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NORTH AMERICA’S HORSE SHOW MAGAZINE • PUBLISHED SINCE 2003 • NOVEMBER 2021 FEATURING: Fountain Greene Farm • ShowMD’s Dr. Barbara Blasko • Stacia Madden • Hassinger Farm Equestrians of Color Photography Project • Medal Finals Winners • Ludwig’s Corner • Dominic Gibbs & more

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Publisher & Editor-in-Chief:

PIPER KLEMM, PH.D. Art Direction:

L/BAILEY DESIGN Online Editor:

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18     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021

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The

PLAID HORSE

OCTOBER/N The Indoors Issue 28

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

The Blame That Holds Us Back

54

Piper Klemm, Ph.D.

36

SPOTLIGHT

Fountain Greene Farm: A Place for Horses to Rest, Relax, and Recover Annie Birmingham

50

FEATURE

For Medal Finals Winners, Success Starts at Harrisburg Emily Randolph/RandolphPR

20     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021

FEATURE

ShowMD’s Dr. Barbara Blasko Emily Randolph/RandlophPR

60

FEATURE

Hassinger Farm: Where the Passion for Horses Comes First Jenny Finch

72

RIDERS

It Happens! With Alan Korotkin, John French, Ellie Ferrigno, and Dominic Gibbs Rennie Dyball


NOVEMBER

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October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

21



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OCT/NOV The Indoors Issue (continued) 76

FEATURE

Lifetime Riders: Why These Riders Don’t Plan to Ever Give Up On Their Passion Lettie Teague

84

94

INITIATIVE

Inside the Equestrians of Color Photography Project: Featuring Kamerra Brown-Allen Hailey Peret and Amanina Abdul Rashid LEGENDS

The Plaid Horse Questionnaire with Stacia Madden Rennie Dyball

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5 Strides with Elite Girl Sandra Dalman

“I feel like everything that I’ve done leading up to this has been for this purpose—to be a doctor at horse shows and to take care of people who ride.” —DR. BARBARA BLASKO PAGE 54

24     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021


Dr. Barbara Blasko and the ShowMD mobile health clinic READ MORE ON PAGE 54

October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

25


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IF YOU TOLD ME AT 25 that I was holding myself back, I would have said that you were wrong. In fact, I did say that to people. I got defensive. I got angry. I continued to allow blame to hold me back and to think about all the barriers in my way, and whether other people liked me. As we begin with a new group of interns each fall, I’m always surprised by the amount of blame that gets thrown around—and how that is not a good look in the workplace. “No one told me that” echoes daily through my email inbox. I hear apologies and excuses for normal learning stumbles. A discussion of intention in every email. If I didn’t think you had good intentions, you wouldn’t be here. If you didn’t have anything to learn, you wouldn’t be an intern earning $15 an hour. This is a learning environment. There is no blame, and when you are learning, there will be corrections. No one springs from the womb fully formed and ready to run a magazine without error. I certainly didn’t. Though I’m fairly fully formed at this point, I still have to correct and coach myself and find that others correct me daily, too. It comes down to being coachable. Because I have always been rewarded for pushing to achieve at the highest, I never learned to be coachable when I was younger, either. Always self-analyzing and self-correcting, I have been able to deflect and (mostly) avoid disaster, but my quest for perfectionism has been a double-edged

28     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021

Piper spoke to students at Santa Margarita Catholic High School about the equestrian industry in September

sword. It kept me on the right track most of the time, but paired with my perfectionism, I was never trained out of being overly sensitive or defensive over the most minor (valid) criticism. I saw comments in red pen marking up a report or tacit ‘do this differently’ statements as the end of the world. Critique was an enemy to vanquish. As I started teaching in a formal setting for the first time in a while a few years ago, faculty told me that students reacted better to green or blue grading pen. Red was too harsh. I instantly got defensive in my mind. I will grade in



red and make them tough and strong, I thought. I will make them better. Instead, I brought it up to the class as a discussion point and we made a group decision. I explained to them that as a boss, leader, and adult, the easiest thing in the world to do is to cut someone out of our lives. Fire, dismiss, and ignore them. The easiest thing I could do in a classroom setting would be to give everyone A’s and not grade anything. That’s the best bang for my buck, the most financial payoff per hour of work. Instead, I opted to do my job as educator, and thoroughly read, critique, and mark-up every paper. Every week, every time. Each one marked with a grade of performance and quality. Because every person in your life who ever chooses to take their time to teach you, to help you, to guide you—especially when they don’t

Piper presenting The Plaid Horse awards at Blenheim Equisports and catching up with old friends

30     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021

have to or aren’t being paid explicitly to do so—they are worth their weight in gold in making you your best self. The class elected to have their work graded in red pen. Saying this out loud to my students made me start to see it more and more in my own life. I stopped being defensive. I stopped trying to fight with people who were credentialed in the subjects on which they were advising me. I started to let things sink in instead of reacting to those who have so much knowledge to give me. Most importantly, I stopped taking everything so personally. I embraced “red pen” in all aspects of my life. I stopped allowing comments on my performance to define me as a person. I took some social media comments that might have really upset me in prior years and was, for the first time, able to put them in a box where they belong. I’ve found myself

crying less than ever, while taking more direction and critique than ever before. I have opened up new aspects of my life to let in more and let in people who I had shielded myself from in the past, knowing they would have the ability to hurt me. Anyone who is teaching me or educating me for my own good has a free pass. I’m not going to be hurt or upset by criticism, nor will I take it personally. Instead, I’m going to learn and grow from it.

Piper Klemm, PHD TPH PUBLISHER

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34     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021



SPOTLIGHT

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP:

Marissa has a quiet moment with Tai, Nantucket and Marco; Fountain Greene Farm’s entrance; Donatello is turned out during his Safe Keeping stint.

FOUNTAIN GREENE FARM

A place for horses to rest, relax, and recover WORDS: ANNIE BIRMINGHAM

KATE CAREY & LILLY JOHNSTON PHOTOS:

NANCY BANFIELD first envisioned the concept of a farm that

specifically catered to the needs of aging or injured horses over thirty years ago. Banfield, who grew up working in barns from childhood, knew that it was possible to keep horses healthy and happy at any age with the proper care. When the opportunity arose to purchase 250 acres of pasture in Wake, VA, Banfield and her family relocated to what is now known as Fountain Greene Farm and committed to creating a state-of-the-art program for horses needing retirement, rehabilitation, or safekeeping. They also teamed up with Kate Carey, the managing partner of the farm, who has completed a barn management and teaching certification from the British Horse Society. Over the years, Banfield has turned the business over to Carey and the team of

36     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021


October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

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SPOTLIGHT

women who have dedicated themselves to Fountain Greene. With their decades of experience, professionals often seek them out for their expertise, and many send their horses. Fountain Greene’s retirement options differ from other facilities in that a large staff provides individualized care where horses are never turned out in large groups, instead pasturing each horse with one or two compatible friends. “Our horses are safe to be healthy playful social animals without the stress of hazing and harassment,” says Banfield. The farm’s retired horses have access to large, regularly reseeded pastures, stalls with fans, and blanketing and heated water if needed in the moderate Virginia climate. Each horse receives regular maintenance (vaccinations, deworming, and dental), routine trimming or shoeing, as well as clipping, grooming, and bathing. Each horse is also individually assessed upon arrival to determine the best schedule to gradually ease into retirement. The horses are provided the turnout time they are comfortable with, whether that be 24/7 with an attached stall option, or just a few hours out in the morning before coming inside to a clean stall and hay. Says Banfield, “The turnouts are customized and assessed as their needs and comfort levels change to create a stress-free environment. Our theme is rest, relax, and recover.” Fountain Greene also takes the time to properly evaluate each horse’s individual dietary needs. Older horses with few teeth get fed a highly nutritious gruel four times daily designed to combat muscle wasting. The feed and medications are directly delivered so that each horse receives personalized treatment, taking potential issues like Cushings and laminitis into account. In addition to retirement, the farm prides itself on an extensive rehabilitation program, working closely with top veterinary clinics to provide care for horses in recovery and utilizing graduated outdoor medic pads that are benchmarked to larger areas as they are prescribed. This procedure provides comfort to horses with soft tissue or similar high-performance issues while they take the necessary time to “rest, relax, and recover.”

