THE WALLS ARE ALIVE
MindTheGap, a fascinating home décor company based in Transylvania, Romania, creates vivid wallpapers, fabrics, and other home furnishings that depict their culture with horses and encapsulate the spirit and wanderlust of the region.
TORONTO’S ROYAL HORSE SHOW
The Royal Horse Show in Toronto, Canada, considered the marquee event of the city’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, celebrated a memorable 100th anniversary, combining black-tie formality with a country flair.
This year’s portfolio of homes, barns, and upscale equestrian facilities run the gamut from a reimagined dairy barn to a “barndominium,” where people and horses share a home, to a dream farm designed for an Olympic show jumper.
JJ TATE 66
Renowned world-class dressage rider and trainer JJ Tate has blended her expertise, enthusiasm, and illuminating teaching style into a successful business. Her ability to connect with her horses through patience and skillful communication has afforded her countless trips to the podium.
TERRANOVA EQUESTRIAN CENTER 72
TerraNova, an expansive new venue in Florida with top-notch amenities, rounds out the region’s competition landscape. Created as something different, the peaceful, sprawling equestrian center places the horse first.
THE EVOCATIVE PHOTOGRAPHS OF TORI GAGNE 76
Tori Gagne has always found creative inspiration from horses, animals, and the natural world, but immersing herself amidst herds of wild horses and seductive landscapes of the western U.S. has generated photographs of profound beauty.
See EQ INSIDE
Show jumper Alexa Pessoa shares her favorites, from hotels and books to must-have travel items. 16
The Manhattan Riding Club offers New York City equestrians a plethora of riding experiences for its community of riders. 18
Photographing America’s top horse shows for decades, James Parker describes the scenario and matter of luck behind his best shot. 30
Enjoy an excerpt from The Horse is My Teacher, Lessons from the Ranch: Training, Riding, Luck, and Love by Van Hargis. 32
The recently rebranded Wellington International, the worldrenowned equestrian venue in Wellington, Florida, has launched its first steps toward becoming an equestrian paradise.
Classic lines and the understated elegance synonymous with equestrian apparel inspires fashion brands to infuse their collections with the sport’s sartorial appeal.
The color green, known for its calming influence, has spurred the imagination of accessory, apparel, and home décor designers.
In the direct path of Hurricane Ian, and with little notice to evacuate, Tricia Lynn Glotfelty knew exactly what she needed to do to keep her animals safe.
FOOD + DRINK
ON THE COVER IN
MindThe Gap, a home décor company based in Transylvania, Romania, transforms home interiors with their imaginative wallpapers, fabrics, and furnishings. The room interior on the cover features The Jockey wallpaper from the Derby collection.
For full feature, see page 40.
EDITOR’S NOTE 8
Welcome to Equestrian Living
Look for CONTACT INFO | PAGE 97 to find the products and services in this issue.
BARN DOGS 98
Louise Serio, a championship rider and trainer, describes how she came upon Buddy and Tucci, and reveals who’s the want-to-be Cavalier King Charles.
White Dog Cafe in Wayne, Pennsylvania, a stone’s throw from the Devon Horse Show, stirs up a savory cocktail.
Advanced technology and innovation are at the core of new riding gear designed to keep riders injury free.
“The precision of a craftsman, the heart of an artist.”
The work of award-winning bronze sculptor Richard Stravitz is known for its exquisite beauty and timeless appeal. A master at capturing the essence of his subjects, Stravitz is widely recognized for his distinctive ability to sculpt motion and emotion. Sought out for important commissions worldwide, he brings heart and precision to each of his masterpieces. Visit our website to view the wide variety of his work and listing of public installations. Above: “Training a Champion” in bronze 16x17x7.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA 757-305-9411 RICHARDSTRAVITZ.COM
All of us at Equestrian Living continue to mourn the loss of renowned horsewoman Judy Richter who passed away on November 30, 2022. The outpouring of condolences throughout the equestrian community and beyond has been profound and well-deserved.
effusive, we would receive short email snippets after she reviewed an issue: “They just get better and better,” “Well done, all,” or “Keep up the good work.” Her comments were just enough to keep us on course. She was our North Star.
Judy was smart, elegant, and the embodiment of a true horsewoman; we will miss her.BETSY STEIN
Her lifetime accomplishments were extraordinary—as a hunter-jumper trainer, instructor, and judge, she was a consummate horsewoman from an early age. Through her success as a horse trainer and riding instructor, Judy’s original 4-acre Coker Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut, moved and expanded to a 104-acre farm in Bedford, New York, and grew to become one of the most recognized hunter-jumper barns in America.
We (at EQ) were fortunate to have a few members of our editorial team who have known Judy for decades through equestrian sport. We invited her to become an EQLiving contributing editor, which she carried out for many years. In 2021, she became an editor-at-large and continued that role until her death. Judy not only brought a wealth of knowledge to the magazine, but she was also a brilliant writer, penning wistful narratives capable of transporting readers to some of the bygone settings and experiences of her equestrian-focused youth.
EQ published numerous essays of Judy’s, including recounts of friendships with premier equestrians such as Olympic gold medalist Bill Steinkraus and, as a kid, riding with abandon at
the neighboring Lamington Farm, what is now Trump National Golf Club. She wrote, “All of my memories of that extraordinary estate are happy: our evening rides, larking in the darkness over the white coops, showing in the hunter trials, our sleepovers and adventures exploring the house, and the sumptuous hunt breakfasts, jolly and convivial.”
During her school years, she and her sister Carol would hop on their horses and head to their neighbors a few miles away. She recalls, “Many winter afternoons, we’d dash home from school, saddle up, and trot briskly down the road in hopes of beating the late afternoon deepening dusk.”
I may be a bit of a romantic, but her writing captured these memorable times with perfect pitch.
What I appreciated most was Judy’s championing for Equestrian Living. Never
In this issue, we spark your imagination with an inspiring mix of barn and home design projects in our annual Design issue. The scope of projects ranges from a reimagined 1873 dairy barn into a modern entertainment building to a state-of-the-art horse farm for an Olympic show jumper designed with a modern-rustic European vibe.
Continuing in the creative realm, we introduce you to MindTheGap, a unique company based in Transylvania, Romania, that takes the design of wallpaper and fabrics to imaginative new heights, and we showcase the soulful equine photographs of Tori Gagne.
Beyond the design focus, we get to know what drives world-class dressage rider JJ Tate, discover plans for the newly branded Wellington International (formerly Palm Beach International Equestrian Center), enjoy a recap of Toronto’s 100th Royal Horse Show, and much more.
We have exciting features and equestrian profiles lined up for 2023. We hope you’ll join us!
Subscribe and get America’s premier equestrian-lifestyle magazine delivered right to your mailbox. And your email inbox will be brightened too with a complimentary subscription to the magazine’s digital edition plus the EQ Inner Circle e-Newsletter.
VOLUME 12 NUMBER 1
EDITOR AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR Stephanie B. Peters
SENIOR EDITOR Jill B. Novotny
PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR George Kamper
EDITORS AT LARGE Rebecca Baldridge, Carol Cohen-Hodess, Judy Richter (2015-2022)
DESIGN MANAGER Mary A. Stroup
SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEB CONTENT Maggie Carty
DIGITAL & CLIENT SERVICES Sarah Lessler
EDITORIAL MANAGER Theresa Cardamone
EQ SPECIAL EVENTS Jennifer Pearman Lammer
UK & LONDON EDITOR Bridget Arsenault
Sabrina Brashares/Jump Media, Rebecca Baldridge, Sarah Lessler, James Parker, Louise Serio, Elaine Shuster, Ann Marie Snyder, Carrie Wirth, Jennifer Wood
PUBLISHER C.W. Medinger
PUBLISHING CONSULTANT George Fuller
PRINT John Spittle
PUBLIC RELATIONS Carrie Wirth, EQmedia.agency
NEWSSTAND DISTRIBUTION Boyd Mulholland
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Favorite charity: Storeybrook Farm Sanctuary, a registered nonprofit horse sanctuary based in Waterbury, Vermont, founded by my sister, Olivia.
If I weren’t an equestrian, I might have been a prosecutor.
Favorite horse: Madison (all-time favorite) Let’s Fly and Carlito’s Way (below).
Jumping clear in the 3* grand prix this summer after 10 years away from that level.
Favorite exercise to complement riding: Lo Rox Aligned Life Studio.
Favorite getaway: To me, it’s a ski mountain with fresh powder.
A riding discipline you’d like to try: Driving a fourin-hand team.
Favorite show: Drive to Survive, the Netflix series about Formula One racing.
Favorite books: Laurence Leamer’s Capote’s Women The Nightingale by
Favorite food to cook at home: Vegetables and roast chicken.
Alexa began riding in Connecticut at the Fairfield Hunt Club under the supervision of Emerson Burr. Later, she moved into the junior ranks with the help of Timmy Kees, Leslie Burr Howard, and Kent Farrington. Alexa met her husband, Rodrigo Pessoa, through travels on the circuit, and they compete internationally while raising their daughters.
Must-have when trav eling: A large wrap scarf and my Away rolling CASA TUA
Favorite way Riding trails in North Salem, New York, with my daughters.
Favorite restaurant: Casa Tua, Miami.
My playlist: Harry Styles.VILLA D’ESTE
THE BIG APPLE’S EQUESTRIAN COMMUNITY
New York City, that celebrated insomniac, is a buzzing Big Apple where anything is possible. Or so they say. When Melissa Kemp moved to New York from London in January 2019, she soon discovered the one thing that isn’t possible—horseback riding. For the Manhattan-based equestrian, particularly a carless one, mounting up can involve challenges.
A rider since the age of 6, Melissa took advantage of the myriad opportunities to ride in England, particularly the chance to ride on open land. She took lessons in Reading, a twenty-minute train ride from London, developed a passion for fox hunting after riding with the
Royal Artillery, North Cotswolds, and Surrey Union hunts, and in an enviable moment even found herself astride one of the Household Cavalry’s magnificent black chargers.
