Friday, July 20, 2012

Kate Chadderton wins the first ever "Scooby Who And Cassidy Blue Remembrance Award"

For those of you who do not follow the Facebook Recover Page ( ), this past weekend Chris and I presented the first ever "Scooby Who And Cassidy Blue Remembrance Award" at The Maryland Horse Trials.  This award is something that I thought up the week following the fire.  I wanted to find a way to keep Scooby and Kaz's name alive while honoring what I love so dearly, Off The Track Thoroughbreds.  The award was given to the highest placed/lowest scoring Off The Track Thoroughbred at the Preliminary Level.  I chose Preliminary for the first year because this is where Scooby and I left off in our partnership together.  In years to come, we will switch up the level to give all horses an opportunity to win! 

Sadly, in the months leading up to the award, I had a lot of dread about it...To the point where I never even talked about it to anyone.  Things got so difficult that I emailed Carolyn at The Maryland Horse Trials and told her I just could not get it together to do this award.  The thought of having to write or talk about the horses at all, just hurt so much.  I am so thankful though for her pushing me to do it and letting me know that so many people were excited about it.  With the help of family, great friends (new and old), and a lot of tears, we got it done and to my huge suprise, Saturday was such a wonderful day!  We drove down to Baltimore Friday night and had a great evening with Shane and Mike.  Saturday morning we headed over to Loch Moy to watch the Preliminary cross country and show jumping before presenting the award.  Being there ignited something in me that I have not felt in so long...PASSION!!  Passion for the sport and my future..and passion to go Prelim, Intermediate and Advanced on Phoenix!  I truly felt excited for what I have, not the heavy sadness and dread for what I lost.  We walked almost all of the Prelim course and everything looked totally doable and nice.  It made me want it so badly again!  The anger and sadness still weigh heavy on my life, but to have a moment in a day to feel complete excitement and eagerness was just an amazing feeling.

After the completion of Preliminary, we were informed that Kate Chadderton and her horse VS McCuan Civil Liberty were the winners of the award!  We got to meet with Kate and Liberty, and Kate even went on to tell me that after watching Scooby compete last year, she went to my website to see if he was for sale!  How exciting is that?!?!  A top rider wanting one of my horses?!?! That definitely made me feel good... both as a trainer and the proudness of my wonderful Scooby Who.  It ignited the drive again to keep producing ottbs.  Thank you so much for that Kate!  You will never know how much that is going to do for me!  Kate also blogged about the award ( ).  Liberty sounds exactly like the type of horse I love...quirky and unique!!  I do not think the award could have went to a better thoroughbred for the first year! 

I want to give a very special thanks to all of the 2012 Sponsors:

- Caitlin Taylor from OTTB Designs ( )

- Maryjo Smith from Mane and Tail ( )

- Jen Roytz from Three Chimney's Farm (Jen will be publishing an article about Liberty in the Paulick Report).
( )  

 Here is the link to the article Jen did on Scooby following the fire.  All agree that this is the best segment done on him!


I also want to thank Carolyn Macintosh and Mary Beth from The Maryland Horse Trials.  Such a great group of kind, supportive people!

A very big congratulations to Kate and Liberty!  You will always be dear to my heart =)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Exciting June

It has been a busy three weeks since I have posted last.  To start, Briana and I took our boys to Bucks for Kirin's (Martini Please) first outing off of the farm.  They were wonderfully behaved together and Kirin acted like a true professional!  I think he was more mature on his first outing than Phoenix was on his 5th!  Haha.  Phoenix still felt the need to throw a buck or two in!  They both jumped well also!  Phoenix wanted to attack everything (I was super pleased) and Kirin was absolutely perfect for never seeing anything other than the logs at our farm.  Bri and Kirin are making their eventing debut at High Point this weekend and we are all super excited!  They are more than ready and it will be an excellent learning experience for Bri.  She will have to learn to really ride and push over fences at these initial shows to be successful with such a green horse.  Her first event horse "Spooky" was a mini Scooby and I absolutely adored him and his zest for jumping.  We both miss him so much. They were going to do great things together and never got to showcase what we had brewing behind the scenes.  He was Scooby in a 15.1 hand, paint body.  Although we put him over his first fences, he was an aggressive boy and we spent much of our time working on "quiet in, quiet out".  Kirin is going to be a different ride for Bri initially, but she is more than qualified for the challenge and it is so awesome to see her excited again about the thought of competing!

