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March 2018 • The Style Issue • $5.99 • (ISSN 2573-9409)

Inside

Cover Story: The Reach of the Hamel Family

Valencia Sport Saddlery • Liz Atkins’ Benchmark Stables Free x Rein Equestrian Apparel • Salt Water River’s Wild Horses


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THE STYLE ISSUE

Publisher

PIPER KLEMM, Ph.D.

P. 26 PUBLISHER’S NOTE Piper Klemm, Ph.D.

Editor-in-Chief

P. 30 VALENCIA SPORT SADDLERY Sissy Wickes

SISSY WICKES Art Director

P. 34 BENCHMARK STABLES Sissy Wickes

LISA DALY

P. 38 FREE X REIN Sissy Wickes P. 46 STYLE ISSUE STYLE PICKS Bethany Lee

Web Director

BETSY KELLEY Advertising

CONTACT THE PLAID HORSE

NANCY HALVEY

WRITE Piper Klemm, Ph.D., 14 Mechanic St,

LIZ DAVOLL

CALL 541-905-0192 WEB theplaidhorse.com EMAIL piper@theplaidhorse.com FACEBOOK facebook.com/theplaidhorsemag TWITTER @PlaidHorseMag

MICHELLE DECKER RUMANES Blog Editor

LAUREN MAULDIN Digital Directors

AVERILL PESSIN JILL BELLUCCI ESTELLE KRAFT

Canton, New York 13617

twitter.com/PlaidHorseMag INSTAGRAM @theplaidhorsemag instagram.com/theplaidhorsemag

PINTEREST pinterest.com/theplaidhorse GOOGLE + The Plaid Horse Mag TUMBLR theplaidhorsemag.tumblr.com SNAPCHAT theplaidhorse ISSUU: issuu.com/theplaidhorsemag

P. 52 COVER STORY: THE HAMEL FAMILY Sissy Wickes P. 56 LONGINES MASTERS NY MASTERS SQUAD Emily Riden P. 66 WHY STEINKRAUS MATTERS Timothy Wickes P. 68 A FRENCH TWIST IN EXPORTS Shawna Simmons P. 74 SALT WATER RIVER WILD HORSES Estelle Kraft P. 78 SIZE INCLUSIVITY Lauren Mauldin P. 80 KARIN TAYLOR Sissy Wickes ON THE COVER: THE HAMEL FAMILY WITH SEA CHANGE FARM. PHOTO © ERIN GILMORE PHOTOGRAPHY.


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Maye

SHOW PONIES • FAIRFIELD, VIRGINIA •

Producing quality young ponies for the hunter breeding and performance rings. CONTACT CHERYL MAYE mayeshowponies@gmail.com • 703-431-9096

MANEJANE 1/4


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theplaidhorse.com • March 2018 • 35 Liz Atkins has created a thriving business in the Chicago area hunter/jumper world. Benchmark Stables in Hampshire, IL is a bucolic twenty acre farm located just 50 miles west of Chicago. Boasting a thirty stall heated barn and a large heated indoor arena for winter comfort, it also offers ample grass turnout and a spacious outdoor ring for fairer seasons. Benchmark Stables is dedicated to quality in all aspects of horse care, training, and client service. Liz Atkins is a young professional who is equally comfortable in the hunter and jumper rings. She has had success at all levels as a junior and now as a professional. From developing a variety of green horses to ribboning in tough Grand Prix competitions, the rider has great versatility. “While a lot of people associate me with the jumper ring, I love the hunters, too,” she explains. “I have a former Grand Prix horse that I am aiming for the Derbies this year. It will be fun!” Her Grand Prix mount, Undine, is one that she brought along from the paddock to the Grand Prix level, a journey that Atkins is proud of. Atkins earned a business degree from Indiana University and then returned to the horse world. She has had the benefit of learning from some of the most auspicious trainers in the Midwest. Last names like Jayne, Rinehart, Bedoya, and Dorner have helped Atkins progress in her riding career. Currently, she is mentored by Diane Carney, a fixture in the Chicago equestrian scene. “Diane is very helpful and smart. When she is in town, she will come to my farm at 6:00 in the morning to help me school horses before she has to go and take care of her own business. She is great help, gives me good exercises, and keeps me thinking.” As a young professional, Atkins is well aware of the value of mentorship and a knowledgeable ground person. On May 11-13, 2018, Benchmark Stables is hosting its inaugural International Sale Horse Showcase and Jumper Derby. An innovative idea in horse sales, the event is a chance for prospective buyers to observe a quality group of sale horses with a “red carpet” feel. Atkins explains, “On Friday, people can have dinner and drinks and watch sales horses. We will video everything so that sellers can leave the event with a great sales video and I can post them on my website.” It is a rare opportunity for buyers to observe quality horses in an organized, relaxed event. An elegant dinner and cocktails will enhance the buyer’s experience, a far cry from the usual pressured routine of buying horses. Atkins is committed to designing the weekend to be a premier, luxurious event in the Midwest.


