The Plaid Horse August 2022 - The Pony Issue

Page 1

NORTH AMERICA’S HORSE SHOW MAGAZINE • PUBLISHED SINCE 2003 • AUGUST 2022 FEATURING: Averett University • Airlie Corder • Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation • Grier School

Prixview • Ponies: 20 Over 20 & 6 Under 6 • Equestrians of Color Photography Project: Sajid Saleem, Briana Villa

The Pony Issue COVER STORY

MIMI MADDOCK Rounds Over Ribbons: The Road to Pony Finals

$8.99 (ISSN 2573-9409) theplaidhorse.com PHOTOGRAPH BY ANNE GITTINS


SADDLE LAKE EQU

GOOD LUCK TO ALL PO GLASS VIEW’S STAR TREKKER

COMING UP GOLD

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UESTRIAN CENTER

ONIES AT PONY FINALS! ROYAL & RARE

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EAGLE CREEKS BOPPITY shown by Emma Ludwar medium green available asfter Pony Finals

HOLDING THE DREAM large green AVAILABLE

DRAGONFLY

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CONGRATULATIONS

SOPHIA WELNIAK

Sophia, we are so proud of your hard work, dedication and determination to all your successes. Keep dreaming big dreams! Enjoy Pony Finals! All our love: Dad, Mom & Shelby

A special thank you to Melanie Wright and Sybil Greene of Wynmore Farms.

Sybil Greene wynmorefarm@aol.com


WYNMORE FARM WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE

Sophia Welniak, Peyton Scott, & Gracie Altobello Sales, Lessons, Showing

on a successful show season! We are so proud! Good Luck at Pony Finals!!

We would also like to send a big thank you to all the parents for their love and support. We could not do this without you!


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Woodlands Ladybug

Cause For Applause

JOSSLYN REAVIS

SANNA WEST

Small Green

Medium Regular

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Congratulations & good luck to the Sea Hunter Farm riders and ponies competing at Pony Finals 2022!

SCAN FOR MORE INFO ON AVAILABLE PONIES

PHOTOS BY: TYLER GRAHAM EQUINE PHOTOGRAPHY, KIRSTEN HANNAH PHOTOGRAPHY MEGHAN BENGE PHOTOGRAPHY, ANDREW RYBACK PHOTOGRAPHY

Sea Hunter Farm

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Owner/Trainer: Kit Menis


Monroyale

Making Good Choices

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Publisher & Editor-in-Chief:

PIPER KLEMM, PH.D.

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Peyton Parks

Tegan Price

Elizabeth Serafini




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AUGUST

The

PLAID HORSE

2022

The Pony Issue 38

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Is it a Measure or s it a Target?

60

SPOTLIGHT

The Grier School: A True Equestrian Dynasty 68

SPOTLIGHT

Averett University: Preparing Students in Danville, Virginia Tyler Bui

52

SPOTLIGHT

Airlie Corder: A Junior Rider on the Rise Tyler Bui

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August 2022

102

Prixview: Fantasy Sports Games for the Equestrian Industry

COVER STORY

Heritage Farm: Mimi Maddock Heads to Pony Finals Catie Staszak

HORSES

American Bred: Dream Big Tori Sheehan

110

SPOTLIGHT

Piper Klemm, Ph.D. & Tyler Bui

Piper Klemm, Ph.D. & Tyler Bui

46

SPOTLIGHT

The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Tyler Bui

Piper Klemm, Ph.D.

42

56

112

COMMUNITY

The Plaid Horse Questionnaire: Bob Crandall HORSES

5 Strides with Rashinga Via her rider Brianne Beerbaum


NORTH AMERICA’S HORSE SHOW MAGAZINE • PUBLISHED SINCE 2003 • AUGUST 2022 FEATURING: Averett University • Airlie Corder • Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation • Grier School Prixview • Ponies: 20 Over 20 & 6 Under 6 • Equestrians of Color Photography Project: Sajid Saleem, Briana Villa

The Pony Issue COVER STORY

MIMI MADDOCK Rounds Over Ribbons: The Road to Pony Finals

$8.99 (ISSN 2573-9409) theplaidhorse.com PHOTOGRAPH BY ANNE GITTINS

Mimi Maddock with her three 2022 USEF Pony Finals-bound ponies: (L to R) Hey Scooby, Super Sport, and Qualen’s Got Magic


CONGRATULATIONS

Emma Ludwar

LOVE, LOVE, MOM MOM & & DAD DAD

Kim Gaudry Photography

Steve Charles, Totem Photographics

Rylee Smolarchuk Photos

Stephany Powers | 96161 402 Avenue West, Okotoks, AB, Canada powersequestrian.com | (403) 585-8596



PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Is it a Measure Or Is it a Target? I LOVE DATA , I love to know more, and I love to measure every parameter that we possibly have. I stare at heel heights on USEF Measurement Cards. Does that correlate with longevity? What do our 20 over 20 ponies—with a combined several hundred trips around the Walnut Ring—have to teach us? As humans, data can make us better and also make us so specialized, individualized, and high-tech. But it can also be hard to follow the initial justification or goal of what we are doing. Goodhart’s Law, as described by British economist Charles Goodhart, describes defining systems as, “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be

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Piper signing Show Strides at Breyerfest in Lexington, KY, in July at Taborton Equine Books

a good measure.”* I had been struggling to describe so many things I see in our equestrian world, and while reading and chatting about them, I came across this and it is so succinct. We see so many examples all around us—when we target winning at the big show, such as an equitation final, we become so extreme in that target that we

totally forget that it was intended as a measured stepping stone into the jumper ring and international show jumping success. When we obsess about ribbons at Pony Finals, in lieu of sweat and desire to be a better rider, it is sometimes easier on trainers to spend for the prettiest pony they can find. These are natural market-driven reactions to targeting outcomes.

*Strathern, Marilyn (1997). “’Improving ratings’: audit in the British University system”. European Review. John Wiley & Sons. 5 (3): 305–321.


When we focus on micro goals, we become obsessed with achieving them, and that can often be at the expense of the big picture. Why do we ride? How does loving horses bring us to a more full and rich life? How do we make this a sustainable physical, emotional, and financial sport lifelong? How can we serve our community and facilitate opportunity and betterment for all horses and all people? When I think about measures and not targets, I want to help our sport be more of a community. I want everyone to feel welcome. I want horses to receive exceptional care. I want there to be pathways so that if people have commitment and desire, they can make a career among us, they can see a way to raise a family in our midst, and that pipe dream of extreme excellence and accolades just might be available to those who never give up. My own goals are having my horses their whole lives and making sure they always have the best life possible. I want to be part of this sport for my whole life. To be part of the solution on so many levels. To never get comfortable enough that I stop being brave. There really aren’t any ribbons in my goals. Yes, I’m a fierce competitor and leave it all in the ring during just about every single ride. I want to do my best. I want my horses PHOTOS: BRIANNA ENGELKEIMER

ABOVE:

MTM Sandwich (Rebuen) and Olivia Korzep in a lesson with Emily Elek at Stonewall Farm in Ixonia, WI RIGHT:

Reuben and Anna Kovacs at Stonewall

August 2022

THE PLAID HORSE

39


PUBLISHER’S NOTE

to wake up in the morning and want to perform just as hard as I do. That’s my target. And the measure of that—the ribbons—should come if I do every step of the process for all the right reasons, every single time. The photos in this pub note are from this summer when 12 students from the Metropolitan Equestrian Team, a non-profit organization based in New York City with students from all over the country, came together at Stonewall Farm. They learned from all kinds of industry professionals, had many riding lessons, built friendships with all sorts of fellow horsewomen, and developed more empathy and sense for better handling of their horses. This was made possible by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, MZ Farms, the Becky family, and all the adults who volunteered their time and energy and horses to make it possible. My targets of better learning, opportunities, support, and community in this sport were achieved by any measure.

RIGHT: Taco and Simone Taylor were part of the Metropolitan Equestrian Team Grant Week at Stonewall Farm, sponsored by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, MZ Farms LLC, and the Becky family BELOW: Some adult volunteers for the week— Catherine Muzzy, Rennie Dyball, Piper Klemm, and MET Director Lana Ciaramella

Dr. Shannon Roska, DVM, of Johnson Equine Veterinary Service, LTD, spent the day with students. She showed them hoof X-rays in a collaborative plan with farrier Kendra Skorstad (pictured), lameness exams, and joint injections

Piper Klemm, PHD TPH PUBLISHER Follow me on Instagram at @piperklemm

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PHOTOS, FROM TOP: COPPER ARROW PHOTOGRAPHY; TATUM MITCHELL; COPPER HILL PHOTOGRAPHY


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SPOTLIGHT

GRIER SCHOOL A True Equestrian Dynasty WORDS:

PIPER KLEMM AND TYLER BUI

WHEN WE THINK ABOUT dynastic teams dominating sport for

extended periods of time, we almost never think about equestrians. There are a couple—four-time US Olympian McLain Ward in the Grand Prix of The Devon Horse Show, which he won for the 12th time in 2022; Margie Engle has ten American Grand Prix Rider of the Year titles; and Captain Canada Ian Miller holds the record of most Olympic Games appearance by any athlete in any sport at 10 Olympics (1972-2012), as well as being a 12-time winner of the Canadian Show Jumping Championship. And now we have Grier School.

Grier School is an all-girls private boarding school located in Birmingham, PA. The team has never lost an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Final Championship in Dressage—literally undefeated back to back wins. Grier’s Middle School Western Team earned the National Title in 2022, the fifth year in a row of earning the tricolor. Grier is the only team out of 1,452 IEA teams in the country to qualify as a full team plus individuals in all three disciplines. Not only did they qualify, Grier School provided horses for hunt seat, dressage, and western competition, amassing 25 class wins with riders from all over the

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country. Grier came home with both the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Fences Horse on the hunt seat side and the APHA Most Valuable Paint Horse on the western side. Individual titles and winners are never at the group’s expense or an exclusionary experience. Grier School also won the Team Spirit Award, repeating their win from the last IEA National Championships in Harrisburg, PA. “One thing I absolutely love about our program is that anybody who wants to try can ride,” says Director of Riding Chrystal Wood, the driving force behind this juggernaut. “We have our recreational program, which is open to absolutely anyone. It’s for riders who maybe have


never ridden a horse before—riders who just want to give it a try and see if it’s something that they’re interested in. It really opens up that opportunity for girls who are at any level.” Founded in 1853, Grier School currently has about 250 students who are offered over 20 honors programs and classes, 22 AP courses, and 24 different on-campus clubs. With both day and boarding students, Grier School offers an inclusive and diverse learning environment for all students, with 40% of the student body made up of students from over 30 countries worldwide. For students looking for an exceptionally vigorous curriculum, Grier offers their Elite Scholars Program, with college-level courses approved by the College Board. “Grier School has been in the business of educating women for nearly 170 years, which is longer than just about any other educational institution in the United States. We’re really proud of that fact,” says Geoffrey Grier, the school’s director. “We are a direct, real, proponent of educational opportunities and have been for over 170 years. There is no question that in an all-girls setting, students learn more, females learn more—they are more involved, they are prone to go onto more leadership positions.” In addition to its superior academic program, Grier School is known for its three signature programs: riding, dance, and arts, both performing and visual. The riding school at Grier offers several programs for students to achieve their personal riding goals. Students in the program will ride anywhere from two to five days a week, receiving instruction from one of six professionals in both English and Western. One of the Grier Riding School instructors, Kerry Kocher, is also a nationally sought-after USEF licensed official with a R Judging Card in Hunters and Jumpers, as well as Course Designer. “The riding program is a few steps away from the main building,” says Wood.

