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These Boots Were Made for Riding p.38

SUPPLEMENT TO

EquineJournal

Sport Horse 2013 Edition

What Champions Are Made Of Understanding Your Horse From the Inside Out

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Horse Show Hot Spots


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Contents Points of Interest 4 In Your Words 6 Where Are They Now? 8

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A New Dimension of Competition 10 Move up to the next level with skill and poise.

Stepping Up to the Plate

By Sarah Wynne Jackson

No matter what discipline you ride, you are constantly taking strides to improve the partnership between you and your horse. Making small steps forward, you slowly teach your dressage prospect to push more thoroughly from behind, show your jumper a better way to navigate bending lines, and prove to your eventer that ditches truly are just another jump. Eventually, it requires a leap of faith and trust in your horse, letting him or her rise to the occasion and show you that the countless hours of preparation were worth it. One such test of mettle is when you move up to the next level in competition. In “A New Dimension of Competition,” Sarah Wynne Jackson tackles this topic in detail. Is your horse ready to properly perform the job at hand? We all know that having a sound partner is important. Our own Kathryn Selinga takes a truly inside look at the sport horse and what it takes to keep it at the top of its game in “Champion in the Making.” This special edition of the Equine Journal is all about helping you to reach the top of the ranks, as well as celebrating the riders that have already proven to be athletes of the highest caliber. So, kick up your boots and enjoy a few pages before you get back out there in the saddle.

Champion in the Making 18

Understand your horse from the inside out.

By Kathryn Selinga

Getting to Know You 27 In this special section, meet the farms and businesses that contribute to the success of top equine athletes in the sport horse world.

Tradition Meets Technology 38

Get a glimpse of today’s English tall boots.

By Natalie DeFee Mendik

The Fabulous Five 44 A look at a few great horse show towns.

By Jennifer Roberts Publisher Scott Ziegler, 508-987-5886, ext. 223

Sales and marketing strategist

Executive editor Elisabeth Prouty-Gilbride

senior aDVERTISING/ MARKETING CONSULTANT

Managing editor

Kelly Ballou news editor

Kathryn Selinga Social EDITOR

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Karen Desroches, 603-525-3601 ADVERTISING/MARKETING CONSULTANTS Angela Savoie, 508-987-5886, ext. 231 Laurel Foster, 508-987-5886, ext. 222

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Equine Journal 83 Leicester Street, North Oxford, MA 01537 phone: 508-987-5886, fax: 508-987-5887 subscription questions: 1-800-414-9101 equinejournal@pcspublink.com www.equinejournal.com A Publication of MCC Magazines, LLC A Division of Morris Communications Company, LLC 735 Broad St., Augusta, GA 30901

photo: AK Dragoo Photography

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Sport Horse 2013

points of interest The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) does not certify, endorse, nor approve specific equine nutritional supplements as safe for use during recognized competitions. As a service to USEF Members, and upon request, the USEF Drug and Medication Program office will review product labels to determine if forbidden substances are among the specific ingredients listed. In the unfortunate event that a forbidden substance is present in a sample collected by the USEF Drug & Medications testing program, the owner and trainer will be subject to the provisions outlined in GR404 and GR406 and will be held accountable as defined in Chapter 4 of the USEF Rulebook. —From the USEF Communications Department

Featured Photo Darrryl yl Bil illing g’ss powe weerrfful tea e m off Dut u ch h Waarrm W mb bllo oo od dss eme merg rgee rg ffrrom m thee wat a eerr at Li L ve ve Oak In nte t rnat rrn nat atio io iona on l.l

Stop the Stink! the safety reviews, fit, and style, but does your helmet smell a bit worse for the wear? Here are a few tips for freshening up that “fragrant” helmet: ■ A few fabric-softener sheets crumpled inside your helmet won’t kill the odor-causing bacteria, but they can provide an inexpensive, effective, and easy solution to combat stench. ■ Spray-on antibacterial odor removers are made by several helmet companies and are available through many tack shops and websites. Be sure to choose one specifically made for equestrian helmets, as they 4

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are specially formulated for the helmet materials. ■ Look for sacks with baking soda or other deodorizers inside; leave one in your helmet whenever it isn’t on your head (If you’re feeling crafty, you could make one yourself). ■ Wash out the inside of your helm met with a gentle soap and a damp clo oth; it may be all you need to have the e lining smelling fresh and clean again!

PHOTO: (TOP) GINGER HORSE STUDIOS, PHOTO STUDIOS LLC; LLC (BOTTOM) COURTESY COU OF SMARTPAK EQUINE

Check the Label!

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points of interest

Boys Against Girls We asked: What gender of horse do you prefer?

No Preference

8%

Stallion

8%

Mare

30%

Gelding

54%

By Callista Gredys

It could be debated that one of the most pivotal roles of a horse’s anatomy is that of its hooves. The hoof itself is a skinderived appendage called hoof horn, which protects the underlying corium of the foot. A wall of hoof horn surrounds the base of the limb and plays an important role in the bearing of weight and performance of the horse. If this wall is not properly maintained, it can lead to discomfort, cracking, pain, and potentially, infection. Biotin is a popular feed supplement used to preserve hoof health. This compound contains sulfur and vitamin B, which help maintain and grow new hoof horn. Biotin is a water-soluble mineral, which means it’s not stored in the body for very long, making a daily dose of biotin important in supporting healthy hooves. On average, a hoof can grow up to 3/8" per month, which means it could take several months to notice any benefit of the supplemental diet. This is why it is important to stay optimistic and continue a daily dose.

photo: (top) Ginger Horse Studios, LLC; (bottom) Courtesy of SmartPak Equine

Want to be included in our polls? Visit us on Facebook by scanning the QR Code with your smartphone.

The Ultimate Diet for Hoof Health

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IN YOUR WORDS trainer came into the ring and announced that my parents had bought her for me. To this day, that is my greatest memory. --Heather Jade Winning a driving class last summer with some very competitive horses; talk about adrenaline! --Jamie Cinq-Mars

The New England Adult Amateur Dressage Championships held at the Mystic Valley Hunt Club last October. I had a blast and won just about everything. --Joelle M. Conover A little open show! I was reunited with a mare I had shown everywhere and had to sell eight years earlier. The bond never went away. It was exciting, because I felt that they don’t forget; but now, I know that they don’t! --Kate Anderson-Starnes Participating in the Pony Club Nationals when I was a teenager at the Lexington Horse Park in Lexington, KY. --Natalie Monroy-Mueller Watching my daughter get reserve regional champion in dressage and high-point horse in a regional organization with a Half-Arabian/half mustang. --Lorretta Johnson

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My first regional win with my Half-Arabian/National Show Horse, Majic Trick; she was still in the Midwest before I moved her, and she was a very young five-year-old. I was thrilled to have even made top five as an amateur and even more thrilled and amazed to have won. The video is hysterical, as I was sobbing with happiness. She is a testament to starting a horse well, and choosing some amazing people and trainers to help me on the way. -Cynthia Reynolds LaBrecque Winning top honors and having my horse earn the title of United States Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year. -Caren Polillio The first time out of the start box at my first-ever horse trial! -Cassie Holm

From Our Staff My most exciting competition was at the United States Pony Club (USPC) Festival for dressage back in 2004! My off-thesteeplechase-track Thoroughbred and I had been struggling as a team for some time, but we started to click and understand each other just at the right time. We still didn’t garner the most outstanding scores, but the fact that we were able to keep our cool throughout all of the tests, under a lot of pressure, by far made that my proudest dressage moment. -Kathryn Selinga, News Editor

PHOTO: AK DRAGOO PHOTOGRAPHY

What has been your most exciting competition experience?