Zerlando takes a break from his regular schedule during his Safe Keeping

“We will not compromise our quality of care in any area…we are all committed to our mission. The horses come first.” —KATE CAREY, MANAGING PARTNER, FOUNTAIN GREENE FARM

38     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021

This specialized care allows horses to leave Fountain Greene directly to the largest show circuits in the country in prime condition. As Carey explains, “We will not compromise our quality of care in any area…we are all committed to our mission. The horses come first.” Perhaps most unique to Fountain Greene Farm is their “Safekeeping” option, developed for horses that need a bit of a break between show circuits. This program allows horses to rest and enjoy the quiet and calm of the farm while the qualified team at Fountain Greene maintains their fitness level so that they can return to competition at any time. “Recent studies have shown that horses in large supervised turnout situations maintain a high level of fitness and soundness. We add light sessions on our GGT footing as requested,” says Banfield. “This flexible alternative provides the owner with a quality, affordable respite for the horse while not compromising the care of a top show barn.” Safekeeping also offers an affordable option to college-bound students, vacationing amateurs, or professionals reducing the number of horses they have at the shows. Most importantly,

top competition horses get a necessary mental and physical break. Carey regards the safekeeping program as “intentional recovery. The horses aren’t just turned out. They are kept legged up and fit but with hours of private daily turnout in our fields, and without the chaos and energy of a show barn.” In addition to the quality of care that the staff at Fountain Greene offers to the horses, the farm also emphasizes opportunities to give back to the local area. The staff is composed mostly of women, many of whom are single mothers within the community. The farm frequently opens its doors to local children to provide them with education regarding equine care and the value of hard work. Corn, strawberries, and tomatoes (grown and harvested on the property), as well as eggs from the farm’s chickens, are delivered to those in need on a regular basis. These charitable acts set the farm apart as a purveyor of good, and Fountain Greene takes great pride in doing so. To find out more information about the services offered by the team at Fountain Greene Farm, please visit their website at www.fountaingreenefarm.com.


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1 Jennifer Alfano & Translation Please • 2 John French & Queen Celeste • 3 Laena Romond & Uptown • 4 Horses waiting for their riders • 5 Lafitte de Muze & Amanda Steege• 6 Ariana Marnell & Ocean Road • 7 Greg Crolick & Testify • 8 Scott Stewart & Hudson • 9 Alex Granato & Day Glow • 10 Liza Boyd & Cassico PHOTOS:

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4 5

3 1

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6 7

9

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October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

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THE PLAID HORSE COMMUNITY

Who Was the First Horse You Ever Loved?

We asked this question in The Plaid Horse Adult Amateur Lounge on Facebook (come join us!) and and loved looking back with you

Mine was King. I was so obsessed with him, I would always walk past his stall and just hang out with him dreaming of the day I’d get to ride him. The day finally came when my trainer put me on him for the first time and I was just on cloud nine the entire lesson. Then when we were walking for our cool down at the end, he spooked and dumped me—my first fall. Didn’t change my love for him though, and my trainer let me continue riding him until he was sold. Broke my heart when he left. I’ve gone on to fiercely love many school horses since King, and just this year finally fulfilled my dream of buying my very first horse. But King was the first one that really stole my heart. —LAURA ELIZABETH

The first horse I ever loved was probably the first horse I took real lessons on. He was an old Appy named Smoky and I always remember how kind and quiet he was—I was a timid little 8-year-old.

Rebel, a 15.2 grade chestnut, became “mine” when I was five, and my sister got a fancy new QH mare. Generally safe, he wasn’t easy, and when Rebel decided your quarter was up, he took you home. (A big part of my learning to ride was figuring out how to NOT be taken home.) From my very first Leadline class, to several county fairs, he was my best buddy. But what really sticks in my head were the countless adventures over hill and dale. Rebel wasn’t the fanciest, but he was my 4-legged partner in crime and imagination: Racing down the pipeline road like Secretariat, riding triple with friends, and re-enacting Bonanza episodes, including the dead-cowboy drape across the saddle… absolutely the best.

— JESSIE VAN BUITEN

— LISA COWAN

42     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021


TPH STAFF REMEMBERS...

My first horse Nora brought me from walk-trot and my first trip solo in the show ring clear to aging out. She taught me that patience and kindness get you further than anything else on a horse’s back. And that you have to train smarter, not by force. She was patient with my beginner mistakes, but happy to dump me in the dirt for any fits of teenage attitude. She taught me self control and discipline.

The Plaid Horse editorial manager RENNIE DYBALL reminisces about her first horse love:

— MARGARET CLUFF

Bea, because she taught me to look past the size and shape and breed of horse and look to their heart. Take her for a trail ride and she was a machine. She lived for hills and water. Tight through the trees, and a lot of branches to the head, but she absolutely loved trail riding. Miss her dearly every day.

My first horse I owned and loved was Gabriel (show name The Rocky Lion). He was a saint. Or angel. He was my Children’s Hunter. I had ridden lots of hard-to-ride lesson horses my whole life, and he taught me it didn’t have to be so darn hard.

Sanddollar. He was a lesson horse, Quarter Horse. Word has it he went to Congress or Worlds, or whatever the big QH show was back in the day. I’d go cuddle with him in his stall after our lessons. First horse I ever got to show, first horse I ever jumped (and fell off 7 times in one lesson). For me, he’s the one that cemented by love for horses.

— LAUREN GREENFIELD RECK

—REBECCA MILLER BURGESS

— TAMMY E. A. CROSBY

Mine was Meg, a school horse I rode at camp. I thought she was the greatest, fanciest horse in the world and I was on cloud nine that she was “mine” for the week. Among the more memorable lessons she taught me: Horses are afraid of umbrellas…and I can stick it out through about 47 spooks in a row. PS: Check out those rubber boots! My parents held out on the leather ones until they were sure I’d stick with riding. Little did they know.

My current gelding is my first ever horse, the horse I learned on, the horse I cried on, and my heart horse. I didn’t know it was possible to love a creature as much as I love him. I bought him in 2017 and have trained him myself, and he always makes me proud. — EMMA SANDERSON

October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

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Best of Luck at Indoors

Record Year PHOTO: KIND MEDIA LLC

Traci Brooks 310-600-1967

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Carleton Brooks 760-774 -1211


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Congratulates

Carleton Brooks on winning

the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association - PCHA Lorraine N. Lormier Memorial Perpetual trophy

This is the 5th time Carleton has won this award, which is given to the professional rider winning the most “A” Show Championships in Green Hunters 3'6" and 3'9", High Performance Hunters and Green and High Performance Conformation Hunters

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The Brooks’ Horsemanship Guide comes to Audible in 2022 Traci Brooks 310-600-1967

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FEATURE

For Medal Finals Winners,

SUCCESS STARTS AT HARRISBURG A look back at five riders who came out on top and went on to international stardom WORDS:

EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

R

ONNIE MUTCH, Victor

Hugo-Vidal, Bernard Traurig, Chrystine Jones, Conrad Homfeld, Mark Leone. Reading through the list of past winners of the Adrian Van Sinderen Memorial Trophy is much like reading a who’s who of top names in equestrian sport. Since 1948, the trophy has been awarded to the winner of what is now the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, and it serves as much more than a mark of great equitation and horsemanship.

