Category Archives: Associations/Breeds

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Honored as Top Three Quarter Horse Show by AQHA

Canada’s Dr. Carole Joubert Gaboury and My Precious Gab competing in 2019. Photo: Cody Parmenter.

Tampa, Fla. – July 1, 2020 – The management team behind the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit is thrilled to announce that the record-breaking 2019 event has been awarded the coveted distinction as one of the top-three Quarter Horse shows in the nation, as ranked by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). Out of countless shows from across the world, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, the highest non-ranking cattle event, ranked third behind only the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the Arizona Sun Country Circuit, high-quality company for an event that has consistently made the top ten leaderboard for years under the direction and show management services of An Equine Production.

“We are so pleased to once again have these shows recognized as some of the best in the country by the AQHA. It truly takes a village to accomplish such a designation, and we have to thank our exhibitors, staff and supporters for all of their hard work and dedication. We are looking forward to an even greater event in 2020 and can’t wait to see everyone back in the show ring,” commented Kathy Avolt of An Equine Production.

Expanding even further in 2020, the event will include a whole host of new classes such as AQHA Ranch Trail, L2/L3 Amateur, Select and 14-18 Showmanship and Horsemanship. In addition, the 2020 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit will feature a series of amazing awards and parties, including a New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Save the date for Dec. 27-31, 2020, and then check flgoldcoastcircuit.com for schedules and forms when they become available in August.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Remember Me Rose Named a Dam of Distinction

The 16-year-old mare Remember Me Rose is the newest AQHA Dam of Distinction.

The award recognizes the accomplishments of racing broodmares. To qualify for the award, a mare must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Dams that produced two or more individual AQHA racing champions
  • Dams that produced at least three individual Grade 1 stakes winners
  • Dams that produced at least two foals ranked in the top 10 money earners of any particular year, as of December 31 of that year, and two G1 stakes winners
  • Dams that produced at least three foals that were in the top 10 money earners of any particular year, as of December 31 of that year.
  • When the award was created, a grandfather clause also allowed mares that had produced at least three individual stakes winners prior to 1983, and those wins were the equivalent of a G1-quality race, to be accepted.

Remember Me Rose, who is owned by champion breeder Dr. Steve Burns, earned the award by producing three individual Grade 1 stakes winners.

The mare was bred by Dr. Max and Linda Alumbaugh’s MLA International, was foaled in 2004 and was purchased as a yearling and raced by Azoom LP. She began her career in Mexico, but quickly came to the United States and finished second in the Rainbow Futurity (G1) and fifth in the All American Futurity (G1). She then won the AQHA Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) and the Southwest Juvenile Championship, which was then ungraded, and capped the year with a win in the Sunland Winter Futurity (G2). The following year, she won the Ruidoso Derby (G1) and was second in both the Texas Classic Derby (G1) and Championship at Sunland Park (G1).

She retired in 2008 with nine wins from 18 starts and earnings of $820,895.

As a broodmare, she has to date produced 28 foals, of which 19 are starters and 15 are winners. They have earned more than $2.3 million.

Her three Grade 1 winners include Powerful Favorite, Runforyourlife, and most recently Cyber Monday, who won the Ruidoso Futurity (G1) on June 7. All three horses are sired by Favorite Cartel.

Remember Me Rose is sired by Corona Cartel and is out of the Zevi (TB) mare Im Moonlighting.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Meet Dani the Wonder Horse, Wellington’s Spotted Sporthorse

Photo by ES Equine Photography.

Wellington, FL (June 25, 2020) – Seeing spots is a matter of course for Laura Swanstrom Reece, especially when she’s in the saddle. Her 7-year-old mare, Danash’s Northern Tempest (Danash K x Chief’s Bold Angel), is one of the few competitive warmblood cross hunter jumpers on Wellington’s horse show scene, and the Friesian Appaloosa’s brilliant dark patches and snowy white with black points coat make quite the impression against the sea of solid, conservative colors typically seen in the hunter ring. But despite standing out in the hunter crowd and pulling her fair share of ribbons, the speckled mare’s true charm is found in a willing, sweet personality that is as beautiful and engaging as her unique coat.

Dani, as she’s known around the barn, spent the 2019-2020 Holiday Series and WEF 2020 showing in the rusty stirrup hunter division with Reece, and the green hunters with trainer Ashley Glica of ATG Equestrian. Her eager to please attitude and intelligence has made her a quick study in most endeavors, from finding the perfect rhythm over a hunter course and dancing around the dressage arena, to trail and pony rides, and even swimming in the farm’s lake.

