The USEA is made up of over 12,000 members, each with their own special horses and experiences. Now on Course highlights the many unique stories of our membership. Do you and your horse have a tale to tell? Do you know someone who deserves recognition? Submit your story to Leslie Mintz.
It's always so cliché to say "that it was love at first sight" but seeing the scrawny, gangly, hot mess of a horse that was Salisbury Knight truly was love at first sight.
He arrived at Full Gallop Farm in Aiken, S.C. last summer through the Turning for Home Program. I had been a working student for Full Gallop since 2013 and then an off site trainer in 2016. Anytime Full Gallop got horses in off the track I got to pick one to take on as a sales horse. The farm's owner had mentioned there was one that she was really excited about because his sire was Bernadini. Well, me knowing nothing about bloodlines headed over to the paddock where the new arrivals were. I looked all of them over and eventually came across this plain bay that was a bit thin with a long wavy mane and a not so pretty ankle. But despite his little flaw, I thought he had lovely conformation and a sweet face. And who's perfect anyway? So, I looked at him and said you're just a good guy aren't you, and hugged his head. I put the halter on and lead him to the barn. He was so calm and had this confidence about him that I really liked. Coming off the track and being shipped such a long way can make a horse a bit nervous of his new surroundings, not this one. He was just easy. I get back to the barn and the owner looks at me and said 'you would pick that one! That's the Bernadini horse!' And the rest was history!
Salisbury Knight. Photo courtesy of Amy Kaplan.
Salisbury Knight was supposed to be for sale . . . Well, I'm a terrible salesman, and I fall in love with every horse I take in for training – just ask my fiancé. It's like that crush you have in high school and you get butterflies every time you see them. You never want to let them go and it hurts so bad to see them move on with their lives without you. But then you get over it becasue you know they have a wonderful new home. But I just couldn't bare to see Salisbury Knight go. I knew he had to stay with me . . . somehow!
So, when the day came to show him to potential buyers I felt myself get sick to my stomach. I'd never gotten that feeling before when it came to showing sale horses. I took it as a sign. I had known he was special since my first ride, but now I knew for sure. So after lots of thought, borrowed money and negotiating; Salisbury Knight was mine!
He came to be known as "Monty" around the barn. It's a little embarrassing how I got the name, but I thought it was amusing. I couldn't think of anything to do with his race name that was easy to say. Then after some research I found there is a town in England called Salisbury. One of my favorite comedies is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. So he became Monty, due to the fact that it was an English town and it involved knighthood. My British trainer wasn't impressed. I think he was even a little ashamed of me! But it stuck and eventually lead to one of my best friends calling him Montificent - which he seems to love!
Amy Kaplan and Salisbury Knight at the 2016 Retired Racehorse Project Championships.
Monty went on to compete in the 2016 Retired Racehorse Project with only three months of retraining under his girth. He was brilliant! He took everything in stride. After a light fall season we started 2017 off with the goal of just having fun and learning more about each other. He's only 6 this year and knowing that he has the talent to go quite far, I don't want to rush him. What's that quote? "The fastest way to get there is to take your time." He has come so far in such a short amount of time already. I never want to push a horse up the levels, they tell me when they are ready. So Monty did about five Novices and just completed his first Training level event at Windridge back in May. I am so excited to see what the future has in store for us – i'm sure it's going to be a blast!
The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place October 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland.
Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts (Area I) was scheduled to host two one-day events in 2020 offering Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions. Their May event was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, but their September event is planning to run as scheduled.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
For many equestrians today, horse insurance is often viewed as a big, daunting, and scary topic. There are potential pitfalls and there is a lot of fine print to be addressed. The questions are many and the fine print is very fine. What type of coverage is needed? What are the right questions that should be asked before deciding on the right policy for you and your horse?