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Studying in Spain
By Abi Triau, Waredaca Pony Club graduate, Derwood

I came to Salamanca, Spain to study Spanish and my first weeks were pretty difficult with the language barrier and the cultural differences. But after about a month, I began to adjust and make many new friends, some of whom lived in a small town of about 300 people, but millions of animals, in southern Spain. The town is completely covered in farmland and different animal enclosures.

I spend every weekend on the farms taking care of the animals and riding Spanish horses. The owners even took me to the Spanish Equestrian School to learn about classic Spanish dressage and work with some of the instructors. I got to go to one of the biggest national dressage competitions in the country and boy, was it different! No one wears helmets and suits but rather crazy Spanish costumes that are apparently handed down from generation to generation. Very cool!

Learning about this culture has brought me so much insight and knowledge that I will forever be grateful. It wasn’t easy returning to the city and leaving all of this. I am certain I will come back at some point; maybe even move here later in life.

 

Redland Hunt Pony Club graduate Alex Harvey spent part of July in New South Wales, Australia representing the U.S. in the American Polocrosse Association Under 21 Ambassadors program.

 

Former Equiery intern Alexa Easton (Sandy Spring), pictured here at the Cliffs of Moher, headed to Iraeland in September for a semester abroad.


Newlyweds Melissa Anselmo (formerly of Boyds, now living in Boston) and Dan Winer reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

 


The Fleisher ladies with a giant tortoise in the Galapagos; from left: Emily (Brooklyn, NY), Doria (Melwood Recreation Center, Nanjemoy) and Trudy (Potomac)

Another former intern, Hannah Rosenberg (center) of Silver Spring with friends overlooking the Adriatic Sea in Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

My Latest Foxhunting Adventure: A Cowboy in County Clare
By Barbara Smith

I had the great fortune recently to go hunting in County Clare, Ireland, with a group of fellow foxhunters from the western United States. Lynn Lloyd and Angela Murray, joint masters of Red Rock Hounds in Reno, Nevada were celebrating Lynn’s birthday with a trip to Ireland that their friends, Renee and Kail Mantle, from Big Sky Hounds in Three Forks, Montana, had been planning since last June. As well as members of these two hunts, they had rounded up foxhunters from Mission Valley Hunt Club, in Kansas, Bonnie Becker from Massbach Hounds in Illinois, some friends from Las Vegas and myself from Marlborough and Bull Run Hunt in Virginia. There were 24 of us ready to hunt over the stonewalls, hedges and banks of Western Ireland with three different hunts and other than Lynn and myself, it was the first time for the rest of them.

I had met Renee and Kail Mantle last year at Red Rock for the MFHA Pacific District meet. Kail had given us a bucking horse lesson one day before hunting and this Montana cowboy, who hunts in chaps and cowboy hat, had sat calmly to his horse bucking crazily above the sagebrush and had seriously impressed me. When they invited me to come to Ireland, I jumped at the chance. These were fun people; more than a little crazy and I wondered if anyone had warned the Irish! I also wondered if they knew what they were getting into, as I had hunted the big Irish walls and hedges in 2000. I came home with newfound respect for any one who hunts regularly in Ireland. It is challenging country and their version of foxhunting is an excuse to run and jump really big fences.

Renee Mantle had done an excellent job planning this trip with great care to the smallest detail. We stayed in a beautiful private estate, named Ceaparana, (www.ceaparana.com) in Puckuan, County Tipperary. I highly recommend this lovely home, which had at least 8 bedrooms and baths and was centrally located for the three different hunts, County Roscommon Hunt, the East Clare Harriers and the North Tipperary Hunt. Renee had contacted Oliver Walsh of Flowerhill Equestrian Centre in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway (www.flowerhill.net) to set up the horse livery for all 24 of us, for all 5 days of riding. He promised us great horses and managed to deliver on that promise. Oliver is also the huntsman for the County Roscommon Hunt. A tall, white-haired, charismatic Irish gentleman with an ease about himself that sets everyone else at ease also. To manage to arrive at a hunt with 20 livery horses and new riders 4 days in a row and hunt hounds as well, was a remarkable achievement. He has excellent help and his assistant, Keely, was a charming young woman who took great care of all of us. The horses were wonderful and I thought between them and Renee’ suggestions, they paired us all up with suitable mounts.

After one day to relax, recover and go sightseeing, on Friday morning we went to the Flowerhill Equestrian Centre, which also offers eventing and cross country training, to meet our horses and go for a trail ride. This was to give a few of the members of the group a chance to jump in a more controlled environment. He had set up small gymnastic jumping courses and everyone had a great time following his lead through some water obstacles, some streams and over the jumps. He grinned, offered simple advice like, “not too fast”, and then deemed everyone ready. He had set up an extra hunt for us with his hunt, County Roscommon, on Saturday, and then we would go with them again on their regular Sunday hunt.

But before hunting we were going Friday night to the County Roscommon Hunt Ball. Held at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon, we planned to spend the night and hunt the next day from here. We had brought our evening dresses and tuxes and we were treated to a grand evening of dinner and dancing. It was very similar to our own hunt balls, though I wondered what some of our Irish hosts thought of this happy group of Americans that had descended on them. Oliver said we were the largest group he had ever had and we took over two long tables at the Ball. We started dancing early and, I heard, stayed to the very end! The evening wrapped up about 3 am with a rendition of the Irish National Anthem to which several Americans cheerily sang along!

We met the next morning at the local pub where we tried the hot port or hot whiskey as we waited for Oliver and the horses to arrive. In my experience all hunts in Ireland start at the pub and end in the pub! This was no exception and after two or three hot ports, the lorries arrived and we were off. Trotting through the town of Roscommon and down the highway, we turned off after several miles and watched as Oliver sent the hounds into the covert. Here the coverts are hedges and walls that separate the beautiful green fields and farms. We headed over the first of many rock walls and I glanced back, hoping the group was all together. There were a couple of loose horses and Oliver’s assistants were terrific at catching horses, reuniting them with riders and offering encouragement. Our group of Western riders were game for it all and quickly learned to just follow the horse in front and “kick on”. Some were able to find a more conservative route in the days that followed but most of us were jumping the walls and hedges in fine Irish form.

Kail Mantle from Montana was a natural and I guess a “bronc” rider who learns to throw his arm to counter balance a buck can do the same over 4 foot walls. Riding long, in his jeans and cowboy boots, with his foot all the way ‘”home” in the stirrup, Kail was right behind me over the biggest fences and by the third day was quietly heard to say, “This is kinda fun”! He was always looking out for the more timid rider and was the first to take charge of anybody who was over faced by a jump. He encouraged and took care of the whole group. I think he was also impressed by some of the wild Irish and their jumping abilities. Another natural who was a complete newcomer to the art of Irish hunting was Kurt Griffiths, the husband of Marie Griffiths, the joint master from Big Sky. Long and lanky, he sat relaxed on his big Irish Sport horse, “Celtic Man, a 17.2 hand chestnut with a big, roman nosed handsome head. They suited each other to a tee and Kurt just followed Celtic Man’s lead over everything.

The Irish like to lark a bit and would look for the biggest hedges and walls to school their steeplechasers over, whenever there was a lull in the hunting. I followed over several before realizing it was optional and decided that caution was sometimes a better idea. Lynn Lloyd and I agreed that with a certain age comes the desire to last for another day and to chose the gentler approach! Neither of us came a cropper much to our quiet delight.

That first day our huntsman Oliver Walsh, took a path very close to the nearby lake, to perhaps avoid a few big walls. Well, it turned into a scene from “Misty of Chincoteague”, as the farmer’s herd of Irish ponies happily jumped out of their pasture and followed the hunt. They proceeded to swim across the lake to an island and we all watched entranced. The only drawback was our horses were standing about chest deep in cold lake water as the field master looked to find a way out from this path along the edge. We then noticed a saddled horse swimming loose and realized the joint field master had come off in the water. Later we were to hear that this game woman had been asked by Oliver, “Since she was already in the water, could she take a few stones off the wall so we can get out!” I am sure the words spoken back at Oliver were as blue as she was from the cold as she sloshed out of the lake.

