The Chronicle of the Horse
THE EQUESTRIAN LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
MEET THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE HORSE WORLD PEDRO CEBULKA TOAST-WORTHY: DERBY DAY DRINKS
THE BRIDAL PATH
WEDDINGS WITH EQUESTRIAN FLAIR
BEYOND BASIC 27 UNIQUE BELTS
BUILDING BRIDGES THE EMPATHY BEHIND EQUITARIAN WORK
Landrum Gateway to the Blue Ridge
EATS. ANTIQUES. BOUTIQUES. #LoveLandrum www.cityoflandrumsc.com www.facebook.com/cityoflandrum
8 antique stores, 7 restaurants, 12 boutiques, 21 specialty shops
O N L Y
L A N D R U M
SC Exit 1 off I-26 | 15 Minutes from the Tryon International Equestrian Center 15 Minutes from Spartanburg | 30 Minutes from Asheville | 1 Hour from Greenville | 1 Hour from Charlotte
L A N D R U M ,
The Carolina Foothills, Where the Meadows and the Mountains meet Tryon’s Timeless Equestrian Tradition
Madelon Wallace 864-316-3484
Specializing in Equestrian, Conservation and Estate Properties www.CarolinaHorseFarmsAndMore.com
Si lver Fox Far m Nestled on 47.70 acres of beautiful farmland, this 3 bedroom, 4 bath modern farmhouse has a terrific open floor plan with a gourmet kitchen, wonderful light filled rooms and is perfectly suited for entertaining friends and family. This horse country estate also includes a three stall barn with a second floor which would make a great guest apartment, second home, studio space. Ample pasture and alternate locations for another barn and ring as well as a stream and mountain views. Located just 7.6 miles from Tryon International Equestrian Center. Offered at $1,450,000
Wi llo w Oak s Far m This stately estate property features a 3 bedroom, 4 bath Georgian home and is one of the most centrally located horse properties in the area. Willow Oaks Farm is situated on 48+ rolling, open acres of productive pasture in the heart of the Tryon Horse Country and only a short distance from the new Tryon International Equestrian Center. Additional improvements include a garage apartment, in-ground pool, fenced pastures & outbuilding. This is an exceptional horse country property-Great Land in a Great Location. Offered at $1,435,000
S ta n di ng Stone Far m This picturesque farm with a charming 4BA/3.5BA Cape Cod style home is located on 10 + acres just minutes from shopping and town. Farm amenities include: four stall barn w/attached small paddocks, 75’ x 150’ ring, two large fenced pastures, “upscale” all-in-one chicken coop with run and fenced chicken yard. In addition, the property features a detached 3 car heated garage with a partially finished area above for an office/apartment, home gym etc. The outdoor living area has a beautiful, custom built stone wood fired pizza oven that is a focal point of the patio. This is a neat and tidy package that has been beautifully maintained. Offered at $895,000
C arolina Foothills Horse Country Properties
Mill Spring, NC | $1,495,000 80.71 Acres | Mountain Views 44 Acres of pasture along Canal Creek Outbuilding w/Endless Pool 4,857 sqft Home | Jeff Byrd 828-817-0012
Still Point Farm | 27.9 Acres | $864,000 The premier lot in Caroland Farms 3BR/4.5BA | 3 Stall Barn | Mt. View | 3 Run-ins 3 fenced pastures | NPA Private Trails Mickey Hambright 828-817-1796
Tryon Hunt Country | 13.68 Acres Contemporary Farm House | 3BR/2.5BA Guest Apartment over Garage Shed Row Barn | Rolling Pasture | CETA Trails Offered at $819,000
Saxon Woods Farm | 15.55 Acres Wonderful Bungalow Style Home | 3BR/3BA Mountain Views | Pool w/Pool House 4 Stall Barn w/Pastures | FETA Trails Offered at $775,000
Motlow Creek | 5.06 Acres Very Manageable Farm | 3-4BR/3BA 4 Stall Morton Barn | 4 Paddocks Beautifully maintained w/Private Trails Offered at $650,000
Tryon Horse Country | 83.08 Acres 70 + Acres of Rolling Pasture Sweeping Mountain Views | Farm House 8 Miles to Tryon International Equestrian Center Offered at $1,600,000
Greenspace of Fairview
Tract A 26 Acres Offered at $1,092,000
Tract L 25 Acres Offered at $1,050,000
Tract M 25 Acres Offered at $975,000
Greenspace of Fairview, is a 1,331 acre Tract of land with only 14 farm tracts, 2 agricultural tracts and 778 acres of Open Space. This entire tract is under a Conservation Easement to ensure the permanent preservation of its essential character as open space and horse country subject to very limited residential development. Located in the heart of the Horse Country there are over 20 miles of equestrian trails, a 12.5 acre lake, 1.6 miles of Pacolet River Frontage and an abundance of hardwood forest as well as acres and acres of rolling pasture and farmland. The Fairview Race Track is part of the open space enjoyed by all who own property in Greenspace. Whether you ride, jog or walk you will enjoy this unusual amenity.
W W E R E A L T Y . C O M
400 E. Rutherford Street, Landrum, SC 29356 864-457-2448
FEI CCI**/* - CIC** AND HORSE TRIALS MORE THAN $20,000 IN PRIZE MONEY THROUGH FEI CCI/CIC DIVISIONS
JUNE 2ND - JUNE 5TH ENTRIES OPEN: APRIL 19 | ENTRIES CLOSE: MAY 17 DRESSAGE - FRIDAY, JUNE 3 CROSS COUNTRY - SATURDAY, JUNE 4 SHOW JUMPING - SUNDAY, JUNE 5 PLEASE CONTACT HORSETRIALS@COLORADOHORSEPARK.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.
THE COLORADO HORSE PARK | 7522 SOUTH PINERY DRIVE | PARKER, CO 80134 (303) 841-5550 | COLORADOHORSEPARK.COM Â©www.shannonbrinkman.net
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BASED OUT OF SHARTLESVILLE, PA WE OFFER DAILY TRIPS THROUGHOUT PA, NJ, MD, and VA as well as weekly trips to FL, TX, and the Mid-west. Put your mind at ease and let Johnson Horse Transportation, Inc. be your first call. •Competitive Pricing
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THE BEST RESULTS IN COMPETITION BEGIN WITH THE BEST FEEDS.
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THE 2016 DRESSAGE SCHEDULE APRIL 20-24 Tryon Spring Dressage 1 CDI 3* JUNE 18-19 Tryon Summer Dressage 1 Level 3
AUGUST 13-14 Tryon Summer Dressage 5 Level 2 SEPTEMBER 7-11 Tryon Fall Dressage 2 CDI 3*
4066 Pea Ridge Road, Mill Spring, NC 28756 | (828) 863-1000 | www.tryon.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
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SUMMER PROGRAMS BEGINNING MAY 2016 IN TRYON
For over 25 years, Palm Beach International Academy (PBIA) has been the premier educational provider for the equestrian community, developing individualized academic programs for students of all levels and learning styles. We offer year-round, custom programs to help student-athletes maintain academic excellence while training, traveling and competing. PBIA has an 8,000 sq ft center adjacent to the showgrounds in Wellington and another center in Boca Raton. We also offer educational services at horse shows in Ocala, Gulfport, Tryon and around the world. Joanne Weiner, Executive Director "For years, I've been a trainer to students whom I've sent to Palm Beach International Academy, and now as the step-dad to Taylor Griffiths, I have witnessed firsthand what a great experience and opportunity it is for students to work with them." Frank Madden, Old Salem Farm "All that I can say about Palm Beach International Academy is how lucky I was to be a student of theirs. Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to make it to the Olympic Games and that took intense dedication and most of my time. PBIA allowed me to give the same dedication to my academic career as I did to my Showjumping career. I can't thank PBIA enough and its incredible staff of teachers who helped me maintain a high standard of education while pursuing my athletic dreams." Reed Kessler, Former Student and Olympian
• FULL TIME K-12 PROGRAMS • HONORS PROGRAMS • UNIVERSITY CLASSES • ACT/SAT TEST PREP • COLLEGE COUNSELING
WE HELP STUDENTS SUCCEED! www.pbiafl.com
Joanne Weiner, Executive Director
T H E E D U C AT I O N A L P O S S I B I L I T I E S A R E E N D L E S S AT P B I A !
Distinctive New England Equestrian Properties WILLIAM J. MILBURY, long-time equestrian and broker, specializes in the marketing and sale of exclusive equestrian properties across Massachusetts, from the wonderfully pastoral South Coast to the bucolic suburbs of Boston. As a horse owner and a broker with 35 years’ experience, William is uniquely equipped to assist you in your search for a unique New England estate. The following is a sampling of Milbury and Company's current offerings.
POKANOKET FARM South Dartmouth, Massachusetts
This 80+ acre gentleman’s farm on Padanaram Harbor in the coastal town of South Dartmouth offers 2,000 feet of harbor frontage with dock permit. Sited on a knoll and overlooking the park-like grounds, rolling pastures, and magnificent water views, the stunning manor house features exquisite architectural detail, fireplaces, and every modern amenity. Property also features an antique guest house, caretaker’s cottage, pool, tennis court, stable, and barns. Stroll to quaint Padanaram Village shops, restaurants, and yacht club. $9,600,000
MILL FARM Dover, Massachusetts
Mill Farm is the most iconic property in the exclusive suburb of Dover, 20 minutes from downtown Boston. This horse farm was the home of the legendary Miss Amelia Peabody, artist and philanthropist. The 40+ acre property features an antique main house, a 1933 Bauhaus “sculptor’s studio” designed by Eleanor Raymond, caretaker cottages, stables, numerous outbuildings, and wonderful manicured gardens. Mill Farm is adjacent to 900+ acres of conservation woodlands with walking and riding trails. $9,750.000
DESTRUCTION BROOK FARM South Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Magical 16 acre estate in the beautiful seaside town of South Dartmouth. Long, stonewall-lined drive leads to gracious, antebellum style home with 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, 7 fireplaces. Exquisite detail throughout… Indoor pool, wonderful 14-stall stable, tack room, riding ring, guesthouse… The property is surrounded by hundreds of pristine acres of conservation land with miles of riding trails. The perfect place for family, friends, and horses. $3,950,000
Contact William J. Milbury for more information on these and any of our other fine offerings. will@MilburyRE.com 508.525.5200 Milbury and Company Real Estate 304 Elm Street, South Dartmouth, MA 02748 508.997.7400 www.MilburyRE.com
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There are no known contraindications to the use of intramuscular Adequan® i.m. brand Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan in horses. Studies have not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses. WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Please see Full Prescribing Information at www.adequan.com. Adequan® and the Horse Head design are registered trademarks of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. © Luitpold Animal Health, division of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2016. Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt, Copyright Blood-Horse Publications used with permission. Triple Crown is a registered trademark of Triple Crown Productions LLC. AHD224 Iss. 3/2016
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s t n e t n Co
Untacked The C hronicle of the Horse
52 52 The One And Only Pedro Cebulka
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BROOKE
M AY/J U N E 2 016
MOLLIE BAILEY PHOTO
VOL. 4, NO. 3
66 History: The Legacy Of All Around Lives On
74 Global Culture: Cultivating
Compassion Across Cultural Divides
86 Profile: Following A Family Vocation
104 Essay: A Fatherâ€™s Day
Tribute To Horse Show Dads Everywhere
ON THE COVER: Arnd Bronkhorst photo
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RIGHT START PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO
94 Feature: B ridle & Groom
©2016 Ariat International, Inc.
RIDE THE LINE Performance and elegance. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum in the Monaco LX with ATS®technology — premium leathers built for peak performance. For more information visit Ariat.com
KNOW WHERE YOU STAND.
s t n e t n Co PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEEHORSE
Departments 24 Editor’s Letter 26 Contributors 30 Around The Arena 34 Editor’s Picks: Rambo Dry Rug 36 Tech Spotlight: Horse Monitors
40 Test Lab: Shine Sprays 44 The Clothes Horse: Belts 102 F eed Room: Derby Day Drinks 108 City Guide: Camden 114 Film Review: Dark Horse 116 Charity Spotlight: Square Peg Foundation 118 Best Of Web & Print
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PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE MUSEUM
120 Parting Ways
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What Dads Do For Horse-Loving Daughters
It was June, the ground was hard, and the Maryland humidity high as Pony Club fathers pounded a snow fence into the grass in preparation for that weekend’s show jumping rally. My father was more used to handling real estate contracts and transactions than actually moving the real estate beneath his feet, and his efforts were cut short with a case of heat stroke. I’m not sure how he made the transition from not wanting me to ride, then not wanting me to have a horse, to volunteering to the point of physical exhaustion for a horse show, but now that I’m a parent, I have a little better idea. It was looking more and more like I wasn’t going to follow in his footsteps as a star lacrosse player, and I suppose he decided to support the passion with which I’d inexplicably been born. A couple of days after the fence was erected, I won the regional rally. I’m not proud to say that I don’t recall if my father was well enough to attend the event, but I do know that he put the story from the local paper in his office. When we attended the national rally, he constantly ran the scores every time someone from our team left the ring. At the end of the day, he’d present us with how many rails we could drop and hold our place, how many faults the leaders would need to have for us to move up. We’d listen to him and nod, too tired to fully follow his math. I don’t recall that I ever said thank you, that I ever considered that Culpeper, Va., might not have been the weekend location of his dreams. I’m pretty sure I never thanked him for his attempts to work on the fence either. I think we never spoke
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of it, each of us too embarrassed to sense the more important meaning behind it: that he’d been a father trying, even beyond his means, to do something for his child. As Anne Lang says in her story “A Father’s Day Tribute To Horse Show Dads Everywhere” (p. 104): Seize the moment, wave to your father, say thank you. You’ll both remember it forever. I doubt you can ever really thank your parents. When you’re 13, their shortcomings appear far more glaring than their blessings. But even three decades later, standing beside my father’s bed as he slowly left us, I wasn’t sure what to say, how far back you go, what’s intuited between a parent and child. My thoughts flashed through the days on his sailboat when I’d often wished I was riding, the baseball games I grumpily attended with him, the many bags and boxes he unloaded into college dorms, but also those Pony Club days, the things he did only because it was his daughter’s greatest love. I’d spent my life shaping words, but when it came down to it, I just said, “I love you.” —Beth Rasin
MEGAN BRINCKS PHOTO
If someone had forecast that an ambulance would be arriving at Worton Park that June, odds would have been good that it would be for a kid with a naughty pony. But when the EMTs who jumped out of the truck went sprinting to someone lying beside the ring, they were headed to treat my father.
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2015 CENTRAL PARK HORSE SHOW
In This Issue
Anne Wakeman Lang A lifelong rider and longtime contributor to the Chronicle and many other equestrian publications, Anne also served as editor of Texas Thoroughbred for seven years and was the first female columnist for the Daily Racing Form. In July of 2015, Anne died of colon cancer, but her legacy lives on in this issue, thanks to a touching Father’s Day column reprinted with the permission of her daughter, Amy Lang.
Laura St. Clair
Melaina Balbo Phipps
Laura is a writer, adult amateur dressage rider, and the fresh voice behind the equestrian style blog SHADBELLY. Raised on her family’s farm near Nashville, Laura still holds dear her Middle Tennessee Pony Club pin. She recently returned to her love of all things equestrian after a notable career in commercial real estate. Laura, her husband George, and their two Hanoverians now reside in Litchfield, Conn., and Naples, Fla.
A native New Yorker, Melaina is a horsewoman and animal lover, reformed academic and bibliophile, and a freelance writer and editor. She’s a former staff writer for The Blood-Horse and has contributed to various equine publications and media sources on topics including Thoroughbred racing and pedigrees, horse welfare, polo, and the people and places of the horse world. She looks forward to many more years with her offtrack Thoroughbred, My Violin.
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THE CHRONICLE OF THE HORSE (ISSN 0009-5990) is published January 11, January 25, February 1, February 15, February 22, March 7, March 21, April 4, April 11, April 25, May 2, May 16, May 30, June 6, June 20, July 4, July 11, July 25, August 1, August 15, August 29, September 5, September 19, September 26, October 3, October 17, October 24, November 7, November 14, November 21, November 28, December 12, December 19 and December 26 in 2016 by The Chronicle of the Horse, LLC, 108 The Plains Road, Middleburg, Virginia. Periodicals postage paid at Middleburg, VA and additional mailing offices. THE CHRONICLE OF THE HORSE UNTACKED is published bimonthly. It is part of your subscription to The Chronicle of the Horse. To order single copies, call 800-877-5467 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. SUBSCRIPTION RATES United States and possessions $59.95/yr. Canada $79.95/yr. Foreign (other than Canada) $159.95/yr. For all subscription options see www.chronofhorse.com. POSTMASTER SUBMIT ADDRESS CHANGES TO P.O. Box 433288, Palm Coast, Florida 32143-3288 CANADA POST Publications Mail Agreement #40612608 Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON, N6C6B2
He gives you his all Itâ€™s time to return the favor.
HHA ÂŽ Horse Hair Analysis
The C hronicle of the Horse
Untacked Volume 4 • Number 3 • May/June 2016
produced and published by The Chronicle of the Horse
xclusive Linda Luster scarf depicting eight sport horse disciplines: Dressage, Reining, Endurance, Vaulting, Para Dressage, Show Jumping, Driving, and Eventing. Pure silk, hand-rolled edges.
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The Dress Code
tidbits from across the industry
Aroundthe Arena Jr. My Faves: Juan Matute
He is dressage’s young Spanish super star. At 18 years old, Juan Matute Jr. competes in Grand Prix classes against riders more than twice his age, while continuing to clean up in the young rider divisions. Last year he made history as the first Spanish rider to medal at the FEI European Junior Rider Championships—he took freestyle gold aboard Dhannie Ymas. During the winter he’s based in Wellington, Fla., where he and his father, three-time Olympian Juan Matute Sr., ride and train for the Yeguada de Ymas stable. This season he won the Florida International Youth Dressage championship and then rode on the senior Spanish team in the Wellington Nations Cup, winning team bronze and individual freestyle gold in the small tour. With a European show tour in the works for the summer and an eye on making a few U25 and Young Rider teams for his home country, here are a few of Matute Jr.’s favorite things. Boots: Kempkens Breeches: Pikeur
Food: Rice topped with his grandmother’s tomato sauce Drink: “I’m an athlete, so I should say I’m a big fan of
Book: Meg: A Novel Of Deep Terror Movie: Superman: Man of Steel T.V. Show: Narcos
Competition venue: Aachen, Germany Non-horsey hobby: Tennis
Music: Mozart and Beethoven. “When I need to be inspired
KIMBERLY LOUSHIN PHOTO
and get in my zone, I listen to classical music. It’s one of those personal secrets of mine.” Dog breed: short legged-Jack Russell terrier Subject in school: History and mathematics. “I love history; I feel like it’s story time when I learn about history.”
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Foxhunting with Meadow Brook Think The Great Gatsby on horseback. Foxhunting with Meadow Brook by Judith Tabler is not only for those who actually hunted on Long Island, or lived on Long Island’s Gold Coast, but also for anyone who just enjoys real life F. Scott Fitzgerald characters. Tabler follows the hunt club and the foxhunters from the club’s establishment on a rich man’s whim in 1881 to its sad but inevitable dissolution due to rising cost and lack of open land in 1971. The history is well written and carefully researched, but told as a tale with sparkle. The book is full of entertaining anecdotes about beautiful and not so beautiful people, horses and hounds. If American history from turn-of-the-century glitter through post-Depression is your interest, this book gives a different and personal slant on the times. This is the story of the folk who annually moved their foxhunters and polo ponies by private rail from Old Westbury, N.Y., to Aiken, S.C., with steeplechasing, horse show and hound show asides. The hunting descriptions ring true and vibrant, and the historical photographs and interviews lend color to the vignettes. A great bedside table book for dipping into and the perfect gift for anyone who ever hunted with Meadow Brook. —Clarissa Edelston
Mark your calendar with these upcoming important dates. u May 6 The U.S. Equestrian Federation career fair will be held in conjunction with the Intercollegiate
u May 28-29 The Hunt
Country Stable Tour
Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena in Lexington. It’s designed as an opportunity for the students with backgrounds in everything from business management to communications to chemistry to connect with successful equine businesses, but it’s also open to the public. usef.org.