My first show with my mare, but I didn’t know she belonged to me when I entered the first class. Two classes and two of my first blue ribbons later, my

Standing on the rail and watching my youth student take the championship at the Thanksgiving Horse Show in Tampa, FL. I was so proud of her. The look on her face was priceless. --Judy White

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NOW YOU KNOW

Where Are They Now? Rodney y Jenkins Jenkins was a world-class show jumping rider in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, before he retired with more than 70 grand prix wins; he is now known as one of the Maryland racing community’s top 20 trainers.

What happen after top riders s up their spurs hang a on to the next nd go st their lives? We age of tr down a few rid acked e have left the ri rs who ng to find out just what th ey are up to now.

Kerry Millikin The 1996 Olympic individual bronze medal winner in eventing is now channeling her passion for horses in a different way—creating beautiful bronze sculptures and paintings that portray the elegance and grace of the horse.

After his highly successful ul show jumping career, this Olym mpic gold medalist turned his sights to the racetrack. Most nottably, he was the trainer of the 2012 Belmont Stakes winner, Union ucky Rags, and the 2006 Kentu Derby winner, Barbaro.

John McGinty

Melanie Smith-Taylor A gold medal winner in the 1984 Olympics for team show jumping, Melanie continues to serve the horse world as a television broadcaster for events, including the Olympic Games and world championships. 8

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Shown are the U.S. Team gold medalists at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984—left to right: Joe Fargis, Leslie Burr-Howard, Conrad Holmfeld, and Melanie Smith.

Once a highly successful hunter/jumper trainer and Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) judge, he has now transitioned to an FEI-level amateur dressage competitor, who has also balanced his professional role as a senior financial advisor for AXA Equitable.

PHOTOS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN GOLD CUP; SUSAN J. STICKLE; KIT HOUGHTON; ED REINKE

Michael Matz

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Move Up to the Next Level With Skill and Poise BY SARAH WYNNE JACKSON o you walk the Training Level cross-country course, dreaming of galloping at those obstacles on your horse? Or, maybe you watch the 3'6" jumper classes and imagine how you would take each fence. Perhaps you pore over Second Level dressage tests, knowing in your heart you’ll ride them one day.

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Being riders naturally enhances the desire to better ourselves and bring out the best in our horses. Competition in the hunters and jumpers, dressage, and eventing provides the perfect platform for achieving our personal best. But, stepping up the levels isn’t automatic; it takes commitment, ability, and education. How do you know if you’re ready to compete at the next level? Our experts help you make that important decision. Jumping New Heights Before you can think about moving up to the next division in the hunters, jumpers, or equitation, you need to be sure you have no difficulties at your current level. If your rails come down a little too often or getting a refusal is not unlikely, you should stay at your current level until you’ve solved those problems. “You should be winning at that level first,” says Jessica Elliott, trainer at Hidden Pond Farm East in Kensington, NH. You need to be fairly accurate and comfortable the majority of the time, giving the horse a safe, confident ride. You also need to be able to judge distances well enough and have a secure enough seat that you could jump a little

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try it at home first. Set up a course that would be typical for that level and see how you do. Then, set the jumps a little higher. “You should be able to do bigger and more difficult courses at home than you plan to do at a show,” Elliot says. When you do move up to the next division in the hunters, jumpers, or equitation, it should feel natural and exciting, but not nervewracking and scary. Elliot says, “You’re always going to face challenges in a new division, but there shouldn’t be a safety issue. If you’re ready, moving up won’t be a big deal.”

Wh When he en n you u mov o e up up a div ivisiion o it sh shou ou o uld d fe ee el na natu tura al a d ex an e ci c ti ting ng g, no n t ne erv r e e-wrrac w acki kiing k ng an nd d sca cary y.

higher and still give your horse that safe, confident ride. The higher the jumps, the more imperative it is to have a tight position and a good feel for placing your horse correctly. Another important consideration is your resources. Do you have the time the higher division requires? Elliot says, “You definitely need more time in the saddle for the higher divisions. A 3'6" rider needs to be riding six days a week.” Do you have the money for frequent lessons? “You can’t just ride a lot; you have to practice right and avoid developing bad habits,” says Elliot. A good hunter/jumper trainer is invaluable, and they aren’t cheap. Ask yourself if you can afford the higher entry fees, longer travel distances, and other costs the next division is likely to entail. If you and your trainer agree that it’s time for you to move up to the next division, when should you make the move? Elliot advises, “You should move up when you and your horse are ready, not according to an artificial time line. In the spring, talk with your trainer about your goals for the year, and create the steps you need to take to achieve that.” Before you send in your entry form for the higher division, 12

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“When we compete in dressage, fulfilling the United States Equestrian Federation’s definition of dressage should be our top priority,” says Gretchen DeMone, United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Certified Instructor/Trainer, USDF Silver Medalist, and “L” Judges Graduate of Rehoboth, MA. United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Rulebook DR101 reads: “The object of dressage is the development of the horse into a happy athlete through harmonious education. As a result, it makes the horse calm, supple, loose, and flexible, but also confident, attentive, and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with the rider.” Creating that happy athlete should take precedence over ribbons, championships, and personal goals. Because dressage is a progressive program of gymnastic training, each level of competition has its own objectives and standards. For example, the purpose of Second Level, according to USEF Rulebook DR118, is “to confirm that the horse, having achieved the thrust required in First Level, now accepts more weight on the hindquarters (collection); moves with an uphill tendency, especially in the medium paces; and is reliably on the bit. A greater degree of straightness, bending, suppleness, throughness, balance, and selfcarriage is required than at First Level.” Use the rulebook definitions of each level to guide you in evaluating you and your horse’s readiness for advancement. Dressage shows are simply a method of pinpointing where your training is in that progressive program. “In general, a rider is considered successful at a particular level when he or she consistently earns final scores over 60%, which would equate to an average score of 6 for each movement,” DeMone says. If you regularly earn 6s, 7s, and even 8s at your current level, your next consideration is whether your horse can carry the balance required for the new level. DeMone adds, “Is your horse properly muscled, and mentally and physically conditioned to perform at the new level with ease? Does the horse stay through in his back and supple while performing the new level? If not, take more time to properly prepare the horse for the demands of the next level.” After spending months preparing for the new level, some riders like to come out with a bang by starting the new level at a big show. It’s usually a better idea to begin at a schooling show or a “ride, critique, ride.” Without the time crunch of a recognized event, the judge will be able to offer

PHOTO: AK DRAGOO PHOTOGRAPHY

Happy Athletes

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It’s important to take the time to properly prepare your horse for the demands of the next level at home before attempting it at a show.

