A Silky Start With A Blue Ribbon Finish

By Erna Adelson

I spoke with Lisa Thorpe about her latest venture, Silks to Show Ring Thoroughbred Foundation (SST), at a very fortuitous time. It’s the thick of Triple Crown season where the recent horse racing jewels include a long shot in Kentucky Derby victor Mine That Bird and a new pinup girl in Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra (a top ten Twitter trending topic on race day, in fact). Even though these two speed demons were ridden to thrilling wins and walked off the track unscathed, memories of the tragic Eight Belles and Ruffian accidents still come to mind. It was Eight Belles, the 2008 Derby runner-up who was euthanized on the track after breaking both front legs, who inspired Thorpe to start SST last year.

Some thoroughbreds, like Rachel Alexandra, are without a doubt born to race, but the ones that do not inherit a racehorse mentality are often left without many options. This includes those on the sidelines due to injuries and racehorse retirees who are finished on the track. If a new home isn’t available, these horses often end up at auction and at worst are sent to slaughter. Lisa, who spent much of her career riding thoroughbred hunters, has seen these non-racing horses find their forte, and from this experience, her program was born. “After reading about a descendant of Seabiscuit saved from slaughter and then Eight Belles died, I knew I needed to do something for these horses,” Lisa said. “Honestly, at the track, the horses are well taken care of, as they are on the show circuit. I’m not necessarily rescuing horses—ones who have suffered abuse—it’s just when they are no longer racehorses, there is nowhere for them to go, and it’s such a heartbreak,” she explained.

Lisa Thorpe is a former competitor who also ran a training business with husband Joe Thorpe after a successful junior and amateur career. She retired from competition to raise son Jonathon, now grown and married, as well as spearhead Show Circuit Magazine for over a decade. Establishing Silks to Show Ring is the next step in her equestrian evolution. Lisa adopted her first horse, the stallion Pink Hair, from the Del Mar Racetrack when he was sidelined with a sesamoid fracture in September of 2008. After several months of rest and rehabilitation, “Pink” is a total lapdog, and Lisa came out of retirement to begin riding him.

“Just handling and giving them a safe place to be is completely worth my time. Pink is a dream to hack, and the fact that he is happy is the biggest reward. It’s clear that he is proud of himself again. I just want these horses to be happy for the rest of their lives, and I’ve seen that it can happen.” It’s hard to miss the emotion in Lisa’s voice as she recalls re-training the once-successful racehorse. “It takes a lot of patience, kindness and a soft hand, but these talented horses are smart and great prospects. When I was competing, nearly all hunters and jumpers were thoroughbreds—that was when there used to be a non-thoroughbred class!”

Other trainers can attest; Rebecca Atwater, founder of Santa Barbara Stables, has a successful string of thoroughbreds in her hunter/jumper barn. “We did a clinic the other day with Laddie, registered as Easy Charm, and the clinician was completely taken aback when I told him that Laddie was a full thoroughbred,” she says. “He automatically assumed that this big guy was a warmblood. We call him the Seabiscuit of our barn—he’s been such a success with [rider/owner] Marina Da Silva throughout their hunter career together.” Da Silva and Easy Charm are now competing in 3’ 3” and 3’6” divisions at local and ‘A’ shows.

Ultimately, to get this sort of testimony from more trainers and to see thoroughbreds back in the show arena along with the warmbloods are the goals that inspire SST. “In the long term, I would love to have horses find new homes on a weekly basis, establish a fostering program with retraining for 90 days at other barns, and then getting thoroughbreds into the show ring up to the top levels again,” Lisa said. “There’s a high-score hunter/jumper thoroughbred award through San Fernando Horse Show Association at the B level, which is a start,” she noted, “but I would love to see them compete at the ‘AA’ shows.” She further explained in an enthusiastic tone “If I could get division sponsors, I would love to have a thoroughbred hunter class, and help to establish a funnel for these horses to have a second career.”

SST’s second horse, the filly Silver Scrumptious, came from Silver Charm lineage. She was with SST for just four months before she found a new home with a family in Yucca Valley. The adoption fee for the even-tempered mare was just $1,000, with the conditions that Lisa is given regular updates on her progress and she is never raced again. Thorpe ideally would have five horses at a time, but she is doing the best she can with present resources. Currently, SST fosters two horses, so since Silver Scrumptious found a home, Pink—still on his way to a full recovery—and another Silver Charm baby, Silverado Man, are currently kept at Bliss Canyon Investments in Bradbury Estates (previously the stables of late Saudi Prince Ahmed bin Salman’s The Thoroughbred Corporation). Along with Lisa, hunter/jumper trainer Amy Hess of Hess Equine, whose husband is racehorse trainer Bob Hess Jr., Barbara Thompson, Wendi Stone and others have helped to train and care for the horses. “Everyone has contributed so much. Amy is familiar with both worlds, so she really understands the horses,” said Thorpe. “Even my veterinarian has given discounts on treatments.”

