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Molly Sorge

March 12, 2010

Wil’ya Love Me And Courtney Sendak Have Grown Up Together

The young rider and pony have defied many odds to be successful at the intermediate level.

It’s not the way most young riders find their first upper-level horse. Courtney Sendak started to help someone load Wil’ya Love Me onto a trailer and ended up buying him on a whim.

And “Willy” isn’t a typical upper-level horse. He’s borderline pony, standing 14.21⁄2 hands. But he and Sendak, of Baltimore, Md., have belied their improbable beginning and Willy’s diminutive size to become consistent contenders at the intermediate level.

February 19, 2010

Kathy Kusner And Three Thoroughbreds Challenged Tradition

Kusner saw no limits in Unusual, Untouchable and Aberali.

Untouchable might have been Kathy Kusner’s most famous horse and her mount for two Olympic Games, but there were two other horses that Kusner recalls particularly fondly, Aberali and Unusual. All three horses—talented Thoroughbreds—came into Kusner’s life in the 1960s as green or problem horses.

February 19, 2010

Free Rein With: Peter Doubleday

Peter Doubleday usually has the best seat in the house at a horse show, whether it’s high in the announcer’s stand or by the in-gate. Doubleday has been the voice of American show jumping for decades, and he’s also at the helm, as manager, of three of the most prestigious shows in North America—the Pennsylvania National, the Royal Winter Fair (Ont.) and Devon (Pa.), where he co-manages with David Distler.

February 13, 2010

He's A Real Son Of A Gun, Alright, In The $50,000 HITS Desert Circuit CSI-W

John Pearce knew he’d have his work cut out for him when he walked the course for the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix CSI-W on the evening of Feb. 13. “I thought it would be tough. There wasn’t anything ridiculous, but everything was an effort,” Pearce said. “It was challenging, but quite doable. It was a good course for me, because I love to be challenged.”

February 12, 2010

Crown Affair Reigns In HITS Desert Circuit Hunter Derby

Just call John French the king of the hunter derby. The poster child of the 2008/2009 USHJA International Hunter Derby season with the charismatic Rumba, French has kicked off the 2010 season with a bang.

At the HITS Desert Circuit on Feb. 12 in Thermal, Calif., he rode Crown Affair to the top of the $10,000 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby and claimed second with Cruise. The class was held in the evening, under the lights of the expansive Grand Prix field.

February 5, 2010

The Chronicle's Eventing Horseman Of The Year: Buck Davidson

Buck Davidson has always been a great rider, but in 2009 he seemed to truly come into his own. Davidson’s year was headlined by being the highest-placed U.S. rider at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** on My Boy Bobby and finishing 11th at the Burghley CCI**** (England) on Ballynoe Castle RM, but he achieved success with virtually every horse in his large string.

February 5, 2010

The Chronicle's Eventing Horse Of The Year: My Boy Bobby

When Buck Davidson first took over the ride on My Boy Bobby in the summer of 2008, he didn’t expect to be filling out an entry for the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** the following spring.

In fact, Davidson recalled that during a disastrous outing at the Express Eventing International Cup (England) in November 2008, Phillip Dutton quipped to him, “I don’t think that one’s going to Kentucky, mate.”

But in the spring of 2009, “Bobby” seemed out to prove everyone wrong. He was undefeated in three outings at the advanced level, including the CIC*** at The Fork (N.C.).

February 5, 2010

The Chronicle's Show Hunter Horseman Of The Year: Jennifer Alfano

Each fall, Jennifer Alfano’s parents would let her take a day off from school. “This was before I’d ever even shown in an A-rated show, but every year I’d go to [the Pennsylvania National Horse Show] and watch all day,” said Alfano, who grew up in Harrisburg, Pa. “I’d study all of the famous jumper riders and say to myself, ‘I’m going to be a famous rider.’ All of my friends at school would roll their eyes.”

January 22, 2010

It’s Important To Mind The Ps And Qs Of In-Gate Etiquette

Work with the in-gate staff, not against them, for a drama-free day at the show.

Like any good circus, a horse show needs a ringmaster.

And, fortunately, there’s one for each ring.

Your friendly in-gate person—usually seated in a little tent or shelter adjacent to your gateway into the ring—is a maestro of time management. It may seem like all he or she does is call out the order of go for the next few horses in the ring and inform the judge of the number entering the ring. But, in reality, they’re the traffic directors of the entire showgrounds.

January 22, 2010

How To Create A Perfectly Pulled Mane

Top braider Nancy Henson shows you how to make even the most difficult mane braidable.

For pictures to guide you on the way to a perfectly pulled mane, download the pdf.

Creating a perfect row of braids is hard enough in the most perfect mane; when it seems like there’s a toothbrush sprouting out of your horse’s crest, or he has a wispy, thin mane, it’s even harder.

The key to putting beautiful braids into thick or thin manes isn’t in the braiding but in the pulling of the mane.

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