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On Saturday, May 12th, Benchmark Stables will host a clinic by Diane Carney. The clinic will offer different fence heights and degrees of difficulty depending on the participants. Those at the higher levels will have the valuable opportunity to school natural obstacles such as a bank and open water.

Sunday in the middle of May, Benchmark Stables will offer a revolutionary, first-class weekend of sales, training, and competition for horses, riders, and professionals.

Look for Liz Atkins and Benchmark Stables at storied midwestern horse show facilities such as Ledges, Balmoral, and Traverse City. In the winter months, she may be found in The weekend will culminate with a Speed Derby to be held Wellington, Ocala, or Gulfport, depending on the location that on Sunday, May 13th along with a champagne brunch. best suits her horses and clients. Young trainers like Liz Atkins As with the clinic, different fence heights will be offered are positive beacons of a bright future in the horse show world. ◼ BY TPH EDITOR SISSY WICKES in order to accommodate riders of different levels. All riders are welcome regardless of their participation in the Learn more about Liz Atkins and Benchmark previous day’s clinic. Atkins plans to obtain sponsorship for prize money totaling $5000.00. From Friday to Stables at www.benchmarkstables.com


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Expand Your Equestrian Education & Experience New Cultures in Argentina or Mongolia Do you need a break from horse showing? Consider going to Argentina or Mongolia! If you are high school age, the perfect summer experience abroad is waiting for you. The Experiment in International Living has two incredible study abroad trips that include equestrian experiences. You can get to know your horse while exploring the Chicoana Mountain in Argentina, or ride a Mongolian pony around the ancient, pristine Lake Khövsgöl. With more than 85 years of experience in international education and experiential learning, The Experiment is the flagship program of World Learning, a global nonprofit organization that works to create a more peaceful and just world through education, sustainable development, and exchange programs with impact in 150 countries.

Where will you ride this summer?

The Experiment programs focus on student-centered immersive learning and genuine cultural experiences. You’ll be part of a diverse group of no more than 15 participants, led by two carefully selected and trained adult group leaders. The Experiment also offers a network of in-country support to ensure the safety of all participants. The Argentina program boasts a month’s worth of outdoor activities, community service, and Spanish language classes from July 4-31. The trip begins in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, where you can explore the city’s sights and architecture while practicing your Spanish. A boat trip to the surrounding islands in the Tigre Delta will lead you to artisan markets and more. An integral part of The Experiment is a homestay with a local family. In Argentina, the homestay takes place in Colonial Jujuy for two weeks, during which you will also work on a community service project like volunteering at a center for children with developmental disabilities or helping to renovate an orphanage or school. Learning how to rope cattle and discovering the Salinas Grandes, Argentina’s massive salt flats, are part of the outdoor adventure portion of the trip. Of course, the best part of the program is the horseback trip! It includes camping under the stars, enjoying a traditional asado (a barbecue prepared by Argentine cowboys known as gauchos), and trail riding through the mountains. Just bring your helmet! Laura, a participant in the 2017 Argentina program, said, “Community service was like the icing on


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the cake; I could not be happier to have helped the local communities of Jujuy and Chicoana. Our community service projects such as gardening, painting, and remodeling a run-down police station and the humble school gave me the chance to learn life lessons I will sincerely hold dear to my heart. During the last couple of days, our group experienced white-water rafting on the Juramento River, horseback riding up rocky mountains, and camping in winter weather. Over the span of 25 days, I experienced a lifetime of adventures. Indeed, it was a summer to remember.”

in a traditional ger, a round, felt-lined tent, and help your host family tend livestock, cook traditional meals, and ride even more! Helmets are provided in Mongolia, but you can also bring your own, along with boots and half chaps. The trip in Mongolia wraps up at the Gobi Desert with Buddhist temples, meditation caves, and learning about Danzan Ravjaa, known as the Lama of the Gobi. You’ll venture into the desert on camelback and spend the night sleeping in a ger under the giant desert sky. Sophie, who took the Mongolian trip in 2014, said of her experience, “My absolute favorite part of the trip was the horse trek from community service to the ger camp where we were staying for the night. Other awesome parts were painting a school alongside Mongolian students, taking an overnight train into the Gobi Desert to explore the monasteries and holy sites there, cooking with my host mother, and hiking up to places with the best views I've ever seen. I absolutely loved Mongolia, and I'd highly recommend the trip to anyone looking for an adventure!”

