Dear Max, wear more sunscreen, drink more water, start practicing yoga, count to ten before answering . . . The advice I wish I had listened to when I was your age. Get ready for a bumpy ride girl . . . you will have so many opportunities and adventures, but also heartbreak and tears. You will learn from them all – maybe not at first, but you will be stronger for it.
Prior to starting a family, Adrienne Iorio of Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts used to make periodic trips to Scotland and England to shop for horses for clients. On one of those trips, she happened upon It’s Otto, an Irish Thoroughbred of unknown breeding, in a yard in Great Britain. “I walked into the yard where he lived, they pulled him out, and I loved him immediately,” Iorio recalled.
Show of Heart was born on March 19, 1990 at Tim and Nina Gardner’s Welcome Here Farm at its original location in Maryland, a Thoroughbred gelding by It’s Freezing and out of Lovely Duckling. Bred to race, “Smokey” began his career on the track as a 2-year-old, breaking his maiden at Laurel Park after eight starts. Between his 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old year, Smokey had a total of 46 starts on the track, earning just over $44,000.
Irish Olympian Kevin Babington imported Mastercraft, an Irish Sport Horse gelding born in 1999 with the name Take It E Z, to the United States to be a show jumper. “He was a bit too much of a handful,” recalled Wendy Lewis, who purchased “EZ” from Babington to be an event horse in 2009.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.
In 1984, 19-year-old Cindy Rawson (née Collier) and a chestnut mare named Deer Creek finished their first CCI4* at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. In spite of a fall on the cross-country, they completed inside the time and with a clear show- jumping round finished the event in 13th place.
When my daughter Jacquelyn turned 9, she and I started taking riding lessons together for some quality mother-daughter time. I had hoped to share my love for horses with her so we gave it a try. A few years of lessons led to a deeper commitment - horsemanship - and Jackie showed the fortitude for the hard gritty work required.
Every time I swing a leg over one of my horses, it carries me a little closer to my riding goals. Frequently, one of my annual goals is to earn the privilege of competing in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC). Here is the bumpy journey that brought me to the 2019 AEC.
May 12, 2009 at 2:17 a.m., I peeked over the stall with great anticipation as my long-awaited foal was finally making her debut into my life. Foxy, who was the dam, was a very talented lesson horse with no extraordinary bloodlines but 3/4 Connemara and 1/4 Thoroughbred and she had a love for jumping.
He’s won two championship titles in two months and finished with the best score out of every horse that competed at the 2019 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships – the USEA November Horse of the Month is Excel Star Time to Shine!