EquestriSol News: August 16, 2010

Our Nation in Europe
On the International side of equestrian sport, the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cups Series is complete. With the riders chosen for the long list split into three Nations Cups tours, the United States had some stellar performances, including the all-girls team winning in Rotterdam and two second place finishes, one early on in La Baule and one at the last show in Dublin.

After all the points were tallied, the US slipped ahead of Great Britain finishing second overall with 44 points. A very commendable finish that those fifteen riders collectively achieved.
WEG 2010

Less Than 40 Days Until the WEG
The Selection Committee has officially chosen a short list from the long list to represent the United States at the World Equestrian Games. And one name won’t be on it…

First we would like to congratulate the top four: McLain Ward/Sapphire, Laura Kraut/Cedric, Lauren Hough/Quick Study and Mario Desluariers/Urico as well as the ‘traveling substitute’ Candice King/Skara Glen’s Davos. Sitting in the fifth and sixth spots on the list are Richard Spooner/Cristallo and Rich Fellers/Flexible. Since there is over a month until the WEG begins, even if the order of the above names change slightly, they all had a fantastic showing in Europe and would certainly be solid representatives.

Note that one top name that has achieved consistent success since WEF is missing. She did very well throughout the WEG Trials at WEF and in Europe. She made the horse she rode an international name. We interviewed her recently; please read about her experience in Nicole Simpson On Tour. So why is her name not in the top six? The horse she rode so fabulously had to be withdrawn – he never returned from Europe.

Where is Tristan? A Commentary…
Although surprising, this sad situation brings to light a distinct truth about the sport at this level – the riders often don’t own the horses they ride. One would think that an owner with international aspirations is committed to the process from beginning to end. Could it be possible that a unique circumstance supercedes the original goals? If the process is going well and the horse and rider are competing successfully with a strong chance of making a national team, one would hope, even expect, that the owner would remain committed. Certainly the rider would, as this is a rider’s dream – representing their country on a gifted horse that they’ve developed into an international talent.

If the horse is at the top of his game, in Europe, and along comes a potential buyer or offer, what does an owner do? While one perspective would be to stick to the commitment made to the rider, the USEF and his or her fellow USEF long list owners, there are certainly many other considerations. Will Tristan show up at the WEG with a rider from another country and potentially under another name? Time will tell, and if he does compete, even with another rider and for another country, we should all take a moment to appreciate the world class riding and commitment that went into his development into an international competitor.

Of course during our interview we asked Nicki about Tristan’s plan after her successful tour. At the time she mentioned that she thought it odd that the horse had not yet returned, but we didn’t discuss details. Once she knew she had to withdraw the horse from the WEG selection, she called. We added her comments to the article.

EquestriSol News: April 20, 2010

2010 FEI World Cup Finals Commentary
Competitive riders have many goals and overcome numerous obstacles, literally and psychologically, to achieve these goals. When a name is synonymous with the best of the best, having won Olympic Gold Medals, international titles and countless Grand Prix events, that individual has clearly earned recognition and deserves respect.

That is how we see McLain Ward. Granted he and his father have a tainted past, but as McLain points out that was over a decade ago and he has had a completely clean record ever since. He expects extra scrutiny and often has to endure it. However he continues to be at the top of his game, winning on numerous horses, of course the most famous to date is the fabulous Sapphire.

We all know full well this could’ve been their World Cup victory year. They came so incredibly close last year in Vegas against Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly, an awesome competition until the very end. After Friday’s class McLain and Sapphire were on the path to potentially claim the title this year.

Then hypersensitivity happened. Seems sadly unjust to those of us who were routing from afar. Takes the wind out of the competition sails. From what we’ve read, what is sad and disheartening for thousands of us who support and participate in equestrian sport was an absolute nightmare for McLain and his team.

A mare who has proven time and time again to be a winner, has no history of unsoundness, whom had just won top placings in the first two rounds of the FEI World Cup Final, continues to jog sound and clearly is a competitor – why at this stage in her career could she test as hypersensitive to the point of elimination for her own safety? It may be ‘protocol’ but is it logical?

