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.

Sep 30, 2022 Convention

Registration is Now Open for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Savannah, Georgia!

Attention USEA members! Registration for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! The convention will be held in person on December 7-11, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.

Sep 30, 2022 News

USEA Names Athletes for Inaugural EA21 National Camp

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes 21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the inaugural EA21 national camp this winter.

Sep 29, 2022 Instructors

The Eventing Coaches Program: Phyllis Dawson on Training Horses and Riders

Ninety percent of training a horse is getting the horse to understand exactly what you want them to do. In general, horses are generous and willing creatures who want to please us; very seldom do they behave badly on purpose. Horses don’t come out and say, ‘Let’s make Mom’s (or Dad’s) life miserable today by going as poorly as possible - most prefer to do the right thing, as long as they know what that is.

Sep 28, 2022 Education

A Veterinarian’s Tips for Maximizing Longevity and Soundness

Regardless of the level at which a horse is competing, its veterinary team is at the forefront of most decisions regarding its career and well-being. Liz Arbittier, VMD, CVA, has been working with equine athletes for over two decades. Graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) in 2001, she worked in private practice with a focus on sports medicine and pre-purchase exams until joining Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center Field Service team in 2013. Situated in the heart of Area II’s eventing scene, the team provides ambulatory services to the surrounding area, which is home to multiple Olympians.

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