The Secret Ingredient “Eventing is about confidence,” says Kimberly Cartier Dome of Cartier Farms in Candia, NH. “Eventers are a rare breed; we like the excitement of being on the edge, of feeling just a little scared. But, moving up too far too fast not only is dangerous, but can also rattle the confidence of horse and rider.” At best, a mistake like that can ruin a good horse or rider, necessitating months or years of training to restore that confidence. At worst, it can result in a serious accident. Generally, if you’re thinking of moving up to the next level in eventing, “…you should be consistently going clear in crosscountry and clear in stadium. If you’re getting time faults and refusals and knocking rails, you’re not ready,” Dome says. It’s tempting to dismiss poor dressage scores, but that’s another mistake. Dome explains, “Your dressage work reflects how flexible and adjustable your horse is. If he can’t lengthen or shorten his stride in an arena, he won’t be able to lengthen or shorten his stride in the approach to a crosscountry jump. This can lead to problems like rotational falls. If you’re repeatedly getting a 50% or higher dressage score, you’re not ready to move up.” “In New England, it takes a bare minimum of two full 14

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seasons to move up one level in eventing,” says Dome. You also need to take into account how much time you can spend riding each week, how many lessons you can afford, and how many events you can do. Once you’ve moved up to the next level, don’t just assume it was the right decision. Examine your performance. Dome says, “If your horse isn’t ready for the new level, he’ll tell you by refusing or rushing. A horse that bolts in the approach to a fence and won’t allow you to adjust him is not confident and is heading for a rotational fall. As you move up, all of your work should become more and more consistent. Your dressage score should be getting lower and lower.” Regardless of the level you’re at, Dome encourages riders to respect their sense of self-preservation. “If something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it, even if your trainer tells you to. This sport is too dangerous to do that. If you’re feeling frustrated or scared, pay attention to that. Eventing should be exciting and fun.”

Steady as She Goes While it’s perfectly fine to stay at the level you find most comfortable, it can be a stimulating challenge to see how good you can get at your favorite sport. Dome reminds riders of every discipline to look at the big picture and avoid putting too much emphasis on one performance. “Anyone can have a really good event and a really bad event,” she says. “That doesn’t mean you’re ready to move up or not ready to move up. It’s very important to look at how your training is progressing over the long-term before you make the decision to move up to the next level.”

PHOTO: SHAWN HAMILTON, CLIXPHOTO.COM

more complete comments and constructive criticism that you can apply immediately. DeMone shares one last bit of advice: “Every time you ride, you are either training or untraining.” A certain amount of ambition is good, but don’t push so hard that you create tension, discomfort, or sourness. She says, “Be fair to your horse at all times.”

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CHAMPION IN THE MAKING Your Horse from the ve Your Performance B Y KATHRYN S SELINGA

New Hamp pshire native Kelly Hennessy also knows a thin ng or two about heart. After her husband passsed away four years ago fro om cancer, at the age of 44 4, she could have thrown n in the towel. But instead, she used her personall tragedy to create som mething positive. Kno owing the importance of o touch to cancer pa atients, Hennessy deecided to become a ma assage therapist and d help those The passing Th i off K Kelly ll H Hennessy’s ssy’s ’ suffering from the debilihusband, Jim, inspired her to tating diseasse. heal through massage. Sport Horse 2013

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PHOTO: (FAR LEFT) JILLUANN VALLIERE ERE

ou ccan’t calculate for heart. In mosst mainstream sports, it is often not sheer talent that wins championships in n the end, but desire; it’s the one who wantss it the most who comes out on top. The sa ame holds true for equestrians and their equine e athletes.

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Then, after combining her lifelong love of horses and newfound passion for massage— and becoming certified in equine massage—tragedy struck again. She lost her young, promising horse, Gaelic, to colic. On the verge of giving up, Hennessy found inspiration in her clients and her older horse, Beane, remembering how good it felt to help improve their overall well-being, and in turn, performance. It was Gaelic, after all, who helped kick-start Hennessy’s education toward truly understanding that, while heart can take you a long way, having a body that is in excellent working order is vital as well. From the Ground Up Knowing what’s going on inside your horse’s body is not always easy. But, just as in humans, it starts at the base. “It’s all connected,” says Hennessy. “If the feet are imbalanced, that is going to cause the rest of the body to be imbalanced. By being a massage therapist, it’s kind of up to me, when people call on me, to take a good look at the entire horse.” Hennessy began to really understand just how substantial proper balance in the body is when Gaelic kept pulling up lame. “I wasn’t savvy enough to understand that a long toe and an underslung heel was going to cause extra pull on the tendons in the horse’s leg…and that was coming up into his shoulder and then kind of feeding through to his back and down his right side,” she says. “So, I educated myself on the hoof and how it’s all put together and how just the slightest imbalance could affect the rest of the horse and how he moves. And in figuring him out it helped me develop Kelly Hennessy gives a pre-crosscountry-schooling massage to her horse, Beane, as part of his physical upkeep and well-being.

the knowledge to kind of go into other situations and help clients out with that.” Even details that would outwardly seem to be unrelated can have a major impact on a horse’s performance. “It’s very important that their teeth get done. If something is bothering the horse in the mouth, it’s not just going to affect the bit. It’s going to affect the entire horse because he’s going to move differently—he’s going to move in a way where he can try to get away from that pain. And as he is moving in a way that is not natural, it’s going to affect his neck muscles—starting at the poll, followed by the neck, and then it’s going to work its way down,” explains Hennessy.

From the Outside In

PHOTO: KATHRYN SELINGA

The teeth are not the only area of the head that can play a big part in your horse’s behavior. With many muscles and nerve endings in the face, it is imperative that the bit and bridle fit and are adjusted properly. “A lot of people want their nosebands super tight, and that’s not necessarily such a great idea,” notes Hennessy. “It starts to affect the horse’s breathing—it puts too much pressure on that area of the face and on those nerves. “If they’re having that much of an issue with pulling or not dropping at the poll, tightening the noseband isn’t really an effective way to fix that. There’s got to be something going on…a lot of times they’re not mean, they’re just trying to tell you something,” she says. If your horse is acting abnormal and you think he may have a back issue, be sure to look into external factors first. Hennessy suggests you check your saddle fit—it is possible to be over-padding or under-padding; or perhaps your horse’s muscle tone has changed, which would influence the way it fits as well. “The first thing you should do is call a good saddle fitter and have them come and take a look at your saddle, because saddle fit is really important. Also, where you place it is very important. You can have it too far forward or too far back. Most times [people] place their saddles too far forward, and what that does is constrict the horse’s shoulder so they aren’t able to reach out with their front leg,” she says. “Put your saddle up and then slide it down to where it stops, and that’s a pretty natural fit for where it should be going.” To that end, your girth can play a role in the internal comfort of your horse as well. “The girth doesn’t need to be that tight, not as tight as people have it. It just needs to be tight enough where the saddle is not going to slip. It can put additional pressure on the horse’s pectoral muscles, and that will make them sore.” In fact, you, as a rider, can be considered as an external factor in how evenly your horse carries himself. “If you’re not in balance with your horse and you tend to ride more with your right side or more with your left side, you’re going to create a crooked horse. Your horse is not going to be balanced and straight, and it’s very important that he is.” Sport Horse 2013

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Look to the Past to Change the Future It is also of utmost importance to look at your horse’s history of injuries, as former issues will impact different parts of his body. The theory of opposites will often apply: Say your horse previously injured his left front leg. “He’s going to be putting less weight on the left side and more weight on the right side [while hurt]. That’s going to cause an imbalance, so when you start bringing him back, you need to work a little bit harder on the left side to strengthen that up,” notes Hennessy. And if your horse is currently laid up, the key to keeping him as fit as possible with a good shot at a speedy recovery is by sustaining blood flow throughout the impacted area. There are multiple ways to help with this, including massage and shockwave therapy. “Even if a horse is injured and on stall rest, one of the best things you can do is get him massaged on a regular basis because that does maintain the muscle tone and also keeps the blood flowing properly,” she says. “When there is a tendon or ligament injury it takes a very long time to heal because there’s not a lot of blood flow to them to begin with… if you could help increase that blood flow, then it’s going to help the injury heal a little bit faster.”

Doing various carrot stretches before or after riding can help keep your horse’s muscles from getting sore.

and holding for just a few seconds apiece. Exercises can be done before or after you ride, as long as the muscles are already warm, though she says post-stretching helps keep the muscles from becoming sore.

