Tatiana Dzavik is En Route to Show Jumping Stardom

For Immediate Release – EquestriSol in association with Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Brussels, Belgium and Toronto, Canada

To become a top international competitor, it takes a village – from sponsors and owners, to grooms, veterinarians, farriers, talent, and most importantly, the partnership of some great horses. Twenty-four-year-old Tatiana Dzavik’s dreams are becoming a reality as she advances to the top levels of equestrian show jumping after years of hard work and dedication.

Dzavik said of her motivation, “I have known that I wanted to do this since I was about eight years old and it has never changed. I have been pushing and fighting for it ever since then.” And it is paying off. “I work with the horses and I sleep; that is all I do. But I would say that my dreams are actually starting to come true. I still have a long way to go, but I am very happy with the way things are going.”

With the opportunity to ride and compete on some very special horses and the help of many generous, knowledgeable individuals, her climb to the top is within reach.

Conversations With Equestrians: The Fellers

After catching up with the Feller family at the HITS Desert Circuit (Thermal, CA) this past season, EquestriSol checked in on how they keep their personal lives and professional careers balanced and thriving.

The Fellers family

A Bold Balance
Going on 25 years of marriage, Rich and Shelley both spoke of the other as being an inspiration and supporter. “Rich is a super good dad,” said Shelley. “He’s a great husband, great partner – he hates being away from his kids and the family.”

“Shelley’s been an inspiration to me ever since I met her,” said Rich. “She keeps my life and our whole family’s life very balanced.”

Juggling Olympic Trials and a family vacation isn’t the ordinary family calendar, but for Rich, Shelley, Christopher (21) and Savannah (18) its par for the course. By sharing parental duties, realizing each other’s strengths, and keeping family time a priority this couple has created a recipe for success. “We split the duties; he’s the better rider, so he goes all the time and I go back and forth, or skip a show.” said Shelley, “It’s difficult organizing taking care of kids, staying home and feeling guilty about leaving/staying, but we’ll never look back and say, ‘I wish that I would’ve not spent more time with my kids’ – you’ve got to think about their lives, and so we do and make it work.”

Rich and Shelley have managed to achieve a unique parental balance in Oregon while competing on the road. Meanwhile both continue to progress in their own riding careers. As is often true for equestrian professionals, the path to making a living and career in the show jumping world is typically paved with sale horses, which often means selling one you would love to keep and take to the top. Shelley’s experience is primarily with bringing up young horses through the 1.4m division and along the way they sell. At the 2012 HITS Desert Circuit she achieved a personal goal when competing at the grand prix level. Her mount Revenge (“Reggie”) stepped up to compete in five top level classes including the $53,000 HITS Grand Prix CSIW-2*/World Cup Qualifier (Week III) and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix (Week VI). “I’ve brought him along from the 1.2m division to the Grand Prix ring,” she explained. “He’s definitely the nicest horse that I’ve ever had, he’s really a dream.”

Rich Fellers and Flexible at the 2012 HITS Desert Circuit.

When it comes to personal goals and living the dream, Rich continues to make strides with the amazing little Irish stallion known as Flexible (Harry and Mollie Chapman, owners). Post the HITS Desert Circuit, Rich and his longtime partner put in a strong performance at the Olympic Trials held in Wellington, FL. “He’s quite experienced,” said Rich, “His performances have improved every year. He’s a veteran and has walked into a number of different venues. He has good Irish instincts and I think we’ve got a shot.” Being 16 years young, ‘Flexi’ proved that age was simply an advantage. They successfully ended the trials placing 7th on the USEF long list and it didn’t stop there.

In s’Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, Flexible and Rich went on to bring a 2012 FEI World Cup Final victory back to the US after 25 years. On a roll, just two weeks after arriving back on American soil, Flexible and Rich won not one but both of the Olympic Observation classes at the 2012 Del Mar National. As the dynamic duo exited the ring post these two California victories, the crowd chanted: “Put him on! Put him on!” (the Olympic Team). They are undoubtedly a formidable force and will be competing at the last Olympic Observation event at Spruce Meadows in June.

Training Together
Raising a family while bringing up horses to compete in the international rings doesn’t seem to faze this incredible couple. After 25+ years of training together, “We know each other fairly well at this stage,” said Rich, “so, we work well with each other. We do get little signals, and we know when to back off. But overall, we really do well – and very rarely do we get in arguments. Sure we disagree with each other about stuff, but we respect each other enough to not let it cause a problem.”

As per Shelley, “We do work really well together. We’re basically on the same page, but we may do it differently. Some of my strengths are his weaknesses, and vice versa. Rich gets pretty amped up at horse shows, and especially intense about a big class. We laugh about it. But he’s my biggest supporter and I’m his.”

With London as a possibility later this summer, Shelley competing in the Grand Prix classes, their kids also have crazy schedules to juggle. Chris is completing his sophomore year at Linfield College and will be competing this summer on his two mounts Zidane L and Cascade. Savannah finished her senior year and will be heading to Linfield as a freshman with hopes to play collegiate tennis. Shelley and Rich both enjoy playing tennis with their daughter, although Rich reluctantly admits defeat – it’s still one of his favorite things to do when not in the saddle.

Balance, respect, humor and understanding keep the Fellers successful both in and out of the arena. Not only did I enjoy spending time with both Rich and Shelley, I respect their approach. We wish them all the best in continuing to pursue their dreams. We will be rooting for you.

Shelley Fellers and Revenge at the 2012 HITS Desert Circuit.

Fun Facts About Rich and Shelley:
If you could ride any horse, who would it be and why?
Rich: “I’ve always been intrigued with Cristallo (Richard Spooner, rider) because he’s such a tough horse and he’s a fighter – he’s a horse that will fight to leave the jumps up and when the pressure’s on he’ll come through. And Richard’s that way as well and the horse reflects Richard’s personality.
Shelley: “My horse (Revenge), because part of it for me, especially over the big jumps, is having a rapport with my horse. That’s huge, when you build up a rapport and you trust them, it makes it that much more fun and easy. I might also say Milton. He’s a big favorite of mine from way back when. He looked like a lot of fun, and a horse that I could ride.

Favorite part about the desert:
Rich: “I’d have to say the weather is quite nice!”
Shelley: “Sun! It’s a nice place to get started again after the holidays. Definitely my favorite part is the sun.”