After the embarrassment of equestrian riches that is England, Melissa was frustrated by the effort it takes to get on a horse as a Manhattanite. As an experienced horsewoman, she was also eager to find opportunities for open land riding. In May 2019, she took matters into her own hands and founded the Manhattan Riding Club (MRC). Shortly thereafter, on a Long Island trail ride, she met Alana Stotts, a volunteer who led rides on the Muttontown Trails. A native New Yorker, Alana knew a lot about the local riding scene, and it wasn’t long until
Melissa invited her to partner in the MRC
From just 20 members in mid-2019, the Manhattan Riding Club today boasts more than 600 enthusiastic riders of all skill levels and disciplines. Surprisingly, one of the biggest boosts to membership was the COVID pandemic. Since riding is an outdoor activity, it was perceived as relatively safe. Many former riders, suddenly with a lot more time on their hands, rekindled old passions, and the club attracted new riders as well.
Club members can enjoy a range of exciting riding experiences as well as multi-disciplinary training opportunities. Through the club, riders have access to lessons, clinics, hacks, trail rides, hunter paces, fox hunting, and polo.
Disciplines run the gamut from pleasure riding and dressage to show jumping, eventing, and cross-county. MRC has forged relationships with high-quality stables and trainers throughout the Hudson Valley and New Jersey to offer superior experiences to all riders.
The club’s riding experiences are designated by levels 1 through 5, and new riders take an assessment ride to determine their appropriate level. For example, Level 1 is a new rider, while Level 5 is an expert rider who can assist and instruct other riders. Following the assessment ride, members are matched with suitable horses for every riding experience.
Not only does the club offer New Yorkers access to an impressive array of riding adventures, but it allows members to join together in making plans and managing logistics. Since many Manhattan residents choose not to own cars, club members can take advantage of ride-sharing and car rental opportunities.
Opposite: Melissa Kemp fox hunting with the Belle Meade Hunt. Above, left : Team Manhattan Riding Club at the BRLA Hunter Pace. Above right: Alana Stotts fox hunting in Ireland with the Galway Blazers and MRC Riders at the Golden’s Bridge Hounds Hunter Pace.
The social aspect of MRC is another significant benefit, with events and gatherings for riders to get to know other local members of the equestrian community.
As the membership grew, Melissa and Alana wanted to expand the club’s range and offer equestrian travel. For their first trip in early 2020, the MRC traveled to South Carolina for Low Country Hunt Week and enjoyed it so much that they’ll be participating for the third time in January 2023. In addition to several days of fast-paced fox hunting, members can enjoy beach rides, nightly social events, and a welcoming oyster boil on the first night.
Of course, Ireland is a top destination for riders, particularly for fox hunters. In
February 2022, club members joined two whips from the Santa Fe Hunt in Southern California and another from the Arapahoe Hunt outside Denver to enjoy a week of riding to the hounds. They joined the storied Galway Blazers, one of Ireland’s most famous hunts since it was founded in the early 19th century, and lived to tell the tale. Ireland is for the serious fox hunter, there are no go-arounds at those stone fences and vast ditches.
More trips are planned for the near future. Following Low Country Hunt Week, there will be the obligatory hunting in Ireland as well as a polo weekend in Wellington, Florida. For those who want to stick closer to home, there’s still plenty of fun here with a monthly Clydesdale ride and wine tasting in New Jersey, country hacks in the Hudson Valley, and, as always, Saturday lessons. Visit manhattanridingclub.com to book an adventure and ride through some of the most beautiful countryside in the Northeast.
MY BEST SHOT!
has been photographing America’s top horse shows since 1982. Horses and their people have been his only subjects. See Equestrian Living Dec 2016 issue.
Circuit was over, but I had promised someone I would come out to the Short Stirrup ring to take a few photos. To me, there is so much humanity at that ring, with kids and family and everyone trying to be serious.
I didn’t know that McLain Ward’s family would be there. Trainer Charlie Moorcroft had taken Ward’s daughter, Lilly, and her pony away from the ingate, and within seconds Lilly and Charlie were trying to be serious. I think I took seven or eight photos of the two of them mimicking each other, and I knew I had the shot. I actually walked away from the ring and went back to our bus because you’ll never get a second chance at a photo like this. Although I like taking photos of the horses, nothing beats a photo of the people involved, with their personalities flashing at you. You can’t pose it. It’s all a matter of luck, and I had it on my side that day.
QUALITY AND STYLE pay homage to the understated elegance of traditional equestrian apparel.
Hermès Perforated Boot in Heritage calfskin. Price upon request.
Ralph Lauren’s oversize Doubleface Car Coat in chocolate brown crafted from Italian wool blend. $489.99.
Welligog’s fully lined Sandhurst Wool Coat in cornflower, includes pale blue piping and WG branded silver buttons. $554.11.
Dior cotton poplin blouse with Toile de Jouy jacquard taffeta coat. Price upon request.
Dior medium Saddle Bag in copper calfskin with a trim and adjustable shoulder strap. Price upon request.
Welligog’s fully waterproof and windproof Odette Check Coat includes large pockets, twoway zipper, and detachable hood. $417.09.
Guibert Paris’s Derby Boots in havana boast comfort and elegance. Rear zippered in luxury box calf leather, the boots are perfect on horseback or in the city. $576.
Fairfax & Favor’s Quilted Windsor Handbag in tan suede.
Cuff bracelets by Guibert Paris, in taurillon leather. Shown in havana, pauillac, and orange. $135 each.
Fairfax & Favor’s Rockingham Ankle Boot in tan suede.
◄ Rockingham boot detail at left.
The Heritage Boxy Tailored Jacket by Adamsbro in Swedish Merino wool blend. A perfect suit jacket, it comes in two color combinations: dark antracit/lontra beige and carmello/mud. $500.
Adamsbro Equestrian’s Cashmere Equi Poncho with equestrian inspired pattern. Shown in beige, brown, and orange combination. $410.
The classic cut suede Frances Trench Coat by Fairfax & Favor with leather-lined suede epaulettes, horn buttons, and leather belt, makes this a wardrobe staple. $875.
RIDE & ENTERTAIN IN STYLE
This awe-inspiring 5.24 acre property brings a breath of fresh air to equestrian architecture & design! Offered furnished, the home boasts open concept living with expansive walls of glass & views to outdoor spaces. The center-island kitchen offers Porcelanosa cabinets, quartz countertops, gas cooking, double ovens & large walk-in pantry with extra refrigeration. The master-suite showcases a luxurious dressing room & bath w/ a double sided gas fire feature, digital shower & soaking tub. Entertain poolside at the summer kitchen or on the 2nd story sundeck bar watching sunsets over the polo fields. Riders will love the 8 stall courtyard stable with stunning tack room & viewing lounges, jumping arena, exercise track, hotwalker, treadmill & more. The adjacent 10.48 acres is also for sale. Offered at $11,000,000
Selling Wellington & the Palm Beaches 561-313-4367
10 Acre Estate
PALM BEACH POINT ESTATE
This private and peaceful estate is situated on 10.83 acres in the heart of Wellington’s premiere gated equestrian subdivision of Palm Beach Point. The main residence has 4 bedrooms all with in-suite bathrooms, plus a pool-side cabana suite with full bath. The home also boasts stone floors, center-island kitchen with gas cooking, a spacious master suite with his and her offices and a home gym. The riders in the family will love the beautifully landscaped 12 stall courtyard barn with 4 wash stalls, lounge, feed & tack rooms. There are also 8 generous sized grass paddocks, round pen and an arena with world class footing lined by beautiful shade trees and viewing gazebo. The property lends itself to a covered arena and or a grass grand prix field. Every detail of this beautiful farm was painstakingly thought through and must be seen to be truly appreciated. Offered at $11,900,000
THE GREEN SCENE
Along with the hue’s calming influence, SUCCESS AND PROSPERITY are attributed to the color.
1. Tech Gallery Colorblock wool gloves by Seymoure. $155. 2. Lack of Color Forest Rancher wool hat from Saks Fifth Avenue. $149. 3. Ferragamo sunglasses in dark green and Pellionia pink. $280. 4. Bellfield leather crossbody by Fount. Shown in pine. $390. (Tassel sold separately.) 5. Roxanne Assoulin’s On The Rox Baseline gold-tone crystal necklace. $270. 6. J.J.Textile’s Green Fern pure wool throw. $127.39.
7. Fount’s Classic Bellfield Tote in Italian leather with hand-stitched handles. Shown in pine. $480. 8. Women’s Tall-Back Adjustable Hunter rain boots in green jasper. $180. 9. Furla Miastella bucket bag Mini Salvia C. $214. 10. Cording’s Khaki Gretna Melange cashmere scarf. $90. 11. Viscacha linen pillow cover in evergreen by OKA-US. $90. 12. Champlain Loafer in olive by Veronica Beard. $350.
TAKING SHELTERBY SARAH LESSLER
Tricia Lynn Glotfelty, of Hudson, Florida, located north of Tampa, was in the predicted path of Hurricane Ian. With just a few days’ notice to evacuate, Tricia quickly began planning how to protect her animals, which included a pony, a draft horse, two dogs, six goats, chickens, ducks, and two exotic birds. Tricia owns a trailer to transport her animals, but the tires on her trailer needed replacement which could not happen in time for evacuation. Hurricane Ian was moving closer, leaving Tricia little time to devise alternative solutions for evacuating her animals that she would not leave behind. “I have some pretty special animals, and I live for them,” Tricia told Equestrian Living. “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them happy and safe.”
Tricia decided to reach out to the Fleet of Angels (FOA), which is an organization that provides emergency services for horses in crisis due to natural disasters and other emergencies. Founded by Eileen Nash (see Nov/Dec 2020 issue), the organization has an extensive network of people around the country who are always on standby to help horses in need of transportation and temporary stabling.
Tricia contacted Fleet of Angels for assistance evacuating her animals, but it was already too late to get trailers into the area. “By that point, winds had picked up, and we could not bring in any trailers because traffic was changed to only be outgoing,” explained Nash.
