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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  • 11/29/2016 9:10 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: Where are you from?
    Kassandra Hickey: Alberta, Canada. My father’s employment brought us here.

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
    KH: As soon as I could walk I was on top of a horse!

    MSEDA: How long have you been competing?
    KH: 9 years

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
    KH: When I was 5.

    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
    KH: I currently own all Thoroughbreds.

    MSEDA: How did you get him/her?
    KH: They are all off the track.

    MSEDA:  What horses do you compete (and what do you compete in?)
    KH: I ride Hidden Glitter in the hunter/jumpers, Bubblin Brew in hunters and dressage, and Nacho Man in eventing.

    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
    KH: Two years.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite event? Why?
    KH: I love Jump Start Horse Trials--the atmosphere is always so friendly and inviting.

    MSEDA: What level do you compete?
    KH: I ride Nacho Man in Novice.

    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?
    KH: Green peppermints!

    MSEDA: What is your favorite show? Why?
    KH: I enjoy competing at River Glen Horse Trials. It’s always a tough competition!

    MSEDA: What do you?
    KH: I currently attend Otterbein University and am studying equine business management. I love the hands-on experience there.

    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    KH: HKM Lauria Garrelli line and Equine Couture

    MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks?
    KH: During feeding he sticks his tongue out and shakes his head “yes!”

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
    KH: To have consistent scores in Novice as we've just moved up.

    MSEDA:  Who do you ride with?
    KH: Jeri Matheny

    MSEDA: Where do you ride?
    KH: Wind Ridge Farm out of Campbellsburg, KY

    MSEDA: What is your favorite part of your barn/trainer/boarding stable?
    KH: She's made me part of her family and welcomed me with open arms. She is a very patient teacher!

    MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse?
    KH: It's hard to pick just one as he wasn't able to jump through a grid without having a mental breakdown and stay relaxed in the dressage ring!

    MSEDA:  Describe your horse in 10 words.
    KH: Physically and emotionally sensitive with the heart of a lion.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory?
    Skipping my senior prom and going to Ocala, Fla., and being a groom to my trainer.

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
    A dog and a cat.

  • 11/02/2016 9:28 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 passionate proponent of equestrian endeavors, Megan Carr can be seen throughout the state at events and dressage shows of every caliber. Heavily involved in multiple state and regional associations, Carr gives back in every way she can to the horses and the people who love them. Read on to find out how she fits it all in!

    MSEDA: Where are you from?
    Megan Carr: I was born in Chicago but raised in Lexington, Ky.

    MSEDA: What brought you here?
    MC: My father got a job offer up here when we were living in South Florida in 1988. The horses moved up here before we did!

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding? 
    MC: In the womb! My mother was a dressage rider. I also took my first “formal” lesson when I was 4 with Julie Congleton, who at the time was at Midway College. It was on a really cool HUGE grey horse named Wexford. He as so cool.

    Mom (Laura) and Sister (Katie), Benjamin aka No Worries and I at Training Championships, Greater Dayton. 5th place. 1998

    MSEDA: How long have you been competing?
    MC: Although I have not competed much in recent years, I showed a lot when I was younger. I started in leadline, then moved to Pony Club and then competed several horses at Training Level and one in JYOP.

    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member? 
    MC: My family and I have been members of MSEDA since we moved here in the early 90s.

    MSEDA: You have a very active role in the eventing community here in Kentucky -- can you tell me a bit about it?
    MC: I am a Licensed MSEDA Dressage and Eventing Judge. I officiate at about 12-20 shows each year. I am also a MSEDA board member, on the Education committee and chair of the Rules and Bylaws committee.  I also serve on the board of Louisville Dressage Association, am the state rep for the Western Dressage Association of America and run the vet box at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. I try to volunteer at local shows when I am not officiating. I am also excited to start Part 1 of the USDF L judges program late this year and hope to finish it early next year.

    MSEDA: How did you become interested in these roles?
    MC: I know this sounds cheesy, but I really just have a huge passion for this sport. It has given both myself and my family many amazing memories (and a few memories by father calls “a good learning experience!”). While I am too busy to compete (and having physical issues), I tried to think up ways that I could keep in the eventing/dressage community without being a rider, so I started the MSEDA judges program in 2008 and finished in 2010. Judging expanded my knowledge of the sport and also expanded my opportunities, including a role on the board of Kentucky Dressage Association (membership chair) and roles with MSEDA, Louisville Dressage Society, Rolex Kentucky and WDAA.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite event? Why?
    MC: Although it is a lot of hard work, I would have to say Rolex Kentucky.  I started out roping the galloping lanes when I was 5 and have volunteered there ever since. I have worked with awards, in control with Nigel and Allie Casserley, and have been running the vet box since 2011. Over the years, I have gathered a great core crew of amazing volunteers to help everything run as smoothly as possible!

    PC Lisa Dean/L to R: Tammy Makela, Jeri Matheny, Laura Corsentino, Emily Macauley, myself, Stephanie Roethke and Shannon Riley.

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?

    MC: I got my first pony, Hokey Pokey, for my sixth birthday. She was a little brat, but really taught me how to ride and the value of patience J

    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
    MC: I currently only have one horse, Jonathan, who also goes by With Ease. He is retired and living with Cyndi, Nicholas and Michael Greathouse, who have become family through our shared love of this special horse.