“I think we have been able to do this on such low overhead so far because everyone likes to give back. Many of us who rode in the 80’s owe our success, even our careers, to thoroughbred horses. Just taking one on in their string or donating time makes a difference in a thoroughbred’s life and also how they are viewed as show horses. They still have so much to give. Silverado Man, my current project, came right off the track with his head up like a cobra, but in under a week of care he has mellowed and is a wonderful, sweet horse.” With adoption fees ranging from $500 to $5,000, Thorpe estimates, the benefits of adopting OTTB’s are multiple – certainly a reasonable investment in this economy, potentially more cost-effective than importing a warmblood. Plus many of the horses are solid competitors who would relish in a second chance to excel. The time spent training and bringing them down off the track creates a strong bond between horse and owner. And sometimes the alternative for these horses is death by slaughter, so a new lease on life is clearly a benefit.

“I know there are thoroughbreds out there who have already been successful in their second careers, and I would like to give them some recognition,” Lisa says. “So please send me your stories! Just knowing that there are others out there is important for the breed to reclaim its place.”

Lisa is looking for your stories, donations, or willingness to adopt. Contact her at 909-392-0838. Website: www.silkstoshowring.com.

 

EquestriSol News: June 21, 2007

NEW CLIENTS
EquestriSol announces our newest client, Jenny Williams’ LaSalle Farms located in Northern California. We are currently developing a brand new web site for this growing hunter/jumper sales barn.

Are you ready to develop a fabulous ad or build a web site? Has your web site not been updated or redesigned in months or even years? We work hard to help clients attain their marketing goals.

STAY TUNED 
For new web sites set to go live this month! We’ve had an incredible year to date, not only has business grown quite a bit but between us we’ve also experienced two significant & joyous milestones – as of February Jackie has an adorable baby girl and Lena just had a beautiful May wedding. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to offering you innovative marketing solutions.

ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF JUMPDELMAR.COM visit website
EquestriSol just completed the redesign of JumpDelMar.com, the official web site for the Del Mar International and Palms Classic horse shows. New this year, “A” Rated Open Hunters at Del Mar International, September 26-30. Check the web site for additional information as it becomes available, and look for their new ad campaign to follow.

We’re also excited to announce the redesign of Nicole Bloom’s Round Meadow Farm. visit website

Also look for ShowMom.com in magazines spanning both coasts. In the May and June issues of Hunter Jumper Magazine look for a great editorial written for Show Moms and a new ad in this month’s USHJA In Stride Magazine.

UPCOMING AD DEADLINES
From custom ad design and placement to developing copy, we can handle every aspect of your advertising campaign. Our equestrian experience is an asset in understanding the look and feel our clients seek in print advertising and the results speak for themselves. Look for EquestriSol designed ads in current and upcoming issues of The Chronicle of the Horse, Show Circuit Magazine, USHJA’s In Stride Magazine and in horse show programs around the country. Contact us for more details.

California Horsetrader
• July 5th Issue – Deadline: 6/25
• July 19th Issue – Deadline: 7/9

California Riding Magazine
• August Issue – Deadline: 7/15/07

Chronicle of the Horse – published weekly
• Deadline: 2 weeks prior to the publication date

Hunter Jumper Magazine
• July Issue – Deadline: 6/29/07

PCHA Newsletter
• August Issue – Deadline: 7/1/07

USEF’s Equestrian Magazine
• August Issue – Deadline: 7/15/07

USHJA’s In Stride Magazine
• September Issue – Deadline: 7/15/07

EquestriSol News: Decemeber 14, 2006

NEW CLIENTS
EquestriSol welcomes our newest clients – Joie Gatlin-Morley Abey Show Jumping Inc, Plaid Ranch and Blue Hill Farm, LLC. We’re looking forward to developing custom marketing solutions for these stables. What can we do for you?

Are you ready to develop a fabulous ad or build a web site? Has your web site not been updated or redesigned in months or even years? We aim to help clients attain their marketing goals.

UPCOMING AD DEADLINES
Horse Connection January Issue
Advertising Deadline: December 15th

California Riding Magazine – January Issue
Advertising Deadline: December 13, 2006

2007 California Riding Horseman’s Directory
Advertising Deadline: January 15, 2007

Show Circuit MagazineWinter 2007 Issue
Advertising Deadline: January 17, 2007

Chronicle of the Horse – Published weekly, dated Friday
Advertising Deadline: Two weeks prior to the publication date.