PHOTOS: WINSLOW; SHAWN MCMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY (MIDDLE LEFT); ANDREW RYBACK PHOTOGRAPHY (TOP RIGHT)

August 2022

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SPOTLIGHT

“When I think of Grier, I think of a place that girls can call home, a place they can come back anytime and feel welcomed. A place where you don’t feel judged and others share in your passion for horses.” —CHRYSTAL WOOD, Director of Riding, Grier School

“There are girls who spend time at the barn from the minute after the bell rings to dinnertime. There’s other girls who just come up and ride. Students can really make it into something where they can learn and grow and or they could just ride for fun. I think it’s really great that students have the ability to be able to do as much or as little as they want.” The facilities are set on 300 acres with six horse barns, four outdoor arenas, trails, two indoor arenas, one fitted with a heated mezzanine for spectators, heated offices, and a lounge. The “show indoor” is 250’ x 125’. There are over 50 horses, ranging from the beginner level up to the 1.20 m jumpers and 3’6” hunters and equitation. Students are able, but not required, to bring their personal horses, in addition to riding and showing the horses owned by Grier School. The school additionally has a seven-horse and a two-horse trailer which allows them to transport their horses to horse shows in order to keep costs as minimal as possible for riders. Students learn to and care for their own horses, with a strong emphasis on horsemanship throughout the program. Grier School offers both a Varsity and JV riding program. Students in the Varsity program ride six days a week and participate in four riding lessons per

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week. They have a free-riding option, which is a supervised riding period on Fridays and Saturdays. The JV program is more tailored to students who want to participate in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA). Led by Wood, students compete in shows ranging from schooling to A circuit shows. Students have the opportunity to compete in shows such as The Devon Horse Show, Pony Finals, the National Horse Show, IEA Nationals, AQHA shows, Congress, NAYC for Dressage, and AHA Nationals. “We do at least one or two hunter jumper rated shows a month, at least one dressage show per month, and we try to also go to a schooling show,” says Wood. “I think it’s really important to the program that we offer a little bit of everything. Schooling shows really help build riders’ confidence and give them a lot of purpose. We try to really offer the best of both worlds and not just for the students who are showing in the premier horse shows.”

Many riders who graduate from Grier School go off to ride as a student-athlete in Division I,II, and III programs. Additionally, many compete in IHSA and IDA programs across the United States and become professionals in the industry, located worldwide from the US to Europe and the Middle East. “As far as IEA, Grier School has been undefeated since the inception of IEA Dressage,” says Wood. “In this last National Final, we qualified 24 riders in 53 classes across all three disciplines. Grier is the only team out of 1,452 IEA teams in the country to qualify as a full team plus individuals in all three disciplines.” “I can’t emphasize enough how much I believe that this is a dynastic program, as you would find from the Boston Celtics of the 1950s or the Women’s Olympic Basketball Team—Chrystal’s dressage team has never lost a national championship,” says Geoffrey Grier. “The legacy and the tradition of winning here is unrivaled. It’s all due to Chrystal’s hard work. She has created a true dynasty in the United States, as far as riding programs go.” For Wood, Grier School means so much more than just a school or career. As a child, Wood remembers driving by campus and dreaming about what it would be like to attend. Eventually, she found herself as a teacher at Grier which has now come full circle. “When I think of Grier, I think of a place that girls can call home, a place they can come back anytime and feel welcomed,” says Wood. “A place where you don’t feel judged and others share in your passion for horses. It is one great big family where lifelong friendships are forged and unforgettable memories are made.” Kara Lawler, Grier School Head of Admissions, can be reached at klawler@grier.org or at 814-684-3000 ext. 7006

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SPOTLIGHT

AVERETT UNIVERSITY Preparing students for careers in the horse industry WORDS: TYLER

BUI

FOR STUDENTS LOOKING to pursue a career in the equestrian

industry as well as ride on a collegiate level, finding the right university that offers both may be rare. Averett University is a small liberal arts college with both Equestrian Studies Degree Programs and an Equestrian Team, and the university combines the two to create a comprehensive experience for their students.

Averett University offers six different concentrations for students within their Equestrian Studies Degree Programs: Equine Science, Equine Management, Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, Eventing Instruction, Dressage Instruction, and the newly instated Equine Sports Communication concentration. Each student who is on the equestrian team is also a major or minor in the Equestrian Studies Degree Program. There are currently 15 students on the equestrian team. The team competes in the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) and the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) and offers dressage, eventing, and hunt seat intrustruction. “Part of the reason why every team rider is in the academic program is because everything we do is so embedded within

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the curriculum of our academic major,” says Ginger Henderson, head coach of the Averett Equestrian Team. “It’s almost impossible for a student to just come out and practice once a week and not be involved in all the other things that we’re doing because it’s such a comprehensive program.”

EQUINE SCIENCE For students preparing for veterinary school, the Equine Science concentration offers a pre-vet track specifically focused on horses. These students are able to focus their studies on specifically equine science rather than large animals, and also are given ample hands-on opportunities to prepare them for veterinary school. “We’ve had great success with this program,” says Henderson. “We have vets on staff who teach all of the equine science-specific


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Averett University Equestrian Team at the IDA National Championships 2022; IDA national championship rings; Brie Riley competing at the Virginia Horse Center Starter Trials; Alumni Jessie Hayes with “Pops”

PHOTO: KTB CREATIVE GROUP (TOP)

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SPOTLIGHT courses and they also help mentor our students in terms of getting into vet school.”

EQUINE MANAGEMENT The Equine Management Concentration is geared toward students who are looking to pursue a career in business administration within the equine industry. “This concentration is almost like doing a combined major within the business department. Students take accounting, human resources, and similar traditional business courses,” says Henderson. “It’s for students who want to graduate and pursue jobs such as marketing, retail, and sales, all specifically in the equine-specific sector.”

EQUINE-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY Students looking to go into the field of mental health are able to pair their equine experience directly with their career. The program follows the EAGALA Model, which is the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. “We have an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy concentration which is focused specifically on the mental health aspect, rather than the hippotherapy aspect,” says Henderson. “As part of the academic portion of that degree, students go through a training with the EAGALA and when they come out they have an industry certification as well. We try to pair a lot of our concentrations with things that students can also get industry certifications in to help strengthen them when they get out of school or try getting a job.”

DRESSAGE AND EVENTING INSTRUCTION The Dressage and Eventing Instruction concentrations specifically correlate to riding. For those looking to ride and teach professionally, they are able to focus both their studies and their riding toward their career. “Students in these instruction concentrations have to compete in their chosen discipline as part of their academic program,” says Henderson. “They are going out and doing things in the industry as well as on the collegiate level. And before students graduate, they will take the American Riding Instructor Association testing, so that when they graduate they will have an instructor certification that is industry-recognized, as well as their bachelor’s degree.”

EQUINE SPORTS COMMUNICATION The Equine Sports Communication concentration is the newest addition to the Equine Studies Degree Program, and students work with the Communications Department. “The program has developed a whole curriculum focused on sports communication and social media marketing,” says Henderson. “Those students will be doing practicums and internships focused around that subject.”

THE AVERETT UNIVERSITY EQUESTRIAN TEAM Henderson has been coaching at the university since 2004. She is the National President of the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) and has her USDF “L” judges certification. Henderson is a graduate of Ohio State University, Averett University, and Lynchburg University, and has degrees in Equine Management and Production, Human Resource Development and a master’s

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Ginger Henderson preparing Liza Anikeeva for her test at IDA nationals 2022

in Agency Counseling. She is also EAGALA Certified. Outside of her coaching role, Henderson still rides and competes on several home-bred horses. She is accompanied by assistant coaches Shannon Stone and Kristin Kelly, with Stone specializing in dressage and Kelly specializing in hunt seat. “We really have a very strong team aspect for how we run this department. I think that really filters down through everything we do and what all of our students do,” says Henderson. “We say that we have an Equestrian Team, and all of our riders, regardless of whether they ride on IDA or IHSA, are just Equestrian Team members. We really stress the team aspect and believe that there’s value in everything that we all do and that we all work at it together.” The Averett University Equestrian Center sits on around 100 acres and has a 40-stall barn, an indoor arena, two outdoor arenas, and a student locker room. All of the team’s horses are either donated or on lease, and range from school horses to upper level competition horses. Within the two intercollegiate riding programs—IDA and IHSA— many riders compete in multiple disciplines. Prior to the pandemic, The Averett Equestrian Team was ranked either #1 or #2 in the country three out of the last four years. “Something that’s special about our program is that we’re a really small school and small department, so pretty much all of our students who want to be on a team get to be on a team and they’re showing,” says Henderson. “So even as a freshman, we make a point to make sure that every freshman gets to show at least once. You’re not waiting until you’re a senior to get a spot to compete.” For students who are studying Eventing Instruction or ride in the discipline, Averett University partners with Sandy River Equestrian Center which is an eventing specialty barn. Students are able to board their personal horses and also ride horses that belong to the Equestrian Center, and they show their horses through their program.

PHOTO: KTB CREATIVE GROUP (LEFT)


Aerial rendering of the Averett University Equestrian Center

A DAY IN THE LIFE Henderson described a typical day for a first-year student, as they have the most structured schedule to help them get acclimated to the collegiate environment. Most students attend their regular academic classes on campus in the mornings, and for two afternoons each week, they are at the barn from around 12:30-6:30 p.m. “They will come out and have their riding lesson—one day is always dressage and the other day is always jumping. Following their lesson, they will do a lab class where they will learn about braiding or wrapping, facility design, anything and everything that has to do with managing and taking care of horses. After that, all of our students in their freshman year participate in running the barn so they’re going to stay, they’re going to feed, they’re going to turn all the horses out, clean the barn, and close everything down.” Each riding lesson that a student-athlete takes counts toward academic credit, so time in the saddle counts toward their degree. “We have no regular courses taught on Fridays, they are always for team practices. Students will be assigned time on Friday that they come out and practice, maybe for both IDA and IHSA,” says Henderson. “Anybody who’s on a team is automatically riding a minimum of three times a week, and there is opportunity for extra riding. Weekends are for horse shows. We have either an intercollegiate horse show or an open horse show almost every weekend of the semester. There are schooling shows for people to go to, and we host one open horse show at our facility every semester, so there’s that and then we also go to the USDF shows.” “We have a course for students in their junior year that is called advanced stable management,” Henderson adds. “It’s an academic course, but a piece also allows them to act as assistant managers out at the facility, so they supervise all of our freshmen workers, they manage on weekends, and a big portion of that class is applying what they’ve learned in their business courses about how to motivate employees. Everything we do in the department, they’re taking what they learn in their classes, and learning to apply it in real world situations at the equestrian center. It becomes very, very comprehensive.”

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES LIZA ANIKEEVA is a

ANNE MORGAN is a third-year

fourth-year student from Russia who is majoring in Equestrian Management with a concentration in Dressage. She is one of the team captains, and will ride and work at a dressage barn in Lynchburg, VA, after graduation. She has been riding for 17 years, and mainly competed in dressage. Since coming to Averett, she has also started riding hunt seat as well.

student majoring in Equine Management. She competed in eventing until attending Averett, and has now picked up dressage and has competed up to second level with the team. After graduation, Morgan plans to become a working student for an upper-level eventer, eventually looking to create her own business training and reselling Off-Track Thoroughbreds.

“I always wanted to study abroad because our equine industry back home is not as developed,” says Anikeeva. “I knew that I wanted to work with horses for my career, and so I started looking at schools in Europe and the United States and found that some schools even offered majors that had to do with horses, which I did not know was possible.”

“Since the minute I arrived at Averett, it’s like I have been put into a big family, everyone is so nice and I have made a lot of friends,” says Morgan. “I have learned a lot of leadership and time management skills—I am one of the captains of the IDA and IHSA teams, so I have learned how to guide people and help my teammates out, which will be helpful when I graduate and begin working. I’ve been able to get out of my shell and learn how to manage people and plan.”

While Anikeeva said she definitely experienced a transition period coming to the U.S., she has found a second home at Averett and loves everything about her college experience. “I actually enjoy being in class now—I enjoy doing assignments for my classes, I love learning about all the topics we cover,” says Anikeeva. “For the team aspect, I love how close the team is. I’ve built so many relationships with my teammates. Traveling together, riding together, working out together, it’s just fun.” Juggling academics and riding can be challenging, she adds, “but since it’s something that I want to do for a living, and since it’s my passion, it doesn’t seem like work.”

In addition to her Equine Management major, Morgan is also minoring in Dressage Instruction. She says that being able to combine her academics with her riding skills is so rewarding, and that it’s exciting to see how the knowledge learned at Averett will help her build a successful career. “I really enjoy getting to learn and read more about the horse industry as a whole,” says Morgan. “Right now I’m taking a class where we build a business plan for our future business, and I love that class because it really makes me think about what I will need to do in the future, and how I’m going to use all the skills I’ve learned at Averett.”




