Category Archives: Community/Charity

Make-A-Wish Foundation Helps Seven-Year-Old’s Dream to Show at AMHR Miniature Horse Nationals Come True

Alexis shows her minis Mandy, Pretty and Pie in Canada. (Photos courtesy of Tammy Close)

Ontario, Canada (August 9, 2010) – Alexis Close may only be seven years old, but she has big dreams when it comes to her American Miniature Horses. Alexis, who was born with a heart defect and had a heart transplant when she was only 16 months old, asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for a trip to the 2010 annual American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) National Championship Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Her doctors and the transplant team keep asking her if she wanted to go to Disney World, but she doesn’t want to do that. Her dream is to go to the Nationals with her minis,” said Tammy Close, Alexis’s mom. “We have never been to the Nationals but I can see Alexis making it a yearly adventure with a trailer full of minis.”

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Lincoln High Student Named Florida Horseman of the Year

Morgan Burns, a Lincoln High School Senior and student athlete, was recognized as the State of Florida’s 2010 4-H Horseman of the Year at the State Horse Show held in Tampa in July.

Criteria for consideration of the prestigious title and award include more than just showing horses. It is to recognize and promote the total involvement and development of the 4-H member in all aspects of the Florida 4-H program. There are over 2600 youth involved in the Florida 4-H Horse program. Competitors have to be involved with community service, leadership projects, and be well rounded individuals. Besides submitting project books and an intensive application detailing all individual accomplishments, there is a personal interview at the University of Florida. Only 6 students from around the state made it to the interview stage.  As winner of the Horseman of the Year award, Morgan received a plaque, cash and a college scholarship.

Morgan has been the 4-H Area A Horse Show High Point All-Around Champion for the past five years and won National and Championship titles with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), and the Palomino Horse Breeders Association (PHBA).

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Caroline Roffman and Bon Chance Go Five for Five

Caroline Roffman and her Hanoverian gelding, Bon Chance, won the Five-Year-Old Championship at the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships in Lamplight, Illinois. (Photo courtesy of Fire and Earth Photo)

Wellington, FL (August 2, 2010) – Five may be dressage rider Caroline Roffman’s favorite number right now, as the talented 21-year-old rode her Hanoverian gelding Bon Chance (Belissimo M x Wintersong by Weltmeyer bred in Germany by Marefield Meadows) to the Five-Year-Old Championship at the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championship in Lamplight. It was the first national championship for Roffman, who lives in Wellington, Florida, and trained Bon Chance herself.

The Five-Year-Old victory was the fifth win at a major show for Bon Chance, giving the duo a five for five record. Bon Chance also won the Five-Year-Old Preliminary Class at the Young Horse Championships, captured first at the 2010 Dressage at Equestrian Estates as well as the 2010 Dressage Derby and was Reserve Champion at the 2009 Young Horse Championships in the Four-Year-Old class.

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After the Finish Line Fundraiser to Benefit Thoroughbred Ex-racehorses, August 5th

Dear Equine Friends,

After the Finish Line presents their Annual Charity Fundraiser, “A Tribute to the Majesty of Thoroughbreds,” on Thursday, August 5th at the Hilton Hotel in Del Mar, CA. We will host a reception, silent & live auctions and dinner. ATFL is a funding non-profit dedicated to saving, rehabilitating and caring for rescued Thoroughbred horses who can no longer race or breed. For ticket information please contact Dawn Mellen at or (858) 945-1371. Please consider a donation if you cannot attend.

Our auctioneer is Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg. Our guest speaker is Katherine Brooks, the writer/director of The Boys Club, We will also show a heart warming video about a rescued Thoroughbred ex-racehorse.

Please forward this message to your equine friends and those concerned with the welfare of animals. It will be a FUN evening supporting a worthy cause!

Disregard the RSVP date on the invitation. A late fee will not be charged. If you can attend, please print the invitation and return it with your payment. We also accept PayPal through our website,


Dawn Mellen, President/Founder

After the Finish Line

10153 Riverside Drive, Suite 397

Toluca Lake, CA 91602

News Bits about Hillary Dobbs, Liliane Stransky, and Roger Young Stables

Photo by David Mullinix Photography

Hillary Dobbs
Hillary Dobbs hit the million dollar mark in winnings during the 41st annual Lake Placid Horse Shows.  The 22 year old Harvard graduate placed second aboard Marengo in the $30,000 Intercat, Inc. Open Jumper Classic CSI 2* pushed jumped her past the million dollar mark. Her victory in the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, the 2nd year she has won it, also on Marengo at the Vermont Summer Festival WEEK 2 put her total earnings to date at $1,023,785.75.

Liliane Stransky/Stransky Mission Farms/Step by Step Foundation

Photo by Kathy Anderson

The tornado that slammed into the Olympic stadium may have delayed the XXI Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, but it didn’t dampen the competition or spectators’ spirits. “You can plan for almost anything,” stated Liliane Stransky, the owner of Stransky’s Mission Farm and founder of the Step by Step charity. “I have learned the hard way, there is no plan with nature.  Every day is unexpected, and thank God no people, or horses, were seriously hurt.” Stransky celebrated the finishing of the Step by Step Foundation’s new Tipa Tipa Elementary School in Haiti with her 14 year old daughter Daniela by cheering on both Hector Florentino (Dominican Republic) riding their bay Ultimo, and Diego Muyshodndt (El Salvador) on their jumper Ikarus, in the CAC show jumping competitions. 31 nations were scheduled to participate.

