory was all the more sweet for Stewart in that Bristol is the first homebred from his and wife Kandi’s breeding operation, Grey Fox Farm, to hit the grand prix circuit.

The Strongid® C2X Grand Prix was a qualifier for both the AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Lamborghini Newport Beach, this March and the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix that will take place Sept. 7–8 at HITS-onthe-Hudson in Saugerties, New York on Championship Weekend. Rusty Stewart and Bristol used experience and speed to top Lucy Davis in the jump-off of the $54,500 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, and take home the victory. Photo by Flying Horse Photography

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Tracy Fenney Dominates Week II of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit

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Tracy Fenney went two-for-two with a win in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, followed by a win in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health aboard MTM Farm’s MTM Timon. Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas showed her two longtime mounts on Sunday, MTM Centano and MTM Timon and produced clear rounds on both, to help shape an exciting jump-off of eight horse and rider combinations over a course designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland. “The course was great today, it was very friendly for the horses which is nice this early in the season. It was competitive, but we didn’t have to pull out all the stops,” said Fenney, who is primed for another appearance in the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. “It’s great to be back here on the road to the Pfizer Million again. We work towards that all year long and we start here in Ocala. I haven’t jumped these horses at all the last several months, and they’re being fantastic.


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Tracy Fenney and MTM Timon were unstoppable during Week II of competition at HITS Ocala. After a win in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, they rode to victory again in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, both presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Photo by ESI Photography


By Geoff Young

Plum Performances

Mandy Porter & Con Capilot photo by Sharon McElvain

Plum Performances Mandy rode Con Capilot to his first Grand Prix victory, taking the blue ribbon in the EMO $50,000 Grand Prix at the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California. Photo by Flying Horse photography


ended in the winner’s circle for Nancy Gooding of Plum Creek Hollow Farm, and the momentum has kept going in the early part of 2013. In the span of four weeks, two of Nancy’s horses, Palim Palim and Con Capilot captured their first grand prix wins, and are now poised to make a big splash on the grand prix scene. Nancy has been a long time importer and breeder of warmblood horses at her gorgeous Plum Creek Hollow Farm, nestled up against the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies in the Plum Creek Valley, just south of Denver. She is well known at the German horse auctions for having a keen eye and good intuition when it comes to picking quality horses. After all, she has imported over 125 seen a horse like this come through the Pilot was the youngest showjumper horses throughout the years with her auction. He praised him so highly, and ever to earn a million dollars among focus being on really nice amateur horses after seeing the video, I decided I would Germany’s stallions. His breeding influence exceeds the Westphalian that were very rideable and well trained try to get him.” With phone in hand, and the support borders as he is represented in almost with no vices. Nancy’s horse savvy was on display in of her husband Richard, Nancy started all German breeds. His progeny have 2006 at the ESI Sporthorse auction in Lastrup, Germany. It was at this auction that Nancy out bid “I had never met Mandy before and I really liked the way she rode… several “big players,” including famed German horseman Gilbert Bockmann, to acquire the tall, if she could come over to my barn to look at a couple of horses.” striking Westfalian gelding with a distinctive blaze, Palim Palim a long distance biding process from won numerous international grand prix (Polytraum x Pilot). Later that year, Nancy was back home Colorado, and when the gavel came down including the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and in Colorado when she received a phone at the auction in Germany, the gorgeous by 1999, those offspring had won over call from the director of the Westfalian three-year-old Westfalian stallion, Con $8,000,000 in prize money. In 2005, he Elite Auction. He asked her to take a look Capilot (Con Capitol x Pilot), was heading was honored with a life-size monument in front of the Westphalian horse center in at the video of a stallion that would be to Plum Creek Hollow Farm. It is perhaps no coincidence that Nancy Munster-Handorf. presented at the auction. According to Palim Plaim and Con Capilot started Nancy, “He told me that he had never bought two horses with Pilot bloodlines.



training right away with rider Glenn Hartigan, a seasoned rider with years of experience and tutelage in the “German riding system.” Two years later, Plum Creek Hollow’s new trainer, Natascha Brass Gates, took over.