    MSEDA: How did you get Jonathan?
    MC: Jonathan was a Christmas present from a family friend, Kathy Anderson, DVM. I had leased his brother, Benjamin (aka No Worries) from her after he had gone to DeBroke Prelim Championships with Amanda Warrington. Benjamin and I competed through Training level eventing and were placed 11th with USCTA in the Jr Training Division. We retired Benjamin early and Kathy gave me Jonathan for Christmas my junior year of high school. Jonathan and I went up to Prelim and qualified for the CCI* (long format back in 2003) and got invited to DeBroke Championships (AEC’s predecessor). We also focused a lot on dressage and were schooling 4th level.

    MSEDA: What are Jonathan’s favorite treats?
    MC: McDonald’s French fries, doughnuts and potato chips. He really is a junk food junkie, but he’s only allowed to have them on special occasions!

    MSEDA: What do you do full time? Do you enjoy it?
    MC:  I work at a structural engineering firm in Louisville, Ky. I have been here since I graduated from University of Louisville. I really do enjoy my job and luckily it allows me to be as active as I am in the horse community, also.

    MSEDA: How did you get into this job?

    MC: I met my boss’s wife while we both were riding at Stone Place Stables in Prospect, Ky. She fell in love with my Jonathan and ended up half leasing him from me while I was busy with school. We have been best friends ever since. It is amazing how many great people this have come into my life because of this special horse.

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
    MC: My goal is to finish the USDF “L” Program Part 1 in 2017 and to learn as much as I can from it.  I am really excited to get the opportunity to do this awesome program, which is the USDF Learner Judges program that covers all aspects dressage.

    MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words. Horse of a lifetime.  Although we may have never made it to Rolex, this horse was the first one that I was able to work with for an extended period of time (I leased a lot before landing him), train myself from the ground up, and then he, in turn, has taught more than half a dozen kids the ropes of eventing and dressage. His brother (No Worries) really taught me to ride, and now, he is honoring his brother by doing the same.

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
    MC: I have one dog. She is a 10-year-old red and white female Basenji named Urbi (Or-bee). She is still full of spunk and on occasions, attends horse shows with me.

  • 07/28/2016 12:22 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

    Vanessa Coleman, Director of Competition for Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI), the entity that hosts the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, has been passionate about horses since she first moved to the Bluegrass at 4 years old. After dabbling in the hunters as a child, she began eventing, and has been enjoying it ever since. The ability to combine her passion for the sport with her unique role at EEI has made Vanessa even more appreciative of everything that goes into producing the only four-star event in North America.

    MSEDA: Where are you from? If you're not from KY, what brought you here?
    VC: I was born in St. Louis, MO and my father’s work brought us to Lexington. I moved away during college, but returned to the area in 2008.


    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?

    VC: When I was 4, after we moved to Georgetown.

    MSEDA: How long have you been competing?

    VC: I started competing a bit in hunters, then switched to eventing when I was about 11 or 12.


    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?

    VC: The first horse I owned was a Welsh Pony named Clancy, whom I got when I was 11.


    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?

    VC: I own Lily, a 19-year-old OTTB that is retired and Rooster (Arcturus) a 9-year-old OTTB that I would like to event more if I could find the time!


    MSEDA: How did you get Rooster?

    VC: I was casually looking for a new horse and a client of Jim Graham’s had a few for sale—Rooster being one of them. She had gotten him directly off the track a few months prior to our introduction.

    MSEDA: Where do you ride?

    VC: Rooster lives at Antebellum Farm. It is super convenient to work and home, and I really enjoy everyone there. 


    MSEDA: Do you and Rooster compete?
    VC: I have only managed to compete him a few times, but I hope that changes soon!

    MSEDA: What is your goal this year?

    VC: To ride as much as possible!

    MSEDA: What is your favorite show? Why?
    VC: Rolex Kentucky is my favorite show!

    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals? If so, what are they?

    VC: I used to have lucky boot socks but I lost them!

    MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks?

    VC: He is a goofball and loves attention. When I got him, he was indifferent to everything and everyone, and did not really engage. Now, he has more personality than he probably needs and is a joy to work with. He knows I keep a treat or two in my pocket, so he is always checking it out. One odd thing he does is in the wash rack he loves to have me spray the concrete while he licks it! Ironically, it seems that almost every picture I take of Rooster his tongue is sticking out!


     MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse?

     VC: His tension.

    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats? 

    VC: Carrots and Mrs. Pastures Cookies.


    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
    VC: I became a member right after moving back to Kentucky in 2008/2009.


    MSEDA: You work with EEI, the entity that hosts Rolex. How long have you been with this organization?

    I was a volunteer from the mid-1980s until 2008.  In late 2008, Jane Atkinson asked me to help out in the office through the event and I have been here ever since.  I have held a few different positions: Director of Ticketing, Director of Development and now Director of Competition.


    MSEDA: What does that entail?

    As Director of Competition, I am responsible for and oversee everything related to the competition including: the budget; hiring all officials, veterinarians, contractors, announcers and seasonal staff; oversight of all competition pieces, including the horse inspection, dressage, cross-country, show jumping, awards, etc.; all paperwork with governing bodies; processing all entries; coordinating international entries and isolation barn; all competition items in the official event program; all volunteers; scheduling, scoring and results; credentialing; necessary equipment; and lots more!

