A monthly publication of The Tryon Daily Bulletin The Hoofbeats of the Carolina Foothills F R E E April 2011 Volume 5 Issue 7 Steeplechase participants: Susan Kocher, Amanda Bilharz and others View a map of the Steeplechase course and check out the schedule of events Spotlight on local equestrians: Sophie Clifton, Michelle Williams and Jeanne Ahrenholz Appointments 65th Block House Steeplechase "Saddle-up" is the title of the artwork created by artist Danielle Lloyd for the 65th running of the Block House Steeplechase. The 65th Block House Steeplechase will take place Saturday, April 23 at FENCE. The event is hosted each year by the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club. See page 3 for more Steeplechase history.

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Page 1: April Appointments FULL

A monthly publication of The Tryon Daily Bulletin

The Hoofbeats of the Carolina Foothills


April 2011

Volume 5 Issue 7

Steeplechase participants: Susan

Kocher, Amanda Bilharz and others

View a map of the Steeplechase course

and check out the schedule of events

Spotlight on local equestrians: Sophie Clifton, Michelle

Williams and Jeanne Ahrenholz

Appointments65th Block House Steeplechase

"Saddle-up" is the title of the artwork created by artist Danielle Lloyd for the 65th running of the Block House Steeplechase. The 65th Block House Steeplechase will take place Saturday, April 23 at FENCE. The event is hosted each year by the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club. See page 3 for more Steeplechase history.

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Samantha Hurst, editor 828-859-2737 x 110

Nick Holmberg, marketing consultant 828-859-2737 x 114

9151.Appointments is distributed on the fourth Thursday of every month (subject to change) in every home-delivered and newsstand copy of The Tryon Daily Bulletin. You can also find them for free each month, as long as they last, in tourism and equestrian businesses throughout the area. Appointments is a monthly publication of The Tryon Daily Bulletin Inc., 16 N. Trade Street, Tryon, N.C. 28782.

Make your “Appointments!”

To reach us regarding:• News items, contact Samantha Hurst, (828) 859-2737 ext. 110, e-mail [email protected]; or Barbara Childs, [email protected]; FAX to (828) 859-5575.• Advertising, billing or distribution inquiries, please call Nick Holmberg at the Tryon Daily Bulletin, (828) 859-

March-June 20113/25-27: USPC Dressage Rally

sponsored by the River Valley Pony Club at FENCE. Info: Amy Moore via e-mail at [email protected].

4/1-4/3: USEA (United States Eventing Association) Horse Trial at FENCE. Registration runs from Feb. 15-March 15. Send entries to Juli Hearn, [email protected]. Info: (803) 642-1276.

4/3: Tryon Hounds Spring Hunter Pace & Trail Ride. Info: wchpace.org.

4/9: Foothills Riding Club Schooling Dressage and Combined Test at FENCE. Info: Margo Savage (828) 863-4924.

4/9-10: Progressive Show Jumping, Harmon Field. Info: brhja.com.

4/9-10: Robin Groves Clinic -- Sherwin Lindsey Arena, Landrum. There will be an open and close date. Info: Barbara Madill 828-894-2437 or [email protected].

4/16: Cross Country Schooling at FENCE. Info: Margo Savage (828) 863-4924.

4/16: SE Children’s Home Ben-efit Hunter Pace & Trail Ride. Bob &

Leslie Scott, 864-877-9392.

4/23: 65th Block House Steeple-chase at FENCE.

4/30: Dressage at FENCE. Info: FENCE 828-859-9021 also listed at www.CarolinaDressage.com.

4/30 - 5/1: Paul Belasik Dressage Clinic at Blue Moon Farm & Training Center in Columbus. Info: 828-863-4756 or via e-mail at [email protected].

5/6-8: BRHJA Mothers’ Day Show, Harmon Field. Info: brhja.com.

5/7: Foothills Riding Club Horse Trials at FENCE. Info: Margo Savage 828-863-4924 or www.foothillsridingclub.com.

5/7: Big Brothers / Big Sisters Benefit Hunter Pace & Trail Ride. Info: wchpace.org.

5/14-15: Foothills Equestrian Events Dressage Show at FENCE. Info: Alicia Henderson 828-674-1885.

5/14: FRC Cross Country Schooling at FENCE. Info: Margo Savage 828-863-4924 or visit www.foothillsridingclub.com.

5/15: Steps to HOPE Bene-fit Hunter Pace & Trail Ride. Info: wchpace.org.

5/20-22: Progressive Show Jumping at FENCE. Info: Rick Cram 803-649-3505 or visit psjshows.com.

5/26-29: Tryon Summer Premier Horse Show, A rated, at Harmon Field.

5/28-29: Carriage Club Show at FENCE. Info: Sandy Donovan 901-218-0613 or [email protected].

5/29: River Valley Pony Club Hunter Pace & Trail Ride. Info: Dana Kind, 828-863-1359, or Kristen Billiu, 714-235-8326.

6/2-5: Tryon Summer Classic at FENCE. Info: JP Godard 803-643-5698 or visit www.equuisevents.com.

6/2-5: Tryon Riding and Hunt Club $5,000 Charity Jumper. Info: 828-859-6109 or visit www.trhcevents.com.

6/8-12: Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Horse Show at FENCE. Info: 828-859-6109 or visit www.trhcevents.com.

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Hats & HorsesMake plans to attend It's All

About the Hat, a creative evening benefiting Blue Ridge School of Equestrian Arts.

The event will be held Tuesday, April 12 from 6-9 p.m. at Chateau du Cheval at Spiegel Farm. The evening will include demonstra-tions from guest culinary experts Mariah Morrissey, currently with Stone Soup, and Michael Pelkey, internationally-known designer and chef.

The two will give you tips on how to create a menu to entice any guest. Wine tasting and steeple-chase items are included.

Lydia Juenger, director of edu-cation at Blue Ridge School of Equestrian Arts will also give a

short talk on steeplechase origins and its Tryon history, course set up and rules and how to read the program, examine the horses and pick a winner.

Create a steeplechase chapeau with the help of Sue Spiegel. Bring your own hat and tools, instruction and trimmings will be provided.

6/17-19: FENCE Schooling Horse Trials at FENCE. Info: FENCE 828-859-9021 or e-mail [email protected].

6/17-19: Harmon Classics Summer Challenge, Harmon Field. Info: brhja.com.

6/25-26: NCDCTA Dressage Show at FENCE. Info: Sandy Donovan 901-218-0613 or [email protected].

7/6-10: Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Horse Show II, A rated, at FENCE. Info: 828-859-6109 or visit www.trhcevents.com.

7/14-17: Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Horse Show III, A rated, at FENCE. Info: 828-859-6109 or visit www.trhcevents.com.

7/17: FENCE Cross Country Schooling at FENCE. Info: FENCE 828-859-9021 or [email protected].

7/23-24: FRC Schooling Dressage & Stadium at FENCE. Info: Margo Savage 828-863-4924.

7/23-24: Tryon Riding and Hunt Club Junior Amateur Horse Show, A rated, at Harmon Field. Info: 828-859-6109 or visit www.trhcevents.com.

7/29 – 8/1: Rick Quinn Horsemanship Clinic at FENCE. Info: Dottie Davis 828-891-4372 or via e-mail at [email protected].

8/5-8/7: Progressive Show Jumping at FENCE. Info: Rick Cram 803-649-3505 or visit www.psjshows.com.

8/19-21: BRHJA Summer’s End Show, Harmon Field. Info: brhja.com.

8/27: Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Horse Trials at FENCE. Info: 828-859-6109 or visit www.trhcevent.com.

Decorating, gardening and entertaining workshops set

When: Tuesday, April 12 at 6 p.m.

Where: Chateau du Cheval at Spiegel Farm

Reservations required, call 864-381-9715

Want to go?

When: Saturday, March 26 at 11 a.m.

Where: Derbyshire in Columbus

Call Jennifer Dennis at 828-863-2660 or email at [email protected]

Want to go?Cottages & gardens

English Country Cottages and Gardens: A Design Workshop will be held on Saturday, March 26 at 11 a.m. at Derbyshire, an English-inspired residential community in Columbus.

English Cottage Decorating, the interior design portion of the workshop, will be lead by Gillian Drummond of Drummond House Interiors in Tryon.

English Cottage Gardening will be lead by Linda Cobb, a master gardener from Spartanburg, SC.

A luncheon for all participants will be held after the first portion of

the workshop.Following the design workshop, Derbyshire will host a dessert reception at the Wisteria Cottage.

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Continued on p. 22

by Barbara Childs

The Tryon Riding and Hunt Club, founded in 1925, pro-moted horseback rides, picnics, maintained hundreds of miles of riding trails, hosted equestrian shows and events and was build-ing an organization to lead in the preservation of the life inspired by the area.

The most prestigious event in the club’s annual program is the Block House Steeplechase Races held each spring on the grounds of the Foothills Equestrian Na-ture Center. Carter P. Brown started the first Steeplechase in 1946 at Harmon Field. There was a single race with a tin cup filled with money, and that was the prize for the winner.

Today the prize money ex-ceeds more than $65,000 for four sanctioned races. The races are nationally recognized with the National Steeplechase As-

sociation. Attendance now ap-proximates 18-22,000 with res-ervations received from all over the southeast.

Due to the tremendous and on-going efforts of the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club, the surrounding countryside has been nationally recognized for carrying forth the traditions of fine horsemanship. Tryon is one of the most promi-nent equestrian centers of the Southeast United States.

The day of the Block House Steeplechase begins with setting up parking spots and the tailgate (this is a logistic wonder with 80 people helping all at one time). Unloading the food, you’d think a deli was being set up as everyone brings his or her favorite snacks and beverages.

After the hat contest, it’s time for food, the parade of carriages, more food and drinks, running of the hounds, more food and after

lunch the races begin. The races normally include six to 10 entries prepared to run the one-mile track along the sides of the hills and a valley. There’s not a bad parking spot on the place and one can view 80 percent of the race from any parking location.

Sometimes when the horses come within a few feet of the fence, you can feel the earth vibrate from the pounding of the hoofs on the grass track. The horses hurdle the jumps and ob-stacles and try not to be distracted by the increasing number of people and the roar of the crowd. Each race is only a few minutes, but the excitement and thrilling horserace in that short time re-wards every effort getting ready for this special day at the races.

As the last race ends and people start to return to their original gathering place, they wonder where the day went, and

Spectators watch as horses round the track during a previous Steeplechase race. (photo submitted)

Block House Steeplechase historybegin scheming for next year’s tailgate theme and hats of course!

The result is a full feast of fun that passes in a few hours. Tryon Riding and Hunt Club preserves this rich tradition and like the “rites of spring” it will continue every year.