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Making it to the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final is the goal of many junior riders


PHOTO: BRITTANY OLIVER PHOTOGRAPHY

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FEATURE

History has proven that winning the USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final is also a strong indicator of future success in equestrian sport. Among the 73 winners to date are several Olympians, dozens of top international competitors and many young riders climbing the ranks of the sport. “It’s so prestigious for a young person to win,” says Heritage Farm trainer Andre Dignelli of the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final. “They carry that title for the rest of their life.” In 1968, the Hunter Seat Medal Final made the move from the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden to the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, where the prestigious class continues to be held today. Here is a look at one winning rider from each of the past five decades of the Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

1972

KATIE MONAHAN

(PRUDENT)

On October 15, 1972, page 10 of The New York Times read, “Katie Monahan of Bloomfield Mills, Mich., finally, after nine tries, achieved today her goal of winning the hunter seat medal of the American Horse Shows Association. Competing in a record group of 136 riders, she received the championship ribbon at the opening session of the 27th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show. She was runner‐up in the competition in 1968 and

Katie Monahan riding Perfect Stranger to the 1972 AHSA Hunter Seat Medal Final victory

finished in the final group the other years. In 1969 she won the Alfred Maclay Trophy at the National Horse Show in New York.” While much has changed since, Monahan’s exceptional horsemanship abilities have stood the test of time. In 1986, Monahan helped

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the U.S. show jumping team clinch gold at the World Championships in Aachen, Germany; she has ridden in six World Cup Finals and is today recognized as one of the best trainers in the world. Monahan-Prudent was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2016.

1981 AHSA Hunter Seat Medal Final winner Laura Balisky pictured with her winning mount, Glen Owen, and Timmy Kees (left) and Ronnie Mutch (right)

1981

LAURA TIDBALL

(BALISKY)

In 1981, Laura Tidball made history as the first Canadian and youngest female to win both the ASPCA Maclay Final and the AHSA Hunter Seat Medal Final. Two years later, Tidball began competing at the Grand Prix level, and by 1984 – at the young age of 20 –Tidball made her Olympic debut. Following the 1984 Olympics, Tidball went on to again represent Canada at the 1986 World Championships, the 1987 Pan American Games, and the 1988 Olympic Games. “All of my training was in the equitation ring,” Tidball-Balisky told Horse Sport previously. “Two years after I became a professional, I was on the Canadian Equestrian Team. I was able to take everything I learned and further my career. The equitation prepares you for intense pressure situations. It prepared me for being able to handle high-pressure situations like being on a Nations’ Cup team. Equitation taught me that calm, cool nerves get you a long way.” Today, Tidball-Balisky has the distinction of being one of only three trainers who have both won the Hunter Seat Medal Final and coached a rider to the win, with student Melanie Walters earning the win in 1993.

PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: BUDD; COURTESY OF THE PNHS


1998

2009

KENT FARRINGTON

JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN

Kent Farrington is well known for a lengthy and continuously growing list of show jumping accolades, including a team silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But before he was one of the world’s top show jumpers, he was making his mark in the equitation ring.

Twelve years before making an impressive Olympic debut in Tokyo and helping the U.S. show jumping team clinch the silver medal, Springsteen wore a gold medal as the winner of the 2009 USEF Hunter Seat Medal.

At age 17, Farrington rode Toronto to the win in the AHSA Medal Finals under the tutelage of Heritage Farm and Andre Dignelli.

That year, under the guidance of Stacia Madden and Max Amaya, Springsteen and Kent Farrington won the 1998 AHSA Hunter Seat Medal Final aboard Toronto

“It’s so prestigious for a young person to win. They carry that title for the rest of their life.” —ANDRE DIGNELLI

Jessica Springsteen was named the Best Child Rider at the PNHS in 2004 and won the Medal Final in 2009

Papillion 136 topped a field of 237 entries for the win. The following year, Springsteen began to direct more of her focus on the show jumping ring.

2018

BRIAN MOGGRE Among the most recent champions of the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final is Brian Moggre. Moggre topped the class in 2018 aboard Efendi, and not long after his victory at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, burst onto the international show jumping stage. “Whenever you’re doing the equitation, it’s about making the course seem as seamless as possible,” said Moggre. “It really disciplines you as a rider, and I think that helps with the jumpers. It’s about having the discipline to ride a track well and making it look as

Equitation “teaches you so much,” said Springsteen to Practical Horseman. “The Grand Prix courses are as technical as equitation courses.”

Brian Moggre reacts to learning that he won the 2018 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final

effortless as possible. My personal opinion is that, with all the equitation, it’s not really about your position over the jumps — that’s not what’s going to get you to excel in the bigger jumper classes. When it comes down to it, equitation is about pure, genuine riding.” Since his Medal Finals victory, Moggre’s riding ability has helped propel

him to top results around the globe. Most recently, Moggre was the U.S. team’s first reserve for the Tokyo Olympics, and in September, he and Balou Du Reventon jumped double clear to lead the U.S. to victory in the prestigious CHIO Aachen Nations Cup before also finishing second in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE PNHS (TOP LEFT AND RIGHT); BRITTANY OLIVER PHOTOGRAPHY (BOTTOM)

2021

TO BE DECIDED The question of who will next etch their name into Medal Finals history will be decided on October 17 at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. To learn more, visit www.panational.org.

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FEATURE

ShowMD’s DR. BARBARA BLASKO The Doctor Is In... at the Horse Show

S WORDS:

EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

PE AK TO PATIENTS OF Dr. Barbara Blasko, and

you’re likely to hear a lot of similar sentiments: “Barb saved my life!” And, “I wouldn’t have been able to show if it weren’t Dr. Barb!” Whether it was a shoulder put back into place ringside instead of a trip to the emergency room, or a lifesaving diagnosis between classes, Dr. Blasko’s mobile concierge medical service, ShowMD, has been an addition to the horse show that many didn’t even know they needed.

For Blasko, the feeling of gratitude is mutual. While the board-certified emergency medicine physician has spent more than 20 years working in ERs, it is inside the ShowMD mobile health clinic where she has found her true calling. “My work with ShowMD makes me so grateful to be a doctor,” says Blasko. “I feel like everything that I’ve done leading up to this has been for this purpose—to be a

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doctor at horse shows and to take care of people who ride.”