t was at a clinic in 2010 that the fortunes of both horses would take a dramatic turn. Popular grand prix rider Mandy Porter was conducting a clinic at Jami Jensen’s Crooked Willow Farms, just down the road from Nancy’s Plum Creek Hollow. Nancy recalled that day at the clinic. “I had never met Mandy before and I really liked the way she rode and I liked her, so, I asked her right then and there if she could come over to my barn to look at a couple of horses that I needed a good rider for, and those two horses were Palim Palim and Con Capilot. She got on Con Capilot and rode him and then turned to me and said, ‘send him out to me in California.’ She also took Palim Palim with her as well.” After a year Palim Palim was sent to rider Wilhelm Genn in Lebanon, Ohio. In 2012, the pair, together for

less than a year, took second place in the $60,000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis. They followed that up with an impressive win in Wellington at the Citibank $25,000 Grand on December 30th. Said Wilhelm, “He (Palim Palim) is fairly green at this level; I don’t think he has jumped more than a dozen grand prix, but he is a good horse and with a little more experience can start doing some World Cup classes as well.” For Plum Creek Hollow and Nancy Gooding, it was a wonderful way to end 2012, and 2013 was about to begin with a bang. Staying with Mandy Porter, Con Capilot competed in 2012 with three top ten grand prix finishes. Said Nancy, “Mandy was picking and choosing specific classes to ride him in so he wouldn’t become overfaced. He had a strong performance in the World Cup qualifier in Las Vegas, just barely tapping one rail loose from the cup, but Mandy was really pleased with his performance.” Starting off the New Year at HITS Thermal, Mandy and Con Capilot entered the first week’s EMO $50,000 Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. In a thrilling contest that came down to the final seconds of the jump-off, Mandy and Con Capilot snatched victory from Mexico’s Enrique Gonzalez. Mandy was next to last among 32 starters and last to go in the jump-off that featured 12 horses that had all gone clear in round one. With Gonzales comfortably in first with a time of 40.64 seconds, there would be no clear riders under 42 seconds

The Westfalian gelding Palim Palim garnered much excitement and frenzied bidding at the ESI elite auction in Lastrup, Germany. Photo by Geoff Young


Plum Performances

in the jump-off until Mandy and the Plum Creek Hollow stallion shaved .3 seconds off Gonzalez’s time. “They went really fast in the jump-off, I felt, and I have to admit, I was really nervous because I haven’t done many big tracks for speed recently,” said Porter. “I was developing this horse, so while I’d go fast, I rated it to what I thought the horse was ready for. Today, I felt he was ready.” “He just turned ten and he is really coming into his own,” said Mandy. “He is super careful, so I know I can push him to be quick. Every time I challenge him he tries really hard to answer the question and answer correctly.” She admitted that the mantra she played in her head through the jump off round was, “Be like

Catherine is the second foal from Con Capilot and Gretchen PCH. She and her sister Count Me In are the only offspring from this dynamic pair. Photo by Plum Creek Hollow

Con Capilot’s foal, Count Me In, says hello to her father. Photo by Plum Creek Hollow

Rich Fellers! Be like Rich Fellers! Just keep galloping!” Nancy is now looking forward to the rest of the winter circuit. “I’ll be going out to Thermal to see him go in the last grand prix of the circuit there, the Million Dollar Grand Prix. That will be the ultimate test for him since that grand prix will be attracting the top horses from all over the jumping world.” Following in his daddy’s (Pilot) hoof prints, Con Capilot has been breeding

since 2008 and has produced around 12– 15 foals. Two of the foals were born and raised at Plum Creek Hollow Farm from Nancy’s wonderful World Cup jumping mare, Gretchen PCH, who was ridden by Richard Spooner to a very successful career. Tragically, Gretchen died giving birth last year. The two Con Capilot foals, Count Me In, a filly who is four coming five and Catherine, a three-year-old are the only foals from this dynamic breeding combination and will be the ones to watch in the future.

