Grand Regular Hunter; Regular Working Hunter
Accepting Sequel’s second consecutive regular working hunter national title was bittersweet for owner and rider Terry Brown. As 2007 started, she lost Sequel to complications from colic, on Jan. 11.
Brown didn’t just lose one of the top hunters in the country; she lost one of her best friends. “I tell you, it’s very difficult. At night, I always walk down the aisle of the barn. It didn’t matter what time it was, there was always only one head hanging out, and it was Sequel’s. It’s hard because now I walk down the aisle, and there’s no head hanging out–they’re all eating or sleeping,” she said.
Brown, Canton, Ga., didn’t make the national title a goal in 2006. She showed Sequel at only 15 horse shows, and his last show was in the first week of August. But Sequel was champion at 12 of those shows and reserve champion at the other three.
“It certainly wasn’t a case of point-chasing, or trying to be horse of the year. I think it’s just unusual that a horse wins just about every time he walks into the ring,” said Brown. “I had planned not to do indoors, and just take time off. I did have my eye on the title for 2007 or 2008.
“I really enjoyed that Sequel was an older horse by today’s standards. I looked forward to a lot of years proving that the older horses have so much to offer. I see all the time that people say, ‘Oh, he’s 9, that’s too old.’ It was nice having a 13-year-old horse at the top of his game.”
Although Brown makes a living training and selling hunters, Sequel was definitively her own horse. “Truthfully, Sequel was my amateur hunter. There was no pressure, no owner expectations. It was just a case of seeing how good he could be on any given day,” she said.
“He was pretty much the ideal hunter for me. He was a very good mover with a smooth, rhythmical canter,” she said. “He had a lot of range and scope, and he was plenty careful enough. His pictures are testament to his jump. I feel like he was very much the ideal horse. He was difficult and spooky enough that he always kept you on your toes, but the best thing about him was the partnership we had. I knew how to read him, and it was so nice to have a horse that you knew that well.
“You can imagine the offers I had to buy him, and he had a bit of a fan club,” she added. “Those people knew him and loved him for what he was, which was everybody’s dream horse for themselves. He was never a commodity to me. What I will remember of him is walking out to his field at night, and having him come trotting up to the fence in the dark to say hello. I treasured that relationship.”
Brown is now trying to track down a 2-year-old half-brother to Sequel.
Regular Conformation Hunter
Midway through the HITS Desert Circuit (Calif.) last year, trainer Archie Cox saw a striking bay gelding that Rudy Leone had for sale. He put the horse together with his student Amy Brubaker. Fenwick had been imported as a grand prix jumper prospect but had been showing in the amateur-owner hunters.
Now 11, the Hanoverian earned division championships up and down the coast of California with Cox and Peter Lombardo in the irons. “He’s one of the most fun horses to ride. He has huge scope and a tremendous amount of ability. I’ve never thought a jump was too high for him,” said Cox.
“We showed in the regular conformation division to get him some more experience in the hunter ring,” added Cox. “I really enjoyed riding him all the time.” Fenwick earned tricolor honors at the Oaks Blenheim Spring Classic I and II shows, the Showpark June Jamboree Festival, the Showpark Racing Festival and the Del Mar International, among many others in California.
Brubaker, Pasadena, Calif., also showed Fenwick in the amateur-owner division, and in the adult equitation classes. For the 2007 season, Fenwick has been leased to a junior rider from northern California.
Grand Conformation Hunter; Green Conformation Hunter
“Quality Time is just a spectacular horse,” said trainer Archie Cox, who rode the bay gelding to the national title. “He’s a beautiful mover. He’s got a huge desire to do it the right way. He’s quiet, easy and willing, and has a great personality. He’s one of the happiest horses. He’s always looking for a cookie, and he’s a pleasure to have in the barn. He comes out of his stall every day looking to please whoever is with him.”
