Aug 22, 2018

Now on Course: Simone Tranfaglia, Theresa Simmons, and Fred

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
Theresa Simmons, David Adamo, Simone Tranfaglia, and Fred at Rebecca Farm. Photo courtesy of Theresa Simmons.

Simone Tranfaglia and Theresa Simmons were among the riders that made the two-day trip from Petaluma, California with trainer David Adamo to compete at the 2018 Event at Rebecca Farm. Seventeen-year-old Simone had been working hard for over a year to prepare to compete in her first ever USEA Classic Series Event, the Rebecca Farm Training Three-Day, with Maggie Bronson’s 21-year-old Westphalian gelding Finnegan’s Wake (Abdullah x Seren). Theresa Simmons, who recently retired from working with the California Highway Patrol’s K9 Unit, was planning to compete aboard her own Fred (Cicero’s Ice Water x Winnies Tash xx), a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, who she has been competing at the Novice level for the last year.

Preparing to compete in a USEA Classic Series Event is no small feat, requiring months of preparation to obtain qualifications and establish both horse and rider fitness before even sending in an entry form. Needless to say that when Finnegan’s Wake was spun at the first horse inspection for the Training Three-Day, it was a disappointing blow for Simone, who had worked so hard to get there. “This would be devastating for any of us; and to add to the disappointment was that Simone’s entire family, including grandparents, had made the trek to see her compete,” shared Vickie Morse, one of David Adamo’s students who had traveled to Rebecca Farm to spectate and support her fellow teammates.

“Simone is the only junior rider with Adamo Eventing and her ‘older’ teammates always mentor, support, and make her feel she is an equal,” said Denise Tranfaglia, Simone’s mother. “The news of [Simone] not being able to compete affected the entire team.”

Photo courtesy of Theresa Simmons.

Simmons, upon hearing the news that Simone wouldn’t be able to compete, offered up Fred for Simone to ride. “When Theresa told me that she was going to let Simone catch a ride on Fred, needless to say, I was bowled over,” commented Denise. “Simone and I were humbled by her generosity, but politely declined. I mean, who does that? Well, Theresa Simmons does this. She refused our no and it was decided. Theresa, who just hauled five horses over 1,100 miles, would not ride her Fred, but let Simone ride instead.”

As it was after 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday by the time Simone’s entry on Fred in the Junior Open Novice division was confirmed, she didn’t have much time to get to know the gelding, whom she had never ridden before. “They got a quick flatwork lesson and that was it,” Denise explained.

“The whole team was on the sidelines as Fred and Simone entered the sandbox,” recalled Denise. “Fred was such a good boy to Simone and Simone was such a great rider to Fred; they ended with a 29.5 on the first day. The team knew then, it was going to be okay.” Although Simone only had her cross-country warm-up to become accustomed to jumping with Fred, they put in a double clean ride across the country on Friday and another double clean round in show jumping on Saturday to take home the fourth place ribbon. “There were a lot of happy tears.”

Simone and Fred posing with Theresa after placing fourth in the Junior Open Novice division at Rebecca Farm. Photo courtesy of Theresa Simmons.

“When Theresa gave up her ride so I could ride at Rebecca, it is one of the most generous acts anyone has ever done for me,” reflected Simone. “I am go grateful I ended up being able to get to ride at the beautiful Rebecca Farm and it is all thanks to Theresa's selfless deed. I am just as happy Fred and I got to have a good and fun ride there. Thanks to Theresa, it was an unforgettable experience.”

“I was happy that I was able to loan Fred to Simone,” said Simmons. “She worked so hard to get to Rebecca Farms. For me, there is always next year!”

“As a mom, I was sad Simone couldn't ride Finn, but absolutely so proud of Simone, of Theresa, of Fred, and our team, Adamo Eventing,” Denise shared. “The lesson about kindness was not lost on me. This act of compassion and generosity lifted us. I know our family will always remember this act of kindness. We have a family tradition to pay it forward. Theresa just reminded us to continue this practice.”

“It is people like Theresa that make this world a better place” Morse concluded. “I think [this kind of story] helps us all remember that human kindness is the best gift we all have to give, receive, and share. I am sure that Simone will always remember this gift, and I look forward to seeing Theresa back in the saddle and galloping cross-country on her boy Fred soon!”

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 Jessica Duffy.

Jul 06, 2020 Association News

USEA Podcast #261: Planning Your Season

The 2020 show season has looked a bit different than any of us anticipated, and for many people season-planning was placed on hold. In an episode that was recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, Nicole Brown and Diarm Byrne welcome international five-star eventer Will Coleman and British high performance veterinarian Spike "The Vet" Milligan to the show to discuss some of the considerations for planning your season from each of their unique perspectives.

Jul 05, 2020 Safety

Key Steps to Safe Cross-Country Riding, Part Two: Horse and Rider Contract and Going Faster

Any riding exercise is about the art of the possible. This is especially true with jumping exercises, when a step too far will compromise safety. Exercises and a method should be developed progressively that build confidence and competence for both horse and rider, and in particular also allows room for error.

Jul 04, 2020 Rules

Rule Refresher: Show Jumping Time and Faults

In the show jumping phase, where a ribbon can be won or lost based on a fraction of a second, it is important to understand the rules that determine how time is kept. After reviewing the rules concerning time and other show jumping penalties, one should also examine the rules that outline the faults incurred for each of the different types of penalties.

Jul 03, 2020 Eventing News

Bromont CCI and FEI Eventing Nations Cup August Dates Set To Change

Sue Ockendon, organizer of the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event and the FEI Eventing Nations Cup announced today that the event has decided to consider dates further along the calendar. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for Bromont to confirm that it would be possible for competitors to travel on August 15-18.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA