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July 2014 – Finding Cinco De Mayo!

Time certainly flies when you’re working hard and having fun!  All horses and humans are back at the farm in Chatsworth, GA until mid October. Since my last update, there have been lots of exciting new activities at the farm. Most notable is the addition of a very talented young horse for me. I have been looking for another horse for over a year and a half, and have vetted two unsuccessfully. I was looking for a horse with enough talent, and good sense, that over the next four years would have a shot at being competitive internationally at the top 4* level. My boss, Michael Pollard, tipped me off that there was a young horse in Florida that belonged to former Eventer Ann Glaus that might be worth a look. Two days later, Michael and I hopped in the truck and drove 7 hours down to see him. It was love at first sight! 

As stunning as Cinco is, he is definitely going through an awkward stage! He’s just turned 5yo, and at 17.1H, he needs to put on about 400 more lbs of muscle. He’s curious, very affectionate, and incredibly athletic. His mother is Ann’s old TB Advanced mare Belair , and his father is the Iron Springs Farm bay stallion Riverman. Riverman is a KWPN(Nimmerdor x Voltaire). Ann used to event, but now only does show jumping, so she had Aaron Vale compete him in 5yo jumper classes(1.15m) with great success! Cinco has a huge gallop, and is very brave. Ann knew his true calling was Eventing. I am so thankful she decided to sell him to me, as Michael and I really believe he is something special!

Only a few weeks after Cinco arrived on the farm, we headed off to Chatt Hills for back to back weekends of Eventing. It was a fabulous week, and really felt like a summer vacation! The week between the two horse trials we trained and schooled a lot of cross country. I also enjoyed auditing the Clayton Fredrick’s cross country clinic, and putting a few newly learned tools to use! Almost the whole team was there, and we had a great time BBQing by the lake in the evenings, and swimming and paddleboarding after work. My mare D.A. Vittoria came in 2nd in the OP the first weekend, and 4th in the Intermediate the following weekend. I’m also really proud of Cinco for ending on his dressage score in the Novice! He has taken to XC like a fish to water. My plan is to spend most of the fall focusing on his flatwork, and qualify him for the 5yo young event horse championships that will be at Fair Hill in October! 

One of my other rides that was owned by the Pollards, Chatsworth Harley, has been sold to a great family in California! Harley was a 4yo homebred by Formula One, and was a joy to bring along. We have sold off all the 4 and 5yo homebreds now, and are on to playing with the 3yo stud colts for the summer. They will be gelded soon, and are for sale. 

One of my old rides, CS Gustav, is back at the farm for the summer! Cemone Rovira, his new owner, will be here until the end of July as my working student. Cemone has already made great progress, coming in 3rd in the OBN at Chatt Hills, and 7th at their Novice debut the following weekend.  It is a blast to help these two, as Cemone is a quick learner, and doing a fabulous job with 5yo Gustav!

I’m really thankful to the Pollards for the opportunities they continue to give me riding their fabulous horses, to my parents who are doing an incredible job running Rebound, (who for those of you that don’t know is the product that I invented 4 years ago now, and is now being run by my amazing parents!) www.ReboundHoofPack.com. Also to my sponsors, Horze, www.Horze.com, Devoucoux, www.Devoucoux.com, and La Isla, www.laisla.com, whose products I believe in 100% and absolutely love using every day! Without all of them, this amazing journey would not be possible! Until next time – hands down, eyes up, and keep kicking!

February 2014 – Ocala Adventures

The past month has flown by as always here in Ocala, Florida! It is the best place to be this time of year. The weather is ideal, and there are many equestrian activities and competitions to choose from. There are two milestones I want to share with you from this month. First, “V” completed her first CIC2* successfully, at Pine Top Farm in Georgia, finishing in 12th place in a very competitive division. I am extremely happy with how V is progressing.  I’m taking the next month to really focus on getting her flatwork stronger, so she can be even better on the flat when it comes time for Jersey Fresh in May! Her jumping has never been an issue, as she has yet to have a stadium-jumping or cross-country jumping penalty at this level.

The second fun milestone was taking the Pollard’s five year old homebred, CS Gustav, or “Gus” around his first recognized competition. He was super, and earned 2nd place on his dressage score of 28 at the Rocking Horse Horse Trials. Not two days after the event he was tried and sold to Cemone of Orlando, Florida. It was a very successful month for selling horses, as a week prior I sold the Pollard’s other homebred, CS Star Conquest, “Jasper,” to Jill Norair of Middleburg, Virginia(pictured below). Selling off two of my rides has left me with a little ’empty nest syndrome’, but I know their new owners will be very happy with them.