TAKING CARE OF RIDERS LIKE RIDERS TAKE CARE OF THEIR HORSES Before she was Dr. Barbara Blasko, M.D., Blasko was a horse-crazy kid growing up in Long Island, NY. A $1 pony ride at a fair sparked her ongoing love of the animals, and she

began taking lessons at the age of 8. When she was 14, her parents bought Blasko her first horse, an Appendix Quarter Horse named Myrtle. “I started doing the ‘B’ show circuit on Long Island and the equitation,” says Blasko. “I worked for some trainers on Long Island as a groom and a braider to pay for my horse expenses. I didn’t have my own horse in college; it was just too expensive, but I did ride others’ horses. I kept braiding and grooming in college and in medical school. That kept me sane during my studies.” Today, Blasko balances running ShowMD with being an associate clinical professor of emergency medicine at Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, CA, and an avid amateur show jumper. As a frequent competitor in the adult jumpers, it was not long before Blasko’s medical acumen became known at horse shows throughout California. “A handful of people knew that I’m a


Dr. Barbara Blasko and the ShowMD mobile health clinic

PHOTO: ERIN CHAVEZ

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FEATURE

doctor, and when they needed help, they would come to me,” says Blasko, who, while not charging for her services, began addressing fellow riders’ medical questions. “I was kind of the barn knapsack doctor for a while. I’d have my knapsack; I’d have my stethoscope and the basic stuff to help people. I’d answer questions, and I’d get people in to see other doctors or into the ER if they needed to.” Eventually, a friend suggested that Blasko make her services more formally available to everyone on a consistent basis, and an idea was born. Blasko soon got to work planning the logistics of what would ultimately launch as ShowMD, a mobile medical care service providing equestrians with top-of-the-line healthcare onsite at horse shows.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE RIGHT AT THE RING Now, the ShowMD mobile clinic is a familiar site at horse shows throughout the West Coast, and Blasko is the go-to for medical advisor for many riders and trainers, including Hugh “Bert” Mutch. After Mutch was sent home from a hospital visit with what would prove to be a misdiagnosis, he returned to the week’s horse show and went to see Blasko at her ShowMD mobile clinic. “Barb looked at my medical records

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Blasko and Dior after finishing third in the $10,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” Adult Jumper Classic on September 19 at Blenheim EquiSports; Dior and Blasko clearing an oxer in the show ring; Blasko with Bert Mutch

and said, ‘I really think you should go to the hospital again. You’ve got an infection going on,’ ” recalls Mutch. “She realized immediately that there was something possibly life-threatening. She called the hospital where she works and got me quickly through the system, and I was treated like a VIP. I was in the hospital for three nights with what was there properly diagnosed as diverticulitis, but I got to go home after that. Had I not listened to her advice and gotten into the hospital as quickly as I did, I would have likely been looking at surgery and having 10-12 inches of my intestine taken out.” In addition to going to Blasko for acute medical care, Mutch also utilizes ShowMD for IV fluids to prevent dehydration and for treatment of chronic back pain. “One day I was in there, and a lady came in who had had a fall off of her horse and dislocated her shoulder,” says Mutch. “So, I’m lying on one bed getting fluids, and she’s lying on the other bed. They gave her a little lidocaine and

popped her shoulder back in, and off she goes. If she had gone to the emergency room, that probably would have cost her thousands, let alone the inconvenience. Instead, Barb was right there.” For junior rider Avery Glynn, the close proximity of ShowMD onsite at Blenheim EquiSports in San Juan Capistrano, CA, kept her from having to miss the CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship, in which she ultimately finished second. “I have never seen Avery sicker in her life than the 24 hours surrounding that final,” says Avery’s mother, professional rider and trainer Hope Glynn. “I’m so very thankful to ShowMD and Dr. Barb for getting fluids and anti-nausea medicine into her. The emergency room wait time was close to six hours, so if it wasn’t for Dr. Barb, she couldn’t have done the class.” Blasko’s extensive knowledge is among the most common praises for ShowMD— but her services go beyond the medical advice. “Over the years as a professional rider I’ve had many injuries. It’s so refreshing to be able to talk to Barb who truly gets it,” says Leslie Steele of Acres West. “She understands when I tell her I got a two in the one stride or that my horse spooked

PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: COURTESY BARBARA BLASKO (2); CAPTURED MOMENT PHOTOGRAPHY


and spun me off. If you walk into an urgent care or ER and tried to explain that to someone, they wonder what foreign language you’re speaking.” “Not only does she understand, she really goes over and above,” adds Steele. “I recently had a fall that created severe pain in my neck and arm. Barb realized I might have a herniated disc, and, after seeing me on Thursday afternoon, she arranged for me to get an MRI Friday morning. She truly cares about us as riders and knows we want to get back in the ring.” For Lisa Watts, having Blasko and ShowMD onsite provides a sense of comfort. “As the parent of an equestrian athlete and a digital nomad, my time is split between running to the ring to catch my daughter’s round and back to my mobile office in our RV,” says Watts, VP of product marketing at Magic Leap. “Being on the circuit also means being away from regular doctor care. Having Dr. Blasko on hand now at many of the shows has resulted in peace of mind on many levels. Earlier this year when I suffered from severe back pain, she was able to quickly and effectively get me back ‘to business’ making sure I didn’t miss a beat.” In addition to providing onsite care, Blasko and ShowMD are able to offer remote telehealth services–something that many people, like animal health industry professional and amateur equestrian Jenna Mutch, are extremely thankful to have. “Being able to have a doctor that’s consistent, rather than walking into an Urgent Care in a state where you don’t know anybody and they don’t know you from anything, is really incredible,” says Jenna. “That part of ShowMD, the remote care, is amazing as a working professional and as an amateur rider. You just don’t get that otherwise.”

A TEAM EFFORT FOCUSED ON EDUCATION While Blasko is the founder and face of ShowMD, the mobile medical service is also made up of a team of nurses, a physician’s assistant, and medics. Together, the ShowMD team is able to offer IV fluids, oxygen therapy, wound care, back

PHOTO: ERIN CHAVEZ

pain and trigger point injections, medical consultations and routine appointments, therapeutic ultrasounds, use of a TENS unit, lab testing, and much more. The ShowMD mobile unit also includes an onsite pharmacy, with Blasko able to dispense non-controlled prescriptions. “I couldn’t do it without my team,” says Blasko. “I owe a lot of thanks to Lucas, Erin, Rachael, Wendy, Mike, David, Amber, Phillip and John for their dedication and contribution to ShowMD on so many levels, and also to my wonderful husband, Jason, for putting up with me spending hours at the barn and working all kinds of ER shifts while starting ShowMD.” Much like Blasko, each of the aforementioned support staff members is emergency medicine trained, and, thanks to Blasko, they are also becoming quite equestrian trained as well.

“I love helping people and providing care to people that might not be understood otherwise. It’s given me a whole new lease on medicine.” —BARBARA BLASKO, MD

“There is certainly a difference between our team and the EMTs that you see at most shows,” says Blasko. In addition to training her ShowMD team to be knowledgeable equestrians, she has begun to hand select EMTs and paramedics to be onsite at show venues, and has been training them to understand the unique language and nuances found at shows. “One of my proudest moments at a horse show was when I was sitting on a golf cart with an EMT at the in-gate for a Grand Prix,” says Blasko. “Someone went in, and the EMT asked if me they were ‘preloading.’ When she said that, I knew I was succeeding in educating the paramedics and EMTs who provide care to the riders!” And that’s something that doesn’t go unnoticed by show management. “The whole team at ShowMD provides the best medical care a show manager could ask for,” says Ali Nilforushan of Nilforushan Equuisport Events. “Everyone on the team, including the nurses, physician assistants, and medics, have years of experience in the field of emergency medicine. We have known Barb for years as a rider and competitor. We were honored that she chose Nilforushan Equisports events to debut her ShowMD services last year.”