Photo Courtesy of Roger Young Stables

Congratulations to rider, trainer, and judge Gary Young of Roger Young Stables and his lovely wife Michaela on the opening of Camden Equine Rehabilitation & Conditioning Center in South Carolina. Soon their two year old daughter Stella will be able to take the reins in the family business!

By Sydney Masters-Durieux

Hollywood Star Robert Duvall Endorses 2010 FEI Awards

Robert Duvall, The Road film photocall, Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, 13 September 2009 (photo: Canadian Press/Rex Features)

27 July 2010 – American actor and director Robert Duvall has given his support to the annual awards organised by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of horse sport. The FEI launched the “Oscars of the equestrian world” last year to reward outstanding dedication to horse sport in five categories. Calls for nominations for the 2010 awards opened on July 16.

Hollywood legend Duvall is best known for his roles in The Apostle, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather and Tender Mercies. His performances have earned him an Academy Award, a BAFTA, two Emmys and four Golden Globe Awards.

Commenting on the 2010 FEI Awards, Duvall said:

“The FEI Awards give you the opportunity to nominate and celebrate those individuals who, without asking for recognition, should be thanked and acknowledged for their own contribution to equestrian sport around the world. As someone with a passion for horses, I urge you to nominate anyone you feel is worthy of the awards and help them to walk the red carpet at the 2010 FEI Awards in Taiwan.”

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Congratulations to Julie Chapman, Winner of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Artist Contest

"Morning Colors," oil on canvas, by artist Julie Chapman. Photograph is © Julie T. Chapman, and is protected by U.S. copyright laws.

Wellington, FL – July 26, 2010 – Equestrian Sport Productions congratulates the winner of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Artist Contest, Julie Chapman, of Huson, MT. This year’s contest received a record number of entries, and the panel was delighted to review numerous pieces of outstanding artwork.

Chapman, of Huson, MT, began her artistic endeavors when she was a child, and has always been enthralled with horses. “I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil – and it was horses that I drew first and always, as I’ve had a love affair with all things equine my entire life,” Chapman noted of her passion for horses and equestrian sports.

Chapman’s beautiful use of oils and portrayal of colors eventually won the panel’s vote. These skills earned Chapman several prizes, including $500 in prize money, a complimentary 10’x10′ vendor space for two weeks during the 2011 FTI WEF, an e-blast announcing her as the winner, a featured article in the 2011 FTI WEF program guide, and a one week art show in the foyer of the International Club at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. “I’m delighted!” Chapman exclaimed of her success in the competition. Chapman will be available for consultations during the 2011 FTI WEF, exact dates to be determined.

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Chester Weber Teams Up with Charles Owen and SUCCEED in Support of Drivers4Helmets at Iron Horse CDE

Combined Driving Chester Weber, the reigning USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion, is encouraging all drivers to wear helmets in a Drivers4Helmets campaign as a spin off of SUCCEED’s riders4helmets campaign. (Photo courtesy of

Caledonia, IL (July 23, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber knows the importance of safety, which is why he and his team always wear their Charles Owen helmets during the marathon at a Combined Driving event. Weber, the reigning USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion, is stepping up to encourage all drivers to wear helmets in a Drivers4Helmets campaign which is a spin on SUCCEED’s riders4helmets campaign.

During the upcoming Iron Horse Combined Driving Event at Sherwood Farms, in Caledonia, Illinois, Weber will join forces with Charles Owen and SUCCEED, two of his Team Weber sponsors, to auction off a Charles Owen helmet certificate during the competitors’ party silent auction. While one lucky person will go home with a new Charles Owen helmet certificate, which could save his or her life, all of the money raised for the helmet during the silent auction will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

“I believe it is essential for drivers and their team to wear helmets during the marathon, and hope that the silent auction for the Charles Owen helmet will be a step in the right direction for all drivers committing to wearing helmets,” Weber said, adding that he will present the silent auction winner with the helmet certificate.

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HITS Culpeper in Review

© ESI Photography. Grand Prix Rider Aaron Vale and Paparazzi 10 won the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.

Vale and Fenney Accelerate on the Road to the Pfizer Million, Woodhall Farm Owns the Hunter Rings and Odor-No-More Honors the Grooms at HITS Culpeper

CULPEPER, VA (July 22, 2010) — The road to the Pfizer Million passed right through the heart of Virginia’s horse country for the HITS Culpeper July horse shows and saw two major contenders in the race for the top prize in the Pfizer $ 1 Million Grand Prix pull off a pair of big wins at HITS Commonwealth Park, in Culpeper, Virginia.

Aaron Vale got the party started during the Showday National (July 7-11) when he rode Paparazzi 10 to the blue ribbon in the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, to climb into the top 15 of the Pfizer Million Eligible Rider Rankings for the big-ticket class that will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson on Sunday, September 12.

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Priscilla Presley to Open New Exhibit at Kentucky Horse Park

Priscilla Presley to Launch Elvis Presley Graceland Stables Exhibit at the International Museum of the Horse during BreyerFest

WHO:  Priscilla Presley will introduce the exhibit and Breyer’s Elvis Presley Collection

WHAT:  Press Conference to announce the opening of the Elvis Presley Graceland Stable Exhibit and the launch of Breyer’s Elvis Presley Collection at the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY.  The exhibit, borrowed from the vaults at Graceland, will include Elvis’ saddles and bridles, video footage of the family riding, and other historic archival materials on loan from the stables at Graceland.

WHEN:  Friday, July 23 at 2:30pm

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