What makes this decision the right one? Why do these individuals get absolute power to eliminate with no appeal or recourse? How is that clean sport? It seems to put too much power in the hands of a few. It certainly presents a serious issue for the future of the sport. When does hypersensitivity make sense in a seasoned horse?

So many unanswered questions.

We congratulate Marcus Ehning, who is a tremendous talent and impeccable rider. Congratulations also go to US riders Mario Deslauriers, Richard Spooner and Rich Fellers, all in the top twelve. We only wish they and all the other competitors would’ve competed against McLain.

Here are several links to find out more:
– PhelpsSports.com – includes an exclusive interview with McLain and a conversation with Rodrigo Pessoa & Jimmy Torano (must be a member to read)
– The Chronicle of the Horse
– USEF – look for World Cup releases
– We Support McLain Ward and Sapphire – Facebook group
– McLain and Sapphire – Facebook group


The Derby Journals

Jenny & Kosti Karazissis go to Kentucky

Tuesday, August 18th: Kosti
Tuesday morning found us with sand paper eyes and rumpled clothes. Jenny and I were standing under threatening skies and the odor of steaming tarmac in front of the baggage claim at the Cincinnati Airport. We were waiting for Peter and Tonia Looker, the owners of Forbes and Aragon, the horses that Jenny was to ride in the first ever International Hunter Derby Finals held at the ever-expanding Kentucky Horse Park. Peter and Tonia arrived in a large rental car with a cavernous trunk that barely accommodated Jenny’s three forty-five pound bags and my carry on. The one-hour ride to the inside of yet another hotel room was uneventful. A short nap and we were back in the rental car on the way to the Horse Park.

As we left the drab scenery made up of hotels and Waffle Houses that seemed to out number the McDonalds in the multiple strip malls, things began to change dramatically. Suddenly we were seeing miles of perfectly maintained fence lines surrounding beautiful pastures covered with actual Kentucky bluegrass (I don’t care what anybody says, it’s green). Perfectly stacked limestone walls defined the entrances to one stunning farm after another. The Kentucky Horse Park is spectacular. From the logo and vistas to the footing, management, arenas, stadium and stabling. We arrived to find our horses meticulously cared for by Rick Fancher and his Milesaway Farm’s charming and helpful staff. We rode and schooled our horses. Later that afternoon we enjoyed a private tour of the USEF Headquarters by AHSA past-President Alan Balch who happens to be a close friend of the Looker’s. Peter was Alan’s right hand man during the highly successful 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The USEF staff was very gracious and cooperative. It was nice to put a face and location to the people we talk to every now and then.

Wednesday, August 19th: Jenny
On Wednesday I showed my horses in the medium schooling jumpers in preparation for the Derby. Both of them were very good. Aragon felt a little fresh so I galloped him around the cross country course which was something I’ve never done before. Definitely beats longeing, Kentucky truly is horse heaven.

Thursday, August 20th: Jenny
Today I stepped it up a notch and did the high schooling jumpers. I was worried that my horses may be peaking too soon, as they had never jumped better. Kost felt it was due to the outstanding footing and I wholeheartedly agree. Keri Kampsen rode On Top in the Regular Working Hunters on Wednesday and was very competitive. She chose not to finish the division on Thursday. John French, who had been in Europe the week prior, arrived Wednesday and decided to wait to show his mount Rumba on Thursday in the medium schooling jumpers. We were allowed to hack our horses in the Johnson Arena where the Derby Finals would take place from 3:30 – 5:00p.m. This is the same arena where riders from around the world will compete in the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Friday was the big day – the first round of the finals. 60 horses qualified. To establish the order of go, they took the bottom 30 horses in the national rankings and randomly drew the first half of the class, followed by a random draw of the top 30 horses for the second half of the order. This ensured that someone like Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy, who won an award for the most money won during the qualifying season, would not have to go first. I drew 28th on Aragon and 50th on Forbes. Keri and John both went in the second half of the order. We were given the classic hunter course diagram that night.