    There is a lot to my job, but there is no way I could do it without the AMAZING team of staff and volunteers who do their parts so very well and with unending dedication!  It is next to impossible to truly express how much EEI and I appreciate what they give to this event!


    MSEDA: What changes have you seen as Rolex has evolved?  

    VC: There have been so many changes over the years!  The most obvious are not just Rolex Kentucky-related. The sport has changed and is still changing; WEG 2010 brought a tremendous change to and awareness of the Kentucky Horse Park. With technological advancements and social media, we now have the ability to engage a vast number of people for a fraction of the cost for more-traditional advertising.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite part of your job?

    VC: I enjoy almost every aspect of my job, but there is no feeling that can compare to the first horse starting and finishing on cross-country--and then the excitement on Sunday when the last horse jumps and the winner is known! 

    MSEDA: What is the hardest part of your job?

    VC: Staying organized!

    MSEDA: Is it hard to balance your role with EEI and riding?

    VC: It is quite difficult from January through mid-May. There aren’t enough hours in the day to answer all of the emails and keep up with the daily tasks, and then have time to ride. I suppose there would be time if I didn’t sleep at all!


    MSEDA: Do you have kids? Do they ride?

    VC: I have a 21-year-old daughter named Alexa. She rode some when she was younger, but doesn’t anymore, which is too bad--she has a real natural talent!


    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?

    VC: Lily the 19-year-old OTTB; Sammy, a 14-year-old Jack Russell; and Abby, a 9- or 10-year-old Black Lab. I just recently lost Scotty, who was my daughter’s pony--he was somewhere in his 30s and we had him for 15 years. I also lost Karalaika, retired event horse Thoroughbred/Trakehner who was one month shy of 31 when he died--I had him for almost 28 years.

  • 06/20/2016 9:46 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

    Where are you from?

    I was born in Dearborn, MI, and I grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI.  I attended Hope College in Holland, MI and studied French at University of Grenoble, France. I also have an MBA.


    What brought you to Kentucky?

    I was a Kmart General Manager for 20 years and I moved 12 times in 20 years, so every time that I moved, I had a new horse experience. I was downsized in 1994 and then became Festival Coordinator for the United States Pony Club.

    What do you do full time? Do you enjoy it? 

    For my full-time job, I am a financial advisor for Cetera Financial Specialists. I have an office in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., and I am licensed in 15 states.

    What other activities do you enjoy?
    In the past, I played violin in symphony orchestras and quartets. I have also had art exhibited at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

    When did you begin riding? 

    I started taking lessons when I was 6 years old, but I had been crawling on every horse I saw since I was a toddler. I began with western lessons for 3 years, then switched to English.

    In the past, I rode hunter/jumpers, did a 50-mile endurance race, exercised racing Arabian horses, rode in the hills of West Virginia, trained in dressage with Teri Foley, Carol Grant and Theo Wilkinson, and helped on a Clydesdale breeding operation.

    How long have you been a MSEDA member?

    I have been a MSEDA member for over 15 years and am a past member of the Board of Directors

    You’re a Technical Delegate (TD) for the United States Equestrian Federation. In which disciplines?

    I am a USEF Technical Delegate in:

    Eventing "r"

    Dressage "R"

    Vaulting "r"

    I am a FEI Level 1 Steward in:  Eventing, Dressage, Vaulting and Reining

    How did you become interested in that role?
    After I became Chief of Fence Judges for Rolex Lexington Three-Day Event CCI ****, I was looking for a way to help the sport. With my management background, being a Technical Delegate seemed to fit. My last store I managed for Kmart was $15 million in volume and I had 250 employees and 18 managers.

    What does being a TD entail?
    A TD helps the organizers, the competitors and the judges with rule interpretation, but our main role is to protect the horse and help keep a level playing field. A TD also promotes safety at horse shows.

    You are heavily involved in helping multiple horse trials and shows. Can you tell us what your role at these events entail?
    I coordinate volunteers (jump judges, communicators, stopping stewards and interior crossing guards) for 8 and or 9 horse trials, and one dressage show, a year--this includes the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI**** . I was also a Chief Fence Judge for the 1987 Pan Am Games and  coordinated for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. I fence judged at Rolex for many years and became Chief of Fence Judges in 1992.

    What other horse-related endeavors have you been involved in?

    I have been President of the Kentucky Horse Council and Area Steward for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

    Do you own a horse?
    My horse foundered from the Cushings, and Dr. Ric Redden saved him. “Be Tough Willie” taught the vets that little veins  and arteries can regrow in the hoof wall capsule, so he was in Dr. Redden's lectures to veterinarians and farriers for many years.

  • 04/25/2016 8:56 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

    Photo by Lesleyward.com

    Where are you from?
    Kent, Washington

    What brought you here? 

    My husband, Remi Bellocq’s, job. We moved here from Southern California in 2001 when he took a job as the executive director of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time, with a 2-1/2-year-old son.

    When did you begin riding?
    When I was 6. I never had my own horse until I was 12, when I could pay for it myself from babysitting money.

    When did you get your first horse? 

    When I was 12. It was my 4-H leader's daughter's old show horse, a "Quarab" (although we didn't call them that at the time), named Mi Misty Dawn. She was a dapple grey mare.

    How long have you been competing?  