SPOTLIGHT

“SHE’S FOCUSED ON LOVING THEM” WORDS:

TYLER BUI

Airlie Corder is a junior rider on the rise— and caring for her animals comes first

PHOTOS:

BAILEY BECK, WES CORDER, KIRSTEN HANNAH PHOTOGRAPHY & SHAWN McMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

AIRLIE CORDER is leading by example. The 12-year-old rider has dedicated herself to every aspect of the sport, in and out of the saddle. Airlie took her first lesson at age six at Champions Corner in Wilmington, NC, and today, her family owns and operates Azalea Coast Farm in Wilmington, NC, where she participates in much of her animals’ care.

Airlie on Konan Z competing in the NCHJA 2022 Children’s Medal Finals

“I’ve always been drawn to horses,” Airlie tells The Plaid Horse. “It’s the one thing that gave me confidence and I always see myself riding in the future.” Currently, she shows her ponies JMR Ovation in the Medium Pony Hunter division and Whisper 2 Me in the Large Pony Hunter division, along with Konan Z, owned by Chapel Bartee, in the 3’ equitation medals and derbies. After she began taking lessons, Airlie quickly jumped into her local show circuit. She started out in the leadline division, moved up to the walk/trot and then the crossrails. At age eight, Rob Jacobs helped Airlie and her parents find her first pony, her large, “Whisper,” who took her from the crossrails all the way up to the regular large division. In 2019, Airlie got her medium pony, “Jake,” with whom she competed in the Medium Green Pony Hunters at the 2021 Pony Finals.

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“I get to learn more about myself every day while doing a sport that gives me more confidence.” —AIRLIE CORDER

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SPOTLIGHT

“She’s such a dedicated rider and child. It’s just amazing to see someone her age be so driven. She never gives up on herself. She keeps pushing harder.” —JENNIFER CORDER

MAKING HORSES A FAMILY AFFAIR Three years ago, the Corder family made the decision to purchase land and establish Azalea Coast Horse Farm. “Around here, there’s really not a lot of show barns that are competing on the hunter/jumper circuit,” says Wes Corder, Airlie’s dad. “We bought the farm, renovated the property, and most of Airlie’s riding friends came to the farm with her. A lot of them go to the same school, so they go to school and carpool back to the barn together. It’s been a place for families to go and hang out and then a place for Airlie to ride not only by herself with her trainer, but also with her friends.” Adds Airlie, “Having my own farm has definitely given me a lot of opportunities— being able to ride and show more as well has helped me progress my riding career. It’s nice to be able to have friendships at the barn, and being able to do something with your closest friends and share something that we all love is special.” Airlie and the other young riders at Azalea Coast Farm are trained by Kendall Mashburn. Mashburn is a North Carolina native with an extensive list of accolades, including ribbons at Pony Finals and Junior Hunter Finals. During her time at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, she was the president of the UNCW Equestrian Team and continued to compete on her own horses outside of collegiate riding as well. She became a

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Airlie on her pony Whisper at Pony Finals 2021 (left) and on Celtic Creek’s Copper Penny, owned by Kendall Mashburn, in the pony jumpers

professional in 2019, and now works as the head trainer at Azalea Coast Horse Farm. “I’ve made so much progress with her from where we started. Kendall really believes in me and encourages me,” says Airlie. “As you’re learning, it’s always something different—we’re learning in a fun way and leaves me always wanting to learn more. We also have a wonderful barn manager, Veronica Barringer, who helps take care of the horses. She’s taught me a lot about proper horse care.” Barringer found her love for developing and training horses after her first position as a working student for Matthias Hollberg. She continued to work as a groom for top riders traveling to competitions over the world until realizing that her true passion was managing horses at home, managing their daily care and programs. Airlie’s dedication spans her schoolwork, her riding, and caring for her horses and ponies. She heads straight to the barn after classes are finished, and not only rides but also cares for her animals herself. After getting home from the barn, she studies and completes

her schoolwork, and is vigilant about catching up on any missed assignments from horse shows. “I have to be very organized with all my work so I can balance out everything, especially with missing days for horse shows,” says Airlie. “Horses and school are equally as important to me.” This past year was not only Airlie’s first year competing at Pony Finals, but was also her first year showing on the A Circuit. Looking ahead, she has set big goals for herself and works tirelessly each day to get closer to achieving them. She plans to take her large pony to Pony Finals in 2023, and also hopes to move up to the Junior Hunters and into the jumper ring as well. The best part of riding for Airlie is that, “I get to learn more about myself every day while doing a sport that gives me more confidence,” she says. Corder’s parents, Wes and Jennifer, are most proud of their daughter’s work ethic and passion for the sport. “What stands out about Airlie is that she’s extremely motivated and organized. She’s never let anybody deter her from thinking her goals are impossible or that the dream is too big. When we go to horse shows, she does the bulk of the work herself,” says Wes. “She’s put the work in to be successful, which, as her father, is the thing I’m most proud of. For Airlie, it’s not about winning. At all. Number one, she loves horses no matter what. She’s focused on loving them, bonding with them, having a great relationship with them and then being successful together.” “From a young age, Airlie knew this is what she wanted. She has put in so much work herself in the past years, making sure that she accomplishes her dreams and her goals,” Jennifer adds. “She’s such a dedicated rider and child. It’s just amazing to see someone her age be so driven. She never gives up on herself. She keeps pushing harder.”


©Anne Gittens Photography

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Dr. Amanda

Ziegler from North Carolina State University with a colic patient; Miniature mare and foal used for Grayson funded research at the University of Florida; PET Scan machine in use at UC Davis; Grayson Board Chair, Dell Hancock of Claiborne Farm; Grayson Funded Researcher Dr. Jeroen Pollet with a foal at Texas A&M University; A foal being nebulized for Grayson research by Dr. Cohen

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SPOTLIGHT

THE GRAYSONJOCKEY CLUB RESEARCH FOUNDATION

WORDS: TYLER

BUI

Dedicated to the Development of Equine Research THE GR AYSON-JOCKEY CLUB RESE ARCH FOUNDATION

is the industry’s leader in equine-research funding. Since 1983, the foundation has given $32.1 million to 45 institutions across 412 projects, with the goal to provide the highest level of research toward equine health and develop the most innovative technology to combat illness and injury. The foundation was established in the late 1930s by a group of horsemen who not only enjoyed horses for pleasure, but also as a form of transportation. The men began gathering funds in 1939, and by 1940, they were able to give out their first grant to the University of Pennsylvania. The foundation is named after Admiral Cary T. Grayson, who was the head of American Red Cross, personal physician to President Woodrow Wilson, and the owner of Blue Ridge Farm, home to several champion racehorses. In 1989, the foundation merged with the Jockey Club to become the Grayson-Jockey

Club Research Foundation. Today, the board of directors is led by chairman Dell Hancock, who has helped the foundation grow and expand with her commitment and passion for horses. “Disease, virus, and maladies don’t go up to an animal and ask what breed it is, what discipline it participates in, or how big it is. Those things just happen to the equine community,” says Jamie Haydon, President of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “Even though the Thoroughbred leaders were providing most of the funding and have been traditionally, all of our research benefits all horses, it is not set aside for one breed or discipline.”

Since its establishment, the GraysonJockey Club Research Foundation has provided funding for research covering everything from joint injury to a Novel Strangles vaccine. The research is largely funded by the donations of individuals and organizations in addition to corporate partners. One recent project that was widely successful was the use of a Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan) on equines. “In 2016, a group at The University of California-Davis brought us a project and they said they would like to PET scan a horse. It had never been done outside of humans,” says Haydon. “It finds tumors, but it also finds bone bruising, and the group at UC Davis was able to adapt a human PET scan, anesthetize a horse, turn him on his side and scan him. In 2019, they came back with another PET scan project that’s a new machine. It has a breakaway ring where you only have to mildly sedate the horse and it goes to scan all four limbs from above the knee in about 40 minutes. There will

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SPOTLIGHT

Storm Cat Career Award winner, Dr. Bruno C. Menarim

“We’re helping the veterinarians come up with the protocols and treatment strategies, and, in some cases, life-saving strategies to protect the health of the everyday horse.” —HOLLY WHITE, Director of Development, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

be eight of those machines in the United States and one in Melbourne, Australia, by the end of the year. So from 2016 to 2022, we took on stuff that had never been done before in horses, and now it’s going to be at eight different veterinary clinics around the world.” One project in particular has a unique origin, as researchers were able to gain valuable insight from the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, at Texas A&M University, a team is conducting research to develop an mRNA vaccine delivered by inhalation to protect foals against pneumonia caused by Rhodococcus equi. A lot of information “came out of the use of mRNA with the COVID-19 vaccine, so it has helped expand into our equine research as well,” says Holly White, Director of Development, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. Most recently, the foundation received a donation of $2 million from Dr. John Ballantyne and Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation to go towards research focusing on a vaccine for equine herpes virus (EHV ). “This year, in addition to the $1 million+ we hope to give out, we will also award out special grants just in the area to cover EHV,” says Haydon. “The designation for this will be to develop a vaccine covering all variants. It really is just a way for us to not only further the understanding of the disease but hopefully eradicate it.” The foundation undergoes an intensive process every October in which each grant application is carefully vetted.

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There can be anywhere from 50 to 70 grant applications from universities across eight different countries. The grant applications are reviewed by the foundation’s Research Advisory Committee, which is made up of 32 individuals, led by veterinary consultant Johnny Mac Smith, DVM, Co-founder of Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital. The chairman of the committee is Stephen Reed, DVM, from Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. The remainder of the committee is made up of veterinarians who are academics and private practitioners. When the foundation receives a grant application, Dr. Smith will review it for content and assign a group of four to each one. That team will be made up of two academics and two private veterinarians, whether they be surgeons, racetrack vets, sport horse vets, etc. “We don’t ever want to fund research that’s not impactful, so we want to have those practitioners there to see how we are going to implement it in the field,” says Haydon. “They will debate and score those and then recommend those to the board.” The score that each grant application receives is based on scientific approach, the feasibility of the team, the probability of completion, the impact the research will have, and the budget. Once awarded, the team is given a timeline with certain deliverables they must provide the foundation. “They’ll complete their research, and after their manuscript has been submitted to the publications, then the

peer reviewed journal publication, and after the individual investigator and research team review period, it will go to publication,” says Haydon. “Usually, one-year grants will be published 12 to 18 months after the completion of the grant.” Not only is the research directly impactful to the universities and veterinarians involved, but to each and every horse owner. The research the GraysonJockey Club Research Foundation funds is equally important to every discipline and breed within the sport. “I had a horse that went through colic surgery and had some different treatments done to him that came out of Grayson-funded research,” says White. “We’re helping the veterinarians come up with the protocols and treatment strategies, and, in some cases, life-saving strategies to protect the health of the everyday horse. If we don’t have the support of the general horse ownership community, then we can’t continue to do what we do to provide the practicing veterinarian the tools to help treat your horse in their moment of need.” The foundation hopes to gain support from more associations similar to their partnership with the United States Eventing Association, in addition to individual donors. “All these associations are made up of people who love horses and love the sport, and they themselves don’t have dedicated areas that are funding research,” says White. “If we could get more equine groups to work in partnership with us, that would significantly help fill the void.” The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation aims to continue in their journey to find and develop the best equine-research and science possible, to better understand and overcome the issues the industry faces. “We’re the largest provider of equine-research funding on a yearly basis, and it’s not enough,” says Haydon. “We’ve never left our room thinking that we’ve funded bad research, but we always leave wishing we had more to give out.” To learn more about the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation or to make a donation, visit www.grayson-jockeyclub.org/.



SPOTLIGHT

PRIXVIEW Fantasy Sports Games for the Equestrian Industry—and Beyond WORDS:

PIPER KLEMM

LUCY DAVIS HAS developed quite the list of ac-

complishments—from her Olympic silver medal to her bronze medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games, she continues to find success at the highest level of the sport. However, Davis’ latest accomplishment, while it may still involve horses, is something the sport has never seen before.