Just in time, the Pollard’s next homebred has been shipped down for me to start working with. He is a beautiful liver chestnut with chrome named Harley, by Formula One, out of a Reputed Testimony mare. Hands down he is one of my favorite young horses to work with so far(pictures and video to follow!). Sane, hard working, and very athletic…I’m excited to get him jumping!

As always, a big thanks to my parents, the Pollards, and my sponsors, especially Horze! I love wearing their clothing at the competitions. I also can’t wait to show off their new 2014 Summer line! Until the next update, stay warm my friends! – or if that’s not possible, come visit me here in sunny Florida!

 

 

2014 – Starting Strong!


 I can’t believe it’s already February! January was filled with lessons, trips cross country schooling, and our first event of the year. I competed D.A. Vittoria in the intermediate at Rocking Horse Horse Trials. We were both a bit rusty, but managed to end in 8th place in a big competitive class. I was happy V finished another intermediate XC course clear!
I was worried when she had a green moment and tried to run back to the trailers after the first fence…but once she realized that was not the plan, she focused on the course and gave a really good effort! I was also pleased to see the other horses I help Michael ride at home compete. As usual, Michael gave several inspiring rides. He topped an intermediate division, two prelim divisions, and came in 2nd and 3rd in another prelim division. I am so lucky I get to ride for Michael, and will certainly continue on my mission of learning all his show secrets! Left is a picture of me on my favorite, Michael’s black Trakehner stallion, Songline. I am also thankful to my sponsors Horze and Devoucoux! I love competing in their products! Check out www.Horze.com to view all their stylish riding clothes. Below i’m wearing my favorites, the short sleeve show shirt and B/Vertigo Kimberley breeches. This weekend is Ocala Horse Trials, check back soon for an update!

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2013 – A Year In Review

 

Hi Everyone!

So many exciting things have happened in the past year, I don’t know where to begin.

This time last year I was in Virginia riding for Sharon White. Sharon gave me so many great opportunities to ride and compete her young horses.  I learned so much! I traveled with her to Ocala, FL where we stabled at Buck Davidson’s. I had my mare, D.A. Vittoria, and a prelim sales horse, Banks. We had some great lessons and productive events! I had a minor speed bump in February, when I fractured my leg. Crutches were a pain, but I didn’t mind the forced no-stirrup time one bit. When we traveled back to VA in April, I sold Banks and V successfully completed her first CCI* at the Virginia Horse Trials!

Also in April, I was extremely fortunate to have been offered the position as head rider for Michael and Nathalie Pollard. With encouragement and a good recommendation from Sharon, I packed my things and moved to Chatsworth, GA.  I knew this was an opportunity to gain more experience riding top upper level horses, and I was excited to learn everything I could from these two great riders!

I am so happy I decided to join Pollard Eventing! It truly is a very special team. More than just a team, Pollard Eventing is a lifestyle. Step one, eat healthy and exercise. Seriously, exercise! We have 6am team workouts(mainly crossfit) three days a week. Step two, teamwork. With so many different parts of a large operation, it makes everything run smoothly when all of us are working together and helping each other stay positive. Step three, and most importantly, the horses. We have about 20 horses in the competition program. From Michael’s Advanced horses, to the just broken 4 year olds, everyday I learn something new. I also enjoyed competing Tortuga Bay(aka “Mickey”), for Nathalie Hummel, when she decided to sell him and study abroad.

The Fall season started off wonderfully, with some good ribbons and a 5th place finish for V at the American Eventing Championships in TX! In November, she successfully moved up to the Intermediate Level at Pine Top Horse Trials. Unfortunately the sunshine stopped there. My wonderful sweet new partner Mickey had to be euthanized following an accident cross country at the same event. It was such a terribly sad day. I was absolutely gutted. Not just for myself, but for owner Natalie Hummel. Calling her to tell her the bad news in Spain was the hardest phone call I have ever made. It reminded me just how precious life is. Every day we have with these amazing horses is a gift.                                   

