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Blogs - COTH Staff Blog - Lisa Slade

May 10, 2016

Sam, Smiles And Some Good Light: Favorite Moments From Badminton

The 2016 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** is officially over—the riders returned home, the dressage ring taken down, the cross-country flags removed for another year, memories of a Rolex Grand Slam victory stored. 

But it’s still possible to relive the moments through just a few of the thousands of photos one lucky journalist (me) took on her first trip to the event. 

May 10, 2016

Sam, Smiles And Some Good Light: Favorite Moments From Badminton

The 2016 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** is officially over—the riders returned home, the dressage ring taken down, the cross-country flags removed for another year, memories of a Rolex Grand Slam victory stored. 

But it’s still possible to relive the moments through just a few of the thousands of photos one lucky journalist (me) took on her first trip to the event. 

May 6, 2016

The Story Behind That Badminton Smile

So yes, it’s very cool being at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and interviewing Michael Jung. But another of my favorite things about covering a competition away from home is talking to other people who usually aren’t on our radar in the United States. 

Like, say, Denmark’s Hanne Wind Ramsgaard. 

Comments

mikeyarbro
19 weeks 5 days ago

New Rodeo Novel Just Released

Champion's Heart, by Mike Yarbro, is the compelling epic story of a "starving" young Texan who sets out to follow his championship dreams...and winds up winning a lot more. In this gripping tale of self-discovery, a young rookie calf roper unexpectedly finds himself in a no-man's land, poor and alone--until two eccentric old cowboys take him under their wing. The action, adventure, and emotion that ensue, due in part to an unexpected romance with an heiress to a fortune, come to a thrilling crescendo in Las Vegas, where he competes for a world championship title and learns that the greatest prizes of all are those you don't plan for. Readers everywhere will resonate with the powerful message that life is truly all about "how you play the game." "It is refreshing to read a story without the common jargon that so many writers succumb to which makes their stories resemble thousands of others. This author breaths fresh air into a story that belongs in many categories for people of all ages. The story and writing style is different and mixes well with a vast number of scenarios. The twists and turns give the reader a lot to look forward to. I wish we had more books like this with deep emotions, action, failure, success and endings that bring joy to the reader. It was nice for a change to read a good book without vulgarity which has become too commonplace on TV and in print." "It made me feel like I was right smack dad in the middle of the action." "I fell in love with this story and every character except the nasty bum. It seemed as if I was standing beside these people as the action ensued. My heart went out to the two older guys who learned they had more to give than they ever imagined. A very striking story that resonated with inner feelings that everyone needs help, no matter who you may be, and sometimes we wind up with more than we thought possible. Loved it and am going to read it again." Packed with adventure, action, intrigue, and romance sure to entice a broad range of readers, Champion’s Heart is the compelling, page-turning story of the guts and glory of one young man’s epic journey on the road to fulfilling his lifelong championship dreams. With a victory at the National High School Calf-Roping Championship under his belt, ambitious young Bobby Tucker is newly empowered to follow his lifelong dream of winning a world championship calf roping title. For a nineteen year old rookie like Bobby, competing with the pros is no easy task—sleeping in the grass beside the highway, eating beef jerky out of his back pocket, pushing his rusty Chevy pickup to its limit, towing his horse Sampson in a trailer. With his blacksmithing tools in tow, Bobby scrapes by on the meager pay he receives in exchange for shoeing horses. Even so, Sampson eats better than he does. Persevering through rain and shine, the determined Bobby shows his stuff in roping events all across the Southwest. So far, however, his quick hands and fast horse aren’t enough to qualify him for the big leagues. While some see the definite possibility in Bobby’s inherent skill, strong character, and easygoing nature; still others view the young man as a threat to their own ambitions. Two old cowboys, legends of the circuit, are among those with an eye on Bobby Tucker. Big Ed Johnson and his sidekick Grady Jones, a retiring rodeo clown, agree to take the eager Bobby under their wings and show him some tricks of the trade. Their faith in Bobby, their sound advice, and their willingness to demonstrate their techniques for the young rookie both bolster Bobby’s