Upper Marlboro, Md.—Oct. 6
Sometimes when a horse and rider come together everything just clicks. Dawn Fogel’s relationship with Story Teller is in its infancy, but it’s proven to be a successful one.
Fogel started looking for a horse to lease for the Kentucky National and the Capital Challenge Horse Show in August, and her trainer Rick Fancher suggested she give Foxridge Farms Stables’ mare a try.
Though Fogel didn’t sit on the mare until she started leasing her, Francher had shown the 7-year-old Westphalian (Son of Cologne—Dancing Daylight) in a few pre-green classes last year.
“She is just a lovely horse to ride and work around,” said Fogel. “She’s quiet every day. Nothing seems to faze her. She’s never been here before and the outdoor ring can be spooky for some horses and the indoor, and she didn’t bat an eye. Nothing bothered her at all—no jump or surroundings.”
Fogel and Story Teller earned a reserve championship in the adult amateur hunters at the Kentucky National a couple of weeks ago and followed that up with another reserve at Capital Challenge.
And to round things out, they finished with a win in the $2,500 WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge, posting scores of 90 from each of the three judging panels.
“The jumps are a little bit more imposing here in either ring and nothing fazes her,” said Fogel. “I’m very lucky to get to ride her. She’s a lovely horse to ride.”
Fogel, 44, has been selling equine insurance for the past 17 years, and said it was an ideal job to balance with her riding hobby because she take it on the road with her. In the ’90s, Fogel and Fancher campaigned the famous Osczar in the amateur-owner and regular working hunter divisions, winning at all the biggest shows.
“It’s been super, and it’s something that I can do on the road,” said Fogel. “I can travel with it and still work and just have my files on an iPad. It’s been super to have and also to still be able to ride.”
Rummell’s Successful Return to the Equitation Ring
It’s been six years since Mahala Rummell has competed in the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, and she made her return a triumphant one. Riding Bellagio, she took the lead after the first round and finished on a cumulative score of 178.49, setting them well above Allyson Blais.
Rummell, 25, started riding Zoe Ganek’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding in May.
“I’ve done the jumpers the last couple of years and retired my jumper in May,” Rummell said. “[Bellagio] belongs to a girl in the barn who can’t ride much right now, so I started riding him with the Ariat Finals as the goal.”
Rummell was second in the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals in 2011 aboard Papillon 136. She competed regularly throughout her junior career, before attending New York University. She now works for executive search firm Spencer Stewart, covering investment services and private equity.
“It’s mostly a research position,” Rummell said. “And I don’t get to ride very much anymore, so it really means a lot for me to be here and get to do this. [Bellagio] felt amazing today, I rode him when I got here this morning and did a few jumps in the schooling area and then hopped off, I told my trainer “I don’t want to ruin him, let me just get off.”’
Bellagio is known as “King” around the barn. He’s a veteran of the equitation ring but hasn’t let the numerous championships go to his head.
“He’s like a puppy in the barn,” Rummell said. “He’s the only horse in a long time that I’d let my mom ride. He’s so gentle and beautiful across the ground, a lot of people ask if he’s a stallion, he’s got that impressive quality. I was comfortable [with him] from Day 1. He gives you a lot of confidence.”
Rummell trains at Beacon Hill (N.J.), where she’s been for nine years, and appreciates the opportunity to compete in a championship as an amateur.
“As a junior I was used to that competition, to point accumulation looking forward to championships,” she said. “I think it’s really special that they have something for the adults to work toward during the year.”