Cooper is another fine example of a Con Capilot baby. Photo by Plum Creek Hollow


Richard Gooding with Mandy Porter and Con Capilot. Photo by Arna Campbell

Plum Performances


ith the success of Con Capilot, Nancy Gooding is now trying to decide if she wants to keep him as a grand prix horse or to possibly sell him. “This horse is going to be special at the grand prix level and I’m just not sure right now if it will be me watching him win or someone else.” If Mandy Porter has any say in it, Nancy will be watching her stallion for a while longer. “Right now, Mandy really wants to keep riding him and is trying to convince me to keep him going with her,” said Gooding. “I guess it all depends on what kind of interest there is in him. Until then, Mandy will continue to compete him in grand prix throughout the HITS winter circuit in Thermal.” Asked if looking back to that 2006 phone call to the auction house in Germany, that

Mandy Porter took one ride on Con Capilot and told Nancy Gooding to “Send him out to me in California!” photo by Sharon McElvain


a grand prix champion would be on the other end of that call, Nancy responded, “I wasn’t expecting it but I was hoping. You always hope for a winner when you go to an auction. It wasn’t until I got him home to Colorado that I had an idea of how good he could be. Mandy was the one who was sure that he was going to be a top grand prix horse.” There is another important aspect to the success of Con Capilot. In the horse world, there seems to be this “hurry up” mentality. You see it in spectacles like the Extreme Mustang Makeover where the object is to break and back a horse in 90 days. Other horsemanship events show horses being backed in a matter of hours, and there are so many instances of horses being taken to the high levels too early— risking injury and stressing them out mentally. Nancy’s philosophy is simple, sound, and successful. “I brought Con

Capilot along very slowly. I like to bring my horses along nice and slow so that they don’t get rushed, so they are mentally and physically ready to compete. I’m not in a hurry to turn them over.” Two auctions, one phone call and two horses later, 2013 is shaping up to be a plum year for Nancy and Richard Gooding and Plum Creek Hollow Farm.

Count Me In is now almost five-years-old and is showing exceptional jumping ability, just like her daddy Con Capilot. Photo by Hilary Carrel

“I like to bring my horses along nice and slow so that they don’t get rushed, so they are

MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY READY TO COMPETE. I’m not in a hurry to turn them over.”

Mandy Porter and Con Capilot will compete in the Million Dollar Grand Prix at HITS Thermal. photo by Selena Frederick

Many in the crowd came to their feet and applause filled the arena as Nancy Gooding won the bidding for Palim Palim, beating out several top buyers, including legendary German horseman Gilbert (Gibby) Bockmann. Photo by Geoff Young



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

2013 World Dressage Masters Photos by Susan J Stickle

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven Turns Tables on Patrik Kittel to Take Championship at WDM Palm Beach CDI5*


inne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello rode the momentum from an enthusiastic crowd to claim the 2013 World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach championship. After finishing second to Swedish Olympic teammates Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic H B C in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI5* at WDM, Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello took it up a notch to seize victory in Saturday's Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5*. Vilhelmson-Silfven collected a personal best score of 84.075% for her electrifying freestyle performance. She received a standing ovation from the crowd as she exited the ring. “It’s just such an honor to ride a horse like Don Auriello,” she said. “He is so fun to ride. He was enjoying himself with me, enjoying the time, enjoying the energy. It was a great atmosphere.” Vilhelmson-Silfven has seen improvement in Don Auriello over the past months. “He’s getting stronger, more mature, developing, and it gets easier and easier to use his whole potential,” she explained. Kittel was gracious in defeat. “I’m going to give Tinne the return,” he said. “Yesterday she said if she should be beaten it would be from another Swedish person and I give that back today. I think it’s amazing that we have now two such top horses in Sweden.” “It’s been a fantastic event here,” Kittel said. “I mean, look at the crowd, and look at the riding. It’s unbelievable.” Kittel and Scandic will fly home and begin working toward the World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in late April.