Help Your Own Cause Education is Key

In figuring out how to keep your horse operating at the highest level possible, Hennessy urges riders to treat their equines as the athletes that they are; and to look at things from a sportsman’s perspective. “You don’t see human athletes keep going until they break. They maintain themselves. They go to massage therapists, they have chiropractors, they have physicians, they do whatever they can to maintain their body and keep it in good working order so they can perform at their best.” Furthermore, it’s about getting to know your mount. “It’s a partnership. It’s not just the rider; it’s not just the horse. It is a complete partnership, and if you’re in tune with your horse, you’re going to be able to know when there’s something going on and you’re going to eventually be able to feel it,” she explains. “It’s all in just really getting to know your horse well, kind of like how you know your own body well.” In the end, it is important to constantly think and educate yourself. Since your horse cannot explain how he is feeling, it is up to you to interpret his actions. If you understand the anatomy of a horse and how his body works, you can then understand how your tack, and the way you use it, will impact his performance. How can you do this? Be proactive: Read books, whether they are on stretching exercises, massage, or the makeup of a horse. Schedule a field trip to an equine hospital or rehabilitation facility. Go to clinics— from centered riding to examining the body structure of a live, anatomically painted horse in demonstrations like “Anatomy in Motion: The Visible Horse” or “Horses Inside Out,” the possibilities are endless. And, be sensitive to your horse—in conjunction with professional care, this is how you will get the most out of him, while keeping him happy and healthy. “When I help a horse—that feeling—it’s incredible,” says Hennessy, holding back tears. “And that’s what makes me so passionate about what I do…I really feel a connection with these horses and I truly want to help them; and I’m constantly educating myself to try and make myself better so I can.” And that’s what Learning about a horse’s anatomy, whether it be through a book or clinic, champions are made of. will help you understand different factors that affect his performance. 22

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PHOTOS: (TOP) KATHRYN SELINGA; (BOTTOM) COURTESY OF ANATOMY IN MOTION: THE VISIBLE HORSE, BY SUSAN HARRIS AND PEGGY BROWN

If supplemental therapies are out of reach for you or you want to maintain your horse between visits, there are ground exercises you can do to help keep him supple on your own as well. “Get a carrot and, flexing your horse, take the carrot to his side close to the flank, and have him just turn his neck so you’re doing neck flexion,” Hennessy explains. “Do that to the right, and to the left. You can also take the carrot between his front legs and have him stretch his head down to his front legs, and that’s good for a horse as well. “There’s also another stretch that I usually teach my clients to do—the ‘belly lift’ exercise…take your fingertips or the hard part of a grooming brush and place it in that groove in between his legs, under his belly—but be aware since horses are sensitive there. Put pressure in that groove until he raises his back up. It’s actually more of an abdominal exercise, almost like a crunch…and if horses have strong abdominal muscles, just like us, it’s going to strengthen their top line and give them better posture.” Hennessy recommends you do each exercise twice on each side, stretching a little bit further the second time,

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Getting To Know You In this special section, get to know the farms and businesses that contribute to the success of top equine athletes in the sport horse world.

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Equine Journal Advertorial

Pe a

First Flight Farm By Susan Winslow

“We don’t do average here,” says Tricia Veley with pride. Set on 40 acres of lush fields on a historic horse farm in Boerne, TX, First Flight Farm, owned by Tricia and her husband Rick, is the culmination of years of dreaming, planning, and hard work by this seasoned competitor and lifelong equestrian. The farm consists of two interrelated businesses. For mare owners, Veley offers a wide array of breeding services, full mare care, and foaling out for horses of any breed. For competitors looking for world class warmbloods, First Flight Farm also offers custom breeding, Frozen Semen Storage, Foal And Young Horse training, and sales of BerlinBrandenberg, Holsteiner, Hanoverian, Oldenburg, and Dutch Warmblood sport horses for dressage and jumping. Tricia, assisted by her excellent professional staff, each with four-year equine science degrees, works with board certified breeding specialist veterinarian, Benjamin Espy, DVM, Dipl ACT, to provide breeding services to the client mares. Veley, a certified ultrasound technician, does all of the scanning and inseminations for her own mares. Realizing that her interest and natural gifts are in the area of mare care, foaling out, and working with young 28

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horses, Veley gives mare owners a clean, safe, professional alternative to taking their mares to a vet clinic or having their mares foal out at home. First Flight Farm offers concierge service to clients interested in purchasing worldclass warmblood horses from the finest European bloodlines. The farm offers a wide range of horses, from top caliber foals to more “made” competition horses, and with contacts with multiple breeders/ trainers here and in Europe, she can help clients find the perfect horse to reach their goals. Veley is proud of the horses she is producing, particularly four-year-old Wellington (by Wynton, out of Preference), a magnificent dark bay gelding, who finished third in the nation at the 2012 United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Materiale Horse of the Year competition. She is equally proud of his half brother, Wynston, (by Wynton and out of V.PR.ST. Olivia), having already qualified for the 2013 USDF Young Horse Finals. This year, First Flight Farm welcomed six foals from her many Approved, Premium, and Special Premium status mares, with eight foals expected in 2014. If you are looking for a horse with substance, style,

and the proven bloodlines to take you to the top, First Flight Farm is ready to help you. For more information on the farm, call 830-537-4150, email info@firstflightfarm. com, or visit firstflightfarm.com.

| Sport Horse 2013

FFF Mag ad9.in

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6/17/13 2:02:47 PM


Perfection is a birthright

Photo by Robbin Cresswell

Currently for Sale CASAMIRO

2013 Bay Holsteiner Colt

FF QUERIDA

2013 Gray Holsteiner Filly

FLORENTINO

2013 Bay Hanoverian Colt

LAGOONA PARADISE

2007 Mecklenburger Bay Mare

ONEIDA

2013 Black Oldenburg Filly

SAFIRA SZ

2006 Dark Bay Zangersheide Mare

STEPHANO

2013 Black Oldenburg Colt

TEANCE

2012 GOV Premium Black Oldenburg Filly

WELLINGTON

2009 GOV Premium Dark Bay Oldenburg Gelding

Elite-quality horses from top European bloodlines All First Flight Farm youngsters are a product of good breeding. We introduce our premium mares to frozen semen from Europe’s top stallions, producing superior offspring bred for equestrian excellence.

Everything you want in a fine mount: A sound mind, excellent temperament, beautiful conformation and exquisite movement. First Flight Farm horses are raised in a structured, loving environment and handled from birth. We gently school each foal to lead, tie, load and stand for a farrier. From their first days, our foals are nurtured in a balanced, calm environment that supports them as they grow into their potential within an English discipline.

Let us help you select a strong, suitable equine partner. First Flight Farm produces foals and young horses that satisfy the most discriminating professionals. We strive to make a lasting contribution to equestrian sport through our horses – bred and raised for sheer athleticism, scope and a drive to perform at the highest levels of competition. CUSTOM BREEDING SERVICES AVAILABLE Under the supervision of Tricia Veley and Theriogenologist Benjamin Espy, DVM, DACT, First Flight Farm also provides breeding services and boarding for broodmares.

Dutch Warmblood Oldenburg Brandenburg Holsteiner Hanoverian 830-537-4150 • 210-355-3500 • For additional information visit FirstFlightFarm.com

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Equine Journal Advertorial

Cellar Door, bred and owned by Jane Dudinsky, competing at Southern Pines in April 2013. With Doug Payne up, he was 5th in Preliminary.