With Eileen’s help, Tricia decided her
best option was to bring all her animals into her house. She quickly prepared her home, brought in crates, buckets, and shavings, and covered the windows. Tricia remarked that her pony had come into her house before, but her draft horse had never been inside. “Once they got inside and settled, they stayed calm,” Tricia said. She and her animals spent two full days in her living room. Eileen stayed in contact with Tricia throughout the night of the storm with text messages. “She was really scared,” Eileen said. “There was no way to know exactly where Hurricane Ian would make landfall. We’ve helped people move hundreds of horses out of an area, and then at the last minute, the hurricane turned and went somewhere completely different.”
Tricia and her animals passed the time watching horse movies like Seabiscuit, Flicka, and The Black Stallion. Hurricane Ian’s path shifted south, and Tricia’s farm was spared from a direct hit. The damages to Tricia’s farm and home were minor, but it took her a full day to put her house back together after having the animals in the living room.
“My dream was always to have a little
place of my own, for just me and my animals,” she said. “And I finally have it.” Tricia lives with Rheumatoid Arthritis, ADHD, and Asperger’s syndrome. “Life can be difficult at times,” she continued, “But it’s easier because of all the critters here. They make life bearable, and they bring me such joy.”
Tricia is an active member of the local horse community. She spends a great deal of time sharing her animals with others and enjoys helping them learn about horses and carriage driving. Tricia is passionate about making the clinics she runs available to anyone who wants to learn to improve their driving skills. “I made all my clinics free regardless of age, knowledge, or economic status,” said Tricia. She is also a trained opera singer and often sings the National Anthem on horseback. Just days after Hurricane Ian, Tricia sang the National Anthem at the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s stadium.
Fleet of Angels has continued to provide support for horses and equestrians since Hurricane Ian tore through Florida last year. FOA transported Triple Crown, Purina feed, and critical supplies to Southwest Florida Horse Rescue in Punta Gorda, Florida. Their support has helped many weather the storm and recover as the local community works to rebuild and keep their animals safe.
Editor’s note: This story was suggested to EQLiving by Victoria McCullough, who has donated tires for Tricia’s trailer.How one woman prepared for HURRICANE IAN, and how she kept her animals safe.
THE HORSE IS ALWAYS RIGHT
An excerpt from THE HORSE IS MY TEACHER by Van Hargis.
It was a long drive from Kamloops, Canada, to Sulphur Springs, Texas. Fortunately, I had friends and acquaintances along the way to break up the trip into manageable pieces—for me and the young stud colt traveling with me. My plan was to reverse the trip I had made getting to Kamloops. I had been there giving horsemanship clinics. It was beautiful country, and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to experience it, but it was time to get home.
I traveled through Montana, turned south, and made my way through most of Wyoming to the Cheyenne rodeo grounds. There I turned my traveling partner out in a big area, hooked up my living quarters trailer to water and electricity, and got ready for a good night’s rest before continuing the journey early the next morning.
It was good to see the young stud colt romp and play. I’m sure he had no clue nor care that he was running and playing on one of the United States’ great historic rodeo sites, home of “The Daddy of ‘em All,” Cheyenne Frontier Days. To him it was just a place to run, stretch, and get plenty of fresh air after being cooped up in the trailer for several hours and hundreds of miles.
After ensuring that the colt had plenty to eat and drink, I was bedding myself down for the evening when my cell phone rang. It was a friend and fellow professional horseman that learned I was headed home and would be traveling through Colorado the next day. He explained that Mr. Ray Hunt was doing a horsemanship clinic in Colorado just a short
This excerpt from The Horse Is My Teacher by Van Hargis is reprinted with permission from Trafalgar Square Books.
detour off the route I was taking home. He suggested I stop by the clinic and see Mr. Ray and his lovely wife Miss Carolyn.
Mr. Ray Hunt was an icon in the horse industry for decades. He was a friend and student of Mr. Tom Dorrance, another individual considered among the founders of “natural horsemanship.” I first learned of Mr. Ray very early in my horsemanship journey. The harder I worked and the more I struggled, the more I sought the experience and wisdom of those who’d gone before me. I sought out the Tom Dorrances and Ray Hunts of the world because, at the time, they were the ones generously and expertly sharing their knowledge with others. Mr. Ray was one of the few that I knew of then that actually traveled the country, conducting clinics and presentations to groups interested in learning what he was teaching. Mr. Ray was quick to give a lot of credit and respect to Mr. Tom. It just seemed that Mr. Tom wasn’t as eager to travel and share his knowledge, whereas Mr. Ray was.
The next morning, my mind was made up—I was determined to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more from Mr. Ray. I packed away my hoses and extension cords, got the playful stud colt loaded in the freshly shavings-bedded trailer, and away we went, with the big “Daddy of ‘em All” sign in the side rearviews of my Dodge dually. Only a couple of hours later, I pulled up to the address hosting the Ray Hunt clinic, and one would have thought I was pulling into a small county fair. I was amazed at the number of vehicles and trailers already around the arena area. I parked my rig, unloaded the young stud, tied him to the trailer, and headed out to find where to check in as an auditor of the clinic.
A L E X I S K L E T J I A N
Prior to that day, I’d talked to Mr. Ray only a few times but never attended one of his clinics. I was overwhelmed by the attendance. There were, in my opinion, entirely too many participants on horseback, even though Mr. Ray was doing his best to address them all. I eased around from place to place in search of an area in which I could see and hear better. Along the way I spotted Miss Carolyn, Mr. Ray’s beautiful wife. To be polite I gave her my respects, then walked over closer to the arena so I could hear what Ray was saying.
Well, Mr. Ray spotted me and came over and asked if I could help him. I thought, What in the world does he need help with? He’s obviously got this clinic thing figured out. There’s standing room only. I assumed he wanted me to run an errand or something because he barely knew me.
As it turned out, Mr. Ray had recognized that folks were getting a bit frustrated that they were getting too little attention because he had allowed too many people to take part in the clinic. He needed some help because of the sheer number of riders. There were too many people standing around doing nothing, and he wanted me to keep them involved and answer their questions.
I was deeply honored to be able to assist him and that he would even ask. I somehow knew, too, that he wasn’t going
to pay me a dime to help him. But I was more than happy to volunteer.
Mr. Ray didn’t speak to me much during the clinic. At times I felt as if he was bothered that he asked me to help by keeping folks busy and either answering or relaying questions for him. But it seemed like it was a success in the end. Several minutes after the clinic wrapped up, he approached and somewhat harshly asked if I’d like to join him and his wife for dinner. Of course, I accepted the invitation.
We arrived at the restaurant and were seated…and the awkwardness was evident. There was so much I wanted to ask him; however, I just didn’t feel comfortable and was afraid to say much. I was uncharacteristically without conversation. For those who know me, I’m sure you’re thinking you wish you could have witnessed such an anomaly—Van Hargis, actually sitting quietly and not speaking! Nonetheless, this was the case. Miss Carolyn and I exchanged a few brief words, but Mr. Ray remained fairly silent, only interjecting tidbits here and there.
After a while, out of the clear blue, Mr. Ray sort of cut into his steak in a manner that got my attention. When he finished cutting off a bite, he raised his fork with the fresh piece of meat firmly stuck on the tines and somewhat shook it toward me as if it were a substitute for shaking his finger, and he said somewhat
WELLINGTON INTERNATIONALBY ELAINE SHUSTER
The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center takes the first steps toward an enhanced equestrian paradise.
Wellington International, the world-renowned equestrian venue that recently rebranded, previously known as the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, is in the early stages of grand plans for its property, as well as the equestrian community in South Florida. Known as one of the world’s premier destinations for equestrian enthusiasts, the venue hosts the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) from January through early April each year, in addition to 30 more weeks of competition throughout
the rest of the year. With such a robust show calendar and a large population of horse lovers in the area, the potential is massive for Wellington International as it enters its next chapter with parent company Global Equestrian Group at the helm.
Denmark-based Global Equestrian Group and its private equity partner Waterland have impressive dreams for its first foray into the American market. It has already started to prove that it has the willpower, resources, and commitment to transform the existing equestrian haven into something even more remarkable in the coming years.
Wellington International is in good company as one of the newest members of the Global Equestrian Group portfolio. It joins some of the most well-known equestrian brands in the industry, such as Helgstrand Dressage, Beerbaum Stables, Riesenbeck International, and a host of other names that would cause any horse lover’s ears to perk up. With a self-proclaimed vision “to become the world’s leading equestrian company,” Global Equestrian Group is certainly setting the bar high. Still, early looks at the company’s five-year plan for Wellington International are lofty enough to suggest that big things are in store for its South
Florida property and the broader community of Wellington.
“We have spent the first year of our ownership of Wellington International understanding how things have been done in the past and recognizing the areas in which we can improve. These insights have helped us to formulate a grand vision for the venue, and we are thrilled to be in the early stages of our long-term plan,” said Andreas Helgstrand, Founder and CEO of Global Equestrian Group. “Visitors to the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival will notice upgrades to the permanent stabling, the hospitality spaces, and the riding arenas, as well as general wear-and-tear updates, but these items are just the first baby
steps in a much larger and more ambitious strategy.”
The full scope of the plan won’t be fully realized until at least 2025, but early reports of the construction plans are a horse lover’s dream. They will surely catapult the venue into the next tier of equestrian excellence, a Disney World-like level that arguably only a few equine sport venues across the globe have successfully reached. Proposed facility blueprints include doubling the acreage of the facility’s land, which would allow for a second equestrian center, complete with a stadium, grass derby field, and extensive amenities for guests, to be built directly beside the original property. The size and capabilities of the venues, which could be used
independently of each other or as one unit, would be able to comfortably host hunter/jumper and dressage shows concurrently. Additionally, the impressive early renderings showcase modern spaces for shopping and dining, plus enhanced hospitality and VIP luxury opportunities, offering a comfortable experience for everyone, even those with no horse sense.
