Friday, May. 24, 2024

Competitors and Their Canine Companions Part 3

We checked in with some more riders and their cuddly companions.
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Spend a day at any event and you’re bound to see a dog at the end of a leash (hopefully!) of a top rider. We decided to seek out a few more riders and their special friends at the Jaguar Land Rover Bromont CCI in Canada this weekend.

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to see more canine companions and be sure to email lindsay@chronofhorse.com if you know a special dog worthy of a profile.

Sally Cousins and Snuffles, Lewis and Lala

Sally Cousins and her husband, Nat, bring three “badly trained” dogs to events (from left: Snuffles, Lewis and Lala). Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Sally Cousins can often be spotted with several fluffy dogs in tow, but did you know that they’re rare breeds?

Lala, 15, and Snuffles, 3, are Petit Bassett Griffon Vendéen’s, a French hunting breed.

Lewis is a new addition to the pack. He’s a 4-month-old Sealyham Terrier that Cousins and her husband, Nat, recently brought into their family after their other older “PBGB”, Fishy, died.

“They told me Lala had a couple months to live three and a half years ago and here she still is,” Sally said. “Snuff’s never been by herself. We weren’t quite ready to get Lewis, and it came as quite a shock that [Fishy] got sick. We thought Snuff needed a chance to get used to a new friend.”

Cousins grew up across the street from Elizabeth Streeter’s Skycastle Bassetts in Chester Springs, Pa., and has owned several over the years.

“As a kid, I hunted on foot with a Bassett pack, and I didn’t know it was an unusual or rare breed because there were 20 across the street. When we decided to get Snuffle a friend, we were afraid to get another hound because these dogs hunt,” she explained.

Enter Lewis. He and Lala came from the same breeder who breeds both PBGBs and Sealyhams.

Even though Sally’s only had Lewis for three weeks, he’s already been to four events and loves it. He tends to annoy Snuffles and Lala, and has already chewed through one of Sally’s phone chargers, but makes friends everywhere he goes.

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Since Lala is so old, she gets to be carried everywhere, while Snuffles, who has her own Facebook page, likes to go on course walks and ride in the front seat of the truck.

At home, the dogs like hanging out at the barn but usually stay home when Sally goes to teach away from the farm all day.

“I always bring them a treat when I come home from teaching,” she said. “That way I make sure they love me better than Nat! More than one person has pointed out to me this weekend that I should not train dogs. My skills do not lie there.

“Because Lala is so old and Lewis is so young, we don’t actually sleep very much,” she joked. “They don’t seem to get their schedules coordinated. But they’re fun dogs. They go everywhere with us.”

Notoriously hard to train, Sally’s two PBGBs live up to that mantra, but since Lewis is so young, Sally has hope he’ll be a little less rogue.

“They don’t even come to their names!” she said with a laugh. “They know their names, they just don’t respond to them. They know how to run to the refrigerator and ‘Everybody get in the truck.’

“They’re good dogs, badly trained!” she said.

Selena O’Hanlon and Bizzy

Selena O’Hanlon’s Bizzy loves riding on the motorbike. Photo by Taylor Joyce.

Selena O’Hanlon has the ultimate traveling lap dog. Whether she’s back at the barns, ringside, riding her dirt bike, golf cart or driving a car, her black and tan Irish Jack Russell Terrier, Bizzy*, is sure to be within arm’s length. Bizzy was a gift from Bruce Davidson, who’s coached O’Hanlon since she was 7 and still remains her greatest idol. He breeds Jack Russell Terriers as well as horses.

“I didn’t really need a dog; I usually rescue dogs, and I already had two, but she was literally the size of a gerbil in the cup of his hand!” said O’Hanlon. “And he said, ‘Do you want this?’ And I said, ‘Yes!’ And I got to pick her up at Jersey Fresh [N.J.], and I carried her around in a little rubber dog dish; she was so little—she was the runt of the litter. And I carried her around in that all day, and then I drove nine hours home with her curled up in my lap. She’s a great traveling dog; I don’t know if it’s because of that, but she sits in the truck, and she’ll go for hours; she doesn’t need a potty break. And she still sits curled up in my lap between the steering wheel and me, which I’m sure isn’t safe but that’s just where she sits.