Friday, August 21st: Jenny
We were allowed to walk the course prior to the start time of 8:00a.m. It was very inviting and the jumps were absolutely beautiful. I had a couple rubs with Aragon and ended up 27th just out of the top 25. Forbes, On Top, and Rumba all made it to the next round. John and Rumba won the first round. The top 25 start with a clean slate going into Round Two, so Friday evening they had a draw party to determine the order of go. The riders were asked to pick a silver cup that had a number engraved on the bottom, you then got to keep your cup along with various other gifts. I drew 13th which I consider to be a lucky number. Kerry drew 9th and John 14th. Each of the top 25 also received a check for $1,000.

Saturday, August 22nd: Jenny
Round Two was scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. During opening ceremonies the riders paraded around the ring while the announcer spoke briefly about our accomplishments. George Morris, who is responsible for bringing this fabulous derby excitement back to the hunter ring, spoke eloquently to the crowd and thanked the sponsors – title sponsor ASG Software Solutions along with Dietrich Equine Insurance, Walsh Harness and Saddlery, Charles Owen, Dover Saddlery, Essex Classics, The Clothes Horse, Personalized Products and Grand Prix – for making this dream possible. He was also one of the eight judges for the Finals.

 This round was also a classic format but the four sets of judges could give up to 10 bonus points on top of their regular score for style and quality of movement. I had a rail down at one of the five option jumps. In hind sight I wish I had done the lower 3’6” option. I didn’t see Keri go but she said she had some difficulty at the squirrel tail jump. The second you exited the ring the media pulled you aside for an interview so I also missed John’s round but I could hear the crowd go crazy when it was over. His score was 400 including the bonus points!

Not making the top 12 was very disappointing mostly because the handy course looked like so much fun to ride. It had its challenges and caused trouble for some of the riders. Trying to get over my disappointment I sat in the stands to watch the exciting finish with my mom and niece who came all the way to Kentucky to support me. John had a very big lead going into the final round. Jennifer Alfano sitting in 2nd place put the pressure on after taking a very handy track and her horse Jersey Boy jumped brilliantly. Since I’ve competed against John week after week back home I was confident he could handle it. And sure enough he did just what he needed to do to insure the win, taking the title in the first ever USHJA Hunter Derby Finals.

Sunday, August 23rd: Jenny
After unwinding from all the excitement we were able to get four hours sleep before catching an early flight back to San Diego where our barn, Far West Farms, had been competing all week.

Even though I personally would like to have had a better end result, I am so grateful for the opportunity that Peter and Tonia Looker and their horses gave me. It was an honor to both witness and participate in an event of this caliber. I hope to return in years to come.

Thank you, Jenny and Kosti, for taking the time to journal your experience.

The Ins & Outs Of NCAA Teams

By Kathy Keeley

There are two choices if you want to ride on a college team in a formal program: NCAA varsity equestrian and IHSA collegiate teams. Many parents think the two are synonymous when in fact they are very different – from scholarships and show formats to athletic benefits.

While there are hundreds of club teams, IHSA, there are very few varsity teams – about 20 or so teams at the varsity level. Varsity teams are only allowed 15 total scholarships according to NCAA rules. They work under a budget and do not have unlimited scholarships. This makes it very competitive for a freshman to get a full scholarship.

The NCAA route: Steps to get on a team
Getting on a team has become more and more competitive as interest grows. Due to this it can be challenging for English riders to get on a team, and the challenge is greater if you want to be the one showing on the team.

• Go online and register with NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association. You cannot be recruited unless you have registered. You can find more information about this at:http://www.ncaastudent.org
• Make a video showing your riding skills on several different horses, including green ones. One segment can be on your show horse, but the others need to be at various levels of training. Wear britches, polo shirt, and tall boots for the video so you look professional. Demonstrate that you can do lead changes, jump different horses, and perform equitation on different mounts.
Note: With help from friends and the trainer, we videotaped my daughter riding seven horses from green broke to her fancy show horse.
• Write a resume of your riding experience starting with most recent. List your major wins including championships, blue ribbons, and riding experience. Include the resume with your videotape.
• Go on recruitment trips to 1-2 schools. Make an appointment with the coach, go on the admissions tour, and watch the team at a lesson or competition. Spend a couple of days getting a feel for the campus. Be prepared to answer the questions of why you want to be on their team and what you would contribute to the team.
• Follow-up and email the coaches. Keep them posted on any show success during your senior year. Some coaches receive over 200 videotapes, so communication is important. Most teams are put together in January and February, so have a plan B if you are not accepted on the team.