“The Winter Equestrian Festival started here in Wellington in 1974, made its home at our facility in 1989, and has continued its growth ever since,” commented Michael Stone, president of Equestrian Sport Productions, which operates Wellington International. “We take great pride in our designation as the Winter Equestrian Capital of the World and have enjoyed welcoming thousands
of exhibitors and visitors each year to experience the joys and thrills of the sport. Now with the support of the Global Equestrian Group, we will be able to further expand upon that foundation to create an equestrian facility that rivals the best in the world.”
As the team at Wellington International looks to the future and makes plans to better serve its participants and community, they are committed to setting new standards for the venue, as well as equestrian sport, guest experiences, entertainment, and innovation. So flip forward in your calendars to 2025 and set a reminder to check in on Wellington International because exciting changes are coming for this storied venue and the community that supports it.
White Dog Cafe celebrates the transition of seasons with OLD YELLER , a cocktail stirred up for chillier nights.
Shannon Beck, a bartender at White Dog Cafe in Wayne, Pennsylvania, created the drink. “I really enjoy the culinary aspect of cocktail creation and try to impart that when experimenting with new drinks,” says Beck. “Nothing introduces the transition of the seasons like nutty, savory brown butter. I wanted to find a way to drink that comfy feeling. Rittenhouse Rye, with notes of baking spices and pepper, felt like a perfect marriage with brown butter. Bergamot, a slightly bitter fruit that’s bright and citrusy with a bit of depth, perfectly complements the honey and orange profile of Dolin Blanc vermouth by steeping with Earl Grey tea. That flavor is amplified with Italicus, an Italian bergamot liquor. The result is the Old Yeller, a flavorful cocktail to warm you up as the nights get chillier.”
1 ½ ounce brown butter-washed Rittenhouse Rye*
½ ounce Dolin Blanc vermouth steeped with Earl Grey tea
¼ ounce Italicus bergamot liquor
*For brown butter-washed Rittenhouse Rye:
1. Warm butter in a small pan until it melts and begins to foam and bubble.
2. Whisk until the color turns golden brown and remove from heat.
3. Let cool and transfer to a sealable bottle with a lid. Top with Rittenhouse Rye and shake to combine.
4. Chill in the freezer until the fat solidifies. Skim the fat off the top and strain through cheesecloth.
1. Add ice to ingredients, stir, and strain over ice.
2. Garnish with an orange twist.
White Dog Cafe, a short drive from the Devon Horse Show, brought its unusual blend of award-winning contemporary American cuisine, civic engagement, and environmental sustainability to the Main Line in 2010. Known for warm hospitality and inspiring award-winning food, guests enjoy their meals surrounded by charming and whimsical dog décor and artwork. White Dog Cafe Wayne has four distinctive dining areas with their own charm and personality. In addition to the outdoor patio, are the Den and Bar with a mahogany-coffered ceiling, needlepoint dog pillows, and a striking wall of oil paintings of your favorite dogs. The Garden Room has chicken-wired ceilings with floral prints, antique lighting fixtures, and wooden shutters. The Library’s mahogany ceiling has whimsical flying books, and The Kitchen boasts reclaimed floors and walls lined with copper pans.
The wide-brim Windsor helmet with smoked chrome trim from Tipperary . $399.99.
The Ophena S magnetic safety stirrup is almost magical in its elegance. Magnetic insoles included. $345.
The Titanium Ti22 Body Protector from Champion includes military-grade outer mesh, ultra lightweight foam, and a coolfeel titanium colored inner lining. $589.95.
S SAFETY FIRST
Tipperary’s Eventer Pro vest is ASTM/SEI certified. $449.99.
Equestrians know well that riding atop a large, hooved animal is no easy feat, and it is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous sports. In fact, a study found that horseback riding is less safe than many famously risky sports, like skiing, football, and auto racing. What can we do, as riders, to keep ourselves safe? This selection of equipment uses technology, innovation, and shifting perceptions of the sport and its style to increase the safety of riders and their horses.
Horse Pilot’s equestrian Airbag brings innovation to provide safety, comfort, and discretion.
LaMieux Vector Balance stirrups are technically advanced and lightweight, retaining a classic style. $195.
The Are Walls Alive
Established by Creative Director Stefan Ormenisan and Managing Partner Victor Serban in 2016, MindTheGap’s collections include wallpapers, fabrics, furniture, cushions, lighting, and wall art.
Many patterns are inspired by their homeland, Transylvania. Poor in resources but rich in ideas and inspiration, traditional countryside homes were dressed in jubilantly embroidered textiles to soften wooden furniture and brighten dark winter nights.
MindTheGap wallpaper patterns clockwise from upper left: Fasnacht in anthracite; Woodstock Collection, Carnival; Equestrian Equipment in dark; Derby Design, Grand Prix in smokey red; Derby Design, Decorative Harness in anthracite; Mirage in dark; The Vixen in anthracite; The Folk Parade.Creative Director Stefan Ormenisan CRISTINA GANJ
Being around horses has always brought me an inner sense of strength and calm. By surrounding ourselves in the home with depictions of beautiful, majestic horses, I feel we are bringing a little of that spirit into our interiors. As humans, our love for horses transcends generations, stretching far back into our history. Horses have been crucial to the way of life here in Transylvania. In our more recent history, from companions in battle to work horses in the fields and cart horses for travel, horses have become a symbol of freedom and independence.
It’s not just horses that I love, but the riding boots, hats, and tack that you’ll find in our collection designs that evoke joyful memories.—Stefan Ormenisan
This Page: FASNACHT IN LIGHT
Opposite: DERBY DESIGN DECORATIVE HARNESS in taupe. Side panel in anthracite. All wallpapers throughout: $220 per three rolls. Each measures 20.5 inches wide by 9.84 foot long.
THE ICONIC Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Canada, celebrated a memorable 100th anniversary in November 2022. The prestigious competition featured world-class horse sport while maintaining its rich tradition of combining black-tie formality with a country flair.
After a two-year hiatus due to the global pandemic, the Royal Horse Show returned in all of its splendor with an elevated CSI5*-W rating from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to offer the highest level of international show jumping. Spectators were treated to a star-studded field of riders representing 11 different countries and three of the top-10 riders on the Longines World Rankings list and several Olympic gold medalists, including the reigning champion Ben Maher of Great Britain.
In addition to show jumping, horse sport enthusiasts representing a range of disciplines traveled to the Royal for their turn in the Coca-Cola Coliseum’s spotlight. Packed houses enjoyed six-horse hitches, Hackney ponies, four-in-hand coaching, hunter derbies, indoor eventing, and daily performances of the legendary Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride.
The Royal Horse Show is known for its unparalleled atmosphere. Elaborate light shows and musical entertainment made the transitions between events and course changes into spectacles to behold. One of the rituals that sets this exceptional event apart is the longstanding tradition of black-tie attire. Spectators
dressed to the nines filled the packed coliseum, many of them donning tuxedos and ball gowns with glamourous jewelry that glittered under the lights. After the show, revelers made their way to the Tanbark Club to dance the night away.
The highlight event of the show’s centennial celebration was the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto, held on closing night in front of a sold-out audience of more than 7,000 fans. Ireland’s Daniel Coyle riding Legacy, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare (Chippendale Z x Bon Ami) owned by Toronto’s Ariel Grange delivered the only double-clear performance over the course designed by Canada’s Michel Vaillancourt to take home the top prize.
Israel’s Daniel Bluman riding Gemma W, owned by Blue Star Investments finished in second place while two-time Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster (page 62) aboard the aptly named Northern Light, owned by Artisan Farms thrilled the home crowd for third-place honors at the conclusion of the three-horse jump-off.
“We are very, very excited about what happened here all week celebrating a century of bringing champions to Toronto with our partners from the FEI and Longines,” said Charlie Johnstone, CEO of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, during the press conference for the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto. “For 100 years, The Royal has been about bringing the country to the city and being best in class. That is what we have stood for throughout the past century and what we will continue to stand for in the next century.”MACKENZIE CLARK MACKENZIE CLARK MACKENZIE CLARK M BASCO BEN RADVANYI Nicholas Dello Joio and Cornet’s Cambridge presented by Mark and Tara Rein. Ariel Grange
Among the rolling hills of Southeastern Pennsylvania, down a heritage treelined path, sits a quintessential farm with a stone bank barn that soars above the surrounding hills. Originally built as a a dairy barn in 1873, agrarian use is a fond memory after the recent renovation designed by Pennsylvania-based architecture firm Period Architecture. Their design approach focused on respecting the history of the structure and surroundings while breathing new life into the building.
Reimagined for modern entertaining, the barn was transformed into the ultimate private hosting retreat with multiple lounging spaces creating a warm, cozy atmosphere among the vast square footage. Curl up with a blanket to watch a movie in front
When designing this equestrian facility, the owners truly thought of everything. The complex features a 78- by 156-foot double center aisle barn, with two 36-foot front dormers, and a timbered breezeway entry. A reverse gable stall barn attaches to the 84- by 224-foot indoor arena, with a two-story viewing room.
The main barn has 26 horse stalls, two groom/vet/ farrier stalls, three wash stalls, three grooming stalls, a tack room, a feed room, two blanket closets, a laundry/mechanical room, two bathrooms, a dressing room, lounge, and an office.
There are 12 additional horse stalls in the 78-foot reverse gable stall barn. The exterior is pine board and batten siding with an architectural shingled roof topped with five custom cupolas for ventilation.
TRANSFORMED INTO A MODERN OASIS
Location: Midwestern U.S.
Builder: Duggan Contracting
Architect: Blackburn Architects Landscape Architect: SWT Design
On 54 acres once grazed by livestock, Blackburn Architects designed this modern 12-stall barn and a 120- by 240-foot arena. Inspired by Midwestern agricultural traditions, the design team created a facility that looks right at home within its rural landscape.