Rich: “It’s a great place to let the horses have a fresh go; it’s maturing a bunch with the trees and the berms. It’s very open and spacious.”
Shelley: “I love the vegetation that they’ve planted. The facility is growing up and it’s become more visually appealing. I like the layout with the stabling, the rings and routes.”

Favorite Restaurant?
Rich: “Don Diego (Mexican Restaurant in Indian Wells) and we always like the Cliff House.”
Shelley: “Cliff House”

Favorite thing to do aside from riding?
Rich: “I love playing tennis with Savannah. She beats me and it’s tough because I hate to lose, but I hope someday I’ll beat her.”
Shelley: “I like to ski. Savannah plays tennis and I like playing with her. I’m not very good, but it’s fun. I also like to read especially when travelling on the airplane. I like to be outside: camping, fishing, outdoors.”

Conversations With Equestrians: Traci Barmen, Carleton Brooks, and Balmoral

By Erna Adelson

The relatively recent marriage of Traci Barmen and Carleton Brooks was a celebration of passion on many levels, but most certainly on the equestrian front.

After two years of cultivating their business on the west-side of LA, (so idyllic is the area that I was delayed in getting to the farm by a Volvo commercial being filmed in the neighborhood), the couple will now also run a training facility as an expansion of Balmoral Farm about 15 miles up the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, an equally iconic location but with a slightly different feel. They look forward to adding names, both equine and equestrian, to their roster. With the added space, Traci and Carleton, or CB as he is affectionately known, also look forward to adding more diversity to their program and the opportunity to expand their barn to include bringing along younger horses – Carleton’s specialty.

The new site will allow the couple and the business to accommodate a wide variety of clientele. Both locations are full service, from pony hunters to adults, Barmen and Brooks work together to craft the ideal program for each person they teach. Each location has unique advantages as well; nestled in the heart of Brentwood, adjacent to Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, Sullivan Canyon is private and membership based, fostering an intimate community of equestrians close enough to the city that riding can be more easily worked into a packed schedule. “Most of our kids are serious students and can’t miss too much school,” Traci explains. During the summer, though, it is not uncommon to see girls hacking around bareback on their ponies after a day of lessons in equitation and horsemanship. In addition to Barmen and Brooks, Courtney Miller and Octavio Godinez are essential players on the Balmoral team.

“Courtney does everything from riding and teaching to horse show planning and beyond,” says Traci. CB adds that Courtney has helped bring along horses and riders in her own right. Octavio oversees the day-to-day care of the horses at home and on the road.

The Malibu location, which overlooks the ocean, boasts grass turnouts, and more latitude to train different types of horses and students. “It will really be ours. Ours and our clients,” says Brooks. “With more space and ring time, we’ll be able to create programs that can unlock the potential in a horse and rider.

“This should be very exciting to anyone who is familiar with the careers of Brooks and Barmen. That this duo will be able to bring out potential in a horse or a team of horse and rider is somewhat of an understatement. Brooks has a track record of bringing out the best in talented and often miscalculated horses. Not just a trainer but a partner, he serves as a channel for the potential in a horse by allowing them to do what they do best. A true horseman, he has been known to ride for hours just at the walk to build trust. But most importantly, Brooks looks to the horse as a guide for the best ride and the best result.
In addition, Carleton brings his years of experience as a judge, clinician, and consultant to his evaluation of each team he works with. With Traci’s extensive teaching background as well as a keen ability to match horses and riders, the two make a formidable team. Since they paired up, they are pleased with the results for all of their clients, which they speak equally fondly about. “Our goals are to produce successful riders and horses, to educate, to feel like we can have a little part in shaping great young ladies (and gentlemen!) by instilling confidence and independence, and to have fun,” says Traci. “We’re always looking to add riders who are serious about showing to the roster, but welcome anyone with an open mind who is willing to learn.” On the show circuit, look for Balmoral Farm at a variety of California venues, including Thermal, Blenheim, Del Mar, Menlo and LAEC as well as on the east coast for the Indoor circuit.
They make the move into the new location after spending much of August on the road. Recently back from judging the prestigious USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals in Lexington, Kentucky, CB is especially ecstatic about the new locale. After several years judging other horses and riders, he is looking to return to riding and showing himself. Partners in business and in life, the couple spends a lot of time together. Post the interview, CB chivalrously sends Traci off to meet with friends in Los Angeles, and he and his canine shadow, Hannah, hold down the fort for the night.

Conversations With Equestrians: Ali Nilforushan

We all know Ali Nilforushan – he’s been a part of the California equestrian scene for some years and can be a formidable force when defending his views. I caught up with this International rider earlier this year to find out more about his history as well as what’s on the horizon for this professional and his clients.

Dreaming of Horses
Ali has dual US-Iranian citizenship. Born in Tabriz, Iran, he started his riding career at the age of seven. After moving to the US at the age of 12, Ali continued his riding. “All I dreamed about was riding – no, I literally had dreams about horses – I’d close my eyes at night and imagine that I was on a horse galloping, and I knew, it was all I wanted to do.” After playing football and baseball (he excelled in both), Ali knew his passion would always be in equestrian sport.

Later, Ali moved to Holland to train for three years. During his time in Holland, he qualified for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney as the first and only equestrian competitor for Iran. “That was quite an achievement” Ali explained, “I rode a horse that I got for nothing and people had written him off. We qualified for Sydney and made the Finals, which was incredible. Unfortunately, he couldn’t pass the second vet check and was unfit to compete. Even so, it was a thrill first to make the Olympics and then make it to the Finals. It was a huge accomplishment for my career.” Ali completed his pre-Olympic training in France and then spent one season post-Sydney prior to returning to the states to compete in the West Coast League.

Talk About Formidable
There’s a new horse in Ali’s life – his new prospect Formidable (barn name “Able”). After selling both his grand prix horses, Ali purchased the approved 6-year-old, Holsteiner stallion in December 2010 (Sire is For Pleasure, with Cartago on his Dam’s side). Rebecca Lewis of Lewis Circle of Horses, LLC also owns a percentage. As a four-year-old, Able was Champion of Verband in Germany. “He’s the best horse I’ve ever been around, talent-wise. I never imagined I would have a horse this nice,” said Ali of his well-bred prospect.