• Keep an open mind and look at several schools. Your chances of acceptance increase the more schools you are willing to consider.

3 important things to consider if you want to be on an NCAA team:
1. Early workouts: Girls are required under NCAA rules to work out in the weight room or training center three days a week, often at 6 a.m. You jog, lift weights, and use the exercise machines while working with a trainer assigned to your sport. Attendance is mandatory.
2. You work for your coach, not the reverse, as you may be used to if you show on the circuit. The coach is in charge. Team members do most of the work with the horses, from bathing, grooming, and braiding, to exercising the horses. There are no moms or grooms to assist.
3. Teams can be up to 50 -100 girls: Only four or five girls actually show in a competition from each team, which means that the majority of the team will be benchwarmers at the events.

My daughter’s story
My daughter chose to take the NCAA varsity team route. She liked that she was treated as a full college athlete with all of the privileges that male athletes receive, like tutors and advisors, study hall, community service, and early morning weight training. Other perks include early class registration, book pick up, and access to an athletic center with trainers.

Days are very busy, starting at 6:00 a.m. with weight training, classes, riding, team meetings, training room visits for massages, more classes, and then returning home to study at 5 pm. Her riding skills and confidence have grown significantly as she has learned to ride an unfamiliar horse with a three-minute warm-up and then ride an equitation course. I’ve watched her gradual transition from show rider to athlete and team member – a transition that required her to change her mindset, but it has paid off. She loves wearing her letter jacket and hanging out with the football and baseball teams—an athletic perk. She has found a place that’s not all females, another definite perk in her mind.

If you want to think ahead and prepare to get on a team, then here’s what we recommend:
Focus on equitation, get experience riding lots of different horses, and show in different places. Showing at the college level is all about equitation, so training in equitation as opposed to just the hunter or jumper rings is key. Years of riding experience helps, especially at a competitive level, which prepares you for handling the nerves, excitement and competition in different venues. Coaches may prefer riders who have some experience in other types of team sports and athletics because they understand team dynamics, athletics, and competition, whereas the show arena is an individual sport. Keep good records of your show history.

We have learned a lot by participating in the sport through the NCAA program. An entirely new perspective from the ‘A’ show circuit, varsity riding is not for everyone.

Think and look carefully about the fit for your competitive and collegiate goals. Web sites for more information:

For more tips, resources and articles for ShowMoms, visit: ShowMom.com

Ronnie Mutch Equitation Classic

By Laura Ware 

The newly added championship week at this year’s HITS Desert Circuit brought many exciting new classes. One of them was the prestigious Ronnie Mutch Equitation Classic, which has previously been held at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. To qualify for the classic, riders must have won a USET, USEF, ASPCA Maclay, or WIHS medal class at any of this year’s winter circuits.

This class is unique in that it does not allow the riders to communicate with their trainers during the time that the class is being held. The riders are also judged in the schooling ring. This year’s winner, Carly Anthony, was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us regarding this special class.

Laura: What was the format of the class?

Carly: There were two rounds. The first one was a jumper course that had a very demanding first line which challenged everyone. The judges definitely rewarded the people who took risks. Even if the round wasn’t perfect, they liked the fact that a rider was willing to put it on the line. The second round had tests which were also very difficult. There was no work off, but I believe there would have been if the judges had had more time, because the scores were very close. Laura: What was it like not being able to communicate with your trainers?

Carly: I LOVED IT! It was a great chance to use all that I have learned from my trainers and prove to them that what they teach me doesn’t go in one in ear and out the other; it actually stays in there.

