Hannah Sue Burnett will now have the ride on four-star eventer RF Demeter. Her former rider, Marilyn Little, decided to sell her share of the mare, and Jacqueline Mars is now the sole owner, as was first reported by Eventing Nation.
“I literally can’t believe it,” said Burnett. “It feels like a dream. I’m very excited, and I’m going to do my very best to take the best care of ‘Demi’ and ride her as well as I can.”
“Congratulations to Hannah Sue on a wonderful new partner in Demi,” Little wrote on her Facebook page. “Thank you to Demi for all the wonderful years and wonderful memories. You will be terribly missed, but I am so excited for all that is to come for this pair!”
Demi, a 15-year-old Oldenburg mare (Rubin Royal—Patricia, Kanudos XX), competed through the CCI*** level with Dutch rider Raf Kooremans, and Little’s Team Demeter and Raylyn Farms purchased her in late 2011.
They won the Cloud 11-Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC*** (N.C.) in 2014, followed by numerous wins in 2015, including the Jaguar Land Rover Bromont CCI*** (Quebec), Poplar Place CIC*** (Ga.) and the Morven Park CIC*** (Va.). Together they contested eight four-stars, finishing five of them and placing sixth at the 2014 Rolex Kentucky CCI****, and they earned second in the 2016 Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International (Md.). At the pair’s last outing together, the $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase (Fla.) in early February, Demi fell on cross-country.
Though Burnett has never competed Demi, she rode the mare a few times in 2012 while Little was out of the tack due to injury.
“Demi is like getting on a Ferrari,” said Burnett, 30, of The Plains, Va., and Ocala, Fla. “She is incredible. She’s so athletic, and she’s constantly trying to figure out what you want her to do. Show jumping especially, she’s looking at all the jumps, waiting for you to tell her where to go. Cross-country is the same way, and then dressage, she’s just so beautifully produced by Marilyn. Any movement is so lovely and smooth and in a perfect frame.
“It’s a lot of pressure to get on a horse that’s so incredibly trained and has so much experience and success,” she continued. “I’m not taking that lightly, but at the same time trying to give myself time to get used to each other. It’s a transition for Demi as well, so I’m trying to take it easy, but I’m so excited that it’s a little bit hard.”
Burnett will debut with Demi in the open intermediate at Rocking Horse III Winter Horse Trials (Fla.) before heading to the CIC** at Red Hills (Fla.) March 10-11. If all goes well, Burnett plans on doing the Cloud 11-Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC*** before heading to a spring CCI***.
“I’d love to go abroad on her because she’s got so much experience,” said Burnett. “I’m considering Aachen [Germany] and/or Blenheim [England].”