Able has competed in over 35 classes this year – of those, he’s had a total of three rails. Incredibly wise beyond his years, Able is just learning how to control his big body. “The biggest thing with him is that I have to take my time and let him grow,” Ali explained.

Standing at 17h, his bravery, his jump, and apparently his personality, are all as big as he is. “When you’re walking around, he’s like a trail horse. During warm-up I have to kick him, and the minute you get into the show ring, his barrel doubles in size and you have to sit dead quiet because he becomes a machine!”

Humbled by his Formidable partner, Ali continues. “He’s the real deal. The only thing you have to do is make sure he doesn’t jump you off. He thinks it’s the coolest thing ever to launch you into the air – he really likes to jump hard.”

Steeped in California culture, it is easy to forget that Ali is from another country, speaks three languages – Farsi, Turkish and English – and has family who live in a place that the United States is at times politically at odds with. Settled in San Diego and realizing his equestrian dreams, Ali stays clear of politics. “It’s very important to respect all cultures – I respect all cultures. I’m proud to be Persian – proud of my heritage, but I also respect who and what I’m around now. I leave the politics for politicians – if you’re a good person, it doesn’t really matter where you’re from.”

Short term plans for Able include the 2011 Wild Turkey Farm Young Horse Championships. His long term plan: the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

I inquired about Ali’s plans for his show jumping students. “We have a very good group of riders at the moment. It would be really exciting to see Francie [Snedegar] and Katie [Harris] get on a Nations Cup Team. I would love to get them on a developing riding tour to experience the international scene.” For these two “hungry and talented” competitors, Ali believes their experience in the international arena will refine them as riders and take them to the next level.

He continued explaining how riding and competing in Europe is a completely different experience. “The exciting part about competing internationally is that when you go over [to Europe] and swim in deep waters, you go to a whole different level.” Getting to that next level is every rider’s goal, and seeing progress (big or small) is Ali’s favorite part about this sport. “Watching the horse and rider progress and reach for the next training level,” said Ali, “I’m a believer that results come by a product of good work. I constantly push myself, my riders, and my horses because I was told a long time ago that it isn’t practice that makes perfect, it’s perfect practice that makes perfect.”

With a formidable attitude and a Formidable ride, the future looks phenomenal.

Conversations With Equestrians: Nick Haness

A friend once reminded me to live my dash – she wasn’t referring to running or a type of seasoning, but the actual dash you see between the dates of a person’s birth and their death on their tombstone. It means to live life to the fullest, as that dash represents your entire life. She didn’t mean this in a morbid way, but as a reminder to live your dash with exuberance.

With a tremendous amount of impressive accomplishments at a young age, including a recent second place in the biggest money class for hunters in history, the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix, Nick Haness is undoubtedly living his dash.

Equestrian Aspirations
Coming from a family of five boys, every brother was busy with his own interest. Nick started riding at age five at Coto de Caza, near his home. Gradually he began moving from one lesson to three lessons per week and spent his summer days in the saddle. After juggling soccer and riding for several years, Nick chose his sport. The rest is becoming a solid history.

Nick remembers feeling inspired as a young teenager while watching top riders like John French and Peter Pletcher compete. As his teenage years in the horse world progressed, his achievements further molded his future. One interesting milestone was choosing his first show horse wisely. Soon after he purchased a bay hunter named Carson, he got a Christmas present from his parents – the funds to compete for one week on the winter circuit in Indio, CA. Very excited about this opportunity, Nick didn’t just compete but he earned a Reserve Championship in the Junior Hunters. That very week, a trainer on the circuit inquired about buying Carson for his client. With a tremendous offer on the table, Nick made a mature decision to sell his horse.

His parents offered to give him the money from the sale to further his equestrian pursuits. Again making a decision that was wise beyond his years, Nick set up a small business. With the help of contacts in the industry, Nick would purchase a green horse in Europe, work with it and then sell it.

About this time Nick also began working with Jim Hagman of Elvenstar. Another turning point, Nick refers to that time period fondly. “Jim put me on the map. He gave me a makeover – changed my tie, my huntcoat, got me new boots – and put on the finishing touches that finessed my ride. I had instant success in the equitation ring with his help.” Nick also went to the east coast with Jim, including Devon and Indoors, garnering some valuable miles and making new contacts.

One of his favorite memories was the first time he went to Indoors. “Ever since I was on ponies I knew about the east coast kids, so showing up as the little guy from California that no one had ever heard of was awesome.” This experience mixed with the other teenage turning points sealed the deal for Nick.

“My dreams and years of wanting to go back east and compete all came true at that moment, and I realized it,” Nick explained. “I liked school and did well, but I knew I wanted a career in horses. I loved being a part of the horse show world.” Nick decided to turn professional at age 18.

All Business
Having business savvy from his junior experiences, Nick bravely jumped into not just the professional world but into having his own business by the time he was 20 years old. Not long after he connected with Richard Slocum at a clinic where they jokingly talked about how they should go into business together. Soon after they took their joke seriously.

Covering all his company’s bases was a priority for Nick who is the first to admit the value in having someone older and more experienced around. “I’m fortunate to have Richard as a business partner,” said Nick. “It’s nice to have the security of a knowledgeable and experienced horseman in the barn.” Fortunately for both Richard and Nick, their strengths mix very well. Nick is the show rider while Richard handles the endless details of running a barn from the clients to the horses in training. Both have a knack for teaching and the clients have blossomed from their combined knowledge.

Now with a handful of professional years under his belt, Nick notes the rewards come at many levels. “When a student wins their first Maclay and they feel accomplished in their riding goals, that’s very rewarding for me.”

After a small but costly mistake in Round 1 of the CPHA Medal Finals this year, student Conor Perrin rallied and not only won Round 2 of that Medal Final but won every round of the CPHA Foundation Equitation Championships, 21 & under the following week. “I was proud of Conor. He learned a lot from that experience and we were all rewarded! When you help someone accomplish something they’ve been trying to achieve, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.”

Plans and Pursuing the Dream
Myriad circumstances changed the plans for attending both the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Final (Lexington, KY) and the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final (Saugerties, NY) in August and September of this year. While competing on Havana at Devon in May, Nick was approached by Scott Stewart about purchasing the horse for his junior rider Victoria Colvin. “So I didn’t go to Kentucky due to the sale. But knowing that Victoria Colvin was seventh overall on Havana in the Derby Finals was just as rewarding as going myself.”