Cox found Quality Time in December 2005 for owner Laura Wasserman, who also shows him in the amateur-owner division. Wasser-man, Woodland, Calif., and Quality Time finished fifth in that division’s year-end standings and collected ribbons at the Pennsylvania National and Washington (D.C.) International horse shows on the East Coast.
Quality Time, 9, a Hanoverian (Landfriese II–Dorella), didn’t show often in the green conformation division after August but was reserve champion at the Capital Challenge (Md.) with Jennifer Alfano substituting for Cox.
According to Cox, Quality Time’s charm is his user-friendliness. “Even if you make a mistake on him, you’re still so happy to be riding him. It doesn’t matter,” he said.
In 2007, Quality Time will be competing in the amateur-owner division with Wasserman.
Grand Green Hunter; First Year Green Hunter
Jenny Karazissis is one of the best-known hunter riders in California, but it wasn’t until Tonia Cook Looker’s Oracle came along that she earned her first national title.
“I ride a lot of horses, and when I found out this was something that was within my reach, I was very excited because it’s not something that I’ve accomplished before. It really felt like it was a big accomplishment. It took everybody’s doing–him being such a fabulous horse, her being such a great owner,” she said.
Oracle, 8, a Swedish Warmblood (Corland–Harmony), lives with Cook Looker at her farm in San Dimas, Calif., and meets Karazissis at shows. “He goes to the shows, and then she takes him home. He doesn’t jump between shows at all. He just gets turned out, and she hacks him. She’s a very good caretaker,” said Karazissis.
“We didn’t start out the year thinking to be horse of the year, but he’d been champion a bunch of times. He never took a bad step all year, and he felt to me like–at the last show of the year–he went as brilliantly as he did the first show, so that’s nice that he wasn’t over it,” she added.
Oracle’s title is all the more impressive because he had to take six weeks off from showing in July and August to recover from surgery to fix a hernia. “The hernia was the kind of thing that appeared and disappeared, so Tonia wasn’t really sure what was going on. Every time it showed up, by the time the vet was there, it would be gone. The vets said that it was amazing that he hadn’t colicked,” Karazissis said.
Oracle underwent laparoscopic surgery and returned to showing without missing a beat. “When he came back from that, he was even better than he’d been before. So, we believe that all the time I was competing him before, he was hurting with this hernia,” said Karazissis.
In 2007, Oracle will show occasionally in the second year green division with Karazissis, and he and Looker are working toward the amateur-owner division.
Grand Junior Hunter, 15 and Under; Large Junior, 15 and Under; Second Year Green Hunter
According to trainer Mike McCormick, Take Me wins because it’s obvious that he enjoys his job. “He’s very happy and alert. If anything, he’s almost a little too exuberant about it. With as many classes as he won, and as much success as he’s had, he’s also lost a lot of classes because he’d jump in the air and kick out after a jump to celebrate. That’s cool if he’s a jumper, but not in the hunter ring,” said McCormick.
“I can’t tell you how many times he’d just be having a good time and he’d jump out of a line and just jump up into the air and kick out. I’d tell him, ‘Holy cow, could you have a little less fun?’ He’s a good athlete and a great jumper, and he goes equally as well for his junior rider as he does for the professional.”
Tracy Fenney rode “Terry” to the second year green title, while owner Chris Nelson, Flower Mound, Texas, rode the flashy chestnut to the large junior, 15 and under, national honors. Terry is a 7-year-old by Voltaire.
With Fenney, Terry was champion or reserve in 18 of the 22 shows he competed in, while with Nelson, he was champion or reserve in 20 of the 27 shows they started. Nelson would also occasionally ride Terry in the second year classes.
Fenney and McCormick found Terry three years ago at S&L Farms. “We started him in the pre-greens, and then the first years and the second years. He was quite a talented one–a lot about him showed us that he was something special,” Fenney said.
Nelson has been riding and showing Terry since he bought him. “He’s a great rider, so it’s easy to make the transition,” Fenney said. And with Nelson, Terry earned ribbons at the Pennsylvania National in the large junior, 15 and under, division.