The Holidays have come and gone, with the highlight being an exciting new sponsorship with Horze Equestrian! Horze is a large company from Norway, now offering its products in the United States. After competing in their competition gear this Fall, I was hooked! I am so impressed with this company and its product line. The clothing is high quality, detailed, comfortable, and not overpriced(like most European brands!). I have finally found some riding clothes that I am just as comfortable on a horse as I am walking out in public! Stay tuned to hear about my favorite products. You can also check out their large online selection at www.Horze.com.

A huge thank you to my support team! Most importantly my parents, who continue to run Rebound so I can spend my days riding for Michael.  Michael and Nathalie, for offering me this opportunity and continuing to help me reach my riding goals! Also, to Daniel, Allison, Abby, and Jorje, for being such amazing team mates at Pollard Eventing. Star farrier and vet team Sean Gaul and Dr. Chris Newton, their attention to detail is incredible. All my friends and sponsors, Devoucoux, La Isla, Rebound, Horze, the Wilsons, Seffanie Burgevin, and John McMurry for their continued support.  I am lucky to have all of you in my life, and can’t wait to see what I can make of 2014!

 

 

 

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2012 – Taking a Look Back

 

Hi Friends!!

Welcome to my new web site.  It has been a long time coming but I’m excited to finally have a way for everyone to follow along my crazy Eventing adventures!  A very special thank you to Frankie Thieriot for helping me finally get it done!

2010 was spent rocking around the FEI 3* level with my Advanced partner, Mazetto, and finishing my BBA degree from James Madison Universisty.  At the beginning of 2011, Mazetto (Eric) was injured and had to take a break from competing while I rehabilitated him.  While one door shut, another one opened.  Debbie Adams, a FEI 4*Eventer and trainer, unfortunately, shattered her knee around the same time. Debbie asked me to ride and compete her young horses while she spent the year recovering.  I packed up my life  and spent the year in Medford, N.J., learning everything I could from her while she was stuck on the sidelines. A highlight of the year was getting a talented mare, D.A. Vittoria(“V”) at the Dutch Sport Horse Auction in the Netherlands. We headed back to Ocala, FL for the winter and Debbie decided she was well enough to take over riding her horses. It was difficult saying goodbye to the horses with which I had formed such great partnerships, but I’m lucky to have learned so much from them! I started 2012  focusing on bringing Eric back to the Advanced level and taking V to her first Horse Trial. Unfortunately, Eric was not able to heal as well as we had hoped so we made the difficult decision to retire him.  I gave him to Lainey Ashker, his previous rider and good friend, to spend his days as a low level schoolmaster.

I have to admit, having to say goodbye to Eric was pretty rough. Also going from riding 5+ horses a day to just one Novice horse made me feel so USELESS! Of course I was still promoting Rebound Hoof Pack, the product I invented in college. I threw myself into growing the business with my parents and made some great progress.  However, I was MISERABLE spending my days behind the desk and not in the saddle.  I learned a lot about myself: 1) I am a high energy, outdoors person; 2) I must spend the majority of my days riding and training horses; 3) the strength and fitness you have riding 6 + horses a day, can never be matched by riding just one horse, no matter how many squat sets you do! ; and  4) I love the lifestyle as a professional Event rider – end of story.

Luckily, only a month or so after learning this about myself, another door opened. I moved back to Virginia, and began riding for FEI 4* competitor, Sharon White. I spent the rest of the year riding and competing all different types of horses; taking some of them to their first event; catch riding sales  horses; and moving my own horse up to Prelim.  Riding 7+ horses a day, along with weekly lessons from Sharon, Linda Zang and Jimmy Wofford, I have been able to constantly improve my riding.  Little V is also coming along right as planned. With a strong SJ background, she found the move up to the Prelim pretty easy in the jumping phases. The next couple of  months will be spent getting her stronger on the flat and confirming movements (like the counter canter) that were still very new to her!

All in all, 2012  really put things in perspective for me.  The team at Last Frontier Farm, Sharon, Alyssa Peterson, Tim Bourke, Racheal Livermore and Deana Vaughn, are all wonderful people with which to work.  Everyone is focused on learning, and producing horses correctly and successfully. I am also thankful for having met a few select clients for which I also make time to ride:  Paul and Karyn Wilson (who own Banks and Mimi) and Steffanie Burgevin. I am most thankful for my parents, along with our team of Independent sales reps that continue to grow Rebound Hoof Pack, making it possible for me to spend my days focusing on my training as an Eventer.