Horse Show Association’s National Championships at the
takes place in and around Middleburg, Va., and neighboring Upperville every Memorial Day Weekend. This year marks the 57th anniversary of the event in which famous and historic farms such as Salem Farm (pictured) open their gates to the public. TrinityUpperville.org.
u June 8 That’s your deadline to submit for the Chronicle’s annual Junior Gallery, published in our Junior and Pony Issue on July 4. Readers aged 18 and younger may enter artistic works related to sport with either horse or hound, in any medium except photographs. All submissions—whether art or writing— must be original creations by the applicant. You can submit via regular mail to P.O. Box 46, Middleburg, VA 20118 or via courier service to 108 The Plains Rd., Middleburg, VA, 20117. Submissions may also be emailed (300 dpi at at least 4" x 6") to Lfoley@coth.com. Be sure to include the artist or writer’s name, age and hometown.
C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
Where you FLY before you RIDE Asheville Regional Airport your easy connection to Tryon International Equestrian Center Frequent Daily Flights ALLEGIANT | AMERICAN | DELTA | UNITED
A HighTech Bathrobe For Your Steed By SAR A LIESER
hen I spotted Horseware’s new Rambo Dry Rug on Facebook, I knew I needed to get my hands on one. It appeared to be a cozy equine-sized terrycloth bathrobe, and I loved the idea of hotel service for your horse. But it turned out to be so much more. I’m often faced with the dilemma over what to do with a freshly washed mount during the cooler months. I never feel good about tossing a blanket over wet hair—even if that blanket is supposed to be breathable— before sending my horse out to face the elements. But I don’t always have the luxury of enough time to let him dry completely in his stall before blanketing him. The Dry Rug has been a lifesaver. My routine this spring? Ride my horse, wash him off, throw the Dry Rug on, feed him, and within half an hour his thick coat is almost completely dry. At that point I have no qualms about blanketing him and lead34 MAY/JUNE 2016
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ing him out to pasture. If it’s too cold for just the Dry Rug in his stall, then I will put a blanket over it, and it wicks the moisture away equally well in that configuration. I’m just as excited about using my Dry Rug this summer. It’s so lightweight that it will be useful on all but the warmest days. My horse seems to strenuously object to a dirt-free coat (maybe being wet makes him itch?), and he heads to the wettest, nastiest part of the pasture for a good roll after a bath. However, if I can turn him out dry, he’s more likely to go for the grass instead. The Dry Rug is made out of a microfiber towel cloth material that is super speedy at absorbing water off your horse. Pull it off, hang it up, and it dries in no time for your next use. The only drawback is that everything sticks to it! Do not let your horse roll in his Dry Rug in his stall unless you want to be picking shavings off the blanket for the next month. (Of course I learned this
the hard way.) Therefore, I wouldn’t turn my horse out wearing his Dry Rug. It’s better just to use it for a short time to get your horse dry and shiny before switching to a more outdoor appropriate cover-up. It features many innovative Horseware details such as a hideaway pocket for the hood. I loved the hood for drying my horse’s mane and getting it to lay flat on one side, but if you don’t want to cover the neck, just roll the hood back into its pocket. The blanket has a total of six elasticated surcingles for an adjustable fit. Two surcingles cross under the belly, the hood has two, and the front closes with a combination of two surcingles and wide swaths of hook-and-loop closures to ensure a close, comfortable fit. It comes in gray/silver and black, and in sizes small, medium and large. Buy it directly from shop.horseware.com for $140, MSRP is $150.
Take The Guessing Game Out Of Horse Parenting Ever wonder what your horse is up to when you’re not at the barn? Is he quietly munching his hay at 2 a.m., or is he in the middle of a deadly colic episode? Two companies, NIGHTWATCH and SeeHorse, have developed peace-of-mind products (with some added bonus features) for the worrier who lives inside all equine owners. By
The goal of NIGHTWATCH halters and collars is to alert owners and trainers at the first signs of distress in their horses. When product creator Jeffrey Schab lost a horse to colic in the middle of the night, the tragedy motivated him to create the device.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF NIGHTWATCH
or Jeffrey Schab, it was the tragic loss of his 8-year-old world champion Saddlebred to a colic episode in the middle of the night that prompted his invention. For Jessica Roberts, it was a college project that left her wondering whether a monitoring device being developed for dogs and cats wouldn’t better serve the equine community. Two different journeys led to two different products: the NIGHTWATCH halter/collar, and the SeeHorse “wearable.” Both function as monitoring devices for
DUO Cordova Tight™ + Icefil® Jersey
the horse wearing them, sending data back to cell phone apps to soothe even the most overprotective among us. Which product is the right fit for the helicopter horse parent in you?
In 2013, just two days after competing at the World’s Championship Horse Show in Louisville, Ky., Jeffrey Schab awoke to the call that his Saddlebred Undulata’s Nuts And Bolts had died during the night from a colic event. Schab, a biomedical engineer, channeled his grief from losing “Snoop” into producing something that would prevent other horses from suffering a similar fate. “Very simply put, it is a smart halter or collar that’s going to alert you at early signs of danger or stress for your horse, which could be colic or being cast, or a whole host of things,” Schab said. The battery-powered device is mounted on either a halter or a collar (similar to a cribbing collar, but not worn as tight). It monitors vital signs and behavior signals in the horse, and a cellular chip sends that data to the device of your choice via an app. NIGHTWATCH records vital signs, such as your horse’s heart rate and respiratory rate, as well as behaviors like how often they lay down, get up or roll over. To monitor vitals, it uses something called ultra-wideband technology to image what’s going on beneath the skin. “We’re measuring the physical displacement, the expansion and contraction of the microvasculature in the poll region, as well as changes in the soft tissue of the upper respiratory tract,” Schab explained. “So unlike, for example, the Polar Band that you may classically know, which measures electrical impedance between two points
in the animal, this doesn’t measure any type of electro-activity. It’s measuring the physical displacement, which means it’s very non-invasive. It doesn’t even need to be [directly] touching the animal. Movement doesn’t affect it. Temperature doesn’t affect it. It’s extremely accurate.” To assess movement, there is a MEMS motion-tracking device, which includes an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass along with an altimeter. This combination of sophisticated tech garnered attention in the mainstream national press in a Forbes magazine article. The device also has a GPS locator, which is useful when your horse inevitably ditches NIGHTWATCH somewhere in the field, or for more nefarious dealings like horse theft. Owners can log into the app and see where their horse is, and they can look at real time and historical data on their horses’ vital signs and behaviors. A program called the novel event detection algorithm monitors all the data received by the device, tailoring the stress indicators to each individual horse. “This is a technology that is based on adaptive learning; it knows what good and normal looks like in your animal over time,” Schab said. “So it looks for novel or unusual activity or suspect behavior, or suspect biometric parameters.” When the algorithm detects vital signs or behaviors signifying high stress, an alert goes out to the owner’s phone, as well as any other phone numbers or email addresses entered in the app, such as veterinarians, trainers, barn friends, etc. The alert will continue going off until one of the contacts accepts the notification. “View this as a house alarm,” Schab said. “When you go out to dinner, you don’t check your phone and say, ‘Let me check and make sure no one broke into my house.’ You expect the alarm to notify you. So, similar analogy, when you put this on
superior function meets super flattering
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your animal, I don’t expect you to go online and look at your app to understand their wellbeing. The system is designed to alert you when there’s a problem.” The app also displays a number, 1-10, which indicates a horse’s current wellbeing, with 1 being no stress and 10 being extreme distress. Alternatively, users can zoom in and look at the various individual behavioral and vital sign data going into that number. The device has no on or off switch. Schab doesn’t want someone to accidently turn it off when putting it on a horse for the night. Once you remove the device from the horse, it automatically goes into sleep mode until it senses it has been placed on an animal again. The halters and collars also feature a blinking light, which flashes green, amber or red every 10 seconds. This is for anyone walking through the barns doing a night check, according to Schab. Grooms can still get a read from the device via the light without checking the app. Any color other than green indicates some level of stress. The battery life on the device lasts five to seven days, and it charges wirelessly when it’s placed on a special cradle for about two hours. Neither the halter nor the collar are designed to be worn during exercise; tracking horse fitness isn’t the goal of the project. “This is designed to save your horse’s life through early detection,” Schab said. “This is not a toy; this is not a Fitbit for horses. This is a biomedical grade device that just happens to be solving a problem in the horse community.” The NIGHTWATCH device is being offered at a special introductory price of $499.99 for the collar, $549.99 for the halter, with a required $329.99 annual fee for the data monitoring service. At the time of publication, final MSRP value for the device was not set. Pre-orders are being 38 MAY/JUNE 2016
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEEHORSE
Think of the SeeHorse device as an equine Fitbit on steroids. Along with features like counting steps and calories burned, it will alert you when your horse’s vital signs go outside certain set parameters, signifying distress or discomfort.
accepted online, and those orders will be filled during the summer of 2016. Learn more online at Nightwatch24.com.
Jessica Roberts earned a lot more than participation points when she raised her hand in an applied marketing class to offer a suggestion to animal monitoring product developer Peter Mankowski. An avid eventer majoring in marketing at Conestoga
College (Ontario), Roberts turned a semester-long market research project into a job with a simple idea. “I was sitting in class, and they were talking about this product [for dogs and cats] and trying to get some ideas on how to market it better, and I said, ‘You should do something like this for horses. So many people would use that,’ ” Roberts said. “And they kind of looked at me and were like, ‘Uh, OK.’ “So I kind of convinced them to allow
me to work with them outside of that class, and we went to my barn and started testing it on horses,” Roberts continued. “And they saw the interest people at the barn had; they were saying, ‘Oh my gosh this is such a great idea.’ I think that was the tipping point. They decided to switch to making it for horses.” Marketed as an “equine wearable,” the SeeHorse device can be attached to a horse’s halter, bridle, blanket, or even applied directly to the animal with athletic tape. The device records vital signs—via a variety of methods including radiant heat for temperature, rise and fall of the ribcage for respiration, and an optical infrared sensor for heart rate—in real time and historical data packages, sending it all back to an app. Owners set a minimum and a maximum for each vital sign. SeeHorse uses
Bluetooth technology to transmit the data back to the app. When vital signs climb above or fall below the set limits, an alert is automatically sent to the owner and any additional phone numbers added in the app. The device also records behaviors like lying down and rolling. It includes a GPS locator and can tell you how fast your horse is going in an arena or field. And unlike NIGHTWATCH, SeeHorse adds a horsie-fitness feature to the mix. “It tells you how many steps your horse is taking, how many calories they burn, and how many miles they travel in a day,” Roberts said. “And you can set a daily goal for your horse, and we’ll tell you how close you get to that goal.” Roberts finds it particularly useful for conditioning her event horses. The device monitors the horse’s vital signs throughout
a ride or workout and has a small light that flashes if those signs go outside the set window. It’s a quick way to learn when your horse may need a break. “One of my biggest interests in it was for training, because I’m an eventer, and I really realized when the product came along how little I knew about my horse’s fitness,” Roberts said. “I’d say, ‘OK, I’m going to do three-minute canter sets,’ but you really don’t know how your horse is coping with that. Maybe it’s too much; maybe it’s not enough to really do anything, so having this device allows you to gauge a lot better.” The SeeHorse wearable can be ordered for April 2016 delivery at $499.99, with a $10 per month subscription fee for users wishing to access historical data. The device can still be used without subscribing or paying this fee, but only to view real time data. Learn more at SeeHorse.ca.
Architecture, Engineering & Land Planning Barns & Stables- All Sizes Barns with Living Quarters Indoor Riding Arenas Outdoor Riding Arenas Farm Master Plans Pasture & Paddock Layout 400 East Vine St., Lexington, Kentucky 40507
cmwequine.com C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
Shine On We put seven shine sprays to the test to report which ones left hair slick, soft or scented. Story and photos by LINDSAY BERRETH
PonyTail Ready To Roll Leave-In Conditioner
equiFuse Shine Perfect + Shine Spray
Shapley’s Magic Sheen Hair Polish
If you’re looking for a shine product that you can use on yourself and your horse, look no further than PonyTail’s Ready To Roll Leave-In Conditioner. The formula is gentle, with no parabans or sulfates that can strip hair of its shine and softness. Natural ingredients like eucalyptus, lemon and peppermint oil give the spray a pleasant scent, and when I used it in my hair, which is very fine and easily weighed down by product, it left it soft but not flat. On my horse’s coat, I noticed a nice softness when used after a bath, but I wouldn’t say he was gleaming like a new penny. The spray also works as a detangler, and I thought it did a good job in his tail. If you don’t like the slickness of products with silicone, you might like this one. My only complaint was when using the product for myself, the bottle was quite cumbersome to spray in my hair, but you do get quite a lot of product for the price.
Another product for those natural ingredients fans, equiFuse’s Shine Perfect + Shine Spray is made from camelina oil and vitamins C and E. I really liked the floral scent that’s a signature of the brand. Whether used wet or dry, it left my horse’s coat gleaming and a little slick, but it repelled dirt well and lasted for about a week. It also worked well as a detangler in the tail and left it shiny and healthy looking. Shavings fell out quite easily after he’d had a nap, which is always helpful when preparing to go in the ring.
Shapley’s products have been hugely popular with professional grooms, including Phillip Dutton’s head groom Emma Ford, since their start in 1938. If you’re a fan of ShowSheen, Shapley’s Magic Sheen Hair Polish is similar but a little cheaper. The milky white liquid can be used wet or dry on coats, manes and tails, but the company recommends avoiding the saddle area because of the special blend of silicones. I found it worked well as a detangler in my horse’s tail and performed similarly to the Effol and Carr & Day & Martin sprays. It had a mild ShowSheen scent. It’s also recommended for use on dogs and cats.
PonyTailProducts.com, $18 for 24 oz.
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Equifuse.com. $24.99 for 32 oz.
Shapleys.com. Available at various online retailers for $13.95 for 32 oz.
Effol SuperStar Shine If you want a shine that will last for days, Effol’s SuperStar Shine is a great choice. I sprayed this on my Thoroughbred, who rolls every day when he goes out and does both sides just to spite me, I think! After a muddy spring, I was afraid I’d have to get out the vacuum every day, but Effol’s shine spray did a great job of repelling dirt. After each daily grooming, his coat was back to being shiny and clean, and the effect lasted about 10 days. It is a bit slick because of the silicone, so use sparingly. It had no discernible smell, and I loved the heavy-duty sprayer, which made the bottle feel sturdy, but was also quiet enough so my sensitive horse didn’t mind it as much. Effol.de. Available at many online retailers for around $21 for 26.4 oz.
Swanky Saddle Co.
E q u e s t ri a n Em b e l li s hm en t
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Carr & Day & Martin Canter Coat Shine Conditioner
Ecolicious Glossy Gloss Coat Enhancing Tonic
Calm Coat Detangler & Shine
Carr & Day & Martin Canter Coat Shine Conditioner comes packaged with a unique 360-degree mist sprayer that will either be your cup of tea or not. The company uses the same sprayer system in their leather cleaners, which we tested in the March/April issue of Untacked. While we didn’t love it for leather cleaners, I think it works well for a shine spray because you can get legs, faces and bellies very easily. It was also pretty quiet, which was helpful for my sensitive Thoroughbred. It has a citronella scent that’s not too overpowering. I thought this worked best on a dry coat, but it can be used on a wet coat too. I sprayed directly on, then wiped down with a towel and got a nice sheen. Silicone means it’s a little slippery, so less is more. The company also recommends use on shoulders and areas that get blanket rubs and as a stain preventer. Since I don’t own a gray, I wasn’t able to test that theory, but once applied, I found the product lasted a good week, and dirt was easier to remove.
If you wish to use natural products in your grooming routine, Canadian company Ecolicious is the brand for you. Made with 100 percent naturally derived ingredients, their products are free of chemicals, silicones and parabans and packaged in 100 percent recycled plastic. Their Glossy Gloss Enhancing Coat Tonic is made from certified organic hemp oil and contains natural UV filters. The product contains silk powder, which the company claims will soften the coat, while mica adds a subtle shimmer, and the scent of sweet orange will not attract bugs. The spray head was not one of my favorites, as it seems a little flimsy and doesn’t spray a very large area. The tonic left a soft sheen that wasn’t slick at all, and because it lacks silicones, the hemp oil and fatty acids penetrate the hair shaft and soften the coat. It’s important to shake the bottle before use so the mica that settles at the bottom will mix in and add that subtle shimmer. I had to squint hard to see the shimmer, and that’s probably a good thing. I doubt anyone wants their horse to look like a glitter bomb in the show ring!
Founded in 1996 by Jennifer Elliott, Calm Coat was created to help horses suffering from skin conditions at Last Chance Ranch, a rescue operation near Ocala, Fla. Safe for use on cats, dogs and livestock, Calm Coat’s Detangler & Shine is made of natural ingredients, including vitamin E. Warning though! While pleasant to some, the piña colada scent is very strong. I could smell it from the opposite side of a 20-stall barn after I sprayed my horse. You can use this product as a detangler in manes and tails and to reduce static electricity. The company also recommends its use as a dry shampoo in the winter. Just spray it on a dry coat and rub it in. I found it left a nice sheen that wasn’t super slick, but the company still recommends avoiding the saddle area. It can also be used on your other furry friends, and my co-worker reported it did a good job of detangling her Collie’s matted coat.
CarrDayMartin.co.uk. Available at various online retailers for $21.95 for 600ml.
EcoliciousEquestrian.com. $23.95CD for 16 oz.
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Available from various online retailers from $15.95 for 32 oz.
With a snake or ostrich printed cuff you’re bound to make a statement in the Limited Edition Heritage Ellipse.
KNOW WHERE YOU STAND. ariat.com
©2016 Ariat In I ternational, ional In ional, I c.
Indoor Riding Arenas Old World Skill & Craftsmanship
Quality isn’t a goal; it’s a way of life.
At B&D Builders, we are committed to excellence in everything we do; from expert engineering to the choice of quality building materials. With an eye for building design and a careful attention to detail, our craftsmen seek to bring you an equine facility that functions well and looks great for many years to come. You can depend on B&D Builders for professional planning, scheduling and management of your project.
Request a quote at 717.687.0292 or by visiting our website.
Discover More at CustomBarnBuilding.com
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THE CLOTHES HORSE
For a scenic tour of the best equestrian belts, from California to Kenya. By L AU R A S T. CL A IR
C4 CLASSIC & SKINNY BELTS
FIOR DA LISO JANET AND KATY BELTS
Go ahead. You know you want one…or two. Or why stop at five? C4’s revolutionary interchangeable, washable, über-wearable belts and buckles are undeniably addictive. Classic (1.25" wide) or skinny (.75") models are available in an ever-expanding collection of colors and patterns and are cut to fit up to 42" waists. $30-$39; c4belts.com.
