Thursday, May. 23, 2024

Behind The Stall Door With: Consent

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If he was human, junior hunter Consent would be a good-vibes-only dude, his owner Kat Fuqua said.

“I think ‘Kent’ would probably own a sandwich shop or something somewhere on the beach,” she said. “I think that would definitely be Kent. Just a really genuine, nice person.”

While the bay gelding may have a laidback attitude, in the ring he’s all class. The 11-year-old Westphalian (Los Angeles—Fiones) bred by Heinz U. Elisabeth Schulte originally was owned by Larry Glefke and Kent Farrington. He got his start in the hunter ring in 2018 with Kelley Farmer aboard, and in his second show he was reserve in the 3′ green hunter, 6 and over, at Capital Challenge (Maryland). The following year he was circuit champion in the green conformation at the Winter Equestrian Festival (Florida), champion at the National Horse Show (Kentucky) and grand champion at Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic (Ohio). In addition he was a consistent ribbon winner in USHJA international hunter derbies, including winning at Chagrin and Equifest II (Illinois). His 2019 season culminated in U.S. Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year titles in the 3’6″ greens, money won, and green conformation hunters, increment and money won.

Kat Fuqua and Consent. Kimberly Loushin Photos

“I just remember the first time I tried him—there was this big jump; it was completely solid,” Fuqua said. “It was a log jump, and it was huge, and we were in this big field, and my trainer was like, ‘Just jump it and see what he does.’ He was absolutely perfect over it. That’s probably when I knew this was the horse. He’s just super sweet and honest.”

Fuqua showed him for the first time during WEF 6 in 2020, earning a reserve championship. Their partnership was so successful from the start that they earned the circuit championship as well. The pair earned a tricolor at nearly every show they entered, including a championship at the National, where they also had fourth-placed finish in the $50,000 NHS Hunter Classic to earn the HOTY in the small junior, 15 and under, division and the grand champion junior hunter, 15 and under, title. Their success continued in 2021 with another circuit championship at WEF, a reserve championship at the Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships—East (Pennsylvania), a championship at Pennsylvania National and the National. They earned their third WEF circuit championship in 2022 before winning the reserve championship at Devon (Pennsylvania). He sat out the second half of the season due to injury and returned to the ring midway through WEF this year, earning top ribbons once again. He’ll compete at Devon again this May.

Go behind the stall door with us.

• The origin of his barn name is pretty simple. He was initially co-owned by Kent Farrington, so he was dubbed “Kent.” But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get called a plethora of nicknames when it suits the moment.

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“I’ll come up with some on the spot,” Fuqua said. “He’s always doing some silly kind of face or whatever. I always kind of make fun of him for that. He’s really funny, and he’s always doing something to make me laugh.”

Consent often makes silly faces.

• So what kinds of things does he do to make her laugh?

“Whenever you give him a treat he reaches his head as far out as possible to you and twists his head,” she said.

• Apples are at the top of his treat list, but he also enjoys his GumBits. “I always give [GumBits] to him at the ring, so that’s kind of his habit now,” she said. “I give them to him right before I get on and usually after too to reward him.”

And on his absolutely-not-I-will-spit-out-immediately list? Peppermints.

“He doesn’t like any mint-flavored things,” Fuqua said. “He won’t eat them.”

Kisses for Consent.

• Fuqua described him as being sweet with almost everyone, but there an exception: Fuqua’s other horses.

“If I’m ever riding another horse or if I’m walking another horse, he gets really angry,” she said. “He gets really jealous. He doesn’t really like other horses that much, especially if I’m near them or petting them. He puts his ears back. He’s a little bit protective of me I think.”

And while he doesn’t enjoy it when Fuqua gives other horses attention, he does generally get along with them—as long as they don’t invade his personal space.

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• Because of his “surfer dude” personality, he can be lazy to ride.

“He’s a little bit of a kick ride,” she said. “He’s a little slow, so when I’m warming up I really have to gallop him and get him in front of my leg.

“He’s really calm,” she added. “He’s never really been stressed out. He’s always relaxed. He’s happy to be at the show. He’s never sour about it or nervous. He’s a really calm, relaxed kind of chill horse.”

• If there were a horse version of the pony hunt teams complete with over-the-top costumes and music? Sign him up!

“Every year for Christmas I put on a onesie, and I jump him bareback, so that’s kind of a routine kind of thing to do,” she said. “He’s OK with kind of anything.”

• Fuqua likes to have fun with him when they’re at home in Atlanta.

“I do a lot of bareback with him because he’s really good about it, and we have a lot of fun doing that,” she said. “My mom helps me with a lot of flatwork at home, and we’ll do some cavalettis and gymnastic work and maybe a little bit of jumping, but when we’re home we focus on the flatting and just letting them relax.”

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