Amateur-Owner Hunter, 18-35
Burberry’s come a long way from the field in Louisiana where Michael and Ashley Dennehy found her as a broodmare 21ï¿½2 years ago. Ashley had some reservations about the chestnut Hanoverian at first, but those soon vanished as the pair began to win ribbon after ribbon in the amateur-owner division.
Based in Colorado, Ashley trains with her husband Michael and also with Peter Pletcher. She and “Berry” were almost unbeatable in 2006, starting off the year by winning the overall circuit championship at HITS Arizona after taking home tricolors all four weeks that she showed there.
They continued their winning ways in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado before heading east to contest the fall indoor shows. Berry picked up good ribbons at the Pennsyl-vania National Horse Show and was reserve champion at the Washington (D.C.) International. She then returned home and won every class she entered at the Show For Champions (Colo.) and the Arizona Season Finale.
Although nobody could be bothered to go look at Berry when she was standing in a field, the Dennehys have had plenty of offers since she started winning. But Ashley said she would never sell her now.
Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter; Amateur-Owner Hunter, 36 and Over
WHAT D’YA KNOW
While the Dennehys wouldn’t part with Burberry, they were responsible for pairing Lee Cesery up with her amateur horse What D’Ya Know.
Cesery knew from the moment she sat on “Snickers” that she’d found the perfect match for her. “I wasn’t able to get him right away, but it was this feeling that he was going to be a great horse for me,” she said. “He has a real solid feel and a really light mouth. He’s super comfortable, like riding a big couch.”
That was four years ago, and Snickers has been winning for Cesery ever since. “He’s very consistent. He has cruise control,” she said. “You get him up to a certain pace and he stays on that pace the whole way around the course.
“This year was the most I’ve ever shown consistently,” added Cesery. “I’d do a couple of shows and then give him a couple of weeks off. He knows his job. He’s a great amateur horse. He takes care of me. I don’t have to worry about him looking at the jumps.”
Snickers, 10, a Hanoverian (Cashman–Wonne), lives at home with Cesery in St. Augustine, Fla. “He gets ridden five days a week so he stays in shape,” she said. “If I don’t go out to ride, then I’ll stick him on the treadmill for 30 minutes. He’s always doing something.”
Cesery said that Snickers thinks he’s a star, but he might not be in the spotlight as much this year. “He’s got some competition now because I have a second amateur horse,” she said. “I’m not going to try to be horse of the year again. I’m going to go do some special shows, do some different horse shows.”
Grand Junior Hunter, 16-17; Small Junior Hunter, 16-17
Spending a year showing Stephanie Keen’s Lyle was a dream come true for Megan Massaro. “It just got better and better,” said Massaro of her last year as a junior. “He was my favorite one to ride. I really looked forward to riding him.”
Massaro earned the ride on Lyle through her trainer, Don Stewart Jr., when Susan Rinehart and her daughter, Keen, believed that it wasn’t quite time for Lyle to retire.
“I’m so thankful to Don for considering me as a rider,” said Massaro. “I was really excited and nervous because he’s so fancy and had such a record. But when I first rode him it worked out. He’s really sensitive and that’s a good match for me. I like ones that have their own motor.”
Massaro started the 14-year-old, gray Dutch Warmblood at Jacksonville (Fla.), won a championship off the bat, and never looked back. “We just sort of clicked,” she said. “He has a really good feel. He’s my type, so scopey, such a good jumper and so much fun.”
Her best memory of the year was her last show at the National Horse Show (Fla.) in December. “I won every jumping class, I was champion and then I won the $25,000 classic,” she said.
Massaro headed off to focus on her studies at the University of South Carolina after her banner year with Lyle. Samantha Schaefer took over the ride on Lyle for Jacksonville in 2007, winning the $25,000 Jacksonville Jerry Parks Insurance/”Artists” by Timothy Priano Open Hunter Classic, just as Massaro had the year before.