Love your Fior da Liso blouses? Try adding one of their simply sporty elastic belts to the mix. Available in the sunny summer colors of the navy/pink/apple Janet style or the pink/apple Katy. Stretchable ladies size small/ medium; $39.95; fior-da-liso.de/en or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for U.S. orders.
ANNA SCARPATI JUBA SUEDE BELT Known for her high-quality bespoke horsewear and gear bags, Italy’s Anna Scarpati is the newest member of the Animo fashion family. Anna’s JUBA Women’s Suede Belt in the luscious color azzurro is illustrative of her keen eye for design in equestrian apparel and accessories. Ladies sizes 70-90 cm. $110; usanimo.com.
OVATION QUILTED SHOW BELT KINGSLAND RENE UNISEX WOVEN BELT The new Rene belt, with silver colored logo buckle, offers a sleek, simple, modern aesthetic. Comes in pink or blue, in men’s and womens’s sizes. Available beginning in May; kingslandequestrian.com.
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This baby will add a touch of coordinated class to any outfit. Available in an attractive range of colors, the sueded finish, contrasting quilted top stitch and silver tone buckle convey subtle elegance. Available in royal, pewter, navy, merlot, dark brown or black. Ladies sizes 28"-36". $39.95; ovationriding.com.
BRIDLE-INSPIRED TORY LEATHER COMPANY CLINCHER BELT Tory Leather Company’s classic equestrian-styled Clincher Belt is constructed of 1" American wide bridle leather, with color options of black with silver clinchers or havana with brass clinchers. Available in sizes 26"-40". $54.95; smartpak.com.
MANGO BAY HUNTER JUMPER AND BITS BELTS Scouted at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, these must-have equestrian-themed belts from Mango Bay are designed, printed and sewn in Norwalk, Conn. They feature 2" wide cotton webbing with flat ring closures that never slip and won’t scratch your saddle. Ladies sizes 31"-48". $19-$22; mangobaydesign.com.
BOY-O-BOY STIRRUP BUCKLE BELT WITH GROSGRAIN RIBBON Talk about a colorful twist on a classic look. Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks’ belts are handmade of top-quality American bridle leather and classic stirrup leather buckles, heavy grosgrain or satin ribbon and waterproof webbing. Inspired by old English bridlework and traditional ribbon browbands, these sporty belts won’t stretch, fade or bleed. Available in hundreds of stock and custom colors and patterns, they’re customizable upon request. Skinny (1") or regular (1.5") widths with either double square loop or stirrup leather buckle. Available in sizes 28"-48". From $85; boyoboybridleworks.etsy.com.
ANIMO HABIT UNISEX LEATHER BELT Animo, a brand famous for its fashionforwardness, passion and badassery, offers up this beautifully pared-down leather belt of timeless sophistication. Available in marrone (shown), blu, azzurro and moro. Unisex sizes 80-95 cm. $169; usanimo.com.
LOOPTY LOO LEATHER & FABRIC BELT WITH INTERCHANGEABLE BUCKLE We’re crazy about Loopty Loo’s mix-andmatch fabric and leather belts with an unlimited array of bright, vintage-inspired or customizable buckles. Sizes from junior, XXS-XL. Fabric belts retail for $36, while leather belts range from $20-$40; buckles from $32-$45; looptyloo.com.
NOBLE OUTFITTERS ON THE BIT BELT Designed by English saddler Claire Painter, this belt is just like your favorite padded tack but with inlaid bits for a bit of fun. Available in black with chromecolored hardware, havana with brass-colored hardware, or havana with deep turquoise padding and chrome-colored hardware. Sizes XS-XXL. $54.95; nobleoutfitters.com. C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
THE CLOTHES HORSE BRILLIANT ASMAR SIGNATURE LEATHER BELT AND BELT PURSE Noel Asmar impresses us again with her chic solution to the problem of how to keep up with your iPhone, lip balm, keys, dressage test cheat sheet—you know, life’s absolute essentials—while riding. Handcrafted in Florence, Italy, Asmar’s line of coordinating and contrasting belts and belt purses are pure design genius. Available with a chrome buckle in navy/red, orange/punch and black/patent, or with a gold buckle in black/white or chocolate/midnight navy. Belt purses come in navy, orange, punch or red with chrome accents, and black, white, midnight navy or chocolate with gold accents. Available in ladies sizes S-L. Belts $148; purses $98; asmarequestrian.com.
BEJEWELED MASTERMIND RAFAEL JEWELED BELT
ROMFH BELLE BELT
Romfh quietly stands out with the Belle, an exquisite competition belt of white patent leather accented with pearls and stones in shimmery soft tones of blue. 1.5" width with nickel buckle. Ladies sizes 30"-38". $75; romfh.com.
OVATION FASHIONISTA BELT Express your passion for ponies with the luxury-inspired Fashionista Belt. Made of finely textured leather in beautiful colors, it features a filigreed silver-toned jumper buckle. Available in black, medium brown, dark brown, navy, light blue, orange, cobalt, purple, turquoise or pink. Ladies sizes 28"-34". $29.95; ovationriding.com.
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Mastermind’s premiere belt is handtooled in Florence, Italy, with premium full grain Italian leather, silver buckle and studs, and genuine Swarovski crystals. It’s 1.5" wide—perfect for breeches or streetwear. Comes in onyx leather with sky blue crystals or mahogany leather with champagne crystals; Ladies sizes S-L. $325; ridemastermind.com.
With Powerful Nutrition & Preventive Medicine eQCO Coverage™ Provides Up to $10,000 for Colic Surgery Reimbursement Research shows preventive veterinary care—including proper nutrition, deworming, dental care and vaccinations—can improve a horse’s long-term wellness and influence the rate of serious medical conditions such as colic. eQCO Coverage™ combines veterinary wellness services with the right nutrition for a healthier horse.
To learn more, visit PlatinumPerformance.com/EQCOCoverage, or call 866-892-9182 to enroll. © 2016 EQCO, INC.
THE CLOTHES HORSE BOHEMIAN
BESPOKE SWANKY SADDLE COMPANY MONOGRAM BUCKLES AND BELTS
JENNY KRAUSS FLOWER POWER BELT Inspired by wallpapers from the 1960s, the Flower Power Belt by Jenny Krauss will rock your breeches … and your jeans. Handwoven and embroidered by artisans in the Peruvian highlands, each is truly one of a kind, made and shipped in accordance with fair trade practices. You can wear the same belt on your waist or hips. 17/8” wide, made of 100 percent wool with a simple metal buckle. Available in sizes small (23"-31"), medium (28"-37") and large (34"-43"). $64; jennykrauss.com.
EQUINE COUTURE DELILAH COTTON BELT
DRUH SINGRAY TEXTURED LEATHER BELT WITH JUMPER BUCKLE Looking for something really special to commemorate an event, your farm or a foundation sire? Druh Belts & Buckles can craft a specialty souvenir buckle, or you can choose from more than 150 standard designs. All pair with Druh’s premium, handmade leather and snakeskin belt straps available in over 50 different colors and textures. Leather and snakeskin straps run $90-$190, and buckles start at $24. Fully customizable sizing. exceptionalequestrian.com.
The Delilah Cotton Belt from Equine Couture is beautifully crafted with flower detailing, as perfect for pairing with breeches as it is with jeans. Woven floral design with two-prong buckle and metal grommets. 1.5" wide. Ladies sizes XS-XL. $29.95; smartpak.com.
KENYAN COLLECTION BEADED BELTS This eclectic collection of fine handmade beaded belts is designed and crafted by the Maasai Mamas of Kenya, generating income for more than 200 African residents. The company’s goal is to demonstrate that products made in Africa can compete in the global marketplace, while at the same time creating employment for the artisans in the hope that they will have an investment in, and an opportunity to change, their own future and the future of their children. Ladies sizes 30"-38". From $140-$200; thekenyancollection.com. 48 MAY/JUNE 2016
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The monogram. Isn’t it wonderful how a couple of letters can speak such volumes? Especially when they’re artfully captured on a buckle made by The Swanky Saddle Company. Available in ladies sizes S-XL. Mix and match buckles from $18-$50 and belts from $20-$35; swankysaddle.com.
BARN BELTS BY VINTAGE BELTS Get the gang together with fully customizable Barn Belts. Select your leather preference, stud pattern or personalization, and crystals or stone colors to match your barn colors. Made to measure, with custom order pricing from $300; vintagebelts.com.
EQUUS COUTURE ONE OF A KIND BELT Superior leatherwork, hand executed techniques and vintage embellishments are the hallmarks of Equus Couture’s exquisite accessories for horse, rider and hound. Custom belts start at $150; equus-couture.com.
Original COOL Shirt
MADE IN THE USA UPF 50+ SUN PROTECTION WWW.EQUIINSTYLE.COM
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THE CLOTHES HORSE BICOLOR
MANEJANE REVERSIBLE BELT NOBLE OUTFITTERS BACK-TO-BACK REVERSIBLE BELT Pop a little color into your riding ensemble with Noble Outfitters Back-To-Back Reversible Belt, featuring full-grain lizard and crocodile print textured leather and a sleek reversible buckle. Available in two color combinations: stunning vivacious and deep turquoise or cool navy and green. Ladies sizes XS-XXL. Starting at $39.95; nobleoutfitters.com.
Constructed of buttery leather with color and texture galore, ManeJane’s handmade reversible belts let you transition from mild to wild with the flip of its signature solid brass buckle. 1½" wide, with straps available in an array of colors and textures and buckles in gold or silver tone. Ladies sizes S-L are standard, with custom sizes available up to 46". $120; manejane.com.
ALESSANDRO ALBANESE TWO-TONE LEATHER BELT ARIAT RADIANT REVERSIBLE BELT This simple accessory is marvelously crafted with a spur themed reversible buckle. Full leather belt is available in black ostrich/deep red or snake/mushroom. Ladies sizes XS-XL. From $89.95; ariat.com.
AA Belts are made in Italy from high quality Italian leather and are interchangeable to work with all the brand’s buckles. Available in belt colors of ice/khaki, ice/blue, tan/brown or navy/blue or reversible pink/white, brown/black, brown/tan and navy/blue. Sizes 80-95 cm. $145. Buckles are sold separately and are available in silver, gun metal or gold ($45), and with Swarovski and Topaz ($100). alessandroalbanese.com.
BEYOND FABULOUS OUGHTON LIMITED EQUESTRIAN BELTS For an innovative twist on a classic equestrian theme, Oughton Limited’s equestrian belt is the gold standard. It features a subtle gate motif that’s destined to be a classic for decades to come. Italian made, in Italian brown buffalo ($195) or black calf hair ($235). Ladies sizes XS-L. oughtonlimited.com.
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TOFFI IMAGES PHOTO
The ONE and ONLY
One of the most beloved figures on the show circuit, he oozes joie de vivre as he keeps all the top show jumpers in line. By Mollie Bailey
T’S HARD TO DESCRIBE PEDRO CEBULKA’S ROLE at a horse show, but one thing’s for sure: You’ll know him if you see him. In a sea of ties, jackets and general decorum, a broad-shouldered, 6'3" bearded man who looks like he stepped out of Central Casting stands by the in-gate at many of the world’s biggest shows, checking in with television production
crews, ushering riders into the ring, and posing for photos with children, all while keeping an eye on the clock and a genuine smile on his face. Part horse-and-rider-wrangler, part official, part performer, part cheerleader, part mascot and friend to all, the most famous ringmaster on the show circuit has carved out his own niche in the show world. He’s known to thousands around the planet simply as “Pedro.”
In a conservative sport, Pedro Cebulka has never been afraid to stand out in a crowd. C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
PHOTO COURTESY OF VICTORY FRAILE/POWER SPORT IMAGES
From Machu Picchu To Spruce Meadows to learn and understand cultures and people.” Cebulka’s never been a traditional anything. When he was a banker In the late ’70s Pedro found himself in Canada, where he met in his native Germany he honed his people skills—and padded his a Swiss camper who convinced him to help him do some work bank account—by bartending at a friend’s pub on the weekends. at a new equestrian venue called Spruce Meadows (Alberta). He At 23 and well on his way to becoming a stockbroker he headed to worked with the late Albert Kley, who was from the same area of Brazil for a three-week trip and ended up staying five months, then Germany as Pedro. spending much of the next few years traveling. “I did everything from maintenance to cutting down trees to “I decided I wanted to be traveling the world rather than painting lines in the parking lot with Ron Southern himself, trying working on the stock exchange,” he said. “The person who has my to figure out how long to make them to get the horse trailers in,” old job isn’t alive anymore; he’s dead from stress.” said Pedro. “It really was the beginning [in 1977, the first outdoor Cebulka, a newly minted Canadian citizen, picked up CSIO in the world]. We had a beautiful barn and a beautiful ring, languages—he speaks seven—and friends as he traveled, and he and everything else we had to learn and invent.” made opportunities to find his own way. He worked as a tour “This Guy’s Intense” guide in Southeast Asia and Pedro continued traveling around Latin America, taking visitors the world for several years, and floating down the Amazon, though winters might find him hiking Machu Picchu and skiing riding motorbikes after kangaroos in Bolivia. Cebulka fell in love across the Australian Outback, with Latin America, so much so during circuit he was back in that he swapped his name from Calgary, and eventually he moved the German Peter to the Spanish there full time, doing whatever version, Pedro, which is listed on needed to be done: jump crew, his passport as his artist’s name. translating, announcing, mainteEvery winter now, he and his nance, managing the trade fair. wife Janet head from their home He met his wife of 32 years in in Invermere, British Columbia, 1979 while he was working the to the Pacific coast of Mexico to in-gate at Spruce Meadows, and live a simpler life on the beach, she was a Dutch-Canadian rider. and their daughters Stephanie Though he was a free-spirited Germany’s Marco Kutscher celebrated winning the Longines and Jessica join them. world traveler, he was drawn to Grand Prix at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong on Van Gogh with Pedro Cebulka. In Peru he played South her calm confidence. American folk music in the moun“Just before I left I went back to tains while hundreds of children followed him, “Just like the Pied her tack room, and I said, ‘Hi. I’m Pedro. I’m going away for the Piper,” said Pedro joyfully. “The kids enjoyed it so much, and I winter, but when I come back and get my first paycheck I would enjoyed their enthusiasm, how they sang their national song, not like to take you out,’ ” he recalled. shyly, but they would scream them out. I get goose bumps thinking And after a winter touring in South America he returned to about it now.” make good on the promise, taking her to a Greek restaurant. (Pedro’s recorder chops would take him to folk clubs around the “A big part of my so-to-speak ‘work’ was looking after the world and on stage in front of 15,000 in Ecuador. Once, during the grooms and riders,” he recalled. “I recognized through my travels FEI World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany, he shared a stage with that the grooms are very important to our sport. I always organized the Gypsy Kings.) special events at Spruce for the grooms. If the riders had an official “There was no Google or iPhones, obviously,” he said. “I’d do dinner to go to, the grooms would go to a cowboy saloon in a big research with the locals and get books to read up on history and horse trailer filled with straw bales and drinks. We’d sing songs from cultures. It was really fun, and I’ve always been driven by the desire our different countries, and we’d walk into the bar with an explosion When Pedro Cebulka officiated the 2011 Pan American Games (Mexico), he donned a mariachi outfit with a huge sombrero for the occasion.
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of energy. The riders started joining without disturbing them is quite us, and it became everyone’s favorite a trick. He’s always able to do that party—so much more fun than a sitwith tact and humor. down fancy dinner.” “When any person does a high Pedro left Spruce Meadows full pressure job so well, from the outside time at the start of 1986, but Ron looking in it all looks contained, and Linda Southern wouldn’t let go smooth, under control and effortless,” of him completely. he continued. “You never see or hear “Spruce understood the imporproblems; they’re all just managed tance of the communication with through his earpiece and microphone. the athletes when they’re under the You’d never hear it through his voice or highest pressure,” he said. “Because demeanor in any way. He’s the definiI was the riders’ friend, and they all tion of a professional.” knew me and heard about me, they This is the man who puts the show know I can help them. They will all in horse show, especially during the say, ‘You’d better be exactly on time awards ceremonies. He’s not afraid to because otherwise that fun guy can warn riders to leave their phones on also be a tough guy.’ ” silent and in their pockets, to double They asked Pedro to stay on as check that every ribbon is perfectly the starter for three shows a year aligned, to interrupt a conversation to where the shows were being broadround up a tardy competitor. cast on live television, when the Pedro quickly becomes friends timing of getting riders in and out of with the officials, volunteers, media the ring had no room for error. and riders, supporting riders during “I remember the first time I went good times and bad. Three-time FEI to Spruce in ’92 when he was calling World Cup Finals winner Meredith us to the top of the ring, and I was Michaels-Beerbaum became close Pedro Cebulka counts many top riders, including Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, among his close like, ‘This guy’s intense!’ ” recalled with Pedro during his Calgary days, friends. three-time FEI World Cup Final and she recalled one time in particular winner Rodrigo Pessoa. “But I underwhen Pedro showed his heart. stood afterward how important it was for him to load up the horses “I had a fall in the Nations Cup at Spruce the year before my to be in the perfect place to fit with live TV. He doesn’t want anyone daughter was born, but she was [already] conceived—I was 60 to be faulted for a bad pre-load or a late presentation.” days pregnant,” recalled Michaels-Beerbaum. “It was a secret at the time, and only my husband [Markus Beerbaum] and I knew. The Definition Of A Professional But at that show Pedro is such a good friend that we confided That magic combination of strict and supportive has made in him.” Pedro an ideal ringmaster. Pedro skipped that evening’s party thrown by Spruce “He redefined the job—in-gate, paddock master, whipperMeadows to support Michaels-Beerbaum as she went for a in, whatever you want to say—he absolutely redefined it,” said checkup at the hospital. longtime friend and 10-time Olympian Ian Millar of Canada. “He clearly put friendship ahead of even the job he was “He’s such a personality himself, with multilingual abilities doing,” she said. “That shows a lot about his personality for and his ability to stay cool under great pressure. When you’re others to see, and clearly for him it was more important to be a handling that job, with live TV going out, or with the presgood friend than anything else.” sure of the Olympics and the pressure that riders, trainers and These days Pedro only works at 15 or 16 shows a year, but grooms are under, keeping everyone on time and organized he studies the sport and his craft carefully. He’ll get up at 5 a.m. Pedro Cebulka lent his hat to Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain before the medal ceremonies of the 2013 Blue Hors FEI European Dressage Championship.