confidence and help him to improve in the area of his passions. But Big Ed and Grady aren’t the only ones with a particular penchant for Bobby. Enter beautiful, golden-haired heiress Addi Reynolds—a hot-headed, barrel racing cowgirl who enjoys irritating her overly protective parents. When Bobby meets Addi, sparks fly. The young couple are immediately drawn to one another, though both are bound by problems and secrets of their own. Difficulties escalate when Addi’s parents get involved, unbeknownst to their daughter, in an attempt to monitor her and to ensure that Bobby isn’t attracted to her merely for the staggering sum she stands to inherit. Bobby’s working relationship with Big Ed and Grady invigorates him, and his newfound love of Addi brings fresh energy to his life and goals. But, with a sudden monkey wrench thrown into his plans, Bobby must suddenly seek the answers to questions of utmost importance: Will he be able to keep his focus and become the world champion he’s always dreamed of being? Can he trust his new friends through thick and thin? Or will he end up losing both his girl and his championship dream? Follow Bobby’s journey as it builds to a thrilling crescendo beneath the dazzling lights of Las Vegas, where he competes for a world championship title, encounters the challenge of a lifetime…and emerges with so much more than he ever could have bargained for. Whether or not you’re a fan of the rodeo, Champion’s Heart will keep your heart pounding and your fingers flipping pages as you race to the climax of this edge-of-your-seat novel that is thriller, adventure, romance, and suspense all in one. Reviews: "Somehow I began reading this book thinking I was reading another story about hearts and champions of the gridiron. Suddenly I realized that I had pulled a stupid stunt on myself and was reading the wrong story and a tale about something I cared nothing about, knew nothing about, did not wish to know about, and had only heard of remotely. I have read hundred and hundreds of books on all types of subjects many of which portrayed inner feelings of success, failures, or triumphs. Suddenly, when I was about to put it down and never again pick it up, I became interested in the lifestyles of these characters and the story within a story. I read on and became so enamored with the book that I read until 2:00 AM the next morning. I had no idea that people actually participated in such strange and exciting events, which I previously thought was fantasy or happened a hundred years ago, but the characters were actually so real and brought out so many of my inner feelings. Who would have ever thought that an heiress would fall in love with a broke cowboy? The subject of older men helping the young guy also peaked my attention, and I found myself completely devoured by the story. The author meticulously reeled me in like an expert fisherman reeling in his catch, and I was caught. I have discovered a whole new type of people who roam the grounds and arenas of our country. It was a wonderful story, well written and kept me up all night." Distributed by Smashwords, Createspace, Barnes & Noble (US and UK), Amazon, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, OverDrive Flipkart Baker & Taylor (Blio and the Axis360 library service), Page Foundry ( retail sites Inktera.com and Versent.com; WH Smith in the UK, FNAC in France and Portugul, Livraria Cultura in Brazil, Angus & Robertson in Australia, Bookworld in Australia, Indigo in Canada, Collins in Australia, Feltrinelli in Italy, Paper Plus in New Zealand, Play in Great Britain, Rakuten in Japan, Buy.com About the author: Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi Mike Yarbro worked in the construction machinery import export business most of his adult life and traveled throughout the world importing and exporting, heavy road building equipment and working with road building contractors on World Bank and local projects in developing countries and the USA. After forming his company his travels took him to the far corners of the earth buying, selling and shipping heavy machinery. Visiting foreign countries and viewing various economic conditions and cultures made him appreciate and love the United States even more. He has been married to Marilyn Sue Childs Yarbro since 1968. Before and after college he was an avid horseman involved in rodeo, showing, breeding, raising, racing and training quarter and thoroughbred horses. He played violin for two years in the Jackson Junior Symphony Orchestra before playing guitar, piano and violin in a rock and roll band during college at Mississippi State University. "Loved the story and the unique characters. I started reading and couldn't put it down! Great twists and turns throughout the story. And I learned a lot about the rodeo that I never knew before." Contact Mike Yarbro golfer60111@yahoo.com A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund a non profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured rodeo cowboys. In Kindle, Nook, or Ipad format:
May 6, 2016