Entering the farm through a “village” of supporting structures, the horizontal lines of the barn form a distant focal point. A water feature crossed by a bridge accentuates the experience. A pond filters excessive runoff and protects a stream that borders the south side of the property. A large stone wall forms a reinforced base for a pre-existing earthen dam and outdoor riding arena.
One of the most extraordinary features of the private facility is its indoor arena. The vast, light-filled space clad in Douglas fir soars more than 42 feet above the ground. Hydraulic hangar doors lining the long sides of the building underscore the drama of the sheer volume of the space. When fully open, the folding doors create an extended overhang, offering sun protection.
CONTACT INFO | PAGE 97
PEOPLE AND HORSES SHARE A HOME
Aluxury timber “barndominium” by Timberlyne combines the best elements of a timber-frame home and a wood horse barn. This barndominium features three bedrooms, three horse stalls, and a fourcar garage, all in one structure.
The home section features stacked windows allowing natural light to flood in under the timber frame, bringing the outdoors inside. And why go outside to do the horse chores in the morning when you can just walk through a door? The separate garage offers space for trucks and toys alike.
Each space is unique, purpose-built, and sealed correctly to keep odors out and comfort in.
CONTACT INFO | PAGE 97
PATRIOT FARMBY ANN MARIE SNYDER, MOTHER OF COMPETITIVE RIDER AUDREY SCHULZE
Iwas taking my children to summer camp early in the summer of 2010. At drop-off, we met another family who planned to attend a week-long horse camp at the end of the summer, and they invited my daughter, Audrey, to join them. From that point on, she pestered me for weekly riding lessons. After her first lesson that December, I knew we were going to be “in deep”; I made it my job to learn everything I could about horses. I did tons of research, attended every lesson, and volunteered whenever I could. Riding non-stop since that first lesson, Audrey completed her junior career in the fall of 2021 with successes at both Equitation and Jumper finals. She is now 19, employed in the industry, and continues to compete regularly, recently as a member of Team USA at the Young Riders Nations Cup in the Netherlands.
Our property is just under 40 acres and includes some wooded areas as well as 13 paddocks, an outdoor riding arena, and a round pen. Our master construction plan was completed in stages, starting with our house, followed by some accessory buildings, and finally the barn and indoor arena.
My husband built our previous home in the Adirondack style, which we wanted to continue
at our new location because we like the natural elements: stone, wood, and a rustic look. The house and barn have fieldstone on the first floors sourced from the property.
I knew we needed an expert to design and build the barn. A regular architect knows how to design a building, but when you are constructing an equestrian facility, there are many details to take into account to provide what’s best for the horses, their comfort, and, most importantly, their safety. Right around the time we purchased the property, my mother saw an advertisement in a magazine for B&D Builders. I called them and knew right away that we had found our barn builders—it was the start of a wonderful relationship and a very positive experience.
Additionally, we needed assistance in the overall design of the property—a quick Google search put me in touch with Deborah Cerbone, a landscape architect specializing in equestrian properties.
Working with equine-specific experts allowed the picture in my head to become a reality. Every day I wake up and see my vision right in front of my eyes.Location: Saddle River, New Jersey Builders: B&D Builders Landscape Architect: Deborah Cerbone Assoc.
TIFFANY FOSTER BUILDS HER DREAM
Location: Wellington, Florida
Builders: Ventura ConstructionArenas: Wordley Martin Equestrian Surfaces BY JENNIFER WOOD/JUMP MEDIA
For most riders, the chance to design and build their dream farm is simply that, a dream. But for Canadian Olympic show-jumper Tiffany Foster, her hard work, creativity, and a team of experts helped her build an efficient, beautiful setting for her horses to call home. The 10-acre property in Wellington, Florida, has everything an equestrian athlete could want, including two riding arenas designed and built by Wordley Martin Equestrian Surfaces, eight paddocks, two barns with a total of 24 stalls, a walker, indoor wash racks, a vet and farrier station, and a saltwater spa for the horses. For the people, amenities include a lounge, staff lunchroom, tack
rooms, commercial laundry machines, staff apartments, and a five-bedroom house.
When Foster had the opportunity to purchase and start the construction process in 2016, she found the right people to help from the beginning. She was ready to open her own business, Little Creek Equestrian. With Andy and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms as her primary investors, Foster found a five-acre property with a 12-stall barn. By partnering with the Ziegler family, purchasing an adjacent five-acre lot, and tearing down the house, she was able to build the farm of her dreams. Foster’s eye for design, which she uses in her design business, Rustique Interiors, ensuredNICK SIMHONI PHOTOGRAPHY
TRANSFORMING A BARN INTO A HOME
REUSE AND RESTORE
witness many old buildings made fresh while still honoring their historic aesthetic and charm. The couple had always wanted a farm, so they asked a realtor friend to keep an eye out for one that might suit their vision.
Their friend found a 15-acre parcel that included a tiny gatehouse, a 1,100-square-foot farmhouse, and an old barn. Both the farmhouse and the barn stood unused for 30 years. The property was abandoned, run-down, and in rough shape.
But as soon as they walked into the barn, it was love at first sight as they saw its potential immediately. Of course, making it into a home was going to take some work.
Many couples talk about their dream home, but Laurie and Richard Salita went out and made theirs a reality.
A couple of high-powered professionals living in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, Laurie is senior and managing counsel of the local office of a national law firm, while Richard is president and CEO of his own consulting group.
The Salitas love to travel and have an appreciation for architecture. Having lived among historical properties in Chester County for more than 20 years, they had the opportunity to
Reuse and Restore
The couple turned to an architect they’d worked with before, Stephen Foley, with Foley-Beam Architecture in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, “The overall goal of the project was to reuse the existing stone barn structure in order to prevent its demise,” Foley explains. “Reusing existing structures creates less waste, and the clients wanted to be able to live in a structure that was a constant reminder of the history of the Chester County area.”
“The only part of the barn that was good enough to salvage and integrate into the newLocation: Chester County, Pennsylvania Timber Framing: Mid-Atlantic Timberframe Builders: Brandywine Woodworks Architect: Foley-Beam Architecture
THE RENOWNED WORLD-CLASS DRESSAGE RIDER AND TRAINER BLENDS ENTHUSIASM AND EXPERTISE WITH HER CLASSICAL STYLE.
Ienjoy being in the presence of people who have known what they wanted to do in life from an early age. As though propelled from within, their gift of clarity seems to afford them enviable energy levels and an enormous cache of joie de vivre.
JJ’s vortex of energy and exuberance dazzled me on two occasions. The first was during an Equestrian Living photoshoot in Florida, and the second was on an interview call from JJ’s training location in Germany. She had already put in a full day at the barn but was ready to talk at warp speed about what she loves.
Jessica Jo “JJ” Tate made her FEI debut at the age of 16. She has trained and competed over 30 horses at the FEI level, including eight at Grand Prix. JJ was long-listed for the World Equestrian Games and represented the U.S. in competitions abroad. Notable recent wins include the 2018 Dressage at Devon World Cup Grand Prix, the 2018 Dressage at Devon
CDI-W freestyle with Faberge (owned by Elizabeth Guarisco-Wolf), and the 2020 Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle.
Tate grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, 90 minutes north of Chicago. She began riding at the age of 7 and started with dressage by the time she was 9 years old. “I loved it from the first moment I did it,” says JJ. “I met my mentor, [classical dressage master and USDF Hall of Fame inductee] Charles de Kunffy, when I was 11, and it turned out to be serendipitous.”
Charles was instrumental in arranging the opportunity for JJ to train in Budapest, Hungary, with Olympian Gyula Dallos, the renowned dressage trainer and competitor, following her high school graduation. “He had a daughter my age, so they became like my second family. I trained in Budapest for a little over two years, and it was an incredible experience. I didn’t go to college but did the old-school apprenticeship. I lived and breathed
the road in Europe, and it was when I first fell in love with it.” Tate is convinced her time in Europe triggered the certainty of what she wanted to do: train horses. “I never wondered if this is what I wanted to do,” smiles JJ.
As a strong advocate for horsemanship, she has adopted the FEI’s training concept of developing a happy athlete. This approach harkens to her early learning methods steeped in classical riding and equitation. As a young equestrian, she was encouraged to be an all-around rider. JJ admits, “It was a wonderful way to grow up and learn the fundamentals, but dressage sucked me in from the beginning.”
“I love the discipline because it’s about getting to know the horse as well as being your best friend. There’s communication and connection to the horse on a deep level,” she explains. “I feel that horses are put on this planet to help us become better people and to understand ourselves better. There are no more intimate relationships or a clearer mirror than a horse. It’s that moment of syncing up with another being that I’ve loved from the beginning. I love the feeling of that harmony.”
JJ admits being slightly obsessed with bringing the best out of a horse. She enjoys the exciting puzzle of identifying a horse’s weaknesses and strong points and determining how she can teach him to use his body more efficiently. Her objective is to keep him sounder and happier, ultimately enabling him to enjoy his athleticism.
“I love to compete, and I love goals,” says JJ. “It helps me stay sharp in my riding, but it’s so much deeper than a ribbon or a win. Finding the way with
Above: JJ with Charles de Kunffy, her long-time mentor, in Budapest, Hungary.
Below, from left: JJ, her first trainer in Hungary, Gyula Dallos, and his daughter, Zsofi Dallos.
each horse is an incredible, beautiful, frustrating challenge. I find that a fun challenge, and it reminds me sometimes to say, ‘yes, adhere to the classical principles,’ because I love rules. I think this is the right way because the horse’s mind and body show you that that’s the way. The moment they get it is what keeps me coming back to work.”
I asked JJ if training was a natural evolution from her passion for dressage and whether she integrated some of her mentor’s techniques into her teaching methods. She quickly commented on her good fortune to have trained with some of the best in dressage. “They always say, ‘When the moment is right, the teacher appears’,” she shares. “I’ve become very committed to my teachers and still study with them. Even to this day, 30-plus years later, I’m still extremely close with my lifelong mentor Charles [de Kunffy]. He’s now in his mid-80s, and we just visited Budapest together. I keep these people close, and each teacher leads me to the next teacher. So, through my passionate, enthusiastic personality, I’ve been able to blend the best pieces of all these great riders and trainers.”