Vilhelmson-Silfven and Kittel defeated two-time WDM Palm Beach champion Steffen Peters, who notched a third place finish for the United States with 80.175% on the promising Legolas 92. Peters said both he and his horse enjoyed the freestyle. “I love it when I have fun, but I can guarantee you he had a lot of fun tonight too,” he said after the ride. Stephen Clarke, the judge at “C,” expressed his excitement at the 11-year-old Legolas 92’s potential, describing him as “a world class horse that has a great future.” Clarke said he saw “true moments of brilliance” during the test. 46 | MARCH 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Heather Blitz and Paragon, the 2012 U.S. Olympic team alternates, took the fourth place spot with 74.900%. “He was really electric from the crowd and just the energy in here,” Blitz said of her horse. The talented horses and riders in the Freestyle put on a show for spectators and judges alike. Clarke, who was recently elected the FEI Dressage Judge General, spoke highly of VilhelmsonSilfven’s ride on Don Auriello. “Tinne’s horse, for me, it’s absolutely what dressage should be about,” Clarke said. “It’s all the talk about horses that should be uphill and in balance and in complete harmony with the rider.”


ikala Gundersen added a victory in the Grand Prix Special CDI5* at World Dressage Masters (WDM) Palm Beach to a growing list of accomplishments at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center this winter. Gundersen and My Lady, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, were third in Thursday’s Wellington Classic Dressage Sunshine Challenge Grand Prix CDI3* at Jim Brandon. They also finished just out of the top eight in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI5* at WDM Palm Beach, taking ninth place with 68.447%. Gundersen, who earned a score of 69.479% for her ride, described her sometimes-challenging relationship with My Lady. “This is an alpha mare,” Gundersen explained with a smile. “She has a huge personality. She knows what she wants and she thinks she knows everything better. We have a little bit of discussion sometimes in the ring because she knows exactly how everything needs to be done and apparently I don’t know anything.” But Gundersen has high praise for the mare. “She wants to go

and do her best,” Gundersen noted. “She has presence and strength, and my favorite thing is when we come down the last centerline, she gets better and better.” James Koford rode Rhett, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding, to a second place finish in the Special with 67.333%. Koford, whose recent successes include wins in the Grand Prix at the 2011 International Horse Sport Champions Cup CDI3* and the Grand Prix Freestyle at the 2012 Wellington Dressage CDI-W, also competed at last year’s WDM Palm Beach. Jacqueline Brooks of Canada scored 66.833% on D Niro to claim third place. Brooks, a seasoned international competitor for Canada, won a team silver medal at the Pan American Games in 2003 and has ridden on two Olympic teams. Brooks, who was making her third appearance at WDM Palm Beach, explained why she keeps coming back. “Every time you get invited to a thing like this, it’s fantastic,” she said. “The more you do it, the more you appreciate it coming in, because you know how significant it is, and how many people, how many sponsors, and how much work it is to put an event like this together.”

Patrik Kittel Triumphs in Grand Prix at World Dressage Masters CDI5* Palm Beach


weden’s number one rider, Patrik Kittel scored his personal best to win the FEI World Dressage Masters (WDM) Exquis Grand Prix CDI5* on Watermill Scandic H B C. The duo’s powerful and consistent ride featured buttery-smooth transitions, earning them a 77.681% against a field of 15 competitors at the Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Kittel broke into a wide grin at the completion of his test, and his confidence was rewarded when the scores flashed on the board. The judge at “H,” Isabelle Judet of France, awarded Kittel and Scandic, a 14-year-old chestnut KWPN stallion, an 80.745%. A member of the Swedish team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games as well as the 2010 World Equestrian Games, he rode Scandic to victories at Falsterbo CDI5*, Rotterdam CDIO3* and Lingen CDI4* last summer. “It was my personal best score, and I’m very, very happy with that,” Kittel said. He emphasized his horse’s improvement, explaining that Scandic is “in much better shape” now after their hard work over the past months. “After the Olympics, I thought a bit, and I changed a bit, and I worked a bit more on getting my horse more uphill in the canter, and that was much better,” he added. Kittel described himself as “a big fan of WDM” and said he “for sure will try to come back” to WDM Palm Beach. “It’s an amazing show,” he said. “We’ve been treated so well here. The people here are friendly, the crowd is really nice, lovely weather, the judges give you nice points, what more can you want?” The defending two-time WDM Palm Beach Champion Steffen Peters was pleased with his third place finish on Legolas 92, whose precise movements and lofty piaffe earned them a score of 75.149%. Legolas 92 is an 11-year-old bay Westphalian gelding owned by Four Winds Farm. Peters, a three-time Olympian, is the only U.S. dressage rider to have won individual medals at the World Equestrian Games. U.S. Olympian Adrienne Lyle, Debbie McDonald’s protégé, and Wizard earned a 71.362% for sixth place. The pair rode in their first WDM Palm Beach appearance last year and won the Grand Prix Special with a score of 75.022%. Lyle’s big grin and pat for Wizard, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas, was a crowd pleaser, and the duo passaged out of the arena after their test. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | MARCH 2013 | 47