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TOFFI IMAGES PHOTO
to watch a competition on the other side of the planet, studying trian Games] and the [2012 European Championships] and the nuances lost on most. Did the show run on time, or did they have [2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games], and I really enjoy to cut short the presentation or second round? Does the public stay the prizegiving,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to see what the horses during the prize-giving ceremony? When the riders come in the will do for the riders and how incredibly proud the riders are of ring to stand on the podium, are the sashes all hanging correctly what they’re achieving. Everything in life is relative, and you have and pinned on the same shoulder? to step out of your cocoon to see that. If someone is complaining And there’s a safety element too. Pedro has an intuitive way I think, ‘Excuse me, watch this person riding without legs in the with horses—he rode as a child growing up in Veßen, Germany— Olympics, and tell me again what your problem is that you have and he’s hyper-aware of how high strung jumpers can be after to complain about.’ ” a big performance. He makes a point of chatting with riders in Pedro The Fashion Plate the collecting ring to meet their Asked to describe his personal horses and see if he may hold the style, the easy talking Pedro falls horse’s head or put a ribbon on silent. After all there are steamhis bridle or do anything special punk goggles, his circus top hat, to keep him calm. any number of bejeweled tail coats, Pedro remembers one award and, without fail, mismatched ceremony that nearly went disassocks. (“It gives people a conversatrously wrong. For the first prizetion piece.”) When he’s in Mexico giving at the 2014 Longines FEI for the Pan American Games he World Cup Show Jumping Final may don a mariachi outfit with a (France) Pedro arrived in justhuge sombrero, and in France he’s tailored bright blue tails (with been seen dressed as Louis XIV. matching top hat), but a miscomIt started in Spruce Meadows munication meant that not all the about 28 years ago, when Pedro sponsors had approved the attire, donned a pink pith helmet while and he could not assist inside the working as a starter. The hat made ring during the presentation. The such a hit that soon the volunteers chief steward filled in instead, were all wearing toned-down standing at the bridle of Ludger beige versions, and Pedro started Beerbaum’s feisty Chaman as finding other outfits to make While many riders like France’s Kevin Staut (left) serve as ambassadors for JustWorld, Pedro Cebulka is one of just a handful of Beerbaum thanked the sponpeople smile. For Holland Day officials, and he often sports their trademark blue tails at competitions. sors and presenters. Fédération at Spruce he borrowed an outfit Equestre Internationale Secretary from a Dutch friend (including General (now president) Ingmar de Vos walked up to the stallion to wooden shoes), and when he travelled to Doha a member of the congratulate him—and it didn’t go well. Qatari royal family loaned him a traditional thobe and ghutra. “I could see the energy in that stallion,” recalled Pedro, who had “My official friends didn’t understand. They said, ‘You can’t worked with the horse several times before. “I’m thinking, ‘Oh no, wear that; you’re a Westerner,’ ” recalled Pedro. “But I said, don’t try shaking his hand! I know that horse.’ He walks right in ‘Excuse me, this was given to me by a leader of the country, and front of the horse, and the horse lashes out with his hoof and strikes I’m wearing it to respect the culture. One of my best friends in so fast; he missed Ingmar’s head by one inch and strikes him on the Egypt said, ‘I was at home, and we saw you on Al Jazeera doing shoulder. One more inch, and he would be dead.” an interview in your outfit.’ ” Pedro mainly officiates at show jumping events, but for champiIn the lead-up to the 2010 WEG, Animo began spononships he also assists with dressage and, his favorite, para-dressage. soring Pedro, one of just two non-competitors with whom they “I got to do the paras at the [2010 Alltech FEI World Equeswork. (The other is equine performer Santí Serra Camps.) They
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Pedro Cebulka’s attire for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy had to be approved by the Ministry of Agriculture.
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often use a championship event approach. He wanted Pedro as an excuse for Pedro to debut a dressed as opulently as possible new outfit, and they work with the for his events. At the Paris edition organizing committee on colors of his show he rented authentic and designs, like his tailcoat for theater costumes for each day. And the last FEI European Championlast year Ameeuw recruited Cirque ships, featuring flags from across the du Soleil’s creative director Franco continent. Dragone to help design exquisite Being a fashionista in a traditional outfits for his competitions. In world isn’t always easy. Often sponOctober Pedro flew from Calgary sors and federations have to approve to Vancouver for a few hours to Pedro’s attire. (At the last World be measured by an haute couture Games, for example, Normandy’s seamstress, and the next month Minister of Agriculture had to weigh he arrived in Paris just after the in.) Notoriously strict Olympic attacks (he got out of town just branding rules presented strict before the curfew set in) to squeeze guidelines for staff uniforms that in two more fittings before the don’t consider Pedro’s stylish touch. show began. At the London 2012 Games Pedro “I met Franco in Hong Kong, was limited to more traditional attire and the staff are all wonderful during the competition. But nothing people,” said Pedro. “At one point I Pedro Cebulka’s outfits often reflect the nation where he’s officiating. can stop him from a little flair. was riding a motorbike in as part of “At the Olympics in London the show, and I’m wearing clothes [then FEI president] Her Royal Highness Princess Haya comes in by Franco who does Madonna and Cirque de Soleil, and I just with her entourage and her body guard, and she lifts her pants,” he got goose bumps.” recalled. “I lifted my pant legs to show her two different socks, and she said, ‘That’s my Pedro!’ ” Giving Back He wasn’t working on cross-country day, so he donned an Despite the clever outfits and dramatic flair, for Pedro it’s always eye-popping Union Jack suit, complete with gloves and hat, been about giving back, whether to the sport or to a larger vision. and positioned himself at the water jump, to the delight of the Pedro became an ambassador for JustWorld International 11 years dozens of photographers stationed there. The equestrian events ago. That organization, founded by Jessica Newman, is devoted for the 2008 Games were to breaking the cycle of based in Hong Kong, poverty by funding local far enough away from partnership around the the rest of the action in world helping children Beijing that Pedro got thrive in countries like away with donning a Honduras, Cambodia, different Chinese hat Guatemala and Colombia, each day. which dovetailed perfectly Christophe Ameeuw, with his experience and head of EEM World, ethos. Many JustWorld which puts on the Longines supporters are riders who Masters series in Hong donate time and money to Kong, Los Angeles and the cause, and a handful are Paris, had the opposite officials like Pedro.
“ALL OF US ARE SO FORTUNATE TO BE BORN INTO THIS WORLD, AND WE HAVE SO MUCH OF EVERYTHING COMPARED TO THESE YOUNG KIDS.”
Pedro Cebulka shares his love of the outdoors with his daughters (from left) Jessica and Stephanie and his wife Janet.
—Pedro Cebulka C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
MARK MAKELA/CORBIS PHOTO
In 2009 Pedro and Janet headed years, with a bum knee from one to Guatemala to visit the JustWorld too many adventures, but he works projects their efforts fund and to meet to stay physically and mentally fit. the children, and at competitions he He’s officiated on every continent frequently dons a JustWorld-emblaand visited around 70 countries, zoned tailcoat and hat and does but these days he limits his show color commentating for the charity’s schedule to only his favorite events. horseless horse shows, posing for “I was approached last year photos and signing autographs. by Japan to do [the 2020 Tokyo “He’s really become a spokesman,” Olympic Games], and I’d like to do said Newman. “He stands out and it, so I’m working hard to stay active attracts so much attention. When and fit,” said Pedro. “I’m always people ask what he’s involved with thinking of one of my good friends he’s able to tell you. It’s huge having and idols: Ian Millar. If he can do it, him as an ambassador. We know we so can I. I call Ian on his birthday can count on him for anything he every year and say, ‘I want to be sure can do for JustWorld. He volunyou stay fit so we can do the Olymteers so much time, and it really pics together next time.’ ” adds a lot of value.” Despite all he’s accomplished in JustWorld’s model doesn’t the show world, really it’s just a small Pedro Cebulka picks up friends everywhere he travels. actively recruit ambassadors, but part of Pedro’s life. When he gets once they meet the larger-than-life home from an international show the personality and ask about his JustWorld blue outfit and the nature-lover flies into Calgary and crosses the Rocky Mountains organization he’s happy to talk about their efforts. during the three-hour drive to his home, using the time to tran“For Jessica it’s about more than raising money, it’s about getting sition from the hustle of the horse show and traveling life to his people involved socially to be responsible,” said Pedro. “All of us are quieter life as a land developer in the town of 4,000. When he heads so fortunate to be born into this world, and we have so much of to Mexico in the winter he lives a rural existence sans Wi-Fi or cell everything compared to these young kids. If we can help them have service to focus on healthy living. a better base and be more educated we should.” “I have a swim in the ocean every morning, go kayaking and out At home in Invermere, Pedro’s tradition of giving back with our Zodiac [boat], and have coffee with the dolphins—it’s an continues. The first Tuesday of every month he dons a Pedrounbelievably different world,” he said. “I go a couple times a week worthy outfit and heads to a convalescent home affiliated with to a little store in a town for a conference call, but really it’s about a local hospital to play recorder and regale the residents with living with nature, appreciating yourself and your partner. All the his globetrotting tales. people in the 25 campers on the beach are all friends.” “He treats everyone as an equal—it doesn’t matter whether Not that Pedro has ever met a stranger; he throws himself they have money or power; into each of his endeavors everyone gets the same with love. amount of attention and “Whatever I’ve done I’ve respect,” said Newman. done it with all my heart,” he said. “I’ve truly enjoyed it. Following His Heart Done many things to make At 63, Pedro’s not looking myself feel good, of course, to get out of the business but to feel people smile and anytime soon. He’s slowed to bring joy to people’s hearts down a bit in the last few and minds.”
“EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS RELATIVE, AND YOU HAVE TO STEP OUT OF YOUR COCOON TO SEE THAT.” —Pedro Cebulka
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The Legacy Of
ALL AROUND LIVES ON Though the All Around Farm era was brief, Junie Kulpâ€™s influence is still being felt.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURIE BERENSON
By MOLLY SORGE
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n the hours of interviews that I did in a quest to find out more about Milton “Junie” Kulp Jr. and his powerhouse All Around Farm from the 1960s, very few people talked about what All Around horses and riders won. They didn’t dis-
cuss national awards and armloads of championship coolers. Perhaps only 10 minutes of the conversations centered around show results.
And yet legend has it that when the All Around Farm vans pulled into a horse show, riders shook their heads, knowing the blue ribbons and trophies would likely all be loaded onto those vans at the end of the day. National American Horse Shows Association champions in multiple divisions each year, championships at Devon (Pa.), the National Horse Show (N.Y.), Upperville (Va.) and all the biggest shows of the era—All Around horses and riders won them all throughout the late 1950s and ’60s. Spindletop Showdown, Not Always, Wee Ken, Chantilly, Chimney Sweep, Hotshot Kid and Jay Rene were just a scant few of the multitude of famous horses who called All Around Farm in Gwynedd Valley, Pa., home. The van ramps would come down, and one equine star after another would strut down to the ground, with gleaming coats and perfect braids. Their riders, dressed to perfection in cutting-edge style of the day, would swing aboard. Junie would join them at the in-gate of the ring, his hair perfectly coiffed and dressed in a coat and tie. He would twist the horse’s tail into a trademark mud knot as he imparted a bit of wisdom as to how a certain line should ride. It was the era when conformation hunters were the kings of the showgrounds. Riders wore plaid hunt coats. Egg salad sandwiches were served from ringside coolers by mothers wearing smart suits and pumps. Pony riders spent their show days cheering on their rivals, then sleeping over at their houses. And Junie stood at the rail of the ring, riding every stride and jump Here, Junie Kulp is shown just as his riders remember him best: putting a mud knot in Pride ‘n Joy’s tail as he encourages Laurie Snyder Berenson to do her best at the 1967 Gaudeamus Horse Show (Pa.).
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HISTORY with his students. His upper body would swing back and forth, as if he were in the saddle. He’d lean and grimace and cluck. And when they came out of the ring, he’d counsel them as to how a turn could improve, a distance be made more precise. But it’s not those at-the-ring instructions the riders and grooms who went with Junie to the shows remember. Instead, they talked about life lessons. About camaraderie. About a community. About fun. And about an extraordinary man who was the center of it all. Spindletop Showdown and Terry Rudd were just one of dozens of winning combinations to come out of All Around Farm in the ’60s.
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A Lasting Legacy
“He was amazing. It wasn’t just what you learned about riding and about horses; it was all those lifelong lessons about always striving for excellence, always keeping improving. It was in every detail,” said Sindy Paul, who rode with Junie as a child. “He was somebody that you wanted to keep doing better to please him. And he appreciated each person as an individual. He was just always really good to be around. It was an amazing foundation for life, not just for showing. “If you look at what All Around alumni do, there are people who are outstanding in their various fields, no matter what they do,” Paul continued. “There are a couple who continued on to be
professional horsemen, like Terry Rudd and Melvin Dutton. But most of us were truly amateur riders and did other things in our lives afterward; we’re lawyers and authors and doctors and veterinarians. He took a bunch of people who weren’t destined to be professionals in showing to literally have champions in every division. You name a hunter division, and he had the best of the best.” And yet Junie and All Around were an example of the Robert Frost poetic sentiment that, “Nothing gold can stay.” Junie, who had begun to make All Around a force in the mid-’50s, passed away in August of 1971 while the All Around contingent was at the Sussex County Horse Show (N.J.). One day he felt ill, and then he was gone. His time in the horse show world might have been brief, but his impact has lasted long into the next century. All Around alumni stay in touch through lifelong friendships and Facebook groups, and in 2013 almost 30 of them showed up at Junie’s Show Hunter Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where Dutton and Sherry Robertson spoke of Junie’s influence and career. The next summer, that same group of 30 met up at the original All Around Farm for a reunion, to share memories and stories. “Junie truly created a community,” Paul said. “Forty-five years after Junie passed away, we all still get together—the people who rode there, the people who worked there. Can you think of
another farm where, 45 years after the main person passed away, they’re still getting together and supporting each other? Where else do you find something like that?” Gary Rapoport was the son of Marvin Rapoport, who owned the Spindletop horses such as Showdown who showed out of All Around. Gary spent his summers as a teenager working and riding at All Around and considered Junie a second father. “There were so many really great horsepeople there who have stayed with it their whole lives. I think the reason they did is because of Junie’s influence,” Gary said. “It wasn’t about the winning for Junie; winning wasn’t what drove him as much as the good time and the fun and the horses,” Gary added. “It was more of a family than anything else. It was something that nobody ever wanted to leave. No one wanted to lose him. And when that was forced on everyone, it was just... It was hard.” “He was my father, he was my friend, and he was my boss. He was everything to me. I owe my life to him, because he taught me my way of life,” said Dutton, who started his professional career as a groom at All Around. “I think about Junie every day, when I go to horse shows, when I judge or do clinics. I thank him every day for giving me the opportunity and the knowledge to be the person I am now. Because of what he did, I’ve lived a good life.” The All Around support staff at the 1971 Devon Horse Show: (bottom row, from left) Charlene Thomas, Michael Hunter, John Aquila, and Dick Fenneley; (top row, from left) Sharon Smith, Greg Winchell, Peter Wilson, Jimmy Thorington, Ouisha McKinney, Lynn McClanahan, Laura McKinney and Sue Danner.
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HISTORY Who Was Junie?
Junie hadn’t grown up with horses. One of his first jobs as a young man was driving a truck for Gill Quarries. But truck driving wasn’t Junie’s forte, to say the least, and after a few incidents, Harry Gill decided to offer Junie a job at his horse farm instead. There, Junie’s talent for horsemanship and his eye for a horse became evident quickly. He soaked up all the knowledge he could from Gill, who rode, trained and owned jumpers; Gill’s wife Marjorie, the first woman to ride on a U.S. dressage team; and others around him. By the mid-’50s, Junie struck out on his own and started All Around Farm. He built a successful training business and also rode and showed himself. But his life would change at the 1963 Pennsylvania National Horse Show. He took a bad fall and broke his left leg; a subsequent infection resulted in his leg being amputated. It wasn’t an era in which you shared inner turmoil, so Junie hid any angst about the loss of his leg.
Junie Kulp was the heart and soul of All Around Farm, creating a community of people who continue to treasure their years with him.
All Around student Judy Korn on Rebel showing at the 1965 Devon Horse Show (Pa.).
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“I’m sure it was much worse for him than we’ll ever know,” Dutton said. “But one thing I will say is that I think it made him a better teacher. He focused on that.” Riding was no longer part of Junie’s life, so he threw himself wholeheartedly into training and setting a new standard. He was back ringside and teaching in no time, with a prosthetic leg and a cane. The physical change didn’t alter Junie’s talent for finding, then shaping, equine and human talent. Horses just kept coming to All Around, and during the ’60s it wasn’t unusual for more than 50 horses to be competing at a show under the All Around banner. “He had quite an eye for a horse or a pony,” Paul said. “He could pick a great one even when they were really green. Then he’d match the horse to the personality of the rider. He was great at that. He made sure that marriage worked really well. And then he would get the best out of both.” The sheer number of horses and ponies was part of the name “All Around.” There wasn’t just one central farm for the business—
Just The Best
“You could probably ask every one of us, ‘Did we get paid?’ I’m sure we did, but who remembers getting checks and paying your rent and all that?” said Lynn McClanahan, who groomed at All Around. “Junie had a really special way of making each one of us feel so important in the entire scheme of things—we did it for him,” she added. “That pride that he instilled in us of the care and the topof-the-line turnout, it just enveloped you, and we all lived it. We worked from 3 in the morning to 10 or 11 at night at some shows. You’d get an hour or two of sleep and then be right back at it. And we loved it. I look back on it and think, ‘How the hell did we do it?’ It was an amazing organization.” Working for Junie meant hard work and lots of it, but his example inspired his employees to go above and beyond. “I remember learning how to wrap legs and Junie getting down and showing me, explaining to me how to get it just tight enough,” Rapoport said. “Melvin Dutton taught me how to braid tails. Everybody The main barn at All Around Farm was where Junie Kulp and his devoted staff and students worked and relaxed.
>> DID YOU KNOW?
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHANNA WALTERS
it was a collection of farms close to each other that Junie cobbled together into one establishment. There was a main barn, above which Junie and the staff lived, and then a number of farms scattered in the immediate area, some contiguous to the main farm and some not. Junie got creative with stabling as the number of horses grew. A converted shed with a low ceiling housed ponies. And an old silo was turned into a single stall. But while the configuration may have been inventive, it was anything but ramshackle. Every evening Junie cooked an enormous family dinner for grooms, students and friends. For Junie, everyone was a friend. He turned a blind eye to age, wealth or social stature. “He was the same to everyone,” Dutton said. “No one was better than anyone else. We all sat down to eat together. If you asked 100 people, they’re going to say that they saw the same Junie that I saw. “He was fair, and he was honest. In this business today, we need more fair and honest people like Junie Kulp,” Dutton continued.
The main barn of All Around Farm, which was built in 1870, still stands. After Junie Kulp’s death in 1971, the farm went through various iterations, being run as a boarding stable. Johanna Walters, who now owns All Around with her husband Brian Sweeney, rode and boarded her horse there in the 1990s. Walters and Sweeney bought All Around, then rundown and neglected, in 2009 and commissioned an architect to rehabilitate the property into a combination of stable and residence. They wanted to honor the farm’s rich equestrian heritage. The finished product was featured in the “Barn Again” feature on restored stables in the May/June 2015 issue of Untacked.
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HISTORY there was concerned that you were doing the right thing for the horse. The horse always came first.” “We just worked for Junie’s smile,” McClanahan said. “And seeing him jump every single fence with his riders, pumping and kicking with that leg of his. He’d still dance and enjoy life, basking in the glory of the horses and his people.” All Around horses and riders were famous for impeccable turnout, and that started at home. “Junie was a perfectionist about everything, every detail about the way the horse was turned out—the tack, the braids, the coolers and the blankets, the rider’s turn-out. He would go with us to M.J. Knoud to pick out the fabrics and colors for jackets,” Paul said. In those days, hunters usually sported just a few, large braids. But Sharon Smith Basore, one of Junie’s longtime grooms, created a new style of braiding—lots of smaller braids sewn in with a special tie-down method that made them lie flat. It was the start of what’s known as classic hunter braids today, and it helped set All Around horses and ponies apart. Even today, the legendary George Morris speaks of Junie’s horsemanship and turnout as being an example. “We were the first ones to have 40 braids in the mane; we were the first ones to have matching coolers and trunks. Our horses just
looked the best,” Dutton said. Basore and Sue Scales were the lynchpins of Junie’s barn staff, overseeing the grooming and the books, respectively. “Sharon and Sue were so rock solid and steady. They kept the whole thing going,” McClanahan said. But after Junie’s death in 1971, the center of All Around was gone. The clients found other trainers; the grooms found other jobs. The community dispersed quickly. “When you lose someone like that, people try to take their place. But you can’t. No one can,” Dutton said. “You can copy—I copied him. But there was only one Junie Kulp.” All Around Farm was never the same, but Junie continued to affect those who’d lived during its heyday. “Everything we did there and everything we learned created who we were. It’s carried us forward into our lives, and we still rely on lessons we learned there because it was such an impactful experience,” McClanahan said. “Everyone’s gone off and done different things, but we hold in our core what that whole experience gave us. It built who we are. It was amazing how one man impacted so many lives—the beauty of it was how phenomenal he was to everyone and how they still remember him today.”