Following COVID, JJ created Team Tate Academy, an online learning platform that includes lectures, interviews, short and to-the-point demonstration videos, and video coaching. She’s been teaching clinics for over 20 years and has perfected her communication method with her students. She attributes some of the Academy’s phenomenal success to her teachers, who gave her the inspirational words that helped her find her way in the saddle. JJ says, “I felt this responsibility to share this information because I trained horses by myself in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin and didn’t have access to a weekly trainer.”
JJ is known for having an illuminating teaching style and a gift for motivating her students.
I“I feel that horses are put on this planet to help us become better people and to understand ourselves better.”PHOTOS THIS PAGE RICHARD MALMGREN
She addresses students’ inevitable frustrations with solution-oriented approaches she’s had to master along her journey to success. She says, “I always tell my students, ‘Keep your eye on the prize. Divide it down to the least common denominator and ask, ‘What is actually going on?’ It’s breaking it down until you get to two, and you can’t divide it anymore. It really is asking this question: What do you want at the end of the line? Is it to be a better horsewoman, go to grand prix, become a good teacher, or make your horse healthy? You must allow your heart to tell you what that goal is.”
She admits there is no secret to great riding. It’s simply a lot of dedication and hard work. “That’s what makes dressage so challenging,” comments JJ. “It’s so much of a mental game. It is this ability to persevere, stay focused, believe in yourself and your horse, and find the right way. You know, not every horse has read the book. You’re going to be challenged. Riding horses is real. It’s cold, it’s dirty, it’s frustrating, and it keeps you grounded. They put their lives in our hands, and it’s our responsibility to them to do our best.”
JJ takes a short break from a day of training at Poinciana Farm in Loxahatchee Groves, Florida.
FACING A CHALLENGE
Yoga and meditation have helped JJ tremendously with her riding fitness and challenges. Unexpectedly, both forms of self-care became essential to her physical and mental well-being after receiving a devastating breast cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2021. She had never been sick, broken a bone, or been in a hospital. “You really get knocked to your knees with a serious surgery like a double mastectomy,” says JJ. “I’ve always been an athlete, so feeling weak and vulnerable and out of control was a different feeling for me.”
In a proactive style, JJ armed herself with an arsenal of information about cancer, including the book Radical Remission by Kelly A. Turner. Each chapter includes a dramatic story of one person’s recovery against all odds. “That was a powerful book for me because I just wanted to kick cancer’s ass,” admits JJ. Another game-changer book, recommended by her friend, five-time Olympian Steffen Peters was You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter by Dr. Joe Dispenza. “I learned that our power in the universe is available through meditation and concentration.”
“Steffen was with the team at the [2020 Tokyo] Olympics, and he and the team were sending me these uplifting messages. I was honored they took the time to send them,” JJ says. “It was so powerful because they were all riding down centerline the day I was going to get my MRI. I knew it wasn’t a coincidence because my dream has always been to ride on the Olympic team. For every equestrian, that’s the pinnacle of the sport. It’s the reason why we are putting in the long hours. We want to ride on that world-class level. I thought to myself, one day when I’m cantering down the centerline at the Olympics, I will remember this day and know that there are a lot of people out there going in for some terrible news or they are in the struggle of their life. I must remember that riding down centerline today is a gift,
Below: JJ and Felis Apollo competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. Opposite: JJ and Faberge (Fiji) winning the Grand Prix freestyle at Dressage at Devon CDI-W.
Wand I will never take that for granted.”
In resolute fashion, Tate returned to riding two months after her surgery to win the regional championships at the Grand Prix freestyle with Derby (owned by Cackie Vroom and Dean Wright) and becoming top 10 in the country at the U.S. finals by November.
As I wrapped up our conversation, I asked JJ to describe a perfect day off. She offered a narrative of activities she enjoys, including trips to the beach, time at her South Carolina farm, and spending time with her family. But what became emblematic of JJ was the litany of activities that involved her horses. “I love to check on the horses, see if they are happy in turnout, groom them, and hang out at the barn.”
The quintessential horsewoman? I’d say so.
What do you want at the end of the line? Is it to be a better horsewoman, go to grand prix, become a good teacher, or make your horse healthy?PHOTO RICHARD MALMGREN
TERRANOVA EQUESTRIAN CENTER
The expansive new venue rounds out the Florida competition landscape by focusing on the horse.BY CARRIE WIRTH
Florida equestrians didn’t know what they were missing. With venues like the World Equestrian Center in Ocala and the newly-renamed and alwaysbustling Wellington International, riders now have a new choice—TerraNova Equestrian Center.
Hannah and Zach Ketelboeter and Hannah’s parents, Natalee and Steve Herrig, with expert guidance from Helm Limited’s Mike Belisle, created something different: a peaceful, sprawling venue that places the horse first. It doesn’t hurt that it’s 20 minutes from
an international airport, award-winning beaches, and scores of hotels and fabulous eateries.
They began their journey with the 3,000-acre property by building a beautiful private barn that has been featured in practically every equestrian publication. Hannah and Zach are eventers, and Hannah is also a dressage rider. Their vision was to host equestrian sports staffed by the best organizers. For eventing, top FEI manager Shelley Page leads. Supporters include USEA President Max Corcoran and five-star eventer Sara Kozumplik.JESSICA WINDHURST
Previous spread, clockwise from upper left:
1. Hannah and Zach Ketelboeter.
2. Shannon Hicks and Cantoki Z.
3. The TerraNova private barn.
4. Competitors and spectators enjoy the VIP Pavilion.
This spread, clockwise from upper left:
1. The venue provides ample green space for the horses.
2. Glimpse of the TerraNova VIP Pavilion, competition rings, and cross-country field.
3. Inside the new TerraNova competitor stabling.
4. A view from the VIP Pavilion.
5. The new TerraNova competitor barns.
Thomas Baur serves as international dressage director, and Monica Fitzgerald manages dressage events. With top-notch talent and amenities in place, the FEI gave its blessing to host four-star eventing and dressage and FEI World Cup qualifying dressage.
The Split Rock Jumping Tour returns in January 2023 for their second event, the Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Sarasota 2*, and their management team produces the hunter-jumper shows in February and March.
Footing is a priority. The TerraNova team installed 1,700 sprinkler heads and 14 miles of pipe. Zach has a passion for creating the perfect grass surface and has taken on the task of finding the ideal aeration program to create a dreamy turf surface to land off big cross-country jumps. British Olympian Leslie Law and winner of October’s The Event at TerraNova CCI3*-S, said, “The footing feels fantastic!”
B&D Builders added a two-story VIP pavilion and the first two of several planned ultra-lux permanent competitor barns, each custom stall complete with a comfort-mattress flooring system, fan, and LED lighting. Hurricane Ian made a direct hit on the property without an issue, and they hosted an eventing show and FEI dressage just a few weeks later. They recently launched sales for TerraNova Estates with lots of five acres or more.
TerraNova Dressage II CDI-W Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle winner Sarah Tubman called the stabling “a notch above anything I’ve ever seen at a show facility.” She commended the vision of TerraNova’s founders.
The Herrig and Ketelboeter families have roots in Sarasota and Manatee County and committed over $100,000 to three local charities and hurricane relief efforts during their October events.
With her dream becoming a reality, Hannah can enjoy the fruits of her labor. “Last year I didn’t compete because it was our first year,” Hannah said after competing with three horses in the TerraNova Dressage II. “We put so much work into it. I wanted to enjoy it with my horses as well. It was a lot of fun!”
FINDS INSPIRATION AND SOLACE AMONG THE WILD HORSE HERDS IN THE WESTERN U.S. INTERVIEW BY STEPHANIE PETERS
Tori Gagne was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fine art photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her love of photography began in grade school, working with a pinhole camera and developing film in the darkroom in her family home. Her mother and brother, both professional photographers, deeply influenced her. Caring for her retired off-the-track Thoroughbred over the years has deepened her understanding of horses and led her to devote much of her work to equine subjects.
She has a special affinity for wild horse photography and is happiest on a dirt road in the western states seeking herds for her images. She also photographs in wild horse sanctuaries in the U.S. and locations around the world.
Tori has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She has received international awards and has work in private collections nationally and internationally. Tori currently resides in her hometown of Orono, Minnesota. She donates ten percent of the proceeds from selling her equine work to organizations involved in the protection of and education about the plight of the wild horse population in the western U.S.
What led you to equine photography?
While finishing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fine art photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, I attended a workshop on a whim at a wild horse sanctuary and was swept away by the beauty, wildness, and amazing story of the American mustang. I have always loved horses and animals and have a beloved 26-year-old rescued racehorse. Though horses have a significant grip on my photography practice, I also photograph the natural world and domestic horses as I continue to photograph horses in the wild at sanctuaries.
Were you involved with horses before you began making them the primary subjects in your photos?
I have a deep love for animals, as did my mother. She had horses as a young woman, and I rode as a child, mainly for the joy of being with them. Later in life, I began riding again when my daughter became interested, eventually purchasing a horse, who is now retired.
How did you first become entranced by the beauty of the wild horse herds in the West?
Soon after I attended a workshop over 10 years ago at a wild horse sanctuary, I began photographing in herd management areas in the western U.S. The adventure of dirt roads on vast swaths of beautiful sage-covered land is seductive, stunningly beautiful, and filled with a blanketing silence. Add a herd of wild horses, and the whole experience takes your breath away. There is a pure sense
of awe and a feeling of connection to the wildness we have lost. Observing herd behavior and its social structure is also interesting.
You participate in equine photography workshops as part of your continuing studies. Do you have any locations or breeds of horses that you have found particularly inspiring?
All breeds of horses are aesthetically beautiful to me. I am inspired by watching horses express themselves at liberty.
I am planning a trip to southern Spain, where I am sure to be inspired by the horses there.