“She is an incredible animal and really smart,” said Reece. “She’s so willing and so trainable, and that is what makes riding her a pleasure. She’s a unique combination of her dam’s conformation and her sire’s size and movement, and while her coat color makes her particularly unique, she has the athletic edge to allow us to pursue realistic show goals, even on the highly competitive Wellington circuit.”

Dani’s unique coat color, inherited from her Appaloosa dam, may appear to be a white base coat with brown/black spots, but the dark patches are actually a genetic absence of white, revealing brown underneath. All Appaloosa patterns are a variation of white, with different allele combinations resulting in more or less white showing on the horse. Dani’s leopard coloring, which resembles its namesake big cat, displays mottled brown and white over her face, chest, and lower neck, with the iconic black patches becoming clear and distinguished over her withers, barrel, and haunches, before darkening to a mostly black tail and completely black stockings on her legs.

With such avant garde style and standout coat color, Dani’s alluring look has recently attracted the attention of some of the world’s top equestrian brands. From photo shoots to shows to scheduled appearances, Dani and Reece will have a bustling 2020, and are growing their exceptionally engaged Instagram following as more and more fans join the journey of Dani the Wonder Horse.

Follow Dani on Instagram (@danithewonderhorse) to keep up to date on all her shows and events, and check back on her website www.DaniTheWonderHorse.com as it nears completion in the next month.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

APHA World Championship Show to Offer Invitational Class for IHSA Western Open Riders

Photo APHA/Paint Horse Journal.

Fairfield, Conn. – June 3, 2020 – The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) will offer an invitational class for the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) 2020 Western Regional Open division high-point riders at their APHA World Championship Show. The premier all-age breed show will be held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 21 – Oct. 4, 2020. The APHA will announce the schedule details when they are confirmed.

“APHA is very excited about the opportunity to host this event,” said Dave Dellin, American Paint Horse Association’s senior director of judges, shows, and education. “This will be an awesome opportunity for lots of young equestrians to experience the Paint horse and the APHA World Show.”

This year, the APHA World Championship Show will offer Open, Amateur, and Youth Divisions. This event is the first time IHSA will participate in the APHA event and kicks off a new partnership between the two organizations.

“We are thrilled that the APHA has offered this class to our Western high-point riders,” said Peter Cashman, IHSA executive director. “It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our members and our organization at a major event. We look forward to working with the APHA.”

IHSA 2020 Western Regional high-point riders are invited to participate and horses will be provided. Though the show is produced by the APHA, the riders will draw for horses and the division will be run much like the IHSA classes. The invitational class will be a two-phase competition with a horsemanship and a reining phase.

The IHSA has showcased their Open level hunter seat riders at events like the Longines Masters New York and the National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky. The APHA World Championship Show will be the first-ever standalone feature class for IHSA Western Open riders at a world-class competition.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses – Still Making Visits

Photo — Scout at Brookdale Chambel Pinecastle, an assisted living facility in Ocala, Florida.

Therapy horse Scout usually visits hospital patients and residents of assisted living programs from room to room. When those facilities close to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic, what is a 100-pound horse to do?

He brings his 2000-pound Percheron friend Tiny Prince Charming to visit waiting residents through the windows while human volunteers hold up signs with messages of love. Scout could not go inside and residents could not come outside, but they still touched each other’s hearts. Scout and Tiny Prince Charming put their noses on the windows when patients put their hands on the glass.

Scout is a member of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. For the last 22 years their teams of tiny horses have been bringing love to over 25,000 adults and children each year inside hospitals, hospice programs, assisted living programs, and with families, veterans, and first responders who have experienced traumatic events.

The therapy horses are also still working in children’s hospitals by using prerecorded programs combined with live video from their farm.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.Horse-Therapy.org
www.facebook.com/TherapyHorses
www.instagram.com/gentlecarousel

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses – Virtual Visits

“There is a pony on the phone for you.”

Many young hospital patients develop a special friendship with a favorite therapy horse over the months of their medical treatment. When the therapy horses can’t physically be with a patient (like after a bone marrow transplant or if they go home between treatments), the horses have made FaceTime calls to check on their young friends.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is using a home studio to stay in contact with their friends in hospital care across the country.  “There is a pony on the phone for you.”