Prixview, founded by CEO Lucy Davis and Rob Gierkink, brings fantasy sports games to the equestrian industry, offering cash prizes as the leading sports data provider in the sport. It’s free to play, and users are able to not only participate in fantasy play, but also analyze competitions in a new, revolutionary way tracking jump types, faults, point of contact, terrain, and more. Davis’ inspiration comes from not only her career, but her childhood experiences as well. Growing up in a family that was involved in the horse racing industry, she was exposed to the wagering aspect of horse racing. As a rider, she noticed the difference in the spectator aspect of the sport in Europe compared to the US, where large crowds gather to watch the top classes. “At the Rio Olympics, I was quoted as the wrong age two days in a row, with the wrong trainer. Other than that, they just talked about how nice my horse was, and that we were a good partnership. But they didn’t say, ‘Lucy has had this percentage clear round rate over the past five years with this horse. Even though she’s the

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Founded by Lucy Davis (far right) and Rob Gierkink, Prixview offers weekly head-to-head matchups on competitions around the world


“I created Prixview to help grow and engage the sport’s audience.” —LUCY DAVIS, CEO

PHOTOS: COURTESY PRIXVIEW

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SPOTLIGHT

youngest on the team, she’s had six double clear Nation’s Cup performances. When she does have a rail it’s usually a vertical, and vertical into a combination.’ ” It became clear to Davis that the sport was missing clear-cut data. Not only is Prixview looking to entertain and engage fans, the platform also aims to help these top athletes and coaches. “Data is, in other sports, how they find their players. They use the data to place them in the best possible position to thrive. I hope athletes can use it as a resource to help elevate their performance,” she says. “It gets you thinking and hopefully helps you and your trainers figure out how you can improve.” Prixview’s mission is to offer high-quality data in order to provide more context— to grow the fan base and create new monetization opportunities within the sport. “Sports like golf are also all-day long with multiple athletes around the same

course. They all have different strategies, and it becomes super interesting to see the technicality,” she says. “What we’re building is a huge performance data archive. One of the reasons that this data is powerful is that it creates the possibility to serve audiences with insights that help them understand what’s going on...Gaming is the gateway to getting audiences interested in the competition, and then we can serve them with more and more educational content, statistics, and figures to grow their fandom.” In April 2021, the idea of Prixview was born. Davis and Gierkink realized that gaming and sports betting was a way to engage fans through entertainment, while also providing an educational aspect as well. “You have enough on the line, even in a free-to-play context, to learn more about the riders, the horses, and the format of the classes,” says Davis. What presented itself as a challenge in terms of sports betting was the lack of data

With Prixview Fantasy Show Jumping, after making your picks, you can check your results, win and cash prizes and dontate your earnings to charity

in the sport. Before any sort of fantasy platform could be established, first a live data collection infrastructure needed to be built. Davis and her team spent nine months developing a customized software for data collection. “We’re trying to layer in a new level of detail,” she says. “We collect basic information, we code in all the jumps, then we actually collect in real time during the event, which faults each horse and rider combination has, from which lead, which point of contact, so the front legs or hind legs.” The software then takes the data and processes it into real-time analytics for each horse and rider combination for the given class. “These fantasy games we are providing are based off of this point system,” says Davis. “We’ll take a rider head-to-head, and we’ll take all of the variables that make the sport technical. [We’ll] find what their probability is of going clear and depending on what that is, we’ll set a point spread accordingly. The larger the point spread is indicative of the likeliness of one person to win over the other.” In addition to the head-to-head format, Prixview offers another format that is over/under based on faults. “We do the same with what we predict a combination will have given these variables, then we round up or down to .5 and set a spread according to that,” she says. The only requirement to participate in a Prixview game is to be 18 or older to enter. The games are free to play, and offer cash prizes to either cash out or donate to charities. “We’re running fantasy games fueled by detailed, live data in hopes that we can both better engage fans that already like horses and want to learn more and attract new eyeballs to the sport. We’re already finding that people, even existing fans and riders, are tuning into more classes than before and that makes our team so excited for the future.” Visit prixview.com/fantasy

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Balmoral los angeles

Good Luck at Pony Finals Kayla Bumbolow & Cwmfelen Andy Pandy

Owned by Samantha Rivera Thank you Heritage Farm PHOTO: SHAWN McMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Traci Brooks 310-600-1967

BalmoralFarm.com

Carleton Brooks 760-774 -1211


Balmoral los angeles

Good Luck at Pony Finals Hear Say

Owned by Samantha Rivera PHOTO: McCOOL PHOTOGRAPHY

Traci Brooks 310-600-1967

BalmoralFarm.com

Carleton Brooks 760-774 -1211


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Mimi Maddock and Qualen’s Got Magic

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COVER

ROUNDS OVER RIBBONS WORDS:

CATIE STASZAK GITTINS PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOS: ANNE

With Her Best Show Season Behind Her, Mimi Maddock Heads to Pony Finals

M

IMI MADDOCK was 10 years old when she sat

down for her first meeting with Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith at Heritage Farm. Dignelli, an 11-time champion of the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals— East, turned to the young rider and asked her what her goals were. She responded, “I want to ride in a Grand Prix.” He smiled before responding: “Let’s get to Pony Finals first.” “I’ll never forget” that conversation, Maddock’s mother Lily tells The Plaid Horse. “We were immediately enamored” with the team, she adds. They moved to Heritage a week later. Since that June 2019 meeting, Maddock, now 13, has set some interim goals. Working under the guidance of Heritage—who has produced five Overall Grand Pony Hunter Championships and five more USEF Pony Medal Final winners—she has calculatedly checked

them off. Maddock has progressed from her first Pony Finals appearance to her first WEF Circuit Championship, her first medal final call back and, this year, and her first tricolors on horseback. The New York City native now heads to the 2022 USEF Pony Finals off a career-best season. With 245 points, she shares the lead in the USEF Pony Medal national standings; she also sits second in the WIHS Pony Equitation rankings. Meanwhile, she’s jumped her

first 3'3" medals this summer. “Going back to my first WEF with Heritage, having that Circuit Championship really started me with the correct mindset,” Maddock says. “I’m just excited. I’m excited to go to the barn to see my horses. I’m excited to have lessons, and I’m just excited to keep learning.”

A FAMILY AFFAIR AT BLUE HERON FARM In the winter months, Maddock spends her time at Blue Heron Farm in Wellington, FL, a collaborative effort for the family. Lily broke ground on a plot of land with Mimi’s grandfather in March 2020. They welcomed horses onto the property in 2021 for the 2022 WEF season. Heritage Farm assistant trainer Caroline Passarelli—the 2016 USEF Pony Medal Final Champion—lives onsite with the Maddocks, with Griffith visiting regularly. Antonio Barraza, whose sons Ivan and Oscar also work at Heritage, has been with the Maddocks since their first day at Heritage and helps care for their string of

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COVER

three ponies, two horses, and miniature pony Strawberry Shortcake, adopted from Rising Starr Rescue at the 2018 Hampton Classic. The remainder of the year, the Maddocks stable with Heritage in Katonah, NY, and on the road at horse shows around the northeast. “I love having the horses here, because I can see them really often. I love being able to just walk outside and spend time with the horses,” Maddock says. “I’m able to bond with the horses, and I feel like that’s a really special part of the sport—having a nice connection with the animals.” It’s also helped her grow as a young horsewoman. She assists Passarelli with night check, preparing grain (and keeping it away from Strawberry Shortcake) and supervising turnout, among other tasks. Training at the farm is broken up with trail rides and, a few times a week, ponies are shipped to nearby Heritage Farm South for lessons. “She’s very fun to work with, and she wants to keep doing better and learning how to do it and what makes a winner,” Passarelli says. “Having the farm for her in Florida where she lived with those ponies, she was able to see their routine every day. She was very involved, and that was really important for her to see. She saw the preparation that went into getting to the show ring successfully, and I think that was instrumental in a lot of success that we saw from her.” It was at Blue Heron Farm where Mimi began her transition from the pony ring to her first shows on horses—somewhat unintentionally. A single chance lesson on Lily’s horse Airplay—affectionately known as “Archie”—turned into a quick ascent in the show ring. In their second outing at WEF, the pair took home the Reserve Championship in the Low Children’s Hunters. That lesson “went so well, and Lily enjoyed watching them so much, that she was willing to step back and let Mimi have a turn at showing him,” says Heritage’s Dottie Barnwell Areson. “I think she was having so much fun showing Archie and experiencing a lot of success on him right away that it made her hungry to make that move” to the horse divisions. By season’s end, Maddock also received the opportunity to lease Amira Kettaneh’s

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accomplished equitation mount, Gossip SA. At WEF 11, the duo were champions of the Children’s Hunter division—just their second show as a partnership. “I think having a couple ponies that go like horses, the transition was kind of easy. I think it’s helped her riding,” Griffith adds. On the horses, “everything happens a little slower, so I always tell the kids that it’s almost easier on the horses, but her transition was a really quick one.”

A HORSE AND PONY EDUCATION “It’s really fun to take what I’ve learned from the horses and utilize it on the ponies,” Maddock says. “I feel like I have almost a bit more control on the ponies after I ride a horse. It just goes back to putting in the best round you can and not focusing on the score but focusing on the way you rode and what you can do to improve.” That’s the mindset Maddock has applied to her riding, instilled in her by Griffith, and what continues to keep her thinking positive, even in the most competitive of settings. “Patricia and the entire Heritage team have really helped me believe that it’s not about the score you get; it’s the way you put in your round and how you feel about how you rode. It’s not about how you placed,” Maddock says. “Patricia is one of

my biggest role models. Even if you’re not having the best round—if you make a mistake in the handy, it’s always good practice to then try an extra inside turn and get more practice in, every time you ride.” It’s easy to get caught up in results and be disappointed, Griffith notes, especially in Wellington, where the competition is top-notch. “I think as soon as she stopped focusing on the ribbon and just tried to focus on good, consistent riding—she was maybe the most consistent rider in the WIHS Pony Equitation, if you look at her points. That’s what we’re still perfecting, because that’s obviously a big part of the sport.”

THE TURNING POINT At the 2021 USEF Pony Finals, Maddock made the call-back in the USEF Pony Medal Final and finished 18th overall out of nearly 200 riders. “It’s always a challenging course, and to be able to walk in for that first time, she really laid it down,” says Areson. “I think for all of us, that was such a cool moment and cool marker of the growth that she had made in her couple of years with Heritage.” A significant contributor to Maddock’s growth has been her two-year partnership with Qualen’s Got Magic, the 10-year-old Welsh Pony Cross by Maple Side Mr.


“Patricia and the entire Heritage team have really helped me believe that it’s not about the score you get; it’s the way you put in your round and how you feel about how you rode. It’s not about how you placed.” —MIMI MADDOCK

FROM LEFT: Mimi Maddock and Gossip SA, riding Airplay, with Super Sport and riding Hey Scooby

Magic. Maddock’s partner for her medal final callback, “Jimmy” jumped to three more medal wins during the 2022 WEF season. Jimmy is hailed as the undisputed veteran and “rock” of the Maddock pony string, but it hasn’t been an easy road. “He had that big rangy, horse-like canter, and that wasn’t the easiest for us when we first got him,” Griffith says. “I would say now, that’s sort of her easiest, go-to ride. That’s been a complete transformation. He’s a pony that you definitely need to read. There are times that he needs leg, and there are times that by the end of the course, he’s so rangy, you’re getting down the lines too early. It’s been nice to watch that growth, because at first, I think everybody wasn’t sure if that was maybe one notch more pony than she was ready for, but he has a lot of quality, and he goes a little bit like a horse, and I think that’s really helped her riding.” “He’s the reason I’ve become the rider I have,” Maddock adds. “He’s taught me so much.” The pony has prepared her for her next project, one that especially excites Maddock as she heads toward her third Pony Finals appearance. Super Sport, just 6 years old, is the sixth-ranked Medium Green Pony Hunter in the country, discovered by Griffith and Passarelli at the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show,

when a colleague suggested they watch a video of a pony that had only recently been imported from Germany. “From the minute that Mimi got on him, it was a real match,” Passarelli says. “Yes, he’s beautiful. He has all the stride. He has all the scope. He’s a beautiful jumper. But I think what really sets him apart is that you can’t really teach that personality or demeanor to a pony. They’re kind of born with it. So, he’s just become very, very special. We’re excited for him and to see how far he goes, because he hasn’t shown us anything but excellence so far.” Beyond Jimmy and Super Sport (a.k.a. “Gabe”), Maddock will also bring Hey Scooby to Kentucky for Pony Finals. The lone large pony of the group, Scooby stepped Maddock up to her first 3’ classes, and the pair took the Large Pony Hunter Championship at WEF 9. “It’s not that they’re easy. It’s not that they’re hard,” Maddock says. “It’s just, they’re really great teaching ponies.” Jimmy and Scooby “try so hard, but they also have some spunk to them. They’re really great ponies.”