“She’s the most entertaining animal I’ve ever had,” she continued. “When she was really little, she couldn’t go to the barn because she wasn’t horse savvy, and she had to stay in the house in a little kennel, so for exercise at the end of the day I would ride my bike really really slow, in first gear, and she’d run as fast as she could, and each night she was able to run further and further. I think that’s where her addiction to the bike came!”

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Bizzy can now do a running leap onto the bike when O’Hanlon’s driving in first gear and hop on for the ride unassisted. She walked her first three-star course at Bromont.

O’Hanlon lost her two other rescue dogs of mixed breeding to old age (they were 17 and 18 years old!) so now Bizzy, 5, is the queen of the barn. In fact, she’s so popular with clients and boarders that O’Hanlon bred her once, and she had one puppy. Now she has two grandchildren, owned by O’Hanlon’s clients, who run around the barn with her making for a cute barn posse.

O’Hanlon grew up with family dogs. “As soon as I was old enough I convinced my mom to let me have my own! She keeps me company; I really enjoy her company, especially on long drives.”

*Not to be confused with Karen O’Connor’s wire-haired black and tan Jack Russell Terrier, Bizy. “When I found out Karen’s dog was named Bizy, I changed the spelling to Bizzy!” said O’Hanlon with a laugh.

Kate Chadderton and Sunny and Digger

Kate Chadderton’s Digger (left) and Sunny (right) made the trip to the U.S. with her from Australia. Photo by Taylor Joyce.

Of all the traveling horse show dogs at Bromont, Sunny and Digger would probably win most worldly. They made the trip to Kate Chadderton’s base in Woodbine, Md., from Australia when the Aussie eventer relocated Stateside in 2008. Sunny is named after the famous Australian racehorse, Sunline, and Chadderton got her at 5 weeks old as a Christmas gift from her mother, who’d found an ad for puppies in the local newspaper. Sunny’s close to 9 years old now.

“That’s all I wanted for Christmas!” said Chadderton of the Border Collie-Kelpie-Blue Heeler, a popular mix down under. “She’s my best friend. She tore her ACL not long ago, so she’s got a plate and six screws, and she’s still lame on it.” Chadderton found Digger while training in Aiken, S.C., four years ago because she wanted a companion for Sunny.

“I love the cattle dogs, so I just went through the trading post in Aiken and found him just outside of Augusta,” she said. “It was like a trailer full of cattle dog puppies! He thinks he’s living a really tough life, but I think he’s living the best life! I have a couple girls that come to shows with me, so he’s like their protector. He keeps everything under control; he makes sure everything’s organized, the horses go where they’re supposed to and don’t step out of line! He’ll stand at their doors and make sure no one goes in there with them.

“He’s everyone’s best friend; he loves people. And then Sunny’s like my right hand man—she’s never too far away from me! They walk the courses; they’re at about the four-star level. They can do most of the four-star courses and are very proficient at intermediate!” she added with a laugh.

Beau Guimond and Ally

Beau Guimond found Ally while truck shopping. Photo by Taylor Joyce.

If you look closely at Bromont CCI* winner Beau Guimond’s stalls in the stabling area at an event, you might notice a tiny dog curled up in a horse blanket, or more likely, perched in the arms of one of her many adoring fans. Ally, a 1-year-old Yorkie, found an unlikely path into barn life with Guimond. He was truck shopping in Aiken last spring, and there happened to be a litter of puppies for sale there.

“My girlfriend Jackie [Imholte] would not let me leave without her!” said Guimond. “She’s a small dog, but she’s a great dog because she travels well, she doesn’t take up much space in the bed, which is great, because I like to sleep!”

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