Saturday, February 4, 2012

Update from Chesterland South!

Bruce & Keltic Lion, aka Charlie
Photo credit Cindy Lawler!
Chesterland South is in full swing this winter season with a barn full of talented horses and clients in training.  Bruce has been quite busy with clients coming in for lessons and with the continued training and conditioning of his competition string of horses.  As always, the success of Chesterland is due to the combined efforts of so many people, including clients, owners and the working students.

Bruce is extremely happy this year with the positive attitudes & motivated efforts of his working students - Hillary Popiel (who has been a familiar face over the past decade), Zachary Ryan Leamer and Lindsay Elwell.  Jan Smith also continues to be an indispensable part of Chesterland's daily operation and has also become 1/2 owner in one of the coming 4 year olds, Sugarfoot, which ensures that this talented young filly will remain part of Bruce's training program.  Bruce has brought 4 young horses down to Ocala this year to continue their winter training & they are all showing great promise on the flat & over fences.   More to come on our blog & website regarding the approaching foaling season & the progress of our current homebreds in training!

Firefly Farm, which is the winter home to Chesterland South, is owned by Kristina Watkins, who winters in Ocala, but hails from Harvard Mass.  Kristina is 1/2 owner in the talented young prospect, Here's Lola who is another homebred of Bruce's,  out of Our Staple (JJ Babu’s full sister) by the NZ stallion Heroisity, one of the few TB stallions that stood at Hilltop and was approved for warmblood stud book.  This is one talented young horse for the future who finished 2nd last weekend at her 2nd Prelim start at Rocking Horse (with Buck in the irons).

Buck on Here's Lola!
Photo credit Yvonne Zuther
Rocking Horse I proved to be a successful start to the winter circuit with Cruise showing his talent by taking 3rd in the Intermediate Division (with a glance off on XC) and Charlie finishing 8th in Prelim (1 rail in stadium).  The plan is to come back for Rocking Horse Winter II on the weekend of the 17th, running Lola and Charlie again at Prelim and stepping Cruise up to Advanced.

Many thanks go out to Cindy Lawler (who I met last year at Rolex) who was lucky enough to be at Rocking Horse this past weekend & generously has shared her photography talents with us!
Bruce on Cruise
Photo Credit Cindy Lawler
View Slideshow
Gerd and Yvonne Zuther have joined us again this year, bolstering the training program at Chesterland South with world class dressage instruction.  The combined efforts of Bruce and Gerd are an added perk to the clients who stay here during the winter months while Gerd is able to focus on the talented young rider Nina Ligon.  Nina has joined us again this year with her string of 5 horses before heading to Poplar Place.

Fanny Lee is here again with her advanced horse, Hadley Harbour, and Louis, her 5 year old bred by Bruce.  Fanny is a great supporter & always lots of fun.  Bruce is also looking forward to working with Beth Perkins who has joined Chesterland South with 4 horses in training, and the goal of aiming Sal Dali for Rolex this spring.  She will be joined by Kristi Nunnink and R-Star, who is also returning to work with Bruce, pre-Rolex.  Kristin also has 2 other younger horses who are showing great promise for the Prelim level this season.  Caroline Petty, from British Columbia is also joining our team in preparation for the 2* at Ocala this season.

Bruce Cattle Sorting!
Photo credit Yvonne Zuther
So as you can see, there's rarely a dull moment around the barn.  Bruce has even taken up a bit of cross training, finding time to learn the ropes of Cattle Sorting, a western sport that resembles team penning.  2 riders work together to herd and direct one calf through a gate.  The riders collaborate and take turns on herding and functioning the gate....and if a calf gets through the gate out of order, the team is eliminated!
Yeehaa cowboy!  Don't ever underestimate the talents of event riders.

Please enjoy our second slideshow of pictures provided by close friend & horse woman, Yvonne Zuther.

We will be sharing stories shortly on our crop of young homebreds & also the current successes of those who have gone on to top competitive homes with other riders such as Whitney Weston (Rock on Rose) and Caroline Martin (Petite Flower).  Stay tuned!

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