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September 28, 2013

You Can't Stop The Spots

Holly Breaux competed Flecken Awesome in the senior training amateur division at the Nutrena/USEA American Eventing Championships. Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Horses of all shapes and sizes can make excellent eventing horses, but sometimes, a horse of another color shines in the field of bays, chestnuts, seal browns and even the occasional gray.

Holly Breaux has a penchant for Appaloosas, so when she needed a new horse so that she could retire her Appaloosa mare almost a decade ago, Flecken Awesome stuck out as the ideal new partner.

He’s registered with the Appaloosa Horse Club and was bred to compete in halter classes, but he was a little too tall to fit the breed ideal, and he was sold as a yearling as an eventing prospect to Karen Czarick, who competed him through novice. Breaux took a few lessons from Czarick on the now-16-year-old gelding, a three-quarter Thoroughbred and one-quarter Appy.

Breaux and the gelding competed through preliminary, but about two years ago Breaux decided to retire him due to some arthritis.

“When I tried to retire him, he got mad!” Breaux said. “When I took him back on cross-country, he tried to dump me two or three times. He was just so excited he couldn’t contain himself.”

With retirement out of the question for the moment, the duo returned to the show ring at training level, and they made it all the way to the Nutrena/USEA American Eventing Championships.

Their score of 38.2 in dressage put them in 30th place, but a double clear cross-country round helped them move up to 16th.

“He’s a saint. He’s just game for whatever,” said Breaux, 35. “Everyone always jokes about him being an appy, but he never says no unless it’s stupid, like I’m asking him to jump from a ridiculous spot. Then he’s like, ‘No, Mom, that’s not smart.’ People are missing out [on the breed].”

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