Wellington, Fla.—March 3
The Chronicle is on the ground reporting in Wellington, Florida, for Deeridge Farm’s $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. We’ll tell you all about who leads in today’s opening round and who comes back to win it all Sunday afternoon, but first we have to talk about this bird.
Going for a stroll around Deeridge one can admire the hunters showing on the grass field or the jumpers going in the sand rings, but turn away from the ring, and you might just spot Marilla Van Beuren taking Shadow the cockatoo for a walk!
Van Beuren owns Idle Hour Farm in Middletown, Rhode Island, and splits her time between Middletown and Wellington. She doesn’t have any horses competing at Deeridge this weekend, but she came to watch some friends ride with Shadow in tow.
“We can’t leave her home in a cage; she can get out of anything!” Van Beuren said. “She comes to all the horse shows with me and hangs out in the barn.”
Cockatoos live to be decades old in the wild but have been noted to live nearly a century in captivity.
Shadow has no fear of the equines she keeps company with, but she prefers to perch on Van Beuren and enjoys being patted. Shadow doesn’t need a leash or anything to keep her from flying away at shows because her wings are clipped, but at home Van Beuren does have to be careful she doesn’t go climbing off somewhere.
“She did somehow climb the wall in the barn or something and get stuck up on a fan, and then she couldn’t fly down,” Van Beuren said with a laugh. “We had to go get her down.”
Say hi to Shadow and Van Beuren if you see them around Deeridge, and stay tuned with the Chronicle for all the action from the Deeridge Derby!