Lessons From Junie
n a Facebook group, lawyer and longtime All Around student Barbara Ulrichsen—whose mother also worked for Junie— shared what she’d learned from her All Around days. “Junie taught me the following life lessons that have enabled me to build a successful law practice that even supports a horse habit: 1. A lways be fair and supportive to your employees, as he was to my mother and I, without fail. ever say you can’t get something done (even taking 56 2. N hunters to Fairfield with seven grooms and no outside braiders). This applies when a client needs a complex emergent application filed within 24 hours—it can be done.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LYNN MCCLANAHAN
3. Positive thinking is enormously powerful and should be communicated to your clients. Countless times, I held a show pony at the ring for a nervous kid while Junie tied up the pony’s tail in a mud wrap and told the rider she was going to win the class—often he or she did. This works well on the nervous client about to take the witness stand.
The horses from All Around Farm, such as Jay Rene, represented the impeccable turnout that was the hallmark of Junie Kulp’s care.
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4. H ard work is everything, together with perfection. We never sent a horse or pony into the ring that wasn’t perfectly turned out. I rarely file a pleading that isn’t as good as I can get it.”
Sindy Paul rode with Junie Kulp as a child, and at her first Devon, in 1966, she was small pony champion aboard Moon Comet.
unie Kulp owned many horses and ponies, usually prospects he looked to sell on to a client. But it was a small, bay Thoroughbred who really captured his heart. When Patti Saunders came to work at All Around in the early ‘60s, she brought Jay Rene with her. The gelding had failed at the track, then not worked out as a horse for a younger rider. Saunders ended up with him in a trade, and he turned out to be a prolific winner in the green, working and junior divisions. By 1968, Saunders was feeling the strain of supporting Jay Rene and his show bills. So, she came up with a solution that would allow the horse to stay with Junie. “As it turned out, Junie’s birthday was coming up. As much as I hated to do it, I decided to give Jay Rene to Junie. So I had Jay Rene’s Jockey Club papers, and I put them in an envelope, and I wrote, ‘Happy Birthday Junie, from Patti,’ ” Saunders said. “The look on Junie’s face was priceless. He gasped! He dragged me into his office, and he said, ‘You can’t do this!’ I told him, ‘Yes, I can. You’ve done everything you can possibly do for this horse. This is the least I can do for you.’ He was so touched by that. He had tears in his eyes.” Jay Rene showed with Terry Rudd, Michael Hunter and Barbara Ulrichsen and won quite a bit. One year, for Christmas, the All Around grooms pitched in to have a portrait painted of Jay Rene and Junie’s beloved German Shepherd. The painting hung in Junie’s apartment. “I think all of the horses there were Junie’s favorite, but as far as him owning one, Jay Rene was definitely his favorite,” Saunders said.
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PHOTO COURTESY THE BROOKE
“What we need to do is start building a respect for working animals in our society. These are gentle, kind, hardworking people who don’t want to change their lives,” said Dr. Derek Knottenbelt of his worldwide efforts to help working horses, donkeys and mules.
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CU LTIVATI NG
COMPASSION ACROSS CULTURAL DIVIDES
When conducting equitarian work around the world, understanding, education and a long-term mentality are key. By LISA SLADE
aybe it’s a horse in Morocco who needs his hooves trimmed, or maybe there’s a horse in Nepal with internal parasites. Maybe a donkey in rural Mexico has a body condition score of
2 and has developed sores from pulling a cart. Regardless of the animal in need, treatment in a developing country is going to be more complicated than pulling up in a veterinary truck, dispensing some meds, scheduling a follow-up appointment, and leaving the owner in charge. ••• But it’s not only because of the lack of veterinarians, paved roads, medications and even running water in some parts of the world that ease of treatment varies. There’s also the question of how to help animals working in countries and cultures where the values can differ significantly from those of the aid workers. “People’s lives are very basic in some places,” said Derek C. Knottenbelt, DVM, DECEIM, MRCVS, who’s done equitarian work for decades all over the world. “It’s no good saying, ‘You! Don’t do this to your horse, and you have to do four-point shoeing now.’ What good would that do? You have to be careful how you handle the circumstances so the veterinarians and owners there respect you for giving practical advice.”
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GLOBAL CULTURE Numerous organizations and nonprofit groups are now dispatched to help working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries. But, as any effective equitarian can tell you, it’s not a matter of entering a city, treating the animals there with some dewormer and topical wound care products, giving a few shots and then leaving.
PHOTO COURTESY THE BROOKE
The Brooke veterinary advisor Ebony-Ellen Escalona spends much of her time working with families in Latin American countries like Guatemala.
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If you’re going to make a long-term impact on an area, equitarian work first involves knowing the values of the culture in which you’re working and then working within that value system to enact change and develop lasting relationships.
First, Do No Harm
Most equitarian groups don’t enter a location and immediately start treating horses. For The Brooke, the Equitarian Initiative and dozens more, treating immediate problems with first aid or surgery is a part of the mission—and
veterinarians certainly won’t ignore animals in need of immediate emergency care—but it’s far from all of it. “If you look hard enough, there is [usually already] some form of treatment going on with someone, whether they’re vets or just animal technicians or local healers, but there is something,” said Ebony-Ellen Escalona, BVSc, MRCVS, a veterinary advisor with The Brooke who’s most recently worked in Latin America. “If we go in and provide free treatments, we’re undermining whatever business there is. Our job is to enhance the current
to have some self-respect. If someone were to take away all my equipment, how would I feel? I’d feel belittled and inadequate. So you have to go in gently and just improve things little bit by little bit, so the professionals have their own self-respect and the respect of the horseowning population there.” Sustainability is a concept that reappears over and over when discussing aid work in less developed countries, and for good reason. Knottenbelt pointed out that you can’t just arrive in a country with a planeload of tractors and expect
the tractors to take over all the work that horses and donkeys are already doing once you leave. “Yes, the tractor comes with a tank of petrol, but when the tank of petrol runs out in the tractor, the machine is useless,” he said. “Where would they get more? Who is going to fix the tires? Who’s going to service it? No one. What we need to do is start building a respect for working Equitarian workers help cultivate empathy for animals in the places they work, in addition to providing basic care and vaccines, but in many countries that empathy already exists.
PHOTO COURTESY THE BROOKE
coping mechanism rather than to create competition.” The main goal is creating sustainable solutions for the areas in which aid groups work, and that means a careful balance between helping enough to make a difference while not doing too much to upset the community. “I go to places where they don’t even have a stethoscope,” said Knottenbelt. “So when I go with my equipment and farrier kit, and I have a thermometer and stethoscope, I can do what looks impressive. But the vets who work there need
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PHOTO COURTESY THE BROOKE
“None of these people are intentionally cruel, but everyone works—and works hard— and that includes the animals,” said Dr. Jay Merriam.
animals in our society. These are gentle, kind, hardworking people who don’t want to change their lives. They don’t want unnecessary burden.” Likewise, you can’t arrive with a planeload of British or U.S. veterinarians, do some work, and then expect a lasting result after leaving. When The Brooke first evaluates future areas, they send in teams to gather information about the condition of animals there—and the conditions of the humans too. They then involve teams of people 78 MAY/JUNE 2016
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who are indigenous to the cultures, with the relative “outsiders” acting as the advisors. For The Brooke, the eventual goal is that they’ll leave the work in the hands of those local aid workers. “Where [is there] a very big population of working equines? And also where is there poverty?” said Laura Skippen, AHEA, MRCVS, a veterinary advisor with The Brooke who mainly works in Nepal and Afghanistan now. “Those two things would indicate the areas we’re going to look at. At the same time, we’re collecting data about what services exist already—whether there are vets and farriers in the area or what kind of healthcare there is for these animals already. That sort of gives us some indication if there’s
a need for us.” Then The Brooke connects with other aid groups, often those for humans, and with local people who speak the language. “Frequently we’re going into places where human NGOs are already working, and people are quite engaged with those other NGOs,” said Skippen. “Then it can be relatively easy to come in and work with them. If we’re going into an area where no one has been working before, that can be a little challenging. “We consider that treating the animals better is generally a good thing, even for the poorest communities,” she continued. “By helping the animals, we will be helping the community. We’ve had some areas where we think we might
“If a family has a donkey, their circumstances are improved by 500 percent,” said Dr. Derek Knottenbelt.
“The first day they couldn’t believe we weren’t tying horses down to the floor or tying their legs up, twitching them or hitting them or raising our voice,” she continued. “The first day was all about rational and kind handling. The guys at the end were like, ‘This is amazing!’ They couldn’t believe it. But as the week went on, there was less suggestion by the trainers, and we were just watching them work. Their trimming was getting better, but I was more impressed with the way they were handling the animals. For me it was just priceless.” PHOTO COURTESY DEREK KNOTTENBELT
Who Can Cause Death?
struggle to work for safety or cultural reasons. But if we think there’s a need, we’ll try and engage. The poorest of the poor probably don’t even have animals. If they have animals, and the animals need help, we’ll go there.” In places where a region’s been in turmoil, such as some of the areas in Mexico where drug trafficking is common, individuals are even less likely to engage with outsiders who are trying to help their animals. “There was a little reluctance to talk to new people because we were in a drug-running corridor,” said Skippen. “They have a lot of people coming in and investigating, and some people did refuse to talk to us there because
they don’t necessarily think you’re from an animal welfare charity. They think that’s maybe a bit off the wall.” In other places, however, local people are so eager for information about their horses and donkeys that there isn’t any reticence to communicate. Escalona recently returned from a trip to Nicaragua, where expert farrier trainers were helping local farriers. “They were banging shoes in left, right and center, and trimming feet with machetes and doing all sorts of things, but the great thing was that these trainees were so keen to learn,” said Escalona. “They freely admitted what they were doing probably wasn’t ideal, but they didn’t know any other way.
Aid workers say the issue of euthanasia comes up again and again, in “every single culture,” said Escalona. For most cultures outside the United States, Canada, Western Europe and Australia, euthanasia isn’t considered an acceptable solution to any problem, and it’s not an issue specific to any one religion. “In the west [euthanasia] is something deep-rooted, and we believe in it, obviously,” said Skippen. “Everywhere else it’s just not, which is fair enough. As people say, you wouldn’t kill a person, so why would you kill your horse? It’s nice in some ways that they’re elevating a horse to the level of that. It’s really great, but then it’s equally quite a difficult argument to put forward. “If the horse has a broken leg, we understand it’s not going to heal, and that it’ll be the best thing for the animal to be put down,” she continued. “But I wouldn’t put down Ebony if she had a broken leg, and that’d be their point-of-view. You have to be able to see it from both sides, that argument. We do try to engage with C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
religious leaders because they tend to be the community figures who have influence. We’re newcomers, and we don’t have influence, so we will try and engage people who do, sort of bring it around to their way of thinking.” Sometimes if an animal is in grave suffering, owners can be convinced over a series of several conversations. But in other situations, it takes years, sometimes generations, for the practice to become tenable. “In the Dominican Republic, it’s taken 15 to 20 years to become acceptable,” said Jay Merriam, DVM, co-founder of the Equitarian Initiative. “The long-term picture is education and making people realize that this animal is not going to get better, and he’ll be a burden to you and society if you don’t euthanize.” And then it’s not only a moral quandary, but it’s a logistical one as well. “Who has a backhoe?” Merriam said. “That plays a big part. Plus you don’t want to pollute the ground water or have a problem when the scavengers come to get the carcass. “When we travel we don’t carry euthanasia drugs because it’s illegal,” he continued. “We are able to acquire anesthetics, and usually we give them way more than you would otherwise, and they drift off. But it’s one of those conundrums anyone doing work in this part of the world has to face.” Knottenbelt recalled finding a pony 80 MAY/JUNE 2016
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The Brooke veterinarians are dispatched to help treat injured animals when they see them, but they also work to create more sustainable changes within the regions where they work.
with a broken leg happens, there are “Higher-level advocacy on the side of the bound to be issues.” road in Mali, a preSometimes the is equally important as dominantly Muslim question isn’t even providing first aid.” country in Africa. addressed with — DR. LAURA SKIPPEN He told the owner individuals but must the pony, who had be done at a higher, been hit by a car, should be euthanized to legal level. Skippen recalls a change The minimize suffering. Brooke helped enact, which authorized “He said, ‘No, sorry, you’re not allowed euthanasia for taxi horses in Ethiopia. to do that,’ ” said Knottenbelt. “I said, ‘I “The previous method was either to can’t walk away from this animal,’ so I did abandon the animal completely until what I had to do, which was to buy the it died, or to tie it up for hyenas to get pony. Then the owner said, ‘It’s a Chrisit, which is not a nice way to go,” she tian horse, so you can do it now.’ It’s a said. “We were out there working with clash between two cultures, and when that some farriers on the street, and a horse
PHOTO COURTESY DEREK KNOTTENBELT
being driven past us was being beaten, and it just collapsed at our feet. Because of the euthanasia laws, we were able to say, ‘OK, now we can take this animal,’ obviously while engaging with the owner. The guy who was beating it was the user, and he had nothing to do with the animal at all. But we were able to talk to the owner, and the animal was euthanized that day. “Just having the power the team had put in place meant we could stop and say, ‘No, you can’t drive this horse away,’ ” she added. “He had multiple problems— really thin and suffering from a disease. I think that kind of higher-level advocacy is equally important as providing first aid.” The extrinsic value of the horses and donkeys plays a part as well. Eric Davis, DVM, DACVS, DACVIM, noted that all working animals are wanted, and
though they might not sell for seven figures like a top jumper, their value to the family is comparably extreme. A family wants to give a horse all chances for recovery, even if recovery doesn’t seem likely. But most families also don’t want to—and can’t—keep an animal that has outlived its usefulness. “It simply isn’t thought of to euthanize an animal for poor quality of life,” Davis said. “We always give them every last chance. But horses that are simply lame are seen as sort of like a dairy cow not giving enough milk anymore; the farmer may care about it, but it’s livestock. All horses have a job and do something, and that’s by virtue of resources.” When Knottenbelt was working in Mauritania, he came across a donkey that was dying of tetanus. The donkey was generally used for carting water for a family,
Pack sores are common in working equines, and Dr. Derek Knottenbelt demonstrates to a group in Ethiopia how to best care for them.
and without the donkey, the children in the family would have to do the work. “I say to the father, ‘Look I can’t do anything for this donkey. He’s going to die.’ He falls around my legs and grabs them, and tears are running down his face and into the sand of Sahara, and he’s saying, ‘You cannot kill the donkey. If you do, my children don’t go to school,’ ” said Knottenbelt. “What would you do? We would all try to buy a donkey for this man. I did that, but you have to remember there are 200 million other people who need a donkey too.” C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
PHOTO COURTESY THE BROOKE
The Brooke program educates local farriers. Here a group of farrier trainees work in a rural community in Nicaragua under the guidance of expert farrier trainers.
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Fostering Empathy: The Most Effective Tool
The intrinsic cultural value of horses and mules—donkeys are unfortunately ranked much lower in status in some places—is also a benefit to them in less developed countries. Owners who are emotionally attached to them provide better care, and the places aid workers see them struggle the most is where they’re not financially or culturally valuable. Skippen pointed to the brick kilns in Kathmandu, where work is seasonal. “They buy the animals cheap at the start of the season, and then they’ll basically work them to death over the season because then they don’t have to care for
the animal in the off-season, and they can just buy another cheap one next year,” she said. “They’re not animals they’ve had a long time, so they have no emotional attachment, and financially it doesn’t make sense to keep them alive. You have to start building emotional empathy for all animals, not just for that one, but for all animals, and that’s a huge thing to build in a culture that doesn’t have it.” Places horses are used for taxis, such as in cities in Senegal or Ethiopia, can prove challenging as well. Horses are often rented out for an hour or a day, and the level of care from renter to renter can vary widely. “It comes down to empathy there too,”
said Escalona, who also noted that anipad for his horse’s back and took care of mals in more rural areas of those countries his teeth, and I said, ‘Is there any way often fare better. “They’re just a tool, or you can give this horse a rest so his back like another car, and can be handed back heals?’ He said, ‘Well, my wife had to in whatever state.” sell the tin off this house, and I need to Davis has spent time working on make some money to buy a new roof for Indian reservations within the United the rainy season, and I can’t not work.’ States, and he noted that horses hold a This guy wasn’t a bad person. He just had no choice,” said Davis. cultural esteem there that’s beneficial Sometimes building that empathy for all parties involved; working with and reaching across horses can be a the cultural divide way of ameliorating “You have to start involves specific some of the cultural solutions that can problems within the building emotional only be seen by those communities. empathy for all animals, who really under“There are a stand the culture lot of horses, and and that’s a huge thing itself. Skippen noted the young men and women who to build in a culture that that in Afghanistan, Pakistan and somedo pretty well and doesn’t have it.” times India, the are not getting into practice of slitting trouble spend a lot of — DR. LAURA SKIPPEN horses’ nostrils still time with horses,” he occurs, and it took said. “They underThe Brooke team on the ground, with stand the importance of the horse to their local practitioners, to come up with a creidentity, and that’s the difference. Not ative solution. that horses are a hobby or accessory, it’s “They believe it helps them with part of their identity.” breathing,” she said. “We ran an adverThat difference—between horses as tisement campaign saying, ‘Do you think hobbies and horses as necessity—causes you know better than God? If Allah some conflicts as well. Whereas a profesmade animals this way, why are you trysional rider’s not going to be damaged by ing to improve on it?’ It’s actually resulted giving a horse one week off, a family in in a brilliant reduction in nostril slitting, Latin America might face financial ruin which is a great result.” in that scenario. When Davis worked in Guatemala he Maybe Cruel, But Not Cruelty noted that body condition scores of 3 or 4 Aid workers often face a challenge in the are normal for some areas, meaning that perception of how animals are treated. horses are much more likely to get saddle Many programs rely on donations from and pack sores. When that happens, it’s developed nations, and those donations not as simple as giving the animal a rest, won’t come if the opinion is that the animals even if the family’s attached to and feels in other countries are being abused. empathy for it. It’s another issue that requires education. “One gentleman was a wood cutter, “If a family has a donkey, their and his horse and he himself carried circumstances are improved by 500 these huge loads of wood, and I made a
percent,” said Knottenbelt. “They have a different attitude towards them. People might say, ‘They die young because they’re flogged to death and underfed, and it’s cruelty.’ That’s patronizing rubbish. It’s not cruelty. It’s cruel, I agree, but life out there is cruel to the people. When you see a 6-year-old child pulling a 50-kilogram cart of water, it’s hard to say her life isn’t cruel.” Merriam added that you have to separate the idea of cruelty from what’s necessary in other countries; the lives of the people and animals are vastly different than those of the average horse owner in the United States. “None of these people are intentionally cruel, but everyone works—and works hard—and that includes the animals,” he said. “Sometimes that’s hard to look at, when you see what these animals are called upon to do. But none of it is frivolous. It’s not, ‘Oh, we didn’t have anything else to do today, so we can go out and beat the mule.’ ” Davis hears comments and sees posts on social media from angry people advocating the horses or donkeys should just be taken away from the people who are using them. “First of all, that’s not productive,” he said. “Second, I’ve learned to take a minute and put myself in the shoes of the animal owners I’m dealing with. I look at where I came from, and I look at what their lives are like. Quite honestly, I’m willing to cut a farmer in Nicaragua a lot more slack than someone who is really giving their horse in L.A. County, Calif., a poor quality of life. If you’re a farmer in the mountains of Sierra Gorda [Mexico], you may take good care of your burro, or you may be quite a wealthy show-horse owner and take bad care of your hunter or jumper.” C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
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Following Winnie Nemeth and Anna Ford carry on the tradition of transitioning race horses to second careers through New Vocations, the program started by their mother Dot Morgan. By Jennifer B. Calder
t was 1992 and Dot Morgan noticed a horse dealer
walking up and down the shed row at a track in Ohio where her husband raced his harness horses. “I asked him if the horses he was getting were because they were lame or broken down, and he told me that no, they were all fine horses, just unwanted,” said Morgan, the mother of two daughters who showed in 4-H. “As a 4-H advisor, I was thinking this just doesn’t make sense. I have 4-H kids who would give their right arm to have one of these horses to develop into a riding partner, and they’re just going to slaughter because no one wants to take the time? Stand in the gap? Stop the show? It just hit me full force so I decided to do something about it.”