World history of Steeplechase racing

by Barbara Childs

The first recorded steeple-chase took place in Ireland in 1752 in County Cork. A horse-man named O’Callaghan and his friend Edmund Blake engaged in a racing match covering 4 1/2 miles from Buttevant Church to St. Mary’s Church in Doneraile.

Church steeples were the

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65th Block House SteeplechaseSchedule of events

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. TailgaTe conTesT

Categories include most elegant, best country, most unusual and judge's pick

11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Stick Horse Races

11:30 a.m. HaT conTesT Categories include most unusual, funniest, most appropriate, children's division (12 & under):

funniest and most appropriate

noon–1 p.m. on course:Old Tryon Foot Beagles

Green Creek HoundsCarolina Carriage Club

Tuckaway Farm Paso Fino Training Center

Blessing of the Day by Rev. Michael Doty

Release of Doves by LJ Myers Professional White

Dove Release

1:15 p.m. Hendersonville Mounted Patrol Unit

1:30 p.m. Horses enter paddock for first race

2 p.m. Horses "Go to the Post" for the BMW

Performance Center &

HendrickCards.com race

2:30 p.m. Horses "Go to the Post" for Cannon Harmon

Memorial Race

3 p.m. Horses "Go to the Post" for the Green Creek

Equestrian park race

3:30 p.m. Horses "Go to the Post" for The Carolina First

Block House race

4 p.m. Horses "Go to the Post" for The Foxhunters'


5:30 p.m. Gates close

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Hats off to these hats

Locals and visitors alike truly catch the spirit of the annual Steeplechase hat contest. Contestants don everything from elaborately themed hats to elegant accessory pieces and whimsical kids hats. Contestants are encouraged to go after awards for the most unusual, funniest and most appropriate in the adults' division and then funniest and most appropriate in the kids' division. The hat contest will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 23. (Photos by Erik Olsen)

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BONNIE LINGERFELTCountry Homes & Fine Equestrian Properties

by Barbara Childs

Cornee Yountz and Etchy started entering the tailgate contest somewhere in the mid ’90s.

Through the years Cornee remembers what great fun it all was!

“We had an art gallery called “Morrisart," then “Our Rite of Spring," followed by “The Galloping Gourmets,” “Tail-gate with Friends” (they were big black ants), a Star Wars theme, “May the Horse Be with You” and Southern hospitality, “Y’all Come and Ride On In” with the Stall Magnolias!

The group consisted of around 80 people, said Yountz. Folks and a lot of friends joined them from all over the states. Charleston, Atlanta, Statesville, N.C., and of course, many friends and family from the Lake Lure area where the Yountz’s have a weekend getaway.

“We even had folks from Boston join us, Connecticut and California, too over the years. Around 15 years ago my mom’s relatives and our cousins started coming in from Charleston, SC, and it turned into a small family reunion as well,” Yountz said.

The hats this year for the hat contest will be made and deco-rated around The Bridle Affair

theme. Be looking for all hats at the tailgating and Steeplechase this spring.

It’s time to get out your old wedding dress, tuxedos, or tuxedo T-shirts and plan for the races!

Meeting sharp at 9:15 a.m. at the Ingles Supermarket will help you get items that you may need and use the last real bathrooms until the return at Ingles by 6 p.m. Entering the gates at 10 a.m., be prepared to set up booths and decorate with bloody mary’s and screwdrivers in hand. Then it’s off to the hat contest at 11 a.m.

The running of the hounds and carriages is at 12:30 p.m. The races start at 2 p.m. If you plan to attend it is imperative that you go to www.etchy.

A Bridle Affairtailgating festivities:

Saturday, April 23

Cornee and Etchy's 2010 tailgate theme:

“A Bridle Affair.”

Past themes: "May the horse be with you," "Our Rite of Spring" and "Mor-risart."

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com(steeplechase 2011). Once you have signed up to

attend, everything is based on nametags, chicken, appetizers, etc.

The tailgating theme is “A Bridle Affair,” so the colors are anything bridal, with the basic palette colors of hot orange, hot pink netting, green netting, black, beige, light pink and white. Any bridal decorations will be welcomed around the tent. Bring your wedding veil if you still have it.

The tailgate will be formal so plan to bring your food with a silver or glass serving dish.

If you’re brave and daring, wear anything bridal...even your wedding dress! Wear a tuxedo or tuxedo tee shirt as anything bridal goes.

Please bring lawn chairs. Tables and cloths will be pro-vided.

Top: Cornee Yountz and Etchy's tailgating crew at the 2010 Steeplechase. Above: One reveler dons a statuesque hat with a tall black stallion atop a mound of red roses. (photo submitted)

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by Carol Cowan

For all the walkers, joggers and visitors, yes, there really is a horse and there really is a man buried at Harmon Field.

The graves are located on the former race track between the tennis courts and the Tryon Arts & Crafts building.

John (Jack) Livingston McK-night came to America in 1923.

He was a native of Newry, County Armagh, Ireland. As a youth in Ireland, McKnight rode in steeplechase races and learned the art of horse training from his father.

After service in World War I, he traveled to Canada, then crossed the border to take a job handling the hunters and polo ponies belonging to the soci-ety sportsmen of the exclusive Grosse Point Country Club in Detroit, Mich.

He came to Tryon in 1928 and began training his own horses. He found the climate best suited for training his horses, horses that put McKnight among the 10 top racing makers in the nation.

The original stable was di-rectly across from the rock en-trance to Harmon Field where the caretaker’s house was built. He later built a smaller, more modern stable on the racetrack where the arts building and the former middle school are now.

A short, stocky, florid-faced man, McKnight had a strong prominent nose and keen eyes behind horn-rimmed glasses. He was a shrewd, very highly respected man.

McKnight knew just what he wanted when he went to the Ken-tucky sales in 1943. He wanted Agrarian-U, who was a colt sired by Agrarian who finished third in the 1934 Kentucky Derby. McKnigth spent a year training his colt.

When the colt was a 2–year–old McKnight took him to Churchill Downs. Agrarian-U justified his faith in him finishing

Agrarian-U gallops into history

McKnight's Agrarian–U after his 50th win received this framed photo collage. (photo submitted)

second in his first race. A week later, in a field of

maidens, Agrarian–U romped to an easy victory. His third time out he won again.

Believing he had a wonder horse, McKnight entered him in a $5,000 handicap. Agrarian-U broke fast and got out ahead of the rest.

A second horse moved up and they both moved away from the field. Coming down the home-stretch the two fought it out neck and neck.

Almost at the finish line both horses stumbled. Agrarian-U went down so hard he pitched his jockey off. Then he bounded up and crossed the finish line first, but, of course, it didn’t count because he had lost his jockey.

The next years saw Agrarian-U steadily improving his stature and his winnings. McKnight had bought him for $525 and by the end of his racing career he had won more than $200,000. That

was a lot of money in those days. One of the most memorable

racing photos shows him winning a near four horse dead heat at Suffolk Downs by a nose.

The reward is the premium of understanding.

McKnight and Agrarian-U communicated with each other in a wordless language only they could understand. He was a horse-whisperer long before horse-whispering became popu-lar.

People might be baffled by the horse and human rapport but the records of Eastern tracks from Hialeah to Suffolk Downs prove conclusively that it exists.

For McKnight Agrarian-U ran like Seabiscuit, but for any other owner he ran like a milkman’s nag. Horse and man parted com-pany briefly in 1951 when the aging gelding was claimed in a claiming race for $6,500.

The horse dropped back to a long–shot for his new owner and

McKnight was able to buy him back for $6,000. He was claimed once again and couldn’t win for that owner either.

McKnight bought him back again and with the insight into the workings of Agrarian-U’s psyche the medicine worked. He kept on winning for McKnight and in 1952, joined one of the exclusive fraternities at that time, winning his 50th race.

Only five horses from 1900 to 1952 belonged to that charmed circle. Another was Blenweed also owned by McKnight. Blen-weed was an outlaw, discarded by the Calumet Foundation, that only McKnight could handle.

McKnight had many winning horses. Another was Bolero U who tied the world’s record in 1957 for juvenile horses at Gulf-stream Park.

All of these famous race horses were trained right here in Tryon at Harmon Field.

In the late 1950s Jack McK-

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night’s health began to fail, but his interest in Tryon and the training center continued.

He bought a small house on Godshaw Hill to live out his retirement here. He sold many of his horses at Hialeah and turned several over to his nephew who was running the business at Lincoln Downs in New England.

McKnight died in 1957 and his final wishes were to be buried on his race track.

He also requested that Agrari-an-U live out the rest of his days in the lush green pastures at his friend Lee Cowan’s Gone Away Farm (now Finally Farm). Upon Agrarian–U’s death he was bur-ied next to McKnight at Harmon Field.

Perhaps on your next stroll you will pause for a moment to reflect upon one of the most exceptional horsemen and horses of their day.

When: John (Jack) McKnight moved to America in 1923 from Ireland. He began train-ing horses in Tryon by 1928.

Agrarian–U finished second at Churchhill Downs -- his first race.

Agrarian–U won in just the

Agrarian–U and McKnight's lives and accomplishments

second race of his career.

In total, Agrarian–U won more than $200,000 in his racing career.

In 1952, Agrarian–U joined an exclusive fraternity of horses at the time, winning his 50th race.

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by Barbara Childs

Chuck Ross rode horses all his life, learning to ride as a child on his father’s polo po-nies.

During his Army career he rode whenever possible. He competed avidly in horse shows, and became interested in combined training when it was first introduced to the United States. Ross was also an avid fox hunter.

Chuck and Betty Ross ar-rived in Tryon in fall of 1974 because the fox hunting and eventing opportunities here were vast. They both began vol-unteering at the TR&HC events. Chuck attended the first steeple-chase in Tryon in 1975, and he never missed a race thereafter.

Ross became co-chairman of the steeplechase with Jar-rett Schmid when the races were still held at the old Block

Above : Former Steep lechase chairman Chuck Ross died in December 2010. Right: Ross as an out-rider at the Old Block House races before the FENCE course was built and the races moved there. (photo submitted)

Ross' legacy lives on through SteeplechaseHouse.

The move from Block House to Fence was a big event. The course was completed at Fence when Ross was president of TR&HC, and the move to the new course was anxiously awaited.

Would the spectators come and more importantly, would the trainers bring their horses to an unknown new course? These were considerations that were on Ross’ mind at that time, according to his wife Betty.

Ross and Jarrett attended the races in Camden, SC and knew most of the trainers and owners.

This was a PR thing for the Block House, and it afforded the opportunity to assure that many trainers would support the new course here. And of course, the spectators did come!

Ross loved the courage, capabilities and beauty of the

horses, his wife said. He admired the skill and

appreciated the knowledge of the jockeys and the men who trained them.

