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 26, 2022 Education

Rule Refresher: What Will Be Expected of Me at the Beginner Novice or Novice Level?

Preparing for your first horse trial and not sure what is expected of you at each level? Over the course of the next few Rule Refreshers, we will be diving into each level and the performance expectations of each phase. Want to better prepare yourself or your students for their first competition or a move-up? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource to all USEA members that outlines clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through the competition levels. You can access this guide by logging into your online services account.

May 25, 2022 Profile

Now On Course: Handing Over The Reins

I’m not one for the spotlight. As the voice of the Association, you don’t need to know my personal views, political, eventing, or otherwise. So despite my byline appearing on thousands of articles on the USEA website and magazine, this is probably only the second time I’m writing about myself (the first was about my love for lessons, and reading it now makes me laugh as I am still 100% addicted). But as I am now just a USEA member I thought I would share a bit of my journey to add to our member spotlight series, Now on Course.

May 24, 2022 Education

Tips for Successful Haul-In Schooling

You’ve likely spent some time scouring the USEA Calendar to line up your 2022 competition schedule. Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to plan some cross-country schooling outings to make sure you and your horse are as ready as possible. If you own or manage a facility that welcomes guests for haul-in schooling, you’ve likely noticed horses and their humans showing up in droves to get their practice in. A successful off-site schooling day has many, many moving parts. From paperwork and payment to safety, these best practices for hosts and guests will help everything go as smoothly as possible.

May 23, 2022 Eventing News

US Equestrian Announces Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, from July 1-2, 2022. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.

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