••• Dot Morgan (right) started to rehome retired race horses more than 20 years ago, but when her daughters Anna Ford (left) and Winnie Nemeth became involved, they expanded it far beyond her original vision to become one of the nation’s largest nonprofit race horse transitioning organizations.
She placed a small ad in The Blood-Horse, featuring a cartoon she drew of a horse sitting on its haunches, being tugged on a lead. The copy read, “Don’t let your horse go to the killers. I will find it a home.” What started with four horses the first year has now transitioned more than 6,000 Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds into new homes and, in turn, created a calling for this mother/daughter/daughter trio.
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PROFILE Denim And Silk
PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW VOCATIONS
Discreet Dancer, who went through the New Vocations program in 2014, is one of more than 6,000 horses the organization has now placed in new homes.
After meeting at a track in Louisville, Ky., where Morgan worked for a veterinarian and her soon-to-be husband Charles Morgan was a fifth generation Standardbred trainer, the duo moved
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to Ohio where they bred, trained and raced harness horses and raised their two daughters. As young girls, Winnie (Morgan) Nemeth, 41, and Anna (Morgan) Ford, 37, logged many hours helping in the barn, learning horse care from the ground up—everything from birthing foals and stitching up gashes to hot walking and cleaning tack. They spent even more time in the saddle, although they had different ideas about what was “fun” in terms of riding. “I grew up showing Morgans and Saddlebreds,” said Nemeth. “Anna did as well, but she didn’t have the love for showing that I did. It was all I wanted to do. I could have lived at the horse shows 24/7. I loved competing and riding patterns and the art of being a really beautiful rider and worked extremely hard to achieve that, whereas Anna loved to just go ride or jump over things. She always wanted to race! We were so different!” “Anna is denim, and Winnie is silk,” said Dot, 66. “Anna would ride anything with four legs, and Winnie was a bit more careful. But she had her show horse, and they went clear to the top. She just wasn’t into orangutans,” she joked. Both girls had successful showing careers in saddle seat equitation, and Nemeth rode for the University of Kentucky western Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team. During her freshman year, she won the 1994 IHSA Open Western Horsemanship National Championship at Texas A&M. No slouch in the show ring despite it not being her passion, Ford also claimed several saddle seat equitation titles before turning her attention to the Thoroughbreds. “I enjoyed the training, the retraining side of things. Working with the horses. I didn’t enjoy showing,” said Ford.
A New Mission
‘Why don’t we do this? Why don’t I take all the Thoroughbreds and open up a farm for them there, and you just deal with the Standardbreds?’ There was just too much for one person, and that’s what we did. It just grew from that,” said Anna. “She is extremely motivated and conscientious to do what is right,” said Dot of her younger daughter. “She is a genius horsewoman and a gifted businesswoman. We are the most alike, temperament-wise, and that can lead to friction. But from my side, I respect her too much to counteract her. I will question, of course, but boy I give her a free hand because she is gifted.” Nemeth, too, would be called back to the horses. After getting a degree in education and moving to a small farm in Michigan with her husband and two daughters (and working as an equine specialist for six years at Purina Mills) she came onboard to add a third facility in 2004 for Standardbreds. “I am not sure how many I adopted out the first year,” said Nemeth, “But from 2005-2009, I adopted out anywhere from 40 to 50 horses a year. I loved it.” Dot is equally proud of her oldest daughter. “Both of them have a gift with a horse. It’s natural and part of that spiritual, genetic inheritance that has passed down through the generations,” she said. “Winnie adds the dimension of the Standardbreds,” she continued. “She was always attracted to them. She was tremendous at getting horses ridden and adopted out of Michigan. When Winnie’s youngest daughter started school, she said she could either come and work for us or go back to teaching. Anna said, ‘Boy you better grab her now Mom or you’re not going to get her, and we need her’ because Anna had this vision that was way bigger than my vision.” Three facilities became four, adding
“I’ve always liked developing things and seeing them grow into something bigger.”
New Vocations began with a small home office on the 32-acre family farm in Laura, Ohio, and the original four horses quickly grew to approximately 40 a year. When Dot first began her retraining operation, Nemeth headed off to college, but teenage Ford was still at home, and her love for retraining proved invaluable. “She liked riding the Thoroughbreds,” said Dot. “She was rough and tough and a gifted horseman.” She was also good advertising for New Vocations. “People were really interested in these horses once they saw they could be ridden off the track by a teenage girl,” said Ford with a laugh. Ford continued to help her mother until she left for college, working with the donated race horses and then selling them for a modest $300-500, just enough to try to recoup some of the costs. After Ford had placed several horses for leading Thoroughbred breeder Paul Robsham, he approached her in 1997 about turning the operation into a charity. Dot had considered it over the years, but getting a 501(c)(3) was a daunting, lengthy procedure. “Paul told me I could help so many more horses if we made this into an official non-profit, where people could write off their donations and would be apt to give more. He offered to put his lawyers at my disposal to help me get through all the red tape and paperwork if I would consider it,” Dot said. “Of course I did. It took 18 months, but we got our 501(c)(3), and then boom! We went from 40 horses a year to 125.” Ford graduated from Ohio State University just as the horse donations began to surge. She had finished in three years through an accelerated program,
—ANNA FORD paying for her education with the money she made as youth director at a Methodist church. “I focused a lot on mission trips and really thought I would do something along those lines. I always liked being in a service-type position,” said Ford. In 2001, Ford returned to the family farm with her new husband Kenneth Ford, a South African, to await his green card. The workload facing her mother was extraordinary, and she offered to lend a hand. “At first I thought it would be temporary, but I’ve always liked developing things and seeing them grow into something bigger,” said Anna, “and obviously there is a need, so it’s rewarding to fulfill a need for an industry that, at least in my family, we’ve been involved with for a long, long time.” “Anna told me she would help me with New Vocations for a year, but it was not her mission, that it was my mission. Well, it became her mission,” said Dot. “My husband told her one day, ‘Anna, you know you are the future of New Vocations,’ and it is so true.”
Off And Running
Under Anna’s leadership, the family farm split into two facilities in Ohio. “I realized how big everything had gotten while I was in college. My mom is a bit of a control freak and doesn’t like to delegate,” Anna said with a laugh. “I got to see how big the need was and how she was overwhelmed. Kenneth and I bought a place in Columbus, Ohio. I said,
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At Mereworth Farm in Lexington, Ky., New Vocations has a free lease on 85 acres and a 20-stall rehab barn. They also have two 15-stall barns, indoor and outdoor rings, and an office. “This is just the beginning,” said Anna Ford.
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Kentucky in 2009 and then five, with Pennsylvania in 2010. That same year Nemeth sold her farm in Michigan and moved back to Ohio to become the Standardbred program director, working out of the Marysville office with Anna, the Thoroughbred program director. Dot tackled the role of executive director and facility manager. Buoyed by her daughters, New Vocations’ impact has been enormous, far beyond what Dot could have imagined,
with horses now coming to them from more than 40 tracks. “If it had just been my vision, I probably would still be in that little bedroom office in our house,” she said. “It has been amazingly rewarding. I never would have dreamed it. It has been very, very fulfilling, tremendous fulfillment, and I think—I know—everyone who works for us feels the same way. They are passionate. They live it, all the time, overtime, any time, and that’s just the way it is.”
“It’s not an unwanted animal. It’s a highly valued animal, and it can be yours!” —DOT MORGAN training and all with college degrees in their various specialties (marketing, education, development) along with many contracted employees caring for the approximately 400 donated horses a year. “We have always tried to run it like a business,” said Dot. “We do not let our emotions get involved—and you’re hearing a very emotional woman say that, but when it comes to horses and doing what needs to be done, we don’t let our emotions get in the way. If a horse needs to be euthanized, it’s euthanized. If a horse finds a home, do we have trouble parting with him? No! We rejoice! That’s what we are here for, to get him a home. We keep business at the forefront.” ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF NEW VOCATIONS
How It Works
Of the success of their program Nemeth shared, “You have to know the sport, the players, the people. You have to understand the horse, the breed. There is so much that goes into it. It’s not textbook; it’s real life. You have to know what you are dealing with, and I think that we can relay that to our adopters. This knowledge extends to our staff as well.” Including the Morgan women there are seven salaried employees, each with an extensive background in showing and
The idea behind New Vocations is to shift perceptions, shift perspectives. It’s less about the emotional side of saving a horse from slaughter and more about showcasing what incredible assets these animals can be. “It’s not an unwanted animal,” insisted Dot. “It’s a highly valued animal, and it can be yours! We have the most magnificent athletes out there, and they were being sent to slaughter and still are, and that is crazy! They have so much to offer.” New Vocations has a thorough application process. Potential adoptees answer approximately 50 questions, provide references, usually a trainer or boarding facility manager, as well as a veterinarian. “We won’t approve somebody to adopt from us unless they have a vet who will vouch for their facility,” said Anna. “Since
we are a charity and our horses have been donated, our donors are trusting us to do the best we can to make sure their horse gets the proper home, not just a home. “This has been something we have really focused on,” Anna added. “If we didn’t screen our adopters on the front or the back end, we could probably adopt out double the number of horses, but then we wouldn’t know where they were going or be providing the same type of service to our supporters.” Seven-time Eclipse Award winning trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2010 as well as the Belmont Stakes in 2007, 2013 and 2014, has worked with New Vocations for nearly a decade. “New Vocations does great work, and that is something, to me, as a trainer, and for the industry as a whole, that is very important,” he said. “Sometimes when you have horses that aren’t suitable to go on to a breeding career, our main concern is to find them a good home. This provides a great outlet for these types of horses, and New Vocations does a great job of transitioning them from the racetrack over to pleasure or competitive horses. It is a great program and a great benefit to the industry, to know horses are well looked after when they go on to their second career.” Many aftercare facilities are simply retirement homes, where the horse is a pasture ornament. New Vocations only accepts horses with a prognosis of “riding sound.” “I think that is what separates New Vocations,” said Pletcher. “They actually transition them to a new career.” C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
PHOTO COURTESY OF EQUUS FOUNDATION
Anna Ford (left) accepted the EQUUS Foundation/USEF Humanitarian Award from Lynn Coakley at the USEF Annual Meeting’s Pegasus Awards.
A Little Recognition nna Ford was honored as the 2015 recipient of the EQUUS Foundation/USEF Humanitarian Award at the U.S. Equestrian Federation Pegasus Awards Dinner. “Anna Ford of the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program was chosen as the recipient for 2015 because of her tireless work in providing careers to horses once their racing days are over,” said EQUUS Foundation President Lynn Coakley, “and her efforts to educate race horse owners, trainers and the public that these horses have more value to give, whether it’s on the trails, in the show ring, as a service animal, or as a treasured member of the family.” “It was nice to be recognized from the equestrian industry because we are always trying to figure out how to market and expand our reach into the different equestrian industries,” said Ford.
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Once an application has been approved it’s valid for two years. Once the horse has been adopted, a one-year contract is signed agreeing to send three updates, which New Vocations then forwards to the donor. “That has been one of the main reasons for our growth,” said Anna. “Donors actually get to see what their horses are doing, and if they want to correspond further they can do that. Some of our donors will stay in touch with their horses for a long time.” That contract also stipulates that the horse cannot be sold for the first year. After that, a bill of sale including New Vocations information must be provided so people know the organization is willing to take that horse back should there be a need or change in circumstances. Nemeth is astonished by the number of applications she processes. “I am really amazed by the number of people who want to adopt the horses,” she said. “I hear that a lot from both the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries, ‘Who wants to adopt these horses?’ and it’s amazing the number of applications we receive on a monthly basis. Probably our highest would be around 65 per month. Of that, approximately 30 percent are for Standardbreds and the rest for Thoroughbreds.” New Vocations keeps their adoption fees low, at an average of $300-$600. The longer the horse is there and the more training put in, the higher the fee. But the goal is to move them through as quickly as possible, to make a stall available for the next.
“Once the horse is healthy, our average turn around time is two months. It’s not that they are fully retrained, but by then they are adapted to turn out, they are socialized with other horses, which are two things you think are easy but actually take time. They should walk/trot/canter both ways; we know what their mind is about; we know what their movement is about, and they might have been started over a little crossrail and will go on a trail ride,” said Anna. “It can range from just a month to let a horse down, something minor, to a year,” she added. “Some of them, once they get through their stall rest, just need to be turned out for a bit. At any given time we’ll have 30-plus horses in rehabilitation at all of our facilities. We could easily have 80; there are just so many. Probably eight out of 10 calls I get for horses that need to be retired from racing need some rehabilitation. We can’t send them right to the training centers so that is why we really want to expand the lay-up side.” This is the future for New Vocations.
One of Anna’s main goals has been to increase the number of stalls in Lexington. She pushed for a branch there in 2009, but the need quickly outgrew the 20-25 stalls allotted. “I said we have to have a facility in Lexington [Ky.]. Why is there not a spotlight aftercare facility in Lexington?” said Anna. “The hub for all of racing is there. There are some smaller groups, but we are really missing a huge opportunity to knock it out of the park.” Anna visited every farm in the area with an indoor ring, but none could offer the space she desired until she found Mereworth Farm, the home of their new location seven miles from the Kentucky Horse Park.
“Six years later we are finally getting to do that. Not that we weren’t doing a good job or making a great impact, but being able to have our own facility and increase the capacity to rehabilitate is huge, and being part of this large 1,200-acre farm is more than we ever hoped to be,” said Anna. “When we are fully up and running, we’ll be able to have 40 to 50 horses in training and about another 20 to 25 in lay-up. We can only have so many horses ready and up for adoption, but we can have a ton of horses that are on lay-up care. We’re mapping out what is possible down the road because every year we increase our numbers on lay-up stalls.” Once a private and illustrious Thoroughbred breeding farm started by Walter J. Salmon Sr. in 1924, Mereworth was bequeathed to his granddaughter, Susan Salmon Donaldson in 1986. Three years later she established the Susan S. Donaldson Foundation to ensure the preservation of the farm as a sanctuary for unwanted and retired race horses. Since her death in 2011, the Foundation’s trustees have worked to restore the farm to its former glory. The Foundation’s mission dovetails perfectly with New Vocations. They’re providing a free, long-term lease for 85 acres and covering all grain and water expenses as well as providing a 20-stall rehab barn. In addition, New Vocations will have two 15-stall barns, indoor and outdoor rings, and an office. “This is just the beginning,” said Anna. “I see a long-term, ongoing relationship with the Susan S. Donaldson Foundation that will continue to develop and open up more avenues. “When people walk into this facility we want them to think, ‘Wow! I want to get a horse from here.’ We really want to put aftercare in Lexington on the map as
a destination place to get a horse,” she added. Dot is delighted. “We need people to know and see that racing does takes care of their horses. We want people to see how versatile these horses are to go on and have other careers. This venue will enhance our ability to adopt the horses and enhances the image of racing. We embrace racing! It’s a wonderful sport.” Nemeth likewise has a grand agenda. “This year I look forward to opening a New York facility that will re-train both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds,” she said. “We have always gone to areas where there is a need, and it seems New York is a prime spot as it has both Thoroughbred and harness tracks.” “I compare it to how we were in the 1960s with litter,” said Dot. “We used to throw pop bottles out the car window, but then, as we became aware of the environment we quit doing it. It’s the same with the racing industry. It started out that we just discarded them; we didn’t think about it. Then it started to dawn on us, this awareness of where are these horses going? To slaughter? No one wanted to think about it. Then it was: What are we going to do about it? So now we are in that ‘what are we going to do’ process, and in another 10 years, I believe, nobody would dream of sending
Anna Ford wrote Beyond The Track in 2008 to explain the process of transitioning a race horse into a sport or pleasure horse. “When I put that out, there were no other books like that. There still aren’t, and so many people were asking me the same questions, so I decided to do the book. I am planning on doing a revision in the next year or so with new photos and images of our new facility.”
their horses to slaughter.” They will send them to New Vocations and perhaps the next generation—Clara, 12 and Aviana, 9 (Nemeth’s daughters) and Morgan, 2 ½, (Ford’s)—will carry on the trio’s legacy. “I always tell my girls that they can try to get away from the horses,” said Nemeth with a laugh, “but you will not.” C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
Inspiration for the big day from some incredible equestrian weddings. By K AT NETZLER
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DESI BAYTAN PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO/TWINE EVENTS DESIGN
If you want to play it safe when it comes to slobber and snorting, there are still plenty of options for including your horse in photos. C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
FEATURE RIGHT: Some brides need to celebrate their wedding days with the two most important men in their lives. BELOW LEFT: Before your wedding day, most photographers will ask for your wish list of shots—especially detail images like this one. BELOW CENTER: You may be the ultimate center of attention, but your wedding day is a good excuse to get some beautiful horse portraits as well. Many brides doll up their equine partner with flowers in a forelock or tail, or even with a neck wreath, like this one by Oak and the Owl florist of Southern California.
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DESI BAYTAN PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO/TWINE EVENTS DESIGN
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OPPOSITE PAGE: Admit it: You never would have thought to pair your show coat with a ruffled wedding gown, but it works!
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HALEY SHEFFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO
BELOW RIGHT: Part of the reason the equestrian wedding theme has become so popular in recent years is that it derives charm from imperfections, so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. These boots aren’t clean, and a trained eye will spy a bit of manure mixed with this gravel—and it makes this shot priceless.
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COOPER CARAS PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO
Weddings are much more customized (and therefore often casual) affairs than ever before, and thatâ€™s a big relief for many an equestrian bride. Wellington boots for your bridal party? Why not!
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BELOW TOP: Even if you have a traditional church ceremony, as upper-level eventer Allie Sacksen did in May of 2013, it’s easy to incorporate some horsey style when getting hitched. A pair of familiar Dubarry boots make for the perfect “something old,” and they’ll definitely make you more comfortable on the dance floor afterward. BELOW BOTTOM: Lots of brides want to include their horse in wedding day shots, but that’s often easier said than done. This clever framing lets your steed (albeit a small one) snack happily while you and your betrothed perfect your gaze for the photographer.