Introducing the $200,000 Breeders Challenger The Coconut Grove $200,000 Breeders Challenge is a breeder incentive that is unheard of in the sport horse industry, but its inspiration came from the cutting horse industry, which is very big in Texas. In the sport horse world, bonus programs for breeders are not at all common. But, they are in a unique situation, with a stallion with no less than nine North American registry approvals. This means there is a widely eligible mare base, and ample opportunity to help the industry. The focus of the Breeders Challenge is to prove to breeders what we already know about Coconut Grove, and put further stock in our claims that he is truly one of the greatest Thoroughbred show jumpers of recent time.

*Coconut Grove was the first Thoroughbred stallion in the U.S. to be granted a breeding license by the American Holsteiner Horse Association and the American Hanoverian Society.

Get “Fired Up” Over This Amazing New Venture

The dictionary defines the word “VEX” as meaning to stir up, shake up, and even to ignite. Through the efforts of VEX Equine, and most especially with the $200,000 Breeders Challenge program, they are an aptly named company that is poised to stir up and ignite the sport horse industry! VEX Equine was formed to create a thoughtful and well-managed plan for distribution of Coconut Grove frozen semen after his death, and with it, the genetics of a stallion whose value cannot be overstated. The role of VEX Equine is to provide continuing opportunities for North American breeders to benefit by using Coconut Grove in their ongoing modernization of warmblood breeds of all kinds, from the Holsteiners to the Dutch, to the Irish Draughts and beyond. We need the Thoroughbred in our pedigrees, and while there are certainly other accom30

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Bella ETC by Coconut Grove, owned by Kirsten Coe of Equine Trading Company.

plished Thoroughbred sires, there are quite few in recent times that have the record, qualities, and capabilities of Coconut Grove. With the death of Coconut Grove in 2012, North American breeders lost one of their most valuable equine assets. Coconut Grove was a modern-day rarity in show jumping, a Thoroughbred stallion of superb lineage that had competed at the most demanding levels of international sport with resounding success. Qualifications for major show jumping events, such as the Sydney Olympics and the Pan Am Games, where he was awarded Best South American Horse, are just some of the highlights of his amazing performance record. As a specimen, Coconut Grove was exquisite, and has further proven himself over his years at stud by producing numerous site champions and premium foals, earning commendations, particu-

larly for improving both walk and canter gaits, as well as for the skilled jumping abilities of his offspring. In fact, in 2012’s nationwide Madden’s Breeders Bridge talent search, two Coconut Grove offspring were selected as top ten finalists from close to 200 entries, with one of those two making the top five. Coconut Grove offspring are out there showing right now, and they are talented and competitive in jumping, dressage, eventing, and hunters. Here are just a few: Bella ETC, a six-year-old, who just had good placings at 1.20 in Atlanta; Cellar Door, who just finished third at the Preliminary Level at Fair Hill; and, Corazon BF, winning in both the conformation hunters and the junior hunters. The list goes on and on— in fact, there are many videos and photos on the VEX website. For more information, visit VexEquine. com, or call 817-247-6125.

Photos: (top Left) Brent Gamma; (Bottom Right) Anne Gittens

VEX Equine

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Photos: (top Left) Brent Gamma; (Bottom Right) Anne Gittens

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Equine Journal Advertorial Professional’s Choice offers products for all disciplines and all levels of riders.

BY SUSAN WINSLOW

THE NAME PROFESSIONAL’S CHOICE IS synonymous with innovative equine leg care. Michele Scott, vice president and daughter of founder Dal Scott, describes the philosophy behind the company’s enormous success, “We’ve been in business for 38 years and my father founded this company on the belief that a comfortable horse will do his job better. He was right. My daughter is an eventer, and most of the people who work here are riders. We know how important it is to take care of our horses so they can perform to the best of their ability and have a long and trouble-free career. At Professional’s Choice, we are dedicated to developing products to enhance equine performance and increase safety, and all of our products are both independently and field tested to ensure they live up to our high standards of quality and effectiveness.” Professional’s Choice also gets input and advice on product designs from professional riders and trainers including Olympic medalists Gina Miles and Steffen Peters. 32

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Although the company is best known for cutting edge protective products for western disciplines, such as the hugely popular Sports Medicine Boots, which reduce concussion to a horse’s leg by a full 27%, Professional’s Choice offers equine apparel and equipment for all horses and riding interests. Their protective boots, wraps, girths, cinches, and saddle pads are not only sought after by reiners and barrel racers, but also eventers, dressage riders, and hunter/jumper enthusiasts.

Steffen Peters Dressage Show Pads are made with energy-absorbing UltraShock material.

PHOTOS: McCOOL PHOTOGRAPHY

Professional’s Choice

Dressage riders are raving about the combination of comfort, traditional appearance, and high tech design of the lightweight SMx in Steffen Peters Dressage Show Pads that include energyabsorbing UltraShock material. English riders now have many options in saddle pads—including the Professional’s Choice Quilted All-Purpose Pad, Non Slip Pad, and Hunter/Jumper Saddle Pad with an UltraShock core. Additionally, the company boasts a line of durable, finely crafted Open Front Jumping Boots and Ankle boots, as well as breathable VenTECH Leather Open Front Jumping Boots. Professional’s Choice also offers horse apparel, training DVDs, trailer accessories, and even a full line of human orthopedic products. Scott believes that exemplary customer service is as important as turning out a quality product. It has been the company’s mantra from the earliest days when Dal Scott was knocking on doors to promote his ingenious Sports Medicine Boots. Scott explains, “My dad used to say, ‘The customer is always right.’ I still believe that to be true. Here at Professional’s Choice, we listen to our customers and we welcome feedback. In addition to offering products for every level of competitor, we want to help people who are new to the horse industry learn how to keep their horses safe and serviceable. We also know there are many people returning to this sport in their 40s and 50s, and it’s our goal to make it easier for them to enjoy their horses and the sport. At Professional’s Choice, we are constantly evolving to meet the needs of the industry, always mindful that our goal is to improve and enhance the lives of horses and horse owners everywhere.” For more information on Professional’s Choice products, visit profchoice.com.

| Sport Horse 2013

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FOR THE HORSE THAT DESERVES THE BEST, FOR THE HORSE THAT DESERVES THE BEST, CHOOSE THE MOST TRUSTED BRAND. CHOOSE THE MOST TRUSTED BRAND. FOR THE HORSE THAT DESERVES THE BEST, CHOOSE THE MOST TRUSTED BRAND.

Photos: McCool Photography

The more comfortable the horse, the better the performance. The more comfortable the horse, the better the performance.

