Thursday, Apr. 18, 2024




It all started with a $25 donation from a para-equestrian. Or maybe it was the 17-year-old truck that set the wheels in motion. The whole thing might even go all the way back to the mare with a broken cannon bone.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when and where Molly Martin began her journey with H Wrendition to the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix National Championship (p. 40), but looking back on it now, it still seems a little surreal to the Redmond, Wash., trainer.

As a child, Valarie Wolf was inspired to paint when she visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and saw a nearly life-sized Landseer painting of horses.

“Oils are my media of choice,” said Wolf, of Irvine, Calif. “I cannot resist the way they blend and the richness they impart to a painting. A favorite aspect of using these amazing paints is the infinite mixture of colors that can be achieved.”

Jonathan Sheppard scores his 14th New York Turf Writers win with a homebred.

My big, fat Italian Wedding? Well, not anymore.

Italian Wedding, as Jonathan Sheppard explained, “was quite small when he was a young horse and a little on the chubby side. He was kind of...cute, but he didn’t look really look like any major race horse. He looked like a fat little pony.”

Championship week in Kentucky showcased a vision a long time in the making.

I just returned from an amazing week in Kentucky, and it was all about hunters! World-class horses and riders all came together for two championship classes, the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships and the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship (see Sept. 2, pgs. 18 & 30).


The Olympic gold medalists eke out the title over the German defending European champions in Denmark.

British hearts jumped into their throats when Hello Sanctos toppled a rail at the first element of the triple combina­tion. In the final round, Scott Brash had enjoyed a cushion of one rail to clinch a gold medal, and now that cushion was gone. Tensions rose.

New partnerships and old friendships pay off with a training level team win in California.

Most people attempting a new level for the first time keep their goals modest—finish on their dressage score or finish in the top 10 perhaps—but during the Shepherd Ranch Horse Trials in Santa Ynez, Calif., held Aug. 23-25, the four members of the winning training team at The Chronicle of the Horse/USEA Western Adult Team Challenge surpassed their modest goal of completing to take the win with four new partnerships.

In his first big event back after ankle surgery, Boyd Martin rides Trading Aces to the top of the CIC***.

On the 10-hour drive from Cochranville, Pa., to the Richland Park Horse Trials in Richland, Mich., Boyd Martin had plenty of time to think about strate­gies for his three-star mount, Trading Aces.

While the gelding, also known as “Oscar,” is “the complete package,” according to Martin, they just teamed up in 2012.

The reigning Olympic champion earns two more gold medals but has to settle for bronze behind Germany and the Netherlands in the team competition.

 When it comes to Valegro, Charlotte Dujardin has kept her cards close to her chest. After they took home team and individual gold for Great Britain at the Olympic Games in London last summer, rumors flew that the horse would be sold.

Charlotte Jorst scores two 10s on the stallion en route to the 6-year-old national title.

Anne Gribbons let her words hang in the air for a moment as Charlotte Jorst and her handsome chestnut stallion circled in front of the judges’ booth after their final ride.

“Thank you, Charlotte, that was a very nice ending to a very good test. In the trot we were really trying to find something to complain about, and after going over it again and again…” she trailed off. “We said, ‘OK, no complaints.’ It’s a 10.”



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