A WHOLE NEW PURPOSE For riders, show managers, trainers, and equestrian families, ShowMD is providing top-of-the-line medical care. For Blasko, ShowMD is providing her with a sense of purpose even greater than what she ever found in the emergency room. “I have so much gratitude for the show managers who have welcomed us, particularly to Ali Nilforushan who made me believe in myself enough to undertake this amazing journey,” says Blasko. “I love working at ShowMD; I love being there. I love helping people and providing care to people that might not be understood otherwise. It’s given me a whole new lease on medicine. After 20-plus years of practicing emergency medicine, you can get burnt out. “I feel like this is why I really became a doctor: For ShowMD.” Learn more about ShowMD at www.ShowMD.org.

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Congratulations to Our Over 100 Ponies Sold or Leased in 2020!

PHOTOS © ANDREW RYBACK PHOTOGRAPHY, SHAWN MCMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY, THE BOOK, MACKENZIE SHUMAN, & GRACE SALMON

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Congratulations to Our Over 100 Ponies Sold or Leased in 2020!

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Stonewall Farm • Text: 920-889-0028 S TO N E WA L L P O N I E S@YA H O O.C O M • I XO N I A , W I S C O N S I N


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PHOTOS: VICTORIA DeMORE PHOTOGRAPHY (UPPER LEFT); CANDACE BOISSY PHOTOGRAPHY (MIDDLE LEFT)


FEATURE

HASSINGER the FARM Where Passion Amy Hassinger and Dr. James Hassinger, DMV have spent almost two decades creating four companies with the goal of helping equine and human athletes perform their best

N

for Horses Comes First WORDS:

JENNY FINCH

ESTLED UNDER the tall, slender pines in the

Sandhills of North Carolina is a farm built on tenacity, dedication, and a passion for helping horses and humans thrive. Welcome to Hassinger Farm. Founded in 2003, the property stretches across nearly 70 acres of pristine pastures. The facility is meticulously kept, including automatic fly spray and watering systems, two all-weather arenas and access to horse-only trails. But what makes the farm truly one of a kind is the family that runs it. Dr. James Hassinger, DMV and his wife, Amy Hassinger, have dedicated themselves to improving the health and happiness of October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

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FEATURE

both human and equine athletes. They run four businesses out of their North Carolina residence, including Hassinger Farm, Hassinger Equine Sports Medicine, Hassinger Biomedical, and Equine Healthcare International. While every business is different, their goals align with the Hassinger family’s mission: to help horses and riders. Hassinger Farm primarily serves as a breeding facility for Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods and Quarter Horses. Amy and Dr. Hassinger compete in a wide variety of equestrian competition, including western pleasure, hunters, equitation, and

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more. Because of their varied interests, they strive to breed high quality horses, regardless of their disciplines. Hassinger Equine Sports Medicine is the largest equine rehabilitation and conditioning center in the country. It started as a mobile equine hospital which was transported between shows to provide a variety of services, including both treatment for major injuries and minor adjustments. Shortly after creating their mobile clinic, Dr. Hassinger began to gain a reputation as a “maestro” of equine ailments. He became known for his keen eye and ability to treat

small issues that had a big impact. “Not everything is black and white,” says Amy. “Sometimes a horse may have five small issues. But five small issues can really create a huge issue. Dr. Hassinger is good at figuring out where the issues are, even if they seem unrelated.” Today, Hassinger Equine Sports Medicine has the largest fleet of equine mobile hospitals, which travel between some of the nation’s largest Quarter Horse and hunter shows. Horses are able to be treated inside the mobile clinic, which is a climate controlled, clean environment. In addition, Dr. Hassinger travels from coast to coast providing sports medicine care to top athletes in all disciplines. Equine Healthcare International was founded after their sports medicine clinic, in response to issues they and their employees faced every day at the

PHOTOS: VICTORIA DeMORE PHOTOGRAPHY (ABOVE CENTER AND FAR RIGHT)


“If we want something we just make it ourselves. If we want it, we guess that other people may need it too.”—AMY HASSINGER barn. Now, their products are considered staples in barns across the country and include items such as Pomms equine ear plugs, Bit Butter, and Equi+Calm. “If we want something we just make it ourselves. If we want it, we guess that other people may need it too. It just makes sense,” says Amy. Dr. Hassinger and Amy Hassinger took their equine sports medicine to the next level in 2020 when they founded Hassinger Biomedical. Their first treatment, ProVet APC, is the only regenerative therapy system of its kind in the world. It’s unique vertical-spin

system consistently delivers the optimum ratio of platelets, growth factors IRAP, A2M and anti-inflammatory proteins for the treatment of joints, soft tissue, bone cysts, and reproductive issues. Recently, they introduced a new product called ProGraft, which is an injectable putty which can be used to repair bones. This means that horses who may have been put down due to injured bones may have the opportunity to heal. Both Dr. Hassinger and Amy remain hands-on with both their farm, and their businesses, every day. “We sleep, eat and breathe this stuff,”

says Amy, “I know what it’s like to be up at two or three in the morning, taking care of my horses when they’re injured. We’re out there with everyone else, doing chores in the morning, we’re working in the vet clinic during the day, then we’re tucking our own horses in bed at night.” After training their own horses, they still box up products and place Pomms into their clear plastic tubes several times a week. Amy says it makes them feel closer to their customer and reminds them why they commit to the hard work every. “When we see a horse with Pomms in their ears at a show, it makes us feel good to know that we helped make their ride better. We feel like we’re just a small part of making someone else’s day good.” Both Amy and Dr. Hassinger continue to train and show their own horses in addition to their busy work schedules. Every horse they competed at the 2021 Aiken Spring Classic were named Circuit Champions, and the Hassingers were the only husband and wife amateur duo to come out on top in both the Amateur Owner and Adult Amateur divisions, and also many of the Professional Divisions. Dr. Hassinger primarily shows Sandro, a Bavarian Warmblood stallion (who has a “lifetime license” with IRS/Oldenburg), who will be standing at stud for the first time starting in 2022. Meanwhile, Amy primarily shows at the major Quarter Horse shows with her top grey mare Truly Graceful. She also competes in hunters with Falegro and Fitilis, who are full brothers. Amy is very clear that their purpose in life is to develop products and therapies that will help horses and riders perform better and heal faster. “Everything we do is about helping horses and helping riders,” says Amy. “It’s our life’s work.” The Hassinger family has become well-known and respected throughout the horse industry for their positive energy, passion for the sport, and drive to help others succeed. And even with decades of hard work and thousands of horses helped under their belts, they don’t plan to slow down any time soon. While there are still horses to help, the Hassinger family will be there to offer new therapies, treatments, products and ideas to help them perform at their best.

