Friday, February 24, 2012

The Season is in Full Swing!

I caught up with Bruce last night & he's certainly happy with the way all the horses are going early this season.  They've had a good couple of shows with Lola coming in 2nd at both her Prelims and Charlie taking 2nd his last time out as well.  Soon Bruce will be bumping Charlie (Keltic Lion) up to Intermediate, as "Charlie has his ears pricked & smiling the whole time out on XC."  The plan is to take their time with Lola, who's just coming 6 and still a big growing mare.
There's a new addition to the competition line up with KER Marvin, who is owned by Ana Kjellstrom and Joe Pagan of Kentucky Equine Research.  He's a striking big bay 6 year old who was originally part of their feed research program as a youngster.  He's only been under tack for about 1 1/2 years, with Bruce starting to ride him 3 weeks ago.  As you can see from this video, he's really quite a fancy prospect and won his first training at Ocala II and was 3rd at Rocking Horse last weekend.  The plan is to take him to a few more training level events, then bump him up to Prelim during this season.

Zach, Lindsey & Hillary are working hard with their own horses in training this winter, soaking in a variety of experiences - show jumping at HITS, improving their dressage skills with the incomparable Gert Zuther & observing our nation's best event riders at the Florida training sessions. Hillary is aiming for the 2* at Ocala HP on 4/11 (along with Caroline Petty) and after The Fork they will take 3 loads of horses & head home to Chesterland in Unionville.  Shortly after coming home, Bruce will head back to Rolex Kentucky with Beth Perkins and Kristi Nunink!
Over a week ago, Buck has had a bad color bone break while schooling, which has since required surgery.  He went down to Tn to the USET’s orthopedic surgeon (Team Dr. Craig Ferrell) for the procedure & is recovery nicely, but the break was quite serious & required plates/screws.  Bruce took over the reigns on The Apprentice to run him in the Advanced at Ocalla II.  "He’s not a straight forward horse, but he jumped around nicely & got the Advanced completed which was needed to get him qualified."  
On Monday night, Bruce participated in an event for the Make a Wish Foundation, which was held in Ocala.  It was a big fundraiser and they succeeded in filled the stadium.  10 teams of 2 riders (a pairing of one western & one english rider) competed in a format where the western riders were required to jump a course & the english riders had to run a pattern & cut a cow.  Aaron Vale's team won & Bruce's team was 4th.  

We also want to congratulate Caroline Martin who completed her first Advanced at the Ocala II Horse Trials aboard Petite Flower!  

Enjoy these fabulous photos taken by Susie at last weekend's events.

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