As much as they were looking forward to the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, a few weeks before the event Nick and his client agreed to wait. “It was a long trip to make when we were uncertain about the weather. We didn’t think it was a good choice for a sensitive horse to go all that way in unpredictable conditions.” Taking it in stride, Nick wasn’t planning to head east for the finals. About a week later, Archie Cox and the Singer family asked Nick if he would ride Cruise at the inaugural Hunter Prix Final in Saugerties. Nick had competed and won on Cruise in a Thermal Hunter Prix and had watched him go numerous times, so he knew the horse and was honored to accept the opportunity. “Jessica is in college at Skidmore, so she was there as well as her parents. They were just happy to be a part of it, they didn’t put any pressure on me.” The no pressure approach paid off, literally. Nick and Cruise represented the west coast well by earning a spot in the top 25, winning Round 3 of the Final (in the pouring rain) and coming in second overall, earning not just a beautiful ribbon but a check for $90,000.

“Just being a part of the first year was a dream come true. Really it was. As a kid I dreamed of experiences like this – great riders, TV, press conference – it was overwhelmingly exciting.”

Nick continued, “All the California riders were rooting for each other. I was proud to represent the west coast in the top four.”

Speaking of the west coast, an impressive seven riders returned in the top 25 and four placed in the top twelve. Reflecting for a moment in the sweetness of the victory, Nick also discussed the agony of defeat. Jenny Karazissis experienced the high of winning Rounds 1 and 2 on Saturday. She was riding beautifully on Sunday as well. When she rounded the corner towards the end of the course, her horse’s pace slowed suddenly and he took a brief trot step. The crowd gasped and scores reflected the pace change. “We were all shocked. It’s amazing in sports how dreams can disappear in a split second. Jenny handled it with poise. She’s such a fabulous rider and a top notch competitor.”

We know that Nick Haness is living his dash. And we congratulate him. Are you living yours?

Conversations With Equestrians: Hope Glynn

Hope and Hunters Head East
We had a chance to speak with professional Hope Glynn, who owns Sonoma Valley Stables (SVS) with her husband Ned in northern California. Once they realized there was an opportunity to compete for a large purse on hunters, the hunter clan at SVS made it a goal to participate.

They’ve qualified three riders for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final and plan to head east for a series of shows, including the Hampton Classic and Saugerties for HITS on the Hudson with the much anticipated finals on the weekend. The parents are thrilled, not only with the prize money offered, but with all the pomp and circumstance of the entire event. The collective group feels that even if you don’t make the Top 20, you can still have a great experience both on and off the horse – awesome prize money, a new venue, great competition, the east coast, an adventure to the Big Apple, the Pfizer Million – that and more await the northern California competitors and their families.

Hope Glynn and Woodstock
Photo by Gail Morey

EqSol: Tell us about your plans for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final this coming September in Saugerties? You’re qualified on Woodstock, but you have the option to select another mount.
 My highest placing horse was Woodstock and I’m definitely planning on riding him in the Finals. For me, he’s one of my most consistent mounts and I know him very well. I feel very confident riding him in the class. He will also have done the International Hunter Derby Finals in Lexington with me, so I’ll have had that experience under my belt. It will be good preparation for us.

EqSol: Describe Woodstock for us…
 His barn name is Woody – he came from Brandy Hollway in Kansas. He also competes in the Low A/O Hunters with Amateur rider Olivia Hellman. He has a lot of personality, he’s a horse that is easy to like – he jumps great every time you bring him out, he’s easy to work with at home and if he has a fault it would be that he may jump and try too hard, which is a good problem to have as a rider. He’s consistently one of the best jumpers I’ve ever ridden, which is really important when you’re doing a big class like these prestigious hunter finals.

EqSol: You and two of your students, Avery Hellman and Erin Bland, are making the trip to Saugerties. Can you tell us more about them?
 Both riders are 19 years old and they are very excited about the competing at the hunter prix finals. This is the highlight of their riding careers.

Avery Hellman is riding her 7-year-old Westphalian gelding Rococco. He was the Circuit Champion in the 2nd years at HITS (Thermal). Avery rides on her high school equestrian team. She’s also a very good student and doesn’t miss school. She rides on the weekends and during show season, she typically leaves school Friday, gets to the show and heads into the show ring. She’s been training at Sonoma Valley Stables for nine years. She’s actually more excited to do these finals than indoors.

Erin Bland lives in Carlsbad, CA and trains with Liza Applebaum at home and does the A-Shows with us. Her mount for the finals is Weatherly, an 8-year-old WB gelding. This is her first year competing as an Amateur — she and Weatherly competed in the A/O Hunters and were Reserve Circuit Champions at Thermal and she was also Champion at Del Mar National this past May. As for academics, she currently attends Mira Costa College and she’d like to transfer to Sonoma State this next school year, so she can ride and attend college. Erin is extremely excited about the Finals, mainly because she feels like it’s a class where amateurs, juniors and professionals can compete at an equal level. To her, it’s more than just a hunter class back east – it’s an event!

Shelley Campf and Hope Glynn
Photo by Gail Morey

EqSol: Tell us about SVS “Team” coming east…
 I have a fantastic group of horses that I get to ride and the clients are excited to watch them go. We have about 25 people coming to support SVS at the Hunter Prix Finals; between CA barn mates and family on east coast – people are excited to come. Like any big money class, this final draws a significant amount of attention. Honestly, no matter how well they do, they just want to see how the horses go. For us, it’s difficult to get people to travel down south, but because of the prestige of the class, the beautiful and exciting venue, they are traveling from CA to the east coast JUST to watch. As a barn, to have three competing is truly an honor.

EqSol: Since the pressure will be on at these finals, how do you help your clients handle it?
 With our riders, we really feel that positive reinforcement and hard work are key ingredients to their success. Most of these kids are extremely critical of themselves, so we try to teach and maintain a holistic picture: the goal is not “I want to win this hunter prix” – we all aim to win, it’s why we compete, but it’s not just about winning. It’s about what each student wants to achieve as a rider and as a horseman.

EqSol: You had to qualify your horses at HITS Thermal – how did you find the circuit this year?
 Classes were big and quality was good. The facility has developed into a premier place to be on the west coast during the winter circuit. I was particularly pleased with the footing. Footing, in both the show and warm up rings, is paramount to me above everything else. I also like HITS because there is so much space to ride your horses. A lot of barns have great show rings but not good warm up areas. At HITS they have great practice rings available all day.