You’ve studied with exceptionally talented equine photographers such as Tim Flach and Tony Stromberg. What have been some of the most valuable takeaways? Watching an instructor take a raw image in post-processing to see how they interpret the scene, directing the viewer’s eye to the most potent or seductive part of the image, is always informative.
Did you ever form an unexpected connection with a specific wild horse over your years of shooting the herds?
On top of an 8000-foot plateau in the Pryor Mountains in Montana, as I was preparing to photograph the herds there, I learned one of my children, who had faced addiction, was in crisis and seeking help; I was beside myself with fear, anxiety, and sadness. As I was climbing out of the truck, a wild mare intentionally approached me and stood still very close, facing my heart. Her sense of knowing
From top to bottom: Aligned Resilience Graced by the Light
was beyond words. It reinforced my connection to horses and the reason why I continue to passionately photograph them.
Do you find dedicating a percentage of your sales to aid the plight of wild horses a way to give back to their creative inspiration?
Giving back to what creatively inspires me feels like a small token in light of the perils the wild horses face. Every little bit helps. Awareness has increased, but much more work is required to make lasting changes.
Just as the fashion world has adopted the appeal of the equestrian lifestyle, have you experienced a similar uptick in equinethemed photography in home décor? Equestrian style in all of its forms has a classic enduring allure. Equines have inspired artists from the oldest cave paintings, and no other animal appears as frequently in art as horses do. A stunning equine photographic piece incorporated into an interior design brings the spirit of the horse in and elevates the space beyond the ordinary.
You’ve exhibited your award-winning work nationally and internationally. Would you say your images evoke an emotional response, one of technical excellence, or both?
I recently exhibited my work at Art Santa Fe and had several people in tears in my booth. My work brought up their connection to horses—it runs deep, emotionally and spiritually. Even non-horse people feel the emotion; that’s what is most important for me.
PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA
Ap hacienda is a 20-acre compound that is one of the most architecturally significant equestrian properties in Palm Beach County, located only a short drive to all equestrian venues in Wellington. This 37-stall property includes 16 irrigated paddocks, 72-foot round pen, 3-acre Bermuda grass jump field, perimeter exercise track, fire sprinkler system, 2 separate gated entrances, entertainment pavilion overlooking the 150- by 260-foot riding arena, 6 horse walker, 4 RV hook-ups, memory foam stalls, 3 tack rooms, 2 feed rooms (air conditioned), fly spray system, and 2 full bathrooms.
The 4 bedroom home has an open floor plan, large air conditioned 3 car garage, lighted half court basketball/rec court, pond, and lush landscaping throughout. All utilities are underground and extensive drainage system is in place to provide full property use under any conditions. Truly a must see property.
Offered at $8,950,000
DAVID WELLES, P.A. Founding Associate 561.313.9123 email@example.com wellesproperties.com 12180 South Shore Blvd. Suite 102 Wellington, FL 33414
of the fireplace, pour a drink at the custom bar, play a game of pool downstairs, or feel the breeze rolling up the hill while sitting on the balcony. Hosting 10 to 100 guests easily, the drafty hay-filled days of this barn are a thing of the past.
The utmost attention was paid to honoring the rich history of this property during the restoration. The quality of the lumber and original craftsmanship proved strong enough to last another 150 years. Partnering with B&D Builders, a Pennsylvania-based company known for their exceptional construction in restoring old and building new barns, they found creative solutions to salvage as many original details as possible. The original floorboards were removed, re-milled, and reinstalled to keep the classic character throughout the main level. Bespoke wrought-iron detailing on the staircases, loft, bar, and bourbon barrel wine storage created a rustic yet refined aesthetic. A new cupola graces the cedar shake roof, allowing natural light to flow in from 30 feet above. Colorful lights behind the custom commercialgrade bar dance between the original hand-hewn beams that line the ceilings of the loft floors above.
An homage to previous tenants
Downstairs, as an homage to their former hooved tenants, the original barn stalls were transformed into restrooms. A full kitchen allows
that no detail would be overlooked, and the facility would feature her signature style of a comfortable, modern-rustic European vibe with classic American luxury.
“I noticed that a lot of farms in Wellington are beautiful, but you can tell they were designed by someone that was not also a horse professional. My design knowledge, along with my equestrian background and experience in helping build others’ farms in the past, really helped with my own project,” recalled Foster. “Andy had a vision for me, and the Ziegler family has been incredibly supportive. They really wanted to set me up to continue competing at the top level even when they were no longer my main sponsors and supporters. We designed it to be a place where I could run my business rather than a private family facility.”
Phase one of construction included finalizing the site plan and building the all-important riding arenas after the winter circuit finished. Foster turned to her friend and fellow Olympic show jumper, Sharn Wordley, and his business partner, Craig Martin, to build the arenas, as well as other site work that included building the roadways, creating a pond, and more.
Footing most important “Footing is the most important thing for a farm because if you don’t have good footing, you don’t have sound horses, and if you don’t have sound horses, you’re not going to the show,” she said. “I had a great experience working with Sharn and Craig. Whenever we need anything, we still call them, and they help us out. When it pours rain like we get in Wellington, 30 minutes later, our ring is good to go and ready to be used.”
the homeowners to host family meals at their dining table, which can comfortably seat 16 guests. Overnight visitors do not have to go far to enjoy quiet time in a full guest suite located off the terrace, with features that highlight the original rustic details, such as fieldstone walls, sliding barn doors, and resawn timber beams.
Outside, stucco was removed from the façade to repoint the beautiful original fieldstone that the 1870s owner most likely sourced directly from the property. Custom, window-filled French doors with transoms allow even more light into the once-dark space. Activities abound, such as a putting green, driving range, and firepits for cozy quiet gatherings or a social hotspot for night owls. The open fields that give way to the surrounding wooded countryside offer the bucolic respite the homeowners desired for themselves and their guests.
The evolution from barnyard bastion to epicenter for entertainment required respect for the past and an eye for the future. A barn such as this has the power to transcend time. When people walk through the doors, their nostalgia recognizes the authentic details and they allow their imaginations to transport them, if only for a moment, to another world.
Boasting a giant 300- by 170-foot sand ring as well as an additional 200- by 150-foot sand ring and two jogging paths for vet inspections, Little Creek Equestrian has everything a rider could need to keep their horses happy and healthy. Foster moved into phase two of construction in 2017 and finished by the end of the year. Working with Wellington-based Ventura Construction, she built a new 12-stall barn with world-class amenities.
“I have done a ton of renovation projects and lots of new builds throughout my life, and this project was probably the least headache I’ve ever had,” attested Foster. “Show jumping is a game of millimeters and nanoseconds, so anything you can do to make sure you are the best prepared to go to the ring and any little advantage you can find will go a long way. Having a facility with everything you need to get there actually counts a lot. If you have to compromise any of the training process or the horse’s comfort, it’s going to catch up to you at some point. Having this wonderful facility to work out of has been a huge bonus.
“The best vote of confidence is when everybody who works for me says, ‘This ring is awesome! There’s everything we need, not really anything missing!’ Then you know you’ve done a good job,” she affirmed. “Anybody that comes to my farm says it’s an impressive place, it’s functional, and it’s pretty. I think it all adds up to being able to do the best job you can, and then you get the best horses, and you get the best customers. It’s all sort of a domino effect. You attract the kind of people you want to attract when you put your best foot forward.”
home design were the stone walls,” Laurie recalls. “It was an old tin-roofed, stone barn. We decided to have all the beautiful, original stone stripped, cleaned, washed, and repointed, and that is where we started.
Everything in the home is new except the 190-year-old stone,” Richard says. “Our goal was to keep the historic vibe and modernize at the same time.”
One of the project’s biggest and most challenging goals was the interior floor plan. The Salitas wanted an open design. A series of posts held up the roof in the original barn and replicating that would have placed those support columns in the middle of the family room and interrupted kitchen countertop space.BY JENNIFER WOOD/JUMP
The architect initially wanted to restore the original trusses, but that approach simply wouldn’t work with the flow and aesthetic the project was aiming for. Going with an open plan forced the project to modernize rather than strictly restore the structure.
“It was difficult finding a company that could produce the open floor plan we wanted,” Laurie says. “It took months to find someone who could build the trusses and design a system to support the home without posts that would interrupt the floor plan.”
Ultimately, Paradise, Pennsylvania-based Mid-Atlantic Timberframes (MATF) stepped in with a solution that could deliver the desired aesthetics while providing the structural flexibility necessary.
“It’s always a challenge to design a timber frame to fit into the existing conditions,” explains Sam Ebersol, general manager of Mid-Atlantic Timberframes. “You need to analyze the stone walls and foundation to ensure they’re up to code. Repointing—taking out the existing mortar and redoing it—is critical, and it’s also important to map existing conditions before building. When they built these barns, they built the stone walls and then cut timbers to fit them. We’re working in reverse in this case.”
To make this design work, a series of trusses comprised of multiple beams is the main support. European homes use heavy timber construction for structural reasons, but in the U.S. it is more often for aesthetics. Architects more commonly gravitate toward steel or concrete because it’s what they know.
“In more commonly used construction methods, we would have had to use heavy steel beams to achieve a span of this length. So in this case,
timber was actually more economical and, of course, met the desired aesthetic and design objective,” says Ebersol. “The new timber frame allowed us to remove all the structural posts and create an open floor plan free of impediments,” Foley says. “MATF is always a pleasure to work with. Their knowledge of barn structure, methods of insulation, and execution of details is invaluable.”
Flair for Design
As passionate appreciators of architecture and design, the Salitas handled the interior design themselves, selecting the finishes, furnishings, and art. They combined their flair for modern design with lots of touches that stayed true to the history and tradition of the property.
“There were black walnut trees on the property that needed to be taken down. We didn’t want to get rid of them,” Richard says. “The salvaged, finished wood is now used throughout the home. We used the walnut as a focal point and anchor for the overall design, going for a farmhouse-meetsindustrial style.”