WISE BEYOND HER YEARS Maddock may still aspire to reach that Grand Prix, but ask her about her goals now, and she’s got a different response. “I’d like to have some nice success in

the pony divisions and start doing more with the horses—maybe moving up a little bit, but just having really nice, solid and competitive rounds,” Maddock says. Longer-term, “I’d love to do the Big Eq Finals, do some of the jumpers, and a little bit in each ring.” Both in the ring and outside of it, her team envisions a long-term commitment. “She’s one of those kids that enjoys spending time with her ponies besides just riding them,” Griffith says. “She seems like the type that loves the whole process.” “From day one, she’s been a good student,” Areson adds. “She’s never been a kid who gives pushback. She’s never a kid who doesn’t want to hear the feedback that you have to give. She’s always willing to work hard and listen. I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment that I felt resistance from her in training. For a young rider, I think that’s rare.” “The progress every weekend is important to her. She takes this very seriously, which I think is very important, because even from a young age, you kind of know if this is more of a hobby or something you really want to pursue,” Passarelli says. “And from everything Mimi is showing me, she’s very into this. She comes to the barn every day and she’s wanting to do it and she’s wanting to learn more. It’s not just about more jumps.”

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HORSES

20

TWENT OVER

Age is nothing but a number for these veteran ponies, all of whom have qualified for this year’s Pony Finals

T WORDS:

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HEY ARE THE WISEST of them all. These older, seasoned show ponies have been

in the ring for many years, carrying around the next generation of riders, building confidence, and still doing what they do best, even well into their twenties. They are trusted by the whole barn family to carry the young riders in Short Stirrup and itty-bitty jumpers. They are smart, hardy, and kind; the best combination for a children’s mount. With their gentle dispositions and flashy appearances, they continue making a name for themselves, no matter their age. Meet 20 ponies over 20 years old who are qualified to compete at this year’s Pony Finals in Kentucky.

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0 Y

RICO SUAVE Age 22 • Owned by Ponies and Palms Show Stables LLC

This pony will show you the ropes. He has an extensive show career and is still teaching riders and helping them improve their skills. “There are no words to describe how incredible he has been as my first pony. When you learn to ride from one of the best, it provides you with a foundation for doing things correctly,” says rider Ava Barnes. “Even at his age, this last year Rico and I won the WCHR pony challenge at Capital Challenge, we were reserve champions 2022 WCHR week in the smalls and we won the 2022 USHJA Pony Derby at WEF. He’s been my constant companion and best teacher and I will always refer to him as the pony of a lifetime.”

THE BEES KNEES Age 25 • Owned by Emily Elek-Burtard

He really is The Bees Knees to everyone around him. Leased out to many different riders through the years, he has carried his partners to victory again and again. He is currently shown by the Liggett family. Some previous riders include Kallie Meagher, Isabella Griffin, Isabelle Collister, and Keira Lancelle Bates.

PHOTO: SHAWN MCMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY (TOP)

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HORSES

CLEVERIST Age 20 • Owned by Ellie Sadrian • (Bennos Dream x Nordis)

Cleverist is no stranger to winning at Pony Finals, winning the Under Saddle in 2010 with Daisy Farish and earning 3rd in 2018 with Samantha Takacs at the age of 16. A clever pony, indeed. He knows his job and he’s known for his trustworthiness. This 13.1hh bay gelding is currently being ridden by Ava Barnes. “The wonderful thing about Cleverist is he is the same pony every single day. Even at 20, he comes out trying his best no matter what the weather is like or where we are showing,” says Barnes. “His consistency has made me a stronger, more confident, and consistent rider and I will forever be indebted to him.”

SILLY PUTTY Age 21 • Owned by Danica Quadracci

It’s not exactly a secret that Silly Putty is half Welsh Pony and half Arabian—he can easily be spotted in the schooling with his signature tail that has powered an astonishing 13 trips to Pony Finals. He started in 2007 and only missed two Pony Finals due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Yes, that means he successfully completed Pony Finals from 2007 to 2019, and now in 2022 with Danica Quadracci. Riders have included: Stella Wasserman, Lilly French, Skyler Fields, Halle Quadracci, Grace Russo, Clara Propp, Mackenzie Murphy, Lexi Miller, and Hannah Hoch.

IN THE MOMENT

PRINCE HENRY

Age 23 • Owned by First Blue LLC • (Glencoe Oberon x Quite a Cat)

Age 20 • Owned by Jody Moraski • (Glannant Mariner x Miss Raindrop)

A Welsh-Thoroughbred cross, this pony stands at 14.1 hh. In The Moment is currently paired with Meghan Holland, Madeline Oneil, and RJ Maya. He previously brought home ribbons for Jennifer Dobzanski, Stacey Hamaoui, Brooke Larson, Gianna Darrigo, Libby Mewbourne, Brett Borthwick, Kat Fuqua, and Rodolfo Maya.

Golden brown eyes, quirky (but in a good way), and photogenic. That’s how owner Jody Moraski describes her 13.2hh grey Welsh Pony. “He’s super brave to jumps; he’s just such a good boy. Prince Henry will deal with so many different people. Once you get a good program going with him…he’s like, got it,” said Moraski. His current rider, Carolina Locosta, shows him in the 2’6 hunters and they will be making their way to Pony Finals.

MIND YOUR STEP Age 22 • Owned by Monkey Business LLC

Starting in the Green Pony Hunters in 2008 with ribbons under saddle, over fences, and overall with Brittni Raflowitz, Mind Your Step has made an impressive ten trips to Pony Finals. Currently leased by Artemis Equestrian LLC, he competes with Dylan Clark in the Medium Pony Hunters. Other riders have included: Alexandra Smith, Riley Newsome, Ella Duffy, Lauren Gee, Hannah Famulak, Taylor Cawley, and Lilly Carella.

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PHOTO: JODY MORASKI (BOTTOM)


CLOVERMEADE BUNNY SIDE UP Age 20 • Owned by Ellie Ferrigno (Clovercrofts Hero of the Heart x Clovercrofts Immagination)

Known as The King to current rider Reilly Robertson, this team also qualified for Devon. It is not Clovermeade’s first time at Pony Finals, though. This year will be his 13th trip. Been there and done that, he has faithfully carried many riders to success. “He’s very sweet and generous... and very smart. I like that he takes care of me. He’s a lot of fun; I can jump a lot of things on him,” says Robertson.

WEEBISCUIT Age 22 • Owned by Izzy Beisel

Standing at 12.1 hh, this diminutive pony is currently paired with Annabelle Wexler, and they compete in the Small Pony Hunters. Prior partners include Sophie Gochman, Gabriella Hoard-West, Izzy Beisel, and Caroline Parker.

PHOTO: THE BOOK LLC


HORSES

ROLLINGWOOD’S KNEE DEEP Age 20 • Owned by the Lignelli Family (JD Cops and Robbers x Rollingwoods Lorna Doone)

One of the winningest ponies of all time with multiple tricolors at every top show, “Henry” was only missing the Championship at USEF Pony Finals to complete his string. This changed in 2021 at age 19 with lessee Lauren Zarnegin—she scored that title on her very first time in the Small Pony Hunters. The pair are making the trek from California again this year, seeking to defend their 2022 title. “That line has a lot of personality. They are always getting into stuff they probably shouldn’t and are very curious and loving,” says breeder Dr. Ruth Wilburn, DVM.

PICANTE Age 23 • Owned by Elizabeth Benchoff • (Liseter Carnelian x Farnley Hannahlind)

Picante started in the Small Pony Hunters with Samantha Schaefer. In his storied career and nine trips to Pony Finals, he started careers of top riders including Ashton Alexander, Madeline Schaefer, Coco Fath, Claire Campbell, Rose Campbell, Zayna Rizvi, Maddie Tosh, Mimi Maddock, Lauren Gee, and more before moving to California to partner with Sienna Smith. Taylor Morrow has taken over the reins in late 2021, moving up to the Small Pony Hunter division with numerous tricolors on the West Coast.

MR. MCGREGOR Age 22 • Owned by Heidi Kenny-Berman • (Hillcrest’s Tom Thumb x Hillcrest’s Snow Treasure)

Registered Section B Welsh as Hillcrest’s Petty Cash and bred by pony breeding legend Marilyn Check of Hillcrest Ponies, Mr. McGregor showed yet again this year that he’s still a fierce competitor. With Sienna Smith, he qualified for the 2022 Devon Horse Show and earned ribbons there. With seven appearances already at Pony Finals, he easily qualified this year, and is looking like he has some big Fall shows in him as well. His riders have included Marshall Reed, Danielle Derisio, Chloe Peebles, Zola Thompson, Ava Berman, and Campbell Brown.

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RESERVATIONS REQUIRED Age 20 • Owned by John Korenak

Getting his initial start in Training Level Dressage, Reservations Required stepped in Children’s Pony Hunter ring in December 2009. After two shows, he’d already moved up to the Green Pony Hunters in early 2010, and earned his way to Pony Finals ribbons in all three phases of the Large Green Pony Hunters that year. He went on to contest at Pony Finals in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018. Among his riders: Gabrielle Sharlow, Juliette Callam, Natalie Jayne, Abigail Brayman, and Maddy Darst.



HORSES

BENLEA MIZZOU Age 20 • Owned by Katherine Mercer • (Pennwood Missouri x Benlea Sea Tango)

This Gatorade-loving pony has always been a superstar in the ring, winning his first Small Pony Hunter Under Saddle at Pony Finals with Olivia Markman in 2015 (pictured). Known as “Mazzy,” he repeated this feat in 2019 (at age 17) with Katherine Mercer and is now a winning pair with Robert Mercer. The gelding has left many riders with lasting memories of their time together and his huge stride set them all up for big junior hunter, equitation, and jumper successes. Among his riders: Allison Dendtler, Gabrielle Alecia, Hannah Hoch, Juliette Propp, and Clara Propp.

FLYER MILES

NORTHWIND JUST JOSH’N

Age 21 • Owned by Natalie Sanders

This chestnut pony is definitely a lady’s man. “Flyer Miles is a little pony with a big heart and personality! He is the best teacher who will do anything to take care of his little kid. Miles is a perfect gentleman and has earned the love of so many little girls, moms, and trainers over the years,” said owner Natalie Sanders. Ellis Chin is the current rider of the flashy pony. The pair also qualified for Devon.

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Age 24 • Owned by Madeline Luddy (Cusop Jovial x Belvour Mirabelle)

Many have heard the name of this grey pony, who competes with Luddy in the Medium Pony Hunters. Just 13.0 hh, Northwind Just Josh’n keeps up with his larger competitors. Nothing stops this little pony from being the top of his class with all his riders including Alexandra Joseph, Mary Frances Looke, David Crowley, Zoe Lampert, and Isabelle Collister.

PHOTOS: BETHANY UNWIN PHOTOGRAPHY (TOP);


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HORSES

GOODNIGHT MOON Age 25 • Owned by Emma Lena Green

A quarter-cenury and still shining. This grey gelding competes with Zara McGuigan in the Children’s Pony Hunters and Itty Bitty Jumpers. Over his career, Goodnight Moon has been known to fit the bill when riders need a safe and easy mount. Before McGuigan, he was ridden by Paige Caito, Gabrielle Morin, Taylor Cawley, and owner Emma Lena Green.

HELICON BUCCANEER Age 25 • Owned by Molly Rinedollar • (Glannant Epic x Glannant Vela)

ALADDIN Age 22 • Owned by Kyra Grimm

Aladdin is one magical ride. Owner Kyra Grimm shows the 14.1 hh gelding in the Large Pony Hunters, especially around her home state of Texas. Blue is Aladdin’s color, as he’s racked up many top ribbons with his partner.