Since we spend a lot of time in the hunter rings, we also really enjoyed the improvements they made to the Hunter Berm and the hospitality tent. It provided another area for people to watch and enjoy it.

Avery Glynn (center) with Hope (right) and Avery’s grandmother Priscilla Hobday (left)
Photo by Gail Morey

EqSol: It’s been a good year for SVS. Can you share some of your personal highlights, aside from the success?
 I truly LOVE horses and I LOVE being around them, so I’m lucky that they are in my life everyday. Even when I’m old and retired, I will still have horses because being around them brings me happiness.

There was one afternoon when Avery rode up with her pony to watch one of high-performance classes I was in. After our final jump, I heard her clapping on the rail screaming “Go Mommy! Go Mommy!” – that takes the cake for me – when you hear your daughter clapping and cheering you on, it doesn’t matter what happened in the class.

She even told me to keep my eyes up and my heels down as I came out of that class at Thermal.

EqSol: Mantra for life?
 Integrity sums it up in one word. Living with integrity is the utmost important thing to me in how I run my business and how I live my life.

  Thank you Hope for your time and your insights – we wish you and your students the best of luck in your upcoming east coast adventures!

Conversations With Equestrians: Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum on Motherhood and Medals 
Life as an international professional rider and trainer is physically and mentally demanding. Once you’ve been #1 in the world, the pressure to keep your name at the top of that list is always at the forefront, meaning you need to stay focused, fresh and keep a solid string of talented horses. So what does this intensely competitive, first-ever #1 ranked female rider in the world, three-time World Cup FEI World Cup Champion think about adding motherhood to the mix?

Markus Beerbaum and Brianne
Photo by Cheval Photos

“I LOVE being a mom!” exclaimed Meredith without hesitation. When out of the saddle Meredith is often seen with 18-month-old Brianne in her arms. Uncharacteristic of a world champion? Apparently not so for this uniquely talented, focused and determined mother.

Since her equestrian goals still include Olympic aspirations, she and partner Markus have a plan and have considered every aspect. Already an extremely successful equestrian power couple, Meredith often mentions how Markus is a key to her success. As rewarding as her career with him at her side has been to date, and apparently continues to be, they now potentially have the ultimate reward, a family.

Becoming a mom may have changed Meredith’s perspective, but it hasn’t slowed her down — she made the German team only weeks after giving birth to Brianne in February 2010, something she hadn’t anticipated. It was “a nice surprise” and a memorable year, as Meredith competed on Checkmate in the German Championships in Munster and then headed to the states to represent Germany at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in October 2010. Her clean ride on Checkmate clenched the Gold Medal for Team Germany.

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Kismet 50 place 4th in the 2011 $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix of the Desert, Presented by Lamborghini of Newport Beach. Photo by Cheval Photos.

“I never would’ve dreamt that was possible, it is one of the highlights of my career,” said Meredith about her return to intense competition as a new mother. And the victories continued into the fall season, as she collected a World Cup Qualifier win in Lyon and the Mercedes German Masters in Stuttgart. Alll before Brianne was one.

Thermals Aren’t Needed
Hosting several indoor World Cup Qualifiers as well as outdoor grand prix events each week, the HITS Desert Winter Circuit is a destination for show jumpers from both coasts and around the world. A California native, Meredith came from Germany to spend a warm winter in the Palm Desert. Leaving the chilly winter indoor European competitions behind, Meredith and husband Markus brought baby Brianne, and a few of their up and coming mounts, out to the sunny desert. Shutterfly and Checkmate remained at home, where Meredith would return to compete in the spring.

“I’m really enjoying myself here,” Meredith said of the desert. “It’s great to be with people that I haven’t seen in awhile. I’ve received such a warm welcome and I love the weather!” The desert sunshine and palm trees are a welcome change from the cold, late night indoor winter circuits in Europe. For Meredith, Markus and Brianne, who celebrated her first birthday in February, Thermal offered sunshine and a place to call “home” for the winter. With a reasonable show schedule, they were able to have some “remnants of family life.”

Lancaster at the 2011 HITS Desert Circuit
Photo by Cheval Photos

Horses and Clients
Thermal also proved to be a good circuit for the string of horses they brought over. The good footing, indoor and outdoor grand prix schedule along with the spacious show grounds allowed for horses like Kismet 50, a 10 year old Belgian mare to move up the ranks. “Kismet’s been the second horse in Europe,” said Meredith. “This circuit is her time to step up – she’s been consistent and is a very talented mare. I have a lot of faith in this horse.”

Lancaster is a German bred gelding and another up-and-coming prospect. “We decided to keep him in the outdoor because he’s SO big, (17.2h) and he’s done really well. We are very proud of his performance out there.” The Beerbaums also brought two 8 year olds over, whom Meredith believes to be “the best young horses in the world.”

Joining the Beerbaums in the desert were professional Gaby Salick, also a mother of a young daughter, Eleanor, and students Lucy Davis, Saer Coulter and Christi Israel. Developing these riders into international contenders also influenced the decision to start the season at HITS Thermal. Seems that Lucy, who is college bound in the fall of 2011, may follow in Meredith’s footsteps. An accomplished equestrian when she met up with the Beerbaums in the summer of 2009, the uniquely focused and talented rider has excelled under their tutelage.

Directly after Lucy won four grand prix classes in a row, including the $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix of the Desert, Meredith was off to Doha, Qatar to compete on the Global Champions Tour. Immediately back in form with Shutterfly, the pair was 3rd in the Grand Prix of Qatar.

The horses and the clients joined the Beerbaums in Europe this summer.

Shutterfly retires at Aachen

Brief Update
Competing in five Global Champion Tour events since spring, Meredith has earned close to 100,000 euros. She recently won the ‘Preis von Europa’ (Prize of Europe) at the prestigious CSIO 5* in Aachen, Germany on her horse of a lifetime Shutterfly. Now 18 years old, the Beerbaums decided that victory would be Shutterfly’s last and held his retirement ceremony in front of 40,000 fans before the jump off of the Grand Prix a few days later. What an amazing experience to win and then retire the world’s best horse at the world’s best show.

Thank you Meredith for your time. We wish you all the best with your continued quests and with your family. And happy retirement to ‘Petey’!


