Maryland's Global Travelers


Check out the 2014 Global Scrapbook

England • France • Australia • Ireland


Pony Club in England
By Courtney Swartz, Sandy Spring

In October of 2013 after a long and crucial tryout, I was selected for the International Mounted Games Exchange in Great Britain, along with my two best friends Emily Hruda and Coltin McBain. I was chosen along with four other participants and two alternates to represent our country.

Before we set off, we had a week of training and preparation to work on our skills and to get to know the other teammates who came from all around the U.S. Since we did not take ponies over for the exchange, we needed to ride all sorts of ponies before we left. During the competition, in every set of races you rotate on a new set of five ponies you have never ridden, then you get on and go.

Although the competition held this past August was only one day, we were over in England almost two weeks prior to the competition. During that time, we toured Exmoor and London, allowing us to win more friends from all over the world. Also competing in this exchange were five Brits, five Canadians and five Australians, and each team had its own coach and chaperon.

After three heated sessions, the American and Great Britain teams were fighting back and forth for first and second place, with the Australian team not far behind. It all came down to the final race of five flag with all three teams neck-and-neck for first place. In the end, the Great Britain team took home the gold, closely followed by the American team, Australia and Canada.
This trip was such a great experience, allowing us to develop friendships with people all around the world and to have the honor of representing our country.




Polocrosse in Australia
By Beacher Cole, Upper Marlboro

I was chosen by the directors of the American Polocrosse Association from a pool of 25 young riders under 16 from across the country to represent the U.S. on a competitive tour in New South Wales, Australia. The selection process included a clinic in North Carolina and two tournaments (Georgia and Florida) in the spring. The final team consisted of five girls and three boys with Emma Strider and myself representing Maryland.

Polocrosse was developed in Australia in 1938 as a combination of lacrosse and polo. It is called the “king of the one-horse sports” because unlike polo, you don’t need a string of horses. In the U.S. there are two clubs, the Bay Area Polocrosse Club in Southern Maryland and the Sugarloaf Polocrosse Club in Boyds. I belong to Bay Area. I became interested in polocrosse through U.S. Pony Clubs, as a member of St. Margaret’s Pony Club in Annapolis. My first polocrosse rally was in 2011 when I was 11 years old.

The trip to NSW was awesome! All the team members stayed with polocrosse families on different farms and my host family, the Mortimers, have a 2,000-acre farm where they breed Australian Stock Horses and have cows, wild pigs, and, of course, kangaroos!

The team played in two tournaments against other under-16 teams representing the different areas of Australia. They provided great horses and really challenged our playing skills, which improved my playing. I am very thankful for all the support I received from friends and family so I could take my dream trip!



The Chateau Built for Horses
By Ava Larson, Ellicott City

This summer I participated in an exchange program with Columbia Association Sister Cities to Cergy-Pontoise, a small town in the outskirts of Paris, France. I lived with a French family for two weeks. On weekends, we were able to spend free time with our host families, and my French counterpart Anais took me to see the castle of Chantilly.

The castle was lovely, but I felt overwhelmed seeing the Great Stables across from the castle that were built in 1719 by Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon. I thought it was a palace. A member of the royal family, Henri held a strong belief that when he died he would be reincarnated as a horse, and he intended to live in these luxurious stables!

The Living Museum of the Horse houses horses of different breeds and even a miniature donkey. There is a special “ballroom” where two riders put on a dressage demonstration for the audience and I watched in awe as the horses danced with their riders. It was a highlight of my trip.



Mounted Games in Ireland
By Krista Wilson Muldoon, Poolesville

Mounted Games Across America (MGAA) sent six riders, a chaperone and a team trainer to Portlaoise, Ireland in April 2014. Members were hosted by the Devitt family in Ireland where they were able to try real home-cooked Irish meals and enjoy the experience of being on an Irish farm. The team was lucky enough to be given a clinic by top Irish games rider and trainer, Mark Devitt, who had arranged for the ponies for the team.

They also had a chance to spend a week training and touring the country. Trips were made to the Cliffs of Moher, The Irish National Stud, the Rock of Dunnamaze and Newgrange.

The tour ended with a two-day competition in Stadbally over Easter weekend. Five of the riders, Eliza McBain, Aidan Doud and Abby Doud, all of Maryland, Jill Belshaw of Pennsylvania and Emma Lockyer of Maine, rode as a team in the Under-17 Division. The team rode excellently on their borrowed ponies and finished third in the B final. Genevieve Arens of Virginia was a guest rider on the Irish team from Cork and finished seventh in the Open Division. Team trainer Krista Wilson Muldoon and chaperone Lauren McBain were both extremely happy with all of the riders.