Ross was most concerned about providing a safe and ride-able course at the steeplechase.

He spent hours checking the condition of the course with

mud, reseeding of grass and was the ground dry, soft, high, deep.

The high grass would pro-vide good cushioning on a dry day, but if wet it would be slippery and cause some safety issues.

The height of the grass was always important to him on race day. After the first race day at FENCE, Ross felt the course was too fast.

He received approval from the National Steeplechase As-sociation (of which he was a senior member) to lengthen the races.

This would slow the pace of each race because the jockeys would want to conserve the horses for longer distances. Ross knew he accomplished his purpose for safer racing.

Ross was chairman of the race for at least one year after Jarrett Schmid. Then he asked

“In 2010, the final race he attended, he was out the day before the race checking jumps and walking the course to be sure all was perfect for the horses and jockeys.”

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Tom Mosca to be co-chairman, and they worked well together for years before Ross retired as co-chairman.

Ross always remained on the race committee.

Top: Ross performing in a cross country event in Minnesota. Bottom: Ross performing in a NATO show in Crailsheim Germany in 1967. (photo submitted)

In 2010, the final race he attended, he was out the day before the race checking jumps and walking the course to be sure all was perfect for the horses and jockeys.

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by Barbara Childs

Ed Richardson’s mother remarried when he was 12, moving them to Virginia and landing Ed in horse heaven!

Richardson rode everyday – his after-noon activity. Exercising field hunters and jumpers was his love through his university years.

“My first fox hunt was with the Fairfax Hounds on Thanksgiving Day in 1949. It was freezing, the wind was blowing, my eyes were tearing and I could hardly see where I was going,” Richardson said. “I was riding an open jumper that hunted maybe once a year. It was a very wild ride.”

In exchange for mucking stalls, a close family friend gave Richardson exclusive use of a lovely moving field hunter.

Hunts were every day of the week except Sundays. Richardson hunted with Loudoun Hunt and had the good fortune to cap with

numerous other hunts in Northern Virginia.“My father was a Naval officer and

was transferred to Italy during my junior high school year,” he said. “I spent two years there and began formal riding and equestrian training at the Cavalry School in Agnano. It was there I was introduced to cavaletti gymnastics.”

When Richardson relocated to California in 1979 he was introduced to eventing.

This was an exciting sport for him and required discipline. Dressage was the re-quired discipline and that was the necessary evil he had to conquer.

“After moving here to North Carolina from California, I found out that I have 1,000 family relations on my father’s side. They live primarily in and around the For-syth County of Georgia,” he said.

The exercises Richardson uses for horse and rider combinations to get back into the training mode are first assessed as to the

level of competence and ability that they have.

“I like to work with 10-12 cavaletti and progress to more as their ability increases. In the beginning it may be that one cavaletti may be all a hot thoroughbred can handle,” Richardson said. “The purpose of cavaletti gymnastic exercise is to regulate the pace of the horse and establish rhythm. Once that is established the rider can concentrate on balance and seat. Cavaletti gymnastics establish the pace and rhythm for the horse with minimal input from the rider, and this method is consistent and sound for the rider to improve and gain confidence.

Any muscle in our body that is used for a specific discipline must be conditioned properly, be it riding, swimming, running. In order to build and condition muscles for riding correctly the use of correct gymnastic


Continued on p. 16

Trainer emphasizes becoming a teamEd Richardson riding Arianna earlier in his career. (photo submitted)

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TRAINERContinued from page 11 “Unless one becomes a

team with their horse they probably will lose interest or never experience the thrill one received when both accomplish a set goal.”

-- Ed Richardson

exercises will accomplish this goal with the regulation of pace and thus exercising the proper development of those muscles peculiar to riding.”

Richardson believes feeling secure in the saddle comes with time in the saddle as long as one has developed a balanced seat.

“I also emphasize develop-ing peripheral vision. Look to where you are going or want to go. Practice seeing what is on your left and right, as well as being able to place your hands correctly,” he said. “This means keep your head up. Once the rider is balanced they will find it uncomfortable to sit otherwise. Most important is that the horse and rider are a team. Unless one becomes a team with their horse they probably will lose interest or never experience the thrill

one receives when both accom-plish a set goal.”

Since 1981 Richardson has been interested in riding and teaching the methods of Nuno Olivera.

Riding in lightness, the French classical tradition of training the horse is his alternate approach to riding and training.

“I am now using this method with my mare. She is very sen-sitive and her movements are similar to the Iberian horse,” Richardson said.

His other goal is to help rid-ers gain confidence in the saddle and correct habits that are detri-mental to safe riding.

“I enjoy working with adults that began riding at a later age or are getting back into the saddle again after their children have left the nest. I don’t believe that a trainer can be all things to all riders,” he said. “To put it in perspective in terms of eventing, I would work with those riders through a strong training level

and then they would need to go on to an upper level trainer. In Pony Club terms this would equate to a “B” level.”

Besides riding and teaching riders and horses, Richardson enjoys community theatre. He said a local horsewoman co-erced him into his first stage debut, thereby igniting his inter-est. He’s appeared in four plays in the last two years.

When moving to this area seven years ago, his wife want-ed him to sing in the church choir. Richardson studied voice

at Converse College and also had a private instructor. He also studies Italian as it helps with his singing. Richardson is also an avid photographer.

He did a fair amount of professional photography in Chicago and taught photog-raphy at Evanston Township High School for five years. He is a volunteer mediator for the Criminal Court of Rutherford County and a toastmaster.

Ed Richardson. (photo submitted)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 17


Ed Richardson on a ride. (photo submitted)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 18


Steeplechase participants

Bilharz rides through scoliosis pain

Amanda Bilharz riding in an earlier event. Bilharz, 23, credits the help of her chiropractor for helping her cope with scoliosis, which caused such strong migraines each day, Bilharz thought she wouldn't be able to ride. (photo submitted)

by Barbara Childs

Amanda Bilharz wouldn’t be riding in the 65th Block House Running of the Steepl-chase if it wasn’t for the heal-ing and help of Dr. Henry Bruce, her chiropractor. Bil-harz has a diagnosed condi-tion of her lower spine called scoliosis, which is a reverse C in her lower spine.

“I had migraine headaches everyday, and I’m telling you that Dr. Bruce and the Lord have healed me. I have never felt better riding and training in all my 23 years of life,” Bilharz said. “Every morning I would wake up with the worst migraine you could ever imag-ine. For the last three weeks, I have not had one headache, and life is good when free of pain.”

Bilharz loves the sport of steeplechase riding because she never experienced this type of riding growing up.

“It’s the best feeling ever when you stand in your stirrups and allow your horse to gallop with all his heart. It’s the best adrenalin anyone could ever experience in life,” she said. “The other part of the steeplechase I enjoy is the con-ditioning of my horse. I love to ride and train. It’s my passion, and it’s where my heart will always be.

I love connecting with hors-es and being there for them-the one person they can build their trust and partnership with in riding. This will be my third horse in the steeplechase ex-perience. Roudyoutrageous is like my horse Thirsty Little Abbie. I have started him on ground one, and he has been coming along with awesome promise.”

When Bilharz got Thirsty Little Abbie she wasn’t halter

broken. She gave all she had at her steeplechase debut. She came back strong for the non-thoroughbred race, and this year Bilharz said she's even stronger and better, and she

is really excited about that pros-pect.

When Bilharz cond i t ions he r ho r se s fo r t he

steeplechase she has them do fast trot work for the first 30 days. Then she goes slow and adds fast trots and then gal-lops after the trot work for the next 15 days. For the last 20 to 30 days she does extreme gallops with her horses. She also adds up and down hill work. All this type of training and conditioning works for her and the horses for the big day of the races, and it keeps them and Bilharz fit and happy.

“I don’t give my horses any extra supplements, but I

do give them a ton of hay and grain to keep their weight up. I do give them a lot of protein as protein is needed to keep up their muscle and keep it.”

Bilharz’s goal this year is to have her little guy, Roudy-outrageous, give his whole heart and soul in the race. Thirsty Little Abbie is a dif-ferent story, even though she is Bilharz’s competition horse.

“I would love to see my mare beat all the others in her division because I know she is the best horse I have ever trained in my life,” she said. “She has the most heart and is willing to please more than any horse I have owned. Everything happens with faith. It’s like a rubber band. Your faith stretches if the band is stretched, and I’m stretching it ‘til it breaks.”

Bilharz was born in Stur-gis, S.D. on a horse farm of 200 head and raised in Forest

Grove, Ore. After graduating from high

school, Bilharz started riding Western. She was the state champion barrel racer for her high school.

“Being on a team was one of the greatest experiences I have had. It teaches you to care about others and give and work for the team and be a good sport. Sometimes in the horse world that can be really difficult,” she said.

She moved to Campobello when she was 19.

Bilharz credits her parents for the best experiences with riding and equine knowledge. Her father was a bull rider ‘til Bilharz was 4. In Oregon, her mom showed western plea-sure, cutting and barrel racing and pole bending.

“Everything I know about equine training is all from my parents and I thank them everyday,” she said.

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Kocher and My Pick. (photo submitted)

by Barbara Childs

Susan Kocher will enter her thoroughbred, My Pick, in this year’s Steeplechase at Fence. Kocher rode in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 races in the foxhunt-ers cup division and won all three.

In 2005, Kocher rode Atti-cus Finch, True Phenomenon in 2006 and Interpelador in 2007. She filled the race last year on a very slow Holsteiner named Jasmine.

“ W e w e r e so slow I could make out the fac-es of my friends on the rail,” Ko-cher sa id . She said the horse was very easy to ride since they were barely moving.

“What I love the most about the steeplechase is that you can make your childhood dreams come true five minutes away from home! As a kid I watched all of the racehorse movies and dreamt of being a jockey,” Kocher said.

Kocher said she grew four inches in her freshman year of high school, which caused her dad to think she needed to select a new dream to pursue. Kocher remained adamant though.

"I followed the career of Julie Krone, and I always loved the thought of galloping in a race. I also love how the whole town comes together and how supportive people are when you are walking toward the starting line. It is so scary,

but you can hear kind voices giving you encouragement and telling you that you will be just fine. I had groups of people praying for our safety. How nice is that?”

Kocher’s husband, Kelly, develops the training program.

“He tells me what to work on in a quiet and thought-ful way. He is a phenomenal trainer and has a great way in developing each horse,” she

said. “He told me one time when we were first married that each horse in the barn is a co-worker. Some

are hard workers , but not that talented, some are young and insecure and need to be nurtured to reach their full potential. Some are arrogant and talented and need to be handled firmly. I never forgot about that. It makes me smile thinking about him at the barn with all his co-workers! Kelly makes absolutely sure that the horse is fit for race day. It is the most important thing to him.”