Mikala Gundersen and My Lady Prevail in Grand Prix Special CDI5* at WDM Palm Beach


International Polo Club Hosts an Unforgettable World Dressage Masters Competitors’ Party


he world’s most accomplished dressage elite, supporters and guests converged upon the International Polo Club Palm Beach for a competitors party to kick off the World Dressage Masters CDI5* Palm Beach (WDM). The International Polo Club delivered a spectacular evening of entertainment, international gourmet cuisine and good company. The WDM Competitors’ Party was held poolside at the Mallet Grille at International Polo Club. Produced by Membership Director Julie Pickens, the party was a feast for the senses. A plumage-laden showgirl in a clear floating orb drifted along the waters on the International Polo Club infinity pool while guests enjoyed the music of the Saki Greek Band. An enormous ice sculpture of the World Dressage Masters logo anchored a seafood and raw bar, and attendees enjoyed stations featuring international cuisine. “It was a mesmerizing experience, they created such a wonderful atmosphere,” said John van de Laar. “It was really in the spirit of what WDM is all about. It was five star!” The entire evening was sponsored by International Polo Club Palm Beach. The club was born out of the dream to build a facility to showcase the incredible skills of the ponies and players that dominate the sport. The International Polo Club Palm Beach serves as a hub for all equestrians during the Wellington season.

Top, left to right: Hans Peter Minderhoud, Edward Gal, Lyndal Oatley, and Patrik Kittel Middle, left to right: Vincent Guilloteau, Tuny Page, and Frederique Guilloteau

Left to right: Kaela White, Lindsay Kellock, and Brittany Fraser 48 | MARCH 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Chrystine and George Tauber

c Below, left to right: Lyndal Oatley, Michael Kennedy, and Ashley Holzer

Left to right: Janet Richardson-Pearson, Todd Flettrich, Isabella Delgrange, and Debbie Widhayer

Left to right: Steven Clarke, Mike Tomlinson, and Hans Christian Matthiesen HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | MARCH 2013 | 49


Left to right: Heidi Knipe, Arthur Kottas, Suzzane LaLicata, and Andreas Stano


KWPN-NA Invites Everyone to “Go Dutch” at Upcoming Annual Meeting

The stunning indoor arena at Hassler Dressage at Riveredge

Horse Connections 4.7x7 feb 5_Horse Connections ad 4.7x7 Feb 5 13-02-05 11:29 PM Page 1


he Royal Dutch Sport Horse Studbook in North America (KWPN-NA), the continent’s premier warmblood registry, welcomes sport horse enthusiasts to join in events and festivities during their upcoming annual meeting to be held March 14–16, 2013 at Hassler Dressage at Riveredge in Chesapeake City, MD. The KWPN is one of the largest sport horse registries in the world, and has consistently been ranked the number one studbook for both jumping and dressage by the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH). “Our annual meeting is an important way for our organization to provide new information and education for our members, and to get to know the breeders and members on a personal basis,” said Willy Arts, Chair of the KWPN-NA Board of Directors. Hosted by Scott and Susanne Hassler at the fabulous Riveredge facility in Maryland, the 2013 KWPN-NA annual meeting will have exciting features for not only breeders, but also riders, breed fans, and the general public. “We are so excited to host the KWPN-NA annual meeting this year,” noted Scott Hassler. “The clinics and educational sessions are a great opportunity to bring the breeders, owners, and trainers together to benefit breeding programs and the quality of training of young horses. We invite everyone to join us for what will be a great weekend.” Pre-registration at discounted rates for the entire 2013 KWPN-NA annual meeting and/or individual events is available for both organization members and the general public until February 25th. Special room rates are offered at the host hotel, the Hilton Homewood Suites in Newark, DE; but hurry—reservations close February 12th. For more information, contact the KWPN-NA office, or by phone 541.459.3232.


