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August 12, 2010

We're On The Team!

Bradlee McKeever leads Sapphire--dressed in disguise!--out to the paddock at Castle Hill.

Well I guess it’s official—Sapphire and McLain made the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games team. We are all very excited and honored—what a great team it is!

So now we have to come up with a plan for the next 48 days so that when Sara reaches Kentucky she’ll be in top form and ready to win!! She will show at the Hampton Classic on Long Island on Labor Day weekend, then go to Saugerties, N.Y., for the million-dollar HITS class in September, which will be her last show until the WEG. The main concern is her fitness and weight, so her work will increase between now and a week before the Hamptons; then she’ll do a little less to freshen up, as she is at her best when she's a little fresh.

It usually takes her a couple of classes to get back into the swing of things; by the time of the Hampton Classic, it will have been several months since she last showed. Next week, the team veterinarian, Dr. Tim Ober, will go over her from head to toe, making sure everything looks and feels good.

Sara’s stable mates all just landed at JFK airport after a very long and successful European tour. They are all on the way to quarantine, where they will be released on Saturday, Aug. 14, and then will all get a well deserved rest with lots of turnout!

Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve, or PJ as we call him, is a young horse who won nine classes. Bongo, a.k.a. Rothchild, had the longest trip of all and has been in Europe since the World Cup Finals in April. He is all grown up now, but he definitely was over it all by the show in Dublin, Ireland, on Aug. 4-8. He was extremely cranky and not amused one bit by the thousands of people in his space, but he finished well with a sixth-placed finish in the Saturday grand prix. He will definitely be happy to see his paddock.

Antares F, McLain’s new horse, was in Europe for McLain to get to know. He jumped fantasticly at Hickstead, but he had a foot in the water in the grand prix. I was lucky enough to be at Dublin, where he won the grand prix! It was a fantastic class. Cedric and Laura Kraut were brilliant and fifth with a double clear, but McLain and Antares were unbelievable. I've seen McLain win lots of grand prixs, but this one was very special for him. Dublin is such a wonderful horse show, with thousands of spectators, and so beautifully done. It was such an exciting day!

This week were off to Sussex Horse Show in New Jersey with Goldika, so looking forward to that.

Erica