FIND A DEALER 1.800.331.9421 www.ProfChoice.com

The more comfortable the horse, the better the performance. FIND A DEALER 1.800.331.9421 www.ProfChoice.com FIND A DEALER 1.800.331.9421 www.ProfChoice.com Full Page - Bleed.indd 1

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Equine Journal Advertorial

E2 Show Jumpers By Catherine Girard

their true story. These horses have the right brain, like to do the job, and have the heart to do it. If they have these qualities, they’re going to do the job. “We always want the best,” continues Meller. We have bought a lot of quality seven and eight year olds who have competed well at Palm Beach, Devon, Kentucky, Upperville, HITS-Saugerties, Trump Invitational, Live Oak International and the Hampton Classic Horse Show. We hope to do business with owners or buyers who will give them the best care, keep their education going and compete them at the top venues in the country. If you do it right like that, the horses really succeed. We work in doing it the right way and the results show.” In 2012, Chico’s Girl placed first and second in the 8 Year Old Jumper division at Devon and she was also champion at Upperville in the 8 Year Old Jumper division. She has had good results in 2013 at WEF,

Photos: Elin Photography

The fine, talented warmbloods of E2 Show Jumpers have been training hard and garnering top honors and awards at the most prestigious show jumping venues in the United States. Owned by Katherine and John Gallagher, in partnership with well-known East Coast trainer, M. Michael Meller, this successful equine enterprise joins the Gallaghers’ very successful dressage unit, Elite Equine Imports, in residence at lovely Sundance Trails in Mattapoisett, MA. E2 Show Jumpers searches for talented young warmbloods of proven bloodlines in Europe and the United Kingdom, then imports them into the United States. “We bring along young horses that have the potential of going to grand prix show jumping, and foremost are tailored to the American market,” explains trainer Michael Meller. “We have a couple of great scouts in Europe and the UK who help us make sure we are getting the right horses with

and recently won the Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic in Kentucky with young rider Sophie Simpson! In 2013 CarneyHough Manx, piloted by Schuyler Riley, placed in the top ribbons in the open jumpers at Devon, and in Upperville had his first grand prix placing in the $25,000 class. In 2012, he highlighted his year by being champion at the finals of the Young Jumper Championships 7-8 Year Olds at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. “Schuyler Riley has done an excellent job,” continues Meller. “Everyone is aware of her deep resume, with many, many wins at the international level, and her work ethic is extraordinary. The combination of both those attributes is the reason I chose her as our rider and co-trainer.” Adoctro, a young grand prix prospect that Katherine Gallagher has had for six months, was recently sold to Canada with Ian Millar as the agent. Michael Meller’s own horse, Waterloo, has been a consistent ribbon winner, earning top grand prix ribbons this year at WEF, HITS-Saugerties, Trump Invitational, Live Oak International, Kentucky, Atlanta, Hampton Classics, and Devon. E2 Show Jumpers carefully matches owners and horses to get the absolute best fit in order to continue their horses’ future success. Placing well-educated horses into the right hands is paramount to the horses’ success. While the company tries to have a selection on hand that enables them to complement the horse and rider, they also offer to run custom searches for clients if the horse they are looking for is not currently in the show stable’s line. “The Gallaghers are great. They have been in every gamut of the horse business and have always done well,” says Michael. “It’s great working with a family with such integrity. Many clients return again when they are looking to purchase another horse.” For more information, visit eliteequineimports.com.

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Photos: Elin Photography

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Equine Journal Advertorial

Shine retired from showing before the USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

Olde Oakes Farm Sets a Shining Example

It was a once in A lifetime horse and a once in a lifetime opportunity that led to the inception of Olde Oaks Farm in Thomsons, TX. When Victoria Hunton bred to a newly imported stallion, Shine, she never imagined how much that single breeding decision would end up influencing her life. In 2000, Wendy Davis Gerrish of October Hill Farm and VEX Equine imported the stunning, great moving dressage stallion from Germany. Upon arriving in the United States, he was introduced to the hunter ring where he showed great promise. He won many national, regional, and state championships in the Green Hunters and Conformation Hunters and then moved on to the Amateur Owner Hunters where he continued to excel. Liza Richardson of Hunter’s Run Farms pointed out the incredible Shine to Victoria, suggesting that he may be a stallion worth breeding to. With the ultimate combination of temperament, conformation, ability, and beauty, Victoria couldn’t believe how incredible the resulting Shine foal was. It was immediately clear that she wanted to breed back to the stallion. It took a while to track down Shine, as he was not being heavily promoted at the time. Only a week after finding where he was standing , Victoria saw an ad in a well respected horse magazine advertising Shine as being for sale. On a bit of a whim, Victoria called Liza to see if she would be interested in having another stallion in the barn. While initially 36

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hesitant, Liza’s answer was a resounding yes when she learned that her client was looking at the one and only Shine. Victoria laughs, “I never thought that I wanted to own a stallion, in fact I had really strong feelings about not owning one. But he was different, really special.” After being purchased in 2006 by Olde Oaks Farm, he began competing in the Adult Amateur Hunters with owner Victoria where they were a pair to be reckoned with. In 2007 and 2009 they were named reserve champion in the Texas Hunter/Jumper Association, and in 2009 they were the reserve champion in Zone 7 as well. Then, in 2010, he stepped up to the plate and began competing in Hunter

Derbies exclusively with Liza. He once again put his best foot forward, winning the Estes Park Hunter Derby three times, the Great Southwest Winter Series III, and a multitude of top rankings in a number of prestigious derbies. Shine performed the job of a show horse and breeding stallion simultaneously. Breeding about 10 mares a year, he would often leave horse shows to collect, then head back to the shows to continue competing. According to Victoria, “He is so laid back, he never really acts like a stallion. He is always ready to focus on the job at hand. Nearly every year at the Pin Oak Classic, I would leave the show with him to breed, then come back and show with him the next day. There are not many other stallions that I believe could do that!” In the words of Victoria, Shine is just like a big teddy bear. This sweet horse passes down his temperament to his offspring. Many of his progeny were started by amateurs, a testament to the smart, agreeable youngsters that he puts on the ground. “It is really a dream come true. It was always my intention to breed fabulous amateur horses. I don’t want to breed the big and complicated horses that only professionals can ride. I want to breed fancy and steadfast partners that their amateurs can enjoy.” On March 28, 2013, Olde Oaks Farm retired Shine from the show ring at the age of 20, completely sound in both body and mind. The stallion still has an illustrious career ahead of him in the breeding shed, as his offspring continue to shine in the show ring. For more information, visit oldeoaksfarm.com or call Vicki at 713-806-7108.

| Sport Horse 2013 6/19/13 3:07:12 PM


e n i h S

Do you want to

in the

hunter ring... Shine & Liza Richardson FLEUR DE LIS HUNTER DERBY 2010

Shimmy Shine – 2009 gelding out of Ginna (Hann) as yearling.

Time to Shine – 2005 gelding out of Savoir Faire (Old) at 5 yrs. Bred by Meg Jones

Shineola – 2009 filly out of Alythia (TB) at 2 yrs.

Shine On – 2007 gelding out of Alone (TB) at 3 yr. old. Bred by Hunter’s Run Farms

C her Shine – 2010 filly out of Alythia (TB), yearling

Sunstone – 2006 Old gelding. Bred by Robin Swinderman

~ For more information please contact Victoria Hunton ~

713-806-7108 cell • vicki67@aol.com • Oldeoaksfarm.com 028-029.indd 37

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PHOTO: AK DRAGOO PHOTOGRAPHY

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TECHNOLOGY

TRADITION MEETS

BY NATALIE DEFEE MENDIK

A Look at Today’s English Tall Boots

F

rom classic to contemporary, English tall boots not only look sleek, they give an added edge to your performance. New and exciting trends meld with traditional styling for an endless variety of options. One thing is for certain: these are not your grandmother’s boots. Tall boots on the market today are so much more technical than in the past, with an astonishing level of quality in every price range. So, how do you choose the right boot for you? Join us for a look at what’s new, as well as the tried-and-true, in the realm of tall boots. First Things First: Field Boots or Dress Boots?

Tall boots provide stability, while also creating clean and graceful lines. Field boots are the go-to option for many riders taking part in jumping disciplines; this includes hunters, jumpers, three-day eventing, and field hunters, as well as many casual English riders. Whether you grace hunter under saddle classes at a breed show, or blast around a grand prix jumper course, field boots look the part while giving you the grip that you need. Laces at the throat of the boot are the biggest things that set field boots apart from dress boots. This softer style of boot offers flexibility, which can be your friend when getting those heels down. Field boots are often decorated with a leather tab at the top outside of the boot and a punched toecap.