DESI BAYTAN PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO/TWINE EVENTS DESIGN
HALEY SHEFFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO
RIGHT START PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO
RIGHT: Looking for a unique equestrian engagement ring? Try antique jewelry sites like Ruby Lane for beautiful vintage designs like this one.
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ABOVE TOP: As trends continue away from one giant wedding cake and toward several smaller options, many couples now forgo the traditional bride-andgroom cake toppers. But there are plenty of whimsical options to adorn your smaller cakes, pies or cupcakes: your favorite horse show rosettes, miniature edible horseshoes made of fondant (which you can find on Etsy), or old trophy tops like this one. ABOVE BOTTOM: Play up the balance between elegance and everyday.
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HALEY SHEFFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO SEAN O’SHAUGHNESSY/ESSAY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO
ABOVE LEFT: The symbolism of a horseshoe’s good luck lends itself perfectly to an equestrian wedding—and you’ll probably need it if you want to attempt this fiery feat while kissing with your eyes closed. ABOVE RIGHT: Old horseshoes make for beautiful hanging centerpieces.
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ABOVE: Only the bravest bride will attempt a shot like this, taken at an Alcott Farm wedding in Worchestershire, England. You’ll probably want to practice with some sheets beforehand to acclimate your horse to a massive gown flowing over his haunches, and remember that you’ll likely be more stressed than usual on your wedding day, which he’s sure to pick up on. But day-after photo shoots, including “trash the dress” sessions, are becoming much more popular, and this sure looks like an epic opportunity. LEFT: The vintage wedding theme doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, and that’s perfect for the bride who’s bringing a whole collection of old horse show ribbons to the relationship; they actually make beautiful decorations for your big day. OPPOSITE PAGE: The perfect portrait setting for a rustic country wedding.
FOR MORE IDEAS Looking for more equestrian wedding inspiration? Follow our Gettin’ Hitched In Horsey Style board at Pinterest.com/ChronofHorse. C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
If you’re tired of the classic bourbon-based mint julep, we’ve got five adapted recipes that look just as good in a sterling silver cup. By KAT NETZLER
SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/BRENT HOFACKER PHOTO
Five Twists On Derby Day’s Traditional Tipple
ALBARIÑO WINE JULEP
If you like white sangria, or if you’ve exhausted your reserves of crushed ice, this julep’s for you. This dry, crisp Spanish wine melds perfectly with a hint of fruit for a refreshing alternative to oaky spirits.
At its core, a julep is really just about finding what fresh herb works best with a particular liquor, and tequila and cilantro pair up perfectly. Try this with a Herradura variety of tequila, which features a beautiful horseshoe on the bottle.
MUDDLE: 3 mint sprigs 1 peach or nectarine slice THEN ADD: 3 oz. Albariño wine 1 tsp. Mathilde Peach, Stirrings Peach, or other peach liqueur Splash of dry sparkling wine
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MUDDLE: 10-12 cilantro leaves 1 oz. fresh lemon juice THEN ADD: 1 tsp. agave nectar 2½ oz. tequila Pour over crushed ice
If you’re looking for an extra challenge to impress your guests, try your hand at these rose garnishes carved out of strawberries. They’re not as hard as you’d think—just start slicing with a small knife at the berry’s top and work your way to the tip. Tack on a few mint leaves with a short kebab skewer, and you’re all set with an edible swizzle stick.
SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/EKATERINA KOLOMEETS PHOTO
Kids, pregnant partygoers and designated drivers shouldn’t have to sit out the fun. This recipe can be made in advance and served from a pitcher or punchbowl.
COMBINE: ¾ cup lemon juice 1½ cups sugar Few dashes mint bitters 2½ cups dry ginger beer or the Kentucky classic ginger ale Ale 8-One 2 cups cold water Handful of mint sprigs Lemon slices for garnish
SPICY GINGER PINEAPPLE JULEP
BLACKBERRY PIMM’S JULEP
If you still want to stick with bourbon but want to kick it up a notch, throw caution to the wind, bet on a longshot, and pour yourself a cup of this experimental concoction.
The beloved British liqueur Pimm’s is so complex that you really can’t go wrong when pairing it with fruits and herbs. Lemon, strawberry, mint and cucumber are its most frequent dance partners, but this recipe takes Pimm’s special Blackberry & Elderflower summer edition and balances it against savory fresh basil.
MUDDLE: 8-10 mint leaves 3 chunks chopped pineapple 2 tbsp. Liber & Co. Fiery Ginger Syrup (or similar) FILL GLASS WITH CRUSHED ICE, THEN POUR OVER: 2 oz. bourbon of choice 3 tbsp. pineapple juice
MUDDLE: 1 lemon slice 1 cucumber slice 2 large basil leaves THEN ADD: 3 oz. Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower 4½ oz. ginger ale Dip a separate glass in mint julep rimming sugar, add ice cubes, and pour over
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A Father’s Day Tribute To Horse Show Dads Everywhere First published by the Chronicle in 2009, this personal essay by a grown-up daughter fondly reflects on a father’s role in a child’s riding life. Republished now, a year after the death of its author, with the permission of her own daughter, Amy Lang, it resonates even more powerfully on the importance of honoring devoted horse show parents. By ANNE WAKEMAN LANG Photos by MOLLIE BAILEY
ne of my deepest regrets in life dates back decades to a horse-related event involving my father. It was 1975, and I was wrapping up my sophomore year at a Midwestern women’s college, with plans to transfer to a larger university in the fall. My parents had come to watch me ride in the big year-end horse show—a glitzy nighttime affair held in the school’s indoor arena, with everyone (spectators and exhibitors alike) dressed to the nines. That night, I was lucky enough to win the formal hunter hack class aboard a handsome gray gelding named Trackman. To present the trophy, the college president and several regents were on hand—lined up on a strip of red carpet, looking properly dignified in tuxedos and gowns. Before posing for pictures, I was handed a giant blue ribbon, a bouquet of roses and an enormous silver platter. I recall wondering just how the heck I would manage to juggle all those items while leading the expected victory gallop on a rambunctious Thoroughbred.
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Photos finished, I turned Trackman toward the rail. There, right in front of me, was my delighted father—leaning over the arena wall and applauding more loudly than anyone (even whistling, I think). Now, the noble thing to do would have been to ride right up to him, unload my prizes in his arms and give him a quick hug. The obvious message, for all to see: “Thanks, Dad, for supporting my horse habit for the past 15 years. And for everything else, too.” Rarely does anyone get the chance to honor a parent so publicly. My dad’s heart would have soared with pride. So why didn’t I do the right thing? Why, instead, did I just smile vaguely in my father’s direction and canter off, fumbling to keep my grip on the platter, the flowers, the ribbon and a set of double reins? That’s a question I still cannot answer, and the split-second choice I made on that night saddens me to this day, especially since it turned out that my father would only grace this earth for seven more years.
As a parent myself, I’m now utterly amazed when I analyze an even earlier memory of my dad. I was 13 and had fallen off a runaway pony while stupidly jumping with no tack or helmet (supervised only by an equally irresponsible friend). The naughty pony had made a beeline for a nearby road, where he thoughtlessly dumped silly me onto the asphalt. Naturally, I banged my head pretty hard upon landing. My father, coming to pick me up that day, turned down the road just in time to see me lying on a stretcher. Paramedics were loading me into an ambulance while my guilt-stricken friend stood by. Why does this memory amaze me?
Because even after such a jolting scare, followed by a weeklong hospital stay for my fractured skull, my dad (and more reluctant mom) not only let me ride again upon doctor’s clearance three months later, he also bought me my first horse right then. Frankly, I’m not sure I could have been so forgiving and brave for my own daughter, who inherited my equestrian gene and has ridden all her life. Other memories of my dad’s part in my riding history are of a lighter variety—like the incredibly bad pictures he used to take at horse shows. There were countless snapshots of empty jumps because my horse hadn’t even entered the C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
frame yet, or flat class images of only a rump and tail going by in a blur—no rider. But I don’t have a single memory of my father griping about the cost of horse shoes, horse shows or horse stuff in general—all the accoutrements and activities attached to our sport that can end up costing a small fortune. Private lessons, veterinary bills, new saddles, shipping fees, sale commissions—Dad would just gamely write the checks. I did sometimes hear him jokingly lament to his friends about how his daughter was more interested in horses than in boys, which I admit was quite true until later in my life. Yet I never heard him complain for real. 106 MAY/JUNE 2016
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THE TORCH IS PASSED Two decades later, my husband took on the role of horse show dad to our oldest daughter—a part for which he never willingly auditioned but grudgingly came to accept as inevitable. And bless him, because like my dad, he also was a (relatively) good-natured writer of large equinerelated checks and a tireless ringside cheerleader. In the early years, when terms such as “swapped leads,” “chipped in” or “handy hunter” sounded like a foreign language to him, my husband determinedly strove to find an amiable niche for himself at our daughter’s lessons and shows. He usually ended up hanging out with other dads in the stands or in the tack room, where they could slip into the much more familiar conversational territory of football scores or stock market trends. No doubt there are horse show dads who, while enormously proud of their offspring’s riding achievements, might secretly wish that their children played mainstream team sports, the rules of which generally make a lot more sense to the average male. Some riders do play such sports, of course, but it seems to be the exception rather than the norm. Now that our college-age daughter rides on a varsity equestrian team in a realm that’s largely governed by NCAA rules, I’ve seen a marked rise in enthusiasm from my husband, because this is the closest he’s ever come to finding his comfort zone in the strange and complicated world of horse sports. At regular circuit shows, other dads may find their own comfort zones by volunteering to pick up meals, operate the camcorder, tip the grooms, etc. There’s definitely a special place in heaven for these placidly patient fathers, who, unlike the majority of their counterparts, those very hands-on horse show moms, often hover on the far outer fringe of the action, no matter how much they might inwardly desire to be more involved. Of course, attempts at such involvement can
We do so adore him, this particular type of horse show father (and indeed all types, including the fully knowledgeable ones) because everything he does is motivated by the very best of intentions. How can we possibly fault that? be tricky, as we’ve all serenely observed at one time or another. There’s the dad who’s called upon to temporarily hold his child’s show horse, standing there gingerly clasping the very tip of the reins while the liberated animal gobbles forbidden grass. The dad who mistakenly starts whooping before a jumping round is over, totally mortifying his kid. The dad who loudly snaps open a folding chair as a hunter approaches a nearby oxer, inadvertently triggering a violent spook. Or the dad who innocently follows the trainer right up to the in-gate as his child enters the show ring, obliviously chattering on about random subjects as the child is navigating her course. I vividly remember one of my first horse shows with my friend Ruthie, the summer when we were both 8. Mounted on our ponies, wearing dark woolen hunt coats under an unusually hot Michigan sun, Ruthie and I had to wait an interminable amount of time for an equitation class that kept getting delayed.
In sympathy, Ruthie’s dad kept bringing her Cokes to drink, which she gratefully accepted, chugging down every one of them. Well, you can guess what finally happened: Ruthie spectacularly vomited just a few feet away from the judge, who had chosen that precise moment to finally show up at the ring. Ruthie’s dad was understandably chagrined. But we do so adore him, this particular type of horse show father (and indeed all types, including the fully knowledgeable ones) because everything he does is motivated by the very best of intentions. How can we possibly fault that? So, girls and boys, ladies and gentlemen: The next time you spot your dad waving to you from the rail after you’ve won a class, seize the moment and hand him the trophy, or at least blow him a kiss. You don’t even have to wait until Father’s Day to do it. Trust me, you’ll both remember the moment forever.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE MUSEUM
Camden’s Best-Kept Secrets By MELAINA BALBO PHIPPS
I WENDY FLETCHER KINGSLEY PHOTO
n the midlands of South Carolina, just 39 miles from the state capital of Columbia, lies the quiet yet thriving equestrian community of Camden. With a population near 7,000, this, the oldest inland city in South Carolina, is home to the Springdale Race Course and the South Carolina Equine Park, attracting countless equestrians each year from a variety of equine disciplines. But when you find yourself off the clock from your horseplay and barn work, it’s easy to indulge your other interests—or explore some new ones—with all that this charming community has to offer. Whether you want to spend time antiquing or exploring, sipping cocktails or coffee, shopping or relaxing, you’ll be able to do it here. From historic locations to working farms, great shops to art exhibits and concerts, you won’t be at a loss for things to do—unless you want to be.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE MUSEUM
SPRINGDALE RACE COURSE & NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE MUSEUM
PHOTO COURTESY OF SWEET LILI’S
Just on the outskirts of town you’ll find the Springdale Race Course, home to the Carolina Cup each spring and the Colonial Cup each fall, which attract upwards of 60,000 people to Camden. The National Steeplechase Museum—the only museum dedicated exclusively to the sport—offers exhibits and resources that chronicle the history of ’chasing and its development in the United States, open from September to May or by appointment. It’s the perfect place to explore the game that helps define this beautiful and idyllic place. 200 Knights Hill Road, Camden. (803) 432-6513. carolina-cup.org; steeplechasemuseum.org.
If you have a sweet tooth, then a stop at Sweet Lili’s should be on your agenda. Centrally located on Camden’s main thoroughfare, the shop offers ice cream (by the cone, cup, bowl or pint), candy, cupcakes, hot and cold beverages and fine chocolates. (If you’re a little more peckish you can also order a hot dog or chili dog.) But the cupcakes…oh, the cupcakes. Perfectly sized and iced just right, Sweet Lili’s signature cupcakes come in more than 30 flavors, including Madagascar vanilla bon bon, maple pecan, French toast and peanut butter and jelly. Additionally, there’s always a selection of cupcakes combining flavors from the 20 varieties of cake, 12 varieties of icing and 12 varieties of filling. I’m not very good at math, but…that makes for a lot of potential combinations. My sweet tooth is not terribly demanding, but after a few more visits to Sweet Lili’s it might not be so well-mannered! 1026 Broad Street, Camden. 803-310-9069. facebook.com/sweetlilisonbroad.
C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH CAROLINA EQUINE PARK
SOUTH CAROLINA EQUINE PARK
The South Carolina Equine Park sits on 60 acres in Camden and plays host to a wide range of equine activities. The facilities currently include three fenced show rings, a covered arena (260' x 130'), nine barns (288 stalls total), 100 sites for RVs and an onsite restaurant (catered by Fatz Café). The park hosts an average of 32 events annually, most of which offer free admission for spectators. These have included the Camden Spring and Fall Classic horse shows, the Harmon Spring Fling and Summer Fun shows, Carolina Starz Hunter/Jumper, Spring Fling Dressage Show, the Palmetto Paint Horse Association and the South Carolina Horseman’s Expo. George Morris has held clinics there, and this summer a Clinton Anderson clinic will be offered. Whether you prefer Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses, or Paints—or another breed, for that matter—you’ll likely find an event to attend at the SCEP. 443 Cleveland School Road (off I-20), Camden. 803-427-1994. scequinepark.com.
CAMDEN HOUSE OF PIZZA (CHOPS)
Classic Italian pizza meets traditional Greek dishes at CHoPs. A favorite of locals, CHoPs offers fresh homemade pizza, subs, baked pasta dishes, stromboli dinners, souvlaki, gyro, spanakopita and salads. In business for more than 22 years, CHoPs boasts a relaxed and family-friendly environment. 545 E. DeKalb Street, Camden. 803-432-1446. camdenhouseofpizza.com.
The Tack Room in Camden offers a wide selection of rider apparel (including Ariat, Ovation, Joules, Kerrits, Dublin, Tredstep Ireland and Pikeur) and outerwear (such as Barbour, Horseware Ireland and Mountain Horse) as well as sheets, coolers and turnout blankets for the equine. They carry all the tack you might need, from bits and bridles to training equipment, saddles from makers like Wintec, Pessoa, Toulouse and Stübben, barn supplies and hardware, and their knowledgeable staff can help you sort through the many choices. You can stock your medicine chest with all the first aid supplies, supplements and preventative care your horse might possibly need. And, last but not least, you can find gifts for horse lovers, young and not-so-young, as well as for your trusty barn dog. Even if you don’t think you need anything, I suspect you’ll come away with something for yourself and your mount on your first visit to The Tack Room. 2530 Broad Street, Camden. 800-782-9583. tackroomonline.com.
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE TACK ROOM
THE TACK ROOM
Ellie’s Attic features antiques and vintage furniture, but so many more treasures await as well. According to proprietor Ellen Branham, Ellie’s carries “an eclectic mix of items,” including décor, collectibles and art, as well as “antique tools, handmade wooden farm tables and handmade bows” (made by her husband Clayton). “We do a lot of repurposing and upcycling” of furniture, Ellie explains. To that end, they also sell a selection of all natural furniture paint by the American Paint Company, for those of you who enjoy DIY. From Colonial to midcentury, farmhouse to schoolhouse, and everything in between, you’re sure to find something for anyone on your shopping list. 1031 Broad Street, Camden. (803) 513-5929. facebook.com/elliesattic.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ELLIE’S ATTIC
PHOTO COURTESY OF SWEET REPEATS
Speaking of treasures, once you’ve found some for your home, you can find some for your closet at Sweet Repeats. The consignment shop on Campbell Street carries resale apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as a selection of home goods. Among the labels you’ll find are Lilly Pulitzer, Coach, Dooney & Bourke and Brighton right alongside Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and a Baume & Mercier watch. Whether you need a dress for the Carolina Cup, a pair of Sperry’s, or some backup riding boots, there’s a good chance you’ll find them here. 1104 Campbell Street, Camden. 803-427-4467. sweetrepeats1104llc.com.
C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
CITY GUIDE KERSHAW COUNTY FARMERS MARKET
BOOKS ON BROAD AND COFFEE
As a voracious reader I’m always happy to find a good independent bookstore. As a coffee lover, I welcome a good espresso anytime. At Books On Broad And Coffee, both my addictions are well fed. A model independent bookstore, this shop offers a wide selection of current and favorite titles as well as volumes of regional and equine interest and a well-stocked children’s section. The staff is literate and ready to help find your next good read or a gift for the reader in your life. They will also willingly order anything they don’t have in stock. There are comfy chairs to sit in and read as well as tables for enjoying a coffee, espresso, tea, cold-brew or other beverage or a snack. If you’re in town for a while, you’ll want to attend some of the events hosted here as well, such as book signings, children’s story times, poetry jams or an evening of coloring for adults. 944 Broad Street, Camden. 803-713-READ (7323). booksonbroad.com.
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF KERSHAW COUNTY FARMERS MARKET
PHOTO COURTESY OF BOOKS ON BROAD
You might not expect a city the size of Camden to have many community-based cultural events. Think again. Even for a city twice its size, the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County’s calendar is packed with events—for adults and children alike. It’s a great place for locals to gather and for visitors to enjoy some of the regional culture. There are art exhibits such as the Al Beyer gallery exhibition of fine oil landscapes, musical theater, including the recent production of A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline or The Wizard Of Oz, the Finally Friday free concert series, their own Dancing With The Stars evening, and Saturday morning yoga classes, just to name a few. Expand your horizons with classes in art, music, writing, pottery, or calligraphy, for adults and children, as well as children’s summer camp programs. 810 Lyttleton Street, Camden. 803-425-7676. fineartscenter.org.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FINE ARTS CENTER OF KERSHAW COUNTY
FINE ARTS CENTER OF KERSHAW COUNTY
The Kershaw County Farmers Market is a great place to support local farms and vendors, and of course, to meet friends and socialize while shopping. Kershaw County makes the market an event, scheduling live local musicians to entertain shoppers and vendors. The market, which opens on April 9, offers local produce, meats, eggs, dairy, honey, garden plants, baked goods and farm-fresh prepared foods. You can also find products by local artisans and crafters. Freshly cut local sod is sold to support the efforts of Food For The Soul (foodforthesoulkc.org), which provides food and shelter to those in need in Kershaw County. 222 Broad Street, Camden. kcfarmersmarket.com.