“It was a great opportunity given to me by the Rineharts,” said Massaro. “It was sad for me to be done, but it ended on such a good note.”
Large Junior Hunter, 16-17
Providence began his first year of showing in the juniors just a tad on the green side, according to Nick Haness, but by the end of 2006 he was clocking around like a professional.
The 8-year-old Danish Warmblood, who was owned by Douglas Dolezal and John Bragg, had just moved up to the second year green division, so Bragg decided Haness should show him in the junior hunters to give Providence more mileage.
“It helped him doing two divisions a week, rather than one,” said Haness. “He learned a lot and got a lot more ring time. His maturity level went way up as he got that much more experience and rideability.”
A talented athlete, Providence had to learn to channel his energy into his job. “He was always very competitive but kind of a funny horse,” explained Haness. “He picked and chose what shows he liked. Most of the time he was good, but he was always different to ride.”
Once in the ring, Haness said that Providence gave him the best feeling over the fences. “He could jump so high over a 3’6″ jump. He’s got a big stride and always had a lofty, slow, high jump. You always felt like you could count to five in the air,” he said.
Haness wasn’t sure how Providence would take to the indoor shows on the East Coast, but he did very well, winning tricolors at Capital Challenge (Md.) and a reserve championship at the Pennsylvania National.
Haness finished his junior career and is going on to open a satellite barn for Bragg in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Junior rider Max Thompson bought Providence at the end of the season.
Small Junior Hunter, 15 and Under
Breckenridge isn’t the first horse that Nicoletta Von Heidegger has ridden to Horse of the Year honors, but he’s earned a special place in her heart with his consistency and competitiveness.
“He’s a blast to show,” said the 15-year-old. “He has an incredible jump, unlike any other hunter I’ve ridden. He makes me feel safe. He’s competitive and a pleasure to ride.”
Heidegger, Chatsworth, Calif., acquired “Bacon” two years ago from Mary Ann Weisberg-Perry as a horse to move into the juniors with, but he turned out to be far more competitive than she’d anticipated.
“He’s been great at every horse show,” said Heidegger. “Every round feels very nice. Everything feels smooth. I never had a round with him that didn’t feel good.”
The pair was champion or reserve at almost every show they attended. Her highlights included Devon (Pa.) where they scored a 92 and Menlo Charity (Calif.) where they earned tricolors and scored a 97 and a 93 in the classic. Heidegger also won the West Coast Junior Hunter Championships (Calif.) with Breckenridge and took the championship at the Washington (D.C.) International.
“With Breckenridge I feel confident that if I perform to my best he won’t let me down,” said Heidegger. “He’s a great horse, a great character, a great heart, competitive in the ring and one of the best I’ve had.”
Small Pony Hunter
More often than not, Madison Brayman’s good luck charm comes in the form of a nibble to the neck. Fortunately, it’s not her own, though. “My sister has a pony, and whenever she bites her on the neck, then Tippy’s really good,” said 11-year-old Brayman, explaining her bevy of wins in 2006 with Tippy Hedron, a gray Welsh-Thoroughbred (Carolina’s Red Fox–Jo’Anne D’Arc) owned by Sarah Scribner. This small pony is no stranger to national titles, having won the green championship and the small pony reserve championship twice since the mid ’90s.
This year, she carried Brayman, Charles-town, R.I., to top-ten finishes in classes at the Pennsylvania National, Devon (Pa.) and the USEF Pony Finals (Ky.) “We showed at Washington (D.C) [International] and we didn’t get anything, but that’s OK because I was really happy we got there,” said Brayman, who was also named the Pony Sportsmanship Award winner at the Pennsylvania National.
“It’s a privilege to own a pony like this,” said Sarah’s mother, Lisa Scribner. “I think we got her because she was difficult. She was a tough pony, with a huge step–a little bit on the ready side, but that’s pretty much disappeared by now.”