WEST COAST ACTIVE RIDERS

Membership
BECOME A WCAR MEMBER by SUNDAY DEC. 17th for a chance to win a PREMIUM GIFT BASKET FROM PAYNE-MASON!

EquestriSol News: September 12, 2006

Advertising
Show Circuit Magazine – Fall Issue
Space Reservation Deadline: September 1, 2006
Advertising Deadline: September 29, 2006

Chronicle of the Horse – Published weekly, dated Friday
Advertising Deadline: Two weeks prior to the publication date

Horse Connection November Issue
Advertising Deadline: October 15th

EquestriSol Announces New Clients
We look forward to completing logo design, web site and ad campaign projects for Vicki Bergevin’s Parkside Stables in Bellevue, WA, StillWater Equestrian, LLC in Pleasanton, CA and Crystal Image Farms in Sunol, CA. Need a professional look? Ready to advertise or build a web site?

EquestriSol Welcomes Rebecca Walton
EquestriSol recently welcomed Rebecca Walton to the team. Rebecca will be working as an intern and junior account executive. She is a student at James Madison University where she is majoring in media arts and design with a marketing minor. Rebecca brings an array of experience to the table having worked with companies such as Equestrian Adventurer Media, the North American Point-to-Point Association, and PhelpsSports.com. She has ridden and competed for over 11 years. Rebecca is thrilled to be a part of the EquestriSol team and cannot wait to start assisting clients with their marketing needs.

West Coast Active Riders
As this newsletter features, WCAR is busy once again this fall. After a very hot summer of success from Spruce to Europe, WCAR is excited to share the news with everyone. Please join us for an early evening Pre-Prix Party at the Oaks VIP Tent on Friday, September 15th where WCAR ‘s 2006 European Team will exhibit a visual and verbal presentation of their tour.

As you head down to watch the $50,000 HBO CSI-W Grand Prix on Friday night, don’t miss the WCAR Fun-Raising Fair with food, drink and vendor fare such as jewelry, clothing, tack and more. PLUS bid on autographed items from our top West Coast Grand Prix riders, including Joie Gatlin, Michael Endicott, Mandy Porter and many, many more.

On Friday be a fan or bring along a few and stay for our Summer European Tour members & top four Grand Prix finishers to autograph a photo or Fun Facts Sheet directly after the Grand Prix is over.

Join us AGAIN on Saturday, September 16th as we host the second night of the WCAR Fun-Raising Fair with food, drink and vendor fare such as jewelry, clothing, tack and more during the ASPCA Regionals.

And it doesn’t stop there. WCAR is planning a fabulous membership drive and disco party in November at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. We’ll have loads of information on 2007 member benefits, WCAR programs and qualifiers. Stay tuned for more details.

EXTRAORDINARY HORSE PROPERTY
Southern Pines Farm, Parker, CO
Set peacefully above Parker, this extraordinary property will offer you inspiration every day. Offering everything equestrian dreams are made of, the custom built home offers over 9,000 square feet of pure luxury, including the gourmet kitchen and great room, recreation, home theatre, wine cellar and master suite as well as a beautiful barn, indoor arena and turnout. Commanding views highlight this already perfect home on 80 acres. Priced to sell.

EquestriSol News: June 20, 2006

EquestriSol Announces New Clients
We are continuously adding to our client list, including a summer press campaign for Union Jack Stable & Garden, and COMING this fall web sites for Crystal Image Farms, Royal Oaks Farm and Creative Saddlery. We’ve had a handful of great meetings with more potential clients, so stay tuned! Thank you all for trusting in EquestriSol.

West Coast Active Riders
As always, lots happening with WCAR. The Spruce Teams are preparing to head North and give it their all at the brand new Jr/Am Skyliner Tournament GOOD LUCK & have fun!

The final preparations are underway for the WCAR European Team – Jenni Martin, Joie Gatlin, Francie Steinwedell-Carvin & Susie Artes with Chef d’Equipes Bernie Traurig & Dale Harvey. They are heading to France, Spain & Holland in late July through mid-August. GOOD LUCK & bring back pictures!

WCAR has had a fabulous year and they still have two seasons to go!

Upcoming Advertising Deadlines – Mark Your Calendars!
Show Circuit Magazine Fall issue
Space Reservation: July 5th
Advertising Deadline: July 17th

Horse Connection – August Issue
Advertising Deadline: July 15th

Chronicle of the Horse – Published weekly, dated Friday
Advertising Deadline: Two weeks prior to the publication date
Junior Showcase Issue Advertising deadline: August 11th

We take pride in creating a custom look for your business as we have for Sunnybrook Farm & Ranch, Willowbrook Stables, Highland Farm and more. We work with a variety of both regional and national publications. Contact us at (310) 930-2744 for more details.

