Apr 03, 2022

Now On Course: The Legacy of Rosie the Wonder Pony

Photos: Paulsen, Nalsmith Images, Allison Green for Shannon Brinkman

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 and Rebecca Mortensen competing at Rebecca Farm in 2006. Poulsen photo

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.

Rosie and Maddie McElduff competing at Rebecca Farm. Nalsmith Images photo

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.

Rosie and Anyah Luke competing at Rebecca Farm in 2021. Alison Green for Shannon Brinkman photo.

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.

Oct 04, 2022 Education

Jim Wofford Delivers His Fun and Education Formula at Woodside Clinic

Specifics of the "Fun & Education Formula" were provided to all at the Jim Wofford Clinic held on August 20 & 21 at the Horse Park in Woodside, northern California. Eager riders, auditors, and volunteers gathered for a much anticipated two-day clinic with the master bright and early Saturday morning.

Oct 04, 2022 Hall of Fame

Connections of Great Event Horse Eagle Lion Offered Invitation to USEA Eventing Hall of Fame

This year a new class will be joining the 47 eventing legends currently in the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Eventing Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded within the sport of eventing in the United States. Those invited to join the USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame have truly made a difference in the sport of eventing. Hall of Fame members have included past Association presidents, volunteers, riders, founders, course designers, officials, organizers, horses, horse owners, and coaches.

Oct 03, 2022 Convention

Announcing the Keynote Speaker for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention: Dr. Sue Dyson

Have you ever wondered why your horse isn’t performing at their best? Get ready to learn about the many facets that can contribute to lameness and poor performance in sport horses from equine orthopedics expert, Dr. Sue Dyson! The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Dyson will be the keynote speaker at the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Savannah, GA this December 7-11.

Oct 02, 2022 Profile

Change of Rein: Rosie Smith's Journey from Reining to the #2022AEC

Rosie Smith’s rose gold accented helmet matched her perfectly tidy bun of red hair as she took the third spot in the USEA Training Rider Championship at the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nurena Feeds. Every little detail came together while aboard her trusted partner of nine years: the 20-year-old Connemara Irish Draught named Seamus (by Corrcullen, RID). But Smith’s first jump, back when she was only 15 years old, wasn’t with an English saddle.

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