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Experts’ Picks Given carte blanche to choose what they’d like, our experts fill us in on their top picks. There is truly a boot out there for everyone these days, with prices ranging from $100, to custom boots starting at $2,500.

BEST BUDGET BOOT: ■ Kelly Smith: Ovation

FAVORITE UPSCALE SPLURGE: ■ Kelly Smith:

Ovation Finesse Concours Field Boot, $399.95: “This boot is flexible at the throat and has a padded ankle. It has a great sticky inside panel that gives you a ton of grip. The Carbosan foot bed with arch support is like walking around in a sneaker.” ■ Janet Nittmann: TredStep Raphael Boot, $489.95: “The long, refined look lengthens the leg. Don’t ask me how they do it. It’s really fantastic. The full flexion in the ankle is extremely comfortable.”

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[LEFT] Field boots have laces at the throat of the boot and offer more flexibility than dress boots. [RIGHT] Dress boots are crafted from smooth, solid leather, which creates a sleek impression.

Dress boots, formally known as dressage boots, are crafted from smooth, solid leather without laces, and tend to be stiffer than field boots, with less drop in the leather at the ankle. Stiffened with either a threequarter-lining around the boot, or a stiffener up the back of the boot, dress boots create a sleek impression. Soft leather at the inside of the calf allows for feel, while a pigskin lining around the rest makes a harder, more finished product. A big range in the degrees of stiffness in dress boots is available to satisfy every rider’s different preference. Both dress and field boots, nowadays, almost always feature a Spanish top, a style in which the outside top of the boot is cut higher in an upward swoop on the outside of leg. This visually elongates the leg for an elegant look that doesn’t impact comfort.

But Wait, There’s More! “Stereotypically, dress boots are for dressage, whether that’s straight dressage or the dressage phase of eventing. Field boots are for hunter and jumper disciplines,” explains Kelly Smith, marketing administrator for English Riding Supply. Times are changing, however. While the division between field and dress boots generally remains true, Smith notes there is now a lot of crossover of dress boots into hunters, jumpers, eventing, and field hunting. So, where does this crossover stem from? The new standard of zippers and softer leathers on nearly every boot has opened the playing field. “There’s more technology

working on the flexibility in the heel to make boots more comfortable, and I believe that’s one of the reasons why dress boots are becoming more popular,” explains Janet Nittmann, Director of Corporate Communications at Dover Saddlery. “They are now more comfortable, so you can have that very elegant look.” “It’s hard to find a boot without zippers, nowadays,” says Smith. “They’ve come a long way from the old zippers that used to blow out all the time. They are down to a science now, where they don’t affect the profile of the boot anymore.” Zippers are the rage for two big reasons: they allow for a snug, tailored fit, along with ease of putting them on and taking them off. Boots with zippers don’t need extra room to accommodate the foot while putting them on and removing them, creating a clean, flattering line with no bulk. Many zippered boots have elasticized gussets alongside the zipper, which allows a bit more give for an optimal fit. Dress boots produced for jumping disciplines are less stiff than those made for dressage, as the jumping disciplines require the ability to flex the ankle and lower the heel more than in dressage; the true dress boot is always stiffer. That said, changes can also be seen in the style of dress boots manufactured with dressage in mind. “Even a lot of the traditional dressage riders are moving away from the super-stiff dress boots,” remarks Smith, noting that new, softer leathers, combined with a classic dress boot styling, allow both precise leg aids and greater sensitivity in feeling the horse.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF DOVER SADDLERY

Flex Field Boot, $249.95: “With this boot, you get good quality leather, zippers with full-length gusset, and fine, flexible leather where the boot laces, so you can instantly put your heels down. This great, all-around field boot is comfortable and inexpensive.” ■ Janet Nittmann: Middleburg Zip Field Boot, $249.99: “This is a quality boot with stretch panels that make it extremely comfortable.”

| Sport Horse 2013

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Fashion-Forward If you’re not a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist, new fashion options probably catch your eye. “The biggest trend in fashion is choice—there’s more choice than ever before,” explains Nittmann. “People are looking for different things. On top of looking for a well-fitted boot, people can be individual and have the embellishments.” For example, colors are hot in many circles, such as brown, sported by the likes of top jumper rider, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and dressage rider, Heather Blitz. There are definitely more fashion options out there than in the past. “There’s a little bling here and there,” says Smith, “like a jeweled swagger tab on field boots, piping on the toecap, or lacing up the side. The changes are subtle, but enough to set boots apart.”

Down-to-Earth Technology Gone are the days when boots served a purpose without much comfort. “Just about every manufacturer now has a very technical foot bed,” notes Smith. Think antimicrobial, antibacterial, odor-resistant, soft memory foam-like linings. “Boots are now suitable for both when you’re in the saddle and when you’re not—when you’re walking around the barn or the show, thanks to the technology in the sole,” notes Nittmann. “Ariat® technology really changed the industry and set the standard for more comfort in the sole.” These new features are packed into a beautiful boot that remains lightweight with no bulk. Along with comfort, new technology can lend riders a technical edge, such as a panel some boots now have on the inside of the calf for extra grip.

Tall boots T ts are now m muc uch h mo more re ttec echn ech hniccal th hnic ha an th they they y we erre in in th he pa p st st,, wi with th a v var arie iety ty o off st styl ylles e and nd pri rice rice ce rra ange ange an ges. ges s.

On the Hunt Do your research before trying on boots, narrowing down the field to some top choices. Measure sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor. Have an assistant use a cloth tape measure to measure the widest part of your calf and from the bottom of your heel up to the back of your knee. These two figures, plus your standard shoe size, will make up your boot size. Be sure to measure in both centimeters and inches, as some European boots may require metric sizing. Try on the boots with breeches and boot socks. Boots should fit snug, but not too tight; the leather will stretch a bit. New boots will hit at the back of your knee, and will drop down some once broken in. Typically, field boots will drop more than dressage boots. “Zippered boots don’t drop like they used to,” remarks Smith. “Expect around ½" of drop.” In addition, zippered boots should not be fit too snug, as this strains the zipper, causing it to break.

Give yourself some time to wear your boots around the house at first. If you find the breaking-in phase especially painful, heel lifts inside your boots help alleviate some of the chafing at the backs of your knees. Once you’ve worn them at the barn, take care to treat your boots properly. This means wear them only when on the horse, not when hosing your horse in the wash rack or trekking into the field to catch your horse. After each ride, wipe your boots down, sparingly, using only high-quality products designed for boot care. Be sure to use boot trees, so they maintain their shape. Zippers also do not tolerate grunge well. “Zippers are not meant to be slogged through mud,” notes Smith. “Keep them clean with a product like Hypofekt by Pharmaka, which cleans and lubricates zippers. This makes a big difference, even in the ease of the zipper going up. Maintaining the zipper keeps a grain of sand from knocking your zipper off track.”

Be sure to B care forr y ur boo yo oots tss prop pr oper op erly er ly tto o i crrea in ease se tthe heir he ir llo ong ngev ev vit ity. ity.

High quality, fully-lined, supple leather, combined with the latest in technical foot bed styling, is the hallmark of today’s boots. “The desire to have a very elegant tall boot that fits well and is comfortable will always be there, but thanks to technology, that goal is more achievable than it used to be,” says Nittmann. “You can expect boots to be more comfortable, last longer, and be comfortable when you’re walking.” Vents, zipper guards, stretch mesh, high-density heel foam, durable wetsuit-grade material, sterling silver accents, treads that repel dirt and grip the stirrup irons—you name it! Whatever your budget, preference or style, the perfect boot is out there! Natalie DeFee Mendik can be found at MendikMedia.com.

