Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association

MSEDA Member Spotlight

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 redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.

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  • 07/22/2019 5:22 PM | Anthony Trollope (Administrator)

    Never seen without a smile, incoming MSEDA board member Amelia Jean Foster is passionate about horses, competition, her Thoroughbred stallion—and cooking!

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Amelia became a member of MSEDA in November of 2016—in time to ensure that her November and December Snowbird participation counted toward 2017 awards, she points out! This competitive drive is what eventually led Amelia to the MSEDA board, where she hopes to make an impact in all aspects of MSEDA-sanctioned competitions.

    Currently, Amelia shows in dressage and show jumping, and might try her hand at a few combined tests in 2019. She owns a few horses of her own, but her main competition horse is Ibboyee, a ’07 Thoroughbred stallion. “You’ve probably seen him around the shows and not even known he’s intact!” she says. “He’s a perfect gentleman.”Photo by Carola Hendriks

    All in the Family

    Amelia’s ties with the Thoroughbred industry are deep: Her family breeds racehorses in New York and Ibboyee was produced by her aunt. The big bay did quite well at the track in graded stakes races, running 19 times and winning 7 races. He ran for trainer Todd Pletcher and won over $700,000 during his racing career. To add to his accolades, Ibboyee was the 2009 New York-bred Male of the Year.

    “He was one of my favorite foals, so when he was finished running and I had the opportunity to buy him back in 2012, I leapt at it,” Amelia explains of his transition to a more-Southern lifestyle. “He’s had a great transition to the sporthorse world, winning in in-hand classes, dressage and show jumpers. He’s brought home many year-end awards and championships, and I am so proud of him! We’re hoping to have his first foals on the ground in 2020. He’s available for stud!”

    Photo by Reynolds FosterAmelia loves to compete, so her favorite part of MSEDA are the shows and events. “I feel at home in the saddle and I love the challenge of a dressage test or new course, so the fact the MSEDA puts so much effort into making sure we have quality judges and course designers makes the experience so much more rewarding,” she explains. Another reason she loved the organization? “Definitely the clinics and educational opportunities that are offered all season. This sport is evolving so quickly, it’s great to have access to such knowledgeable individuals who want to see competitors succeed at every level.”

    Taking on a MSEDA Role

    Amelia was approached in 2018 by a MSEDA board member, who mentioned that her name and come up in the nominations. “That was such a compliment and entirely unexpected!” she exclaimed. “So, after some consideration regarding time commitment, I decided to accept the nomination and I was elected in December. I’m an active participant in many of the shows that MSEDA sanctions, so it’s my turn to give back to the organization!”Photo by Suzanne Fischer

    Amelia is looking forward to helping the organization grow during her time on the MSEDA Board. She is also interested in learning more about how MSEDA can support their members so they continue to have fantastic experiences at events. Education is also important to her, and she is looking forward to being able to increase members’ knowledge of the sport as a whole. “Being an active competitor, I’m hoping that members of MSEDA will be comfortable talking to me about their ideas so I can voice their concerns and suggestions to the board.” 

    Amelia is currently co-chair of the Awards Committee and a member of both the Communications Committee and the Rules & Bylaws Committee. “I would love to work toward having the MSEDA membership year and competition year coincide, so dues are paid just as the new competition year is beginning, in the same manner that USEF and the national organizations (USDF, USEA, USHJA, etc.) currently do,” she explains of her goals for her tenure on the board. “I would also like to continue rewarding MSEDA volunteers for their hard work at competitions, providing quality awards for those who put in so many hours!” 

    Photo by Kimberly CorneliusJumping Right In

    One thing Amelia was quick to point out regarding her first few months on the MSEDA board is how every member’s voice matters. “At the first board meeting of 2019, one of the other board members who has been on the board for a while made sure to tell everyone new that we were there for a reason and that they wanted to hear what we had to say--so speak up,” she explained. “I believe the same goes for all MSEDA members. If you have a concern or a question or an idea, or you want more information: ask. We’re here to help!”

     Amelia’s used to manage the inventory control and marketing for a local equine-supply company. Currently she trains horses professionally with her Cannonbrook Farms and manages and rided for a small Thoroughbred and sport horse facility that focuses on rehabilitation for upper-level horses, as well as initial breaking and training for young horses. She also teaches riding lessons and has her stallion, Ibboyee, available for stud. Photo by Libby Ritchie

    Amelia feels that all of her involvement in the horse world will help her assist MSEDA in having a relevant voice and engaging content, which will hopefully translate to an increase in membership and more exciting events for competitors. “Everything in this day and age relates to marketing,” she explains. “Being an active rider and competitor, I can see where MSEDA has the chance improve certain aspects of their competitions to enhance the overall experience for riders and horses.”

    Not A One-trick Pony

    While deeply passionate about horses and competition, Amelia’s interested and talents are vast and varied. One interest most people might be unaware of? Cooking! “I love to cook and I’m working (very slowly) on a cookbook for equestrians,” she says. “We’re all so busy, but we need healthy meals to balance our lifestyle. Meals that don’t take long to cook, or can be made ahead of time and keep well—and that actually taste good, too! Eating the same thing all the time is boring, so I’m constantly inventing something new.”


  • 06/28/2019 10:40 AM | Anthony Trollope (Administrator)

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Wise beyond her years, recent U of L graduate Devon Blandford is looking forward to getting more saddle time with her OTTB Kentwood this summer (read on to find out why she didn’t walk at her graduation!). Deeply passionate about traveling the world and helping others, it should come as no surprise that this inspiring young woman lives by the mantra of being proactive and making things happen. “Life doesn’t just happen to you,” she says.

    MSEDA: Where are you from?

    Devon Blandford: I am from Louisville, Kentucky.

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?

    DB: I grew up riding family members' horses, but didn't start taking lessons until I was 11. 

    MSEDA: Did others in your family ride or how did you get the horsey gene?

    DB: Some of my family members owned a horse farm, so I grew up around them and have always loved them. I grew up riding in my mom's lap before I could even walk.

    MSEDA: Were your parents supportive of riding?

    DB: My parents have always been extremely supportive of my riding. They would drive me out to the barn five days a week when I got my first horse before I could drive. My mom is always up at 4 a.m. with me before horse shows; she helps me braid, clean tack and is always my photographer when I need one. They were even supportive when I told them I was skipping my college graduation to go to a horse show! 

    MSEDA: Did you have to give up other things like sports, prom or other important events to ride? What made you decide to choose horses over the other event(s)?

    DB: I played every sport imaginable growing up, but eventually gave them up after getting my first horse when I was 15. I never really felt like I was missing out [by quitting the other sports] though because riding what was I was really passionate about. 

    I did miss walking at my graduation from the University of Louisville to go to a horse show. I felt like I had missed out on a lot in the horse world while I was in college. I was a full-time student and was working at a hospital, so I had to put riding on the back burner for those four years. It was really an easy decision not to walk at graduation and go to the horse show instead. I felt like I had given up riding for school long enough and not walking across a stage wasn't going to make my achievement any less valid. And at the end of the day, the horse show is where I would rather be! 

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?

    DB: I got my first horse in 2011; he was a chestnut Thoroughbred named Oliver. 

    MSEDA: How did you get Oliver?

    DB: I found him online and begged my parents to take me to go see him and, of course, I fell in love with him. My parents had me wait and look at some other horses first before deciding, but I knew that he was the one for me!

    MSEDA: When did you begin competing?

    DB: I didn't start competing until I was 13 or 14.

    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?

    DB: I own a Thoroughbred gelding named Kentwood. 