    Since I was 12, at little 4-H shows. I completed mostly western, bareback, trail. etc. Then after high school, I didn't ride for about 20 years. I got back into it in my late 30s in Kentucky by taking weekly lessons on school horses, then in 2011, I leased and evented a Quarter Horse. Next I leased and evented an Irish Sport Horse for two years, and decided to finally get my own.

    What horses do you own now?
    I own a 5-year-old, bay OTTB gelding named Be More Bullish. I adopted him in October of 2014. He’s a super sweet boy!!

    How did you get him?
    Through New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. My husband really admires what they do and has wanted us to adopt an OTTB for years, but I never wanted to, thinking they were all too wild for me. But then we found "Beau.” He's perfect.

    What horses do you compete and what do you compete in?
    I event, but my horse is also suited to the hunters. I've taken him to a few dressage shows, and he's done well for a greenie, and a hunter show or two, and he does well there, too. I like to mix it up.

    How long have you been a MSEDA member?

    Since 2011

    Photo by Lesleyward.com

    What level do you compete in (if you compete)?
    Starter / Green horse / Training dressage

    What are your horse's favorite treats?
    Carrots. It took him forever to eat treats, but he finally caved on carrots. He still doesn't like mints or apples—he just spits them out.

    What is your favorite show and why?
    I’ve only done a few shows, so I can't say I have a favorite yet. I guess any where I'm not super nervous (which is none).

    Do you have any good luck rituals?
    I try to remember my husband's advice he got from an old racehorse trainer: "Don't lose your head, 'cause your a** is sure to follow.” Sage advice.

    What are your goals for this year?

    Maybe do a one-day event, a couple more hunter shows, the New Vocations / TIP show in the fall, a hunter pace, a combined test, maybe a show at KHP.

    Who do you ride with?
    Lynn Miles

    Where do you ride?
    I board at Bittersweet Acres Farm in Lexington. It's multidisciplinary, so I always have a riding friend or two, no matter what we're doing.

    What is your favorite part of your barn/trainer/boarding stable?
    Bittersweet is in close proximity to my house and I have awesome fellow boarders. It’s low stress and not competitive; the farm owners are wonderful, and it’s close to both Masterson Station Park and the Kentucky Horse Park.  

    What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse?
    My horse popped a splint last year right as we were gearing up for show season. That sidelined us for weeks, a lot more than I hoped, but in the end it was for the best. I just took it slow with him and it's paid off.

    Describe your horse in 10 words.
    Shiny, handsome, baby, fast-learner, athletic, opinionated, mellow, lazy, pleaser.

    What other animals do you own?
    I have a 16-year-old beagle mix.

    What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    Irideon, Kerrits and Ariat

    Do you have a job outside of the horses? Do you enjoy it?
    I'm the office manager at an acupuncture clinic in Lexington (for people, not animals). I really enjoy it; I work three days a week, so that leaves more time for the barn (plus I get free acupuncture).

    How did you get into this job?
    I wanted something part-time. I was actually a patient at the clinic two years before working there.

  • 04/07/2016 8:20 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

    Photo by Xpress FotoPhoto by Xpress Foto

    Where are you from?
    I am originally from St. Matthews, Ky (aka Louisville). My family moved to Shelbyville, Ky., when I was 7.

     When did you begin riding?
    I began riding with my twin sister Morgan when we were 8 years old at Harrington Mill Farm in Shelbyville. Harrington Mill is run by Mary Fike.

    How long have you been competing?
    I went to my first competition at Champagne Run farm when I was 10 on a lesson pony named Nate--and we got second place! 

    When did you get your first horse?
    The first horse we had was actually a birthday present on our 10th birthday. He was a 16-year-old Thoroughbred named Heart. Sadly we lost him later that year to a broken leg.

    What horses do you own now?
    I own one horse now named Bethel Park, also known as Spiderman. He’s a now 10-year-old Thoroughbred that was given to me in 2009 by Dr. Stuart and the late Christine Brown. He had a tieback surgery in February.

    What horses do you compete? 

    Quite a few! Bethel Park, Ashbourne's Boss, Ashbourne's Cooper, Chapel Hill and Ruud Striker. I just started a new OTTB sales project named Holdupwaitaminute! The horses compete in a range of levels from starter to preliminary. I also fox hunt with the Long Run Hounds, with three of the hunt horses on the farm (Ashbourne Farms).

    Photo by JJ Sillman

    How long have you been part of MSEDA?

    A little over 10 years.

    What are your horse’s favorite treats? 

    Spiderman has always been a carrot lover, but his guilty pleasure has become Red Vines.

    What are your horse’s quirks?
    Spiderman constantly makes this funny face like he's using his tongue to get something out of his teeth. He also likes to grunt during his daily work like everything I ask is so hard and he'd rather be napping.

    Describe your horse in 10 words.
    Big, honest, talented, athletic, challenging, handsome, powerful, skittish, cocky and goofy!

    What is your favorite show and why?
    My favorite horse show has always been Team Challenge--I look forward to it every year. I love the costume ideas and the team names people come up with, as well as the team aspect of getting to be competitive with your friends, not having to ride against them! It has always been the most fun and a great way to end the season.

    Do you have any good luck rituals?
    I don't, but I love to listen to my music and go over my test or course in my head.

