Eventers are a different “breed” of equestrian. They are considered fearless by some and a little crazy by others, but for me, they are amazingly kind and generous. I was blessed to be a recipient of this unbelievable kindness and generosity when the incredible Orion’s Rosealene (“Rosie”) entered my life. Sustained through three generations, Rosie, a buckskin Connemara/Arabian, altered the riding careers of three young eventers. My name is Anyah Luke, and I am forever indebted to Maddie and Luann McElduff for sharing Rosie with me.
Rosie began her career in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with Rebecca Mortenson. Rebecca was the first rider to recognize Rosie’s ability and unique talent. Rebecca and Rosie competed up to the Preliminary Level, establishing Rosie as a force in the eventing world in the west. Maddie was the next rider to experience the wonder that is Rosie, competing her throughout Area V as well as at Rebecca Farm. Rosie and Maddie won USEA Beginner Novice Rider of the Year in 2011.
In the spring of 2017, the McElduffs sent Rosie across the country to Colorado. Even though the McElduffs had never met me, supported by the recommendation of family and friends, they entrusted me and my family with the safety and care of Rosie. The first time I got on Rosie, she quickly let me know who was in charge and proceeded to buck me off. During the next four and a half years, our partnership flourished. Rosie educated me about the importance of determination, patience, and setting goals. Ultimately, we became an unstoppable pair. She was always there for me and brought immense joy into my life.
My journey with Rosie allowed me to travel to events around the country and gave me the opportunity to meet so many successful individuals who have worked incredibly hard to achieve their ambitions. The pinnacle of our time together was having the opportunity to compete at The Event at Rebecca Farm where, among other prizes, Rosie won the Kazar “Old Guys Rule” Award for the oldest horse in Novice to finish on its dressage score.
During the Event at Rebecca Farm in 2021, both Rebecca and Maddie were there to support Team Rosie, marking Rosie’s third event at Rebecca Farm, each time with a different generation of rider. The encouragement these two young women continue to provide me has been greatly inspirational. We also discovered that Rosie has quite a fan club at Rebecca Farm. She has truly become a legendary pony.
Rosie, almost 24, is currently enjoying the warm Florida weather and is back in the loving arms of Luann and Maddie. I am indebted to them and their feisty pony for teaching me so much not only about riding but about life itself. I now have a new horse who is, of course, a buckskin!
Luann and Maddie McElduff granted me the special opportunity to experience their Wonder Pony. I am eternally indebted to them for trusting me with Rosie and the continued support they provide me as I develop as an individual. Rosie’s legacy will forever live on, especially in the lives of three young eventers, Rebecca, Maddie, and myself. Rosie’s unique combination of intelligence, patience, courage, and occasional stubbornness helped mold the foundations of all three of us. The success we achieve going forward is the true essence of what it means to experience a partnership with Rosie the Wonder Pony.
The USEA is made up of over 12,000 members, each with their own special horses and experiences. The USEA's Now on Course series 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 Meagan DeLisle to be featured.
Tomorrow, the first of five regional clinics for the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 (EA21) Program kicks off in the central region of the country in Benton, Louisiana, at Holly Hill Farm. Throughout the summer, the remaining clinics on the East and West Coast will follow. At each clinic, 12 hand-selected riders will participate in a two-day clinic led by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) coaches. The purpose of the EA21 program is to create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent, improving horsemanship and riding skills, and training and improving skills and consistency. The intention is to provide young athletes with access to an added level of horsemanship and riding skills to further their training and skill development with greater consistency.
After the first day of competition, Canadian Olympian Colleen Loach and her horse FE Golden Eye lead an international field in the CCI4*-L division of the MARS Bromont CCI.
Stone Gate Farm Horse Trials, located in Hanoverton, Ohio, announced they would cancel their fall horse trials, which were scheduled for Sept. 23-24.
Morgan Rowsell had just wrapped up organizing a successful Essex H.T. in Far Hills, New Jersey, on June 4, but as he turned his attention to his next show two weeks later, he was faced with challenges presented by the effects that wildfires from Canada are now having on equestrian sports in the Northeast. “The very next day, the smoke came in,” he said. “It looks like a warm, humid, hazy day, but it’s not humid, it’s not warm, it’s actually quite cool. There’s no air. There’s very little breeze. There’s a northeast wind coming out of Canada that is bringing all the Novia Scotia and Quebec smoke to us, and it smells like smoke.”