    MSEDA: Who do you ride with?

    DB: I ride with Angela Ariatti. I have been with Angela for about 5 years now; she's amazing!

    MSEDA: How did you get him?

    DB: I had to sell my previous horse Oliver. I was heartbroken because he was my first horse and I had a really strong connection with him, but I knew that selling him was the right decision for me to meet my riding goals. I waited about 7 or 8 months before getting a new horse. Angela Ariatti.  and I had our eyes out for horses that would suit me, but I wasn't in a hurry for new one. I was in college at the time and needed something that could adapt to my busy work and school schedule. Angela called me one day and said she had heard about this horse for sale and thought he would be perfect for me. I got Kentwood in October 2016 and we really are a perfect match. I can be a bit of a nervous rider, but I know Kentwood will take care of me! 

    MSEDA: What do you compete Kentwood in?

    DB: We compete in Beginner Novice eventing. 

    MSEDA: How did you choose your discipline?

    DB: My passion has always been for dressage and for the longest time that was really my only interest. Jumping made me nervous, so I had decided that it wasn't going to be for me. I started training with Angela in 2015 and she slowly introduced me to jumping. It didn't take long for me to change my mind and decide that jumping wasn't so bad! It still makes me nervous sometimes, but I love the excitement. 

    MSEDA: Who is one person you would not have met without the horses?

    DB: I have met some of my closest friends through horses! One of my best friends, Anna Hennis, and I ended up at the same barn when we were in high school. We rode together almost every day and even when we both went separate ways with our horses, we stayed close friends.
    Anna is extremely supportive of my riding. I feel so lucky to have a friend who cares just as much about my success and happiness with my horse as her own. Although we became friends through horses, I know I have a friend for life even if horses are ever not in the picture. 

    MSEDA: What have the horses brought you that you are most thankful for?

    DB: Riding horses has taught me to be flexible. I am someone who loves structure and I like for things to be predictable. Especially when I was younger; I would get upset when things didn't go exactly according to plan. I have always had trouble adapting to change. Horses can be unpredictable and inconsistent. What works one day might not work the next day; I could have a great ride one day and work on the exact same thing the next day and it doesn't go so well. I learned to be OK with that. I might have a plan in my head of what I want to work on in my ride before getting on and then get on and the plan has to change. I had to learn to be OK with things not always going according to the plan. This became applicable to so many other areas of my life as well. Oh and it taught me good posture :)  

    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?

    DB: Peppermints! The horse goes crazy for some peppermints. 

    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?

    DB: I don't have any rituals, but I do have a lucky pair of riding socks! 

    MSEDA: What are you planning on doing with your degree?

    DB: I just graduated from the University of Louisville with a biology degree. I am currently applying to programs to become a physician assistant. 

    MSEDA: Do you volunteer with any organizations?

    DB: I have volunteered with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. Their goal is to provide medical services to disadvantaged families around the world. I really love this organization and even traveled with them to Ecuador in the summer of 2017 to help the families living there. 

    MSEDA: What are your favorite riding accomplishments?

    DB: Getting on my 17.2 hand Thoroughbred from the ground after dropping my whip in the woods.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory with your horse?

    DB: My favorite memory with Kentwood is doing the Long Run Hunter Pace. I look forward to it every year. It's something fun and different for both of us! 

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?

    DB: My goal this year is to get out to as many events as possible with Kentwood! Now that I’m finished with school, I plan on taking every opportunity I can to get Kentwood out and about. 

    MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you would give someone, related to anything?

    DB: Something I read one time that really stuck with me was that life doesn't just happen to you. The perfect opportunity doesn't always fall in your lap, so don't sit around wait for it! If you want something, be proactive and make it happen. 

    MSEDA: What would be the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

    DB: I would buy a cozy, secluded house in the mountains where I could ski in the winter and hike in the summer. 

    MSEDA: What is your favorite book?

    DB: The Outsiders. I have read it over 10 times. 

    MSEDA: Do you have other hobbies?

    DB: I love most outdoor activities. I love snow skiing, kayaking, hiking with my dog and swimming. 

    MSEDA: What do you feel makes a horse person “successful?”

    DB: I think that riding horses is all about the little victories. If I end my ride better than it started, that is a success. For me, it’s about continuous self-improvement. If I'm setting realistic goals for myself and put the work in to reach those goals, I am successful. 

    MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words.

    DB: Dig, handsome, kind, lazy, forgiving, brave, level-headed, sometimes grumpy, opinionated, smart.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory?

    DB: Spending the night in the barn as little kid with all of my friends.

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own? 

    DB: I have an Old English Sheepdog/Poodle mix named Lincoln. 

    MSEDA: Is there anything unusual about your horses now?

    DB: For an OTTB, he is incredibly lazy and even tempered. No wonder he didn't make a very good racehorse!  

    MSEDA: What are you passionate about other than horses?

    DB: I am in love with traveling. Since I was 18, I save money throughout the year and every summer I travel somewhere new. So far, I have been to several parts of South America and Africa, and most of Europe. I am in love with exploring new places and learning the history. I also really love languages. I was really quiet and shy when I was younger, and I didn't like to go outside of my comfort zone. Traveling has made me much more outgoing and open to new experiences. 


  • 08/06/2018 9:24 AM | Anonymous

    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 redhorseenterprise@gmail.com

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    A horse lover since she was little, Kristen Brennan finally has her horses in her backyard: Her two Thoroughbreds, Frankie and Marcus, are in good company at Fall Line Farm, with three dogs, a kitten, chickens, ducks and barn cats rounding out the menagerie. Between working full-time and having a brand-new baby, it would be easy to lose focus on riding, but Kristen is not one to let the time get away from her. She’s still focused on competing and enjoying her horses as she learns to juggle her new (full!) schedule.


    Photo by Taylor Pence

    MSEDA: Where are you from?

    Kristen Brennan: Belle Mead, New Jersey

    MSEDA: What brought you here?

    KB: I moved here from Washington state right after graduate school for a job.

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?

    KB: My parents are not horsey and were really nervous about me riding, but I finally wore them down when I was about 11 years old and they signed me up for lessons.

    MSEDA: Did others in your family ride or how did you get the horsey gene?

    KB: Nope, I’m the only one. I’m pretty sure the horsey gene was a mutation.

    MSEDA: Were your parents supportive of riding?

    KB: They let me take lessons as much as they could afford it, which was once a week. They told me to grow up, go to school, get a job, and then I could own a horse. I did that, so they still fully support it to this day. My dad even wired all of the electric in our barn and for our arena and has been known to hold a horse once in a while.

    MSEDA: Did you have to give up other things to ride (sports, proms, etc.)?

    KB: No, because it was never a big part of my life growing up. My parents were very strict about it not becoming my only focus.

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?

    KB: When I finished school and could finally afford it--in my late 20s.

    MSEDA: How did you get this horse?

    KB: I bought him from a local hunter rider and judge.

    MSEDA: When did you begin competing?

    KB: I showed a few times when I was a kid, and then groomed and catch rode sale horses in college, but I didn’t show seriously until I moved here.



    Photo by Xpress Foto

    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?

    KBL I own Moscato aka “Marcus,” a 1999 Thoroughbred gelding and Intuition aka “Frankie” a 2012 Thoroughbred gelding.

    MSEDA: How did you get him them?

    KB: Marcus came from the wonderful Nori Scheffel. I was left completely heartbroken with my first horse and was ready to stop riding. She came up to my trainer at the time and said “Do you know anyone who needs a horse? Because I’ve got one that needs a job.” I ended up leasing him for 7 years and he was purchased last year for me as a birthday gift by my in-laws so I could make it “official” after all that time.