My Pick is a 12–year–old American Thoroughbred geld-ing. He was foaled in Virginia. His dam is D’or. The Kochers have his Jockey Club papers but no races were listed for him. Rodney Jenkins gave this horse to the Kocher’s son, Michael. He is an excellent jumper and he gets regular workout on the flat and over jumps.

Kocher's My Pick to ride in 2011 Steeplechase

Steeplechase participants

“What I love the most about the steeplechase is that you can make your childhood dreams come true five minutes away from home! As a kid I watched all of the racehorse movies and dreamt of being a jockey”

-- Susan Kocher

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Steeplechase participants

by Barbara Childs

Libby Arnold got her first pony, a white gelding named Shamrock when she was 6 years old.

At 11 she was ready for big-ger riding experiences and got a horse, a paint gelding named Apache. With Apache, Arnold rode into the world of barrel racing.

She was involved with the

4-H Club and Spartanburg’s Horseman’s Association.

Arnold’s favorite pastime was riding beside the railroad tracks and fire lanes with her friends.

Arnold never had any for-mal riding instruction and learned to “fly by the seat of her pants.”

After graduat-ing from Spar-tanburg High and Daniel Morgan vocational school she received her license in cosmetology and works as a hairdresser at Reflections in Spartanburg.

“I do a lot of barrel racing

competitions and own four horses-three quarter horses and one thoroughbred. I hope to have my thoroughbred run in the steeplechase this year and am waiting for more entries. I will also be riding a 5–year–old Quarter Horse mare, Perks Chi-

na Doll. I bought her as a yearling and I broke and trained her, and I started competing on her in barrel

racing last May.” In training and condition-

ing, Arnold dedicates her time with organized discipline and consistency.

“I will ride in the morning

before I go to work,” she said. “I usually trot about a mile and then gallop a mile. I gradually increase the distance to 2 miles. For this horse, my mare, I will add some sprints at the end of the training sessions to encour-age her to make a strong finish. When I can I will breeze with another horse. The most im-portant thing is to remain on a schedule of long steady gallops to build stamina.”

Arnold has had a love of racing all her life.

“When growing up I read Misty of Chincoteague and Man O War-and they all in-volved racing. So this love of speed made the barrel racing

Libby and Robert Arnold kick up a cloud of dust as they work to condition themselves and their horses. Both believe in building stamina and keeping training and conditioning consistent. (photo submitted)

Couple that rides together, stays togetherLocal couple both to compete in Block House Steeplechase

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 21


very appealing to me,” she said.

“China Doll is still con-sidered green in her level of training for barrel racing. Even after competing her a few times last year, I am happy with her performance and progress. I consider myself a backyard horseman as I do all my riding and training just for fun and the great feeling of accomplish-ment. Taking a young horse and training it to run barrels and race is the best feeling of the training and riding and as well as becoming a partner with your mount.”

Libby and husband Robert share their passion and love of racing, and they will both be entered in the Steeplechase this year.

Robert started riding with friends on Sunday afternoons. He too enjoys barrel racing.

He has one Quarter Horse mare that he raised and trained, and he also rides her sister who belongs to a friend, Joel Vaughn. This will be the horse that Robert will race in this year’s Steeplechase.

“My training and riding this mare includes a program of three days on and one day off and then three days on

again,” he said. “I enjoy riding and racing on my horses. It’s wonderful to have people come down and pet the horses and have their picture taken with the horses on race day.”

Both Libby and Robert Ar-nold are most thankful and grateful to Kelly Murphy for organizing and working to keep this event going.

They also thank the spon-sors who donate the purses and trophies that give all the riders and horses something to run for.

“We would like to encour-age more people to get in-volved in the future. The year goes by so fast, so anyone thinking of participating next year, start planning and get-ting ready for it now while it’s still on your mind and in your heart,” Arnold said.

“I consider myself a 'backyard horseman' as I do all my riding and training just for fun and the great feeling of accomplishment.”

-- Libby Arnold

Libby and Robert Arnold both plan to participate in the 65th running of the Block House Steeplechase and hope to encourage others to participate in future years. (photo submitted)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 22


prominent landmarks on the Irish landscape, so the sport took its name from this chase to the steeple.

Cross country match races spread to England, where the first reported race involved more than two horses in 1792. Steeple-chasing then became popular and migrated to established race courses. In Ireland races that are run on a commercial race track are collectively known as national hunt races.

On Feb. 26, 1839 at Aintree in England the first grand-national was run. Many steeplechase rac-ers today can check their ancestry back to Ireland by way of North Carolina.

The popularity of steeple-chasing remains a sport in Ireland today that is also big business. Trainer John Fowler of Rahinston House in County Meath, Ireland

currently has about 20 horses in training for jump racing. Horses are sometimes imported from the US as flat racers, and they are used for steeplechasing if they are not fast enough. Horses are never taken to Ireland from the US just to jump race.

Lady Chichester, Fowler’s wife, agrees. “The footing differ-ences are the biggest challenge, and it’s hard for horses to adjust to the difference in racing styles.” The American bloodlines are infused into the Irish race horses, especially the Northern Dancer and Saddlers Wells lines.

The biggest connection in Irish and American racing is the people. “If you visit any racing stable in America you’ll find Irish men galloping horses,” says Fowler. “The Irish are constantly going abroad to find work, and horses are a way of life here in Ireland. And they have taken that tradition to the United States.”

• History(continued from page 5)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 25



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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 26

An Area Rich in Equine History CarolinaHorseFarmsandMore.com

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Irish Oaks Equestrian Center is located in Irmo, South Carolina on 9+ acres with a 16 acre trail ease-ment thru the Ascot devel-opment. The barn has 16 stalls, lobby, office, feed room, tack room, grooming/wash area , laundry and a very nice 3BR/2BA apart-

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 27

Let me introduce myself. I am Dudley, the miniature

donkey. I am pleased to announce I have

been chosen out of many candi-dates to be your new reporter for equine news. I will be scout the area to bring you all the buzz in the equine world I find interesting and noteworthy. Let me present my credentials. I am handsome, suave and debonair with excellent “curb” appeal.

I have long, gray ears with fine tuned radar capabilities, so I hear all. I am 16 years old, which in donkey years is considered expe-rienced. Did I mention I have been told I have rock star appeal and my fans love to tell me everything that goes on in and around the equine world.

My name comes from the An-glo Saxon origin and means short and stout. I love my name and live up to its fullness. There is a castle in the west midlands of Great Brit-ain named Dudley Castle built by Lord Dudley in the middle ages. It’s good to know that one’s name bears class and respectful origins.

I have a secret place behind the tractor shed where I like to doze and take afternoon naps.

I like to scratch my “ass," par-don the French, on my favorite tree trunk. It’s my favorite butt-rubbing tree, and I use it as a time for deep thought as I ponder over my next assignment.

I know there is a very important holiday coming up this month, Easter. Did you realize one of my illustrious ancestors was chosen in a leading role?

He was selected over all the big horses, remember we are the short and stout, for King Jesus to make His entrance into the holy city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

I look forward to keeping you posted on news and happenings,

which I find entertaining. If you ever want to contact me or want a special report please contact my editor, Barbara Childs, (she thinks I’m handsome).

LocaL happenings: I just heard that dear Lincoln

Russell has a broken pelvis and is recovering from this injury. Please contact him with get well wishes through Motlow Creek Farm in Campobello, S.C.

Another equine related sur-gery concerns the Marydell Farm horse Maestro who has had some intensive surgery on his leg and is recovering nicely. A new trainer and classical dressage rider is moving to the area in June. She is Holly Hansen and has been trained in Portugal by Nuno Olivera. She is bringing 14 horses here and will ride, train, and school with these Iberian and Andalusian horses. One is a schoolmaster trained through Grand Prix.

Don’t miss The Bridle Af-fair Tailgating celebration at the Steeplechase next month. I heard they need a wedding cake and some old wedding gowns for the festivities. Be looking for news to follow soon.

Be watching for the Clear View Riding Program at Jeanne Smith’s facility in Landrum. The riding school for students is under way (ages 11-19) six days a week. There are a variety of horses avail-able for private and school lessons. It’s a great opportunity for students to participate in an equine sport without having to own their own horse.

The babies are coming...new foals will be here this spring and I shall get their moms and sires for you soon.

Yours truly,


Meet Dudley the donkey: equine social commentator

Dudley the miniature donkey belongs to Joy Baker. (Photo by Erik Olsen.)

ingredients: 2 cups of rolled oats1 cup of cracked corn1 cup of flax seed1 cup of wheat floura dash of salt1 egg6 cups of Quaker oats2 1/2 cups of applesauce2 1/4 cups of molasses2 cups of hot water

directions:Mix and refrigerate for

one hour before baking.Using a tablespoon, scoop

each cookie onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with oil and bake at 275 degrees for 45 min.

Makes about 17.

dudLey’s recipe for equine treats: I know it’s Lent and many of you celebrate by fasting. This is one tradition I do not understand or approve of, even though I have been told it would do me a lot of good. I found this recipe on a piece of paper and thought I would share it with all the equines who might need an extra surge of energy. Enjoy making a batch of these beauties and share them with your equine buddies.

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 28

by Barbara ChildsLocals assume Sophie Pirie

Clifton left beautiful Montana in the late 2007 to escape the weather.

Rather, her business had grown. She needed her own training center, but good bot-tomland near Bozeman, Mont. was too expensive. She sought out Tryon, because the Eques-trian Land Conservation Re-source had identified it as one of the few communities in this country to have preserved the horse at the center of its cul-ture, economy, land use plan-ning and conservation efforts.

She values the area’s trail network, diversity of eques-trian disciplines and presence of two live foxhunts.

Sophie intentionally chose a small farm to develop into a training center focused on clas-sical dressage but also offer-ing event training, gymnastic jumping, and rehab. “The goal at Blue Moon Farm is to give each horse and student highly individualized attention and training,” she said.

Functional Anatomy is a particular focus of Sophie’s teaching at home and in the clinics she gives in the US and internationally. She has been certified to teach Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis, a yoga based body work system.

She has also studied for more than a decade with Clete Linebarger, “the chiropractor who won’t give you a fix.” Dr. Linebarger and Sophie use functionally based training to enhance performance and reduce pain and risk of injury. Sophie’s “How to Teach” in-structor workshops also focus on biomechanics and the psy-chology of learning.

Another hallmark of So-phie’s is her respect for horses as our primary teachers. “Every horse that comes into our lives

Blue Moon Farm owner Sophie Clifton

Sophie Clifton with Ruby Del Sol in April 2010. (Photo by David Mullinex.)

is there for a reason,” she said. So it is with her own horses:

“My beloved Paint Quarter Horse, Canto Gitano, who was my event horse and is now training all the grand prix dressage movements, came to me as a stallion living with a

harem. I had to learn to work him with a will even stronger than my own!”