EQSOL: If you weren’t a top equestrian, what would you do?
MMB: We always laugh about how I would have gone into politics – because I attended Princeton – I love politics and I probably would have chosen that field.

EqSol: What horse would you ride if you could ride any?

MMB: Shutterfly – because he’s the best in the world.
EqSol: What’s playing on your iPod right now? 
MMB: Coldplay – I listen to them a lot. I like classical and classic rock – I also have a play list called ‘Brianna’s favorites’ – they are lullabies and songs that Jewel did for babies.EqSol: What’s your favorite movie? 
MMB: Haven’t seen many movies lately; all time favorite – probably Fried Green Tomatoes.EqSol: What is an inspiring quote or mantra that you appreciate? 
MMB: I heard someone say in a clinic once, ‘The beauty of perfection takes time’ – it’s very true. We’re always striving in this sport for perfection and it’s important to understand that it takes time.

Conversations With Equestrians: John French

By Selena Frederick

A Top Rider Mantra
 Do we ride to win or are we winners because we have the chance to ride? There is more to the A-Circuit show life than training and competition. Losing sight of what’s important often affects performance in the ring as well as in life. We all enjoy winning; it is how we define it that is key.

With show season in full swing, I, on behalf of EquestriSol, wanted to take a moment to reflect, and get insight on the importance of attitude and perspective – not only during show season, but also in life. As many equestrian enthusiasts understand, training and competing on the A-Circuit has its challenges, but deciding whether to learn or become frustrated from those challenges is up to the individual.

One of the most successful hunter (and jumper when he decides to give it a go) riders in the sport, behind John French’s long list of accomplishments are his share of mistakes, bad days and not perfect results. Pictured below is one such moment when his mount Clooney almost jumped him off during the Handy Round of the Hunter Derby this past April. He recovered, smiling, and finished the round. Not even certain he was going to go east in May this year, French recently returned from the 2011 Devon Horse Show, where he rode Davlyn Farm’s Come Monday to the First Year Green Championship.

EquestriSol first spoke with John at HITS Thermal in March, where he was per usual dominating the hunter arena. And holding his own in Grand Prix ring, ribboning in several classes aboard River Bird last year and Mountain Home Stables Chawi Du Laubry in Thermal. The desert was buzzing when one day French not only flipped between highlight events – Hunter Derby and Grand Prix – he excelled. Jumping off his Derby horse, he stepped up his game to complete the jump-off for a top prize.

“I believe a lot in this horse; he’s not scared at all,” said French of Chawi. During the winter, he competed Chawi de Laubry in the several grand prix events while his owner, Taylor Siebel, was studying at Stanford University. French took 4th in $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix (week V) and 9th in the $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix (week VI).

Finding French wasn’t difficult; it was waiting until he was on the ground and not on a back of a horse that was the challenge. Of course like many accomplished trainers, he has a number of clients and students that keep him on his toes when not in the saddle at horse shows. However, when I did have the chance to speak with John French, I found it to be a very calming, positive experience.

With all the success of his horses, as well as his students, one can’t help but wonder how this master maintains his happiness and sanity while trying to manage an incredibly busy show schedule, his daily training plans, and the never ending “to-do list” required for the proper care of his horses. When the nerves come in the warm up ring, how does he cope? What’s his philosophy or mantra for life that gets him through?

“Have an attitude of gratitude,” he answered with a smile, “Whenever I get nervous, I remind myself that it doesn’t help to be nervous about something I can’t control – a ride happening in the future – so I let go and focus on what I can control which is being in the present during the ride. I start to think about how lucky we are to do what we’re doing – winning is the main goal, but it’s not the most important thing.”

This relaxed and focused philosophy has brought him success with his horses as well as his riders in all arenas. His perspective in the midst of heavy competition is a positive example. “I don’t go out thinking that I am going to win – or that I need to beat somebody else. (I) just do the best I can – ride better than the last time.” Applying this approach to more than the show ring is undoubtedly something to consider.

Reflecting on why we choose to be equestrians, why we compete and how we handle the ups and downs of the ‘ride’, literally and figuratively, it would serve us well to think in the French frame of mind.

“Pick up the pace right away – don’t doubt yourself. To have a winning ride, you can’t think ‘am I going to find the distance’ you have to let that go. When you are tentative it interrupts the flow. Let the doubts go out of your mind – that’s when you ride the best. Take risks – believe in the ride.”

As we ride through life, it’s good to remember to go for it, believe in yourself and try to always maintain an attitude of gratitude. This makes you a winner.


Rider: Hunt Tosh (Hunters) and Beezie Madden (Jumpers) MovieRequiem for a Dream Book: Inner Revolution, by Robert Thurman (Uma Thurman’s father)Profession (if he weren’t an equestrian): A professional singer and/or work with the elderly in some capacity

Photos By Cheval Photos

Conversations With Equestrians: The Simpsons

By Erin Gilmore

The Simpsons
When it comes to well-known show jumping couples, it doesn’t get much bigger and brighter than husband and wife team Will and Nicole Simpson. In the last several decades, the two international-caliber show jumpers have contested almost every major championship and competition around the world, and have brought some truly memorable horses through the ranks.

Like we see with many highly motivated, successful and famous families, there was a point in Will and Nicki’s history when the combination of career and personal pressures caused some strife. However, at a time when it seemed they might be growing apart, life, love and the pursuit of gold medals drew them back together. In 2008, both Will and Nicki were chosen to go on European tours and ended up traveling together. Realizing how much they truly missed each other’s company, their family together time and supporting each other’s equestrian talents, and ultimately how well they worked together, they reconciled, reunited and haven’t looked back since.

With an incredible combination of talent, Will and Nicki have a clear vision for Simpson Show Jumping. Committed to owners who enjoy the process of pursuing the ‘gold’, they support each other’s goals to continue representing the United States at Nations Cups, WEG and Olympic levels. Tremendous international experiences highlight their teaching methods, so young riders and amateurs with similar high-level aspirations excel in their program.

Whether they’re at their winter base in Wellington, Florida, back home in southern California or traveling to Spruce Meadows or Europe, these power parents focus on keeping their children, thirteen-year-old Sophie and nine-year-old Ty, grounded and on track. Even superstar international riders have to go home at night and make dinner, and lucky for the rest of the family, Nicki enjoys cooking, and Will is famous for his barbeque.