    Frankie we purchased from a local person after about 60 days of training.

    MSEDA: What horses do you compete and what do you compete in?

    KB: I had a baby in March, so this year I have been just focusing on competing Marcus as I learn how to juggle a career, an infant, a farm and riding. We did Beginner Novice coming back this spring and now are back at Novice. Frankie is doing Beginner Novice with a girl whom he adores.

    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?

    KB: 4 years

    MSEDA: How did you come to be an eventer?

    KB: Marcus and I did the hunters until about 4 years ago, when I burned out and took a break. Some friends who evented came to visit for Rolex and told me they thought he would like eventing, and told me I should try it. So, I did. And my trainer, Julie Congleton, told me it was the slowest starter course she’s ever seen (I thought I was flying). I was terrified, but Marcus loved it, so we stuck with it and never looked back. I figure we’ll just have fun, and we never have to do the upper levels and I never have to give up my tailoreds or pearls #hunterhairforlife

    MSEDA: What is your favorite event or horse show? Why?

    KB: I love Midsouth Pony Club Horse Trial and Team Challenge. MPCHT because the courses are fun and the people are wonderful, and Team Challenge because of getting to compete as a team. Last year I had a blast volunteering in the vet box at TC!


    MSEDA: Who is one person you would not have met without the horses?

    KB: There are so many people, I can’t name one. Horses have brought so many wonderful people into my life.

    MSEDA: What have the horses brought you that you are most thankful for?

    KB: Those friends.

    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?

    KB: Peppermints and the occasional quesadilla from an innocent KHP bystander.

    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals? What are they?

    KB: I do have a few. I always wear those above-mentioned pearls that my mom gave me. I also, as silly as it is, always whisper to Marcus before we leave the box “Please take care of me and I promise to do my part to take care of you.”

    MSEDA: What do you do full time?

    KB: I am a research project manager at Alltech, Inc., where I manage research and development programs.

    MSEDA: How did you get into this job?

    KB: I started with them as a post-doc out of graduate school and have been there ever since.

    MSEDA: How long have you been with Alltech?

    KB: 10 years next week.


    MSEDA: What are your favorite riding accomplishments?

    KB: Qualifying for both the AEC and Area 8 Championships last year and competing in the Area 8 Championships with Marcus.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory with your horse(s)?

    KB: I’ve had a lot of great memories, but the best was probably the first day we had them both at home. We worked so hard to buy our farm, and the dream of looking out our back door and seeing Marcus and Frankie finally became a reality.

    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?

    KB: Charles Owen, Tailored Sportman, and anything that holds up to my horses trying to destroy it.

    MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks?

    KB: Marcus is very mouthy and nosey--his stall has what I call the “No Fly Zone” for about a 5-foot radius around it or he will grab anything within reach. He also HATES mums. Won’t go near them, spooks at them, snorts, spins.

    Frankie likes to untie himself from the trailer at horse shows (mostly to wander around and look for snacks) and is super vocal in the barn. He also makes super grumpy faces but it’s all talk because he loves affection.

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?

    KB: To finish the BN3DE at Classique, get back to being solid at Novice, and hopefully complete a Training CT this fall.

    MSEDA: Who do you ride with?

    KB: Julie Congleton (the BEST).

    MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you would give someone, related to anything?

    KB: When in doubt, #letgoandkick



    Photo by Xpress Foto

    MSEDA: What would be the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

    KB: Fill a swimming pool with dollar bills and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck. Then probably build an indoor arena at our farm.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite book?

    KB: All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot.

    MSEDA: Do you have other hobbies? What are they?

    KB: I’m a huge downhill skier, and my husband and I love to travel around the world.

    MSEDA: What do you feel makes a horse person “successful?”

    KB: I think this depends on the person, but mainly setting and meeting goals. I’m not out running a 4-star, but I feel pretty successful as a lower-level, working adult amateur. Also, hard work and humility. I have learned a lot about the latter during my transition to eventing.

    MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words.

    KB: Marcus: Big, furry alligator that hates mums.
    Frankie: Oscar the Grouch crossed with a cuddle bunny.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory?

    KB: Not horse related, but the minute my son Thomas was born.

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?

    KB: We have three dogs named Sammy, Luke and Yoda, a kitten named Squid, plus six chickens, two ducks and three barn cats.

    MSEDA: Is there anything unusual about your horses now?

    KB: Everything. They are both complete weirdos in their own ways.

    MSEDA: Do you have active roles in horse-related organizations?

    KB: I am currently the VP of the Masterson Equestrian Trust and on the education committee for MSEDA.

  • 07/03/2018 1:58 PM | Anonymous

    Each issue, MSEDA will highlight a member who is active in the organization to give other members a peek into their horse-loving lives, as well as find out what they do when they are not in the barn or arena. Interested in being featured? Email Sarah at redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.


    Photo by Megan Moore

    A Normal, IL, transplant (yes it’s a real town!), Lauren Buhrmann came to college in the Bluegrass and simply never went home. Now working full-time for the Kentucky Horse Council, she is loving her horse-related job, bringing a horse up the levels from scratch and finding strength in unusual places.

    MSEDA: Where are you from?
    Lauren Buhrmann: Normal, IL. And yes it’s a very normal town.

    MSEDA: How did you end up in Kentucky?
    LB: I came down to go to college at Georgetown College and just never left.

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
    LB: I had my first official riding lesson when I was 6.

    MSEDA: Did others in your family ride? How did you get the horsey gene?
    LB: I have cousins and an aunt that ride, so I caught the bug a little bit from them.

    MSEDA: Were your parents supportive of riding?
    LB: In the beginning I’m not sure they realized what they were getting themselves into, but almost 20 years later, they love it! They’re the most supportive parents and the best pit crew at horse shows.

    MSEDA: Did you have to give up other things to ride (sports, proms, etc.)?
    LB: I didn’t have to per say, but I definitely did. I didn’t walk at my high school graduation because May-Daze Horse Trials were that weekend--but it was an easy choice to make.

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
    LB: I got my first horse when I was 8.

    MSEDA: How did you get him?
    LB: He was my birthday present!

    MSEDA: When did you begin competing?
    LB: I think I did my first horse show right before I turned 7.

    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
    LB: I just own one horse now, Webb (show name Currahee). He prefers to be an only child.

    MSEDA: How did you get him?
    LB: My trainer Megan Moore sourced him from Ireland for me.

    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
    LB: I’ve been a member since 2016.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite event or horse show and why?
    LB: I love Team Challenge! Getting to show on a team with your friends and dressing up is always a blast! And we always do a little potluck so there’s always GREAT food!

    MSEDA: Who is one person you would not have met without the horses?
    LB: All of my barn family.

    MSEDA: What have the horses brought you that you are most thankful for?
    LB: Humility. Horses keep you humble, as does eventing. You learn to take the highs with grace as they are not here to stay, and you learn to grow and better yourself from the blows.

    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?
    LB: Animal crackers.

    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?
    LB: Not really, I always feel that you make your own luck in this world. I do always give Webb a big pat before we go in the ring, though!

    MSEDA: What do you do full time?
    LB: I work for the Kentucky Horse Council. I love it! I get the best of both worlds: the stability of an office job, but with a horsey twist.

    Photo by Joe Burhmann

    MSEDA: What is your specialty?
    LB: Organization.  My OCD has its pluses sometimes.

