Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Golden Getaway

Clearly 2 busy weeks of showing at Sonoma Horse Park was not enough, we just had to go out for more!  In our mind, shows are like potato chips, you can’t stick to just one (or 2, or 3, or 4….).  We decided to make a weekend getaway over to Sacramento for Rudy Leone’s beautiful Golden State Horse Show.  Off we went with Peter and Nickel in tow for the $25,000 Jennifer Marlborough Memorial Grand Prix.  It was a beautiful weekend, the sun was shining, but not too hot, the grass field was perfect for jumping on and the competition was fierce.  Our boys, still new to their partnership with FCF Pro Chelsea, showed everyone yet again how wonderful they are.  It was another tough course, this time set by 1996 Olympic designer Linda Allen.  Once again, fence heights towered up to a 1.50m and widths over 2m, but it was not an issue for our powerhouse boys.  First went Peter, who bounded over the rails with room to spare, only meeting with a little trouble when they came in a bit too fast for a very tight combination.   Peter’s solid effort landed him in 10th place, a great result in a competitive class.  Nickel was up next, learning from the mistake with Peter, they slowed their pace and were rewarded with a flawless clean round.  Yay!  The jump-off was an exciting one, with round after round clocking in faster than the previous.  Last to go: Nickel and Chelsea were met with some hard luck and what can sometimes happen after a busy day jumping on grass: torn up turf.  When making the 2nd to last turn, Nickel’s left hind hoof caught in a hole, causing a massive slip and majorly lost time.  They were able to regain composure however, battle on and finish in 5th place!!  The ultimate competitor, Nickel never gives up, what an amazing horse he is.  After the class, we quickly loaded up and hit the road back home.  A great end to a great day.  This gypsy-like life is a busy one, but we wouldn’t trade it for a thing!  Coming up next on the FCF calender: Beach Party June 6-9 and Sonoma June 12-16, let us know if you'd like to attend!

P.S. A quick little thank you to Katie Janousek and George for their help over the weekend in getting our 2 boys ready and warmed-up for their classes.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sonoma Week 2 (HMI Equestrian Challenge)

Ok, again I’m a little delayed in getting this out but yet again: better late than never right??  Here’s the full review of Sonoma Week 2 other wise known as HMI Equestrian Challenge.

The first few days, also called the “Open Days” went very smoothly for our FCF Professionals.  This week was a little busier than the last, but we managed to keep the show horses, as well as our regular home schedule, going without too many hiccups.  Newsflash stepped up to the 3’ Schooling hunters this week, with beautiful rounds and top ribbons.  Boardwalk and Journey joined our hunter roster for the week, this being Boardwalk’s first time ever in the hunter ring.  Our former jumper showed he loved his new job and put in solid ribbon-winning rounds and Journey, ever the showman, was the winner of every single class and the Championship in the Small Hunter division.  Good boys!  Our jumpers were not to be out-done of course: Nickel, Peter and Coppacabana all put up clean round efforts in the GP ring, with Nickel coming out on top as winner in the highly competitive 1.40m class on Thursday.
Coppacabana and Shallin Ris

 The weekend brought on an even busier schedule as the Jr/Am classes got started up in both arenas.  This week, Emma Price was joined by Claire Daniels over in the Pre-Childrens hunters.  The girls rode beautifully, improving each round and being rewarded with top scores and ribbons. The girls even gave them the 1-2 punch in the Equitation on the flat, with Claire emerging as winner and Emma following hot on her heels in 2nd.  Our girls definitely showed us how it’s done!  Putting in some blue-ribbon winning trips of her own was little miss Lila Gamble and her adorable pony, Bonjour.  Lila started her year with several wins and a Reserve Championship in the Short Stirrup 10 and under.  Showing off her new-found skills at lead changes, Lila proved that a move up to the medium pony division is not too far away for her.  Sharon Mackenzie also put in beautiful rounds in the hunter ring, starting in the Low Adult Am hunters and ending the week in the 3’ Adult Am hunters.  A long-time goal of Sharon’s has been to move up to this division and we are so proud to say mission accomplished!  Over in the jumpers, Phoenix Williams and Annmarie Mede were having some fun of their own.  This week was Phoenix’s 2nd time showing the in the jumper divisions and she made it look as if she’d been doing it all along!  Her and Flying Solo literally flew around the ring to their first ever jumper-ring win and the Reserve Championship in the 0.70m jumpers.  Way to go Phoenix!  For Annmarie, this was the start to her show year, and her and Shamus looked as if they’d never missed a beat.  They clocked around the 0.95m and 1.00m jumpers putting in clean round after clean round and receiving ribbon after ribbon. So fun!