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PHOTOS: AK DRAGOO PHOTOGRAPHY

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The Fabulous Five A Look at a Few Great Horse Show Towns BY JENNIFER ROBERTS

T

o most people with the passion for horse shows, it doesn’t matter where you’re competing as long as you’re with your horse and ready to hit the ring. However, once the competition closes down for the day, it’s wonderful to be able to head out on the town, whether it is to grab a quick bite to eat, browse the nearby shops, or hit up the local watering hole. What show towns truly have it all? In our book, that means ample equestrian facilities (terrific footing is a must), and a town with a passion for horses, as well as plenty, and we mean plenty, of great restaurants, delis, and bistros in the area. Here’s a listing of five great show towns, with just some of the reasons they are worth visiting.

nothing like it. As a town that is completely inundated with horses each winter, the location caters to equines and equestrians. Boasting the longest running horse show in the world from January to March, Wellington has become a top destination for polo, dressage, and hunter/jumper riders. Bridle paths connect key areas of the town, begging the question: why drive or walk when you can ride? “Horse Crossing” signs are commonplace along the roads, and it is a familiar sight to see horses and riders hacking to the beautiful showgrounds from their exquisite barns in the surrounding area. While the city of Wellington caters to the horse show crowd, with coffee shops and tack shops on nearly every corner, upscale West Palm Beach is just 20 minutes away. It offers everything from a relaxing day watching the waves, to a high-energy night at the clubs, all within a cab ride from the showgrounds.

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One of the many beautiful equine facilities in Wellington.

PHOTOS: (TOP) MARCIA KULAK; (BOTTOM) DISCOVER THE PALM BEACHES

Wellington, Florida »Anyone who has ever visited Wellington will tell you that there is simply

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Lexington, Kentucky »As one might expect from the “Horse Capital of the World,” horses reign supreme, with picturesque farms and miles of fencing surrounding the incredible city. For those involved in the equine world, the 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park has no equal. Home to the 2010 World Equestrian Games, the park is able to cater to every equestrian discipline, including show jumping, eventing, and dressage. With museums, office buildings, restaurants, and a campground on the facility, there is almost no need to leave the horse park. But, when you do, the city of Lexington has a lot to offer. Lodging is conveniently located adjacent to the horse park, and the scenic drive makes you almost wish that it was a bit more of a commute. From fast food to indulgent cuisine from all over the globe, Lexington feeds not only the soul of the equestrian, but also the body. The Kentucky Horse Park has been the setting for some of the most prestigious competitions in the United States and even the world.

Vermont »JustManchester, north of Manchester is the picturesque showgrounds at Harold Beebe Farm,

PHOTOS: (TOP ABOVE) COURTESY OF LAND ROVER; (TOP BELOW) TED KEATING; (MIDDLE ABOVE) VERMONT SUMMER FESTIVAL; (MIDDLE BELOW) MANCHESTER DESIGNER OUTLETS; (BOTTOM ABOVE) WASHINGTON LEE UNIVERSITY; (BOTTOM BELOW) ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY

Scenic mountains set the stage for a top quality horse show. After a day of competing, the Manchester Designer Outlets allow you to “Shop ‘til you Drop.” »

framed by Vermont’s Green Mountains; it has an impressive show facility, with plenty of rings for schooling. Exhibitors can expect to be warmly welcomed at any of the area’s numerous local businesses, which include a large range of lodging options, restaurants, outdoor activities, and plenty of shopping. When you’re done competing, the surrounding towns are full of New England charm: historic homes, quaint country inns and taverns, and many comfortable, friendly places to stay and dine. This Mecca of summer recreation runs the gamut from hiking the Appalachian Trail, to golf, tennis, canoeing, hunting, fishing, and more. Manchester is known throughout the region as the home of world-class shopping! You’ll find everything, from couture clothing and gourmet food, to antiques and handmade arts and crafts. You’ll find over two dozen designer outlets in Manchester, including top names like Brooks Brothers, Kate Spade, Coach, and Ralph Lauren.

Lexington, Virginia »A quaint city, with not only a great horse show facility, but also a rich history, Lexington is worthy of the trip. Downtown offers many tributes to the Civil War, including the Museum of Military Memorabilia, the Virginia Military Institute Museum, and even Stonewall Jackson’s house. If history isn’t your thing, perhaps you’ll appreciate the fine architecture of the city, or the culinary array that is readily available. The Virginia Horse Park offers up all of the amenities in a compact setting that doesn’t require you to be a long-distance walker or to rent a golf cart. The sturdy, permanent barns, and the many outdoor rings, accent the airconditioned coliseum and a large indoor arena. A tack shop, located directly across the street, finishes off the superb setting. With small-town charm and a big equestrian presence, Lexington has an appeal that you truly need to experience to understand. Washington Lee University is one of Lexington’s major draws. The state-of-the-art coliseum at the Virginia Horse Park is just one of the many perks the facility offers. » Sport Horse 2013

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Pennsylvania »AskDevon, a number of hunter/jumper riders or dressage riders where their favorite show is held, and chances are you’ll hear Devon come up more than once. A town that once welcomed “gentlemen and their horses” is now the home of the largest outdoor horse show in the country. In addition to the incomparable Devon Horse Show each year, the facility also welcomes other high-profile events, such as Dressage at Devon. With a County Fair that runs year-round on the fairgrounds, the horse show competitor barely even needs to leave the premises. The Festival Shops offer exclusive apparel, fine arts, antiques, and collectibles from more than 65 vendors, and food from burgers to full gourmet meals. A midway, complete with a ferris wheel, provides entertainment in any downtime that you may have. When you do finally leave the grounds for the day, you’ll be amazed d to find that the country setting offers fabulous shopping, We want to know! Where is your beautiful gardens to favorite place to show? tour, and even a few Tell us on Facebook museums within the (facebook.com/ surrounding area. Make EquineJ) or Twitter the trip to Devon for (twitter.com/ EquineJournal). a unique, once-in-alifetime experience.

Since 1896, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair has promoted horsemanship and horse breeding for conformation, speed, and performance. « Devon is famous for its fabulous Ladies Hat Contests.

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American Quarter Horse Association … 41

King Construction ……………… Cover 2

Angel View Cemeteryy …………… Cover 3

Lady Jean Ranch ……………………… 20

Back on Trackk …………………… 24, 25

Lucerne Farms ……………………… 9

Blue Seal Nutrition

NEDA ………………………………… 47

…………… Cover 4

Classic Equine Equipment …………… 5

New England Equine Surgical

Congelosi Trailers …………………… 2

& Medical Centerr……………………… 26

DJ Reveal ……………………………… 16

October Hill Farm ……………… 30, 31

Elite Equine Imports …………… 34, 35

Olde Oaks Farm ………………… 36, 37

Equine Colic Relieff …………………… 15

P.Jolicoeur Collection ………………… 1

Equine Properties …………………… 16

Poulin Grain ………………………… 7

First Flight Farm ………………… 28, 29

Professionals Choice …………… 32, 33

Foster Meadow Farm ………………… 43

Purina Mills …………………………… 13

Horse Shows in the Sun ……………… 48

Pyranha, Inc ………………………… 43

Kerrits ………………………………… 17

Tom Balding Bits & Spurs …………… 16

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PHOTOS: (ABOVE) HOOF PRINT IMAGES; (BELOW) COURTESY OF THE DEVON HORSE SHOW

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Sporthorse (2013)  

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