Now 16, Tippy’s owners and riders have made a concerted effort to preserve the pony physically and mentally, giving her plenty of turnout during the week so that she’s happy in the show ring. “She is incredibly brave and can always get down the lines because she’s got scope to spare,” said Scribner.
“I’ve got to say that the kids that have ridden her have gone on to be better riders,” Scribner added, referring to riders such as Molly Sullivan, Alexandra Arute and Maggie McAlary.
“Frankly, I think her best years are still in front of her,” said Scribner.
Grand Pony Hunter; Medium Pony Hunter
In 2006, Rockport had the distinct honor of helping 13-year-old Samantha Schaefer capture a title she’d never been able to win before–the USEF Pony Medal. After seven years of competing in the Pony Finals, Schaefer rode “Tony” and topped 201 other riders for the title. Although she’d planned to use a more experienced mount for the medal finals, Schaefer’s decision to give her greener pony some more show ring experience paid off.
Imported from Germany two years ago as a sale project for the Schaefers, the 9-year-old gelding was initially rather difficult to handle. “When he first came, he was just off the truck from Europe and wasn’t really broke on the ground,” said Schaefer, Westminster, Md. But his jumping abilities and fluid movement soon made a good impression, and the family purchased the medium bay for their daughter.
“He’s a real winner,” said Sam’s mother, Stacey Schaefer. “He wanted to win, which is really important. We just had to ‘civilize him,’ as we say!”
Aside from Sam’s equitation triumph, Tony’s manners won him the medium pony tricolor at several HITS Ocala (Fla.) shows early last year, as well as at the Pennsylvania National and the Middleburg Classic (Va.) in the fall. He and Sam also took reserve cham-pionship honors at the Upperville Colt and Horse Show (Va.) in June.
This year Sam will move up to the junior hunters, and Tony will be making the rounds with his new owner, Hannah Holik, who took over the reins in November. “If it was my choice I wouldn’t have sold him,” said Sam lovingly. “We bonded. He got a good home, though.”
Large Pony Hunter
It was a colorful year for Paige Dekko, 16, as she and Mokoo Jumbee earned a rainbow of ribbons spanning the East Coast from New York to Florida. Dekko, Naples, Fla., got the 12-year-old, black gelding about two years ago, when he was still young and slightly green. Although she was a four-hour drive away from her trainers, Don Stewart Jr. and Bibby Farmer Hill, and wasn’t able to ride during the week, the pair still formed a bond and grew together. “He will do anything for me,” Dekko said.
But the relationship has been a learning experience for pony and rider. “He’s really smart. If I chip or something he gets really mad at me,” she said laughing.
Among their many triumphs last year were the large pony and grand pony hunter titles at Devon (Pa.), where Dekko was also named best child rider on a pony. The latter honor, in particular, came as a surprise to Dekko, who had only one mount at the show. In addition, Mokoo and Dekko were also co-grand champions and took the large pony tricolor at the Washington (D.C.) International in the fall.
“He’s so spoiled,” said Dekko. “Anything for Mokoo! He’s definitely the king of the pony barn at Don Stewart Stables. He definitely knows that he’s the best, and he definitely knows what’s going on. It’s kind of scary. He’s very full of himself when he walks up to the ring.”
Small Green Pony Hunter
DIAMONDS N’ RUST
Last year’s performances by Kibby Schipper’s Diamonds N’ Rust could be called a lot of things, but rusty certainly isn’t one of them. On the contrary, the 7-year-old gelding and his rider Victoria Colvin proved to be a well-oiled ribbon-winning machine, earning top year-end green pony titles at the Littlewood (Fla.) series and the South Florida Hunter Jumper Association.
“Whenever he goes over a jump, he just hops over it, even if it’s really scary,” 9-year-old Colvin said, describing her mount’s bold and direct jumping style. Diamonds N’ Rust also won the reserve championship in the small green pony hunter section at the USEF Pony Finals (Ky.) under catchrider Samantha Schaefer.