Weekend fun continued over in the GP ring for Nickel, Peter and Coppacabana.  Last week, Shallin Ris had the opportunity to ride the beautiful Coppacabana, and since it was so successful, we continued that partnership this week!  The duo tried their hand at the 1.15m early in the week with fantastic results and on the weekend, decided to make a go of some prize-money.  Sticking with the $1,500 Child/AA Classic, they put in a beautiful double clean effort and were rewarded with a 4th place finish, 1 placing higher than the previous week!  Nice work!  The highlight event: the $25,000 CVC Shavings Grand Prix proved to be quite a course set by designer Jerry Dougherty.  With fences clocking in at 1.50m in height and over 2m in width, it was an impressive class.  Our boys, Nickel and Peter, put in valiant efforts, especially since neither had been in CA for even a month yet, but a clean round to secure a jump-off eluded them.  Still, since the class was won by a single clear, Peter’s solid round left him in 6th and Nickel just out of the ribbons.  They are such fantastic horses and we are so lucky to have them.
Peter (Charmeur Van De Begijnakker)

Nickel de Marsey

 It was an incredible 2 weeks at Sonoma Horse Park.  Thank you to all our customers, grooms, show managers, show crew and most of all, our horses for making it a wonderful experience.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Horse and Hound (Sonoma Week 1)

Better late than never right?  This blog was supposed to have been written last week but... it never quite made it on screen.  My bad!  But here it is now: Rewind to Week 1!

This week was show full of "firsts" in many ways.  Not only did we have lots of winners and Champions, but we had "first times" in the jumper ring, "first shows" for new partnerships, and "first times" in new divisions.  We also had a new shipment of sales horses arrive from Mexico to top it all off!

Let's start in the jumper ring, where 2 of our "firsts" occurred.  Horse and Hound was the debut of Phoenix Williams and her boy Flying Solo in the jumper ring, and what a great debut they had.  Never missing a beat, the duo flew around to top ribbons in the 0.70m and 0.80m jumpers.  Nicely done Phoenix!  Our 2nd "first" was the pairing of Shallin Ris and one of our newly arrived sales horses, Coppacabana.  Their first ride together was tuesday, and by sunday they were 5th in the $1,500 Child/AA Classic!  I'd say this was the start of something special, but that's just my humble opinion!  Check out one of their rides, and remember, this wonderful girl is for sale (the horse, not Shallin)
Another new sales horse, Nickel, joined Peter on the FCF Grand Prix roster.  The chestnut twosome held down 2 top 12 placings in the Equine Insurance Grand Prix with FCF pro Chelsea Jones.  Not bad for 2 horses that have each been in CA for less than a month!!  Lastly (but definitely not least) Lynne Lancaster enjoyed a "first" of her own.  After several months of campaigning, we are happy to announce that Lynne and her girl Cielo have officially been named to the 2013 Norcal 1.10m Spruce Meadows team!!!  We are so proud of you, Lynne and wish you and Cielo the best of luck at Spruce Meadows!!!
Nickel de Marsey going clean in the Grand Prix

Now on to the Hunters:  Another first, actually 2 firsts, happened for Miss Emma Price and her handsome boy Newsflash.  Not only was it her first show with Newsflash, but her first show on a horse, having made the move from the pony ring.  Newsflash started the week by winning 3 classes and the Reserve Championship in the Training Hunters with Chelsea, and ended the week with top ribbons with Emma in the Pre-Childrens hunters.  The first show for this duo was a success, and we can't wait to see what the future has in store for this team!  Ann Kottler's Scotch and Soda joined in on the the fun in the Beginning Hunters, winning all the over fences and placing 2nd in the under saddle, leaving him Champion of the division.  We just love this horse. Finally, Mystery Date, our 4 yr old wonder girl (left for dead in a field, rescued, rehabbed and re-training to be a hunter/jumper) made her debut in the hunter ring with Debbie Van Horn.  Showing what an angel she is, she quietly jumped around the Cross-rail division in a fashion belying her age.  So sweet.

Now, on a side note, we have one last topic to mention: sales!  We had 4 new arrivals from Mexico: Nickel, Coppacabana, Chipre, and D'artagnan.  Now we've talked about Nickel and Coppacabana, but let's chat about D'artagnan.  He's 7, 16.2hh, Argentinian and very cool.  Great technique, big stride and bold attitude make him an ideal young jumper/possible equitation horse.  Videos to follow shortly.  I'd like to talk about Chipre, but too late, he's sold!  This week was a good one for our sales business, 3 horses went to new homes and happy new owners.  Congratulations to Ronnie Freeman on the purchase of Chipre and Diesel, and congratulations to Diane Yeager and Shannon Jones on the purchase of Chicago 83.  Ok all, look forward to a new blog about week 2 in a few days!
Good Luck in your new home, Chicago!