The Story Behind That Badminton Smile

So yes, it’s very cool being at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and interviewing Michael Jung. But another of my favorite things about covering a competition away from home is talking to other people who usually aren’t on our radar in the United States. 

Like, say, Denmark’s Hanne Wind Ramsgaard. 

Comments

mikeyarbro
19 weeks 5 days ago

New Rodeo Novel Just Released

Champion's Heart, by Mike Yarbro, is the compelling epic story of a "starving" young Texan who sets out to follow his championship dreams...and winds up winning a lot more. In this gripping tale of self-discovery, a young rookie calf roper unexpectedly finds himself in a no-man's land, poor and alone--until two eccentric old cowboys take him under their wing. The action, adventure, and emotion that ensue, due in part to an unexpected romance with an heiress to a fortune, come to a thrilling crescendo in Las Vegas, where he competes for a world championship title and learns that the greatest prizes of all are those you don't plan for. Readers everywhere will resonate with the powerful message that life is truly all about "how you play the game." "It is refreshing to read a story without the common jargon that so many writers succumb to which makes their stories resemble thousands of others. This author breaths fresh air into a story that belongs in many categories for people of all ages. The story and writing style is different and mixes well with a vast number of scenarios. The twists and turns give the reader a lot to look forward to. I wish we had more books like this with deep emotions, action, failure, success and endings that bring joy to the reader. It was nice for a change to read a good book without vulgarity which has become too commonplace on TV and in print." "It made me feel like I was right smack dad in the middle of the action." "I fell in love with this story and every character except the nasty bum. It seemed as if I was standing beside these people as the action ensued. My heart went out to the two older guys who learned they had more to give than they ever imagined. A very striking story that resonated with inner feelings that everyone needs help, no matter who you may be, and sometimes we wind up with more than we thought possible. Loved it and am going to read it again." Packed with adventure, action, intrigue, and romance sure to entice a broad range of readers, Champion’s Heart is the compelling, page-turning story of the guts and glory of one young man’s epic journey on the road to fulfilling his lifelong championship dreams. With a victory at the National High School Calf-Roping Championship under his belt, ambitious young Bobby Tucker is newly empowered to follow his lifelong dream of winning a world championship calf roping title. For a nineteen year old rookie like Bobby, competing with the pros is no easy task—sleeping in the grass beside the highway, eating beef jerky out of his back pocket, pushing his rusty Chevy pickup to its limit, towing his horse Sampson in a trailer. With his blacksmithing tools in tow, Bobby scrapes by on the meager pay he receives in exchange for shoeing horses. Even so, Sampson eats better than he does. Persevering through rain and shine, the determined Bobby shows his stuff in roping events all across the Southwest. So far, however, his quick hands and fast horse aren’t enough to qualify him for the big leagues. While some see the definite possibility in Bobby’s inherent skill, strong character, and easygoing nature; still others view the young man as a threat to their own ambitions. Two old cowboys, legends of the circuit, are among those with an eye on Bobby Tucker. Big Ed Johnson and his sidekick Grady Jones, a retiring rodeo clown, agree to take the eager Bobby under their wings and show him some tricks of the trade. Their faith in Bobby, their sound advice, and their willingness to demonstrate their techniques for the young rookie both bolster Bobby’s confidence and help him to improve in the area of his passions. But Big Ed and Grady aren’t the only ones with a particular penchant for Bobby. Enter beautiful, golden-haired heiress Addi Reynolds—a hot-headed, barrel racing cowgirl who enjoys irritating her overly protective parents. When Bobby meets Addi, sparks fly. The young couple are immediately drawn to one another, though both are bound by problems and secrets of their own. Difficulties escalate when Addi’s parents get involved, unbeknownst to their daughter, in an attempt to monitor her and to ensure that Bobby isn’t attracted to her merely for the staggering sum she stands to inherit. Bobby’s working relationship with Big Ed and Grady invigorates him, and his newfound love of Addi brings fresh energy to his life and goals. But, with a sudden monkey wrench thrown into his plans, Bobby must suddenly seek the answers to questions of utmost importance: Will he be able to keep his focus and become the world champion he’s always dreamed of being? Can he trust his new friends through thick and thin? Or will he end up losing both his girl and his championship dream? Follow Bobby’s journey as it builds to a thrilling crescendo beneath the dazzling lights of Las Vegas, where he competes for a world championship title, encounters the challenge of a lifetime…and emerges with so much more than he ever could have bargained for. Whether or not you’re a fan of the rodeo, Champion’s Heart will keep your heart pounding and your fingers flipping pages as you race to the climax of this edge-of-your-seat novel that is thriller, adventure, romance, and suspense all in one. Reviews: "Somehow I began reading this book thinking I was reading another story about hearts and champions of the gridiron. Suddenly I realized that I had pulled a stupid stunt on myself and was reading the wrong story and a tale about something I cared nothing about, knew nothing about, did not wish to know about, and had only heard of remotely. I have read hundred and hundreds of books on all types of subjects many of which portrayed inner feelings of success, failures, or triumphs. Suddenly, when I was about to put it down and never again pick it up, I became interested in the lifestyles of these characters and the story within a story. I read on and became so enamored with the book that I read until 2:00 AM the next morning. I had no idea that people actually participated in such strange and exciting events, which I previously thought was fantasy or happened a hundred years ago, but the characters were actually so real and brought out so many of my inner feelings. Who would have ever thought that an heiress would fall in love with a broke cowboy? The subject of older men helping the young guy also peaked my attention, and I found myself completely devoured by the story. The author meticulously reeled me in like an expert fisherman reeling in his catch, and I was caught. I have discovered a whole new type of people who roam the grounds and arenas of our country. It was a wonderful story, well written and kept me up all night." Distributed by Smashwords, Createspace, Barnes & Noble (US and UK), Amazon, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, OverDrive Flipkart Baker & Taylor (Blio and the Axis360 library service), Page Foundry ( retail sites Inktera.com and Versent.com; WH Smith in the UK, FNAC in France and Portugul, Livraria Cultura in Brazil, Angus & Robertson in Australia, Bookworld in Australia, Indigo in Canada, Collins in Australia, Feltrinelli in Italy, Paper Plus in New Zealand, Play in Great Britain, Rakuten in Japan, Buy.com About the author: Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi Mike Yarbro worked in the construction machinery import export business most of his adult life and traveled throughout the world importing and exporting, heavy road building equipment and working with road building contractors on World Bank and local projects in developing countries and the USA. After forming his company his travels took him to the far corners of the earth buying, selling and shipping heavy machinery. Visiting foreign countries and viewing various economic conditions and cultures made him appreciate and love the United States even more. He has been married to Marilyn Sue Childs Yarbro since 1968. Before and after college he was an avid horseman involved in rodeo, showing, breeding, raising, racing and training quarter and thoroughbred horses. He played violin for two years in the Jackson Junior Symphony Orchestra before playing guitar, piano and violin in a rock and roll band during college at Mississippi State University. "Loved the story and the unique characters. I started reading and couldn't put it down! Great twists and turns throughout the story. And I learned a lot about the rodeo that I never knew before." Contact Mike Yarbro golfer60111@yahoo.com A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund a non profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured rodeo cowboys. In Kindle, Nook, or Ipad format:
May 3, 2016

