Winter News Letter
Dear HGF Friends,
Its the end of February and our Wellington season is in full swing. Its been a colder winter than usual for Palm Beach County, but in light of the difficult winter the rest of the country is having, we aren't complaining. We've already had a fair share of visitors and activity around the farm and are expecting more over the next two months. Our show season has started off very well and we are now getting ready for the Palm Beach Derby in two weeks. Here are some updates on the horses, people and activities of HGF:
Courtney's Horses . . .
Grandioso's progress continues with Courtney as they prepare for the Grand Prix. He has shown a special talent for the movements in his two shows at Inter II, and although still green in aspects, the test appears to come to him easily. Courtney is comfortable continuing to compete at that level for the time being and is using this season to put him in lots of show environments to put more miles on him in the ring. We've enjoyed his successes and are very proud of Courtney's work with him. We congratulate her on her most recent accomplishment: Winner of the 2010 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Award for her work with Grandioso and her other FEI horse, Prince. (http://chronofhorse.com/article/courtney-dye-awarded-25000-carol-lavell-advanced-dressage-prize.)
Cuatrero continues to work toward the Prix St. George and is coming along beautifully. Courtney hopes to take him into the show ring at a lower level some time before the end of the season just to give him some much-needed show ring experience.
The Young Horses
Adelante, Bolero and Idolo are working very hard with Maria and Lendon as they make that first big jump in their training up from the lowest levels. We are planning to show them less this season than last year, as at least two of them are now quite comfortable in the show ring. Idolo is greenest, having done his first dressage show last summer. We had planned to take him to the Wellington Classic last weekend, but a skin rash which appeared just before move-in day prevented us. All three are getting ready for 3rd level and also continue to be introduced to the piaffe and passage in hand. We plan to show only one more time after the Derby--the Gold Coast Finale--so that we can continue to focus on the work of higher levels.
Decorosito--our 2006 chestnut stallion by Decoroso out of Quintera--is the newest member of the team and is now well started under saddle and showing very promising talent. A certain international rider we know and love has already spray-painted her initials on his side . . . .
We also have two mares with us this year--Maria's Elena (Huelvana) and Mary Magee's Infanta--both coming 5 this summer. Both girls are working under saddle and showing exceptional gaits. We look forward to these two "breaking the glass ceiling" for all the other super PRE mares that are out there. Equality is the American way and we are all for Girl Power!
Idilio . . .
Idilio continues to recover from a minor injury sustained in turn-out. In March, Maria will begin to start his fitness training again and we hope he will be back in full form by May. He spends a lot of time walking under saddle and letting all the other horses on Southfields Road know that he is still the Alpha Stallion in the house.
Ana Gilmour . . .
This month we say good-bye to Ana Gilmour. When Ana came on two years ago, the plan was to give her the experience and tools to send her on to start her own training business. She did not let us down! She passed her USDF Trainer's Certification to Second Level with flying colors and has only one more test to pass to have her Fourth Level Certification--the highest offered by USDF. She worked tirelessly and effectively on the ground taking young horses from being babies in the field to quiet and correct riding horses for their new owners or for HGF. She was a 2009 All Breeds Award winner for USDF and USPRE, and she showed Camaron for many wins and high point awards, including his career best scores in Wellington--finishing last weekend's show by winning two out of three Fourth Level classes and taking second in the 4-3 with over 67%. Recently she was offered an assistant rider position with Juan Matute and Marianne Lattimore in Texas, at a breeding farm of the highest quality PRE horses. We are very proud of her and excited for her future there, but most importantly, we leave as good friends and look forward to collaborating together as the PRE horse continues to excel in the US.
USPRE . . .
The Annual Meeting for USPRE and the PRE-Show Party on the Thursday evening before the Wellington Classic CDI is now behind us. The members' meeting was small but attended by individuals from around the country who are very serious about the promotion of the PRE horse. An immediate result of our meeting is the new California Series High Point Challenge (see www.usprea.com and watch for the announcement on www.dressagedaily.com). The Board at USPRE announced two major new programs for members--a Rider's Scholarship and a SICAB Travel Grant. See the USPRE website in the coming weeks for more details. The PRE-Show party was the highlight of that busy week. Over 300 people came out to watch the PRE program and eat Chef Frederic's paella. The evening started with a free schooling session in the covered arena featuring the 2009 All Breeds winners and a few others, including Courtney on Cuatrero and Jeffrey Lord on Conquistador. The horses rode beautifully and the feedback was very positive from the crowd. After, there was a lungeing demonstration by Tom Reed with Bolero and then Lendon Gray did a 15 minute mini-lesson with a horse and rider where she talked about her enthusiasm for the PRE horse and its future in the US. Following this, there were four well-ridden and fun freestyles. A band then struck up the music and the festivities went into the night. We were extremely pleased with the result of this effort by USPRE and the Wellington Classic show management and we have lots of ideas how to make it even bigger next year! What a great way to showcase our horses to the most discriminating but interested community!
Michigan Farm . . .
The MI staff is surviving the long dark winter. Sandy, Laura and Karen are running a tight ship with the mares, babies and retired horses. Although its covered in snow and ice, the plans are starting for a busy summer. Check back in the Spring for our summer events schedule. We may have a few surprises! (No, not Akon . . . )
Hang in there, Everyone--Winter is almost over and the hard work of these months will pay off when the sun comes back out! For those of you who are traveling to Florida in the next few months, we invite you to stop by and see us here at the Wellington farm. Come and see what we are all about and meet other PRE owners . . . the community is growing and what a great community it is!
PS--A recent visit from Bob Langrish resulted in these beautiful pics.
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