    MSEDA: How did you get into your role with the Kentucky Horse Council?
    LB: One of my best friends worked in the same office suite for a different organization, so when she told me about the job opening, I applied.

    MSEDA: How long have you been with the KHC?
    LB: I’ve been here just over 2 years.

    MSEDA: What are your favorite riding accomplishments?
    LB: Winning the Area 8 Championships last year was an absolute dream come true! Almost a year later, I’m still slightly in shock! And completing our first Prelim in June was amazing!

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory with your horse?
    LB: The whole process of getting to break Webb was out of this world.  Getting to take all the baby steps together is so much fun, and makes doing all the big stuff now even more special.

    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    LB: I love Horze breeches!

    MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks?
    LB: He’s scared of ribbons--big bad event horse! LOL

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
    LB: We accomplished one of our goals already: Doing our first Prelim. This fall we’ll do our first real dressage show!

    MSEDA: Who do you ride with?
    LB: Megan Moore at Team CEO Eventing.

    Photo by JJ Sillman

    MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you would give someone, related to anything?
    LB: Enjoy life. It’s the only one we get. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day bustle, so just taking a moment to breathe and enjoy this wonderful life we have is huge.

    MSEDA: What would be the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
    LB: Pay down my debt--what a terribly boring adult answer.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite book?                  
    LB: Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose

    MSEDA: Do you have other hobbies? What are they?
    LB: I’ve taken up running this year. I also love reading.

    MSEDA: What do you feel makes a horse person “successful?”
    LB: Strength. Not just physical, but emotionally, mentally.  It’s a hard world to make it in.

    MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words.
    LB: Chubby bunny cuddle buddy.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory?
    LB: Completing my first event! I was hooked after that. 

    MSEDA: Is there anything unusual about your horses now?
    LB: He’s very touchy. With people and horses alike. It’s so sweet and I love that about him. 

    MSEDA: What are you passionate about other than horses?
    LB: Yoga.  I tried yoga on a whim with Megan and I loved it.  I loved the journey and the strength it gives me both on and off the mat. 
  • 06/04/2018 8:51 PM | Anonymous

    Each issue, MSEDA will highlight a member who is active in the organization to give other members a peek into their horse-loving lives, as well as find out what they do when they are not in the barn or arena. Interested in being featured? Email Sarah at redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.

    Megan Northrop, an Oldham County native, is constantly on the go. With multiple full-time jobs, 5.5 horses, 19 dogs (yes, you read BOTH of those numbers correctly—anyone looking for a sweet Black Lab?) and a really nice little mare (the duo won the AECs in the Novice division last year), Megan has completely immersed herself in the horse world. While excited to see where her horses are going, she is quick to remember who helped her along the way and tells MSEDA why she thinks the best instructors in the country are right here in the MidSouth Area.


    Image provided by Megan Northrop. Photo by Sportfot.

    MSEDA: Where are you from?
    Megan Northrop: I am from Kentucky; I’ve lived in all parts of Oldham County my entire life.

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
    MN: I have had a passion for horses since I could talk my mother said--I didn’t grow up in a horsey family, so I guess it was I was just “born” with it! My mom let me start taking riding lessons from a friend when I was about 7 or 8 … when I continued to want to pursue riding, she took me out to her cousin’s farm (Madelyn Jacobs). Madelyn introduced me to eventing and I bought my first horse from her when I was 11.

    MSEDA: Were your parents supportive of riding?
    MN: My mother was supportive, but my Dad was there for everything: lessons, horse shows, barn cleaning, EVERYTHING! He was the best horse show Dad ever!

    MSEDA: Did you have to give up other things to ride?
    MN: By the time I was in high school, I was completely immersed in my training and competing two horses at the Training/Prelim level … there was no time at all for other sports.

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
    MN: I got my first horse at age 11. He was owned by a man who boarded him at my cousin’s farm. He did not like men and whenever the guy would come to ride him, he wouldn’t be caught. He loved me and I was the only one who could catch him in the field. The horses name was Ribbons--he was a Heinz 57, probably some type of draft/Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred cross.

    I competed him through the Training Level. He was a good teacher, but I had to ride him pretty hard or he would stop at the jumps. He taught me to ride tough!

    MSEDA: When did you begin competing?
    MNL My first shows I did at age 11 with my Ribbons - we would go to the hunter shows they had at Tom Sawyer Park--those were fun! I did my first event on him at Pre-Training Level (Novice) at High Meadows in Illinois at age 12 and we won--guess it was beginners luck!

    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
    MN: I have 5 1/2 horses right now. I own two Thoroughbreds that I reschooled off the track and I primarily foxhunt them. I own a small Canadian Sport Horse mare I bought as a youngster out of Canada as a re-sale project. She recently won her Novice Division at the American Eventing Championship in Tryon last fall. She’s pretty super--I moved her up to Training Level this spring and she is doing great. She will be for sale in July.  My daughter has a very spoiled retired foxhunting pony and also her current event horse that is an OTTB.  We also have a Miniature Pony that is a companion to her (did I mention very spoiled) retired pony=the mini counts as the 1/2 horse. We keep them all at our farm in Crestwood.  

    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
    MN: I’ve been a member as long as I can remember!  At least since I was a teenager, so like 30 years on and off? I have seen it change names a few times, as well.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite event or horse show? Why?
    MN: Oh gosh there are so many! I think it must be Flying Cross Horse Trials. What a great venue that is! Alan Northcutt is so generous to continue to support our sport with his awesome farm and I just love Mary Lowery--she was my eventing coach when I was in high school and she did a lot for me!

    I have always loved River Glenn Horse Trials and have been going there since I was a teenager. We have recently fallen in love with South Farm Horse Trials--it’s pretty awesome!

    MSEDA: Who is one person you would not have met without the horses?
    MN: My husband--I guess that’s pretty important!

    MSEDA: What have the horses brought you that you are most thankful for?
    MN: A life full of wonderful challenges and education, and so much Joy … they are my heart animal for sure.  

    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?
    MN: I don’t think I have good luck rituals, but I am definitely a bit superstitious … I do knock on wood a lot and I try not to jinx myself by saying things before they happen.

    MSEDA: What do you do full time? Do you enjoy it?
    MN: I have about five full-time jobs ….  there are not enough hours in the day for all my full-time jobs.

    MSEDA: What is your specialty?
    MN: I am a jack of all trades … I move about 90 miles per hour all the time just to get things done… With the horses, I love re-schooling them off the track. I feel like I do a pretty good job at getting them started, assessing them and getting them into the discipline that best suits them. I really love doing that even more than competing.

    MSEDA: What are your favorite riding accomplishments?
    MN: I would say completing an original long format Preliminary 3-day event on an OTTB that I reschooled in my early 20s … that was a great goal to accomplish.

    The other one was winning my Novice Division at the American Eventing Championship in Tryon on my mare last fall. I still can’t believe we won … I really just can’t believe all the cards lined up perfectly for us that weekend. That was amazing. 

    Image provided by Megan Northrop

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory with your horse(s)?
    MN: A really special memory I have is when my cousin and my Dad surprised me with a horse that I tried in England when I was 16 — I thought we weren’t going to get him because he had had been unable to pass a pre-purchase exam. They secretly imported him and when I drove up at the barn the afternoon that he arrived from quarantine, there he was looking out the stall at me. I literally jumped out of the truck before I even put it in park (that’s another story in itself!). He was such a super horse and I competed him through Prelim when I was in high school.  

    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    MN: Well, I am not so much into branding, but I like to purchase things that work and that are quality. A few things I have always liked are Wolff brand galloping boots . Ariat is a great product no matter what they make--and I LOVE my Bobby’s Hunt Bridle!