To London, With 24 Hours Notice. Thanks, Michael Jung!

As soon as Michael Jung won the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, I texted Chronicle managing editor Sara Lieser: “Welp, I guess someone has to go to Badminton to witness this historic moment.”

The potential historic moment of course being Jung now—maybe—going on to win the Rolex Grand Slam. (And yeah, I use “welp” sometimes in texts. Don’t judge.)

Anyway, I was joking, not about the historic moment but about the “going to Badminton” bit.

May 3, 2016

To London, With 24 Hours Notice. Thanks, Michael Jung!

As soon as Michael Jung won the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, I texted Chronicle managing editor Sara Lieser: “Welp, I guess someone has to go to Badminton to witness this historic moment.”

The potential historic moment of course being Jung now—maybe—going on to win the Rolex Grand Slam. (And yeah, I use “welp” sometimes in texts. Don’t judge.)

Anyway, I was joking, not about the historic moment but about the “going to Badminton” bit.

July 13, 2015

Brazil, Timbits And Politeness: The Best Of The Pan Am Games So Far

We’re three days into this two-week competition now, and, as you’ve probably heard, things aren’t going perfectly. There’s been no live streaming. It’s been warm, and there’s no shade for the spectators. There aren’t many food options at the Caledon venue. But, despite the annoyances (and no video is a big one for those of you at home!), I already have plenty of highlights from the Pan American Games in Toronto. Here are a couple, in no particular order.    

March 11, 2015

Can Eventing Be Safer? Formula One Says It Can

If you’ve never watched a Formula One race, you should stop reading this immediately. Go watch one. Go at least watch a short clip of one.

Formula One is amazing. It’s ridiculously fast cars—up to 220 miles per hour—navigating technical, turning courses. The drivers are strapped in but still somewhat exposed. It looks like the most dangerous thing in the world.

But it’s not—at all. At least, not anymore.

January 14, 2014

You Don't Have To Ride To Learn

When I moved my horse and myself from the horsey mecca of Middleburg, Va., back to the non-horsey Knoxville, Tenn., one of my major concerns was that my riding would quickly go from “semi-passable” to “terrible.” There are few trainers in Knoxville, and even fewer who specialize in dressage or eventing. Without frequent lessons, wouldn’t I forget everything trainers had tried to drill into me for decades?

Comments

groro
2 years 35 weeks ago

Horsie stuff in Knoxville

Dear Lisa: I am a joint Master of the Tennessee Valley Hunt Club that hunts in and around East Tennessee from south of Knoxville in Venore northeast past Greeneville. We would love to invite you to follow our Pennmarydels in the hunt field. Rosemarie Merle-Smith, MFH Tennessee Valley Hunt Club Virginia Field Hunters www.virginiafieldhunters.com
January 10, 2013

To Horsey Paradise And Back

About three and a half years ago, I packed all my belongings and my mare and moved to Middleburg, Va., for a job with the Chronicle. I’d never been to Middleburg before my interview, but once there, I could scarcely believe my eyes. To put it mildly, Middleburg is a horse lover’s paradise, and if you’ve never visited, I highly recommend you take a trip.

There are three tack shops in the village alone, and I once counted 12 four-star event riders living and teaching in the 30-mile radius surrounding Middleburg. There might be more I missed.

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