Although Schipper has plans to sell the small roan, his future owners and riders may experience some typical pony playfulness in between wins. “He’s just like a clown,” said Victoria’s mother Brigid Colvin, who helps train the pony in Wellington, Fla. “Sometimes he’ll head-butt her, or try to trip her in the jogs. He’s never mean, just always a clown–a good clown. He knows he’s special.”
Medium Green Pony Hunter
According to former owner and rider Amber Henter, Cosmopolitan Girl is the true embodiment of her namesake in equine form. “She can be a brat,” Henter said lovingly of her now-outgrown mount. “She definitely knows that she’s one of the top ponies. She just wants her rider to take her there instead of taking her rider.”
Henter, 14, St. Petersburg, Fla., successfully navigated the spunky German Riding Pony mare through a season of growth–both physical and mental–in 2006. They were named year-end green pony champions in the RMI Mid-Florida series, as well as the North Florida, Central Florida and Florida State Hunter Jumper Associations.
“We didn’t really win off the bat because she was really green,” said Henter. “But she matured really quickly. If we had any problems, we’d usually fix them within a week, and she improved at every show all year.”
In fact, the pair improved themselves all the way to a blue ribbon in the model class and a fifth place overall in the medium green division at the USEF Pony Finals (Ky.) in August. After experiencing a growth spurt of several inches this year, Henter decided it would be best to put the pony up for sale.
It didn’t take long for the flashy mare to catch the eye of 12-year-old Rae Oakley, Charlotte, N.C. “Cosmo Girl was the first pony we tried,” said Oakley, who ventured to the Pony Finals with her family and trainer in search of a new mount. “It was love at first sight!”
The pair won tricolors at the first two shows they entered together, but her connections agreed to send the pony back to Florida so that Henter could finish the 2006 season with her.
The 7-year-old mare can be a difficult ride, but Henter said Oakley, who received the pony as a birthday gift from her grandmother, will be a good fit. “She’s definitely not push-button–she’s a riding experience. I definitely learned how to ride better on her. I think Rae and Cosmo Girl are going to make a really good team.”
Grand Green Pony Hunter; Large Green Pony Hunter
With his wide white blaze and flashy chestnut coloring, About Face is an easily recognizable personality in the large green pony ranks. Owned by Robert and Carol Lind Bryan’s Mill Creek Ponies and piloted by their daughter Sara, “Abe” racked up plenty of points in shows all over the southeast in 2006.
“We weren’t champion in a lot of shows,” said Sara. But the pair finished first in the USEF Zone 4 standings in the large pony division and earned points where they needed then. “We were grand pony champions at the Duke Children’s Benefit [N.C.]. At the River Glen show in Tennessee, we won the pony classic there and got an 88 in our second round,” she added proudly.
Raised on her family’s pony breeding farm in Statesboro, Ga., Sara, 16, has grown out of the pony ranks and is moving into the junior hunters and children’s jumpers. The 8-year-old Welsh-Thoroughbred was bred in Canada and purchased by the Bryans in Wellington, Fla., about 11ï¿½2 years ago.
“I feel very attached and close to him,” Sara said. “He’s a little pushy, but he’s loving and he likes attention a lot. He pretty much knows at a show that he has to be in the zone. You can see him looking around, looking at all of the other ponies.”
Sara is coached by Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw.
Ladies Side-Saddle Hunter
A very special connection between horse and rider was the key to American Idol’s achievements in the side-saddle division. “He’s a difficult horse, but we really just clicked,” said Sandra Conchar, who took up the reins two years ago on “Little Boy.”
“He’s really blossomed under Sandra,” agreed owner Mary Laura Cramer. The pair had some notable wins in 2006 including a blue at Upperville (Va.) in the Sallie Sexton Memorial Side-Saddle Stakes, as well as winning the $10,000 stakes class at the Washington (D.C.) International and tricolors at the National Horse Show (Fla.).
“Washington was my favorite,” said Conchar. “We were reserve champion, and he put in an awesome round. It was barn night, and there were lots of little girls there. We laid down the perfect round and won the $10,000 stakes class. As soon as we landed off the last jump everyone started screaming and cheering.”