With such a quiet disposition, you would never guess this pony is still jumping into the top five in almost every class he enters. “Buc is the superstar at shows and walked away with multiple championships in the hunters, English Pleasure, and even Western Pleasure,” says his owner, Molly Rinedollar. “Even at the age of 25, Buc will always give you his best,” says his onetime rider, Jocelyn Wille. “He is always happy to do his job and will do it with enthusiasm. You can always learn something from riding him.”

HALISKO Age 21 • Three Ships LLC (Halifax x My Sunshine) THREE SHIPS LLC

A Medium Pony Hunter champion, Halisko has earned his share of wins with rider Peyson Parker. With his shiny bay coat and long stride, this pony is one to catch your attention. The pair also qualified for Devon.

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PHOTO: ADK PHOTOGRAPHY (TOP)



6

SIX UNDER HORSES

Meet a half-dozen young ponies who qualified for Pony Finals in 2022 WORDS: TATUM

MITCHELL

T 84

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HE BEGINNING OF many an equestrian’s story starts with a pony. Ponies

provide timeless learning experiences, no matter their age. Oftentimes it’s young riders who pilot these petite equine athletes, and sometimes the ponies are in the first decade of their careers themselves. And sometimes, even those very young ponies find their way to the top of the sport. Below, we’d like to introduce you to six ponies, all under six years old, who qualified for this year’s Pony Finals. These ponies are just getting started, but they’re not short on success, competing and winning with their lucky partners on the road to Kentucky.

August 2022


BOUCHARD 2016 gelding • (Quint van de Groenheuvel x Hengelhoef’s Queena) TRAINER: Three Ships LLC

Ridden by Luci Langhorst at Three Ships LLC and trained by Abby Blankenship, Bouchard, a.k.a. “Boss” is a small green pony. He is “a lot of pony in a little package.”

DAVENTRY’S EMERALD CITY 2015 gelding • (Alvesta Picasso x Goldhills As You Like It) • TRAINER: Eden Hill Equestrian

When Daventry’s Emerald City, a.k.a. “Ozzie” was 4, he was matched with Zoe Christos by Jessica Connor, owner and trainer of Eden Hill Equestrian. Following in the steps of his sire and dam, Ozzie has numerous accomplishments including multiple Old Salem Farm Summer, Winter and Spring Series Championships and 2021 USEF Zone 1 Large Children’s Pony Hunter Championship Horse of The Year. “Ozzie has provided me the

opportunity to develop a talented young pony, and watch him progress over the last two years into a very successful green pony hunter,” says Connor. “In addition—Ozzie has gifted his owner, Zoe, an eleven-year-old rider, the confidence to learn and grow alongside him, demonstrating how special of a find Ozzie was. Ozzie has all the pieces that make him a trainer’s dream and I am beyond excited to watch him and Zoe in the Large Greens at Pony Finals.”

PHOTOS: SEL PHOTOGRAPHY (LEFT); KAITLYN MILLER PHOTOGRAPHY

He is a brave little guy with a larger than life personality. He is best friends with his buddy Pepsi and they love going outside together. Boss has learned a lot in a short amount of time and we are excited to see him show at Pony Finals!”


HORSES

BORN ROYAL 2016 gelding • (A Gorgeous x Belamine) TRAINER: Pecan Lane Farm

Born Royal is training with Stephanie Cumming at Pecan Lane Farm. He was imported late last year from Germany, and he’s owned and ridden by Parker Howard. The pair currently shows in the Large Green Pony Hunter and the regular Large Pony Hunter divisions. “As for Pony Finals, we are looking to have a great experience with a young pony,” says Cumming. “He is going to be a superstar and has come a long way in a short time.”

EAGLE CREEKS BOPPITY 2015 mare • (EC Carz And Castles x The Sweetest Gift) • TRAINER: Saddle Lake Equestrian

Boppity, raised at Saddle Lake Equestrian Center and trained by Missy Jo Hollingsworth, has been a pro since day one. Along with Lauren Underhill’s help, Boppity was leased to Emma Ludwar and now trains with Stephanie Powers in Canada. Boppity is qualified for Pony Finals in the Medium Green Pony Hunters. “Her road to Pony Finals was a long one. She shipped to California to be

CHERRYBROOK CAPTAIN AMERICA 2016 gelding • (Cherrybrook Blue And Gold x Hillcrest Blue Halo) • TRAINER: Cavalli Farm

Trained by Melissa Montevideo, Cherrybrook Captain America is owned and ridden by Kenzli Singaro. Cherrybrook Captain America qualified for Pony Finals in December 2021 at HITS Ocala, and has taken home champion or reserve at every horse show he’s been to this season. Cherrybrook Captain America will show in the Large Pony division at Pony Finals.

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qualified during winter circuit, but was unable to show due to quarantines,” says Hollingsworth. She later shipped back to Canada after being unable to show, and, after following the guidelines, she shipped back to Saddlelake. Boppitty was very successful both weeks of Kentucky Spring securing her spot at Pony Finals and, adds Hollingsworth, “making a little girl’s dreams come true.”

I’m looking forward to having a great time at my and my pony’s first time at Pony Finals.” —KENZLI SINGARO

PHOTO: KIM GAUDRY PHOTOGRAPHY (TOP)


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HORSES

CLOVERMEADE JAZZBUNNY JAM 2015 gelding • (Clovermeade Bonaroo x Wicklyn’s Dreamland) • TRAINER: Rabbit Hill Farm

Clovermeade Jazzbunny Jam,“Nepal,” is a medium green pony owned by Emma Coristine, and will be ridden by Reilly Robertson at Pony Finals. “Nepal is a very kind and good-hearted pony. We have had him his whole life and since our first time on his back, he has been very easy to handle and ready to learn,” says Abbi Ferrigno, owner and trainer at Rabbit Hill Farm. “His beautiful jumping style and great movement has us very excited for the future with this awesome pony.” PHOTO: SEL PHOTOGRAPHY

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Sydney Collier riding All In One

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2020 Tokyo Paralympic Reserve 2016 Paralympic Team member Major wins on the National Paradressage level

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INITIATIVE

THE EQUESTRIANS OF COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

SAJID SALEEM

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The Plaid Horse is proud to introduce some of the photo project’s featured equestrians to our readers in each issue

I

IN 2020, a group of photographers

came together to create the Equestrians of Color Photography Project, a weekly blog that promotes inclusion and amplifies the voices of equestrians of color ready to openly share their story with the community. Learn more at equestriansofcolor.com.

BRIANA VILLA

August 2022

THE PLAID HORSE

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INITIATIVE

THE EQUESTRIAN

SAJID SALEEM THE PHOTOGRAPHER

IMPULSION IMAGES LEARN MORE equestriansofcolor.com/sajid-saleem

How do you describe yourself as an equestrian? I am an equestrian because I am the happiest when I am on a horse. I am from the city of Hyderabad in India, now living in Portland, Oregon. As a kid, I always wanted to be around horses but there was really only one place you could go at the time, and unfortunately, I had no one to drive me there. My parents never even sat on a horse, so obviously they did not understand my obsession at first. All that changed when I got my first driving license! I would drive myself to weekly riding lessons. It was a good time for me to start riding because at the time, my mother was going through some health-related issues and we would spend a lot of time at the hospital. Learning to ride was a means for me to stay sane. When I was on a horse, everything would be just fine in the moment. All the worries would just have to wait. My coach would say I have a natural seat (whatever that meant).

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The place where I rode was a polo club and, at the time, they needed an amateur player for their team. This was a great opportunity as I could learn to play polo for a little extra cost, and of course, I jumped at the chance. But, I did not tell my parents as I always thought it easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. As luck would have it, we ended up winning a tournament which the local newspapers decided to cover. My time to ask my parents for forgiveness came sooner than I thought

because of this! I thought I was SOL when my dad woke me up with the morning newspaper in his hand, and my picture with a polo pony on it. To my surprise, he was really proud of me, which made me feel even worse for hiding my passion from them. My parents were completely supportive of me playing polo and I got to play in several tournaments across the country as well as later when I went to grad school in the United Kingdom. When I moved to Portland I was 25 years old, and I thought asking my parents to support my

‘horse hobby’ was just not fair. I missed horses a lot but it was time to start taking life seriously and get a good job and saving up to buy a house and start a family. Well, you can take a person out of an equestrian life but you can’t take the equestrian life out of the person! As soon as I had a good-paying job I got right back into riding. Polo was not really competitive around here and I wanted to learn a new discipline. My now wife, who had grown up riding and spent her teenage years in Pony Club, thought that I would really enjoy show jumping.

(We actually met horseback riding in India even though she is originally from southern Oregon.) We both started riding again and while this was my first step into the world of show jumping, I was hooked. The thrill of jumping fences, the degree of finesse needed, and the close partnership you develop with your horse is unlike any other thing, and unlike even polo in my experience. My equestrian pursuit is marked with a hunger to learn more, to ride in harmony and balance with the horse, and above all, to do right by the horse.

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INITIATIVE

THE EQUESTRIAN

BRIANA VILLA THE PHOTOGRAPHER

PURPLE HORSE DESIGNS LEARN MORE equestriansofcolor.com/ briana-villa

How did you get into horses and what is your current relationship with them? From a young age, I’ve had a special love and interest in horses. I’m not sure how it all started, but to this day I still have my horse poster books (that I was so excited to get from the Scholastic Book Fair) and remember reading all of the Pony Pals books. I spent a lot of time drawing horses in my notebooks and making up stories that I had my own pony. I eventually convinced my mom to let me have my 10th birthday party at a barn. A little while after that, she agreed to sign me up for lessons but I was only able to ride for a few months

SHARE YOUR STORY If you are an equestrian of color (16 years or older) interested in sharing your story through The Equestrians of Color Photography Project, you can connect with a local photographer ally via the project website: equestriansofcolor.com

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because it was too expensive. Years went by, but my love never went away. Whenever there was a special occasion or trip I would always try to convince my family and now fiancé to do a one-time trail ride with me. Every chance I had, I wanted to be on a horse! After graduating from college and starting my career as a teacher, I realized I finally had the opportunity to live out my childhood dream. I reached out to a friend who recommended that I try taking lessons at Gambler’s Choice Equestrian Center, where I have now been riding for almost two years! What words of encouragement do you have for other equestrians of color or people of color considering becoming equestrians? For anyone out there that is interested, I say to go for it! If

you have that love or interest, then don’t let anything stop you. Find a barn where you feel comfortable and feel as though you can be yourself. Horses are truly so special and can make such an impact in your life. If you are a young girl or boy who has always dreamed of riding but just don’t have the opportunity to yet, don’t give up! The perfect time and place will come. I am now in my 20s, almost two years into taking lessons, and starting to look at the possibility of partially leasing my first horse! Your journey is special and unique to you, so don’t let anyone ruin that or tell you that it is not good enough. It may not always feel easy, but know that you are not alone and that you may be providing others with the courage to start. Representation matters.


August 2022

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Dream Big at a Glance • BARN NAME: Andi • BORN: 5/10/2014 • SIRE: Tradale Belleman • DAM: Farnley Nightline • Has one of the highest-pitch whinnies in the barn. “You can hear it from a mile away,” says Holly Jarrett. • Very food-motivated • She’s proven herself to be a trustworthy ride—the same pony even after a week off BELOW AND FAR RIGHT: Reagan and

Dream Big (“Andi”) have racked up top rides at Devon, Pony Finals, and the Hampton Classic

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HORSES

AMERICAN BRED

rse The Plaid Ho

P ON Y E I S STU ION

Dream Big EDI

A Pony Who Lives Up to Her Name

H

WORDS: TORI

SHEEHAN

OLLY JARRETT’S LOVE for her daughter’s pony,

Andi, knows no bounds. “Andi is the best pony ever,” says Holly of the 8-year-old mare. “There’s nothing bad that I can say about her, she’s just amazing.” There is a special type of admiration reserved for the horses and ponies entrusted to carry and teach children. But to understand the depth of the connection the Jarrett family has for this little 12.2 hh bay Welsh pony, you have to start at the beginning. It all started when Holly, who lives in Pennsylvania, received a phone call from her friend Amy in Tennessee. “Amy found this pony at an auction in Pennsylvania that she bought online,” says Holly. “It wasn’t a good auction. It was an auction where no pony should ever end up.” Holly helped Amy get the pony to quarantine and shipped down to Tennessee, thinking no more of it. A few days after the pony arrived, Amy discovered the pony had recently given birth to a foal and was probably placed at the auction just after the foal had been weaned. Amy shared pony updates and progress with Holly. Many texts included Amy’s assessment: “Oh this pony is so nice!” Three years ago, Andi ended up at a

PHOTOS: ANDREW RYBACK PHOTOGRAPHY (LEFT); KIND MEDIA

farm in Pennsylvania. Holly knew the barn and it wasn’t far from home. She couldn’t resist going with her daughter Reagan to meet this little pony that had captured Amy’s attention. “We went over there and tried her. Reagan was eight years old at the time and Andi was a little stinker,” says Holly with a laugh. “She ran out at the jumps and I was like, ‘I love her, can we take her on trial?’” “The first time I rode her, she was running out and I was like, ‘I don’t know about this pony’,” says Reagan, now 11. “But my mom said, ‘I think she’s going to be good. She just needs time.” From that moment on, Reagan and Holly committed to little Andi, but it wasn’t always easy. After Andi’s stint at auction, she was still unsure of new situations, and sometimes would take advantage of Reagan, who was still developing as a rider herself. Instead of focusing on the negatives, the Jarretts continued to give Andi stability and worked with trainers to get the mare back on track.