This trip was an experience of a lifetime. All of the Irish were excellent hosts, and extremely friendly and inviting. The U.S. group felt very welcome and went home with a lot of new friends and amazing memories.



Combined Driving at WEG
by Michele Novack, Bowie

I attended the World Equestrian Games Driving Competition along with 34 other members of the Carriage Association of America under the capable leadership of former U.S. Driving Team member Bill Long and his wife Linda. In France, driving is known as Attelage, and the French were excellent hosts. This competition always runs on the last four days of the Games and draws huge crowds when held in Europe. Crowds come early and prepare to stay all day. Four-in-hand driving is challenging and it is truly remarkable to see the skill of the whip and horses working together.

Besides the always-strong Dutch, German and Belgian drivers, there were strong performances by the French home team and the gutsy Hungarian drivers. Australian Boyd Exell, who has been training in England for many years, was the man to beat, and our own U.S. driver Chester Weber put the pressure on him with a magnificent dressage test. It was fun to cheer on our U.S. team of Chester Weber, Allison Stroud and Misdee Wrigley-Miller.

This is the first time that the U.S. team had two women drivers at a WEG in Europe. There were only two other women drivers: Georgina Hunt (GBR) and Ana Christina Guerriero (POR). All four women completed the competition and had well-conditioned horses.

Many teams were comprised of Dutch and German horses, but we also saw full teams of Lippizans, Lusitanos, Andalusians, Kladrubbers, and Friesian/Arab crosses. The Spanish and Portuguese drove teams of stallions. We appreciated the efforts put forth by the grooms on the presentation of the teams for dressage and the attention to traditional was something we don’t get to see much here in the U.S. Put this event on your bucket list!



International Tetrathlon
with Suzanne Stettinius, Monkton

This summer for the first time, the U.S. Pony Clubs sent members to Australia to participate in an International Tetrathlon competition. Seven U.S. kids traveled with coach and Olympian Suzanne Stettinius to compete in shooting, running, riding and swimming. Before heading overseas, the team had a final practice at Shawan Downs as part of the Maryland/Capital Region Pony Club Tetrathlon Rally, hosted by Green Spring Valley Hounds Pony Club.

Mackenzie Morris of South Carolina participated on a mixed team of Irish and Australian boys. As an individual, he placed fifth in the shooting and sixth in the swim. The team as a whole finished in third place overall.

Mack Stehlin, from New Jersey, joined kids from the United Kingdom and Ireland to finish fourth overall as a team. He earned his best shooting score ever, a 700. “Mack drew a very difficult horse who was eliminated in the test ride but he was able to get him around with only pulling down some rails. It was a very impressive ride,” Suzanne said.

For the girls, Emily Andrews (New Jersey), Emily Rust (Ohio), Lexi and Samantha Denning (Connecticut) and Samantha Firby (North Carolina) joined together to represent the U.S. The team placed third overall. All five girls broke the 800 point mark in shooting with Samantha having the best score out of the U.S. ladies with an 860. Samantha and Emily Andrews had perfect rounds in the riding phase.



Steeplechase Kids Go to Ireland
photos and captions by Regina Welsh

Over the summer, Regina Welsh of U.S. Pony Racing organized a trip to Ireland for Maryland’s junior steeplechase riders to tour some of the great Irish racing barns. Four young riders were chosen for this unique opportunity based on their application essay and letters of recommendation. Junior riders got a chance to walk courses, exercise horses and get tips from some of Ireland’s top trainers and jockeys.



Avery Smith schools a horse over a chase fence under the watchful eye of steeplechase trainer Ted Walsh. Walsh, a retired jockey with multiple championship titles under his belt, is one of the top trainers in Ireland and trained Betty Moran’s Papillon to win the Grand National with his son Ruby in the irons. With runners at the Galway Festival the next day and a television commentary job to worry about, Walsh was extremely generous with the NSF Young Riders, spending two hours with them!


Juliette Chalmers walking back after a gallop on one of John Brassell’s horses in training

NSF Young Riders had a day at the Roscommon Pony Races. Things are run a little differently than they are here in the States with no age limit to riding ponies!

Strolling the walkways of Coolmore Stud with Gerry Aherne after visiting top stud Galileo and his contemporaries

Leading amateur rider Nina Carberry took the time to have lunch with the young riders at the fabled McCarthy’s Pub. Carberry is the sister of top jump jockey Paul Carberry, but carries her own in the racing world and is in high demand as a jockey. ,q

Checking out the chase fences with groundskeeper Pat Kelly at the Curragh, one of the most important racecourses in Ireland, sprawling over some 4870 acres with more than 200 horses a day training on its grounds. The Curragh is also an actual racing venue for flat and jump racing.