We caught up with them during the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, where they spend half the year working out of Windsome Farms, a gorgeous private 80-acre facility, competing and enjoying the benefits of that close-knit equestrian community.

EquestriSol: How do you get the kids out the door and yourselves to the barn in the morning?
Nicole Simpson:
 Well, mornings are usually a little hectic, especially on show days if Will or I have the first class. Whichever one of us shows early will get dropped off at the barn, and then the other will run back and take Ty to school. This winter was Sophie’s first time doing online school. She usually starts the day with us – she likes to watch the horses show and ride in the morning and go to school in the afternoon.

EqSol: What’s your routine once you’re at the barn?
 Will and I look at the schedule, and for the most part we try to be there for each other at the rings. We balance it out so that we can put solid time into each horse. We go back and forth between the show and the barn, Sophie usually rides three or four and helps us hack another one.

EqSol: Do you think that Sophie shares your level of passion for the sport?
 Definitely. She’s very serious about it – she works really hard at riding and learning all that goes with it. Since the beginning she’s been exposed to every aspect. We think that’s important, for her to be aware of and part of the whole picture.

EqSol: How do you help Sophie balance horses and school?
 I ask her the same questions my mom would ask me – ‘Sophie, don’t you want to be able to have any career you choose?’ And she’s the same as I was; it’s all about the horses. But she’s finding a good balance, knowing that doing well in school and getting a good education is a priority.

She works hard for us, and knows what her commitments are and what we expect. Along with school and her riding, Sophie is also very involved with JustWorld International, and in California she volunteers with a therapeutic riding program.

Will Simpson: Like mother, like daughter – Sophie is so much like Nicki! Sophie is growing up, and watching her is like watching a mini-Nicki.

EqSol: And what about Ty? Is he interested in riding?
 Ty doesn’t ride – yet. We’ve kind convinced him into starting later. We think it’s important for him to do all sorts of sports, and if he wants to start riding once he’s played on other teams, he can. He is a great fan of our sport. The second he gets home he has a people-course all set up in the backyard. He knows all the horses in the barn, knows the lingo and all the riders. He likes to go to the grand prix and walk the course. He’s very analytical; maybe there’s course designing in his future…

WS: He loves to participate in all sorts of sports – soccer, football, etc. He’s like I was, I did all sorts of stuff as a kid. Guess you could say like father, like son. We’ll see…

NS: We’re very fortunate to have pretty easy, well-rounded kids!

EqSol: How many hours a day do you spend with the horses?
 At least one of us is done by the time Ty’s out of school. An alarm goes off every day to make sure we pick him up at 2:15, then we finish up lessons at the barn and we go home as a family. Our kids are with us 90% of the time. It’s really nice, and I have to say that along with the obvious equestrian pluses of the Wellington circuit, it is great for a family because you can stay in one place for six months. It’s very comfortable. We are grateful for this circuit in many ways, beyond just the horses.

EqSol: If you could each talk about one horse that improves daily, who would it be?
 We both have nine-year-olds that we’re really excited about.

WS: Obe is the one I’m bringing along… Anne Frankel owns him and knew she had something special. He’s a really smart horse by Cirka Z, one of Nicki’s good horses from years back. Because of our background with Cirka Z, we already know a lot about Obe and where he is headed. We feel that he definitely has a really good shot at the trials next year. And Nicki is developing a fabulous nine-year-old for Monarch International, Candle Light Van de Warande, by Parco. He’s coming along nicely, and has ribboned consistently in the 1.45m and 1.50m classes this season.

EqSol: Will, you are known for being able to get inside a horse’s mind and develop those “difficult” ones in a way that others can’t. Tell us more about that.
 Well, for example, Obe wasn’t very easy at first. I kind of felt like a little kid on a Thelwell pony. He would rear and buck, and when he stopped doing that he would just stand still. But now we’ve gotten to a place where we had six rounds fault-free. My daughter always laughs at me and asks me how I can say I can do the Olympic Trials if I haven’t done the 1.50m yet, but if you knew the horse and how his mind works, you’d know it’s the right plan.

What I work on every day is bringing the horses along in a way that is comfortable for them, teaching them how to compete and enjoy it, not fear it or resent it. If they enjoy their job, they perform well. Many pieces from their overall care to their training program play a role in their ‘happiness’. My career goal is to hopefully be considered a true horseman, not just a rider.

EqSol: You are both successful and focused on your individual and collective goals. How do you pass that on to your children?
 With a lot of communication and by keeping it real. Fortunately, our kids don’t ever feel entitled nor appear influenced by the world we work in. We are all very comfortable with who we are and how we fit in, so that translates. We stick together, work hard and keep looking forward.

Conversations With Equestrians: Rebecca Johanson Hofmann

By Jackie McFarland

Rebecca Johanson Hofmann of Blue Hill Farm
Young and settled. That defines the up and coming equestrian who has not only established her home and business in Wellington but will soon tie the knot. Becky Hofmann set her sights on this life long ago and now she is living it. Always looking to be at the top of her game, she develops her own horses. With partner and soon to be husband Conan Conway, she seeks and finds quality horses, keeping a select group for sale on her farm. Located in the equestrian neighborhoods that are literally a ride away from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Blue Hill Farm is not only a great little facility, it isthe place where everyone goes to test their poker skills on Monday nights during the season. The evening’s winner could walk away with a nice sum of money, and everyone has a great time.

After we toured the barn, Chloe had a chance to sit bareback on Corona, Becky’s great gray Grand Prix mare. We played in the grass with the barn mascot Uma, an irresistible English Bulldog, and then interviewed Becky.

EqSol: From what age did you know that this was your thing?
I always knew I wanted to ride, but by age 12 I knew that I wanted horses to be my career. Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah I didn’t have a lot of riding options. So at 15 I spent the summer riding with Betty Beran in Scottsdale, AZ. I wanted more. I convinced my mom to let me move to Scottsdale when I was 16. From that point my education was planned around riding – I graduated early both from high school and from college. I decided to go to Arizona State University so I could keep riding with Betty.

I rode with Betty and Renee Wasnik for from age 15-20. They definitely made a solid influence on my riding. I had a lot of opportunities to watch and catch ride. Betty and Renee introduced me to a lot of other professionals including Hap Hansen and Barney & McLain Ward.