“I get so offended when people say, “Oh, no mares!” I think, if I would have said that, I never would have this pony.” —HOLLY JARRETT

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WHAT’S IN A NAME? Another rider took the reins for part of Andi’s green year, then Andi and Reagan went back to the Children’s Pony Hunter divisions to progress. “That’s where I really started to develop my strength while riding her because at this point, she was so good, but she was still running out with me. My trainer Ashley [Hartman] really helped me get through her being a little stinker,” says Reagan. Reagan focused on her flat work and her mentality over fences, and the pair moved up to the Small Pony Hunters. By this time, the relatively unknown Andi finally got her show name. “I named Andi ‘Dream Big,” ’ says Holly. “I felt it was the perfect name for her.” At the 2022 Devon Horse Show, Andi’s show name manifested into the mantra it has now become. “We knew Andi was nice enough to win, but it was Reagan’s first time at Devon,” Holly recalls. “She’s only 11 years old, we knew there’s going to be mistakes, but secretly you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh we could win.’ ” Holly’s sister Melanie was Small Pony Hunter Champion at Devon exactly 40 years ago. The image of her smiling aboard her bay mare Why Not flashed through Holly’s mind as she watched Andi and Reagan in the same ring. “The first day, Reagan was nervous, and I think she got sixth over fences. The second day, I don’t know what happened in her mind, but something clicked, and she just came out and had two beautiful trips and won both classes.” Reagan and Dream Big ultimately won Small Pony

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT:

“We’re not perfect, but now it’s easier to put it all together and help each other out. I developed my smart riding together with my pony.” —REAGAN JARRETT Hunter Champion at Devon. The team would also take champion at the Hampton Classic and have strong showings at Pony Finals.

THE HUNT FOR ANDI’S HERITAGE To the Jarretts, Andi was simply a great pony, but her life before the auction remained a mystery. “We knew nothing about Andi, we knew nothing about her breeding. All we knew is she was a really nice pony. I always felt like she was well bred but I had no proof,” says Holly.

August 2022

Until they found a clue at a horse show in New Jersey. “I see this pony and I said, ‘Reagan, that pony looks so much like Andi!’” That pony was Enough Said, who competes in the Medium Pony Hunters. That night, Holly lay awake, and at two in the morning, she took to Facebook searching the pony she had seen that day. That’s when she discovered the stallion Tradele Belleman, who sired Enough Said. “I said, this has to be Andi’s father. So, I did a DNA test. When I think of DNA, I think of CSI right? Well, it’s not that

Reagan Jarrett and Dream Big take home Small Pony Hunter Champion honors at the 2022 Devon Horse Show; Competing at Devon; Holly’s sister, Melanie Landis Muir, and her pony Why Not, were Small Pony Hunter Champion at Devon Horse Show in 1982. Forty years later, Melanie’s niece, Reagan would claim the honor again aboard another bay mare, Dream Big

easy. You have to have an idea, you have to compare it to a stallion’s DNA. Somehow, I just got lucky.” Enough Said, the pony that sparked Holly’s search, ended up being Andi’s full sister. Andi’s sire was in fact Tradele Belleman, and her dam was Farnley Nightline—her breeding a storied treasure of American ponies developed before her. “It’s a really crazy story,” Holly says. “Amy sent me pictures when Andi was at the auction. I still have the pictures. I look at them and sometimes I’ll start to cry.”

PHOTOS, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: KIND MEDIA; HOLLY JARRETT (BOTTOM RIGHT)


A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME PONY The one-time auction pony now has a proper home with her family. Reagan spends time just being with Andi in her stall, and Andi lets out the highest-pitch whinny when she hears Reagan coming. The biggest question in Andi’s life now is when she’ll hear her favorite little girl coming down the aisle to get her ready for the day’s ride. “Andi is a special pony regardless. But I think with her past, it’s hard to describe because it is just so special,” says Holly. “We have such a connection and a bond with her and she trusts us so much. I feel like that’s why both Reagan and Andi have been able to accomplish what

Notable Show Results In addition to several Small Pony Hunter Champion titles, the pair scored an 88 at last year’s Hampton Classic, “That was definitely a wow moment, that was my first ever big score,” says Reagan.

they have, because it’s a trust factor between the two of them. People talk about a once in a lifetime pony and she really is that.” Together, Andi and Reagan bring the best out in each other. “Andi and I basically have the same story,” says Reagan.

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“I came into riding not the best and Andi came into it being a good pony but it took her [time] to really develop… putting me into the show ring and helping me. I came from doing Short Stirrup then I had to move back down to the Children’s because I wasn’t perfect, and then we moved back up. I could develop myself on Andi.” Andi taught Reagan to Dream Big, and Reagan hopes it can in turn help other kids. “Some kids can get on perfect ponies and do awesome and some can get ponies that are already developed, but I think it’s good for me that I got my own pony,” Reagan says. “I developed my smart

riding together with my pony.” “A pony doesn’t always only need to be from an amazing barn or amazing trainers. I think all that matters is about how you think of your riding and if you think, ‘we’re going to get there, I got my pony and I want to ride well. I don’t care if I don’t win, I just want to be consistent so we will be able to put things together.” Holly knows what impact Andi already has on her and Reagan. “You could spend a million dollars for a pony and it doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to be a good one,” Holly says. “To me, Andi is the dream that everyone is looking for.”


Congratulations and Good Luck at Pony Finals 2022! Zeppelin & Stella Rumanes

Specializing In Quality Hunter Ponies For All Levels

Liberty Lane Farms

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Congratulations and Good Luck at Pony Finals 2022! Patchwork Caramel Candy & Stella Rumanes

Specializing In Quality Hunter Ponies For All Levels

Liberty Lane Farms

Michelle Decker Rumanes | Agoura Hills, CA | 310-427-0835 | LibertyLaneFarms@gmail.com


EXPERT TAKE

SOUND ADVICE:

My pony wants to graze at shows with his bridle on, while being ridden or waiting to show. Is this the worst thing? It’s a common practice, but one I’m not in favor of. Though unlikely, it’s possible for your pony to choke on large chunks of grass that he was unable to chew well with the bit in his mouth. More likely is that the pony will learn to stop to graze, or pull down hard on the reins in an effort to graze while being ridden. This can become a habit and is very frustrating and sometimes unsafe for smaller riders.

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How do I curb this behavior?

Start by making it clear there is no grazing with a bit in the mouth. Avoid opportunities by not standing the pony in a bridle in a grassy area. If he starts to reach down, stop him by pulling his head back up. If it’s already a habit, have a stronger child sit on him and correct him as he goes to reach down.

August 2022

What about grazing when you’re riding out of the ring at home?

When hacking out, I assume the areas he grazes have taller grass and the concern is getting large wads of grass in his mouth that he can’t chew well and move around the bit and could choke. In general, there are those, like me, that stick to no grazing with a bit in the mouth, and the other side that believes it’s relaxing and rewarding for the horse. I would say a hard no if the behavior becomes rude.

THE EXPERT

ROBIN GREENWOOD

Robin Greenwood is the owner and trainer of Grand Central ponies in Southern Pines, NC. She has trained dozens of ponies and riders to wins and championships at the National Horse Show, Indoors, Pony Finals, and many other top shows.

PHOTOS: ADAM HILL (TOP); ©ALLIE CONRAD (GREENWOOD)


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RIDERS

Bob Crandall RIDER, TRAINER, “R” JUDGE

As a horseman, I am most proud of the many horses I was able to find, start, and bring along. Sadly, I wasn’t able to keep many of them. • As a horseman, I would most like to improve on…so many things! • I’d be lost without…Saddle-Tite…in my tack trunk.

THE PART OF RIDING I’M BEST AT IS:

taking whatever time i t takes to find a way through and end up with a good one.

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My favorite non-horse book is The Alienist. • I’m a sucker for a plain bay or brown horse with very little white. • On Mondays, you’ll find me in the doctor’s office, or the dentist’s, or the dermatologist’s, or possibly on a boat having a nice lunch or dinner with friends. • Something I say ten times a day is ”beyond.” I say the word beyond every time I try to emphasize something.

One of the best horse names I’ve ever heard is Mink and Pearls. • One of my greatest show ring victories was a win on a horse I loved called Reese at Washington International Horse Show. The ringmaster was Paul Copanas who had been a ringmaster when I was a kid in New York and it made it very special. He was as happy as I was—it was a great moment.


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RASHINGA Rashinga and Beerbaum, champions of the Large Pony Hunter Division at WEF 11, split their time between the hunter and jumper ring. The pair shows in the jumpers when they are in Germany for most of the year, and compete in the hunters at WEF.

1

What do you like about showing in two rings?

I have many favorite things from each division. In the jumper ring, I love going fast and being allowed to do whatever I want as long as it is speedy! In the hunters, I think it’s great when I have a great round and

everyone claps really loud for me and I get a fancy ribbon.

2

What’s the best part about showing?

First of all, I love the fact that I am the center of attention and everyone is watching what I do. The other thing I like is teaching my rider new things and getting lots of pats and treats when I get out of the ring, no matter what.

3

What’s life like at home when you are not competing?

To be quite honest, life at home in Germany is super entertaining. I get to go in a paddock with two of my pony friends, which is right next to another paddock with lots

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of other horses. There is always tons of drama around there, which is great!

4

How did it feel being champion of the Large Pony Hunter division at WEF?

It was really amazing to be champion in the large ponies at WEF. Brianne didn’t mess anything up for me that weekend! I loved being in my much-deserved spotlight.

5

What might readers be surprised to learn about you?

Don’t tell anyone, but my mom is a horse. Yeah, you heard me: A horse! Of course, my dad is a pony, otherwise I’d be a horse, too. Keep my secret safe… PHOTO: SPORTFOT (TOP)


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ATHLETIC EQUESTRIAN R i d i n g

Good luck to everyone competing at Pony Finals this year! Courtney Truluck 803.238.8615 | Blackrivershowstables@gmail.com 422 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC 29020

i n

C o l l e g e P o d c a s t



RIDERS

We all make rse The Plaid Ho mistakes. But P ON Y E horse people, as I S SI TU N O I ED a group, aren’t always the best at handling them. So TPH reached out to some top RYLAN VANCOURT riders to share their own show ring bloopers to When I was younger, prove, once and for all, I was doing a Short that mistakes really do Stirrup class in Lexington, VA, happen to the best of us! on a pony who didn’t agree

with the jumping part of riding. The ring was super small and the jumps were almost on top of each other, and one outside line was shoved on top of the fencing. I remember being so excited because there was no way my pony could fit in the gap between the jumps and the fencing. But, somehow, he fit. The judge never excused me and I had so many refusals. When I came out of the ring, I told my trainer in a shaky voice, ‘George was not a good boy.’”

Hear more It Happens moments on the #Plaidcast at theplaidhorse.com/listen

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ADDISON SLYE When I was 7 years old, I went to my first MHJ short stirrup medal final at Fieldstone Showpark with my pony Alexandria’s Young Prince. It was my first time walking a course and it started with a diagonal vertical bending to an end jump. My trainer kept saying, ‘Just don’t forget the bending is your second jump.’ We warmed up and we’re ready to go, jumped the first jump…and missed the second jump. We circled and jumped the rest of the course perfectly. Lesson learned, and luckily I haven’t missed a jump since!”