The horses make individual calls and plans are also underway to have a combination of pre-recorded story times and live feed from the therapy horses to play in rooms for entire children’s hospitals. This would use hospital studios that the horses have already been visiting in person for many years.

Gentle Carousel is also recording reading programs because the horses cannot do their regular library and school visits.

Virtual Fundraiser

Gentle Carousel’s two main fundraisers of 2020 to support the charity have been postponed/cancelled due to the current health situation, including the Walk Like a Pharoah Walkathon and Festival.

Instead of a large, public walkathon, the charity will have a “mini walkathon” fundraiser that can be watched safely from home. Three special horses will make the walk using the track where Triple Crown winner American Pharoah trained at the McKathan Brothers Training Center in Citra, Florida.

Tiny therapy horse Scout, a 2000-pound Percheron named Prince Charming, and The Sundance Kid, a recently adopted mustang who had been living in the wild on public range lands in Nevada, will be filmed while they walk together. The Sundance Kid had been passed over three times for adoption at three separate adoption events, making him a “three strikes” “unadoptable” mustang until he found his forever home.

The volunteers handling the horses will wear masks and keep “one Percheron distance” apart from each other during the walk.

Friends can sponsor Scout, Prince Charming, and The Sundance Kid to support Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/GentleCarousel.

The “mini walkathon” can be watched on April 27th starting at 7pm on Gentle Carousel’s Facebook page.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is one of the largest equine therapy programs in the world. Teams of tiny horses bring love to over 25,000 adults and children each year inside hospitals, hospice programs, assisted living programs, and with families, veterans, and first responders who have experienced traumatic events.  A multiple award winning 501(c)(3), the charity is celebrating over 20 years of service.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.Horse-Therapy.org
www.facebook.com/TherapyHorses
www.instagram.com/gentlecarousel

The Horse Capital Parade

For our friends in Florida, an amazing experience with horses is coming soon: the Horse Capital Parade!

Where: Downtown Square Ocala, Florida, the surrounding streets and at the Downtown Market.
March 7, 2020 at 1:00pm – 6:00pm

A vendor village will open at 1pm on the Downtown Square with a beer and wine garden, great vendors, horse breed meet-and-greets, and at 4:30pm, an incredible horse breed parade, the speedy Historic Stagecoach, and the grand finale with the Budweiser Clydesdales. Watch them harness the Clydesdales at 2pm at the Downtown Market. There are also wonderful restaurants with outdoor dining where you can watch the parade.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.Horse-Therapy.org
www.facebook.com/TherapyHorses

Fellini Interagro Graces Fall Cover of Equine America

Wellington, FL (December 12, 2019) – Lusitano stallion and FEI dressage competitor Fellini Interagro was the latest face of the 2019 fall issue of Equine America, a magazine dedicated to documenting the progress of American equestrianism. Fellini, who was born, bred, and is currently standing in Brazil, was photographed during his 2018 FEI tour of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The jet black stallion’s portrait was created by the discerning eye of artist, photographer, and conservationist Ramon Casares.

Known for his chiaroscuro images of equines and rehabilitated wildlife, Casares’ image of Fellini accents his use of light, shadow, and texture to conjure an ultra-detailed, engaging image. Fellini’s Casares cover was accented by Equine America‘s story on Lusitanos in the United States; Interagro is the world’s largest breeder and exporter of Lusitano sporthorses, with over 300 exported to the US in the past 30 years.

Fellini debuted internationally in the Small Tour at the 2018 Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida and represents a blending of two of the most proven and decorated dressage bloodlines in Interagro’s breeding program (Nirvana Interagro x Ofensor (MV)). His return to Brazil to contribute to Interagro’s famed breeding program, and subsequently the quality of future Lusitano generations to be imported to the US, has resulted in a first crop of foals on the ground in the summer of 2018, including Oblata Interagro, a buckskin filly out of the talented Carmelita Interagro. Oblata was sold during the 2019 Interagro Yearling Auction this past summer.

Fellini’s portrait from Casares follows in a long line of rescued wildlife and sport horse portraits that have defined the photographer’s work. He has photographed animals from nearly every phylum, class, and order in the animal kingdom. With Casares Fine Art Photography appearing across the globe and garnering international acclaim, his images have captured the imagination of audiences at major media outlets and international art shows. Casares’ portrait style images of nature’s rarest and most common species are the artist’s true accomplishment and calling card. His trademark style is devoid of background distractions and illuminated to detail each whisker, feather, or scale. Realizing his images could generate support and awareness for injured and recuperating commonplace species, as well as those who are in danger of extinction, Casares embarked on a mission to unite his talent for photography with his passion for conservation. BROKEN was the result.

