Sandanona's connection to whomever controls rain was strong Sunday, as a morning of occasional downpours gave way to a sunny afternoon. More than 100 friends and subscribers overflowed the parking area and the ringside seating. Very small children tore around everywhere. Our Judges,were Liz McKnight, ex-M.F.H., M.H., and Kerri Smythe, M.H., Joint-Masters of the Monkton Hall Bassets accompanied by our friend Jeep Cochran, Master of the Calf Pasture Bassets.
The Show began promptly at 3:00 P.M. with a class for Very Small Handlers consisting of by Petter and Anna Nilsen, who showed Promise and Iceberg respectively. They received ribbons in the color of their choice. The two hounds have accounted for much silver in their combined 25 year careers in the show ring. They stood confidently on the Boards, fixing their young handlers with gimlet eyes as they awaited the expected biscuit.
Seven members of the Millbrook Pony Club competed in the US Pony Club National Championships held from July 14-18 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.
Riding on the NY/Upper CT regional team, Erica Doyle from Amenia and Cat Reuss from Dover Plains won first-place honors as the National Champion team in the Senior C division of the Quiz competition. Also competing in Quiz were Sadie Pettyjohn, Gabby Montanino, Caroline D’Agostino and Jazzelle Colley, all of whom ride at Rivendell Riding Academy in Clinton Corners.
Lizzie Chamberlin and her horse Grit Victory were members of a “scramble” eventing team with riders from different regions around the US. Her team finished in 6th place out of 23 teams in the Beginner Novice division.
Erica, Cat, Lizzie and Alice returned sometime before dawn in time to present the MPC Barbara Meyers memorial trophy to pony club member Jessica Madden at Fitch’s Corner.
The Millbrook Horse Trials on July31 – August 3rd at Coole Park Farm on the Bangall Amenia Road are the only three day event in the Northeast to feature an advanced level division. Cross country course designer, Tremaine Cooper, points out that eventing is the only Olympic sport in which men and women can compete as equals. Professional and amateur riders also compete as equals as do teenagers to sixty year olds.
Cooper has designed some 12 new fences this year. Most of the existing obstacles have been moved to give the course different feeling from last year. How the fences are decorated almost gives them a different feeling.
Cooper says he thinks of a course as an education for horses and riders at all levels. He keeps adding new questions and problems for each level so each one serves as a building block for the one above. He says “my goal is for when the horse crosses the finish line he will have learned something regardless of whether or not he has won.”
The Millbrook Horse Trials, the only three-day event in the Northeast offering competition at the advanced level (the highest level in national eventing), will be held July 31 through August 3 at Coole Park Farm. MHT attracts Olympic-level riders, and the best of professional and amateur riders from around the country, The organizers expect some 500 horses and nearly 4,000 spectators.
For the first time $25,000 in prize money will be awarded to top finishers in the Advanced, Intermediate and Preliminary divisions. “With such an impressive purse, we’re certain to attract even more top riders,” said international event rider and MHT’s founder and president Louise Meryman. “And when riders are competing for big prizes, it’s always more exciting for spectators.”
The Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials – one of the high points of the summer for riders and non riders alike – is taking place on July 18, 19 and 20 at Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels’s farm on Mabbettsville Road.
In an event competition the same horse and rider must complete a combination of dressage, cross country jumping and stadium jumping tests. The 250 riders in the event range from local competitors to members of the current USA Equestrian Team including Phillip Dutton, 4 time Olympic competitor, Boyd Martin, a veteran of the London Olympics and Lauren Keiffer who was recently chosen to ride for the USA. It will be exciting to watch riders of this caliber before they head to the World Equestrian Games later this summer in Normandy.
A highlight for young riders will be the competition for the Barbara Meyer Trophy awarded in her memory to the member of the Millbrook Pony Club with the highest points.
Millbrook Pony Club’s eventing team proved that hard work and practice are a winning combination.
