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July 3, 2013

Back From Germany And Back To My Roots

Jennie Brannigan caught up with (from left) David Koss, Andrea Baxter, Bec Braitling and Hawley Bennett-Awad this past weekend while helping out at Area VI's Young Rider Camp.

Well, Luhmühlen has now come and gone, and though the event most definitely did not go as planned, I am relieved that Ping is OK. He’s happy out in a field enjoying a well-deserved vacation after quite a long spring lead-up to Rolex and then Germany. I have to say that I think Luhmühlen is a stellar event, and while Germany does not seem to favor me, I do quite favor it!

In the end, I think between the disappointments of both of these events, I’ve resolved that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and I will continue to put my head down and work, produce my other horses, teach my students and look forward to see what the future will hold for Ping and I.

I will say once again that I have top-class owners in Tim and Nina Gardner, and to be honest, I just really wanted to have a good go for them, as I feel like they’re due some good luck. I guess now I will have to deliver those performances on Ping at Plantation Field and the Fair Hill CCI*** this fall.  

In other news, I’m excited to announce two new rides that have come into my life, one being Stella Artois, or “Toddie,” as she will be called in the barn. She’s co-owned by Beth Battel and I. She’s a 5-year-old German-bred mare (70 percent Thoroughbred) that I found through Kelli Temple and Philipp Kolossa in Germany, where she was competing training level. She’s currently in quarantine in Maryland and then will come to TPF in 11 days… not that I’m counting! ;) 

I’m also super excited about Erin Hurley’s OTTB gelding Herculon, who was just third out of 24 horses at his first event at the New Jersey Horse Park. I really think this horse has a future, and I have to say I’ve kind of started loving more of the blood/Thoroughbred-type horses this past year. And since Walkabout sold to Lynne Bauer (they were just in the top five at their first event together, by the way) Herc, or “Beans,” as we have nicknamed him, is a welcome addition to the barn. He also won the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred incentive program award at Jersey.

It’s really fun to work with Erin placing her rescued Thoroughbreds throughout the eventing circuit, and I run into them all the time, which brings me quite a bit of joy to see them do so well. 

This past weekend I had an unreal time at the awesome Twin Rivers in California, teaching the Area VI Young Riders on Friday and Saturday before flying back for Sunday at Jersey. It really was awesome to be around Hawley Bennett-Awad and Allie Knowles again, not to mention catching up with Bec Braitling, Andrea Baxter, and my former teammate David Koss.

It also allowed me some much-needed catch-up time with Marjorie Molloy and Dave Bogenrief, who have been huge influences in my life and career. Between owning horses for me, giving me life advice, vetting and saving my horses' lives, giving my former advanced mount Kozmo a place to retire, taking me to the ER, letting me sleep on their couches, helping me make the move to the East Coast, and generally putting up with the amount of shenanigans I pulled as a young rider (cough… and maybe now…), it was so nice to see them again. And to just take a step back and think about all the support I’ve gotten since I was participating in young rider camp at Twin just five years ago.

I don’t think I have adequately thanked these people enough, and sometimes I have to take a step back and just be thankful that I had these people to shape my life. I know for a fact I would not be anywhere near where I am today without you, so thank you guys! 

This week brings on the unfortunate departure of my head girl, Jackie Imholte, which I don’t even want to think about... I hope to steal her back one day, but she needs to go off and get on with school and all those things that “normal people” do. :)

I’m happy that Jackie’s time has overlapped some with my new girl for the summer, Charlotte Gardiner, who is also riding a former South Jersey TB Rescue, Coletrane. Since I have eight rides this weekend at Maryland Horse Trials, I’m sure she’ll have her hands a bit full... as will I, with three of Nina Gardner’s babies doing their first event. 

Fingers crossed! 

Hope all is well for you all!

Jennie

Brannigan Eventing

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