Equine America (EQ AM) is dedicated to expanding awareness of all America has to offer in horse sport. The magazine was founded in 2018 by a disabled combat veteran who medically retired from the U.S. Army after 17 years of service as a helicopter pilot and JAG attorney. The publication’s content focuses on a patriotic spirit positively infused into EQ AM’s pages.

For more information in Equine America (EQ AM), visit their website: www.eq-am.com.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Bridget Hay Flying US-Bred Flag in Dressage Ring

Bridget competing on Amy Price’s Fauna, a mare Bridget bred, foaled, and trained (©2018 by Nancy Jaffer)

Bridget Hay has a simple reason why she began breeding dressage horses at her Hunterdon County, N.J., farm.

“It started years ago because I could never afford to import horses or buy well-bred horses,” she explained. “So I make them myself and train them myself.”

She has quite an array of homebreds at the Rainbow Ridge Equestrian Center, from which she has turned in successful performances at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® in Lexington, Ky., the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions in Wayne, Ill., and Dressage at Devon in Devon, Pa.

Hay, who operates Rainbow Ridge with her mother, Barbara, is one of a growing number of U.S. dressage breeders who are enjoying success in a discipline that long has been dominated by European warmbloods. She is unusual, however, because she not only breeds and foals her horses, but she also goes on to train and show them herself.

Bridget recalled that five years ago during Dressage at Devon, a man who was watching while she warmed up her stallion, Faolan, asked, “Why are people importing horses when there are horses like this bred in this country?”

Her answer: “I don’t know why they’re not.”

But reconsidering the question this autumn, she commented, “My horses don’t start out moving the fanciest. But they have three decent gaits and the brain and temperament to be very trainable. You teach them how to move. I have to make them myself.”

And it has worked. Last year, Faolan was U.S. Dressage Federation Intermediate 2 Horse of the Year, and won the Intermediate 2 Open Finals class at the US Dressage Finals in November.

Hay takes lessons, often via video, from Olympian and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 team silver medalist Adrienne Lyle.

Lyle competes successfully in the U.S. and Europe on a U.S.-bred horse, Duval Partners LLC’s Harmony’s Duval.

Duval was spotted by Bob McDonald in a field at Leslie Malone’s Harmony Sport Horses in Colorado. McDonald, the husband of U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor Debbie McDonald, years earlier also selected Brentina, the Hanoverian mare purchased in Germany who headlined for U.S. dressage with his wife during the late 1990s and well into the 2000s.

Lyle thinks U.S. breeders have the potential to compete with those producing horses abroad.

“The possibilities are very good. There’s no reason, structurally, when you look at our country versus Europe, that we can’t replicate what they’ve done with breeding and training programs,” she stated.

There’s an advantage in finding top prospects in America “because the Europeans aren’t always going to let the best horses go,” she pointed out. And, of course, it’s possible to save money on a U.S. purchase, because the horse doesn’t have to be flown across the ocean and no expensive trans-Atlantic shopping trips are involved.

However, Lyle noted, “Right away we’re at a bit of a disadvantage because they’re (the Europeans) scraping the cream off the top. So if we can make our own cream here and keep it in the country, that would be hugely beneficial.”

Duval, she noted, “walked into Aachen (this year) and got a 75 in the Grand Prix. There was nothing holding him back there for being U.S.-bred.”

Lyle called Hay’s efforts “inspiring,” adding, “That’s one of the reasons I make sure I carve time out to help her. I really admire people who find a way to do this.”

Lyle observed that Hay is “mainly on her own, not with a big budget, but really trying to do things the right way and trying to get help any way she can.”

Hay’s example, she commented, “could show people you don’t have to be a huge multi-million-dollar factory in order to produce and train horses up to Grand Prix.  If we had more people like that, it betters our chances. It can be intimidating otherwise for people to think there’s any place for them in a breeding program, unless they’re some big state stud or something like that, but you don’t have to be.”

During Dressage at Devon this year, USEF Dressage Youth Coach George Williams told a group of competitors that it’s a goal to have at least some U.S. riders on U.S.-bred horses for the team at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Williams, a former Grand Prix competitor and former president of the United States Dressage Federation, said that concept came out of a meeting among USEF dressage coaches, knowing “how important it is to use an event like this to set a goal. If we could have U.S. riders on U.S.-bred and -trained horses, that would be terrific. And certainly we’d like to be on the podium with that as well.”