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ortraits of the P I

t’s one thing to photograph horses in their environment, whether that is in the wild, in the pasture, barn, or at the show grounds. It is quite another to photograph horses in a studio, and while you really can’t bring a horse to the studio, you do what Lindsay Robertson did—you bring the studio to the horse. The Scottish photographer is well known for his landscapes, having established successful galleries in Glasgow and Edinburgh. For over 25 years, many of his images have been used in international advertising campaigns and specialty calendars. His talent was recognized is 2005 when he was invited to The Hermitage artist’s retreat in Englewood, Florida, the U.S.’s only “by invitation” artist retreat. Lindsay was the first photographer to be offered a residency there. It was during this residency that his work came to the attention of the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York—the world-renowned Museum of Photography. Lindsay was then given the opportunity to personally bring the Eastman’s House collection of Ansel Adams photographs to Scotland. It would be the largest exhibition of Adams’ photographs to be shown in the UK and would make Robertson the only UK photographer allowed to exhibit his landscapes alongside the iconic landscapes of the Ansel Adams collection. Returning from a trip photographing the landscapes around the West Coast of America, he started preparing himself to commence work on a project conceived some years earlier—studio photography of the horse. He wanted to create images of horses unlike anything ever seen before, and on a grand scale.


Photographs by Lindsay Robertson

“The challenge I set myself was to capture the stature and majesty of these amazing animals.”


Thus began the task of creating a portable studio that could be driven to where the horses were. No one had ever attempted something like this before so everything had to be conceived from a blank canvas, so to speak. Lindsay’s complex mobile studio involved a huge 700 sq. ft. stage and an enormous 3,000 sq. ft. backdrop of painted muslin cloth that was so large it had to be sewn together in the parking lot of a railway station. He spent a month painting it with mops and sponges and developed a system of large poles to raise it into place. He tows the studio behind his transit van to horse shows and private stables. This project known as The Equine Series began to generate commissions from horse owners as well as creating limited edition prints to sell. He has plans to bring this mobile studio to the U.S. and Australia, but until then, the public here in the U.S. will have a chance to see The Equine Series exhibit during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day at the Kentucky Horse Park, April 25–28, 2013. For three years now, Lindsay has taken his studio to the horses and the results have been nothing short of amazing. With the ability to control the lighting, angles and overall environment, Lindsay has created images of the horse unlike any seen before. Said Lindsay, “Horses are majestic animals with a kind of aura and I wanted to capture the statuesque nature of them.” Asked about the difficulty of getting horses to stand in a studio he commented, “The horses are surprisingly well-behaved and the owners obviously helped to get them in the right place.” Spending so much time photographing these powerful animals has had an effect on Lindsay. “This project has overwhelmed me and I so enjoy capturing these truly magnificent animals. When my clients see the resulting images, they are all so thankful—and it humbles me because I just can’t believe I have taken the images. To be able to give such a work of art to someone who loves his or her horse is a completely different feeling of satisfaction than I would get from my landscape photography. I think it is far more fulfilling and personal because it is a living creature. I am now hooked on horses.”

Lindsay Robertson 54 | MARCH 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

“The studio space provides the

ideal stage to isolate e horse from its usual environment.”



“I so enjoy capturing these truly magnificent animals and when my clients see  the resulting images, they are all so thankful—and it humbles me because I just can’t believe I have taken  the images.” “Mooney”


“Jenny and Ed”




“That element of isolation creates the power for a commanding portrait—a singular statuesque image of e horse.”


“Hobo and Friend”

“To be able to give such a work of art to someone who loves his or her horse is a completely different feeling of satisfaction than I would get from my landscape photography.”


“Old Glory”

“I think it is far more fulfilling and  personal because it is a living creature— I am now hooked on horses.”

“Images where the scale of the surroundings is sympathetic to the animals’ size and presence compel the viewer into e captivating aura, energy and beauty which these glorious animals possess and transmit.”

“I want to provide the opportunity for each individual horse to project its dominance, and display its character and irit within a solitary space.”