Laura: What was it like to be judged in the schooling ring? I understand that the overall score from your round was adjusted based on the schooling arena judge.

Carly: It was so much fun to be judged in the schooling ring because that’s where it all happens. You get to show the judges what makes you even more unique from the other riders as you school your horse over warm-up fences. They announced the scores when the other scores from your round were announced, and a rider could receive a +4, +2, 0, -2, or -4. I would have to say that was one of the most interesting parts of the class.

Laura: Did you enjoy this type of class?

Carly: This was the most fun class that I have ever competed in. It was a true test of my knowledge, and it was such an amazing experience to prove not only to my trainers, but to myself that I can do this on my own. I really enjoyed riding on my own, and it gave me a little taste of what it will be like when I become a professional. It was an honor to be able to compete in such a wonderful class.

Laura: Thank you so much for your time, Carly, and congratulations on winning the inaugural Ronnie Mutch Equitation Classic on the West Coast. Hopefully we’ll see more of these classes in the future.

Ronnie Mutch was a life-long horseman. An early student of Gordon Wright and Al Homewood, Mutch won the AHSA Medal finals in 1950 at the age of 15. At 18 he was the youngest rider at the time to ride for the USET. By 1970, Mutch had established with his wife, Sue Bauer, one of the most successful show jumping stables in the country, Nimrod Farm. Twenty-eight years after Mutch had won the AHSA Medal Finals, Mutch’s son, Bert, won the Medal Finals. Ronnie and Bert Mutch are the only father and son combination to have won the Medal Finals.

The R.W. Mutch Educational Foundation is a tax exempt 501 (c) (3) educational foundation that sponsors both a scholarship and the annual R.W. (Ronnie) Mutch Equitation Classic. This special invitational class is open only to those young riders who qualify by winning one of the major equitation classes during any of the Winter Circuits, including HITS-Thermal, HITS-AZ, HITS-Ocala, CN-WEF & the Gulf Coast Winter Series. It is a highly sought after honor to be invited to participate.

Past Winners of the Equitation Classic:
2008 – Carly Anthony
2007 – Maria Schaub
2006 – Maria Schaub
2005 – Sloanes Coles
2004 – Brianne Goutal
2003 – Whitney Roper
2002 – Kate Landau
2001 – Brian Walker
2000 – Vanessa Haas
1999 – Sarah Willeman

Laura Listens is brought to you by Laura Ware. Winner of the 2007 LAHSA Junior Medal Finals and a recipient of the 2008 WCAR Jumper Rider Grant, Laura rides with First Field Farm and often trains with Archie Cox. She is very successful in the all three disciplines on her own mounts as well as catch riding other horses.

Conversations With Equestrians: Polly Hey Panos

By Tammy Chipko

Meet Randy Hey and Polly Hey Panos of Blue Ribbon Law…

Randy Hey is a respected trial attorney based in Redwood City, California. He has practiced law for 36 years, working much of that time as a prosecutor with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Polly Hey Panos, Randy’s daughter, is a successful equine attorney now in business with her father in Redwood City. She has been involved with horses for 27 years and has competed on the hunter-jumper show circuit for 25 years.

I spoke with Polly Hey Panos regarding her work within the Equestrian World.

TC: How did you get involved in representing horse enthusiasts?
PHP: I have been involved with horses most of my life. My mother is a trainer and I compete in the Hunter/Jumpers. As a child my dream was to work as an attorney with my father. He was ready for a change from prosecutorial work, so we decided to work together. This allows me to practice law in an industry that I love.

TC: What does your practice cover?
PHP: We represent clients in all matters relating to horses including drafting all types of contracts; contract disputes; sales and lease disputes; mortality issue disputes; immigration law and advice; formation of partnerships, corporations, LLCs and LLPs; property liability; horse insurance and disputes; zoning and zoning disputes; disciplinary matters with the USEF; trainer/breeder liability and breeding issues.