October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

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PHOTO GALLERY

Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show & Country Fair LUDWIG’S CORNER HORSE SHOW GROUNDS, GLENMOORE, PA SEPTEMBER 4-6, 2021

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1 Rachael L. Lively & Quite A Journey, Winner of the $10,000 LCHSA Mini-Prix • 2 Dr. Mary E. Musheno & Krugarand competing in the Ladies Side Saddle Under Saddle class • 3 The bugle being sounded from aboard the carriage of the Rosato family in the Carriages Concours d’Elegance 4 Chelsea Koerper & Tropicool in the $5,000 LCHSA Hunter Derby 5 Madelyn DuBois & Jumping Jenny competing in the $2,500 LCHSA Pony Hunter Derby 6 Syaire Trott & Scooter in the 3 and Under Leadline class 7 Whilhemina Horzepa & Quincey in the $10,000 LCHSA Mini-Prix PHOTOS:

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ALYSSA MURPHREE MEDIA


s n o i t a l u t a r g n o C

Meredith Miller & Amadeus Best of Luck From Family, Farm & Friends




PHOTO GALLERY

Kentucky Dressage Association Western Dressage Show I KENTUCKY HORSE PARK AUGUST 28 & 29, 2021

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1 Karen Winn and Shawklito • 2 Holly Zecchin and Amodei • 3 Clara Quade and Laylee Van Winkle catching a selfie with Jacs Miss Quitta • 4 Joe Morton and Blue 5 Elizabeth England and CM Patinum Gunner PHOTOS: LISA MICHELLE DEAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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RIDERS

We all make mistakes. But horse people, as a group, aren’t always the best at handling them. So TPH reached out to some top riders to share their own show ring bloopers to prove, once and for all, that mistakes really do happen to the best of us! BY

RENNIE DYBALL

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

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Korotkin with his daughter, Carsyn

I’ve had several embarrassing moments in my riding career, but the one that seems to stick out the most was during the 1982 Medal Finals. I had gone fairly early in the first round and had an amazing trip; I was called on top and ended up leading the entire class. There was a huge field that day of 260 riders and the class seemed to take forever. I sat in the stands the entire day with my fellow riders and friends; everyone was congratulating me and patting me on the back. It was awesome. By the end of the day I was fairly exhausted and the class had run from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Suddenly, it was time for the second round, and I had to do it again! I entered the ring to complete silence, because that’s what happens when you’re called on top in that class, and I remember thinking how cool that was. I ended up doing 75 percent of the course perfectly, but in the second to last turn, my stirrup slipped ever so slightly on my foot and I panicked. I went off course by jumping the triple combination backward! The crowd moaned very loudly and I walked out of the ring. Needless to say, it was quite embarrassing, and even after all this time, people bring it up virtually everyday.”

One year at Washington International I was tied for champion in a couple divisions where I had to do the hack-off for champion. The first horse I had to hack off was Scout, and I couldn’t get him to trot. All he wanted to do was canter and go sideways. He was just over it. I was just going sideways down the rail at the canter and obviously lost the hack off…to a horse I shouldn’t have lost to in the hack off to, but I couldn’t even make my horse trot! And then I had another horse in a hack-off, and they had put the poles leaning up against the jumps. I couldn’t get him to go in between two fences. The space was kind of narrow and with the poles up in the air, he wouldn’t go through the space. So, I couldn’t even get him to trot [either]. I lost two hack-offs because I couldn’t even make my horses trot! So, it happens.”

PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: COURTESY OF ALAN KOROTKIN; SHAWN McMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY


ELLIE FERRIGNO

DOMINIC GIBBS

At Medal Finals when I was 13, I drew the 33rd spot in the order. The class started at 7 a.m., so I had to get on at 3:30 in the morning to prepare. After our late-night ride, my best friend Grace [McEneaney] and I arrived back to the hotel at 12:30 a.m. and I got right in bed for my 3 hours of sleep ahead of me. Grace and I are known for being able to sleep through ANYTHING. Three a.m. rolls around, when I’m supposed to wake up, and neither Grace nor I wake up for my alarm. My dad, who was waiting in the lobby to drive me to the show, begins frantically calling us and still can’t get ahold of anyone. He runs to the front desk and calls up to the room. Grace answers the phone, practically still asleep. My dad proceeds to ask if I’m there, to which Grace answers, “no,” and drops the phone the phone. Since she never hung the phone back up, now they are unable to call from the front desk. As my dad is running out of options, he finally goes to my room, and I wake up to him throwing his body against the door. Thankfully, I slept in my riding clothes so I jumped out of bed and ran out the door. The miraculous part was I still got on Remy on time!”

I was late to the Maclay Finals walk. In fact, I missed most of it. I was 20 minutes away, watching the timing online. But the online show time and real time were not in sync. When I arrived to the show grounds, I discovered my section for the 10-minute course walk was almost complete. I didn’t get to walk the whole course‚ I had to race through instead with the time running out! Stacia Madden was calling on the radio for me back to the barn, wondering where I was. They radioed back that I just pulled up in my car at the barn. Stacia later told me that she thought to herself, ‘Thank God for live stream and that he goes late.’ Later that day, after more than 260 rounds, I won!”

PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: ANDREW RYBACK PHOTOGRAPHY; PHELPS MEDIA GROUP

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FEATURE

‘I’m Simply Addicted to Horses’ Why Betty Oare and her fellow lifetime riders don’t plan to ever give up on their passion WORDS:

LETTIE TEAGUE

M

Y 78-YE AR-OLD FRIEND

Marie Boynton rides six days a week—in freezing cold weather or triple-digit heat unless her 23-yearold horse Bosco has a stone bruise or stifle injury (his two most recent complaints). Boynton only stopped showing in amateur-owner hunter classes a few years ago when Bosco, a Thoroughbred Shire cross, was no longer able to jump 3’. Boynton is my role model and the kind of rider I hope to be when I’m her age. In truth, she’s the sort of rider I’d like to be right now. Boynton is a member of a remarkable group of horsewoman and men who began riding at an early age…and never stopped. Or if they did, their pause didn’t last and they were soon back in the saddle again. They’re riders whose deep love of all things equine (along with a bit of luck, some money, and a good horse or two) have kept them riding—whether in the show ring or on a hunt course—well past the age most athletes of virtually any sport are likely to retire. They ride with vigor and dedication out of love for the sport. Or something else. As 80-year-old Betty Oare said of her remarkable career, “I’m simply addicted to horses.”

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FROM LEFT:

Equestrian and horse show judge Betty Oare of EMO Stables in Warrenton, VA at Upperville 2015 Marie Boynton her 23-year-old horse Bosco, a Thoroughbred Shire cross Larry Byers, Master of Fox Hounds of the Aiken Hunt in Aiken, SC

PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: COURTESY BETTY OARE, MARIE BOYNTON AND LARRY BYERS

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FEATURE

A legendary equestrian and horse show judge, Oare, of EMO Stables in Warrenton, VA, has earned just about every accolade possible in the sport and has been a role model for multiple generations. Her name resonates equally with twentysomething riders as it does with her peers. How many other octogenarian athletes can claim that kind of recognition, not to mention an ongoing record of wins? In fact, when I reached Oare by phone it was the second day of the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show in Blowing Rock, NC, where she picked up a Reserve Championship in the 50 and over Adult Amateur Hunters and was later awarded Toltec Sportsmanship Award, which she called a “great surprise.” If good sportsmanship is made of modesty and hard work, Oare has plenty of both. “I’ve been up since the crack of dawn,” she says cheerfully on our call. Oare rides every day without fail and has done since she was quite small. “I’ve never stopped unless I had some broken bones,” says Oare, who has a regular routine that changes only when she’s at a horse show, or attending church.