    What is your full-time job?
    My full-time job is happily training eventers and fox hunters! I love what I do; it pushes me mentally and physically in ways most non-horse people don't understand, and it's very satisfying to bring along all the amazing horses I get to ride. I don't think I chose this path, but it chose me. I am not what you would call a brave person; I am shy and don't always know what to say to people. Horses have made me strong, independent and it's defiantly a conversation starter.

    How did you get into this job?
    I have to give the majority of the credit to my first heart horse, Sunny Weather (my only other being Spiderman). He and I shared a 15-year-long partnership that put me on this path of the job I love.  

    photo by Xpress Foto

    What are your favorite equestrian brands?
    I love SmartPak anything! Fast shipping and returns is the key to many a girl’s heart.

    What is your goal this year?
    HH: To compete in the 1* at Team Challenge.  

    With whom do you ride?
    Before moving to La Grange, Ky., to start my job working at Ashbourne Farms training Janie and Austin Mussleman's horses, I was being coached by Mary Fike (who owns Sunny Weather). Now that I'm out in La Grange, I get coached my Martha Lambert whose farm in happily and coincidentally across the street!

    Where do you ride?
    I have worked for Janie and Austin Ashbourne for just over two years. I used to help exercise their horses in 2012, and in the winter of 2013, I was offered a full-time position. I love working at Ashbourne Farms because it is over 1,800 acres of beautiful landscape to ride on and some truly awesome horses to bring along!

    What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse?
    Honestly just learning how to ride Spiderman has been the biggest obstacle. He is so talented, but far, far from easy. He is by far the hardest horse I've ridden, but the feeling of accomplishment when we get it right trumps all the hard times.

    What is your favorite memory?
    I have had so many great memories over the years but I have two favorites: Winning Kentucky Classique on Sunny, and winning Team Challenge on Spiderman. They are my favorite because the feeling I had crossing the finish line was the same for both: It wasn't about coming home with the blue ribbon, but I was just so proud of how far the both of them had come and that both times I got to share it with my friends and family who have always supported me. Winning was just icing on the cake. 
    I love my support team. I won't name names, but they know who they are; they are who I go to or call if I’m nervous or upset, and they know just what to say to give me confidence.

    Do you own any other animals?
    I own the best dog in the world, Percy Jackson. I like to think he is a chocolate lab/Australian Shepherd mix. He goes to work with me every day and goes on all my rides. I'm pretty sure he thinks he's a horse! 

  • 03/21/2016 11:13 AM | Anonymous

    By Sarah E Coleman

    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

    MSEDA: Where are you from?

    ES: My wife, Jill, and I live in Westfield, IN, just north of Indianapolis. We've been here exactly 20 years this week, and lived on our farm for the last 11. We came to Indiana for Jill's job as an elephant trainer. She's been with the Indianapolis Zoo elephants ever since.


    Jill with Zahara, one of the six African elephant calves born at the Indianapolis Zoo

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?

    ES: I started, um, later in life than most people. I was 34 or so when I first sat on a horse. But then I saw a video of eventing (Dorothy Crowell, riding Molokai at The Hague) and thought "this is something I have to try."


    MSEDA: How long have you been competing?

    ES: This year I am hoping to compete in my first-ever recognized horse trials. I've been competing at schooling shows the last 4 or 5 years.


    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?

    ES: Ah, Monty the Morgan. The perfect first horse was purchased in the late 90s. He was 17 years old at the time and had the patience of a saint.


    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?

    ES: We have three horses at home now. Elvis, the wonder horse, a Thoroughbred who, at 24 years old, regards anything lower and slower than training level as insulting. Tardis, my 7-year-old OTTB who is really starting to learn his new job, even if he hasn't found his brave just yet. And Doc, my 31-year-old Dutch cross, who is truly enjoying retirement.

    Celebrating a clear starter XC round with little Tardis. Photo by Lee Ann Zobbe, used with permission.

    MSEDA: How did you get your horses? What horses do you compete (and what do you compete in?)

    ES: Elvis came to us permanently a little more than a year ago, after we leased him for a while. His owner, the wonderful Mary Tinder, made the difficult decision to get out of horse ownership, and astoundingly picked our barn as this remarkable horse's final home. To say we are honored is a profound understatement. Elvis now has the unenviable task of getting me to my first recognized horse trials. Tardis came to me by way of one of my all-time favorite professionals, Sharon White.

    Eric and Elvis compete in the Derby to raise funds for the new Indiana Eventing Association's water complex at the Hoosier Horse Park. Photo by Lee Ann Zobbe, used with permission.

    MSEADA: What are your horse's favorite treats?

    ES: Anything, pretty much. Both Thoroughbreds are total treat hounds.

    MSEDA: What do you do full time? Do you enjoy it?

    ES: So, my full-time job is as the journals manager for the American Statistical Association (ASA, the second-oldest nonprofit scientific association in the United States.). I manage all of the Association's peer-reviewed journals. It's a perfect job for me and allows me to work from home.

    My second job, and how I came to the MSEDA, is as a horse show announcer working primarily eventing and dressage shows. I've never competed in an MSEDA show, but members might recognize my voice from Spring Bay, the Kentucky Classique and Team Challenge.

    Eric announcing cross-country at the Kentucky Horse Park, with JJ Johnson (left) and Karen Winn. Photo by Leigh Anne Robertson, used with permission.