EqSol: So you turned 20 and you had graduated from college. What next?
 During my last semester of college I was trying to qualify for the World Cup Finals with Corona. It was never really in the cards, but when I found myself in the top three qualifiers midway through the qualifying season, I thought why not give it a whirl? In the end I was named the alternate and stayed home. At the time I was disappointed, but now I know that I was a long way from being ready for that kind of competition. Everything happens for a reason. After graduation I moved to southern California for a short time to finish that season. Then I headed east.

I only planned to come out for The National Horse Show, which was in Wellington in December that year. It ended up being a huge transition in my life – riding was always a priority, but school had kept me so busy, with graduating early and riding too, that I hadn’t stepped back and made any decisions about what I was doing next. After watching top riders and seeing the tremendous opportunity to learn here in Wellington I decided to stay.

I had graduated from school and it was time for me to get an education in the world where I yearned to have more success. I had a lot to learn about the business and about riding. Spending time out here I was able to soak it all up – from all the perspectives – riding, managing horses – how the best do every step. My eyes were wide open and I realized all I didn’t know and was ready to focus on becoming a better horseman all the way around.

That was four years ago – 2007 – this is my fifth circuit here. A lot has changed.

EqSol: And now you are halfway through your twenties and you have an established business. What is the focus?
 I am a rider – I have big goals, dreams and aspirations as a rider. I’m not scared of hard work but I will have to work to get there. Conan and I find, buy, train and sell horses while always looking for those top young ones.

I’m paving the path, taking the steps – it’s a long road to the top. The means to the end goal is buying and selling. It is the best way to produce an income as well as develop myself as a rider.

Now with a few years under our belt, we are getting our plan under way. Every year Conan and I set a reasonable goal so sell “x” amount of horses, so far we have been really lucky and have been able to meet our goals each year. And of course the number grows as our business grows. Most of the horses we buy are to resell, but I always have my eye out for a special one for myself.

The focus is also to continue to challenge myself and improve my riding. Three years ago, after the Nations Cup in Buenos Aires and with the help of George Morris, I chose Jeffrey Welles as my mentor.

Jeffrey is a real horseman, and a great person. I try to watch him on all of his horses, from the young ones to the seasoned ones. He has an amazing feel for producing young horses. If I can absorb a small fraction of what he has to offer, I will be doing very well.

EqSol: Where do you find your ‘stock’?
 Our contacts are in France, Belgium and Holland. Those types of horses suit the way I ride. The horses that go similarly to my methods are easier for me to bring along and also sell. There is no point for me to buy something that doesn’t suit my way of riding.

Each horse has to vet well, be attractive and nice to ride, we don’t care which arena it will go in. They can suit any ring with those attributes. We keep a select group of these types. They are all nice horses.

EqSol: Tell us more about the ‘we’ part of you.
 Conan is my business partner and my fiancée – he is what Blue Hill Farm has been missing. He fills in all the gaps and is strong where I’m weak. He works with clients, is great with horses on the flat and works with me on the ground. It’s a whole different ball game for me now when getting ready for a big class – now I can just show up and think about the horse, my ride – I’m not handling every detail because Conan does it. This is the first time I feel like I have the right team – where everything falls into place. A match made in heaven.

We met for the first time at Spruce Meadows in 2007. We started dating later that year. We had a similar schedule – six months in the northeast, six months in Florida. We got engaged on Conan’s birthday just over two years ago and also decided to merge our businesses. We decided to establish our business before we planned the wedding. The operation is small enough that we both need to focus on it full time. Now the wedding is coming up – time flies!

EqSol: The Blue Hill Farm mascots?
 Biggz is an eight year old mini-pin. He’s a one-person kind of guy, so he tolerates Conan. Uma is our bulldog, just coming two years old. She’s our ‘baby’. Biggz could live without us, he is a very unique kind of dog. Uma is a lover and couldn’t survive without us. We love them both of course.

EqSol: The Blue Hill Farm horses…
 Corona – my great gray mare recently retired and is hopefully heading into motherhood. I’ve had her for close to eight years. She was my first grand prix horse – my entree into all the big classes. I rode her in my first NAJYRC, had my first grand prix win on her and rode her in my first Nations Cup. She’s the foundation. I have her to thank for everything.

I found her when I went to Barney’s to ride and try horses for a week. When I saw her there and tried her, she wasn’t the right horse at the time but I just had the feeling that she was the horse for me. I probably needed more of a ‘slave’ at that time, which she wasn’t. It took me a long time to get it together with her. But in the end we formed a great team. She taught me so much, and gave me a small taste of what I am setting my life up to work towards.

Corona is now living at my vet’s farm in Lexington, Kentucky getting ready to be put into foal to Chacco-Blue. And I can’t wait!

Twister – I was able to purchase Twister about a year ago. I had my eyes on him for a couple of years showing in the amateur jumpers with another rider. I just knew that he would suit my riding. When the opportunity came along to buy, I jumped at it. He is new to the Grand Prix Level. I had some very nice results with him last spring and summer. We are starting to gear him up for this season. I think he is a top 1.50 meter horse, a great mount for the spring and summer Grand Prix classes.

Zenith B – Blue Hill’s newest horse, he was purchased at the end of 2010. I have a very good feeling about this horse. He is coming seven this year, and still very green, but I believe he has all of the attributes to become a top horse. Now it is up to me not to mess with his natural instincts and abilities. I am learning to take it slow with him and keep the big picture in mind as he develops.

EqSol: So what does the future hold for Mrs. Conway?
 I love riding. I love being in the ring. It’s really hard to be at the top, but I’m going for it, one step at a time. I’m working on building a reputable business while I continue to work on developing competitive horses. I’m involved in every aspect. From a bug bite to a hot leg, there’s not one thing that goes on with my horses that I don’t know about it. I’ve learned so much about the business and even though I wish I could speed up the process, I would be skipping out on a lot of the education. Sure I want to be a contender and be recognized and have horses to compete on at the team level. I keep telling myself if I work hard, and keep learning, I’ll get there.

The goal is that when we are big enough I’ll have a string of four or five horses and Conan will handle the sales horses, we’ll always have a string of those too. That will come in time. Sometimes it is hard to be patient but I’m enjoying the journey.

Thank you Becky. We admire your commitment and it seems the path of passion, perseverance and patience you are paving is a road to success!