Let’s Hear It For The

By Butte Dawson

Photo by Geoff Young


t a recent get together with friends, I posed the question; are mares better show jumpers than stallions or geldings? Everyone weighed in and the discussion got rather heated. There was the answer that I’ve heard many times in the past — “it doesn’t matter what the sex of the horse is, it is the rider that determines how well the horse can jump.” This is true to a certain extent, but I was looking for something a little more insightful, something that left some of the credit of ability to the horse and not the rider.

One guest reminded me of the old saying that goes: “Mares give 100%, 75% of the time and geldings give 75%, 100% of the time.” This statement at least attempts to address the inherent traits of a mare vs. a gelding or stallion. Another guest chimed in with; “You ASK a mare, TELL a gelding, and DISCUSS it with a stallion.” Again this speaks to the temperament of the different sexes. I was looking for more. Going back 20 to 30 years ago, you rarely saw a mare in a top-level show jumping competition. Now you see many mares competing at top levels. Have attitudes changed or are the mares finally

getting the chance they have deserved? Are mares being considered as more than just baby makers? I was surprised to find that only 22 mares made it to the top 100 ranked horses, out of 4000, by the WBFSH (World Breeding Federation for Sporthorses), using data from the FEI. The breakdown was 44 geldings and 34 stallions in the top 100. So, mares comprise only 20% of the top 100, but with three mares finishing in the top ten (a 30% rate) at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, despite only having 30 mares out of 120 at the WEG, it would suggest that the girls could out perform

Touch of Class—courtesy of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame 66 | MARCH 2013 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

the boys if more opportunities were given. I believe that one of the main reasons you see few mares at the highest level of sport is not because they aren’t capable. We know mares can win at the biggest events. It’s usually because they have gone to the breeding barn before reaching their potential. If one has a mare with a good pedigree that has been successful at the 1.30-meter level, chances are good that she will be valuable as a brood mare. From an economic perspective, showing at the high levels is very expensive, but having a good broodmare with good bloodlines can be profitable. Evidence also shows that competition mares have trouble conceiving if they are bred later rather than when they are younger. It is not known if the stress of competition interferes with the ability to conceive, but many believe the saying — “use it or lose it,” applies to mares that aren’t bred when they are in their prime. So is money a factor in holding back a promising mare? There just may be more questions than answers here. Some mare owners claim that mares are more intelligent and courageous and will work harder for their owners, and there are many stories and legends about the loyalty of a mare to her rider. Many claim that mares are less distracted than stallions and that makes for fewer mistakes on course. Conversely, others claim that mares are more nervous and high-strung. In short, much lore about “marish” behavior is due to simple anthropomorphism, attributing stereotypically “female” behavior to mares. But most horse owners know that every horse has its own personality and quirks, regardless of sex. I believe that we will see more and more mares competing at the upper levels, especially if they are looked upon as more than just broodmares. And when it comes to competition, in the battle of the sexes, it would be hard to argue against the following mares.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Reed Kessler made history in 2012, when she became the youngest rider to make the U.S. Olympic team. She couldn’t have done it without her incredible mare Cylana. All the more remarkable was that Reed had only had Cylana for eight months prior to the Olympic qualifiers, and had only jumped an Olympic sized course with the mare once before the trials. When Reed got Cylana, the mare was obese and her weight left her exhausted and hitting rails constantly. Working just on getting her fit through the summer and fall, the horse became “a monster,” according to Kessler and was dominating at the winter circuit in Florida. Said Reed about Cylana, “She knows she’s a talent, and she wants to show everyone. She’s a businesswoman and doesn’t want to sit on the couch.” The 2012 Olympic Trials served as the $100,000 USEF National Show Jumping Championships. Kessler tied Margie Engle (at 53-years-young) for the championship and was declared the overall winner due to having the most clean rounds. The Chronicle of the Horse called it one of the biggest upsets in the history of show jumping. Not bad for a couple of girls!

One Classy Lady

Coming from the racetrack as a filly, the little mare, Touch of Class, became an icon for horsemen across the country during the ’80s. The bay mare was the first non-human to be named the USOC Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year award after winning two gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. With Joe


Fargis in the irons, Touch of Class jumped the first double clear rounds in Olympic show jumping history. That girl has earned some serious jewelry!

