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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Farewell Vechta....I will miss you!

Well I am now home from an incredible experience training abroad. I may be forever changed.  I have already started thinking of how I will make it back. The trip home took about five days. I left on Tuesday the 14th at 4:30 in the afternoon on a truck with that transporting company Guido Klatte. We drove from Catherine's stable in Vechta about an hour away to the holding facility and unloaded the horses. I had four horses coming home with me. Wistar and three horses that clients had purchased and were shipping back with me to Summervale. I went to sleep at about 6 pm and was up again at 12:30 am to help load and make the 5 hour drive to the Amsterdam airport. We arrived to the airport by 6:00 am and I was scheduled to fly back as a groom for the flight and proceeded to help load the 20 horses that were scheduled to fly from Amsterdam to LAX later that morning.

 There were 7 pallets to be loaded onto the plane, the maximum amount aloud. Once each pallet was loaded then the horses were to just patiently wait until it was time to be driven out onto the tarmac and loaded onto the plane. They stood about 2-3 hours while paper work was filled out and to allow time in case there were any problems that should arise. Once the horses were ready to load onto the plane then the grooms were sent to check in as regular passengers and go through security, then load onto the plane. Once on the plane we were seated in the back row and were able to go back and look after the horses. The door into the cargo area always remained locked and the KLM attendant would have to come back with the grooms to check in on the horses as needed. Again I was able to stand with the horses during take off and landing which was greatly appreciated as it is rather an exciting time. The horses all handled it beautifully. We arrived into LAX after the 11 hour flight and I was not able to see them again from Wed at 1:00 pm as they went into quarantine until Friday morning at 10:00 am when they were released and I was able to make the 2 day drive home to our farm in Roy, WA. Here is a picture of the horses coming off the pallet and being checked just before entering quarantine at Jet Pets.

I pulled into Summervale Farm at 9:00 pm on Saturday the 18th. I was so relieved to make it through the three Mt. passes that were calling for heavy snow fall. Yikes! Everything worked out wonderfully and I am extremely motivated to implement all that I have learned towards the riding, management, and the many different aspects of running a good business. Catherine Haddad was an excellent choice. She and her staff made my trip very informative and it was a trip of a life time. I am very grateful for all of the wonderful people that I met during my stay and the incredible horses that I was able to watch in their work and had the opportunity to ride. I took so may tools home with me that will improve all of my horses not just Wistar, although he made some great progress as well. I am truly inspired.

 A special thank you to The Dressage Foundation for this special award, it was truly an incredible experience, my husband Alex for being so supportive in helping me reach my dreams, Charlene Summers for breeding such an incredible horse and allowing me to carry on a partnership with him for the last 11 years, Catherine Haddad for welcoming me into your stable and being so giving of your knowledge, Paula Helm for all of your guidance, and to all of my sponsors, friends, and family that have been so supportive and encouraging through this journey. Many thanks!

PSI annual auction in Ankum, Germany

This was a wonderful event to experience. The presentation of horses was skillfully run and the bidding was exciting for all. In the end, PSI brought in over 12 million Euro and sold horses to many of the top countries of equestrian sport.

My very good friend Paula Helm came to visit me during my last week in Germany. We attended the Sat show case presentation of the auction horses Dec 12th and then the live auction the following day. It was truly amazing the prices these animals went for. The least expensive horse was bought for $75,000 Euro and the most expensive was a jumper mare for $800,000 Euro.  We had a blast watching but were very careful to keep our hands low and not make any sudden movements that might be mistaken for a bid.

Monday, November 22, 2010

CDI at Stuttgart 2010

What an incredible weekend. I had the fortunate experience of attending the Stuttgart horse show as a spectator and it was amazing! The show is run and organized to the second and that schedule was posted two weeks in advance. There was an incredible "Vegas style" show Friday evening with the famous Lorenzo "The Flying Frenchman". I took a very short clip on my camera and am posting it here but it did not do him justice. Short clip of Lorenzo at Stuttgart!