Gitano’s uncle, Spiritoso, the nephew of a Quarter Horse Sophie rehabbed and won a 3-day team gold on at Young Riders, is a schoolmaster at

Blue Moon Farm. “Someone may want to learn how to ride a half pass, which he does beauti-fully, but Spirit has an uncanny way of knowing exactly what each person needs to learn and a way of insisting that is what they do learn,” Sophie said.

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 29

Sophie Clifton with Wolkenkarat in April 2010. (Photo by David Mullinex.)

Among the other Blue Moon Farm horses are lovely Warmbloods. The past two years Sophie has competed Wolkenkarat (now for sale) to top national rankings in every category of eligibility.

“It is a privilege to ride such a talented horses, but to compete her is something else. Every judge gave her “wow” remarks,” she said.

Sophie has a reputation for success with non-traditional horses. One of these is Ruby Del Sol, a half Lusitano, half Arab, bred locally by Erin Ray. She is Sophie’s sports car –– full of personality, fabu-lous mover, hard worker and incredibly precocious. Al-though a diminutive 14.3 hh, Della routinely beats the fancy Warmbloods at big shows and expects to debut at Prix St. Georges this year.

Because of Della’s superstar qualities, Sophie leased her dam, and 2010 saw the arrival of Blue Moon Zambra (by Paul Belasik’s Grand Prix Andalu-sian, Excelso). Sophie seeks to breed one or two smaller horses each year with excellent movement and conformation, a superior work ethic and talent for real collection. “But if they are all as lovely as Zambra, I don’t know how I will bear to sell any of them,” she said.

Blue Moon Farm also takes in horses for rehabilitation and conditioning. Sophie’s experience with classic format 3-day eventing, conditioning Thoroughbred race horses, World Equestrian Games level Combined Driving horses and fox hunters taught her how to get horses fit and keep them sound.

“Rehab is not just rebuilding lost muscle,” she said. “You have to re-toughen bones, tendons and ligaments. Often critical to avoiding re-injury are correcting alignment and developing self-carriage, key concerns of dressage.”

Sophie’s success rests on

the team that supports Blue Moon Farm.

“I could not do this without the assistance, knowledge and guidance of Dr. Bibi Freer, Dr. Joy Baker and farrier Bill Mc-Daniel, or the patience and sup-port of my husband, Roger,” Sophie said. “Builder Bruce Fisher, excavator Jerry Chris-topher, and fencer Robert Robinson helped develop the farm. Jimmy Jones takes care of the land-and keeps our o ld tractor running. Amy Goode grooms for me on the road: My horses all come out of the ring looking for her to get a peppermint! The MVP, though, is my wonderful as-sistant, Jayne Stewart: Only because of her skill and dedi-cation can I travel to compete and teach.”

When asked who has most influenced her training, Sophie first credits the horses she has ridden. The breeding farm she grew up on had more than 100 head at one point. Aquila Farm raised and trained Welsh

show ponies, her parents hav-ing imported the original breed-ing stock from Wales. The farm also raised and raced Thor-oughbreds. After her mother introduced Combined Driving to the United States, there were even more Warmbloods. Her mother, Sophie says, was one of the finest horsemen she

has ever encoun-tered and a tough taskmaster: “She had zero toler-ance for excuses or wimpiness.”

Another influ-ence was starting

to teach at a young age. “I started off charging $12 per hour, because that’s how old I was. It amazes me now that mothers would schlep their children and ponies over to me three times a week for lessons in each of the eventing disci-plines! I still learn something from every lesson I teach and from every horse I ride.”

The influence of the military was pervasive when Sophie was growing up.

“I had no idea how lucky I was that my Pony Club in-

structor was Maj. Gen. Jack Burton. Another instructor we had for many years was Col. Lewicki from Poland. Those guys all taught position. They emphasized “independence of the aids”, a term I rarely hear anymore.”

The USET 3-Day Team, then coached by Jack LeGoff, was Sophie’s next door neigh-bor.

“Every day the Team riders rode by our kitchen window. Horses and tack gleamed. Rid-ers never slouched. The horses marched. I would spy on their workouts and then go practice the same movements and set up the same jump combinations. I did everything I could to emu-late their positions and make my horses go like theirs. Later I sought out team members Denny Emerson and Tad Cof-fin to work for and train with.”

Since then Sophie has stud-ied with a series of dedicated teachers who have each shared their knowledge and mentored her. Meg Douglas-Hamilton

(Continued on page 30)

Spotlight on Local


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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 30

APPOINTMENTS ADS 123010 - page 5


Dale Fuller Marsh / Brady Manor



(former USET 3–Day team rider and developer of the Eq-uitainer) introduced Sophie to “real dressage.”

She also insisted that Sophie go to college, although it meant almost two decades out of the saddle, while she pursued de-grees at Harvard, Stanford, and in Germany and then worked in Europe before coming home to teach at Harvard Law School and at Stellenbosch Univ. in South Africa.

When Sophie came back to training and teaching full time, Jill Hassler-Scoop(a founder of Hilltop Farm and talented educator), became a close friend and important mentor until she died a few years ago.

Consistent with Sophie’s be-lief that the world will provide you with what you need if you just let it, a woman named Carol

called about her arena footing soon after Sophie moved here. On a hunch she asked, “Are you THE Carol Lavell?”

And so began a relationship with the Olympic bronze med-alist in dressage that Sophie values highly. “Not only is Carol incredibly encouraging, she has so much hard earned wisdom and an amazing eye.”

For more than 10 years, So-phie has studied primarily with Paul Belasik, one of the world’s leading truly classical dressage instructors.

Among the many things she values in Paul’s teaching are his systematic approach, his insis-tence on the primacy of rider position and his commitment to the art of balancing the horses upon the hindquarters. Mr. Be-lasik comes to Blue Moon Farm five times a year.

Many organizations seek Sophie’s counsel, among them Hilltop Farm’s Integrated Ap-proach to Teaching & Learning,

Jill Hassler’s Equestrian Educa-tion Studies, Eckart Meyners’ Seat Synposia and the Interna-tional Academy of Equestrian Studies in Warendorf, Germany. Sophie has served as a governor of the U.S. Pony Clubs and now sits on their advisory commit-tee. She is a USPC graduate A and inaugural inductee of their Academy of Achievement and remains indebted to Pony Club: “They were the first to send me out around the world, giving clinics and judging in Asia and Australia,” she said.

Her most extensive non-profit involvement has been with the Equestrian Land Con-servation Resource. ELCR sought her out at its founding, partly because of her familiarity with the varied ways horses are managed throughout the world.

In high school in France, she remembers jumping lessons at 9 p.m., 18-20 riders in a 20x40m indoor arena.

“We Americans are so

spoiled with all of our private lessons and personal space!” Sophie said.

In Thailand, she learned about working with Buddhist vets and training in the Bang-kok heat.

Seeing the transformation of the Massachusetts town she grew up in awakened Sophie to the importance of land con-servation. During the 1970s, Hamilton was the epicenter of 3-day eventing and home to quality polo, hunting and horse showing.

“You could ride all day across private land and not think twice about it. But by the 1980s, most of the large farms had become housing develop-ments. If that could happen here and that fast, even before the recent real estate booms, then Polk County too is at risk-for loss of land and access for horses, and also for loss of agriculture as a viable way of living,” Sophie said.

• Clifton(Continued from page 29)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 31

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Above: Eventing Wannabe: Sophie on Aquila Periwinkle (photo by Deirdre Pirie). Right Air Time: Canto Gitano X-C schooling with Cap't Mark Phillips in Montana. (photo submitted)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 32

Carolyn West and KC Betzel went through the L Program meaning Learner Judge.

It took almost two years to complete. KC had read a couple of articles in the USDF publica-tions about the “L” program and wanted to do it.

When KC mentioned the program for the billionth time in over a year to Carolyn West, she relented.

“Perfect! Now I have a buddy to go through the program with,” thought Carolyn with more as-surance.

The next hurdle was finding a program close enough to partici-pat...in 2008 the only programs available were in Minnesota and Maine. Given the cost of travel, that wasn’t going to work, so KC undertook organizing ses-sions through a FRC/Fence co-operative effort.

Making presentations to both organizations, completing a financial feasibility report and then getting the USDF stamp of approval was a heroic act of effort. Meanwhile, Georgia (GDCTA) had just gotten their final paperwork complete for hosting the program.

As fate was to have it, there were two spots available. So, off to Atlanta the girls journeyed. The series of weekend long lectures and demo rides were held at Shannondale Farm in Alpharetta, Ga.

"This is a stunning facility owned by Julie Shannon," West said.

“In the first three sessions also known as Part 1 auditors are allowed to sit and observe the demo rides. with running commentary and critiques. God

bless those demo riders!..they were so brave to put themselves out there for comments and criticisms from our uneducated eyes and mouths. The mornings started sharply at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t end until 4:30 p.m.," She said. "Thank goodness for that lunch! There was so much info to absorb that our brains were mush and by the end of the day we were completely brain dead, but lucid enough to order a glass of wine.”

The first leg of the L program emphasized basic paces and the training scale. In the second ses-sion Betsy Berry presented infor-mative viewpoints on scoring and test riding. Participants viewed various gaits, movements, transi-tions and explained each level’s emphasis and requirements, West said. The third session, taught by Gary Rockwell, placed emphasis on biomechanics of the horse as well as the rider. Participants worked on those dreaded col-lective remarks at the end of the

test, where the scoring of these marks became more clear and made sense. There was a plethora of examples on how these marks are defined and why horse and rider combinations receive the scores. The materials the USDF provides for this program were extremely informative for future use for judges, competitors and trainers, West said, and gave in-sight to how judges reflect upon

each performance."Did we mention there was a

two to three page quiz for each session?” West said.

For the practical sessions, fondly called Part 2 and the final exam, participants were required to bring their own scribes.

"This entailed monopolizing someone’s entire weekend. We were responsible for schlepping them to and from Georgia and

Local learner judges

Carolyn West and KC Betzel recently completed the necessary training and testing through the "L" program to become Learner Judges. (photo submitted)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 33

the hotels and providing food and beverage expenses. An extra bonus was how much moral sup-port these ladies could provide as well as their added humor to a very long day. Cheers for Vicki De Palma and Liza Manuel for being our staunchest supporters. They endured rainy weekends at Poplar, horrendous thunder and lightening storms at Conyers and thanks to them our paperwork

was saved as it blew off in the wind into the metal bleachers. Yikes! Have you ever tried to get four women, luggage, books and binders, chairs and all into a car! Thanks to Liza for her Suburban as we traveled in style and comfort.”