    I love my announcing job, especially when working at the Kentucky Horse Park. It really is special---and I'm always a bit awestruck---driving past the statue of Man O' War as I'm going to work. I also announce in Georgia, Texas, Indiana and Illinois. I currently serve on the MSEDA Board of Directors, representing the northern part of Area VIII. I also serve on the board of the Indiana Eventing Association.

    MSEDA: How did you get into this job?

    ES: I've been working for the ASA for … a very long time! I got into announcing first by volunteering at dressage shows, and it morphed into something really unique and fun. I owe fellow announcer Cyndi Kurth (who also works at MSEDA shows) a real debt for patiently mentoring me on how to announce and how to best help the show organizers.


    MSEDA: What are your goals for the 2016 season and with whom do you ride?

    ES: My goal this year is to ride Novice at a recognized show. My second goal is to have Tardis competing Beginner Novice at schooling shows. I have the BEST coach, Lee Ann Zobbe, in Sheridan, IN, at Come Again Farm. I try to take two or three lessons a week, splitting them between the two horses. And it is through Lee Ann that I've been able to ride in clinics and eventing camps with Dorothy Crowell, Lauren Lambert, Leslie Law, Leslie Grant-Law, Sharon White and others. It's been an amazing journey.


    MSEDA: What are your favorite brands?
    ES: Mavorite eventing store is IndyEquestrian (
    https://www.indyequestrian.com/). Amanda and Brian are the best---they know the sport and what riders need.


    MSEDA: What is your favorite part of you’re the barn where you lesson?

    ES: I love riding at Come Again Farm, and trailer up there (20 minutes--I am spoiled!) a few times a week. The people at CAF have become sort of a second family for us, and we love the facility and schooling shows that are held about once a month during show season.


    MSEDA: What other animals do you own?

    ES: Just two barn cats and a house cat … between the horses and elephants, we enjoy a lot of critter company!


    MSEDA: Is there anything unusual about your horses now?

    ES: All three of my horses seem to possess an over-abundance of personality. I am fortunate that Elvis is a benevolent dictator and manages the herd firmly, but (for the most part) gently.

  • 02/03/2016 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    MSEDA: Where are you from?
    RE: I am from Huntington, W. Va., but I travel to Kentucky for shows and coaching.


    MSEDA: When did you begin riding? 

    RE: I started riding a Tennessee Walking Horse with my mother and begged her to get me horseback riding lessons. I started taking lessons when I was 10. The only person in the area who taught lessons was Pam Watts. I took lessons with her for eight years; she taught English with an emphasis on eventing.  


    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
    RE: I got my first horse when I was 12; his name was Western Artist and he was from Midway University. Pam took us in the middle in the night (because that’s when eventers do things) to look at a horse. She got on this horse without a saddle or bridle--he was such a good boy she said “we are taking this on home!” I later got him on Christmas day.

    MSEDA: What horses do you own now?

    RE: I own Kranos, a 7-year-old OTTB. I also have a 14-year-old Thoroughbred that I have competed in dressage. His name is Crown Select.  


    MSEDA: Who do you train with?
    RE: My coach for the past 18 years is Maggie Wright of Champagne Run Farm. She coached me at my first Intermediate and held my hand at during all my three-days. She saw Karanos "Indy" at her farm and thought of me. He was very quiet and, after having a child, I needed a dependable, quiet ride.


    MSEDA: Do you compete your horses?
    RE: I have only competed Kranos in Beginner Novice and Novice.  I am hoping to compete Novice this spring and see how he does before I decide if we can do Training. I competed Crown Select in Training and completed the Training level three-day in 2010.  He is for sale, but I might try to compete him in second level dressage this spring.  

    MSEDA: Do your horses have any quirks?

    RE: Indy has a lot of quirks. He cribs, weaves and is a brat on the ground, but he is the exact opposite when you get on his back. I let my 4-year-old ride him all the time. And he gets spanked with a whip all the time for being lazy!  

    MSEDA: Do you have children?
    RE: I have two kids, a 4-year-old girl, Vera, and 5-month-old Parker. Vera comes to the barn with me every day and has been at horse shows with me since she was 6 months old. I hope she catches the eventing bug.    

    MSEDA: What do you do for a living?

    RE: I work at the Equine Medical Center in Chesapeake, Ohio. I work part-time and teach lessons part-time, and own a full-time boarding barn. I have been coaching and teaching lessons in Milton, W. Va., for the past 15 years. I have had students from Starter to Prelim.  


    MSEDA: What is your favorite show and why?
    RE: My favorite show is probably Champagne Run at the Park. Maggie Wright, my trainer, organizes the show and all her students pitch in to help, so it’s a huge party for everyone at the Park.  


    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?

    RE: When I was younger, I wore the same socks for all my events. I almost refuse to wear white breeches on cross country for fear of falling off and staining them. I also have a belt with my two-star horse’s name on it (Cyrano, whom I put down in 2010), that I wear on cross country to keep him with me.


    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?

    RE: I think I have been a MSEDA member for 22-24 years. I haven't missed a Rolex for probably 25 years.   