Large windows without grids add to the modern aesthetic and provide excellent daylighting-the exterior features board-and-batten natural siding. The couple curated ideas from hotels, bars, and restaurants they visited during their travels, inspiring their selections of everything from lighting to doorknobs to flooring.
They even took a cue from their work with MATF when making interior wood choices. The Douglas fir beams and white oak windows led them to continue the white oak theme with the kitchen cabinets and other accents, creating a timeless look that was complementary to the black walnut furnishings.
“The owners are very pleased with the design and the work provided by MATF,” Foley says. “This was the first project where Foley-Beam Architecture partnered with MATF, and we have since completed a second project with them.”
“I grew up on a farm and have always had a soft spot for barns,” Ebersol says. “In Chester and Lancaster County especially, hundreds of barns are in a sad state of repair. People let them get run down, give up, and tear them down. I love it when people instead take these old barns and bring new life to them.”
LOWCOUNTRY, SOUTH CAROLINA
First, there were horses. World-class golf may be the driving amenity at prestigious private communities in South Carolina’s Lowcountry today, but at Spring Island equestrian living has been an integral part of its culture and landscape since the 1700s. Members of this equestrian community ride the same trails that quail hunters rode over a century ago. Over 30 miles of manicured trails on Spring Island wind through salt marsh, live oak forests, pine savannas, and old agricultural fields.
At the heart of its equestrian lifestyle is the full-service Equestrian Center with 24 stalls, 24 paddocks, grass and sand arenas, and 30 acres of grazing pasture. This busy social hub is where equestrian enthusiasts board their horses and want to spend time every day. The Equestrian Center also provides a sense of
community that appeals to those who don’t have horses. Club horses are available so they can join in equestrian activities.
For horse lovers and nature enthusiasts alike, Spring Island provides an idyllic setting. With only 400 properties carefully woven into the Island’s 3,000 acres (of which 1,800 are permanently protected nature preserve), this is that rare community where quality tops quantity. Horses may have been here first, but the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course weaves through the Lowcountry marsh and one of the Southeast’s most extensive live oak forests as if it has always belonged here. With the number of homes on Spring Island capped, the Members-only course plays at a relaxed pace.
Members relish the shared experiences and connections they enjoy within the community. Wine connoisseurs and horticulturists, artists and golfers, shooters and paddlers all
share a collective appreciation for the endless possibilities to be discovered together. This is a place driven by the passions of its Members. A full menu of amenities helps fulfill those passions: Sports Complex with a fully-equipped gym, pool, tennis, croquet, and pickleball; Art Barn that serves an active art community; and dining experience that includes two restaurants and a full-time sommelier.
Perhaps their greatest enthusiasm is for the breathtaking natural beauty of Spring Island’s setting. Surrounded by the Colleton and Chechessee Rivers, nature is the Island’s prized commodity. Members say this isn’t a community with a nature preserve, but a community within a nature preserve. With only 400 homes, each surrounded by a “nature curtain” of trees and native plants, the opportunity to own—and ride—here is as incomparable as the quality of life Spring Island offers.
ROBERT ROSS PA
ROBERT ROSS PA
firstname.lastname@example.org 561.758.6185 robertrosspa.com
email@example.com 561.758.6185 robertrosspa.com
12542 Equine Lane, Wellington $6,925,000 Listing Price 5 Bedroom, 6.3 Baths
12542 Equine Lane, Wellington $6,925,000 Listing Price 5 Bedroom, 6.3 Baths
Luxury equestrian lifestyle beckons. This private gated
Luxury equestrian lifestyle beckons. This private gated farm is nestled in the prime location of The Equestrian Club. Every feature of the custom built 18 stall barn reveals spectacular attention to detail. Thoughtfully constructed, both sides of this 2 aisle, hurricane impact rated barn include new stall mats, an updated tack room, lounge/office with a half bath, 2 wash stalls, 2 grooming stalls, a feed room, and a laundry room. Your horses will adore the brand new HSPG outdoor arena currently underway and 3 paddocks. The exquisite 3 bedroom, 3 bath owners residence is situated above the barn. Adjacent to the owner’s home is an impressive 2 bedroom, 2 bath staff apartment that sits above an oversized 2 car garage. With an abundance of resort style community amenities, close proximity to WEF, dining and shops, you’ll never want to leave this alluring equestrian oasis!
Visit RobertRossPA.com for more info and listings.
ROBERT ROSS PA
firmly, “The horse is always right.”
Shocked a bit by the break in silence, Mr. Ray’s mannerisms, and his choice of words, I sat confused, chewing the steak in my mouth slowly and deliberately. Afraid to say anything, I nodded out of respect to let him know I heard his words. I hoped to appear as if I was chewing on what he’d said. And I was.
However, to be completely honest there was a part of me that chuckled at the idea of the horse is always right. Ha! I thought. You’ve obviously not worked with some of the piece-of-crap horses I’ve had to start.
I prayed to God Mr. Ray couldn’t read my thoughts.
I also recalled that I’d heard something similar to those words earlier in the day at the clinic. He’d said, “The horse is never wrong.” I wondered for a moment if both quotes truly meant the same thing.
Then, there was that change in Mr. Ray again. He abruptly stabbed his steak, sawed off another bite, raised his fork with the meat secure on the tines that he shook toward me, and said, “The horse is always right because he’s either doing what comes natural to him or he’s doing what he thinks you want him to do. Either way, he’s right.”
Then into his mouth went the piece of meat, he pulled it from the fork prongs with his teeth, and chewed with vigor. Though he wasn’t looking at me, his overall body language
seemed to say, “And that’s that.”
Even though I wasn’t paid monetarily for helping Mr. Ray that day, I received a nugget of wisdom that has positively influenced my thinking about horses, horsemanship, and more. What an absolute blessing to have been at the right place at the right time to receive the right message.
The next day I had plenty of time, about thirteen hours, to think about it as I drove from Colorado to Sulphur Springs, Texas. I knew Mr. Ray was exactly right. We can’t blame a horse for doing what comes naturally. Additionally, if the horse is doing what he thinks we want him to do, then the burden is on us to be better communicators. If the horse makes a mistake, it is an honest one and likely because we’re not properly communicating what we want the horse to do. Perhaps we are not setting up the horse to be successful. The horse is always right. I’ve thought about those words far beyond those thirteen hours. If I don’t like a horse’s natural behavior, it’s up to me to change it. If the horse is not doing what I am asking, then I must realize he’s doing what he thinks I want from him. Either way, darn it, the burden is on me.
Since that supper with Mr. Ray, I’ve observed hundreds and hundreds more horses in various forms and stages of training. I can say without a doubt, when studied with complete objectivity, the horse is always right.
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STYLE Page 24
The Green Scene
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THE WALLS ARE ALIVE
TORONTO’S ROYAL HORSE SHOW Page 48
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Blackburn Architects blackburnarch.com
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SWT Landscape Design swtdesign.com Timberlyne timberlyne.com
JJ TATE Page 66
TERRANOVA Page 73
GALLERY Page 76
Tori Gagne torigagnephotography.com
BARN DOGS Page 98 Danny & Ron’s Rescue dannyronsrescue.org
MEET BUDDY AND TUCCI
A LIFETIME with dogs.BY LOUISE SERIO
Louise Serio, a championship rider and trainer, owns and operates Derbydown, nationally recognized as one of the foremost show barns in the country, located in Chester County, Pennsylvania. In addition to having been champion at every major horse show on the East Coast, she has been World Champion Hunter Rider twice.
Serio began riding at a young age and started showing at Devon in 1962. She was Reserve Champion on her pony, Gee Hee, and has been Leading Lady Rider, Grand Champion, and Champion many times. In 2012, Serio was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, and that same year she and Jennifer Burger started the Brandywine Valley Summer Series at Devon.
I’ve had quite a few dogs. When I was a kid, I had a little mutt that my father bought at an auction for 25 cents. Her name was Lassie, of course, like Lassie on TV, and my sister had another little dog called Busy Bee. They were wonderful dogs—just funny-looking little mutts—that met us at the school bus. Then my mother got a German shepherd from the police force for personal protection, but it was neither very protective nor very police-like.
The next dog I got was a miniature schnauzer named Blossom. Blossom was a wonderful dog, but she tended to wander
a little, which is odd for that breed. One time, she disappeared for a month right after she had been clipped, and when she came back, she had been re-clipped and smelled like perfume. She never left the farm again.
Later in life, I got a pug named Ruby and a rescue named Emmy, and they were a pair. I got Emmy to be Ruby’s dog because I thought Ruby was lonely. But it took her over a year until she liked Emmy. After Ruby, my son gave me a dog I still have, a border collie/blue healer named Butter. She’s black, but she’s called Butter because that’s what my granddaughter named her.
I helped place one of the very first dogs from Danny & Ron’s Rescue (D&R)
when they started with Hurricane Katrina rescues. That dog’s name was Penny, and it went to a client of mine. I’ve also taken other dogs from them that I fostered.
Currently, I have a Cavalier King Charles named Buddy, and Tucci, from D&R, who’s a wantto-be Cavalier.
I lost Ruby, and I’ve always loved the Cavaliers. I think they’re so, so cute. I was in the Dallas airport, and everybody was leading their little dogs around, and I decided I wanted to get a Cavalier, and I found a breeder in Punta Gorda, Florida, where I got Buddy. He’s just the best dog. He loves everything; cats, people, and little kids. He’s just super happy.
So, then I had Buddy and Butter, which was great, but for some reason when I saw the picture of Tucci on Danny and Ron’s website, I thought, “I need to have him too.” I called Ron, and I took Tucci for a few days. He came in as a seizure dog but hasn’t had any seizures. Now he’s fat and happy. He plays all the time and has become very affectionate and attached to me, which is nice.
I’m honored even to know Danny and Ron. Not only do they have a wonderful horse business and great horses, but somehow they manage to save all these animals. They’ve been such a rock in our horse community to do this.KIND MEDIA