In addition to the formal prac-tical sessions, West and Betzel were required to put additional hours going to shows to fulfill the

needed scribing hours, as well as sitting with judges observing rides for the day.

"There was rarely a free week-end where we weren’t sitting on the sidelines practice judging so we could compare our scores to the actual judges’ scores," West said. "It was a challenge as our view was from the side for the whole program and we were comparing scores to the judge who was sitting at C. This was not so easy. Watching video rides and taking turns verbalizing scores and comments was also part of the program.

Being a judge takes a lot of practice. The final exam had a written part consisting of the Rulebook for USEF. Hav-ing trouble sleeping at night, just pick up that book and start reading. Many a night KC fell asleep at the dining room table studying.”

The two women had to take their final exam at Champion-ships in Conyers, Ga. West said Barbara Crawford stood in for Vicki DePalma as KC's scribe and mental stabilizer for the weekend.

“The weather was so cold in the mornings that the scribes could barely write. We now have a better appreciation for those judges sitting out there in intolerable heat, cold, bugs and keeping a smile on their face," she said. "The written exam was the first night. It was not as difficult as we expected. The second part was judging classes

with SIX riders in a class. Your scores were then matched to the examiner’s scores, and hopefully your placing came in close. For the third part we were seated between two examiners, who at this point became 20 feet giants! We were so afraid they could see and hear our hearts pounding as we tried to verbalize scores and comments for an entire ride.”

“So now the nightmares have subsided and the whole process is a distant memory of great learn-ing and experience," West said.

She added there are several points that really stand out. Ba-sics are the first thing the judge sees as you enter the arena.

This reflects your training at home. The judge is looking at bend as the stretch of the outside muscle rather than having tight inside muscles. Stretch over the top is more important than just being in a frame, she said.

They want to see happy horses without the riders interfering. Purity of gaits is very important, as well as working on a clear rhythm in all three gaits. Ten-sion through the neck and back will show up in those collective marks, which will bring the score down quite a bit, West said.

How many of you actually read the directives in a test?

"Read the purpose of the level at the top of the test," West said. "It becomes more clear to you as you emphasize your training at home. Maybe we will be seeing you from C.”

–article submitted

Carolyn West and KC Betzel recently completed the necessary training and testing through the "L" program to become Learner Judges. (photo submitted)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 34

By Dr. Karen Reynolds of Tryon Equine Hospital

Spring is coming, and thoughts of new life are in the air!

You’ve decided your mare is a perfect genetic specimen with a stellar temperament and work ethic, and have chosen a successful, proven stallion that completes the picture.

Breeding your mare is a huge investment of your time, emo-tions and money.

Now i t ’s t ime to come up with a carefully planned breeding program to avoid setbacks and additional costs.

passing the examInvite your vet out for a thor-

ough physical examination and discussion of basic health care for your broodmare, including diet, vaccinations and deworming plans throughout pregnancy, foal-ing and weaning. An examination may include ultrasound of the reproductive tract and additional testing of the uterus including culture, cytology and biopsy.

These tests allow us to predict the health of the uterus and the mare’s ability to conceive and carry a foal to term. To gain fa-miliarity with your mare’s unique

Plan well for breeding season

cycle, regular ultrasounds of the ovaries are recommended early in the breeding season.

‘tis the seasonHorses are seasonal breeders,

with the natural breeding season extending from late spring to early fall. From December to February, most mares do not ovulate or show heat.

As the season approaches, they enter transitional heat, where they may cycle irregularly. In many parts of the country, light-ing schemes are arranged to induce regular estrous cycles earlier in the year. Hormone therapy may also be used to regu-late cycles during the transitional period.

the magic momentThe estrous cycle, or period

between ovulations, averages 21 days, but may be highly vari-able. Estrus, or active heat, lasts between 2-7 days, with ovulation occurring near the end of this pe-riod. The best indication of active heat is the mare’s behavior in the presence of a stallion.

If she shows receptive signs, breeding can commence. If no stallion is available, then reli-ance upon ultrasound is critical,

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 35

and ultrasounds may need to be repeated regularly during the cycle to time the breeding with ovulation.

Artificial insemination is widely used, and is available in cooled or frozen form. Each step that involves human interven-tion decreases the success rate of conception. If a frozen product is chosen, it is standard practice to ultrasound a mare every six hours as she nears ovulation to ensure timely delivery.

BaBy’s first picturesThe first ultrasound to diag-

nose pregnancy is recommended at around 14 days post-breeding. At this stage, your vet can con-firm pregnancy and diagnose twins. Follow-up ultrasounds or palpation should be performed at 30-45 days, 60-90 days and be-fore the end of breeding season.

a Lesson in patienceNow we wai t…11 long

months…for the arrival of the foal! In the meantime, your broodmare will need regular check-ups and vaccinations every two months for rhinopneumonitis, a virus that can cause abortions. By eight months of pregnancy, she must be removed from all sources of fescue grass and hay. Fescue toxicosis is caused by endophytes in the grass.

Even minor exposure can cause prolonged gestation, prob-lems with delivery, and lack of milk production.

Thirty days prior to delivery

date, we will booster the mare’s vaccines to maximize immune transfer to the foal.

happy Birthday!Several weeks before the

foal arrives, your mare’s udder should be enlarging visibly. Be prepared with a foaling kit. The most important step to take is in-forming your vet of the due date, and to call your vet when labor is starting. Labor should progress quickly, and the foal should arrive within 30 minutes of the “water breaking.”

Horses are uniquely sensitive in the birthing process. Once ac-tive labor begins and the placenta begins to separate, the foal is no longer receiving oxygen, and has 20-30 minutes to arrive and breathe before life-threatening and costly problems arise.

Enjoy your new baby – you and your mare have worked hard to make this happen!

Tryon Equine Hospital is an equine ambulatory, medicine and surgical referral hospital. Visit www.tryonequine.com.

Breeding tips

What: Have your vet conduct a thorough examination prior to breeding:

When: Horses are seasonal breeders typically between late spring to early fall.

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 36

Vet always looking to broaden skillsby Barbara Childs

A deep lifelong love and re-spect for the horse as a regal and generous animal has led Dr. Kar-en Reynolds to her career calling of becoming an equine vet.

“The deep bond between hu-man and horse is unique, and I enjoy working with both parties to improve the quality of life for the horses and their owners,” Reynolds said.

What Dr. Reynolds enjoys most about her practice is getting to know the horse and its owner and helping them accomplish

their goals for competition as well as good daily health.

As a field vet she enjoys the physical aspect of her calling and getting to work outdoors.

“The teamwork of doctors and staff at the Tryon Equine Hospital is fantastic. There is a constant opportunity to improve skills and learning with them. I also get to fulfill my scientific curiosity and desire for daily variety on the job,” she said.

Reynolds owns a Quarter Horse mare and a 3–year–old Oldenburg gelding. Currently

Appointments • November 2010 • p. 10

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and treat the epicenter. As I finished rubbing her she stood quietly and re-laxed and no longer wanted to bite. Her pain was gone and she headed for home two days later."

According to Woody, not all massages are that painful but treat-ing some injuries and strains may cause discomfort until tension and stress is reduced. Some problems may take several massages and then maintenance and certain exercises from the ground and while riding are required. If there is a chronic problem chiropractic or veterinary care may be recommended in con-junction with massage.

The type of massage Woody gives depends on the animal's needs. It tends to be very spiritual, she said, because the animal communicates to her through touch and she needs to hear what they are saying to help alleviate the pain and problem.

Woody believes that her mas-sages not only convey compassion but also include the firmer manipu-

KATHY WOODY Continued from page 9

lations of treating stress, tension, anxiety, injury, and other ailments. She uses friction, kneading, percus-sion, vibration, and visualization techniques. Her goal is treating ath-letes, whether for Grand Prix, trail or retired horses, and to improve their flexibility, motion, movement, circulation, relaxation, and overall disposition.

"Anybody – horse, dog, cat or human – can benefit from massage," she said.

Since Woody is living her hobby she guesses that her most enjoyable time outside of work right now is with her new dog, Lewis.

Lewis came to Woody as a lost puppy late last summer and is super smart, Woody said. She's entertaining and beautiful and has an endless vocabulary and a great desire to please.

Woody also enjoys being with the three cats that have found their way to her door and heart.

What Woody values most in life is the environment here – all of nature, wildlife and her friends, animals and humans alike.

If a horse is stiff or has trouble bending, putting pressure on hip and shoulder gives a nice warm-up stretch and can be soothing, Woody said. (photo submitted)

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Dr. Karen Reynolds works with a horse. Reynolds attended vet school at Texas A&M University. (photo submitted).

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 37

she enjoys trail riding and hunter pacing with her Quarter Horse, and she hopes to foxhunt him next year.

“I have owned the 3–year–old gelding since he was 4–months–old,” she said. “I have enjoyed raising a youngster. We competed in the Future Event Horse Series when he was 2 to expose him to traveling and showing. I would like to event him in the future.”

Reynolds initially attended the animal chiropractic course to help horses with lameness problems, chronic pain and train-ing issues.

She was seek-ing to add a dif-ferent perspective for her diagnosis and treatment of soundness and per-formance issues.

“ W h i l e t h i s is a huge part of chiropractic, there are benefits for horses with chronic medical conditions, especially after surgery, during hospitalization, and lay-up,” she said. “This course was a wonder-ful and intense study of anatomy, neurology, biomechanics, as well as chiropractic technique and philosophy. There are so many applications for chiropractic to improve the lives of my patients. I have also enjoyed adjusting dogs, cats, camelids and even goats!”

Chiropractic care, Reynolds said, focuses on the central ner-vous system, which is the control center for the body. The firing of nerves control muscle and organ function and even behavior.

Chiropractic philosophy is based on the belief that if a seg-ment of the spine or joint is not moving through its normal range of motion, then the nerves do nor fire properly, and the body cannot function to its full potential.

Diminished joint function happens to all living beings through repetitive stress inju-ries, activities of daily living or through acute trauma, she said.

A chiropractic exam finds these areas of reduced motion and adjusts them with a very specific

force to restore the mobility and agility of the segment, Reynolds added.

Reynolds was born and raised in the Unionville, Penn. – the only horsey person in the family.

“I found a lesson barn to work at, and went there in all my free time to work in exchange for rid-ing time. I tried unsuccessfully to convince my parents to get me one of the many “free” horses that came available,” she said.

“They never consented-smart folks! Instead, I learned a ton by riding all types of horses and being exposed to many different

trainers and ideas, which included dressage, eventing and fox hunting. I was also a mem-ber of the Brandy-wine Hounds Pony Club,” she said.