Kail had seen the danger and joined by our field master Anthony, who had gone back to rescue his son on a small pony, found a way out through a gate, over two big walls and caught up in a few moments. The hounds had teetered and tottered along the rock wall trying to avoid going swimming themselves. The day ended with hot toddies and sandwiches offered by the landowner as we gathered in his front yard. Everyone was grinning and laughing about our adventure and greeting some old friends.

Sunday morning we headed north again to meet Oliver and his horses for another day with the County Roscommon hunt. This was a larger group of foxhunters and as I listened to the talk in the pub, I realized that Oliver Walsh was a very respected huntsman and people came from far away to hunt with him. He had apparently resurrected the County Roscommon Hunt after several years of no hunting and I met foxhunters from as far as Wicklow on the East coast who drove three hours every Sunday to hunt. I was introduced to several members of the Galway Blazers who regularly hunted here also. I ran into Johnny Geoghegan, a renowned Galway horseman, who had leased us our horses last time I was in Ireland in 2000. He happily followed Oliver and was one of the crazy Irish looking for the biggest hedge or wall to jump.

There were lots of these to jump and it was rockier than the previous day. I turned to snap a picture after one jump and was surprised to see a friend’s riderless horse coming on. Sara Tharp of Montana remembered landing over the wall, but then the next memory she laughingly recalled was of a large Irish gentleman asking if she could get up. Clutching a dislocated shoulder she said, “ No, she didn’t think so.” He replied, “Well, you can’t stay here, [they’ll jump on you], so you better get up!” And he unceremoniously hauled her up. Our only real riding casualty, Sara followed the next hunts with the professional photographers, Val and Stephanie Westover. (They have produced a beautiful museum quality album of our hunting trip available at www.valwestoverphotography.com). Unfortunately, Oliver also had a fall that day and shortly thereafter we came in, calling it a day.

Monday was another day to tour some of the Irish countryside. My group visited Clonmacnoise, a 8th Century monastery that had been the home of St. Ciaran, a beloved Irish Saint. After walking among the ancient tombstones, we spent the afternoon drinking Irish coffees with a Mr. Oliver Darcy in his family’s grocery store and pub in the tiny nearby village. On the drive home we found the DuBarry factory where several of us found great boots and coats at discount prices.

Tuesday we drove west around Lough (Lake) Derg to hunt with the East Clare Harriers. After one day of rest, most of us were reunited with our same horses and they were fit and ready to go. Trusting our mounts at this point, some of us were game to try to bigger walls and hedges. One trappy hedge had a big drop on the far side and I was happy to land in one piece, on my horse! Looking back I laughed to realize I was the only American to have tried this one. There had also been some banks and ditches at this point and only the daring Irish had flown over some of them, once or twice unsuccessfully, which they think is very funny. It was beautiful countryside, at one point we were on top of a mountain in a peat bog! Seemed strange to us to have soft, muddy going so high above the lake. The were fields of heather and then suddenly we were walking through a forested glen that was magical. Quiet and emerald green, it was misty and mossy and I expected to see a leprechaun at any moment.

Our huntsman, Shane, who with his two brothers Pat and David ran the East Clare Harriers, (the former was the field master and the latter was the President of the Hunt) Unt told us their hounds were Modern English. Most were tri-color and had excellent conformation, very upright with compact feet and toes. There were also some Welsh hounds, tall with longer wiry coats. Apparently the addition of this Welsh bloodline was the reason for the “Modern English” name.

These hounds ran well all day and never stopped hunting. We had been having somewhat of a blank day until, on the way home, a fox jumped up right in front of the pack and they promptly accounted for him. It had been fun to watch some of the Irish children on their ponies. One pony had jumped a wall and just sat down, on the wall, until the small lad had berated him with a loud smack with his whip, which prompted the pony to jump down. These children seemed fearless and very smart. On one occasion I heard a small boy emphatically tell his Mum he was not going to take a trappy jump. He turned and galloped off and she shrugged, saying he knew his way about better than she did. A clue to avoid a bigger jump, follow the smallest child! We finished the day in the same pub where we started with hot port or whiskey and sandwiches. The hospitality had been wonderful at every place we had been, with the Irish locals delighted to share their stories and their Guinness’ with us at every opportunity.