What she didn’t mention was that her balance strap broke just before she was due in the ring and only a last-minute intervention with baling twine and a hole punch allowed her to jump around the course at all.
But that’s the kind of relationship Little Boy and Conchar share. “He’s my best friend,” she said. “We’re on the same wave length. I feel like I could have a conversation with him. I make mistakes, and he’ll help me out. He doesn’t like puddles, cracks or anything misplaced, but I forgive him and laugh it off. That makes him willing to work with me. I love that.”
Cramer bought the 13 year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred (Polish Numbers–Really Nice) because he was out of the same dam as her 2001 Horse of the Year Mistress Connie. But it took a while for him to live up to his potential.
“He is truly talented and neurotic,” said Cramer. “I had my doubts, but we’ve stuck with him. He doesn’t like repetition. The more you did it, the worse he got because he felt he was doing something wrong. He requires a lot of work and understanding. He worries.”
Fortunately, Conchar and Cramer find his neuroses amusing and work with him instead of against him. “We had to put a stall on the front porch so he could greet all the guests at a recent party,” admitted Cramer.
Yearling Hunter Breeding
Two years ago, Patricia Michael was looking for a fun way to get back into the show ring. She’d taken 10 years off from riding to raise her children but wanted to rekindle her interest.
“I only got into the hunter breeding because when I was getting back into horses, I didn’t want to put a lot of money into buying a horse that was already going. So, I took the money I had at the time and said, ‘If I want to buy a really nice horse, I’m going to have to go really young,’ ” she said.
Then, she found Ma’czaratti, now 3. And last year she bought Czierra (Alla’ Czar–Rowdy Alphabet), his Oldenburg-Thorough-bred full sister, from breeder Renae Coates. “I went down and looked at her and fell in love with her,” Michael said. She’s continued the trend, and just bought a yearling full sister to the two early this year–Danczer.
“It’s really fun to watch them develop. I do all of my own work at the shows–I groom at the horse shows and at home. It’s fun for me to have that time with the horses. I’m out every day and grooming them and working with them,” said Michael.
The year-end title was a tentative goal for Michael and trainer Doswell “Junior” Johnson. “We were just kind of going with it to see how far we could go. We didn’t want to push her, but we thought we might have a shot at it,” she said. In fact, they also teamed up for Ma’czaratti to take the 3-year-old hunter breeding reserve national title.
“What made me buy ‘Mazzy’ was that his temperament and attitude were so good. They’re very different, but they do have some similarities. I hadn’t been involved with horses for a long time, and I wanted something that I could handle and take care of. That was the whole point–me doing it,” said Michael.
And she hopes that all three will be her rides. Ma’czaratti has been broken by a professional, and she rides him on the flat.
And Czierra might have a future in the International Hunter Futurity. “We’ll definitely do the in-hand, and maybe the 2-year-old under saddle this year; we’ll just play it by ear. I’d love to hack her if it turns out that she’s ready to go. It’s a fun year-end goal, but we let the horses tell us what they’re ready for,” said Michael.
Grand Hunter Breeding; 2-Year-Old Hunter Breeding
FOXY’S REMEMBER WHEN
Foxy’s Remember When’s older brother won two consecutive national titles, and now the flashy chestnut gelding is following in his footsteps. Absolut Magic was USEF Horse of the Year as a yearling in 2003 and a 2-year-old in ’04, and Foxy’s Remember When earned the yearling title last year. They’re both full Thoroughbreds (Absolut–Autumn’s Magic Fox) owned by John W. Kelly Jr. of Middleburg, Va.
Oliver Brown handled Foxy’s Remember When, or “Chewy,” to 15 best young horse titles at shows such as the Lexington National (Va.), the Pennsylvania Hunter Breeder’s Futurity, the Horse & Pony Show at Devon (Pa.), and the Showplace Spring Festival (Md.).