TC: Why do you think this is so important for anyone involved in the horse industry?
PHP: Problems for horse owners arise in many ways, such as: (1) an oral agreement to buy a horse, when you should have had a written agreement, (2) assuming you have liability insurance – only to learn that you don’t, (3) failing to disclose the horse’s past medical problems when applying for insurance, (4) buying a horse without a vet check, (5) buying a horse overseas – to name a few on the list. Business owners need to understand the importance of contracts. You need to protect yourself, having programs in place that prevent unnecessary lawsuits due to, among other things: faulty tack, mismatching of horse and rider, and especially Safety Helmet issues. These are just a few examples of preventable problems. Prevention is key.

TC: How does Hey & Hey help with buying and selling of horses?
PHP: We have a lot of information on our web site regarding steps to take when trying and buying horses. We also explain the importance of protecting the owner of the horse. Among the ways a seller can protect his liability is to first require that the buyer sign a waiver, releasing the seller of all liability from the horse. Release forms in California must include specific language to be enforceable. We also can help facilitate purchases overseas. We provide a lot of useful information at our web site.

TC: How many situations could be prevented if the correct actions are taken ahead of time? 
PHP: I think most problems that arise can most definitely be prevented ahead of time if the necessary contracts are in place and everyone involved understands the contracts. They protect everyone. Can I say it again? Prevention is key.

TC: Thank you for your time. I understand that you offer a free consultation.
PHP: You’re welcome, and thank you! To schedule a free consultation or if someone has questions, we can be reached at (650) 216-6012

Setting Attainable Goals For the Show Ring

By Zazou Hoffman

The start of the New Year is a good time to formulate a game plan for your riding. Take a realistic look at your riding skills, the ability of your horse and the amount of time and money you can devote to the sport. Come up with a list of goals. Then go to your finance person for a consultation – this is most likely your parents, although you may be able to make a contribution yourself if you have an after-school job or other money saved up. Once you know how much you have to spend, you can sit down with your trainer and review your options.

If you are interested in doing equitation, start by learning about the different types of medal classes available on a local, state, and national level. The bigeq.com website is a great resource. Make sure that you join ALL the organizations as quickly as possible and take copies of your cards to every show. Nothing is more heartbreaking than winning a Medal class only to find that your points are invalid because your membership is not current.

Learn how to access the websites and track your points. Here’s a firsthand example of how important this is. When I was chosen for the George Morris Horsemastership Sessions in Wellington, Florida, it was based upon the Bates Equitation Rankings. The rider’s Big Eq placings are supposed to be reported by each horse show directly to Ryegate, the clearinghouse for Bates Equitation points. As recently as last year many of the horse show managers in the western states were not familiar with the program. I tracked down several hundred missing points that were ultimately crucial to my ranking on the Bates list which in turn qualified me for the George Morris Sessions. Although the reporting of points has been streamlined with better computer software, the onus is still on YOU, the rider, to report any missing points and follow up on the corrections.

If you are going to try to qualify for the Indoor Medal Finals in the fall, write the dates on your calendar now and make your hotel reservations early. The more modestly priced rooms get booked up. One I’ve used is equestriantravel.com. They block-book rooms at a discounted rate and you can place your request with them.

If you don’t have an equitation horse, but have a hunter, look into the World Champion Hunter Rider Program. I know the name is waaaay over the top, but it’s a great program. I stumbled on this award program when my homebred children’s hunter, Andy Warhol, had quite a bit of success at the local shows and I wanted to get some experience against more competitive horses. I used this program’s show dates as my template for the entire year. It takes the four highest scores out of designated WCHR shows throughout the year. The year-end Awards for the Southwest are presented at an elegant dinner at the Menlo Park Charity Show. The prizes are beautiful leather halters, embroidered saddle pads and splendid tack trunks. In my case it gave me a goal for the year and gave me experience at the most competitive shows without having to spin my wheels with frustration knowing that I could never acquire the year end points that riders aiming for Devon, Washington, or Harrisburg were going for.

I want to mention two other programs, the FEI Children’s International Jumping Final and The Ronnie Mutch Scholarship.

