The blue ribbon hanging from Sundance's bridle after the Western District qualifier for the Centennial Field Hunter Championships wasn't just another prize for Terry Olsen. "This horse was a project, and over the years, people have told me to get rid of him, asking me why I keep him. So, I think it was a very special win," she said.
Schaefer Raposa is certainly no stranger to horse shows. With her father, David, a grand prix rider, and her mother, Kara Hanly Raposa, a top hunter rider, she's got riding genes to spare. And at her first Devon Horse Show Junior Weekend, May 27-29 in Devon, Pa., Schaefer made it clear that she intends to follow in their winning footsteps.
Mike Shilling's daughter, Angela, showed Clever Caution for six years before she moved on to other interests and the Thoroughbred mare retired from the show ring. When Clever Caution returned to the Shillings' farm in Manhattan, Kan., Mike decided to breed her.
On Sept. 21-22, that decision paid off as Patty Stovel rode Shilling's Count On Me (Viscount--Clever Caution, With Caution) to the 4-year-old grand championship at the International Hunter Futurity Finals, in Lexington, Ky.
George Morris has seen his share of legendary horses, and his evaluation of Royal Kaliber is succinct: "He's just a grand horse. It's an old-fashioned expression, but it fits. I don't say that about many horses."
Ian Millar said he felt 10 years younger after anchoring the Canadian team to a thrilling win the $50,000 CN Samsung Nations Cup. The class, held Friday evening under the lights, was a highlight of the U.S. Cosequin Finale CSIO, on March 10-14, the last week of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla.
"I can't tell you how sweet a night like this is. I aged after the first round and got younger after the second!" he quipped.
"She's proof that if you want it, you can get it," said trainer Christina Schlusemeyer of Megan Young, who rode to win the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Final.
Young, 17, doesn't own a horse of her own, and does all her winning on catch rides. The blue in the Medal final capped a spectacular weekend for Young at the Pennsylvania National Junior Weekend, Oct. 14-17 in Harrisburg, Pa. She also guided Navigator to the grand junior hunter and large junior, 16-17, championships, and claimed the best child rider on a horse award.
Kenny Wheeler has seen a lot of quality horses in his time, and he thinks that SpanishSpear is "one of the best colts I've ever had. He's a beautiful colt with a lot of class, and he's one of the best-moving colts I've ever shown," Wheeler said.
On June 1, at the Devon Horse Show in Devon, Pa., judges Rodney Jenkins and Phil De-Vita agreed, picking Spanish Spear as the Best Young Horse for the second consecutive year.
Billie Steffee compares watching the offspring of her stallion, All The Gold, perform to "watching your grandchildren. And they come in all shapes, sizes and colors," she said.
Steffee's prodigies outdid themselves at the International Hunter Futurity Finals, in Lexington, Ky., on Sept. 22-23. Two full siblings, Gold Digger and Gold's Gone Fishin' (All The Gold--Silver Surf, The Silver Prince) claimed the 3-year-old grand championship and the 4-year-old reserve grand championship, respectively.