Thursday, May 29, 2014

Change of Plans!

 Earlier this month, as you may remember, I mentioned a dressage trained warmblood named Largo that was for sale in the area. I also mentioned that my parents didn't think we were ready for horse ownership at the time. However, on May 15th, after we talked to Meghan, we decided that we might check Largo out. She got in touched with Largo's owner last Friday, the 23rd,  and he was already gone, but three other geldings were coming in to the same person(she owns a rescue place where she rehomes sport horses). One was a Holstein named Benson. Meghan looked at the three geldings, older horses, today and decided that they wouldn't work because they had been neglected and had emotional luggage. They would take a long time to be brought to a good enough condition that they could be brought to shows. Seeing as they are 19 years Meghan decided they wouldn't work.

 The story doesn't end here though, because Meghan also talked about possibly considering a lease with a horse named Chester. I don't know anything about him, except that he is boarded at Silver Rose, where I ride, and is often leased out by his owners. Meghan thinks he might be a good horse to check out, so I'm going to be riding him and checking out on June 9th! Whoot! Less than two weeks! I'm ecstatic and can't wait for the 9th!

 I'm much closer now than I ever was to leasing or owning a horse! Actually leasing depends on how we get along when I meet and ride him and the terms of the lease, but I'm very excited! I think it might be good to lease for a year and gain experience before ownership because I want to eventually do eventing, which I will need to be more experienced for. I'm going to start with doing dressage for a year or two before doing eventing, so leasing a horse first and then get an eventer as my first horse my actually work. I can't wait to meet Chester!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

New Tack Shop in Town!

Here's a picture.
 Until recently, I have bought all my equestrian attire online because of lack of nearby tack stores, so I was very excited when I found a small  tack shop just a few minutes away when I went into town today! Yay! It is a store called Try Again Tack that sells used tack. Click here for there Facebook page. Of course my parents and I went to take a look.  Upon entering, I was even more excited than before when I saw that they had some English tack in addition to Western tack, which is popular here in California. They had bridles, tall boots, saddle pads, horse boots, and even bits! I especially liked a nice dressage bridle that I saw there. When I saw a nice pair of tall boots, I decided to check them out. I tried them on, they were just my size, and the calf part wasn't too long on me as it was in some boots we found online. To top it off, they were less than half the price of some new ones I see online, and they didn't seem to have been used much. In fact, they weren't even broken in yet. Knowing I would need a pair whenever I begin showing---I likely wouldn't use my half chaps in the show ring---my mom was kind enough to buy them for me! Yay! We were lucky to come when we did because the boots had just come in this morning and for that price I'm sure someone else would have bought them quickly. The woman working at the store was very friendly, too. She said they have new stuff coming in all the time, so I'll definitely be coming back.

 As I said, they are like new and unused(or lightly uses at least) so I still need to break them in. I'll probably wear them and walk around in them. Does anyone have any tips on breaking in tall boots? It would greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stories from off the Track: Wiz and AlchemyEventing

Our next featured pair for the Stories from off the Track is Wiz, from AlchemyEventing. Although he never raced, he is from racing bloodlines so I decided to feature him. Here's their story!

Between undergrad and law school, I worked for a year for a lawyer who had a small farm and breeding operation.  She specialized in rehabbing off-the-track-thoroughbreds, repurposing them as riding horses or infusing their bloodlines into her homebred stock. I spent the majority of my year working with her learning about barn management, injury care, breeding, and most importantly, how to properly introduce a young horse to his new career.  (I really hate the word “break” as it denotes some kind of violence- the way I was taught to “break” green horses never ended in violence.  Everything we did was very methodical and slow- first teaching them all the basic commands on the lunge, then introducing a surcingle, then a weighted surcingle, and then a pessoa system to help them learn to give to bit pressure before ever placing a human on their back.  By the time a human did lean on them, they already had six months to a year of ground work under their belts- and none of them protested at all when someone finally did climb up into the tack.  So, in my opinion, “break” is a very deceiving and ill-considered word!)

 During this year, there were several two year-old horses that I worked with consistently.  One of them was Wizard.  He was definitely the smallest and most awkward baby on the farm.  He was beat up by the herd and had to be brought in to stall care because of it.  He also had this annoying habit of laying down on you when you tried to pick his feet, and stopping in the middle of the gate and REFUSING to move when you were trying to take him in or out of a field.  Once up at the barn, he discovered he could pull himself under the electric tape wires (which were usually turned off), run around the farm, and then put himself back into his field!  He also broke out of his stall a few times and managed to destroy everything in the barn aisle…  In all honestly, he really quite frustrated me.  But the more I worked with him, the more I started to see the potential in him.  He had a puppy-dog personality, always seeking attention and positive praise, and was incredibly smart.  Sometimes too smart…
The blogger at AlchemyEventing riding Wiz for the first time
 When I left for law school, his breeder told me she would give him to me as a token for all of my hard work.  (To her, it was more important to find her horses good homes where they were loved and taken care of than to make a profit).   Because he had only just turned 3 at the time, and was still rather small, I put him back out in her field for a year to grow.  But in May of 2012, I brought him home to my trainer’s farm and officially called him mine.  I registered him with the USEA as “Alchemy,” which means “the process of taking something of little value and turning it into something of great value.”  I thought it was very fitting for what I wanted to do with this little “free” horse that had never been sat on.
Schooling show