The next day we hunted with North Tipperary Hunt and their pack of “Old English”. These hounds adored their huntsman. After every run, when their huntsman collected the pack, they patiently sat and never took their eyes off him.

We had met as usual in the local pub and moved off into a nearby landowner’s field. The first trappy ditch stopped a few, but soon all managed to join the main body of riders as we moved across the beautiful fields of the next estate. A Thoroughbred breeding farm, the owners had pulled all the broodmares in for our hunt and we were treated to a lovely day of walls and ditches. The visiting Americans opted out of most of the ditches, which looked very tricky. We watched as the Irish laughed at each other’s occasional dunkings in the deep water-filled ditches. Jodee Renee of Red Rock Hounds had followed the huntsman at one point and learned the one sure way to get over a difficult ditch. Let the horse go first and follow on foot!! One young Irish girl was completely drenched and looking a little worse the wear after her horse had gone in the ditch too.

We were starting to trust our wonderful Irish horses and the prelude to this ditch experience had been jumping a five-bar gate. I had always wanted to say I had jumped one of these large gates, so after the huntsman cleared it, I just “kicked on”. One of the other girls followed me and we galloped after the huntsman into some very thick brush. In moments he returned, saying the hounds were heading back. I turned with him, whispering to my cohort to wait until someone kindly moved the same 5-bar gate to lean away from us. The huntsman was too keen to wait and took the gate at a flying gallop. His horse promptly somersaulted as it hit the gate, which was still leaning in our direction. He flipped out of the saddle and landed face first in the soft Irish turf. Both jumped up and he had remounted after a quick once–over and was quickly off after hounds. Luckily for us, the gate was now leaning in the right direction to safely jump back! It had been a long day and the hounds had split. The hunt staff were going in two different directions and we could hear both groups still speaking. We decided to join the riders going in and the thought of hot port and sandwiches was most welcome.

Thursday was a day off and many of us went to the Cliffs of Moher to see the spectacular west coast of County Clare. Some went east to visit the Irish National Stud and all of us looked for gifts to take home. I simply walked into the Blarney Woolen Store opposite Bunratty Castle and ordered seven beautiful Irish cable knit sweaters and thankfully shipping home was free!

Thursday evening we visited our favorite pub “Larkins” in Garrykennedy, County Tipperary, to celebrate Lynn Lloyd’s birthday. Shar, one of our ladies who lives in Las Vegas and knows the inside of a bar (remember “Cocktail”) decided to teach the Irish lads a thing or two about making Vegas shooters. Many Guinness’ and Irish cocktails later we were thanking the owners for their generosity and wonderful hospitality. They encouraged us to come back and bring lots of friends. Between the excellent food like fish and chips and grilled salmon and seafood chowders to mention a few dishes, we promised to give high praise at home and encourage our fellow foxhunters to come to Ireland.

Oliver Walsh of Flowerhill Equestrian Center supplied us with wonderful horses for the week. They were excellent jumpers and easy to rate for the less experienced. All of the hunts were welcoming and worked very hard to give their American guests an excellent taste of Irish foxhunting. I can not wait to go again. Thank you Renee for an excellent adventure.
All other photos by Barbara Smith


Photo by Val Westover

 

Equiery photographer Beth Collier (Lusby) in Enlgand, where she attended the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI4*.
Dottie Wolf of Petticoat’s Advance (Upperco) rode from castle to castle in the Loire Valley in France.

 

Research Trip to England
by Carolyn Mackintosh, Loch Moy Farm (Adamstown)

I recently made a five-day trip to the United Kingdom to experience international eventing at Aston le Walls, Somerford Park Farm and the Land Rover Burghley International. The main purpose of my trip was to see the all-weather, year-round, cross-country facilities in that area of England so I can set up my own at Loch Moy Farm.

At the end of my trip, I went to Burghley, the penultimate four-star event in the UK, and I got to see Maryland’s own Colleen Rutledge ride in the event with great success. In addition to learning about British eventing facilities, I was one of the lucky 200 people who did a course walk at Burghley with Lucinda Green, six-time Badminton winner. Lucinda will be doing a clinic at Loch Moy Farm this month.