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
    MN: My goal with my little horse this year is to have her win some nice ribbons at the Training level. We are currently in "show jumping boot camp” as that is our weakest phase. Then I hope to sell her to a wonderful person and purchase a larger horse that I can work with that my daughter can compete in a couple years.

    MSEDA: Who do you ride with?
    MN: I primarily train with Martha Lambert, but I love taking lessons and clinics from a variety of people. There are so many professionals in our area who have been so generous to me and jumped in to help me when I needed it; they have help me warm up, walk courses and just be there for support. We have THE best instructors in the country right here in the Mid-South Area.  

    MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you would give someone, related to anything?
    MN: Surround yourself with quality people, trainers and horses. Don’t buy cheap stuff and don’t waste your time or energy or risk being hurt with dangerous or untrainable horses--there are too many nice ones out there.  

    For teenagers, my best advise besides that is:
     1. Join Pony Club and stay in until you get you’re A--it will be an amazing accomplishment  
    2. Be a working student for someone. It’s the hardest work you will ever do, but the best education you will ever have both for your riding and as a person. I was a working student for Denny Emerson for the summer between my junior and senior year in high school; then went back after high school to work for 6 months … OMG that was hard work and long days, but well worth the effort for someone who really wants to be successful.  
    Oh, and practice Dressage. The key to any successful rider is good and correct dressage training.

    MSEDA: What would be the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
    MN: I would buy a huge farm in Oldham County and build a first-class training facility to board horses with awesome resources for caring for the horses, awesome help and awesome turnout!  

    MSEDA: What is your favorite book?
    MN: I don’t have time to read, but when I do, I don’t like to waste time reading fiction. I love learning things, so I always pick an article or book that I can learn something from--obviously usually about horses!

    MSEDA: Do you have other hobbies? What are they?
    MN: I can’t think of anything I enjoy that doesn’t involve horses … is that bad? I do like hunting, mostly foxhunting, but I guess that is a horse sport also…

    MSEDA: What do you feel makes a horse person “successful?”
    MN: You have to LOVE horses, then pour your heart and soul into them. It has to be your passion;  something you live and breathe.

    MSEDA: Which phase of eventing do you like the best?
    MN:  I LOVE dressage. I was always that odd event rider who loved dressage. Eventers usually try to “get thru the dressage phase” to move on to the fun jumping phases, but I have always LOVED dressage!  But it’s the XC that keeps us eventing. I mean is there anything more exhilarating and fun that a great XC run! I do hate Show Jumping…

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
    MN: We have six dogs (in addition to currently owning 13 Black Lab puppies--anyone looking for a Black Lab puppy??), three cats, two goats and a sugar glider.  The snakes have all escaped their cages and we can’t seem to keep fish alive for more than a week, so we have given up on those.  

    MSEDA: What are you passionate about other than horses?
    MN: What I enjoy most right now is watching my daughter be as passionate about this sport of eventing as I have been. That excites me. I am not sure if that passion for horses is a gift or a curse, but either way it’s not something we can control, it’s just something we have. As much as I love training and riding, I love watching her ride even more.  She’s pretty special.  

  • 05/02/2018 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    Each issue, MSEDA will highlight a member who is active in the organization to give other members a peek into their horse-loving lives, as well as find out what they do when they are not in the barn or arena. Interested in being featured? Email Sarah at redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.



    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Like many Kentucky transplants, Stephanie Calendrillo came to the Bluegrass state for school, but fell in love with the area and simply couldn't leave. 

    A rider and trainer who is the owner of Graystone Stable in Georgetown, Stephanie is passionate about all things Thoroughbred: She has her sights set on the Retired Racehorse Project's 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover in the fall with her OTTB Robbins. Placing young horses into great homes is Stephanie's specialty. 

    Read on to learn more about Stephanie, Graystone Stable and just how quirky her personal horses are. 


    MSEDA: Where are you from and what brought you to Kentucky?
    Stephanie Calendrillo: Plainsboro, NJ. I came here for college; I graduated from UK in Animal Science -Equine.

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
    SC: When I was 6 years old; I got my first horse when I was 7 or 8.

    MSEDA: Did others in your family ride or how did you get the horsey gene?
    SC: My mother grew up on a chicken farm and always wanted a horse, but her mother wouldn’t allow it--when I was old enough, she bought a horse for the family. 

    MSEDA: Were your parents supportive of riding?
    SC: Very--my mom still enjoys a ride!

    MSEDA: Did you have to give up other things to ride (sports, school dances, etc.)?
    SC: I personally did not. I rode, played basketball, ran track and went to school. 

     MSEDA: How did you get your first horse?
    SC: My parents bought us a 2-year-old OTTB (LOL).  I learned to canter/jump on her and still have the very old mare, Chauncey, to date.

    MSEDA: When did you begin competing?
    SC: I started competing in jumpers when I was 10 or 11.  


    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
    SC: Too many... 6 right now! My main horses that are not sale horses are Chauncey; Night Watch, a dark bay OTTB who is 13; Pepper, a 6-year-old OTTB chestnut mare that was Shawn's horse (my fiancée who passed); and Robbins, my Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover horse for this year, he’s a 4-year-old, dark bay OTTB. All of them were acquired from the racetrack.

     MSEDA: What horses do you compete (and what do you compete in?)
    SC: Night Watch (“Nico”) has been retired from eventing and is now competing in dressage; Pepper just started her career in eventing; and Robbins will start eventing soon.

     MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
    SC: Just this year! I had a couple injuries/issues the past few years. 

    MSEDA: What is your favorite event or horse show and why?
    SC: Oh gosh... anything Thoroughbred-related, really. I am looking forward to the Makeover because it has such a good mission! 

    MSEDA: Who is one person you would not have met without the horses?
    SC: Shawn Lee, my fiancée and boyfriend of nine years. We met at a boarding farm when I was right out of school. We bonded over our love for horses. 


    MSEDA: What horse are you most thankful for? 
    SC: Honestly, I am thankful for each of them. Each horse is different and every horse teaches you something new; you can never stop learning. But I am really glad I bought Pepper for Shawn, who later became Shawn’s therapy horse during his cancer struggle. 

    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?
    SC: All the things! 

    MSEDA: What do you do full time? Do you enjoy it?
    SC: I run Graystone Stable (in Georgetown, KY) and I love it. I have always loved bringing up young OTTBs and competing or finding them their forever homes. 

    MSEDA: What is your specialty? 
    SC: Training/restarting the young horse.

    MSEDA: How did you get into this job?
    SC: I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated college, but I knew I loved horses. With not much money, I decided to start a boarding/training facility and with a ton of long days and a ton of luck it panned out!

    MSEDA: How long have you been doing this?
    SC: I have been riding and training for 20-some years; I have had Graystone Stable for nine years.

    MSEDA: What are your favorite riding accomplishments?
    SC: Every young horse placed in a great home in an accomplishment for me!

    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    SC: SmartPak, Absorbine and Devoucoux

    MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks?
    SC: Nico enjoys being smacked in the face frequently He also will buck/rear before all phases of eventing, causing giant scenes--once he’s in the arena rides like a pro!

     MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
    SC: RRP Makeover 2018!!

    MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you would give someone, related to anything?
    SC: If you want something bad enough and put in the work, you can achieve it.

    MSEDA: What would be the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
    SC: Make sure my daughter is set for life!

    MSEDA: What is your favorite book?
    SC: All the books! I love to read.

    MSEDA: Do you have other hobbies? What are they?
    SC: Can I say wine? 