 I found a super video online to show that gives you a better understanding of the kind of incredible horse person he is. Here is the link to the video of Lorenzo online. Lorenzo demonstration It is incredible and shows exactly what he can do. Don't miss this one.

I drove to the Bremen airport this past Thursday and took a flight direct to Stuttgart. Upon arrival, a shuttle service provided by the show came and picked up myself and Nick Fyffe, from Australia, who has been working for Catherine the last couple of months. Also in the shuttle was Madeleine Winter-Shulze, sponsor of Isabelle Werth. We drove to the KongressHotel Europe and it was the host hotel for all of the riders. It was so great to see all of the riders, I felt like I was in Hollywood. Edward Gal, Isabelle Werth, Ulla Salsgeber, and Hubertus Schmidt would all be the next table over at breakfast. Catherine had given me a special pass so that I was able to go back into the stabling and into the warm up areas. It was very interesting watching everyone warm their horses up the morning before the test. It was very educational. Thank you Catherine!

The jog was on Thursday and the Grand Prix for the Freestyle was on Friday. At this particular CDI 5 star they hold a Grand Prix for those going into the Freestyle and then a Grand Prix for those competing in the Special. There were twelve invited to partake in the Grand Prix for Freestyle held on Friday morning. The results are listed below. Catherine had a really nice solid test and finished 4th. A very good accomplishment!

The Freestyle's were amazing. The horses were great and the atmosphere was electric. It was a packed house and Winyamaro came in like, "whoo-hoo awards ceremony". He was excited but held it all together. Here are the placings for the freestyle, Winyamaro was 6th.

Isabelle Werth's winning ride on Sachmo 82.5%

One other thing I had to mention is the driving competition. Very exciting to watch. The warm up for the drivers was intense. You had 6 teams all warming up in a 20 by 40 meter dressage size arena. 
Check out this video of the warm up that Catherine took: Drivers warming up!

Here is the winner of the day! An Australian team, Boyd Excell. Boyd Excell's winning round!

Just for fun here is a clip from WEG that was posted on youtube so you can see how an outdoor course compares. They are quite the atheletes! WEG 2010 Combined Driving Marathon

Friday, November 12, 2010

Side trip to Selden

This past Monday after working the horses I took a little trip south. I went to the town of Selden to see some of Irene's(HW Farm)young stock she has coming up. As you may have seen on the Summervale site Irene and Summervale have been working together to sell some of her fantastic imports from Germany. This was a real treat to get to see some of the next horses that will be coming over. Tanja the owner and trainer of the farm was so wonderful in showing me around. We went to a couple of fields that were close by that were housing some of the up and coming 2 year old colts and fillies. The barn itself at Tanja's held about 20 horses. Most were coming 3 year olds and of course all of the current riding horses. I met Walk on Top and Statesman HW two of the horses listed on Irene's site and they were just as lovely in person. There were also 5 lovely little coming yearlings that were going to be put out to pasture in the next coming week or so to grow up for a while. Very nice!

Had a great training week. Wistar is settling into his new German lifestyle. Love him and his forever accepting attitude. What a temperament this horse has. Always accommodating and just does his best. What more can you ask for?

On a side note I am getting many calls on potential clients looking for horses for sale ranging from talented young horses to top of the line FEI horses. If you have a quality horse for sale please don't hesitate to contact me. Also I will be accepting horses in for consignment January 1st.

Chat soon.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday Nov 4th

It is my 13th day here in Germany and I am having a great time. I have learned my way around the autobahn and what 160 kilometers an hour feels like(that was just keeping with the flow of traffic). I also put 10 gallons of gas into the car and paid an amazing $85.... for just 10 gallons. Yikes. I walk every morning from Catherine's house about a mile to the barn. It is very beautiful with all of the trees changing for fall and creating a lovely landscape. Catherine and I and her Uber cute dog Gizzy all go for a 45 minute walk around the forest on our way back to the house in the afternoon. This is great since I am now riding 2 to 3 horses a day down from my normal 8 to 10. Definitely love the exercise.