Making these visits to international eventing communities brings a new perspective that will enhance our local events and facilities as a whole. After experiencing the UK eventing standard, we look forward to finishing our all-weather cross-country course here in Maryland at Loch Moy Farm in the coming year.

 

Maryland-bred Jumps Clean at Burghley CCI Four-Star

Frederick’s Colleen Rutledge (Turnabout Farm) is no stranger to the international CCI4* level as she and her off-the-track Thoroughbred Shiraz have completed all of the four-star events in the Northern Hemisphere. This September, Colleen headed back to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* in England, but this time, with her homebred Thoroughbred cross Covert Rights. Colleen was the recipient of the USET Foundation’s Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant to fund the trip.

Colleen and CR started the competition on a fantastic dressage score of 46.5 putting them in 27th place going into cross-country. They were the highest-ranking U.S. pair after dressage. CR jumped around the cross-country course like a pro even though this was only his second time competing at this level. They jumped clean adding 28.4 time faults to their dressage score.

After passing the second inspection, Colleen and CR put in a beautiful double clear show jumping round to finish on a final score of 74.9. They ended the competition in 22nd place out of 74 entries. Only 49 competitors completed the event, which was won by Michael Jung of Germany riding La Biosthetique-Sam FBW. Christopher Burton of Australia and TS Jamaimo was the only pair to finish the competition on their dressage score and placed third overall.

Photos below by Beth Collier

 

Barry, Rachel and Andrea Cone (Six Cone Farm, Darnestown) on the Golan Heights overlooking Kinneret in Israel

 

Working Student in England
by Courtney Swartz
, Redland Hunt Pony Club, Sandy Spring

This summer I spent a week working for professional four-star event rider Charlotte Agnew in Gloucestershire, England, and competed in an English event. During this time, my cousin Sasha Hargreaves and I learned how to work, clean and help out in a professional yard. Most of the work consisted of mucking out stalls and cleaning and preparing the horses for hacks or turn out.

The first few days of being a working student were tough and long, with each day starting at 6:00 in the morning and finishing at 6:00 at night. At first it was a very nerve-wracking experience because everything had to be done a certain way, and I wanted to make it perfect.

On our second day of being working students, Charlotte gave Sasha and I the opportunity to groom for her at an event. Charlotte rode two horses at the preliminary level and one at the training level. The morning started off very early with us rolling out of bed at three and heading to the barn, where we helped Charlotte’s head groom prepare the horses for the day.

The day was filled with quick horse changes and cooling out, as Charlotte jumped off one horse and right back onto another to set out for the next phase of the event. I have to say, the most interesting part of this day was working out of Charlotte’s lorry, a massive five-horse with living quarters and loads of storage. After the event, we arrived back at the yard and took our first mounted lesson with Charlotte, introducing our horses to her and working with her to improve different aspects of our riding.

The third day of working at Charlotte’s yard, Sasha and I were offered the opportunity to ride along with another working student in the horse van to take Charlotte’s four-star horse swimming. It was very interesting to hear a racing trainer explain the different fitness levels of different types of horses, for example how many laps a four-star event horse can do (not very many) compared to a race horse (a lot!).

The last day of working alongside Charlotte’s small team of workers, Sasha and I were invited to go on a hack riding some of Charlotte’s horses. This was such a great experience because living in Maryland, I do not get the ability to ride out on the roads and go on miles of long bridle paths the way they do in England. It was definitely one of my favorite experiences as a working student because it was amazing to ride for miles and miles in the open country land. It was also interesting because going on hacks on the roads is something that they use to condition their horses in England, instead of going in the fields like we do here.

After being a working student for a week, Sasha and I were definintely tired, but we rallied through one more day and woke up the next morning at four to go compete in an event. I was grateful to be able ride my cousin’s five-year-old, green horse just imported from Ireland earlier this year. It was the horse’s first event at the novice level and we had a very successful day, ending 10th out of 40 horses, finishing with just one pole down in show jumping.

Overall, working for Charlotte was such an incredible experience that I was able to take part in, learning how to be a member of a professional yard and compete internationally in England.

 

Inter-Pacific Pony Club Exchange
by Ema Klugman, Seneca Valley Pony Club, Washington, DC

For three weeks in August, I travelled around Ontario, Canada with five other inspiring women–three of them my teammates and the other two my coach and chef d’equipe, who we originally called a chaperone, but then we decided she should have a much more important-sounding name given how integral she was! I also met 15 strangers from around the world who became 15 very close friends.