EliteHunterJumper.com
With a recent makeover, EliteHunterJumper.com now offers horses, tack, trucks & trailers, stallions, services & events and Elite Exchange (discussion board). All free, including adding your event! And for very reasonable fees you can list your sale horses, saddles, stallions, shows/clinics and trucks/trailers. Check it out!

EquestriSol News: October 2005

Ad Campaigns
EquestriSol’s innovative team created the first centerfold ad which ran in the Fall Issue of Show Circuit Magazine featuring top Young Rider Shelby Walter. Now off to college at the University of Colorado at Boulder, we want to congratulate Shelby on a fantastic span of success from ponies to jumpers and wish her all the best in school.

EquestriSol specializes in custom ad campaigns that put your equine business, horse or congratulatory ad in the forefront of any equine publication. However, a well-designed ad is only one aspect of an effective ad campaign. EquestriSol’s knowledgeable staff listens and responds to your needs by offering creative concepts and a strategic plan that suit your goals and budget. To learn more about our custom ad design and consultation services, email us at info@equestrisol.com or contact our Marketing Specialist at 310.351.9244.

Upcoming Websites
EquestriSol is working with a few prominent trainers on their new websites. We will announce their online grand openings sometime soon so stay tuned!

Whether your business is established in the industry or just starting, a professional and polished website is certain to enhance your image and increase brand awareness. EquestriSol has extensive expertise in website management, consultation and design. To schedule an evaluation with us, please email info@equestrisol.com or contact our Marketing Specialist at 310.351.9244

Also Coming Soon!
EquestriSol’s new and vastly improved website is scheduled to launch in November, just in time for the holiday season! The website explains every aspect of who we are and what we do. Plus we will be developing an online marketing resource for all your needs from sale horses to educational seminars. We’ve been working hard and can’t wait for the equestrian community to come for a virtual visit.

Elitehunterjumper.com
Log on today (it’s free!) and read Zazou Hoffman’s Column recently updated with her articles on preparing for the demanding Foxfield Jumping Derby and competing in the east coast medal finals.

While you’re visiting, don’t forget to list all of your fabulous sale horses. Prices are reasonable and there is no better place to display your premium equine athlete.

EqSol Articles
Articles on H/J happenings on the West Coast written by Jackie Freundlich were featured in the July 8th and September 9th issues of The Chronicle of the Horse. Be sure to get a copy!

EquestriSol News: June 2005

Ad Campaigns
EquestriSol specializes in well-designed custom ad campaigns that put your equine business, horse or congratulatory ad in the forefront of any equine publication. However, a well-designed ad is only one aspect of an effective ad campaign. EquestriSol’s knowledgeable staff listens and responds to your needs by offering creative concepts and a strategic plan that suits your goals and budget. To learn more about our custom ad design and consultation services, email us at info@equestrisol.com

Special thanks to EquestriSol clients Arwen Stables, Elitehunterjumper.com and Jenni Martin Enterprises. Their custom ads are featured in the Spring issue of Show Circuit Magazine available now. And look for Creative Saddlery’s striking ad in the current issue of the International Equine Journal. EquestriSol also thanks the Helfrich Family for trusting their design needs to EquestriSol.

Marketing
Look in the next issue of the International Equine Journal for an informative piece from EquestriSol about marketing your business.

Jenni Martin Enterprises (JME) Launches New Website
The new and improved JME website is now live! The site’s enhanced features include recent news and events, photo gallery, updated JME team bios and more.

Whether your business is established in the industry or just starting, a professional, classy and polished website is certain to enhance your image and increase brand awareness. EquestriSol has extensive expertise in website management, consultation and design. To schedule an evaluation with us, please email info@equestrisol.com

West Coast Active Riders
Congratulations to the 2005 Spruce Meadow Prix de Nations competitors and qualifiers. We wish you all the best of luck in Canada!

Elitehunterjumper.com
Of course EliteHunterJumper.com is the premier equine marketplace but did you know that the site also includes trainer interviews, rider colums and behind-the-scene stories? Log on today and read Zazou Hoffman’s Column on everything from a Q&A with Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum to the Ronnie Mutch Scholarship.

Fabulous Photos
EquestriSol covered the World Cup in Vegas this past April for EliteHunterJumper.com. Our photographer was Tim Poulsen and he was phenomenal. He not only took GREAT shots (see www.poulsenphoto.com), better than many of the big names, but he was responsible, reliable and a pleasure to work with. We recommend him for any your equine photography needs. Thank you Tim!