There are precedents for U.S.-bred horses succeeding in key international championships. Hilda Gurney’s Thoroughbred, Keen, won team gold and individual silver at the 1975 Pan American Games, a pair of gold medals at the 1979 PAG, and was part of the 1976 Olympic bronze medal team. More recently, Paragon, from the Oak Hill Ranch in Louisiana, was ridden by Heather Blitz to team gold and individual silver medals at the 2011 Pan American Games.

“The thinking is that we want to use a major event, like having the Olympics back in this country for the first time since 1996, as a motivator to come together as a community of athletes, trainers, breeders, and owners and see what it can do for the U.S.,” Williams commented.

He believes it is realistic to think “we should be able to have at least part of the (2028) team on U.S.-bred horses.”

The prospects for future U.S. success are in the cards. A few years ago, Williams watched Lehua Custer’s horse, FJ Ramzes, at a California clinic and was impressed.

“I said, ‘This is the best horse I’ve seen in a long, long time,’” he recalled about Ramzes, who was bred by Cornell University and competed at the U.S. Nationals in 2017, when he won the Third Level Open.

Another of Custer’s promising horses, Fortunato H2O, was bred by Kendra Hansis’s Runningwater Warmbloods, located in the same New Jersey county as Hay’s operation. Hansis, an adjunct English professor at several colleges who began her breeding operation in 2001, explained, “I wanted to breed the kind of horse I could not afford to buy.”

Custer, who trains with McDonald and was Hilda Gurney’s assistant trainer for 10 years, spent the summer at Betsy Juliano’s Havensafe Farm in Middlefield, Ohio. The owner of Lyle’s 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games mount, Salvino, Juliano was inspired to buy a foal from Hansis and purchased the filly Starlight H2O earlier this year.

Juliano understands what American breeders have to go through to produce their prospects, and appreciates the desire to see U.S.-bred horses with U.S. riders in the Olympics and other championships.

But as she puts it, “Until you get behind these people, it’s not going to happen. I feel one of the next phases of development in my ownership career is going to be to look very seriously at the U.S. horses, and, when possible, buy them.”

by Nancy Jaffer
© 2019 United States Equestrian Federation

Harper JR Named ‘Sport Horse of the Week’ at IFHSA World & Grand National Championships

Photo Courtesy of IFSHA and Avalon Photography.

Springfield, Ohio (November 4, 2019) –Nearly 300 classes were presented over five days in October when the International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) 2019 World and Grand National Championships came to the Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio, but it didn’t take long for N2 Saddlery to find its Sport Horse the Week: Part-Bred Friesian English Pleasure World Champion, Harper JR, owned by Lauren Riehle of Kernersville, NC, and competed by amateur rider Anaiah Powers, who trains under one of the top handlers ever to enter a Dressage at Devon ring, Bruce Griffin, of Griffin Sport Horses in Virginia.

Griffin, whose professional training career with Friesians like Harper JR began under the tutelage of great horsemen like Jeff Wonnell and Barbara Cross, says, “It’s a dream come true to be blessed with such talented and versatile horses.” The 2019 World Champion and N2 Saddlery Sporthorse Award winner had previously earned overall Part Bred High Point and overall High Point in Hand Horse titles at the 2016 IFSHA World Championships.

But the real story of this gentle giant, says Riehle, just keeps growing. “I lucked into my dream horse. I met him the day he was born,” she says of her nine-year-old, 17.3-hand (“he just keeps growing!”) Friesian/Percheron/Thoroughbred cross.  “You may not see the Thoroughbred but he’s got a whole lot of go. He’s also a kind, fun guy and he’s great with Anaiah.”

When Riehle brought the young Friesian to Griffin Sport Horses, she told its trainer, “I just want a nice trail horse. Let’s take our time.” Then three months later Bruce called her back and told her, ‘I don’t know what you think you got, but you’ve got yourself a show horse here.’”

The N2 Saddlery Award recognition couldn’t have come at a better time. “Saddles have always been a challenge for him. So thank you, N2, for your sponsorship and this lovely award.” Because, as Riehle lovingly notes, finding anything to fit her great big World Champion can be a challenge, “Do you know how hard it is just to find a 90” blanket? Ninety inches – I’m not kidding!”

Contact: Sue Newell
www.n2saddlery.com
sue@n2saddlery.com