Hot Trot’n Twister, a memorable name attached to an unforgettable horse. For the 13 years I had the privilege to know the small, paint mare, “Twist” left hoof prints on my heart far larger than her shoe size. At the age of 22, and still vibrant, beautiful, and wise, she was laid to rest in the hills of Hitching Post Farm in South Royalton, Vermont.
I’ve been asked countless times in my life what it is about horses that keeps me owning them and competing, that brings me to the barn in all kinds of weather from hot, humid, sticky days to cold windy winter days. Why put up with the bugs and the frozen buckets, much less the dirt and sunburn and freezing toes and fingers. Why horses? I rarely have concrete answers for those questions besides the standard: I love them and always have.
2020 has been a long year and for many eventers, not the year they had hoped for. Events across the country have been canceled and eventers have had to pivot their goals for the year. Susan De Jong, who lives in Arizona, typically makes the trip to Flagstaff to compete at the Coconino Horse Trials in July, but with the venue closed due to COVID-19 this year, she had to come up with another plan.
Lynn Klisavage got her start teaching riding lessons on Barber’s Point Naval Air Base on O’ahu, Hawaii in the 1960s. When she was in her early 20s, she and her family relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and it was there that Klisavage became the Director of the Air Force Academy Stables.
My road to success is a bit different and quite a bit longer than most. Hi, my name is Jennarose Ortmeyer. I am 24 years old and my eventing journey started three years ago in the summer of 2017. Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, I moved to North Carolina in June of 2017 seeking to further my career. I was a professional in the hunter/jumper world then and I hadn’t the faintest idea of how drastically my life was about to change.
In April of 2002, a Thoroughbred filly by Frisk Me Now and out of Teetawk, bred by Jim Plemmons, was born in Kentucky and given the Jockey Club registered name Cupid’s Tart. Cupid’s Tart never raced, however, and when she was 3 years old, the breeding farm where she’d been living gave her to Irish equestrian Alec Kennedy as a sport horse prospect.
2020 continues to be a challenging year. The year of an astonishing pandemic, of economic strain, of social injustice, and of a political divide that it often seems may never be bridged. But amidst the tumult and uncertainty of the world, a pickup truck shutters to life in the early morning hours of show day.
It’s not every day that you see siblings competing against each other in any sport, but twins Jack and Sam Curtis have been doing just that in eventing since they were both about 12 years old. Horses run in their blood as their mother grew up riding, and she wanted her sons to learn as well.
Did you hear a collective wail last week? That came from 900 women around the globe grieving in solidarity with their eventing “sisters” whose eagerly-awaited competitive outlet and meet-up at USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) was canceled. Those 900 women are members of one of the most unique, supportive communities on the internet - the Physician Women Equestrians, or PWE.
In life, sometimes things come full circle. That has been the case for Yoscha Bosche (Joyeux Danseur x Grau Frau), a now 19-year-old 15.3-hand off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding who left the track in the fall of 2004 after eight disappointing starts, never finishing higher than sixth place.
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.