The U.S. Pony Club Inter-Pacific Exchange is one of several Pony Club exchanges offered to members. This specific exchange allows riders who are 17-21 years of age and at least B-rated to compete abroad with three other members from their country. Competitors hail from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Hong Kong.

The selection process varies in each country, but generally includes video evaluations and a written application, with the focus being on proficiency riding switch horses. To level the playing field, the competitors all ride horses that they have never seen before.

In the 2015 IPE the U.S. finished second to the Aussies in the Nations Cup, but ultimately the trip was more about friendships created and laughs shared than the riding competitions. I feel as though I know many of the friends I made on the trip better than people I have known for years. I would encourage all Pony Clubbers to strive to achieve their B rating (and A!) so that they can participate in this exchange.

To read the blog posts from our trip, please visit http://meetthe2015ipeteam.blogspot.com/.

Special kudos to Ema, who passed her A-rating when she returned to the U.S.!

 

Carol and David Goodman of Mt. Airy in Lokaw, Burma
Lara McPherson, show coordinator at Meadowbrook Stables (Chevy Chase), at the Scotland/England border

 

Julio Mendoza (Westminster) at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, where he represented his native Ecuador in dressage, and competitions leading up to it.

 

To Blenheim or Bust

For the Australian native Kate Chadderton, competing here in the U.S. is international but this September, Kate headed overseas again, to England to compete in the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials at the CCI3* level. Her mount for Blenheim is the off-the-track Thoroughbred VS McCuan Civil Liberty owned by the Civil Liberty Syndicate and based out of Patrick McCuan’s Sunset Hill Farm in Woodbine.

“The courses here in the U.S. are excellent but Europe is a whole other world,” Kate explained. “Blenheim is considered the toughest three-star in the world. I want this horse to gain experience against people and horses that are the best in the world.”

Getting to Blenheim was no easy task, nor a cheap one. Beth Sokohl and Amy Gaynor organized a fundraising dinner called “Get Kate to Blenheim” with special guest and fellow Australian Boyd Martin as a speaker. “They are amazing and the night was great,” Kate said. “My sponsors are just the best and have helped tremendously. Some individuals have been very generous with donations as well and I sold one of my own horses to fund the trip.” A few photos from the fundraising dinner are in this issue’s Out & About.

On September 8, Kate and Liberty headed up to JFK International Airport for the flight to Europe. Liberty was traveling with the U.S. team horses on a Dutta Corp. flight after Kate worked with the USEF to get the flight and travel plans organized. “There is a huge amount of paperwork and so many details to work out. The USEF has been super helpful with lumping me in with the U.S. riders,” she stated. Kate went directly to England while Liberty flew from New York to Belgium for a short layover before a second flight to France and then traveled by van and ferry to England.

The road to Blenheim has been a bit bumpy. Liberty had a small stable injury this past winter and Kate broke her shoulder in April. “I only rode him five times between his two spring CICs,” she said. But now she feels he is right on track for a good first European outing. “He loves show jumping on grass, which is also a reason for us to compete in England,” Kate said. “And he is attacking the cross-country jumps. He’s a bit wild at times and loves it!”

At Blenheim, Kate and Liberty scored a 61.9 in dressage. They jumped clean on cross-country with a few time faults and then had 12 jump faults in show jumping to finish on a score of 86.3. This put them in 56th place overall. American rider Clark Montgomery won the division with Loughen Glen on a dressage score of 33.8.