The first one is hard to find on the USEF website so here’s the link, but you may still have to call. It’s a wonderful competition on borrowed horses with riders from foreign countries. Much of the cost is picked up by USEF and the FEI. The qualifier for our region is at the Oaks in San Juan Capistrano in the fall. The one show–that’s it.

The Ronnie Mutch scholarship information can be found here. It provides for one rider and one working student to get an inside look at the prestigious Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida for two weeks and includes instruction from top trainers, accommodations, and a horse show stall. The applicant must be 15 years or under, jumping 3 foot courses or higher, and submit a video of their riding. The deadline is early January. Winning the Working Student Scholarship is the reason that I was able to meet Missy Clark and move into the 3’6” Medals and the USET Talent Search. It afforded me the opportunity to qualify for the Indoor Finals and opened my eyes to a world that I would never have otherwise experienced.

To sum up, it’s important to set attainable goals so that you don’t become discouraged. Riding should be fun. At the same time it’s important to dream big dreams and set your sights high. Challenge yourself. That said, you could be limited by your horse. It’s difficult to take a cold hard look at your horse’s strengths and weaknesses but you have to do it. The alternative is to waste a lot of horse show fees and your travel budget on an unattainable goal. You can also challenge yourself in other ways. Here in Southern California, there is the unique Foxfield Jumping Derby over a course of stadium and cross country (natural) jumps, the Santa Barbara Amateur Horse Show, which offers great beginner jumper classes, some for optimum time and with children’s classes broken down by specific age, and the Flintridge Children’s Horse Show Hunt Team class which awards the best three person tandem horse and rider team for their precision in riding a course of jumps, keeping equal distance between riders, their three abreast jump, and the most creative theme and costume. All three of these are at beautiful venues where you can bring your family and friends. Maybe one of them will fit as a goal for you and your horse. Happy New Year and let’s all dream big equestrian dreams!

Zazou Hoffman is a 16-year-old from Santa Monica, CA. As a 13-year-old, having only shown locally, she decided to apply for the Ronnie Mutch Working Student Scholarship. She won, which led to working with respected East Coast trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan. Through hard work and commitment, by Jan. ‘07 Zazou was one of seven elite riders chosen to work with Olympic Chef d’Equipe George Morris in Wellington, FL. She has competed in the Medal Finals for the past three years. She counts her win at the Maclay Regional, her 4th in “the Medal” at Harrisburg, her 5th in the USET Talent Search East at Gladstone, and her 3rd in the WCE amongst her notable accomplishments.

Conversations With Equestrians: Archie Cox

By Tammy Chipko

The USEF West Coast Junior Hunter Finals took place on August 20th & 21st at Showpark. The Finals consist of a handy class, hack class, and then a classic type round. Showcasing some of our top hunters, it was a great opportunity to catch up with one of the West Coast’s top hunter trainers, Archie Cox.

Tammy Chipko: What do you think about the Finals happening at Showpark this year?
Archie Cox: Holding it in the Grand Prix field is an outstanding place for both horse and rider. It is nice to see hunters on a large grass field. It gives you the feel of the horse and rider combination in a hunt field. It’s beautiful.

TC: The Juniors had to prepare their own horses and are not allowed to have anyone else ride them prior or during the competition. How do you feel about this?
AC: I think it’s great. What everyone learns with this format is that the junior riders are very capable of preparing their own horses. It gives the kids a better understanding of their horse and how much work their horse needs or does not need. I think sometimes we as trainers do too much. I think it also gives the kids a sense of accomplishment. It’s great for their confidence when they finish and they know that they did everything from the preparation to the ride in the show ring themselves.

TC: The first round was a handy round. What do you like to see in a handy round?
AC: The best description I have ever heard of a handy round came from Frank Chapot. He said, “The handy course is to be ridden in a ground-saving manner.” This means tight turns, efficient use of the ring, forward pace. I like to see a long gallop to either the first or last jump. This depends on the course as well as the course will dictate the length of stride and pace of the horse. If the handy course is ridden well it should show a lot of expression in a forward hunting pace. Remembering the whole time it still is a hunter round.