McKAYLA BROMBACH

VIVIAN GOLDEN

I was riding a pony that, if not perfectly prepared, would be a little spooky to things outside the ring. As I stood at the in-gate to walk in for my round, I noticed there were people sitting at the top of the ring. Where they were sitting, the ground dropped down a little bit so all you could see was the tops of their heads. I was very concerned about this because I knew my pony would spook at them, like they came out of nowhere. I asked the back gate if they could please get those people to move before I stepped into the ring. Unfortunately, they did not move, and I was told to go in the ring. My first jump was on a right lead coming home on the diagonal. I chose not to go deep into the turn in hopes that I could keep my pony’s attention. It worked, and our first jump was beautiful. I came through the corner and had to go back up the diagonal in a six- stride line. He stepped into the line nice and relaxed and we loped out in a perfect six. As I came through the corner to do my outside line, the people decided to stand up. My pony lost his mind, spooked, and bolted forward down the line. I tried to bring him back but it was a lost cause and we proceeded to gallop around the rest of the course.”

When Vivian was eight, doing the small ponies, there was a big pony derby that went in the Dixon Oval at the Brandywine Horse Show. It’s a big deal, all the ponies do it, and there were 40-something entries in it. It’s the end of the day on Sunday, and she goes in and lays down and 88 and is winning the class. It takes a while to run the rest of the trips, and then in the second round, three hours later, it’s finally Vivian’s turn to go back as the last trip. She jumps the first jump on Gogo, who’s the greatest of all time, and Gogo is thinking it’s a left turn after the first jump, but no, it’s a right turn. She pulls him to go right, and he does go right, but she falls right off, and that was the end of that. Jack Towell was judging the class, and he now forever calls her ‘88.’”

PHOTOS: SHAWN MCMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY; JESS WINDHURST (SLYE); SPORTFOT (GOLDEN)

AS TOLD BY HER MOTHER, OLIVIA GOLDEN


EDUCATION

WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE

Equestrian Studies College Courses Online This Summer

A Q&A with Plaid Horse publisher Piper Klemm HE PLAID HORSE publisher Professor Piper Klemm, Ph.D., is

offering her equestrian studies online courses for college credit again this summer. The courses run in June and July, and are being offered through Clarkson University: • Business and Bias in the Equestrian Industry • Grit, Toughness, and Contemporary Equestrian Coaching • English Riding: History, Culture, and Industry Evolution

Prof. Klemm earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 and became publisher of The Plaid Horse in 2014. She has run her own pony-leasing business since 2011. In addition to teaching in grad school, she has been teaching university-level courses since 2018. Klemm is also the co-author of Show Strides, an equestrian middle grade novel series. Tianna Vestri, one of Klemm’s students last summer, said, “I am loving every book, article, lecture, podcast and more that we’re engaging with, and it’s really providing depth to my equestrian experiences and helping me make some great connections. I’m so glad I decided to take these three courses.” Want more info on the classes? Read on for more in our Q+A with the professor herself and visit www.theplaidhorse.com/college.

What made you decide to teach equestrian courses in the first place? I think our industry lacks a lot of structure on how to learn within it. Like most people in the horse business, I have learned much the hard way. Through these courses, we use traditional academic framework to approach the equestrian business and our own knowledge systemically, and using a building block approach.

Who would benefit from taking these courses?

The great thing about these courses is that everyone can take responsibility for their own learning and equestrian experience, and take away valuable knowledge and data. Riders as young as middle school to parents of riders and excited amateurs all benefit from the courses while adding a great mosaic of experiences to class discussion. The class size is small enough that we can focus on specific situations and tailor the material to be of the most interest to each individual class.

My child is horse-obsessed but college isn’t on our radar yet. Can I still enroll them? Can I enroll myself?

Absolutely! Young riders can earn college credit to transfer to the eventual college of their choice while learning about their sport, strengthening their connections, and enhancing their resume. We welcome parents as well!

I’m not majoring in anything equestrian-related. Is this course still for me?

Want more info? Visit theplaidhorse.com/college

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Yes! These courses are to expand your knowledge

August 2022


“The book impressed me so much that The Plaid Horse wanted to be a part of its new life with a new printing in order to get it into as many equestrians’ hands as possible. Geoff ’s work remains as strong and relevant as ever. As much as things have changed in our sport, so much about riding hunters, jumpers, and equitation has not. ‘Classic’ still wins in the show ring.” NOTE TO THE READER BY PIPER KLEMM, PHD

of the sport, yourself, and how to best manage hobbies, business and your approach to our sport. They are a great tool for all majors. They can be transferred per your college’s policies to use credit toward graduation or specific distribution requirement.

I’ve already graduated from college! How would I benefit from these courses? This sport is unique because it is a lifelong sport. Handling decision making, finances, emotions, and understanding the market forces can always be improved upon. This investment will benefit you for decades to come!

What sort of feedback did you get from students last summer on how they were able to implement what they learned into their lives with horses? Students were able to use decision-making processes to further their careers—including evaluating facility purchases, horse purchases, and investing further into our industry and using techniques learned in class. Klemm also co-hosts the #Plaidcast and runs various entrepreneurial projects. Her mission is to educate young equestrians in every facet of our industry, and to empower young women in particular to find their voice and story and share them. She shows in the amateur hunter divisions with her horse of a lifetime, MTM Sandwich.

Get your copy at theplaidhorse.com/teall


SHOW STRIDES BOOK 5:

PACKER PRESSURE Show Strides Book 5 will be available this fall!

“CAMERON? Like the Cameron? The barn favorite who wins everything and everyone loves?” “Yup,” said Tally, laughing at her friend’s wide-eyed expression. “Tally, this is huge!” said Mac, wrapping her friend up in a hug. Mac’s pony, Joey, nudged the girls with his nose, eager to get in on the celebration. “I know,” said Tally, bending down to unwrap one of Joey’s polos alongside her friend. “I’ve never ridden a horse this experienced. It’s going to be weird!” “It’s going to be awesome,” Mac corrected her. Mackenzie (Mac) Bennett was Tally’s best friend at the barn. At this point, probably her best friend, period. Mac had arrived about a year ago with Joey, a.k.a. Smoke Hill Jet Set, her partner in the Medium Pony Hunter division. When the girls first met, Tally knew next to nothing about the A circuit, having ridden only in the lesson program and at the barn’s in-house schooling shows. Now, Tally had competed several times at rated shows off the property, spectated at Devon and Pony Finals, and

Mac disappeared into the tack room and Tally slipped into Cam’s stall. He was already wearing his blanket for the night but she couldn’t resist a quick goodbye. 120

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August 2022

5 spent many sleepovers with Mac watching live streams and replays of the biggest shows in the country. There was nothing she loved more than immersing herself in the world of horses and showing. “How was your lesson?” Tally asked. “Great. Really great, actually,” Mac said, rubbing her chestnut pony’s neck. Joey licked Mac’s hand, in case a treat should materialize there. “But Ryan said he wanted to meet with me and my parents tonight, so I’m not sure what that’s about. How was your lesson?” “It was good, I rode Obie and then I got on Toots because he was being extra spooky for his rider. I wish I’d known it was my last ride on Obie, though…Ryan has a kid who’s going to lease him. I wish I could have explained to him what’s happening. Or something…” Tally paused. “That sounds stupid right?” Mac shook her head no, her expression serious. “I’m so excited for Cam, but it’s still a little hard to move on. Remember when I cried in the porta-potties after I saw Goose at a show?” Goose was a green small pony that Tally helped bring along for Ryan. He got sold over the summer and it wasn’t easy seeing him with his new owner at a show back in September. “Aw, Tal, that’s what makes you so good at this, though. You really love them,” said Mac. “And they love you, too.”


“I hope so,” Tally said with a sigh. “And it’s great for Obie to have a person of his own. Ryan told me it’s one of his newer students who’s going to show in the Long Stirrup.” A gust of wind whipped down the aisle. Joey raised his head on the cross ties and Mac jogged for the doorway. “Hold on, everybody!” she called to the horses before sliding the big, heavy door closed. The mood on the aisle calmed down within seconds. Mac disappeared into the tack room and Tally slipped into Cam’s stall. He was already wearing his blanket for the night but she couldn’t resist a quick goodbye. “Hi, sweet boy,” she said. Cam turned to face her. His eyes were big and soft. Tally could feel his kindness, just looking at him. “I can’t believe I get to ride you for a month. Might even be two,” she said, stroking the horse’s neck. Cam wasn’t super tall—probably 15.3 hands or so, Tally guessed—but he was big through his body. She’d seen him around the barn, of course, but she had very little idea of what he’d be like to ride. Down the aisle, both Tally and Cam heard the unmistakable swish of grain being dropped into a bucket. It was dinner time. Cam turned away from Tally and stuck his nose in the feed bucket in the far corner of his stall. “Well, it’s not there yet, buddy,” Tally said laughing. “Are you reminding us where your dinner should go?” Cam faced her again. Something about his expression, those huge, soft eyes, filled Tally with affection. She didn’t even know this horse yet, but she already felt a fondness for him. Cam nickered and turned his head toward the sound of the feeding crew, heading in his direction. “Have a good dinner, Cam,” Tally said, giving him one more pat before heading home.

AR PONY FUN & LE

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WEBSITE Voice Seat

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EARN BADGES HELP

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THE HOR

Arena

SE NAV IGATE

THE AREN

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be as small as a horse HORSES stall or much larger. ND THE ERS AROU LINES. BORD COLOR DOTTED Have one person play the horse and the others OF THE CUT ON THE EDGE are the riders. G THE S, AND CUT ALON AND GRAS The riders ask the PRINT OUT THE horse to perform HORSES DOUBLE different arena exercises. They could yell out SIDED ON CARD STOCK PAPER. “Serpentine” for

System Skeletal Horse Body System s Activity

2.

3.

example, and the “horse” would have to walk, trot, or canter a serpentine in the arena.

4. Each person gets to play the horse while the others quiz them with different arena exercises. Take turns having them be a horse or rider.

Long ! Diagonal

MAKE THE GAME MORE CHALLENG ING BY ADDING JUMPS FOR THE HORSE, OR LET MULTIPLE “HORSES” GO AT THE SAME TIME. © Allpony

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THE PLAID HORSE COMMUNITY

We asked our Plaid Horse Adult Amateur Lounge on Facebook…

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from a pony? It was the first time I learned as a child that someone else’s needs (my pony Teddy Bear) came before my own. Most kids don’t truly learn that lesson until much later in childhood.

How to lean back and hold the buckle when my pony decided to put her head down and buck around the ring.

NEVER TRUST SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE IT’S CUTE!

Just bail. Learned on my first Shetland pony, Rubi when I was 4 years old. She would be good throughout our lesson and then after about 35 minutes, she would bolt into the field. My mom would be yelling, “JUST BAIL!” And that’s how I learned to fall off.

—KEIRSTEN SANGSTER

—LEIGH-ANN WAGER-KAZOLAS

—RACHELLE WEST

—CIRA PACE MALTA

They are small but they are mighty. —CINDY MCGUIRE

To not stick my tongue out over the jump or bite it…something as a show photographer I see pony kids do ALL THE TIME and think: well, someday a pony is gonna teach them that their tongue is out and it shouldn’t be. —VICTORIA DEMORE HEIL

How to not underestimate anything. —IRINA RAPPORT

128

THE PLAID HORSE

August 2022

You’re never too old for a pony. —NICKU BRUCE

Don’t let them eat out of the feed room… got run off with by my Welsh (Sonny) more than once. Always ended up at the feed room. —CAITLIN SMITH

After saying goodbye to a few ponies, my kids finally learned that every pony has a lesson to teach. You will have a new lesson to learn from your next pony, and you have to let go to let your pony teach what you learned to another child. —JESSICA GRUTKOWSKI

To watch out for the little ones.

SHUT THE #%* GATE!

—ALINA M. CAPOTE GONZALEZ

—LISA NOEL


Jennifer Alfano riding Full Set - Lili Weik Photography

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2009 | 12.2HH | BLACK | PART-BRED WELSH STALLION

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