    MSEDA: What do you feel makes a horse person “successful?”
    SC: You must have extreme patience and the ability to always learn something new because you’re never done with horses.

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
    SC: A mini donkey named Flower, a goat named Bud, two dogs and two barn kitties.

  • 03/28/2018 10:31 AM | Anonymous

    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 redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    A dedicated horsewoman who deeply loves her horses, Deanna Craychee carries pieces of her horses with her whenever she competes her mare Tisiphone. Though the duo’s path has not always been smooth, Deanna credits Julie Congleton of Heronwood Farm for her success with the mare both in the show ring and at home. Read on to learn more about the best advice Deanna has received—that doesn’t apply solely to horses.

    MSEDA: Where are you from and what brought you to Kentucky?Deanna Craychee: I am from Elgin, Illinois, and I came to the University of Kentucky for their equine program. I had always loved Kentucky from childhood vacations.

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
    DC: I started riding and showing western at age 10; I started riding English at 16 while working part-time at a hunter/jumper barn on weekends...so I’ve been competing now for 39 years!

    MSEDA: What was the first horse you owned?
    DC: I got my first horse Bankshot, an OTTB when I was 22. I had him for 24 years until he passed at 28. My second horse was sweet Sidney, another OTTB. I had him for 13 years; he passed at 19 years old.

    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
    DC: Three years.

    MSEDA: What horses do you own?
    DC: I have a 13-year-old Thoroughbred that never raced: Tisiphone.

    MSEDA: In what do you compete her?
    DC: I compete her in beginner novice in eventing novice and first-level dressage.

    MSEDA: How did you get your mare?
    DC: She was given to me by a former employer.

    MSEDA: What are her favorite treats?
    DC: Smarties!

    MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words or less.
    DC: Opinionated, feisty, firecracker, princess, diva, fancy, spoiled.

    MSEDA: What is your goal for 2018?
    DC: Have fun stay relaxed!



    Photo by I've Got Your Picture

    MSEDA: What is your favorite accomplishment with Tisiphone?
    DC: Competing a novice event; many people told me to get a different horse because we had some difficulty early in her training.

    MSEDA: Do you have any other horses?
    DC: I also have a 10-year-old OTTB named Sasueno aka awesome sauce. We're still getting to know each other and forgetting the racetrack. He's a big, strong dude with a mind of his own, but he moves nicely and is tough. I got him from Nori Scheffel and Brittany Corbett at Scheffelridge Farm in Paris.

    MSEDA: With whom do you ride?
    DC: I ride with Julie Congleton at Heronwood Farm--she is responsible for how far Tisiphone and I have come together.

    MSEDA: Where do you keep your horses?
    DC: I have a 13-acre farm in Scott County.

    MSEDA: Do you have any other animals?
    DC: I have cats, dogs, donkeys, mini horses, chickens and a peacock.

    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?
    DC: For good luck I have a belt that has braids from my first two horses inlaid in the leather.

    MSEDA: What was the best advice you’ve received?
    DC: “You gotta be tough if you're going to be stupid.” This applies to life, not just horses.
  • 03/01/2018 10:35 AM | Anonymous

    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 redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    MSEDA runs like a well-oiled machine with the help of scores of volunteers, a passionate and involved board of directors, and many people who pull behind-the-scenes duty to ensure members are informed and organized. Paris resident Chelsea Smith runs the MSEDA website, as well as helps with social media and other communications details. Operating her own communications company for the past two years, she’s found her niche in helping horse people stay on task with websites, social media and marketing.

    Learn a bit about how a stick-horse race got her hooked on riding, what her “type” of horse is and why winning isn’t everything.

    MSEDA: Where are you from?
    Chelsea Smith: Paducah, KY

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
    CS: I started riding when I was around 6 years old. We had a stick horse race for Derby Day in first grade and I was given a voucher for a free riding lesson … and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    MSEDA: What is your background in horses?
    CS: I started riding Saddleseat when I was 6 years old and then expanded to riding several different breeds and disciplines, including Morgans, Quarter Horses, Welsh Ponies--you name it, I rode it.

    MSEDA: How long have you been competing?
    CS: I started going to horse shows when I was very young. I started competing in eventing when I joined Pony Club. I think was around 14 or 15, so about 13 years ago. 

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
    CS: I was 13 when I got my first horse, Kenya Beat That, or Kenya as I called him. He was a scraggly OTTB who had been retired from William Woods University’s Equine Program.


    Bourbon Chase. Photo by JJ Sillman.

    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
    CS: I own two OTTBs named Bourbon Chase, “Brew,” and Just Jeeves, barn named “Jeeves.”

    MSEDA: How did you get your geldings?
    CS: I purchased Brew from Ellen Murphy in 2014. I adopted Jeeves from New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program in 2016.

    MSEDA: What horses do you compete (and what do you compete in?)
    CS: I currently compete Brew in eventing.

    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
    CS: I’m honestly not sure. During my teenage years, I was a member for a few years and then I’ve been a member since 2015 I believe.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite event or horse show and why?
    CS: Team Challenge is always super fun. I love all of the camaraderie of the teams and the fun costumes.


    Just Jeeves

    MSEDA: What level do you compete?
    CS: I compete Brew in eventing at the Novice Level. Jeeves hasn’t really made his debut yet. I am hoping to get him out this year to do Starter at a Combined Test or Schooling Horse Trial.

    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?
    CS: Jeeves LOVES peppermints! He lives for them. Brew loves the German Horse Muffins.

    MSEDA: What do you do full-time? Do you enjoy it?
    CS: I own my own website and marketing firm called Smith Equine Media, LLC. I have many clients in the horse industry, ranging from professional athletes to entertainers to equine membership organizations. I spent most of my time creating social media posts or designing and updating website. I designed and manage the MSEDA website.

    MSEDA: How did you get into this job?
    CS: I’ve always been a computer nerd, and throughout my college career and afterward, I did a few internships that helped develop my marketing and communications skills. I worked for several well-known equine organizations while I started to grow my business. One day it just got to where I had too much of my own stuff to do, so I started my business and I’ve never looked back.

    MSEDA: How long have you been doing this?
    CS: I officially started my business on my birthday--April 4, 2016. I went full-time with it on September 1, 2016.



    Bourbon Chase. Photo by JJ Sillman

    MSEDA: What are your favorite riding accomplishments?
    CS: Honestly, I’ve never really been a winner. I don’t come in the top five often. I guess finishing 3rd at Spring Bay Horse Trials last year was pretty cool. I also had a job riding horses for the Kentucky Horse Park Breeds Barn and that was a neat experience. And, in 2016 I had the opportunity to ride in a clinic with Mary King which was incredible and something I thought I would never get to do.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory with your horse(s)?
    CS: Before I purchased Brew from Ellen Murphy, I was riding him at Heronwood to help Ellen get some miles on him before he was to be put on the market. I had ridden him maybe three times before we decided to pack up and head to a schooling show at Ballyhigh Show Stables. I signed up for some crossrail classes and they went surprisingly well. So, then I got a little crazy and signed up for a 2-foot class (remember this horse has never ever jumped and barely steers). I went into the ring and made it all the way around. He was SO good. I couldn’t believe it.

    I walked out of the ring to find Ellen Murphy and Mandy Weissmann absolutely cracking up because neither one of them thought I would survive. It was hysterical! On the way home that day, I decided that I couldn’t live without him and had to have him. I made a decision I will never regret. He has a heart of gold.

    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    CS: I’ve ridden in Irideon breeches for YEARS! I also really like my OneK helmets. Very comfortable.

    MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks?
    CS: Brew isn’t quirky at all. He’s like a super-chill, Quarter Horse-type. Jeeves is a weirdo. He’s always getting into things and making a racket. Every morning and afternoon when he sees me walk out the back door, he yells across the field. You know, in case I forget to feed him.

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
    CS: I’m not sure what my goal will be for 2018. We will be moving to Raleigh, NC, this summer and my horses will be boarded. I would love to get Jeeves doing schooling shows at Starter and get Brew out at a few horse trials doing Beginner Novice or Novice.

    MSEDA: With whom do you ride?
    CS: Marty Whitehouse Riney


    Just Jeeves. Photo by Xpress Foto.

    MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse?
    CS: Brew has been very straightforward, however, I participated in a clinic that scared him last year and I’ve been working hard to build his confidence again. Jeeves has had quite a bit of time off because he has horrible feet. I've had to be incredibly patient with him and it seems to have paid off. We'll see.

    MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words.
    Brew is sweet, handsome and someone you’d Netflix and chill with.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory?
    CS: Growing up, I was lucky because my riding instructor would pick a group of us up after school and we’d spend all afternoon at the barn. I learned a lot just by goofing off and trail riding all over the county with my friends on horses of all breeds and backgrounds. I wish every horsey kid had that opportunity.

    Photo by Makenzie Lynn Photography

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
    CS: I have three Italian Greyhounds named Zero, Jack and Baloo, and a bearded dragon with no name.

    MSEDA: Is there anything unusual about your horses now?
    CS: They’re absolutely obsessed with each other. They also look a bit similar. I guess I have a type.

    MSEDA: Do you have active roles in horse-related organizations?
    CS: Not currently on any boards, but I help manage websites and social media accounts for several through my business.

    MSEDA: What are you passionate about other than horses?
    CS: I love these weird cat-like dogs that I have. Italian Greyhounds are so fun and they’re super cuddly. I’m also passionate about diet and exercise. I love to run and lift weights.

    MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you wish you had when you were younger?
    CS: BE YOURSELF. Seriously. You don’t have to fit in. You don’t have to do what everyone else does. It’s totally fine to be the weird horse girl. If you haven’t already found your tribe, you will someday.

  • 02/02/2018 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    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 redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Photo by Dory L Tuohey

    After choosing riding as a career because it was the job (of five!) that kept her busiest after college, Nikki Jewell has spent her life in the hunter, jumper, dressage and eventing worlds in Kentucky and Illinois. Since relocating to the Bluegrass in 2015 and founding Hidden Gem Equine, Nikki is enjoying her 2017 Retired Racehorse Project competition mount, Love You Mon, a narcoleptic, slightly crabby gelding by Monarchos.

    MSEDA: Where are you from? 

    Nikki Jewell: Northern Illinois

    MSEDA: What brought you here?
    NJ: I went to school at the University of Louisville and had family and friends in Kentucky. I was at a crossroads and it was a good time to relocate. 

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding? 
    NJ: My parents gave me a five-pack of riding lessons through the Park district when I was 5. 

    MSEDA: What is your background in horses?
    NJ: I did grassroots hunters and eventing as a kid, retrained OTTBs to pay for college and worked at an event barn in college. After college, I started managing a large facility in Illinois and then started working for an A circuit hunter/jumper trainer at that barn. Eventually I opened my own hunter/jumper business. After 15 years of that, I moved to Kentucky and found my way back to eventing, which I loved as a kid. I now own Hidden Gem Equine.

    MSEDA: How long have you been competing? 
    NJ: 40 years.

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
    NJ: When I was 12. My parents couldn’t pay board, so when we moved to a place where I could have one in my backyard, I was able to get a horse!


    MSEDA: What horses do you own now? 
    NJ: I have an OTTB that I did in the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover in 2017 named Love You Mon. 

    MSEDA: How did you get him?
    NJ: I bought him from his race owner.

    MSEDA: Do you compete him?
    NJ: My horse is still very green, so I’m not really competing myself right now. I coach my clients in eventing, all levels of H/J shows and dressage shows. 

    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
    NJ: Three years.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite event or horse show? Why?
    NJ: I love River Glen for the mountains and the laid-back atmosphere. I also love Dunnabeck Horse Trials in Southern Illinois for the laid-back and old-fashioned feel of the competition. They do a great job with their course. 

    MSEDA: What is your horse’s favorite treats?
    NJ: Hay cubes.

    MSEDA: What do you do full-time? Do you enjoy it? 
    NJ: I train horses and clients. I split my time between Illinois and Kentucky, coach at shows and teach clinics. I love the process of training and managing a horse, and the improvement that horses and riders make. 

    MSEDA: How did you get into this job?
    NJ: I had five jobs when I graduated college and training got the busiest, so I stayed with it. 

    MSEDA: How long have you been doing this?
    NJ: I’ve been a professional for 28 years. 

    MSEDA: What are your favorite riding accomplishments?
    NJ:

    • Riding in the Chicago Hunter Derby

    • Wins in the First Years

    • Winning Novice at Catalpa on a client’s green horse

    • Competing in the RRP Makeover

    • The first time a young horse picks up the correct lead

    • The first course a horse does, the first good transition

    • The first lateral movement

    • So much more

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory with your horse?
    NJ: Every day I see him and say “hi” to him. 

    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    NJ: Tredstep breeches, Ariat boots, Vespucci bridles, Erreplus saddles (I’m saving up for one), Rambo blankets…

    MSEDA: What are your horse’s quirks? 
    NJ: He’s narcoleptic, and he’s super crabby getting groomed and tacked. 

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
    NJ: To teach my horse to jump and do some extreme trail riding with him.

    MSEDA: Who do you ride with? 
    NJ: I don’t get to take lessons myself very much. I love to clinic with Geoff Teal. I’d like to do some eventing and dressage clinics. 

    MSEDA: ​What is your favorite clinic you’ve taken part in?
    NJ: Geoff Teal is wonderful. Laura Kraut was also one of the best I did. She really understood the horse. 

    MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse? 
    NJ: He tried to amputate his right hind twice last year. It’s been a long road of rehab. 

    MSEA: Describe your horse in 10 words.
    NJ: Confident in himself, crabby, particular, food motivated and paddock ambassador. 

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own? 
    NJ: I have 5 dogs. 

    MSEDA: Do you have active roles in horse-related organizations? 
    NJ: I am on the board of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). 

    MSEA: What are you passionate about other than horses? 
    NJ: Yoga, my dogs and healthy, sustainable living without chemicals. 

    MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you wish you had when you were younger?
    NJ: Don’t be afraid to go for what you want not what others want.  
  • 11/29/2017 12:57 PM | Anonymous

    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 redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Lisa Dean Fine Art Photography

    As happens to so many passionate equestrians, life forced Jeri Fuller-Matheny to take almost a decade off from the horses and the show ring. While she was unable to control the circumstances that caused her break from the ring, as soon as she was able, she returned to competition with a vengeance on self-made horses she has campaigned up the ranks. Now a USDF Bronze medalist and a “r” eventing TD, Jeri owns and operates Winy Ridge Farm, where she and husband Andy rehabilitate sport horses of all breeds in a family atmosphere.

    MSEDA: Where are you from?
    Jeri Fuller-Matheny: Central Ohio


    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
    JFM: I grew up riding Quarter Horses in western pleasure, halter, hunt seat equitation and the lower levels of dressage. I don't remember initially learning to ride. My youngest memories always involved horses. I don't believe one ever stops learning “how to ride.” It's one of the reasons I love this profession so much. Every horse, every rider brings new opportunities for growth and learning. 