“My favorite horse growing up was Melvin. He was a bay thoroughbred that I rode and cared for. The owner allowed me to ride and treat him as my own horse. We went galloping and leaping and jumping all over the Chester County countryside, and he was the first horse that I experienced a deep bond with in my partnering.”

Reynolds played rugby at the UC Santa Cruz and rode on the equestrian team at Penn State where she went to the nationals.

She graduated from vet school at Texas A&M and wrote a grant to complete a project on goats and human health in Malawi, Africa. She spent six weeks there and then traveled to Brazil and Mexico on veterinary trips.

Her post-graduate year was spent at an equine hospital in New Jersey – the BW Furlong and Associates. There she worked on FEI level 3-day events and then spent part of the winter in Ocala and Wellington, Fla. where she began working on alpacas.

Away from the hospital and horses Dr. Reynolds enjoys hik-ing with her dogs, live music, brewing beer and exploring. All are shared with her best friend and husband James.

Spotlight on Local

EquestriansReynolds uses chiropractic methods to help ease discomfort in animals. She believes these applications can improve their lives. Reynolds received a grant during vetinary school that allowed her to study and complete a project on goats in Malawi, Africa. (photo submitted).

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 38

+ + +

by Barbara Childs

Michelle Williams’ journey with horses has been a coura-geous and noble one.

By the time Michelle was 3, her parents knew something was different about her. She spoke in

Michelle Williams spends quality time with her horse Spirit. Williams believes riding helped her through difficulties in school and life related to dyslexia. The now early education major said the responsibilities and discipline associated with a riding lifestyle focused her mind and put her at ease. (photo submitted)

Spirit restored

sentences later than most people her age even though she had outgrown the growth graph at the pediatrician’s office.

Michelle’s speaking abilities were unclear and she suffered from numerous ear infections.

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 39

Her kindergarten year was dif-ficult, and she could barely re-member the alphabet symbols that went with sounds.

It was then that Michelle was diagnosed with dyslexia, a learn-ing disability characterized by problems in expressive or recep-tive oral and written language skills.

The Camperdown Academy in Greer, SC was the school she was placed in for her special needs. Since Michelle was overly orga-nized, her dyslexia became better to handle with methods of strong work ethics and a will to succeed no matter what.

At the end of her eighth-grade year at Camper-down, she was awarded Student of the Year. She went on to Blue Ridge High School and finished her senior year through home school.

Just recently, she was re-cruited by Sally Frick of Motlow Equestrian Center to try out for a new riding team.

Michelle now attends North Greenville College and is major-ing in early education. She is liv-ing proof that living with severe dyslexia is not all that bad. With the support of family and friends, Michelle says, “never, never give up on your dreams and goals.”

The horses in Michelle’s life have been a great healing help in her journey through life. At Camperdown she discovered she

was a large motor skill learner. She learned to sound out a word by tapping the syllables on the table. It follows then that you use large motor skills to ride horses. The riding was a tool Michelle learned in this equine area so much more rapidly than any of her educational skills.

Michelle enjoys being around horses because they don’t judge you, and they are not mean to you. Horses have always made her feel good about herself. The horses were Michelle’s escape when days seemed dark and the world was impossible. Win-

ning ribbons and placing at horse shows helped her self confidence im-mensely. When Michelle was a youngster she re-members the little

cross rail courses she was made to jump with her horse, and that was a time when she could not memorize basic words. She considered horses her friends and recalls talking to them while she was tacking them up. When Michelle is on the back of a horse riding and schooling she doesn’t think about anything else and her dyslexia disappears.

“Horses have given me self confidence, responsibility, love, patience,a sense of humor, peace-fulness and good friendships," Michelle said. "On a horse, the rhythm of their feet helps my memory and keeps me peace-ful. Horses have taught me self

discipline, exercise and stress relief. Another important factor in riding is that everything is done in sequence. You groom the horse, pick its feet, saddle and go ride. This has helped my dyslexia tremendously because reading is all order sequencing.”

Michelle’s riding experiences have been limited. She was not able to attend Pony Club and she has shown in one A rated show. Far more important than this are the lessons she has learned from horses, and how such a noble and simple creature can do so much for the soul of a person.

“Believe me whatever cross you carry and with it you love horses, they will help you carry that cross wherever you go in

Spotlight on Local


(Continued on page 40)

Williams found an escape from daily frustrations of life through riding her horse Spirit who she got eight years ago. Here she works with trainer Robert Zandvroot. (photo submitted).

life,” she said. Michelle’s first horse in life

was Spirit. He has been with her since he

was five, and now he is 13. The first time she went to a horse show with him he got scared of a paint horse at the show.

Michelle’s first memories of riding include fun, hard work at Five Joker’s Farm owned by Estela Lindsey.

“We would clean the barn and we all got the privilege of rid-ing and jumping lessons. In the summer we camped for a whole week and even had a mock horse show at the end of the week. We would load the horses on the trailer and go around the block

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 40

Spotlight on Local


• Williams(Continued from page 39)

“On a horse, the rhythm of their feet helps my memory and keeps me peaceful.”

-- Michelle Williams

and then pretend we arrived at the showgrounds.

Then we would take care of ou horses, and even get dressed in show jackets. Next we had arts and crafts, lunch and listen-ing to different speakers who would talk about braiding, trim-ming hooves and horse care. We even did field trips to the local tack shops.”

Michelle enjoys jumping, dressage, cross-country, and trail riding with her horse Sham-rock, a white Irish Draft horse who turns his head sideways to give kisses and loves to jump BIG.

She currently trains with Trayce Doubek at Suncatcher Farms in Green Creek.

Trayce graduated with a major in early education and a minor in learning disabilities.

“It has been wonderful work-ing with her. I enjoy hanging out

with friends at the barn, and am thankful for all who have helped me with my riding, especially Pepper Oliver, Estela and Chris-tina Lindsey, Katie Maxwell and Jen Holmes.”

Another horse in the Wil-liams' family is Spirit.

He is a liver chestnut quarter horse, and Michelle loves when she visits him.

He gets excited and pac-es his stall and then stares at her.Jasper is another family horses.

He is a ma-hogany bay who thinks other hors-es are chew toys. It has been said by her trainer that he would skin a goat.

The horses that Michelle r ides now have been well schooled in dressage, and she is learning to ride from her seat.

Michelle has learned that riding from her seat allows the horse to listen to her, and she

ends up having more control over the movements.

Away from the barn and horses, Michelle loves football.

She is a big Ohio State University. fan.

The more she knows about foot-bal l than most girls, the more she

enjoys discussing sports with the guys. She also enjoys read-ing books now.

Dyslexia caused a struggle with this skill in the past, and she never enjoyed sitting down with a book to read.

Now it is easier because software has reinforced multi-sensory reading with seeing

the word highlighted and then hearing it read aloud.

Her goals after college are to continue riding and compete at higher rated shows and also to ride horses for other people.

She would also like to vol-unteer some of her time to help others with horses based charities.

Spirit, Michelle Williams and her mother. (photo submitted).

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 41

by Barbara Childs

Jeanne Ahrenholz majored in fashion merchandising at the University of Minnesota and dreamt about having a fashion store someday.

While attending college she worked in a saddle shop. After graduating she was having trou-ble finding just the right job and ended up purchasing the inven-tory of the store she was working at for 15 cents on the dollar.

Her original plan was to have a liquidation sale and then continue with her fashion career. Her father talked her into renting a store for six months to see what would happen. Well, the saddle shop ended up as the perfect career for Jeanne.

“I started out with 1,600 square feet and moved a couple of times ending up with 6,000 square feet of store space and nine employees,” Ahrenholz said. “I carried all price points of English and Western saddles. It was called Calamity Jeanne’s Saddle Shop. After 18 years, I was tired of working 60 hours a week with no time to ride. I found someone to buy the store who paid me what it was worth. I bought a great FEI level dres-sage horse named Wonderful and had fun riding and showing him. I won the ABIG/USDF Region 4 championships with him at the Prix St. Georges levels as well as Intermediare 1, and I also won the Area 4 Novice Eventing Championship on High Tide, my field hunter. I became the USDF Region 4 Director for six years, which was a great experience.”

During the time that Ahren-holz owned her store she became frustrated selling saddles and trying to guess if they fit the customers’ horses properly.

“I learned all I could from my saddle vendors though most of them didn’t know much. I also

had a series of horses that were difficult to fit. After selling the store friends and former custom-ers kept asking me for help with their saddles.

I took the overseas course from the Master Saddlers in England and then the follow up course on flocking. Albion Saddlemakers wanted me to represent them and gave me a great amount of training here and in England. I’ve trained with world equestrian brands who import Amerigo saddles and also with Prestige people. It’s now been 20 years since I’ve had the store, and I have a 14 foot trailer full of demo saddles that I bring to clients.”

“The special thing about my saddle fitting service is that though the owner is writing the check, it’s really the horse I am working for. The welfare and comfort of the horse is the most important thing for me. Many fitters do a static fitting, but I believe that to analyze the fit properly I need to see the horse move in the saddle.”

Currently Ahrenholz has four horses.

Toyon is a 17–year–old Trakehner who has been trained to Grand Prix, and he is her schoolmaster. He was lame for three years and with his hoof radiographs he should be buried deep in the ground.

After a couple of years of rebuilding his hoof with natural hoof people, he now has the right shoes and is busy educating Ahr-enholz with brilliant and happy soundness.

Paxton is an Appendix Quar-ter Horse and he is her field hunter. He has had anxiety prob-lems with ulcers and allergies so Ahrenholz has not been able to hunt him as regularly as she would like.

Rosa Rot is an 8-year-old

Hanorverian mare. She is a big fancy mover who has difficulty handing herself at the canter.She has just returned from training with J.P. Giacomini, and she is ready to show. Heartsong is a nine year old Percheron x Thor-oughbred who was a PMU foal. She has some challenges and is my project horse, but improv-ing all the time. I am learning a ton about management, health, nutrition from these horses in

the last few years as they become better suited to their work and restored to soundness.”

“As a rider my goal is getting a USDF gold medal, though the underlying goal is just to learn to ride well and knowledgeable. As a saddle fitter, my goal is happy comfortable horses.”

Ahrenholz was first intro-duced to horses and ponies as

Saddle store job alters fashionista's career path 

(Continued on page 46)

Jeanne Ahrenholz spent the first part of her career seling saddles, which kept her from spending much time in the saddle herself. After 14 years, Ahrenholz sold her store and hopes to eventually move to her Landrum farm full-time from Minnesota. (photo submitted).

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The River Valley Pony Club is pleased to announce the up-rating of seven of its members. The Club Level Rating was held at Long Shadows Farm, owned by Michael and Helen Elizabeth Atkins of Campobello, S.C. The Ratings Examiner was Eliza Culbertson.

