August 8, 2011 – Next week, US National Champion combined driver Shelly Temple and her Morgan gelding Cooper (LR Ami B-Line) will fly to Germany to prepare for the World Pony Driving Championships in Slovenia.
Prior to the Championship, “Team Catalyst” will stay in Frankfurt, Germany and train with Michael Freund, the USET driving coach and multi-time world champion. While in Germany, Shelly and Cooper will compete at Minden, the German national pony championship, along with other short-listed US drivers.
Shelly and Team Catalyst are excited about the opportunity to represent the United States and compete in their second world championship. In 2007 Shelly was a silver medalist in dressage and a member of the bronze medal US team. Shelly and Cooper have been the USEF National Champions for the past two years and have their eye on the gold medal. To follow Shelly’s progress, visit her blog at http://www.catalystdriving.blogspot.com/ or her website at http://www.catalystdriving.com/.
Chester County, PA (July 12, 2011) – World Champion driver Suzy Stafford has been long-listed for the 2011 FEI World Pony Driving Championships with her registered half-Arabian mare Miss Josephine, but before Stafford and Josie head to Slovenia the determined driver still has a great deal of work to do. Part of that work includes raising funds for the trip, so Stafford will be hosting an eBay auction beginning Friday, July 15th, featuring a variety of fabulous items both equestrian and non-equestrian.
All proceeds from the auction will go toward funding Stafford and Josie’s World Championship trip to Slovenia. ”I am really excited that people will have the chance to bid on so many great items, from a week’s vacation in Maine to many, many equestrian related items,” Stafford said, adding that she wants to thank her many supporters who donated items to the auction. “I am truly grateful to all my supporters! I would like to thank all the donors of these wonderful items for their on-going support and generosity including Dover Saddlery, Shawn Faust, Jim Graham, Hidden Valley Acres, Bit of Britain, Beth and Dan Steinke, Chester Weber, Dansko, Unionville Feed, Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Vita Flex, Unionville Saddlery, Fridays’s Horse, Jewelry by Moolenschot, Equine Journal, Larry Poulin, Stoltzfus Farm Service, Inc., and Harness by Smucker.”
Some of the items in Stafford’s eBay auction include: a one-week vacation waterfront rental house in Maine; a personal brewery tour and tasting by the owner/brewer of Weyerbacher Brewery in Easton, Pennsylvania; a new deluxe Black with Brass Harness by Smucker; a “signed” Breyer Model of Jamaica, Chester Weber’s Horse of the Year; a “signed” Breyer model of Stafford’s Gold Medal driving pony Cefnopark Bouncer; a new Charles Owen Helmet; a “signed” print from Delaware artist Shawn Faust; a one-hour photography lesson with nationally recognized photo journalist Jim Graham; training with Bronze and Silver Medal Dressage rider and trainer Stacey Parvey-Larrson; a pair of Dansko shoes of your choice; and a new bridle.
Chester County, PA (July 8, 2011) – Gold medalist Suzy Stafford’s registered half-Arabian mare Miss Josephine may be long-listed for the 2011 FEI World Pony Driving Championships in Slovenia, but the 14-hand FEI mare’s career has also included much “smaller” competitions. Those competitions include being a patient and wonderful leadline mount for children.
“Josie has an amazing heart and loves a challenge, which is what makes her a fantastic international competitor,” Stafford said. “But like most Arabians, she is very sweet and being a child’s leadline mount also suited her. In addition to being a leadline mount, Josie was part of a driving pair before I bought her. I do think going from a leadline mount to a world champion competitor is pretty remarkable.”
Stafford also thinks it is remarkable that Josie will be the first registered Arabian to compete in the World Pony Driving Championships for the United States. “Arabians are a very versatile breed and they really can excel in any discipline,” Stafford said. “Arabians are a great mount for children and adults. Even though Josie has the ability to win in the leadline division with a small child, she also has the ability to become an award-winning FEI World Driving Pony Champion. As one of the oldest and most popular breeds in the United States, the Arabian is known for having boundless energy, great intellect and a gentle disposition and that is a great description of Josie.”
Stafford and Josie became partners in September of 2010, and the pair has already proven they have the drive to win. Stafford and Josie won the Reserve National Single Pony Championships at Live Oak International earlier this year and as the most consistent competitors in three selection trials held in Florida, the pair also drove away as the winners of the Triple Crown of Driving sponsored by Live Oak International, the Sunshine State CDE and Little Everglades CDE.
Chester County, PA (June 10, 2011) – Believing in the motto “practice makes perfect,” Gold Medalist Combined Driver Suzy Stafford competed at the Elk Creek CDE, held at Fair Hill in Maryland, with the hopes of perfecting the training and skills of two of her talented ponies. Stafford drove away all smiles following the event, saying she was pleased with the progress of each of her equine partners including her registered half-Arabian mare, Miss Josephine, who is long-listed for the 2011 FEI World Pony Driving Championships in Europe.
“I wanted to use Elk Creek as a schooling event to prepare Josephine for her European debut at the World Pony Championships, which will be held in Slovenia in September,” Stafford said. “I was just schooling Josie so I didn’t finish the marathon, but she won the best dressage and cones in the advanced division. Josie is in a good place right now in her training program and we are improving our dressage score every time out.”
Stafford said her goal is to not have Josie peak too early, as she wants the pony’s ultimate performance to be in September. While Josephine will make her debut at the World Pony Driving Championships, Stafford is a veteran of the championships and in 2005 won an Individual Gold Medal with Cefnoakpark Bouncer, a Team Bronze with Bouncer in 2007 and an Individual Bronze with Courage To Lead in 2009. “My goal for the 2011 World Pony Driving Championships is to win medals and represent the United States to the best of our ability,” Stafford said.
Chester County, PA (May 19, 2011) – Gold medalist Suzy Stafford has been long-listed for the 2011 FEI World Pony Driving Championships with her registered half Arabian mare Miss Josephine. Stafford operates her Stafford Carriage Driving facility out of Chester County in Pennsylvania from April to December and is stationed in Aiken, South Carolina from January through April.
“I am very excited that Josephine has been long-listed for the Pony Driving Championships,” Stafford said. “I have owned her since September of 2010 and she doesn’t have quite the show experience that many of the other ponies I have competed had, but she does have the quality and the talent to win. I am confident she will be ready for the World Championships by September.”
Although their partnership is relatively new, Stafford and Josephine have already proven they have the drive to win. The pair won the Reserve National Single Pony Championships at Live Oak International earlier this year and as the most consistent competitors in three selection trials held in Florida, Stafford and Josephine drove away as the winners of the Triple Crown of Driving sponsored by Live Oak International, the Sunshine State CDE and Little Everglades CDE.