  • 01/27/2016 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    MSEDA: Where are you from and what brought you to Kentucky?
    TS: I grew up in Delaware, but have lived in six different states. I moved to Louisville in 1990, when I was fortunate enough to be hired by UPS. I had been living in Nashville, flying for American Eagle. I was riding Hunter/Jumpers then, when I could. I rode with David Wright, and basically did any odd job to keep up with lessons, mainly weed eat and clip horses. David even let me buy a young horse, Kip, on a payment plan. I brought that horse with me to George and Leslie Governo's in Crestwood while in training to fly the DC 8 at UPS. I arrived with Kip, in a borrowed trailer, with my furniture!  

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?

    TS: I started riding when I was 7 or 8. I was the typical horse-crazy kid. My parents did everything they could to support my addiction, including buying my first pony, Sage, when I was 10, and moving to a home within walking distance of the barn. I started competing at local shows and gymkhanas back then. I think the saddle cost more than the pony, but she was perfect to me!

    MSEDA: What does your horsey past include?
    TS: From 1990 to 2000, I rode jumpers. I had one special horse, Next Day Air (Scout), that gave me a bit of success after several years of not so much! We did the 4-foot Low Amateur jumpers for four or five years. It was fun because he was a Pinto and didn't look like the “typical” jumper at an A show, but he had a huge heart and great knees! And I was either foolish or fearless, so we made a great team.

    MSEDA: When did you begin to event? 
    TS: I switched to Eventing around 2001, after much friendly persuasion from Irene Lampton. Scout and I did our first event at the Training level with two golf carts of eventers following us to see if we survived. We didn't win much because he didn't care for water, and I didn't have a clue about dressage, but we did have fun. I must have joined MSEDA sometime around then. 

    MSEDA: What are your competition goals and with whom do you train? 
    TS: I always aspired to go Prelim, but I haven't made it yet, and I am starting over with a new, green horse again now. The highest level I have competed is Training, but most of my success has been at Novice, with another special horse, Night Flight (Bella). I got Bella in 2012, and after a couple of good shows, she got laminitis in the fall. She recovered completely, thanks to a great vet and farriers, and her patience standing in tubs of ice! In 2013, we had a year in the sun, culminating with a win at my favorite horse trial, Team Challenge. Bella was the MSEDA Eventing High Point Mare that year. Finally, I had a horse I could at least pretend I could do dressage on! Rachel Miles has helped a ton with that, and I train with her still.

    MSEDA: Who is your eventing partner and how did you get him? 
    TS: This year has been a tough one. I recently lost my eventing partner, Demply Town (D) to a joint infection. I had been riding D on and off for his owner, Shawna Dietrich, mostly fox hunting. When Bella retired, Shawna offered him to me. It was a match. We did our first recognized horse trial at May Daze going Beginner Novice, and somehow ended up with a win.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory of him? 
    TS: My favorite memory of him is the way he would nose my ponytail as I brought him in from the field.

    MSEDA: Who will you be competing this year and how did you get her? 
    TS: I am starting 2016 with a new horse, and new hopes--mostly centered on survival--as Ziva, my 6-year-old Connemara cross, acts like she is 3! I got her from Craig Markoff, after his wife and my friend passed away from cancer. Ziva has spent most of her life willfully enjoying her freedom in the field. We have somewhat mastered walk and trot! She has only dropped me once so far, and was kind enough not to squash me in the process.  

    MSEDA: What is your goal with her?
    TS: My goal is to have her ready to go Starter in the spring. Of course, we need to learn to jump, and trailer and go outside the ring.....My biggest obstacle will be taming her inner mare, and not injuring myself in the process!

    MSEDA: Describe Ziva in 10 words.

    TS: Green, mare, cute, Donkey, willful, frisky, wiggly, brave, challenging, promising. 

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own? 
    TS: I live on a farm in Simpsonville with seven retired horses, one exuberant Boxer name Molly, four cats and a Beta.

    MSEDA: Where do you ride? 
    TS: I ride with Rachel Miles at Blackhorse Stables. 

    MSEDA: What is your favorite thing about your barn?
    TS: I love that the barn atmosphere is relaxed and that the people are friendly. 

    MSEDA: What are your favorite brands? 
    TS: My favorite brand is my new riding coat from Winston Equestrian, and I can't live without Rambo blankets. 

    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals? 
    TS: I used to wear a bracelet I won on Scout for a good luck charm until a fall smushed it, and I figured I had used up the luck. I also used to wear blue underwear, but that didn't work so well beneath white breeches!  Now I just tempt fate and hope for the best.

  • 01/26/2016 1:40 PM | Anonymous

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Photo Credit to Lisa Dean

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding? 

    NWS: As early as I can remember! Most vividly before I could ride on my own, I remember renting ponies at Iroquois Park in Louisville, and my awesome stepdad running around leading me as I said “faster, faster!” 

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse? 

    NWS: I was 12—he was a grade walking horse named Bo.


    MSEDA: What horses do you have? 

    NWS: I have Gold Style and Tucker, both retired Thoroughbreds that packed me through my hunter, eventing and dressage exploits. I also own Shiny Tiny Dancer, or Lucy, who my daughter, Lilli, and I share. She is a Red Dun Quarter Horse mare. (I have never owned a mare! Let alone a red-headed one!)


    MSEDA: How did you get your horses? 

    NWS: Gold Style was my engagement present from my husband when a prior horse was retiring; Tucker is Jess Woodall's old three-star horse. Ellen and Tony Huffman (who had already hooked me on reining), of Spinning Arrow Quarter Horses, owned Lucy—she was actually Tony’s personal reiner. They asked if I would show her in some hunt seat classes at a few open shows. I began showing her in both hunt and western, and the rest is history.


