One of our most popular features brings readers behind the scenes with some of horse sport’s greatest athletes. Check out our top 10 “Behind The Stall Door” features of 2020.
Adrienne Sternlicht’s Cristalline is a sassy mare whose alter ego is definitely Beyoncé.
“If Beyoncé were president! She’s super talented, kind of has that quiet confidence in herself, and yet she’s like a savant; she’s kind of nerdy and weird too,” said Sternlicht of the 12-year-old mare.
“Ronda” is the newest star in McLain Ward’s barn, and she definitely thinks she’s a person. Her favorite treats are donuts, sugar cookies, fruit and sugar, and her groom, Corey Gallais, purchased her custom stuffed animals to keep her happy.
“I just got her a rabbit and a teddy bear,” he said. “The rabbit is a Superwoman, and the teddy bear is Wonder Woman. Build your teddy bear at the mall—just for her.”
Meet Adrienne Sternlicht’s gorgeous bay, who is a bit afraid of everything but loves bananas (although not the peels) and his best friend Cristalline.
Georgina Bloomberg’s superstar Chameur 137 is a showman with an appetite for anything, but don’t try to cuddle him!
Ali Ramsay’s Lutz is a colorful character who demands your attention in the stable or in the show ring, where he’s been winning grand prix classes on the West Coast.
“You can’t be within 10 feet of him without giving him attention,” said Ramsay. “He’ll make faces at you until you get close enough for him to nudge you.”
She’s a little unassuming in the stable, but Isabell Werth’s Weihegold OLD saves her fire for the competition ring, where she lights up and wows audiences and judges with her brilliant performances.
Amateur-owner hunter Golden Rule is the light of owner Stephanie Danhakl’s life.
“Once you see him in the ring and his beautiful expression and his jump, I think you’re kind of sold on him,” said Danhakl. “He’s really a special horse.”
Ali Wolff’s first interaction with grand prix partner Casall resulted in a loose horse galloping across the showgrounds, but after eight years together, she’s learned to manage his eccentricities.
Dominic Gibbs’ top equitation partner Cent 15 captured the ASPCA Maclay Finals this year.
“He is one of the sweetest horses I have ever met,” said Gibbs. “He’s so kind and gentle and snuggly on the ground, and he really loves people. Whenever I come into the barn, he knows that I’m there; I don’t even have to make a sound or anything. I’ll just walk up to his stall, and he perks up, ears forward and, ‘Hi, how are you?’ He greets everyone with such kindness, and he’s really a people horse.”
Karl Cook’s stunning gray has a special bond with his groom Jenni Giannini. “We decided that with his personality, it would be best for him to have one person for everything. He really thrives on consistency,” she said.
He objects to the horse treadmill, spa, and even handwalking, but once you get into the saddle, it’s like sitting on a rocket ship.
You can read all the Behind The Stall Door articles here. Check out the rest of our Best Of 2020 coverage, and make sure you follow @chronofhorse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with everything happening in the horse world in the new year.