    MSEDA: What is your background in horses?
    JFM: My Dad was a former bareback bronc rider and my Mom was a leader with the local 4-H horse clubs who taught riding lessons at the family’s Johnstown, OH, farm. I moved to Shelby County, KY, while still in high school, when my Mom remarried.

    I was absolutely astounded watching the 1984 Olympics on television. It was my first introduction into the world of three-day eventing and I was hooked! So, upon moving to Kentucky, we purchased my first OTTB, event horse to-be, Timshol. Less than a year later, the picnic table mysteriously went missing from the yard. I mean, I needed "something" to jump, right? So, mother decided perhaps some formal jumping lessons were in order. I began eventing in 1986, and have competed thru the international one-star level. Timshol was my first self-made, one-star horse. Since then, I have trained with many former and current Olympic and World Equestrian Games medalists and pass on my expertise to horses and students of all levels. Most recent years, I have trained with Linda Zang, Alex Domingez and Kim Herslow for dressage and Peter Atkins for jumping coaching.


    MSEDA: At what level do you compete?
    JFM: I have competed and trained at the FEI levels in both dressage and eventing on several self-made horses.


    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
    WM: My current main horses are Master Oliver, an OTTB, and the Hanoverian dressage mare Whimzical Princess.


    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?
    WM: Master Oliver LOVES Honey Nut Cheerios cereal and Whim will knock you over for a peppermint. 


    MSEDA: What are some of your accomplishments?
    JFM: I earned my USDF Bronze Medal in 2013 with Whimzical. Princess who also holds the title of 2013, 2014, and 2016 USDF Region 2 Sport Horse Mare Champion.

    Lisa Dean Fine Art Photography


    MSEDA: How did you get your horses?
    JFM: I am slowly merging into the world of dressage with Whim. One of 13 horses we currently have, I acquired Whim because she wasn't supposed to even be sound enough to be a broodmare. She was supposed to have been put down, as advised by more than just a vet or two.
    At just 8 months old, she jumped a four-board fence, breaking her hip and pelvis. Her breeder/owner was professional golfer Donna Andrews from North Carolina, who insisted on giving her a chance. I LOVE a challenge and being an underdog myself, Whim and I are a match. She is now 16 years old. I was offered the ride on her as a green 9-year-old who spent most of her life turned out. Whim is currently schooling PSG with me and has never had an unsound step. 


    MSEDA: What is your favorite event?
    JFM: It's hard to choose just one favorite event, as the eventing community is so supportive and encouraging of one another. I love them all, especially the fall events, where everyone seems more relaxed and the weather is perfect.
    I can easily say my favorite dressage show is Dressage at Devon, a dream come true for me to have attended the last two years. There is something so nostalgic about stepping onto the show grounds at Devon. It's like stepping back in time and the management is fantastic. 


    MSEDA: What are your goals for the coming year?
    JFM: Each year brings new aspirations and dreams. I have always been very goal oriented and 2018 is no exception. With enough support, Whim and I will go down centerline at PSG and earn our USDF silver medal scores. Master Oliver will continue teaching our youth to jump with confidence and may hit a few combined tests at Intermediate or dressage at 3rd. level. I have a handful of green event horses we are prepping to sell in the months to come.


    MSEDA: What do you do full-time?
    WM I own and operate Wind Ridge Farm, LLC in Campbellsburg, KY, located between Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, OH.
    MSEDA: What did you do before you bought your farm?
    JFM: I hold a B.S. in Political Science with a minor in History. Prior to starting my family, I worked as a veterinary technician for several Kentucky-area equine veterinarians.


    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    WM: I, like many others, have a few select brands I LOVE and believe in. So much so, I have become a dealer, or try to help market them in one way or another. Puritan Premium Equine Bedding Crumbles, UVEX helmets and gloves, HALO Joint Supplement, Kentucky Horse Jumps, ProElite Equine Feeds, Devoucoux Harmony Dressage saddle-OH MY GOSH!!! The most comfortable saddle I have ever sat in and very important for those of us humans with joint problems.

    Lisa Dean Fine Art Photography

    MSEDA: What obstacles have you had to overcome with your horses?
    JFM: There are several obstacles we all have overcome as riders and in our personal lives. My biggest was compounded in a matter of a few short years. I had just lost my mare, Euroaquillo to a brain aneurism. A mare labeled with being crazy and having a screw loose, I was able to take her out of an elevator bit and into a soft rubber dog bone, and from Novice eventing to Preliminary in just under a year, when no one else wanted to touch her.
    My mare and my dreams were once again gone. A couple of years earlier, Timshol had suffered a career-ending injury at the AHSA Olympic Field Trials in Georgia. Then, in 2008, I moved my grandmother in with me to live out the remaining months of her life after a terminal cancer diagnosis. This, on top of having taken 7 years off from competing to care for my son, born right after the first plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11/01 with a bone marrow disorder and being told he probably wouldn't make it to age 5.

    I held my grandmother's hand while she passed into heaven that April and then held my husband's hand while he was diagnosed with terminal cancer that September. He passed a year and a half later in 2010 just before the World Equestrian Games (WEG). Volunteering at WEG rekindled those dusty dreams and reminded me I had two young people to live for and new goals waiting in the shadows. 
    The return to riding became my therapy. I had two children, a large farm and several young pasture ornaments to face every day.
    I have since remarried to the one who brought laughter back into our hearts and who pushes me every day to remain focused. Andy is my cowboy husband turned dressage/eventing/equestrian supporter who has taken over showing Whim in hand. His long legs enable him to run her so much better than I could. If he could sport his black felt hat in the show ring, he'd be happy!


    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
    JFM: Our farm is a bit of a zoo, filled with several animals that otherwise would've likely died. Two orphaned calves, Gabe and Lilly Moo, both spent their first week of life being bottle fed in our kitchen. Gabe required braces, which Andy made, to correct contracted tendons. We have a couple of parrots, and of course the typical dogs, cats, and an orphaned fawn that took up residence on the farm and comes and goes as she pleases.
    MSEDA: Do you hold any positions on local equine organizations?
    JFM:I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Dressage Association, the Louisville Dressage Society and as the Region 2 USDF Group Member Organization Representative. In 2011, I became a licensed Eventing Technical Delegate with the USEF.


    MSEDA: What else would MSEDA members be interested in knowing about you?
    JFM: I am married to my favorite farrier, Andy, and together we have four children; Riley, Gretchen, Colbi and Grant. Together, Andy and I enjoy rehabilitating sporthorses of all breeds at Wind Ridge Farm LLC. I especially love the occasional post-op patient and helping to rehab sports injuries with our wonderful team of professionals who regularly provide massage, chiropractic, laser and acupuncture to aid in the healing process. We are a semi-private farm, a boutique-style barn, and work hard to provide specialized attention in a family atmosphere.


    MSEDA: What advice would you give others?
    JFM: If I had it all to over again, there isn't much I would change. Every challenge, decisions both good and bad, every setback and every person who tells you that you will never achieve your goals … it makes you who you are. We can choose to be happy in the most adverse conditions. It IS a choice. Some view themselves as a victim, others choose to be a victor. Don't EVER give up!

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Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

MSEDA’s mission is to promote and preserve the sports of Eventing and Dressage in the Mid-South area, by providing leadership and education to its members and the community at large. To further these goals, MSEDA will provide educational opportunities, fair and safe competitions, promote the welfare of the horse and rider and reward the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the FEI level.



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