TC: How do you like to see the course designed?
AC: The course should resemble what you would find in a hunt field. I like to see a range of solid jumps as well as airy jumps. You want to design the course so that it shows off the classic style of the horse allowing for good gallops, and jumps that really show off the expression and quality of each horse. I think if it is designed this way the horse and rider combinations are able to show in a more natural state and should be rewarded for it.

TC: Can you comment on the turnout of horse and rider?
AC: I am a very detail oriented person. The turnout of both horse and rider is extremely important and both should look their absolute best.

TC: How do you feel about the Jr. Hunter Finals?
AC: I love it! The Hunter Finals have grown significantly over the past five years. We have some of the top juniors and horses from all over competing at this event. Because this is a stand-alone competition I think it creates a great group atmosphere for the kids. They get to meet other junior riders that they might not usually see, and because it’s all about the juniors it builds a strong comradery amongst them. It’s just a great opportunity for the junior riders to really shine and know that it truly is all about them!

EquestriSol News: May 10, 2007

EquestriSol is pleased to announce our newest clients – Jenny Williams’ LaSalle Farms and Jennifer Stewart’s Highland Farm in Moorpark, CA. We look forward to creating innovative solutions for their business as well as enhancing their market reach in the hunter/jumper community. 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 work hard to help clients attain their marketing goals. Contact us for more details.

We’ve revamped Joie & Morley’s site – take a look and learn more about who they are, where they are headed this show season and loads of great press. Impressive!

SHOWMOM.COM LIVE! visit website
We’ve redesigned ShowMom.com. Look for ShowMom’s featured article in this month’s Hunter Jumper Magazine. We look forward to playing a role in building an online community for show moms.

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.

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

USEF’s Equestrian Magazine
• June Issue – Deadline: 5/15/07

California Riding Magazine
• June Issue – Deadline: 5/15/07

Hunter Jumper Magazine
• June Issue – Space reservation deadline: 5/15/07; Ad deadline: 5/25/07

Sidelines Magazine
• June Issue on stands 6/16/07 – Deadline: 5/30/07

Horse Connection
• July “Grand Prix Issue – Jumping High.” Deadline: 6/15/07*
* Special distribution at Del Mar Horse Park, The Oaks

USHJA’s In Stride Magazine
• August Issue – Deadline: 6/15/07

EquestriSol News: January 31, 2007

EquestriSol welcomes our newest marketing client, the Palms Classic & Del Mar International horse shows. We’ll be redesigning the JumpDelMar web site as well as working with their upcoming ad & press campaigns.

EquestriSol recently launched two new web sites – bluehillfarmllc.com and crystalimagefarms.com

EquestriSol recently designed new ads for the following clients – Cheval
Couture, Argentina Horse Trade and ShowMom.com.

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. Contact us!

California Riding Magazine
• March Issue – Deadline: 2/15/07

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

USEF’s Equestrian Magazine
• April Issue – Deadline: 2/16/07

USHJA’s In Stride Magazine
• April Issue – Deadline: 2/15/07

The New Year is starting with a BIG BANG! We have over 125 members to date, a new Chairman of the Board, fabulous applicants for the Meritorious Riders Grant, Spruce applications coming soon AND the not-to-miss annual WCAR Casino Night.

Support West Coast Show Jumping – become a member of WCAR!

Buy World Cup Tickets & Support West Coast Show Jumping!
Buy your World Cup 2007 tickets through WCAR and 10% of the ticket price will be donated back to the organization. Email us at [email protected] and we’ll purchase tickets for you on behalf of the organization. Viva Las Vegas and WCAR!

Welcome Bernie!
Bernie Traurig was officially elected as the new Chairman of the Board this month. Dale Harvey, WCAR’s past Chairman, will still sit on the Board. Bernie is very enthusiastic and already formed a solid High Performance Committee. He also sits on the USEF High Performance Committee.

Happening soon

  • Stay tuned for the announcement of the two Meritorious Rider Grant winners
  • Spruce applications will be available online and at HITS by mid-circuit
  • WCAR Casino Night tickets will go on sale Week IV.  Be ready – last year we sold out!


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