“I’m going to stay in the saddle. It’s what keeps me young at heart.” —BILL RUBE

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“Right now, we have three horses in work at our home barn. I’ll go down at 8:30 or 9 in the morning and ride for two-and-a-half to three hours. I’d ride all day long if I thought it would help me,” she says with a laugh. Sixty-five-year-old Bill Rube of Cherry Hill, NJ, began riding when he was five years old and won championships at Devon and the Fairfield County Hunt Club as a young man, but he stopped riding for a number of years. “My life took a spiral in the ‘80s,” Rube says. But, he adds, “It didn’t last long. I got back in the ‘90s, bought another horse, and I’ve been going ever since.” Rube is currently the executive director of the Glenearye Equestrian Program in Lumberton, NJ, and is a passionate advocate for the sport. Rube has lived multiple lives in the equestrian world, first as a top hunter jumper rider, later as a breeder of hunters, and now as the owner of a warmblood gelding named Roulette, whom he imported from Belgium this past summer. Rube rides Roulette “at least twice a week” at Coast-to-Coast Equestrian in West Milford, NJ, where he works with trainer Will Baker, who rides Roulette several days a week. “Will makes the horse Bill-proof,” Rube says with a laugh. The plan is for Will to take Roulette down to WEC Ocala this winter to begin his show career. Rube will likely follow—he’s certainly not going to stop riding. “I’m going to stay in the saddle. It’s what keeps me young at heart,” he says. Larry Byers, the 83-year-old Master of Fox Hounds of the Aiken Hunt in Aiken, SC, (for the past 11 years) maintains a rigorous fitness routine in and out of the saddle, which he credits to his time in the Marine corps. “I was a Marine for 15 years. You develop a regimen for keeping yourself in shape,” he says, adding ABOVE: Bill Rube that he was cleaning stalls while we spoke. in 1978 competing as an Amateur Byers began riding around seven or eight, Owner Hunter with growing up in Adams County, PA. His earDeelightful liest riding experiences were with his aunt’s LEFT: Bill Rube & gaited horses, although Byers later turned More About Me at to eventing and hunting. He also became St. Christopher’s prominent in several Pony Clubs when his Horse Show in children were young, and was the President 2010 of the US Pony Club from 2001 to 2004. Byers and his wife Pat spent many years in California before moving back east to South Carolina 18 years ago. “We used to hunt in southern California before it became a parking lot,” he says, noting that horse-centric Aiken is a much-welcome change. Today Byers has two horses, both Thoroughbreds (“I think the Thoroughbred is the most athletic horse there is,” he says) and rides five days a week. Byers hunts twice a week during the season although he stopped jumping fences two years ago. Today, Byers is a self-described “hill topper” who focuses on his hounds. “I ride because I want to keep up with the hounds,” he says. “Keeping up” is something any horsewoman or man might find hard to do with any one of these four remarkable women and men. They’ve collectively demonstrated that riding horses (and riding well) isn’t just an achievement, but a lifelong goal.

PHOTOS: COURTESY BILL RUBE


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1 Jason McArdle and Elicole jumping to victory during the Silver Tour at #ThePlaceToJump. • 2 Tonia CookLooker piloted Wilten’s Bubblegum to the win in the $1,000 West Coast 3’ Amateur-Owner Classic Challenge, presented by USHJA Zone 10. • 3 Madison Nadolenco claims the 2021 CPHA Foundation Medal Finals 21 & Under Championship. • 4 Alexandra Biederman won the $15,000 1.40m Bronze Tour Classic aboard Interactive Mortgage 07. • 5 Skylar Wireman bested a field of 56 to win the 2021 CPHA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals.

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6 Natasha Traurig topped competition taking home the Best Overall Young Jumper during the BES Young Jumper Championships. 7 Jason McArdle and Da’s Mooi Man won the $1,000 1.20m Jumper Classic, sponsored by Mary’s Tack & Feed. • 8 Stacey Bacheller, Catherine Westling, and Caroline Sutton top the podium in the 2021 CPHA Foundational Medal Finals 22 & Over. • 9 During the Team USA Celebration, spectators were able to meet Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland and take photos with Team USA’s Silver Medal from the Tokyo Olympics.

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“Four factors make up every successful jump: pace, line, balance, and distance.” ~ GEOFF TEALL

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INITIATIVE

THE EQUESTRIANS OF COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT AMANINA ABDUL RASHID

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KAMERRA BROWN-ALLEN


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

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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.

HAILEY PERET

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INITIATIVE

THE EQUESTRIAN

KAMERRA BROWN-ALLEN THE PHOTOGRAPHER

BETHANY P PHOTOGRAPHY LEARN MORE equestriansofcolor.com/ kamerra-brown-allen

How do horses take part in your life today? I attended Delaware State University, where I was the first African American to receive a full Equestrian Scholarship. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of coaching and teaching at South Dakota State University, my alma mater Delaware State University, Bridgewater College in Weyers Cave, Virginia, and most recently, William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, where a third

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.

86     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021

of the total student population rides and works towards the oldest equestrian degree in the United States. Because of people like my students, my mentors, my family, and my husband, I have the confidence to know that I can do anything I put my mind to in the equestrian world. What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color? I enjoy being a role model as the only equestrian of color coaching, teaching, and riding at a college level. I feel that I’m fulfilling that dream of the little 9-year-old me. However, I didn’t always feel that way. I wanted to be white so bad, even to the point I would tell people I was mixed because my father was really light-skinned. I would tell people my dad was

white that way I could fit in more to be mixed. Once I realized it didn’t matter about the color of my skin or where I came from, I changed. In the words of my cousin: “Love the skin you’re in.” What words of encouragement would you have for other equestrians of color or people of color considering becoming equestrians? Don’t think because you are a person of color it will be easier. You will have to work just as hard and be just as good at what you do. More importantly, you also have to want to be good. Being an equestrian of color will hinder you before it helps you. The doors are not going to open right away. Be patient, work hard, and don’t give up.


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INITIATIVE

THE EQUESTRIAN

AMANINA ABDUL RASHID THE PHOTOGRAPHER

SHELLEY PAULSON PHOTOGRAPHY LEARN MORE equestriansofcolor.com/ amanina-abdul-rashid

How do you describe yourself as an equestrian? I’ve been told that I’m a bit of an enigma: I’m a complete perfectionist; I want to be the best that I can and I want the horse I’m riding to be able to perform to the best of their abilities as well. However, I’m no stranger to goofing off! Even though my horse Maggie and I spend a lot of our time together preparing for shows, we love playing soccer with a big exercise ball, playing ‘tag’ with each other in the arena, and chilling out in the pasture. How did you get involved with horses? I’ve been horse-crazy for as long as I can remember! I used to sit on a plastic bouncy horse and my mom would pretend to be the announcer as if I was in a show. It totally helped that my mom grew up showing horses too! She made sure I got on a horse at a young age, and the rest is history. What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color? I think the biggest challenge for me personally has been my legitimacy as a person of color. I am biracial, and my mom is white so for a majority of my life I never really knew what ‘category’ to put myself in. A lot of white people will consider me to be ‘white-passing’ and don’t tend to ask any questions until they meet my father. For a lot of my life, I’ve grappled with the duality of my identity, wondering where I fit in, or where I should fit in. And it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I don’t have to fit in just one place.

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October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

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INITIATIVE

THE EQUESTRIAN

HAILEY PERET

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

PURPLE HORSE DESIGNS LEARN MORE equestriansofcolor.com/hailey-peret

How do you describe yourself as an equestrian? I describe myself as ambitious. I want to do everything and will work super hard for it. I got into horses when my dad bet on riding lessons at a silent auction when I was in preschool. I have been riding ever since and I just turned 24 years old. My primary style is jumpers and dressage, but I’ve been spending the last three years learning about Paso Finos and everything they can do. What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color? There’s been a lot of disappointment as an equestrian of color, but the biggest one that comes to mind is when someone refused to lease a horse to me because, and I quote, ‘Your people eat horses and I just don’t trust you.’ Might I add that I was 13 years old at the time when an adult said this to me over the phone. What would you like to see change in the equestrian world? I want to see more inclusion and accessibility. I want people to be able to access riding and horses even if they don’t have a lot of money like the top riders. I want to see more equestrians and leaders in the industry outright support BIPOC riders and the LGBTQ+ community and make us feel more welcome.

