Kim Severson has been given Thai Olympian Nina Ligon’s former advanced horse Fernhill Fearless to compete at the upper levels.
Ligon sold her string of advanced horses last year, but she decided to keep Fernhill Fearless.
“Sparky” was laid up with an injury for much of the year and fellow eventer Will Faudree’s groom, Natalie Varcoe-Cocks, rehabbed him. He was ready to compete this season, and Varcoe-Cocks rode him in a division of training level at the Longleaf Pine Horse Trials (N.C.) in April.
According to Severson, when Ligon decided she wasn’t going to ride while attending Stanford University (Calif.), she and her mother Pan decided to give “Sparky” to Severson permanently. “I’m very thankful have another horse of that level and caliber. Thank you to them for thinking of me. To have a horse to go advanced again is pretty amazing,” said Severson.
Although she had coached Ligon on Sparky, Severson admitted she didn’t know him very well. She’s planning on competing him at preliminary at the Virginia Horse Trials, May 23-26, before moving up to intermediate. “I think I only rode him once the whole time Nina had him, so I don’t really know him. It’ll be a good chance for me to get to know him,” she said.
“He’s super fun. We’ve been doing some dressage rides to try and get that sorted out, and I’ve jumped him a couple of times. He’s pretty amazing,” Severson said. “Everybody’s always loved this horse. He lacks in the movement in the dressage, [but] it is possible to get a little more out of him. He’s a goer and a good show jumper. He’s just a cool horse.”
Severson hopes to compete Sparky at the Fair Hill CCI*** (Md.) in the fall.