Seven medals, over 20 wins, a horse that’s taken five riders to their first Preliminary or FEI event, and is now teaching his seventh girl the ropes to eventing, Clifton Peekachu is the USEA July Horse of the month! The horse with a heart of gold most recently won the Junior Novice Rider division with Kaylianna McMorris at Fox River Valley Pony Club Horse Trials in Barrington Hills, Ill. A horse of the past and of the present, Clifton Peekachu is a 23-year-old New Zealand Sport Horse gelding owned by Katlyn McMorris.
With the North American Young Rider Championships (NAYC) right around the corner, the July horse of the month is one of the most decorated NAYC horses in history. Representing Area IV, Clifton Peekachu has taken five trips to NAYC and every trip he’s walked away with a medal. The reign of Area IV’s secret weapon spanned from 2005 to 2010. In 2005, Clifton Peekachu and Katlyn McMorris earned the individual silver medal in the NAYC CCI*. In 2006, they won the individual gold medal and team gold in the CCI*. In 2008, they finished fifth individually and won team silver in the CCI2*. In 2009, they took home the individual silver in the CCI2*. In 2010, Clifton Peekachu came back to NAYC with rider, Claire Kelley and earned individual silver and team silver in the CCI*. The total count: seven NAYC medals.
In 2013, Clifton Peekachu finished ninth with Natascha Barrientos at the Bolivarian Games. In 2014, Barrientos and Clifton Peekachu finished in the top 20 at the Central American Games. Beyond NAYC and the Central American Games, six riders have piloted Clifton Peekachu to victory including Katlyn McMorris, Claire Kelley, Kennedy Cross, Alison Hardaway, Elizabeth Clarke, and now, Kaylianna McMorris (who is the niece of Katlyn McMorris).
A horse who loves carrots but hates peppermints, gets uncomfortable with public displays of affection, and always takes a nap before cross-country, learn about Clifton Peekachu from his owner, Katlyn McMorris.
About Clifton Peekachu:
“Peek or Peeka”
“Anything natural like carrots, apples. He hates peppermints.”
“Cross-country. Although he loves showing off so dressage comes in a very close second.”
“Extrovert with an extreme fear of missing out. He wants all the attention to be on him, at all times. And he just loves hanging out with people. As long as he is hanging out with everyone else or whatever else is going on at the time, he is happy.”
Likes? And dislikes?
“He hates hugs and kisses aka PDA but loves attention. Loves anything food related. He loves having a purpose and loves having young girls to take care of and teach. I always said he would not be a happy field retired horse. He will want to be working and jumping for as long as his body and mind can handle it.”
Any other fun facts you’d like to add about Clifton Peekachu?
“You definitely have to work for and earn the wins on him. He doesn’t just give it to you. If you make a big enough mistake or a smaller one a couple of times in a row. He won’t make up for it. He wants you to learn. He’s been so successful but it’s also because he is an amazing teacher.”
“He knows when it is cross-country day and always takes a nap before cross-country. But he is seriously the fiercest and coolest cross-country horse. I always thought his heart and head could have taken him to a five-star event, if only his body would have allowed it.”
Miss any of the previous horses? Follow the links to read about the February Horse of the Month, March Horse of the Month, April Horse of the Month, May Horse of the Month, and June Horse of the Month.
About the USEA Horse of the Month
New in 2019, the USEA is recognizing an event horse each month on the USEA website and social media. The USEA Horse of the Month is determined based on statistics and event results and announced at the beginning of every month. The July Horse of the Month was selected based on historic performances at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships and Clifton Peekachu earned the title as he has seven NAYC medals and just won the Junior Novice Rider division at Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T.!
Five-star eventer Kim Severson taught a show jumping clinic in January at Milestone Sport Horses in Lovettsville, Virginia where she instructed riders on the importance of forward riding for successful jumping. In this exercise, which Severson progressively adds additional pieces to, riders are instructed to focus on the quality of their canter.
On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Central time, join Eric Dierks for a live stream interview with David O'Connor. David was an alternate for the 1988 Summer Olympics, and riding Wilton Fair, was part of the U.S. team at the 1990 World Equestrian Games, where he placed 35th individually and the team finished fourth.
Billy Jackson was introduced to horses at a young age through his local 4-H program. “One of my mom's close friends was a large animal vet and she really encouraged me to stay with it,” Jackson said. As an adult, he is a Marketing Project Manager, and when he’s not at work, he’s a lower level eventer based at Poplar Place Farm.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.