Or, when you return to school in the fall, what could be cooler than telling your friends about the month you spent in Mongolia? This program is one of The Experiment’s most unique trips. The program runs from July 5-August 2 and starts in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, with language lessons and cultural experiences such as playing the morin khuur (also known as the horsehead fiddle). You’ll also visit important Buddhist pilgrimage sites and study traditional Mongolian arts, while your community service project will take you to the Khövsgöl province to teach English to local students or paint a school.

Book your summer adventure with The Experiment in International Living today by visiting www.experiment.org! Check The Experiment out on social by searching for “ExperimentAbroad.”

But what’s really neat about Mongolia is the horseback riding. Gallop along the magnificent grasslands around Lake Khövsgöl, the second-largest freshwater lake in Asia. Visit the Naadam Festival to see horsemanship, wrestling, and archery competitions. You will live

Today, The Experiment is the flagship program of World Learning Inc. (worldlearning.org). Over the decades, World Learning Inc. has built on The Experiment’s success to become a thriving global organization made up of The Experiment in International Living, School for International Training (SIT), and World Learning, a nonprofit that runs our global development and exchange programs.

More than 70,000 alumni have traveled abroad with The Experiment in International Living. In a recent survey, 85% of alumni said The Experiment increased their understanding of international social issues, 75% said it increased their ability to work with others in groups or on teams, and 73% said that The Experiment programs proved useful on academic applications.

The Experiment in International Living has been the leader in international education and experiential learning for high school students for more than 85 years. On our two- to six- week summer abroad programs to 26 countries, students explore the world through hands-on experiences and homestays in local communities through the lens of a specific theme. Each year, hundreds of students come away from The Experiment with invaluable cultural, leadership, language, and college-prep skills that help them thrive in diverse environments.


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28 years after Montana won his last, twelve year old boys and girls all over the country have a poster (or a fat head) of Tom Brady on their wall. Always remember, our idols have idols. And Bill Steinkraus was everybody’s Bart Starr, everybody’s Joe Montana and Tom Brady all rolled into one – smooth as silk and cool as the other side of the pillow. He was the guy on your idol’s idol’s wall. The proof is in the pictures and videos. No matter what horse he’s on, Hollandia to Main Spring, Ksar d’Esprit to Snowbound, he’s always the same:

back as straight and flat as a park bench, eyes looking right over his horse’s ears, and the perfect light contact release that George Morris has been preaching about since the Beatles. Make a point of looking at the photos from the 70’s and 80’s. Ridland, Matz, Fargis, Kursinski, and Smith – they all had that same look. And like their idol before them, they all looked like they were jumping some 3'6" hunter fence when the oxer they were actually hurling over was as tall as Kent Farrington and as wide as the Rio Grande. And the same holds true today. Just look at the style of Beezie and McLain, of Laura and Reed, and Lucy and Kent, too. The eye is up, the back is straight, the leg is still and the release is perfect. The American style, the Steinkraus style. Bill was The American Rider, then and now. He is still the poster on the wall. ◼ BY TIM WICKES


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See page 83 for answers!


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ANSWERS FOR CROSSWORD ON PG 77: ACROSS 3. HELMET 4. LACTIC 6. STEWARD 8. GOLD STAR 9. KENTUCKY 10. STERNUM 13. HH AZUR 14. FARRINGTON 20. CHOKE 21. SMALL AFFAIR 22. STEWART 23. CORIUM 24. PARROT MOUTH 26. TALENTSEARCH DOWN 1. WEG 2. EAR BUDS 3. HEAVES 5. CORONARY 6. SYNOVIAL 7. RHINO 11. ELECTROLYTES 12. COLIC 15. BOWED 16. TETANUS 17. BEET PULP 18. NSAID 19. SARCOID 25. EAP

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