The following River Valley Pony Club members achieved their new rating level:

- Kate Price from Unrated to D1

- Lorilei Richardson from Unrated to D1

- Hunter Metcalf from D2 to D3 HM

- Allie Cockman from D2 to D3 HM / Flat

- Emma Hay from D2 to D3- Sammie Haase from D3 to

C1 HM- Katy Hay from D3 to C1

To earn these ratings, these members passed examinations that tested horsemanship knowl-edge, riding on the flat and over fences, stadium and in the open.

Each of the Pony Club rat-ing levels is more difficult than

RVPC member Allie Cockman. (photo submitted)

RVPC riders attain upratings

the preceding one, and requires Pony Club members to learn more about horses and their care and to become increasingly accomplished riders and teach-ers of riding and horse care to younger members.

The top rating, ‘A,’ is reached by fewer than one in 300 and denotes throughout the interna-tional horse industry a highly competent and knowledgeable horseperson.

The District Commissioner (DC) of The River Valley Pony Club is Robert Williams of Tryon, N.C. The Joint DC is

Helen Firby of Tryon, NC. Board Members include Tracey Daniels of Tryon, NC; Dawn Dingwell of Campobello, S.C.; Ken Just of of Pickens, S.C.; Kristen Billiu of Landrum, S.C.; Vicki DePalma of Landrum, S.C. and Dana Kind of Colum-bus, N.C.

Along with an emphasis on helping its members learn to ride and care for horses, Pony Club promotes teamwork, a sense of responsibility, safety, good moral judgment and self-confidence.

Approximately 12,000 mem-

bers of USPC in 625 clubs throughout the country. Along with an emphasis on helping its members learn to ride and care for horses, Pony Club promotes teamwork, a sense of responsi-bility, safety, good moral judg-ment and self-confidence.

To learn more about River Valley Pony Club or to visit an upcoming Pony Club meet-ing, please visit River Valley Pony Club’s website at www.RiverValleyPC.org or contact Robert Williams at [email protected].

– article submitted

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 43

“I clean 30 stalls before 9am...what can you do?” read t h e b u m p e r sticker on the rear of truck in front of me on I-26.

I chuckled with empathy as other driv-ers whizzed past and either ig-nored the statement or frowned in confusion, probably thinking ‘stalls’ referred to market stalls at a flea market, or, even worse, a public bathroom.

I’ve seen some pretty good stickers in my life.

Once in Los A n g e l e s o n the back of a pricey BMW I s p o t t e d , “If you can’t smell the horse sh**, you’re

too far away from the country.”That was a startling declara-

tion for a German high-pow-ered vehicle as, generally, most stickers in the region read, “Clinton/Gore” or “Visualize

Stickin’ to the truth whirled peas.”There’s probably good mon-

ey to be made in the produc-tion of horse-related bumper stickers.

Frankly, I think equestrians are funnier than any other sport.

When was the last time you read a bumper sticker that had anything amusing to say about tennis or bowling?

Horses are a niche-market, to be sure, but we’re a boister-ous lot who don’t mind letting the world know how proud (“Cowboy Up!”) or how broke (“My other car is a horse”) we are.

Collected Work

by Pam Stone

There’s even a few rather crude ones floating around: “My Horse Bucked Off Your Honor Student” and my favor-ite, “One Mucking Day After Another.”

Inspired by such wit I’ve come up with a few ideas for stickers of my own that might help out with the feed and vet bills:

“Opt imism: Wear ing A White T-shirt To The Barn”

“Attention thieves: Horse-Owning Driver Has No Money”

And of course, because I’m a Dressage Queen:

“Caution: Driver Makes Frequent Half-Halts.”

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by Barbara Childs

1. When and where were you born and raised?

Born and raised in Darm-stadt, Germany on Feb. 24, 1960, the youngest of four children. Relocated to Wilm-ington, N.C. in 1977.

2. Education, background and experience:

After graduating from high school in Wilmington, N.C. I took a job at a small AM radio station as a weekend disc jokey.

From there I was offered a job as news photographer at a Wilmington ABC News TV

station in 1989.3. What led you to this

area, and what do you en-joy most about living in the foothills and near a horse community?

In 1996 I moved to Ashe-ville, N.C. to work for the ABC affiliated TV station until 1999. Changed careers and took a position as a car salesman at a Ford dealership in Hendersonville, N.C.

4. How did you come to your career as a professional photographer?

After moving to the Foot-hills of NC, I saw an incred-

Photographer Erik Olsen up close

Erik Olsen. (photo submitted)

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 45

ible opportunity and need in equine photography and videography.

Having the experience as a photojournalist in television news and having always loved photography as a hobby, I began my professional career as an equine/special event photographer in 2003.

I also offer sale videos for horses in all disciplines and video DVDs for various riding clinics/lessons.

5. What are your special interests in horse photogra-phy?

Shooting fox hunting gives me the chance to be outdoors, seeing the beautiful country-side or perhaps the chance to view the fox.

I often am referred to as a

younger version of Jim Meads, a world famous fox hunting photographer who has photo-graphed more than 500 unique fox hunts worldwide over the past 60 plus years.

I enjoy socializing with the members of the fox hunts and also like to travel to other hunt clubs around the country.

For the shows, I love the small local horse shows, it gives me a chance to be more “one on one” with everyone at the show, which allows me to provide a much better service.

I believe the small local schooling shows deserve a professional photographer just as much as the big double A shows.

Horses are such beautiful creatures and I love photo-graphing them... it takes some

practice to get really good at it, but I don’t mind sharing my experience with others.

I have plans to hold vari-ous clinics and workshops to help folks with their equine photography.

6. What are your special interests and hobbies away from the cameras?

When I’m not glued be-

hind a camera, I enjoy fox hunting, trail riding, taking riding lessons, good food, live music and spending time with friends.

7. What do you value most in life?

My family and friends and the ability to do the things I enjoy and make a living do-ing them.

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Appointments • April 2011 • p. 46

a youngster while visiting her cousins in Minneapolis, Minn.

They took her to a nearby pony farm to ride and she has been hooked ever since. On her eleventh birthday her dream of owning a horse of her own came true.

Her father got tired of taking her to the boarding barn to ride everyday and the family moved to a hobby farm. Her childhood there was idyllic.

Most of the children there owned ponies and horses so they would all spend the day riding.

“We stopped at the Dairy Queen for lunch and fed our horses ice cream cones, then

raced down gravel roads, and swam in the creek. Finally I went to a small horse show. When the judge talked to me after the Western Horseman-ship class he said I would have won the class if I knew my leads. I asked him what a lead was. My Dad decided I should take some lessons. Then it was time to show in any class they would let me in-barrels, poles, Western pleasure, even tandem bareback.

"Getting a little older, I wanted to try English and the Morgan breed looked like a versatile choice. So I showed the Morgan circuit in Western, Saddleseat, and driving. It was when I heard about dressage at this time that I became interest-ed in its discipline. The training

system made sense to me and I began applying the principles to the other disciplines I was riding. I soon became addicted and have been consumed by dressage ever since, with time off for foxhunting and a little novice eventing thrown in, too.”

Ahrenholz l ives here 6 months of the year from No-vember through April.

"I just can’t handle the Min-nesota winters anymore. And when summer comes there are hoards of mosquitoes. Min-nesota is not a horse friendly place to live. When I looked for a horse paradise, I found Tryon. Luckily my husband was also attracted to the area. He’s still working as a burn surgeon in Minnesota and we’ll come down here full time when he

retires. We have 47 acres in the Landrum area that has a barn with two apartments.

We’re in the process of put-ting up a covered arena and we’ll build a house when we sell our farm in Minnesota. What I like here is the moder-ate climate, the natural beauty, the horse community and the friendly unassuming people I have met. Of course if you foxhunt, you have family any-where.”

When away from the horses, Ahrenholz enjoys reading and she would like to start or join a book club.

She also enjoys her dogs, a Berenese Mountain Dog and a Welsh Corgi.

She’s starting a training class with the Berenese puppy.

• Ahrenholz(Continued from page 41)

The horse world is such a wonderful and varied place. So much to learn, so much to see and so much to do.

With all the directions that one can explore there are bound to be questions that pop up. Big burning questions, little niggling questions, funny questions, seri-ous questions, questions that make you say "hmmmmm."

My goal to is to help you with any manner of these questions as best I can.

My name is Beth Collins. I am a certified John Lyons trainer, a dressage enthusiast, a seat clini-cian and a passionate horse lover.

I would like to hear from all of you on any subject that relates to our favored creature, the horse.

Want to know who invented the trough heater, how to teach a proper leg yield, what type of supplement would benefit your jittery mount?

What is a tolt any way? Why does my horse buck into his canter, How do I teach my horse x, y or z?

Please send all manner of questions to [email protected] and I will do my best to write an witty and informative response.

Happy horsey day!

Launching new column from trainer Beth Collins

The Equestrian Trotters, ex-tends an invitation to come join our local team for a tremendous experience to help end breast cancer – the Susan Komen 3-Day Cancer Walk.

Walking 60 miles in three days is the goal. The Equestrian Trot-ters are walking in Tampa, Fla. on Oct. 28-30.

The walk raise funds for the cure and encourages greater breast cancer vigilance.

The 2.5 million breast cancer survivors are the largest group of cancer survivors in the United States and they are a living tes-tament to the progress made in research and advanced effective treatments for the cure. Early detection and medical care are of the utmost importance. Every woman deserves a mammogram and access to a spectrum of breast cancer options regardless of her financial status.

Training and support are of-fered after you register. Walkers receive an informative Walker Handbook and coaches are avail-able to give you training and support.

Websites contain walk sched-ules, a virtual personal trainer,

shoe selection advice, health and nutrition tips and other valuable tools.

Volunteers are needed as crew members which entails attend-ing the entire event in a service capacity. If you are unable to be there in person you can be a tax deductible donator.

Net proceeds from the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure fund are used in global breast cancer research and local com-munity programs supporting edu-cation, screening and treatment.

For more information about Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.Komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

For those wanting a closer location, there is a cancer walk available in Atlanta, GA on Oct. 21-23. They can sign up for that one or come to the Tampa, FL one. Checks can be made out to Susan Komen 3-Day Cancer walked and mailed to Joy Baker.

For more info locally, contact:Joy Baker - team cap-tain for The Equestrian Trotters, at 828-817-0315 or by email at [email protected].

–article submitted

Join up with Equestrian Trotters 

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HorsepeopleAppointmentsThe Hoofbeats of the Carolina Foothills

Harmon Hopefuls open up show season

Harmon Hopefuls held their first two horse shows a t Ha rmon Field Feb. 20-21 and March 13-14. These are a few photos from those events. The next regular ly scheduled Harmon Hopeful event is April 24-25. (photos by Erik Olsen)

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