Wistar is doing great. I am learning some super new tools and Catherine and her staff have been lovely. It is a great operation and I am learning so much everyday. I will get some new video posted soon.

My assistants Paula, Tasha, and groom Alesha are all holding down the fort at Summervale while I am away. We still have some super sale horses in and available. Check out the website for the latest details.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flight To Amsterdam Footage

Well I thought it would be fun to show you what is involved with the flying of a horse to Germany. I have a small little flip video camera that was super easy to pull out and shoot. (Thanks Alex!) It is a bit shaky during take off...dont worry it wasn't nearly as bad as it looks from my video skills. The horses were unsure for about 2 minutes and then all was calm again. Enjoy! Will post again soon! If link doesn't work please copy and paste into your browser.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2010 Grant to Germany. Our trip through Vechta begins!

Hello all,

It has been a while since my last post. I am currently in Vechta, Germany on a training grant that I received from the Dressage Foundation this past January. On Wed October 20th my good friend Johnna Stevens and I drove the 24 hour drive down to LAX where Wistar was to fly out on that Friday. We made great time getting up at 3 am on Wed, arriving in Red Bluff Wed about 4:30 and resting for the evening. The next day we were up again at 2 am for the 12 hour second day drive to LAX where the company, Jet Pets, is located. They were coordinating my 10 hour flight to Amsterdam and then on to Vechta, Germany where another 5 hour transport by truck awaited.

Wistar traveled like the trooper that he is and was bright eyed upon arrival into Catherine Haddad's stable Sat evening the 23rd around 7:00pm. The barn is lovely. The footing and indoor incredible. It has been very informative to watch Catherine work her horses and as of today I received my second lesson. Sunday was a day for some light stretching and yesterday Monday we began with work to lighten the aids for the more cadenced trot and the changes. It was evident that tension was creeping in during the one tempi's and we worked to be able to change the neck before and after the series. This morning Tue we worked together at 6:30 am before Catherine was to depart for a CDI in Lyon, France on her darling horse Winyamaro. Today she had a look at my Piaffe/Passage and we are going to work to get the connection more honest in those movements. I must try to get Wistar to stay up more from the withers and to stay light in the contact without me micro managing so much in the hand. To constantly push the hand forward and see that he seeks the contact and steps further under from behind. Catherine has an incredible eye and was instantly able to key into a plan for us. I hope to post video as we go along so that you can follow in our progress.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Young Horse Championship Finals

HS Wrevolution, ridden by Jennifer Williams finished in 12th position with a 72.1% in this years USEF/Markel FEI 5 year old Young Horse Championships. The pair were among the nations top 15 to qualify and be selected for this years competition held in Wayne, IL this past July.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

National Young Horse Championships

Jennifer and Wrev had a good preliminary test. It was a clean ride with no mistakes, and everyone was very happy. With a score of 7.2, they are currently in 12th place. The Final is on Saturday, and we will have another update then.

Jennifer and Wrev have safely arrived in Lamplight, IL, for the 2010 National Young Horse Championships. Wrev made it through the jog, and they ride their first preliminary test today. We wish the team the best of luck, and will have an update as soon as possible.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Beaujolais was a success for the team's first outing back in Washington. Paula showed Boy Next Door, aka Beau, and won each of her classes with scores between 63%-65%. She also competed on Whrapsody, and placed 2nd in her Training level class on Saturday.

Jennifer took a couple of the youngsters, and it was a great schooling experience for them.

Congratulations to Jennifer and Wrev, they have qualified for the Young Horse Championships! They will be competing at Dressage at Lamplight in Wayne, Illinois July 22-25. We are all so excited for them, and wish them good luck.