Driving through Camden, you won’t be able to miss this historic site on South Broad Street. Situated on 107 acres, the museum complex is affiliated with the National Park Service and gives visitors a chance to experience life during the Colonial and Revolutionary periods. Visitors can tour the reconstructed Joseph Kershaw Mansion (also know as the Kershaw-Cornwallis House), the original of which was used as General Charles Cornwallis’ headquarters during the British occupation. Also on site are the restored 1795 John Craven House and the 1830 Cunningham House. Colonial era and war exhibits can be seen in two log houses, circa 1800. There is a blacksmith exhibit and various reconstructions of military fortifications. In the fall, the site hosts Revolutionary War Field Days, a weekend where spectators can see more than 500 re-enactors engage in daily battles, living history demonstrations and traditional craftsmen exhibitions. The weekend’s agenda also includes a variety of children’s activities. 222 South Broad Street, Camden. 803-432-9841. kershawcountychamber.org/historic-camdenrevolutionary-war-site.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WENDY FLETCHER KINGSLEY
HISTORIC CAMDEN REVOLUTIONARY WAR SITE
Just 10 minutes from downtown Camden, Old McCaskill’s Farm in nearby Rembert welcomes the public to stay at their bed and breakfast or visit for a farm tour. At this working farm, you can enjoy canning, sheep shearing and border collie demonstrations, or dine at Friday farm-to-table luncheons, prepared by the McCaskills’ daughter Ashley. In addition to special events throughout the year, the farm also hosts an annual Christmas gathering of artisans and welcomes special groups for tours (contact them directly). Before you leave, make sure to visit the farm store, where you can buy their meats (lamb, pork, beef, goat, chicken), fresh chicken and quail eggs, homemade prepared foods including Pimento cheeses, chicken salads and garlic feta cheese, jams, jellies, relishes, pickles and seasonal vegetables grown and canned on the farm, 100 percent wool yarns and wool and felted products. The store also carries dairy products, honeys, dry goods and soaps made by local vendors. 377 Cantey Lane, Rembert. 803-432-9537. oldmccaskillsfarm.com.
PHOTO COURTESY OF OLD MCCASKILL’S FARM
OLD MCCASKILL’S FARM
C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
Dark Horse Celebrates The Power In Pursuing Dreams It’s a triumphant and inspiring underdog tale about much more than racing. By JENNIFER B. CALDER Photo Courtesy of SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
Brian and Jan Vokes with Dream Alliance, the ’chaser who defied all odds and helped forge an indelible bond amongst the residents of a Welsh mining village.
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ouise Osmond’s uplifting documentary Dark Horse follows a group of working-class friends and neighbors from one of the poorest coal mining villages in Wales as they take on steeplechasing’s elite with a seemingly unimpressive homebred. In 2000, Jan Vokes was working as barmaid and part-time cleaner at a local grocery store. Like everyone in her tiny community, she was living a paycheck-
to-paycheck existence, routine and tedious. While tending bar one evening, she overheard a regular talking about how he once belonged to a racing syndicate, and an idea—a dream—took hold that would forever alter not only her life but also those in her village. Vokes, a quiet, unassuming woman with a great penchant for persuasion, knew nothing about horses, but she bred parakeets and whippets in her off time. Why not a race horse? The film follows Vokes’ improbable dream as it morphs into reality. The process involves convincing her partially toothless ex-miner husband, Brian, to buy an aging broodmare and breed it to an inexpensive stud. The foal, more pet than fierce racing competitor, would spend its early life on less than a quarteracre slagheap, worlds away from the prestigious, well-kept barns and rolling pastures of his soon-to-be rivals. As Jan makes known her intentions to race the horse, she gradually convinces 23 locals to part with 10 pounds a week and form a syndicate. Osmond advances the narrative through interviews with the various syndicate members, and it is they, along with the Vokeses, who give the film depth and heart. This delightfully eccentric and lively cast of characters reminiscence about the chestnut gelding with a white blaze who changed their lives and remind the viewer of the magic possible when you boldly ignore naysayers and just try. The title, Dark Horse, in a charming nod, refers not only to the long-shot horse but also the outlandish notion put forth by group of common people who have lived a good chunk of their lives being underestimated, making this a film about much more than racing. Named Dream Alliance (“Dream,” for short) by vote (because what was this other
than a pipe dream? a folly?), the syndicate’s horse would go on to astound the steeplechasing elite as he racked up win after win against better-bred, fancier horses. Dream was, as a member of the syndicate recalls, “a working-class horse for working-class people.” In this regard, he calls to mind the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, California Chrome. Osmond visually juxtaposes the humble roots of the syndicate members against the rarefied and often inaccessible Sport of Kings. The viewer is treated to past footage of the well-heeled fancy establishment against this rag tag group. (One syndicate member even brings his own sack lunch because the price of food at the track is so exorbitant.) With members of the syndicate cheering him on at many tracks and others watching on the pub television in the village, Dream finds great success at the track before sustaining a potentially fatal injury on the famous Aintree course. In a unanimous vote the syndicate members decide to donate all their winnings to save Dream’s life, with a relatively untested (at the time) stem cell surgery. They hope to simply bring their hero home to the village to live out his days in retirement. Whatever the outcome—you’ll need to watch, no spoilers here—it’s safe to say Jan and her band of merry Dream Alliance companions did indeed make their mark. Dark Horse premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (Utah) and won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award in 2015. Look for it to open in New York City and Los Angeles the weekend of the Kentucky Derby: Friday, May 6, with additional cities to come. Visit sonyclassics.com/darkhorse to view a trailer and learn more about screening and ticket sales. C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
CHARITY SPOTLIGHT A CLOSER LOOK AT:
Square Peg Foundation This nonprofit California riding program finds a fit for every horse and rider. By ANN GLAVAN Photos by ROBYN PETERS
home for failed race horses; a horsemanship program for children with autism, learning disabilities or anxiety disorders; riding opportunities for eager young horse enthusiasts lacking the means to pay for their habit—all three needs are met under one roof at The Square Peg Foundation in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Founded 12 years ago by Joell Dunlap, the Square Peg Foundation is the brainchild of her passion for the Thoroughbred horse and her recognition of two groups of underserved riders in her community. “I grew up in a family that didn’t really have the means or the interest to support my horse craziness, so I worked for lessons, and I found those awesome people who would let you do that,” said Dunlap, 47. “And that’s not really possible anymore, mostly for liability reasons, so definitely I wanted to serve the horse crazy girls of the world like me.” Dunlap could also relate to riders with unique learning styles, children like her son. “He was a very kinetic learner. He had 116 MAY/JUNE 2016
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to touch things; he had to make his own mistakes,” Dunlap said. “And if you yelled and screamed at him like we all learned to ride, that wasn’t going to work. “We wanted to fit that space between kids who wouldn’t necessarily fit into a traditional riding program, mostly because of their learning style, and kids who wouldn’t fit in a therapeutic riding program,” Dunlap continued. “We wanted to serve those square pegs who didn’t fit in either.” So Dunlap targeted those riders, as well as those who couldn’t afford to even swing a leg over a horse for a lesson. Then she needed the horses. Dunlap spent much of her career as a young horsewoman working on racetracks in northern California, galloping horses, managing barns, and working as a track events coordinator. “You fall in love with a particular horse, and you want to re-home them, so I had these really strong important track connections, and Thoroughbreds are what I’ve spent most of my life with,” Dunlap said. “And they’re who I understand
Joell Dunlap (pictured here holding a young student in the saddle aboard Irresponsible King) started the Square Peg foundation for the horses and riders who didn’t quite fit in any other program.
probably better than anyone else.” So Thoroughbreds it was. When Dunlap started the foundation in 2004, she had immediate interest from many parents of children on the autism spectrum. “We didn’t go out looking for people on the autism spectrum, but that’s what kept finding us, and so I figured that I’d better learn a whole lot about it,” Dunlap said. “Because there was just a flood of families with kids where a therapeutic riding program wasn’t going to serve them, because they really were physically all there, or a lot there. “Of course in a traditional military style riding academy, that wasn’t going to work either,” Dunlap continued. “So over the last 12 years that’s really what grew, and that’s probably the largest single group we work with.” Together, Dunlap’s ragtag collection
Joell Dunlap calls the volunteers the “heart and soul” of her Square Peg Foundation. (From left), volunteer Tallulah Froley riding Colonel Clark, Kemma Peters riding Autism Awakeness, Sofia Aceves-Rose riding Seven Bridges, and instructor Rachel Bisaillon riding Momotombo.
of horses and riders help each other reach their goals. On the 110-acre facility in northern California, Dunlap and three other instructors work with one or two riders at a time, assisted by one volunteer, usually a horse crazy teen, serving around 45 families a week with riding lessons. The volunteers earn their own saddle time on some of the younger Thoroughbreds, and all of the students and volunteers help the
horses transition into their off-the-track life through horsemanship classes and hands-on involvement in the horses’ care. “We knew that getting kids to connect to animals who needed a second chance would help empower them, so if we could connect these kids to caring for the animals and connecting to them because they needed a second chance then maybe that was the most powerful story we could tell,” Dunlap said. “So we developed this weird, hybrid thing called Square Peg, that really didn’t fit anywhere else, and the horses didn’t fit; the kids didn’t fit,” she continued. “But together, they could kind of bring out the best in each other.”
WHAT IT IS: The Square Peg Foundation is a 501(c)(3) riding school that uses mostly off-the-track Thoroughbreds for students with various disabilities, mostly on the autism spectrum, who aren’t a match for a traditional riding school or a strictly therapeutic riding program. It serves as a middle ground for the “square pegs” who don’t quite fit in either.
LEARN MORE: Visit
GET IN TOUCH: Call 650-4405064 or email email@example.com
GET INVOLVED: Donations can be made through squarepegfoundation.org, and those wishing to volunteer at the center in Half Moon Bay, Calif., can contact rachel@ everyonefits.org for more information
C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
BEST OF WEB & PRINT
What’s Hot On The Web u Amateurs Like Us: Fear, The Dirtiest Four-Letter
Word in Riding
Blogger Lindsey Long faces some demons after a bad fall and fractured pelvis, and it takes her trainer, a quieter equine, and help from her “village” to get over it, as she writes in her post at coth.com/article/amateurs-us-fear-dirtiest-four-letter-word-riding. “And sometimes you have to dig way, way deep to get over that crossrail. All the while wondering if anyone in the history of the sport has ever felt as chicken as you feel in that moment, and seriously contemplating hanging up your spurs for good and taking up a less terrifying hobby,” she says. “Like bungee jumping. Or diving with sharks.”
u Behind The
Dressage Does To A Hunter/ Jumper Rider’s Face
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He makes spectators gasp with his jumping efforts, but in the barn Cian O’Connor’s mount Good Luck is a wellbehaved gentleman with a penchant for carrots. Just don’t come near him with a spray bottle. Read all about Good Luck’s other quirks at coth.com/article/behind-stall-door-good-luck. “Mane and tail spray is OK, but fly spray is not,” says groom Alan O’Brien. “He doesn’t like things touching him like that. When I put it on, I have to apply it with a towel.”
CATIE STASZAK PHOTO
She’s tried reining, polo and even galloped a race horse. So hunter/jumper intern-turnededitorial staffer Ann Glavan thought dressage wouldn’t be too difficult. She was proven wrong, and she writes about that at coth. com/article/what-dressage-does-hunterjumper-intern-riders-face. “Flatting is really just the wrong word for riding a horse not over fences, because these dressage horses don’t flat, they bounce,” she writes. “They become these muscled balls of energy, just waiting in your hands and in your core for you to let them bound further out, or collect and bounce up.”
ILANA CRAMER PHOTO
Stall Door With: Good Luck
Don’t Miss In The Magazine u To Ace Or Not To Ace
Why Not Just Allow A ½ CC Of Ace? Some people believe that making low-dose tranquilization legal would help the hunter division, but others think that would be a regressive step in both USEF rules and horsemanship. BY MOLLY SORGE
t comes up every time there’s discussion about the issue of calming medications and U.S. Equestrian Federation drug testing rules. “Why can’t we just allow ½ cc of acepromazine?” people ask. Many remember the days before consistent U.S. Equestrian Federation drug testing was implemented in 1970, when injecting a hunter with a small dose of the tranquilizer acepromazine maleate was very common. They argue that legalizing small doses of ace would alleviate the need to longe horses to tire them, preventing injuries. They claim it would eliminate the practice of trainers experimenting with alternative calming medications—some of which, like intravenous magnesium administration, are dangerous to the horse—in an effort to medically calm horses without resulting in a positive drug test. The premise is that if a small dose of a relatively safe tranquilizer such as acepromazine— a drug that since the 1960s has been commonly used inhorses—is made legal, the playing field will become more level, with less creative chemical and exhausting solutions to the calming of hunters.
“Training out of a syringe is not a solution,” says Dr. A. Kent Allen about the prospect of legalizing a low dose of acepromazine in showing horses. AMY K. DRAGOO PHOTO
Trainer and USEF judge Ernie Oare argued the point in his Horseman’s Forum in the March 21 & 28 issue, “Solve A Host Of Problems With Controlled Quieting Medications.” “The idea of using ‘quieting’ medications to cheat need not be an issue if a legal amount of safe drugs is allowed. The cheaters would be the losers, and the horses would be the winners,” Oare wrote. “I totally get the argument, because clearly these horses wouldn’t be drilled or schooled as hard to get them to the ring. You can make an argument that in some ways, some riders would be safer,” said Mark Baus, DVM, who sits on the USEF Veterinary Committee. “At a smaller dose, for the horse, it is safe. I’ve ridden numerous horses on low doses of ace. But I still remain adamantly opposed to allowing it as legal per USEF rules,” continued Baus, of Bridgewater, Conn. A. Kent Allen, DVM, the chairman of the USEF Veterinary and Equine Drugs And Medications Committees, firmly opposes the idea as well. “Acepromazine is a potent tranquilizing drug. It is therapeutic in appropriate situations, but a horse should not compete
A horse should not compete with ace in his system because it undermines the primary purposes of the Drugs and Medications program.” —DR. A. KENT ALLEN
The topic of “quieting” horses in the hunter divisions has created a lot of conversation about the possibility of changing U.S. Equestrian Federation rules to allow low-dose tranquilization. MOLLY SORGE PHOTO
with ace in his system because it undermines the primary purposes of the Drugs and Medications program,” he said. “Our purpose is to ensure a fair and level playing field. A horse competing on ace could have a competitive advantage and therefore un-level the playing field.”
What Is Acepromazine?
Why specifically acepromazine for this purpose? Basically, because it’s a drug that’s been proven safe and effective in equine tranquilization while minimally affecting a horse’s motor function. Technically, ace, or acepromazine [10-[3-(dimethylamino) propyl] phenothiazin-2-yl-methyl ketone] maleate, USP, is a neuroleptic drug originally introduced in the 1950s as a human antipsychotic, but its use in humans is rare now, and it’s most commonly used as chemical restraint in dogs and horses. As a tranquilizer, ace depresses the central nervous system, lowering blood pressure, causing muscle relaxation and reducing spontaneous activity. Ace is in the “phenothiazine” clinical class of drugs, which “typical of most
phenothiazine tranquilizers, produces behavioral changes which allow an animal to retain much of its alertness and coordination,” according to the journal article “The pharmacokinetics, pharmacological responses and behavioral effects of acepromazine in the horse” by S. Ballard, T. Shults, A. Kownacki, J.W. Blake and T. Tobin in the March 1982 issue of the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. This retention of mechanical coordination makes ace the tranquilizer of choice for a horse intended to be
ridden, as opposed to a sedative such as Dormosedan (detomidine hydrochloride), which causes profound lethargy and marked incoordination. Ace can be administered intravenously, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or orally. The most noticeable physical side effect of ace is penile protrusion, or “dropping” of the penis out of the sheath. “Acepromazine binds to receptors in the brain and throughout the body. In the brain, this binding alters their function, resulting in sedation,” said Mary Robinson, VMD, Ph.D., the
Tranquilizer vs. Sedative
cepromazine is technically a tranquilizing drug as opposed to a sedative, which is one of the reasons it’s suggested for use in a ridden horse. Tranquilizers “reduce anxiety and induce a sense of tranquility without drowsiness,” according to The Merck Veterinary Manual. “Drug-induced sedation has a more profound effect and produces drowsiness and hypnosis.” Acepromzine also has no analgesic, or pain-reducing, effect, which a sedative such as detomidine (Dormosedan), xylazine (Rompun) and romifidine hydrochloride (SediVet) does.
70 The Chronicle of the Horse
April 11 & 18, 2016 • chronofhorse.com 71
u A Legend
DOUGLAS LEES PHOTO
And An Inspiration
Kathy Kusner may best be known as one of the first women to compete in show jumping at the Olympic Games, but she also broke records on the race track and at the Maryland Hunt Cup. Whether she’s accepting an Olympic medal, running an ultramarathon, flying an airplane, or working to enrich the lives of those in underprivileged communities, she’s always inspiring and unexpected, as Jennifer B. Calder reveals in her Living Legend piece on Kusner in the April 4 issue.
In the March 21 & 28 Horse Show Issue, prominent Virginia horseman Ernie Oare presented an argument for alleviating several ongoing equine welfare concerns (excessive longeing, more dangerous forms of illegal sedation) by allowing a limited dose of a mild tranquilizer in hunter competitions in his article, “Solve A Host Of Problems With Controlled Quieting Medications.” As most veterinarians and U.S. Equestrian Federation officials aren’t on board with this idea, they had their say in Molly Sorge’s article, “Why Not Just Allow A ½ CC Of Ace?” (April 11 & 18). Find out what those “in the trenches” feel—and why those in governance don’t think this solution is tenable.
u Focus On Eventing ROLEX
KENTUCKY PREVIEW ISS Come April, the Rolex Kentucky UE: Wofford ’s Picks To Wi n CCI**** looms large in the minds of all horse lovers. In the eagerly anticipated Preview Issue, we feature Jimmy Wofford’s annual picks and handicapping of the four-star field, as well as columns from top riders Buck Davidson (on how you know if you’re really ready for Rolex) and Jon Holling (on why the MAYA BLAC K fundamentals of the sport are DOESN’T PL & AY FAIR The Fork CIC*** Winners p. 106 more important than Olympic inclusion).
Vol. 79, No. 10
April 25, 2016 • $4.99
Buck Davidso n: You Don’t Kno w Until You Go p. 80 Jon Holling: Tim e To Stop Com promising p. 84 Want A Fitter Horse? There’s An App For Tha t p. 94
C H RO N O F H O R S E .CO M
A Sinking Ship Photo by DOUGLAS LEES Charlie Fenwick took an early dismount from Sam Son Of A Gun in the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial timber at the 1979 Grand National in Butler, Md., but the pair rebounded to win the Virginia Gold Cup two weeks later.
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PROFESSIONAL FARM WITH TREASURE LIKE FEEL Applewild Farm 52 Meadow Court Bridgehampton, New York
13 acres, 15 stall barn with additional storage barn. Generous indoor and outdoor arenas including a Grand Prix field. 7 Bedroom and 6 Bathroom renovated farmhouse with gourmet kitchen, many upgrades, wrap around porch and pool as well as a spa and pool house.
MARIA MENDELSOHN, REALTOR ASSOCIATE
10680 W. Forest Hill Boulevard, Wellington, Ste 220 FL 33414 C: 561.758.1605
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