Secondly, Caitlyn got a horse!!  We picked him up last weekend!  His name is Junior and he basically fell into our lap when a client/friend mentioned him to me.  Her aunt breeds Thoroughbreds for sport and he was her breeding stallion for many years.  He was a true Hunter/Jumper, not the ploddy type you tend to see a lot of now.  He is sporty and big moving, and just gorgeous! He is now 13, gelded and bored!  He still wanted to work and they offered Caitlyn this wonderful opportunity to free lease him!  He has been a godsend!  Caitlyn needed this!  A lot of people think about Bri and I, but Caitlyn lost so much as well.  Scooby and Kaz were her boys.  Kazzy was her main man and she adored him.  I think one of the most difficult things about the fire was the realization that I would have to tell her that this had happened.  Despite the termendous heartache, she has been so wonderful since the fire and has been our true behind the scene girl!  She opened her heart to Phoenix and Kirin when Bri and I could barely look at them and were questioning ourselves as to why we even bought horses.  She has been there every step of the way with both horses.  She usually comes with me when Phoenix goes off the farm, she spends many hours watching Bri's lessons, she is my jump crew helper at times and always Phoenix's cool off girl =)  She is just amazing and there is never a person more deserving of this super nice horse than her! 

Lastly, the NJ Horse Trials were this past Sunday....Ohhhh what a day...poor Chris is still sick from being in the heat all day.  Hot was not even the word.  Phoenix handled the heat pretty well though...thanks to that split S2 heart!  HA!  It was defninitely a day of mixed results.  Dressage was pretty bad...probably my worst test in years, but this is where I am reminded by Chris that this is what is going to happen for awhile if I want to compete right now.  Phoenix has only been off the track for 5 months, so I can not expect him to be this experienced, professional boy all of the time.  This takes time and I am ok with that.  I can not say I am thrilled by being at the bottom of the pack after Dressage, but even my rock solid Scooby had his bad tests!  Also, Scooby did not start solid!  FAR from it.  He was crazy at his first shows and to this day, still my toughest horse to initially compete...and look how he turned out!  A Superstar!  Phoenix is a close second with toughness though!!  Haha.  I wish I could say Show Jumping was any better than Dressage, but it was not!  That turned out to be prob my worst SJ round EVER...He warmed up great, but was very looky in the arena.  I was able to get him over everything, but it was tough for the first 3/4 of the ride and we brought down four rails.  He is not a spooky horse, but I was prepared for some sort of reaction because I watched a lot of Prelim and Novice horses having stops at seemingly straightforward fences.  Surprisingly, I was not too phased by the ride (although my ego was a little bruised) and we headed down to Cross Country.  I was about to get my two minute countdown when I realized that I did not have my stop watch....Ughhh....after a detour back to the trailer, I returned and was given my countdown.  Off we went, and oh my god, P felt and rode like a champ!  He just cruised around with ease.  Unfortunately though, he had a VERY slight hesitation at the second water, nothing that I thought would have been penalized though.  He did not step back at all and it probably took me about 3 seconds to get him moving down into the water.  It really was quite uneventful and he finished the rest of the course with ease.  I did not even have a second thought about the water, so when I saw that they gave him 20, I was soooo bummed.  In the scheme of things, I know that it really does not matter.  It's not like he was going to finish high up or anything, but he earned that round and it will probably erk me for awhile to see that 20 on his record.  I did inquire about it with the TD, but I realize that water especially is difficult to judge.  It is very opinion based,  so all in all it was a day of mixed results.  We have a lot of loose ends to tie up with him, but wow is the potential there!  He will be going to a straight jumper show next week.  I plan to do several rounds so I can really work on teaching him how to get into a rythm throughout the course.  From there we will be competing again at the NJ Horse Park.  My hopeful goal is that he will greatly improve on the Show Jumping next time around and then I'll plan to move him to Novice at Fair Hill....Fair Hill....What a big deal last year was for me there....Scooby and my first Prelim!  That was my most proud moment to date.  I am sure everyone on the show grounds heard me screaming as I crossed through the finish flags!!  I say this all of the time, but it is scary how much can change in the blink of an eye.  I was planning this year's August Fair Hill to hopefully be our Intermediate move up...Now I am just hoping to make it to Novice by then...Chris has mentioned that I should possibly take a break from competing and just take some time to absorb everything and move forward.  I am not sure if that is the answer.  I can defninitely gripe and complain, but the truth is, I love eventing and I love my new horse.  I often have moments of envy when I watch others ride and compete their experienced horses, but at the same time, I am very thankful that I have the ability to bring along another horse and you know what...we are doing it!  Things are not smooth and pretty right now (well cross country they are!), but this horse is giving me his all and I can not ask for anything more.  Time and patience is what he deserves.  Not to mention, Phoenix truly loves me.  He whinnies to me almost every time he sees me.  What more can I ask for?