Jacob Crotts, who is on his high school track team, had more of a run around than a walk around the course at Galway with Barry Gehraghty, one of the premier jockeys in Ireland. Barry’s brother Ross, currently a Maryland resident, helped make the connection for this trip to happen.

Robbie Power took the NSF Young Riders for a quick look around the jocks’ room at Galway Racecourse. Moments after having this photo taken with the young riders, Power won the first jump race on the card at the Galway Festival that day.

From left: Jacob Crotts, Avery Smith, Juliette Chalmers and Erin Swope, made their first stop the Coolmore Stud, the world-famous breeding and racing operation headquartered in Ireland.



Livestock Genetics Sends Team to Sweden & Denmark
by Ross Peddicord, Maryland Horse Industry Board executive director

During the first week of September, a delegation of six Maryland agricultural department and horse industry board members toured equine riding schools, agricultural universities, breeding farms and racetracks in southern Sweden and in Copenhagen, Denmark under a grant from U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc.

Hosts were Mats and Caterina Genberg, publishers of the international horse racing magazine, Gallop, who have a business relationship with the Maryland Jockey Club and have been hosted in Maryland by the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Horse Industry Board.

Among the attendees were MDA Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance; Deputy Secretary Mary Ellen Setting; MDA international marketing director Theresa Brophy; MHIB member and MJC consultant Karin DeFrancis; MHIB member Eli Solomon, who has exported leading Standardbred sires SJ’s Caviar and ENS Snapshot to Sweden and Denmark and recently sold the top two-year-old trotting colt, Centurion ATM, to Swedish owners; and Ross Peddicord, MHIB executive director.




MDA and MHIB delegation with Bollerup Agriculture Institute officials; Bollerup is the home of the Swedish National Agricultural High School and has a large equestrian program.

Meeting with the Swedish Equestrian Federation while at the Malmo Riding Club; Clockwise: Caterina Genberg, Buddy Hance, Ross Peddicord, Louise Borring (instructor and chief barn manager, Malmo Riding Club), Irene Torstensson (head of riding at Malmo Riding Club), Lena Malmqvist (president, Swedish Equestrian Federation), Maria Sanessson (Skane district executive director for Swedish Equestrian Federation), Mary Ellen Setting, Karin DeFrancis and Theresa Brophy





The center quad at Flyinge, the Swedish National Stud

Karin DeFrancis presents the trophy to trainer Marcus Bergman for winning the Maryland Jockey Club Handicap at Klampenborg Thoroughbred track in Denmark during Danish Oaks Day.



Caterina Genberg, Mary Ellen Setting, Karin DeFrancis, Ross Peddicord, Theresa Brophy and Buddy Hance at Ale’s Stones (Sweden’s “Stonehenge”) in Skane

Irene Torstensson, head of the riding program at Malmo Riding Club with Buddy Hance


Swedish Trotting Derby Festival at the Jagersro Trotting Track

Ross Peddicord with Caterina Genberg in the main outdoor riding ring at Bollerup Agriculture Institute



Pictured at Gallop magazine offices in Simrisham with Gallop staffers Ingrid Jornvi and Leo Genberg

U.S. Ambassador Rufus Gifford with Karin DeFrancis and Eli Solomon at the Klampenborg racetrack in Denmark



Crowds gathering at the Kolgjini Stud Standardbred Yearling Sale in south Sweden



Buddy Hance discusses making haylage with Morgan and Nicholas at their Katslosa farming operation.

Marianne Wittbon, executive director of Flyinge (Swedish National Stud), explains the computerized feeding systerm of the “Active Stable” to Theresa Brophy and Eli Solomon.


Bill Anderberg (U.S. horse owner from Iowa), Ross Peddicord, Goran Anderberg (Bill’s Swedish brother who owns trotters in the U.S.) and Eli Solomon at the Koljgini Stud Yearling Sale in south Sweden

Theresa Brophy at the farmers market held at the Jagersro Trotting Track in Malmo

Theresa Brophy, Buddy Hance, Mary Ellen Setting, Ross Peddicord and Karin DeFrancis at the Jagersro racetrack in Malmo during Swedish Trotting Derby weekend

Mats Genberg, Buddy Hance, Jagersro Trotting track (Malmo) general manager Kent Ohlander and Eli Solomon

Hosts Mats and Caterina Genberg, pictured with MJC president Tom Chuckas (left) attended the Preakness Stakes while here in Maryland this spring.

Marianne Wittbon, executive director of Flyinge, explains to Buddy Hance the computerized “Active Stable” where the horses feed and care for themselves by computerized monitoring.

Theresa Brophy, Mary Ellen Setting and Ross Peddicord with a school horse at Flyinge, Swedish National Stud


2014 Global Scrapbook

©The Equiery 2014