Each issue, MSEDA will highlight a member who is active in the organization to give other members a peek into their horse-loving lives. Interested in being featured? Email Sarah at email@example.com.
By Sarah E. Coleman
Fate brought Dory Tuohey and “Coal,” a Pinto/Oldenburg cross together, and diligent work with trainer Nikki Jewell has made them a perfect match. Having taught the gelding to jump, Dory looks forward to completing a few events this year, around her competitive jiu-jitsu schedule. Read on to learn about Dory’s professional and equestrian careers.
MSEDA: Where are you from?
Dory Tuohey: Wheeling IL
MSEDA: What brought you here?
DT: My trainer, Nikki Jewell, moved to Kentucky two years ago. I've been bringing my horse down for the winters to give him a break from the snow and let him have some amazing Bluegrass turnout.
MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
DT: I started riding 10 years ago.
MSEDA: What is your background in horses?
DT: My grandma had a horse as a kid ... If I could catch him, I could ride him. :-) I also did some trail riding whenever possible.
MSEDA: How long have you been competing?
DT: My first show was a small hunter/jumper show 7 years ago.
MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
DT: 2.5 years ago
MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
DT: I own the same horse I first bought; he’s an 11-year-old Pinto/Oldenburg cross that didn't start jumping until the year I bought him.
MSEDA: How did you get him?
DT: His previous owner contacted my trainer to see if she knew anyone looking for a horse. As my trainer was telling me about him, I pulled up the ad online that I was going to show her. It was the same horse!
MSEDA: Do you compete your horse?
DT: I do compete my horse. His name is Coal, though we call him Pinto most of the time. He is a cross-country machine so I switched from hunters to eventing.
MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
DT: Since last year.
MSEDA: What is your favorite event? Why?
DT: I love Rolex of course. Cross-country day is so amazing to watch.
MSEDA: What level do you compete in (if you compete)?
DT: I compete in beginner novice.
MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?
DT: He's a Hoover. He loves everything!
MSEDA: What is your favorite show and why?
DT: Coal was green when I got him even though he was not young. We've also has some injuries along the way, so our start in showing had been slow. Things are really coming together now and we went to the Masterson Equestrian Trust hunter/jumper show at Masterson Station Park. Coal and I really connected in the jumper ring as a team. It was so fun! Next up is River Glen in Tennessee.
MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals? If so, what are they?
DT: Yes! I tell him, "be good for me please."
MSEDA: What do you do full-time? Do you enjoy it?
DT: I am a photographer. I mostly shoot weddings, but of course equestrian sessions and families as well. I am my own boss and I love it!
MSEDA: How did you get into this job?
DT: It sort of feel in my lap. I've always loved taking photos. My first paid job was actually for two ladies who trail ride with their horses. I saw some jumping lessons at their barn and signed up for a lesson that day.
MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
DT: I am in love with my De La Coeur bonnet. Tailored Sportsman breeches are also my favorite. And my Devoucoux saddle.
MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks?
DT: Ha!! Is there a word limit? Just kidding. When I first bought him, he traveled up and down, and sideways. He only occasionally throws that in now and again. But he is a completely different horse since I've had him.
MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
DT: I would love to successfully complete a few events.
MSEDA: Who do you ride with?
DT: Nikki Jewell of Hidden Gem Equine
MSEDA: Where do you ride?
DT: Top Venture Farm in Nicholasville, currently. We travel a lot.
MSEDA: What is your favorite part of your barn/trainer/boarding stable?
DT: I've been with Nikki for 8 years. She can take the quirkiest horses and bring out the amazing in them. She can also talk you off the ledge. Top Venture is also amazing. It's a small barn owned by Sarah Berkowitz. She's such a cool person and takes amazing care of the horses.
MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse?
DT: Fear. I fell last year and had an injury that kept me from riding for about 6 months. I developed a great fear of getting hurt after that. That's where my trainer came in. Not sure how she did it, but she got us back in the game together.
MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words.
DT: Quirky. Handsome. Athletic. Sensitive. Sweet. Hungry. Herdbound. Friendly. Traveler. Mine.
MSEDA: What is your favorite memory?
DT: The first time he nickered at me.
MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
DT: I have 2 cats.
MSEDA: Do you have active roles in horse-related organizations?
DT: I handle the awards for the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA).
MSEDA: What are you passionate about other than horses?
DT: Jiu-jitsu! I train 5 and 6 days a week, and also compete.
MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you wish you had when you were younger?
DT: Horses are expensive!!