They won first place both for horse management and overall among competitors from a region stretching from the Catskills to Rhode Island at the New York/Upper Connecticut Pony Club Regional Eventing Rally on Sunday, June 29 at the Kent School Stables. Team members Erica Doyle, Cat Reuss, Lizzie Chamberlin, Gabby Montanino and Sadie Pettyjohn are pictured above holding one of the two trophies they won. Also riding on a scramble team in the Elementary division was Caroline D’Agostino.
Lizzie will be competing at the upcoming Pony Club National Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky from July 14-18 in the Beginner Novice eventing division, while Erica, Cat, Gabby, Sadie and Caroline (along with Jazzelle Colley) will be competing in the Quiz National Championships.
The Mashomack International Polo Challenge was played on one of the most beautiful days in a summer of beautiful days. The event began with a competition between the two teams of Young Guns, all sons of polo-playing fathers. The boys were talented and the competition fierce. The result was a tie at 5-5.
Nine year old Milo Dorignac who scored a goal in the Young Guns tournament has a brilliant future in polo
What 2 Wear Where sponsored both teams. The White Team was comprised of Milo Dorignac, along with Ian Mactaggart, Jake Klopp and Alex Langlois. Juanse Olivera, Davis Colley, Maxi Langlois and Adam Klopp made up the Black team. On the White team Milo scored one goal, Ian had one and Jake Klopp scored three. Juanse scored two goals for Black and Davis Colley scored three.
Juanse Olivera is only eleven but scored two goals for his team
At the MLC Farm Horse Show June 15 and 15, Renee Dougal and Millar won the mini jumper classic. Renee also won the low jumper classic (2’6”) on Amber Sky. The Puddle Jumper Classic was won by Becky Howard and Frontier.
Irreplaceable on the victory gallop - photo by Sarah E. Latterner Photography
The winner of Sunday’s $250 Low Hunter Derby Jen Rossire on "Lexi." Nicole Riccardi won the $250 High Hunter Derby on "Irreplaceable."
$250 Low Hunter Derby winner Jen Rossire on "Lexi." photo by Sarah E. Latterner Photography
On September 20 - 21 MLC Farm is holding their seventh Charity Horse Show to benefit the Equine Rescue 501. Over 200 local businesses and private contributors have donated in the past. The will also hold a silent auction. with local business items open throughout the horse show. All proceeds go directly to the Rescue.
Nigel Pink reports that Rugby Day was thoroughly enjoyed by every child in the school thanks in part to the three coaches from PlayRugbyUS who made each session fun and purposeful. The clinics take place on the remaining Saturdays in June. Their aim is to create a local interest in rugby, with the idea of setting up of a youth rugby club. The clinics provide a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn and enjoy a new sport.
Rugby, a free-flowing game that features a combination of strength, speed and strategy, was born in 1823 at Rugby School in Rugby, England. The first recorded USA rugby game was hosted by Harvard University in 1874. Rugby will be re-introduced to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The USA are the reigning Olympic Rugby Champions having defeated France at the Paris Olympics in 1924.
Millbrook Rugby Football Club (est 2014) and Play Rugby USA will host a non-contact introduction to rugby on Saturdays June 21 and 28 at Dutchess Day School.
Sydney Collier, whom we wrote about last year, has been chosen as one of the four riders to represent the US in the para-dressage event at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in August. It is quite an accomplishment.
Sydney suffers from Wyburn-Mason Syndrome, an extremely rare congenital birth defect. A series of medical treatments, including three brain surgeries, left her blind in her right eye. A stroke when she was eleven rendered her paralyzed on her left side. Nonetheless she was determined to ride again as she had before her stroke. What is more her goal was not only to ride, but to compete at WEG as well in the 2016 paralympics.
“Horses lend me their legs,” she says. “When I’m on a horse I don’t think there’s anything different from me and an able bodied rider.” In fact there is a difference. As she says, “I’m blind in one eye and half blind in the other so I have to look five meters to the left to get where I want to go.”