 

After climbing to the top of Veten (1,597 feet above sea level), Katrine Toflevag (Norway), Patrik Toflevag (Norway), Equiery managing editor Katherine Rizzo (Woodbine), Ethan Dodd (Olney), Katrina Dodd (Olney), Kieren Dodd (Olney) and Matea Toflevag Nesset (Norway) take a break before heading back down into Bergen, Norway.
Kelsey Condon (Woodstock) escaped the winter blues this past February to ride in the Caribbean Sea while vacationing in Jamaica.
Jennifer McClure, former HCIBH member and now living in Ireland, sent in this photo of HCIB Marble guarding the Conna Castle in County Waterford, Ireland.
The Mason-Dixon Chicks hanging out at Three Bars Ranch in British Columbia this summer; from left: Joyce Voelker (Virginia), Rhonda Curry (Harve de Grace), Kim Ray (Delaware), Gail Ober (Delaware), Sherry Bensler (Delaware), Karen Hansrote (Elkton) and JoAnn Bashore (Elkton)

 

Portuguese Splendor
By Louisa Woodville (University Park) and Gabrielle Gallegos (Washington, DC)

The place we rode–that spectacularly beautiful place we rode–is a Lusitano breeding farm called Monte Velho, outside of Arraiolos in the Portuguese region of Alantejo, Portugal. The owner is an architect and has designed the additions–including a rooftop pool–to the original residential structure, which dates back to Roman times. We stayed at a beautiful small inn in town, a converted mansion typical of the historic architectural style of the area.

The instructors were Coralie Baldrey and Joao Torrao, both international Grand Prix level dressage competitors. They were amazing! One of the pleasures of going to Monte Velho is seeing the staff work their competition horses. It was an awesome opportunity to be able to ride trained Lusitano horses that were completely aware of self-carriage, so we got to work on our positions.

The area is full of history with neolithic ruins, Roman ruins and a nearby walled medieval city called Evora, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The area is known for its handmade wool rugs, crafted by local women in their homes and sold through storefront shops.

Clearly we enjoyed ourselves and would highly recommend this trip to others!

 

Harford County residents Ann and John Nunn (owner of Bit of Britain) outside the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Italy
Equiery photographer Pam Link (Harwood) and her husband Roger biked for 10 days this summer through Northern Italy.
Jennifer and Chris Rasmussen of Brandywine brave the cold to take a ride in Iceland this past May.
Tim and Tate Shaw of Thistledown Farm (Gaithersburg) with Joe Berney of Berney Bros. Saddles in Kildare, Ireland

 

Carolyn Krome of Persimmon Tree Farm (Westminster) at the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby in England

 

Marlborough foxhunter Sabine Joyce (Harwood) met Ian McNeice, who plays Bert Large on the British television show “Doc Martin,” while on the set of the show in Cornwall, England.
Bowie residents Jamie Navarro and Maryland Horse Council Secretary Valerie Ormond standing with Zulu Nayala Game Preserve ranger Manie Esterhuizen at the end of a photo safari day in Zululand, South Africa this past March

 

Savannah Fulton (in green) at the jog for the Bromont International CCI2* with Full Moon Farm Syndicate’s Captain Jack and her parents Stephen and Karen Fulton and sister Grace Fulton (all from Full Moon Farm, Finksburg)


Jeanne Lindamood, along with Joanne Endahl and Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds members Martha Clasing and Stephanie Scranton (all from Mt. Airy) in front of the Burghley House during the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* in England

 

Driving Ponies in the Netherlands
Tracey Morgan of Gaylen Farm in Beallsville shipped her carriages and pony Fuego 88 to Breda, Netherlands in September to represent the U.S. in the Singles Pony World Driving Championship. They finished 19th overall with the championship going to Germany’s Fabian Ganshirt and the reserve to Martin Holle of Hungary.

This was Tracey’s second time with Fuego 88 in the championships. “I’m pleased, but I would like to have done better. The competition was outstanding and there were a lot of new drivers,” she told the USEF.

Rain and mud made it a bit hard for Fuego 88 to keep his footing in the dressage phase, with Tracey earning a 47.49. This put the pair in eighth place out of 32 competitors. The rain continued into the marathon phase making the tight turns and tough terrain unmanageable for many. Tracey’s score of 130.88 had them in 24th place. They were in 22nd place overall going into cones.

Here Tracey and Fuego 88 showed why they are such great international competitors as they were one of only nine teams to keep all the balls up on the cones. They did add 1.69 time faults to finish in eighth place. Only five drivers finished this phase with no penalties. In the end, her combined score of 180.6 placed her 19th overall.

 

John, Marjorie and Emma Warden (Woodstock) at Elk Bolam in the Yucatan, Mexico

©TheEquiery2015