Friday, Jun. 14, 2024

UNI GRIFFON

Uni Griffon, an up-and-coming advanced event horse, collapsed and died after completing the cross-country phase of the Maui Jim Horse Trials (Ill.) on July 11. He was 10.

Owner and rider Lisa Marie Fergusson, Vancouver, B.C., first met “Uni” when he was just 2 days old at breeder Carol McDonald’s farm in Langley, B.C. The 26-year-old Canadian rider had a strong bond with the Welsh Cob-Thoroughbred gelding, whom she trained herself.

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Uni Griffon, an up-and-coming advanced event horse, collapsed and died after completing the cross-country phase of the Maui Jim Horse Trials (Ill.) on July 11. He was 10.

Owner and rider Lisa Marie Fergusson, Vancouver, B.C., first met “Uni” when he was just 2 days old at breeder Carol McDonald’s farm in Langley, B.C. The 26-year-old Canadian rider had a strong bond with the Welsh Cob-Thoroughbred gelding, whom she trained herself.

Fergusson rode Uni for the first time when he was 2 years old. He was in the field, and she climbed onto a hay feeder and mounted him using nothing but a halter and a lead rope. Their relationship moved to the next level three years later when Uni helped Fergusson attain her “A” Pony Club rating just two days after he turned 5, the minimum age required to participate in Pony Club. They received the highest marks of all the “A” candidates in Canada that year.

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Under the tutelage of David O’Connor and Leslie Law, the pair moved up to advanced in 2007 and won their third advanced outing, the MCTA CIC*** (Md.). Uni Griffon continued to enjoy success at the upper levels, notably winning the CCI** at the Florida Fall International Three-Day Event last November, and he was long-listed for the Canadian Equestrian Team in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Fergusson found so much success with Uni Griffon that she now owns his 4-year-old full brother and 5-year-old half-brother.

“They’re definitely showing a lot of potential,” Fergusson said, “but I think Uni was one of a kind.”

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