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

    NWS: Lucy is the only horse competing these days; she shows in the NRHA, AQHA, and IBHA (buckskin) including reining, ranch riding, hunt seat discipline rail, western command, lead line with my daughter and western dressage....oh and costume with my daughter, too.


    MSEDA: How did you get involved in Western Dressage? 

    NWS: With the help of my family, I had just bought a reiner for my daughter and me to share. She is a nice mover and we were already doing patterns, and with my background in dressage and eventing, it was a great fit and filled my want to get back to those arenas. 


    MSEDA: How long have you been competing in Western Dressage? 

    NWS: We started in the fall of 2014 at KDA. 

    Photo Credit to Lisa Dean


    MSEDA: You took a roundabout way to get to this discipline, can you explain that path?

    NWS: I actually grew up riding western and continued in that discipline through college, riding on the bot the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky IHSA teams. When I got pregnant and couldn't jump anymore, a long-time friend and (now) trainer, Ellen Huffman, got me involved in reining. In 2014, with a newly purchased reiner and my event horses retired, I found western dressage an awesome opportunity to get back to the dressage ring while still earning NRHA, AQHA and IBHA points. The biggest smile I have ever had on my face in a dressage ring was the first time I jogged down centerline! 


    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member? 

    NWS: I rejoined this year because of western dressage! Prior to that, I was a member while showing the Thoroughbreds, but took some time off as their careers ended and I became a mom. 


    MSEDA: Who do you ride with? 

    NWS: Spinning Arrow Quarter Horses, Rachel Miles and Cat Fortener for dressage. We also participated in our first western dressage clinic with Sharon Vander Ziel this summer. 


    MSEDA: Where do you ride?  

    NWS: Spinning Arrow in Shelbyville, Ky.


    MSEDA: What level do you compete? 

    NWS: Novice Amateur and Green Rider in reining; I have been finishing up at the Basic Level in western dressage with good scores in Tests 3 and 4. I hope to start working on Level 1 this coming spring.


    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?

    NWS:  Any and All! But carrots and peppermints will get rid of her grouchy stall face.


    MSEDA: What is your favorite show? Why? 

    NWS: I love taking part in the Blackhorse Stables show series; it’s a great atmosphere and fun, relaxed time to work on your scores. Thanks to Rachel Miles and team for adding our classes! KDA has been a big supporter of western dressage at their shows as well. New this year, we also attended the IBHA World Show--this was an experience at the C Bar C Expo in Cloverdale, IN. We came home with our first buckle together, a Reserve World Championship in Hunt Seat Discipline Rail and a top five in Reining at the same show. 


    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals? 

    NWS: Yes, visualizing my ride and talking through how I will ride each pattern (especially in reining).


    MSEDA: What do you do to support your horse habit? 

    NWS: I am the Veterinary Sales Manager for Standard Process, Inc. We make a line of vet-only supplements for horses, dogs and cats. I spend my time educating vets and sales reps on the role of nutrition in veterinary medicine while managing a team around the country who does the same. 


    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands? 

    NWS: Horseware, Ariat, Woof wear, and so many more now that I’ve added western clothing and tack.... 


    MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks? 

    NWS: Her stall is her castle. Don't even walk by! She has a bubble that also exists in the warm-up pen--the "princess” as we call her prefers other horses to stay out of it. 


    MSEDA: What is your goal this year? 

    NWS: In reining, we have a lot of work still to do on our spin; it's a been a sticking point for the two of us this year that finally came together in the ring at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) for what I think was our best yet (then I blew the rest of the patterns!). It was our last run of the year in reining, so I am itching to get back at it. In western dressage, I would like to move up and show at Level 1, as well as attempt to show Lucy in Hunter Hack and Western Riding again. 


    MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse? 

    NWS: Does being a red-headed mare count? Still over coming this one--I've never had a mare. Lucy is quite opinionated and sure of her status in life. I have to be proactive or she will make a fool of me; she has lots of buttons and will throw in extra changes at my slightest shift, give me extended trot when I ask for lope, OR just decide she's done and stop, not going forward despite how much I kick. In fact, when we see a pony not going forward we say, "Look it's pulling a Lucy!" And don't get me started on how I'm going to get those ears forward on our fast circles…


    MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words. 

    NWS: Princess, red head, pretty, forward, indolent, good mover, talented and above all, priceless (she wore purple flapping wings while taking care of my 3-year-old). She knows and changes demeanor with my Lilli, then runs hard for sliding stops for me--and she is only 7! She started packing Lilli at 2 years old, when Lucy was 6; she even wore antlers for her then! 


    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory? 

    NWS: The costume lead lines with my daughter, getting my first real slide in the Alltech Arena (where the big NRHA guys were showing) and now learning to make those slides bigger--but most of all showing what a well-trained Quarter Horse can do in multiple arenas, especially dressage, no matter what tack you ride in! 


    MSEDA: What other animals do you own? 

    NWS: We have a Havashu named Madison and two cats at home. We are also currently borrowing Booger the wonder pony for Lilli from our best friends. The Beckman's trusted us with his care and we are forever grateful that Lilli can be his kid for a while!

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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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