“She’s a businesswoman and doesn’t want to sit on the couch.” —Reed Kessler on Cylana


This difficult mare from a French trotter horse of unknown origins and the Standardbred Oberst became the benchmark of Olympic success. The German Olympic committee discovered Halla after she washed out as an eventer, or Military horse (as it is called in Germany), and throwing many riders. I guess the girl was just misunderstood until Hans-Gunter Winkler climbed aboard her. After winning back-to-back


Sapphire—photo by Geoff Young

World Championships in show jumping, the pair competed at the 1956 Stockholm Olympics. During the first round, Halla left for the fence early and threw Winkler in the air. He landed heavy in the saddle and had injured his groin muscle. If he had withdrawn from the final round the German team would be eliminated. He gritted his teeth and held on as Halla took him on a fault free ride. They won gold medals in the individual and team events. Four years later at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Halla led the German team to another gold medal. Halla won a total of 125 jumping competitions in her career. The incredible mare is in the Guinness Book of World Records as The Horse With the Most Olympic Gold Medals! In a perfect ending to this majestic lady’s story is that she peacefully passed in 1979, at the ripe old age of 34.


A Jewel of a Girl This horse put that “Chestnut Mare Myth” to shame with her accomplishments. McLain Ward’s Sapphire was “America’s Favorite Mare,” during her epic ten-year career. I saw her for the first time during the 2004 Olympic Trials and knew this horse was one special lady. For six years, Sapphire was the best show jumper in the world. In a nutshell, she won two Olympic gold medals, and two million dollars in grand prix wins including; Spruce Meadows, the Pfizer Million, The American Invitational, The President’s Cup at WIHS, The Grand Prix of Rome and the Hampton Classic. Sapphire retired happy and healthy at the age of 17. An attempted breeding between her and the late Hickstead failed. She loves her donuts.

Bringing Her “A” Game Almost every article written about Ratina Z calls her “a dream,” “a legend,” and “horse of the century.” It would be hard to argue that she hasn’t earned her way into the record books. As seems

“You ASK a mare, TELL a gelding, and DISCUSS it with a stallion.”

to be the curse with mares, she was described as “difficult, sharp and hot.” The fact is that Ratina Z was a comet, a fireball that relished a challenge, and the harder the better. Competing for The Netherlands, the petulant mare won a silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, but then, famed German rider Ludger Beerbaum took the reins and the pair won the World Cup in ’93, followed by team gold at the 1994 World Championships. The mare, out of Ramiro Z and Argentina Z, further cemented her place in history winning double Olympic gold medals in ’92 and ’96, as well as team gold at the World Equestrian Games and two more team gold medals at the European Championships. “She was horrible to ride,” said Beerbaum in an interview. Now that is a little harsh but then again, men aren’t good at dealing with strong, independent women. Beerbaum, when asked what this super mare was all about said, “She is against any rulebook.” She retired as a broodmare in 2000 (a woman’s work is never done!) on Beerbaum’s farm in Germany. Sadly, she passed in 2011 at the age of 28.



o there you have it, girls rock! I’ll admit that there is no scientific evidence to prove that mares are better show jumpers than the boys, and it’s possible that statistics could prove me wrong, but lets look at the facts. A Guinness World Record holder, double Olympic gold medals, Historical achievements in the U.S., the Olympics, and Europe. Plus, most of these mares pulled double-duty and were bred after their show careers. And, mares have to put up with the stereotypical labels put on them like “difficult and hot,” whereas the boys with the same traits are referred to as “independent” and “spirited.” As for superior athletic ability, don’t get me started. Ever hear of Zenyatta? So what do you think? Who’s better? And before you answer, remind yourself, do you really want to argue with a mare?



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Horse Connection March 2013  

Since 1991 HC Magazine delivers the equestrian lifestyle, featuring Showjumping, Hunters, Dressage, Polo and People. Voted Best Equestrian...

Horse Connection March 2013  

Since 1991 HC Magazine delivers the equestrian lifestyle, featuring Showjumping, Hunters, Dressage, Polo and People. Voted Best Equestrian...