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October/November 2021     THE PLAID HORSE

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Stacia Madden TRAINER, BEACON HILL SHOW STABLES

Madden coaching a rider at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show

I’d be lost without an assistant at the ring with me. • As a horsewoman, I am most proud of the amazing team Beacon Hill has evolved into over the years. • As a horsewoman, I work to improve on always caring for the horse and improving with the times. • The hardest part about showing in the equitation ring is running your own race and not getting distracted by the subjectivity.

THE MOST REWARDING PART OF MY JOB:

Helping young riders achieve their goals My favorite horse book is A Very Young Rider. • My favorite non-horse book is anything by John Grisham. • I’m a sucker for a conventional horse that makes the least amount of mistakes. People may not know that I’m actually very organized and love ’80s music. I also love target practice. • On Mondays, you’ll find me running errands and going out to a nice dinner. • I sometimes wish I had the time to learn to play golf.

94     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021

PHOTOS: BRITTANY OLIVER PHOTOGRAPHY


• I’m afraid of retirement. • My absolute favorite show is the Washington International when it’s in D.C. because it’s a very level playing field with the restrictions everyone has. • The horse people I most admire are John and Beezie Madden because I learned so much about strategy and scheduling from them. Also, my first trainer and great friend to this day, Valerie Renihan. I learned work ethic and perseverance from her.

• Something I say ten times a day is put your heels down and have a nice flat, strong back to create a solid foundation. • One of my favorite horse show memories was running into Patrick Swayze at Madison Square Garden the night before I won Maclay Finals in 1987. • One of the best horse names I’ve ever heard is Don’t Tell Daddy. • My motto is always take the high road.

MY BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR YOUNG RIDERS:

Try to run your own race and be consistent instead of focusing on results. At a competition, work on bringing your low average up instead of focusing on your high average.

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Essex Fox Hounds Autumn Hunting WITH THE SOMERSET HILLS PONY CLUB OLDWICK, NJ • SEPTEMBER 4, 2021

The Essex Fox Hounds invites the Somerset Hills Pony Club for a day of early morning hunting from Life Camp. PHOTOS:

HILARY MURPHY PHOTOGRAPHY

96     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021


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Partnership in Action K ATE KUDELKO purchased this mare unstarted,

practically feral out of pasture, and has brought her along herself. Here they were photographed at First Choice Equestrian Center in Pinellas Park, FL.

PHOTOS:

NADJA SEIDL PHOTOGRAPHY

Serenity Show Stable has moved to our new facility! This stunning, historic farm is the former home of Bill Steinkraus. We are proud to continue the tradition of classic, correct training. If you'd like to join us for lessons (yes! we have school horses), boarding or training, contact Ruth at ruth@serenityshowstable.com or call (914) 755-7562.


100     THE PLAID HORSE     October/November 2021


ELITE GIRL The Oldenburg mare was Reserve Champion 7-Year-Old at the USHJA Young Jumper Championship and earned top ribbons at GLEF

1

What do you love most about the show ring?

I love to horse show! I love to show off, be the best, get pats, and I like hearing the girls say they wish I could be theirs.

2

If you could try any human food, what would it be and why?

I don’t like sweets, I’m a veggie kind of girl!

4

What do you like better: When the jumps get bigger or when the turns get tighter? When the jumps get bigger and they let me go faster.

5

Who are your best friends?

Drake and Iowa are my show buddies, but I like my people too. Love snuggling with my mom and dad.

3

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

I like to get turned out first thing, and if not, it ruins my day. I love working on the grass field, and trail riding out to see the young horses in the fields. They are very entertaining.

PHOTOS: KATE AT THE IN GATE; JAVAN DALMAN (FAR RIGHT)

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Around the Rolex Stadium and Kentucky Horse Park at USEF Pony Finals 2021.

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Stockade Autumn Hunter/Jumper Show STOCKADE POLO AND SADDLE CLUB GELNVILLE, NJ • SEPTEMBER 12, 2021

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1 Emma LeDuke and Flying Colors in the Crossrail Equitation 2 Darian Topololski and Charlotte in the Hopeful Hunters Samantha Brooks and Candy Bar Addiction in the Special Hunters 4 Kelsey Lynn and Panamera in the Low Children’s Jumpers 5 Dana Stanton and Joker in the High Schooling Jumpers 6 Emma Hufford and Fashionably Late in the Handy Hunter Challenge PHOTOS:

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Kelsey Fogelman and Ace looking for Halloween at their farm, Celtic Knot, in Amelia, VA. PHOTOS: DANA PROVO PHOTOGRAPHY

Rated Sept. 26 “N” For more information, call:

(845) 564-6658 GARDNERTOWN FARM EST. 1979

822 Gardnertown Farm Rd. Newburgh, NY 12550 Two indoor arenas, lessons, and indoor arena polo VISIT US AT:

Oct. 2 “N” Oct. 23 “C” Nov. 6 “C”

www.gardnertownfarm.com


HORSE SHOWS

Select Champions 2021 KIRKWOOD SHOW AT THE NATIONAL EQUESTRIAN CENTER Lake St. Louis, MO

LA LABOR DAY CLASSIC AT LOS ANGELES EQUESTRIAN CENTER Burbank, CA

MARKET HILL NIHJA SHOW AT LAMPLIGHT Wayne, IL

SILICON VALLEY EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL I Redwood City, CA

AUGUST 21-22, 2021

SEPTEMBER 1-5, 2021

SEPTEMBER 3-5, 2021

AUGUST 25-29, 2021

Child/Adult Hunter

Adult Amateur Hunter

Green Hunters 3'

Baby Green Hunter

Norwegian Wood & Brett Bodrato

Pre-Green Hunter

Thoroughbred Hunter

1.10 m High Training Jumper

1.30 m Medium Jr/ Amateur/AO Jumper

Gavanta & Jaden Cheikha

Quiet Tap & Rachel Johnson

1.10 m Jumper

Open Hunter

Modified Children’s/ Adult Jumpers

Co Star & Kate Wichmann

Queen B & Jesse Kruzynski

High Training Jumper

Low Hunters

Cimbrly & Margot Epstein Bendito & Ellen Baehr VDL Vinzell & Kristen Walker

0.95 M Low Children’s/ Adult Jumper

Esperanza & Julie Martin

Ragtime & Corinne Smith 3'3" Junior Hunter

Blue Moon & Gabriella Goshtigian

Slow Turning & Kim McCann

High Hopes & Carey Ben

Christo 30 & Carol Wright Young Hunter

Yellowstone & Emma Hainze

Call Me Vegas & Cyd Shald


HISTORIC COVERS

The Indoors Issue Through the Years

2006

2008

2010

2014

2015

2018

2017

2019

2020




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info@andrewryback.com • www.andrewryback.com • (224) 318-5445 info@andrewryback.com • www.andrewryback.com • (224) 318-5445 Official Horse Show Photographer of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show info@andrewryback.com • www.andrewryback.com • (224) 318-5445