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.

May 23, 2022 AEC

AEC Countdown: Less Than 100 Days!

The countdown is on for the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the USEA AEC moves to the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. The AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2023, so if you have ever dreamed of riding in the Flathead Valley of Montana with views of Glacier National Park, you won’t want to miss this year’s very special opportunity.

May 23, 2022 News

USEA Podcast #310: The Season So Far

USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.

May 22, 2022

Auburn University Demonstrates Talent and Spirit to Win 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.

May 21, 2022 Intercollegiate

Former Intercollegiate Champion Auburn University on Track for 2022 Champion Title

It has been three years since Auburn University has clinched the title of USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Champions, but the team aimed to rectify that at the 2022 Championships by sending six teams to compete, one of which, the Auburn War Eagles, sits in the pole position following the first day of competition.

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