 At that time, I began the process of introducing him to work under saddle, and we slowly started to make progress.  We went to a few small schooling shows that fall and I planned to debut him at his first event in April of 2013.  One thing I love about him is that when he gets to a show, he eats up the atmosphere.  Even though we didn’t have a great dressage score, and had a stop in both stadium and cross-country, he tried so hard to please me that first event, and handled it so well, that we moved up to Novice at our next event just two months later.  And again, he was such a star that only an unfortunate rail kept us from third place after a solid dressage test and clear cross-county run.
First Event

 But I knew at that time that something was off.  He had been incredibly skinny during the spring of 2013, despite my best efforts to put weight on him.  However, everyone just thought it was because he was a young, growing thoroughbred, and felt he would fatten up in the summer.  And while he did fatten up some, I still kept alert as he continued to show signs of discomfort in his back (which we thought was a saddle fit problem), lost his general exuberance, had extensive rain rot and poor coat condition, and did not gain the normal summer weight I remembered him having at his previous home.

 In late July, he noticed him starting to take the slightest off-step in his back right hind and I had him tested for EPM, as my trainer’s advance horse had just tested positive for it with similar symptoms.  Unfortunately, the test came back 95% positive.  However, I was fortunate that my vet would let me try a new drug called Orogin.  Because it’s still undergoing testing and not yet FDA approved, the drug only cost $150, versus the $1000 or more that the other treatments cost.  It was also only a 10 day treatment, versus the other treatments which can be anywhere from three months to a year.  And luckily, it worked—and fantastically!  Within five days, he had started to regain his weight, became increasingly shinier, eased his back pain, and regained his step.  But with all of that good health came a whole new set of problems—gone was my super well-behaved baby thoroughbred.  Here now was my just-turned five year-old thoroughbred who had an opinion about everything and was not afraid to express it!

 While I am glad we discovered the issue and found a way to cure it, once his health returned so did his piss and vinegar and I really had to learn to start riding!  Wizard is a very opinionated horse, and is not afraid to express his distaste or exuberance for something.  If we’re drilling a dressage move he’s not such a fan of, he’ll start finding things to “spook” at or give out a few bucks.  If he’s feeling extra good, he’ll fling himself over the fences, jumping them like they are four foot instead of three, and giving a joyful buck after.  (I’m not such a fan of that habit of his…).  He is always getting into everything, picking up whatever he can fit into his mouth.  He has successfully unseated me in front of both big-name clinicians we’ve ridden with so far—the first time because he couldn’t contain his excitement over some ponies in the arena (aka, mythical creatures that he had never seen before and had NO idea what they were) and the second time because he is not a fan of picking up the canter correctly (it’s hard work!).

But despite his idiosyncrasies, he is truly an amazing horse.  He will give you 110% every time when it counts.  When he steps off a trailer at an event, his entire attitude changes.  He loves to perform and show-off, and has saved my butt on multiple occasions in the show ring.  He is also incredibly intelligent, and while sometimes this can make him a difficult horse to ride, it can also be useful when trying to learn a new, difficult maneuver or introducing him to new jump questions.  His dressage is constantly improving, and while it’s definitely not his favorite, he’ll put his mind to it and aims to please, always picking up new things incredibly quickly.  And his jumping ability is incredible- he can just spring over anything with such ease.  I am so thankful to him for the confidence he’s instilled in me—before Wizard, I was terrified to jump even two feet.  Now, I regularly jump 3’3” without blinking an eye, and have jumped him 3’6”.  And cross-country?  It’s a blast.  I’ve never ridden a horse that looks for the next jump as much as Wizard does.  As soon as he sees it, he “locks on” and you can feel his whole body change—his ears pricked forward as he attacks the fence.

 As far as the future, I am taking it slow.  I have now owned him for two years, and he will be six in July.  We’ve completed one Beginner Novice event and four Novice events.  I am already so grateful for how much he has taught me, and all of the confidence he’s instilled in me—but I know it’s only the beginning for him.  I really feel as his dressage continues to improve and I learn how to give him the ride he needs in stadium and cross-county, his talent will shine and he will be a very successful eventer.  I do hope to do prelim with him eventually, which I think he is very capable of doing.  But who knows… perhaps we’ll even make it to Rolex one day.  If he has the scope for it, I definitely think he has the brains and the heart for it.  But really, it’s up to him.  I’m just along for the ride!

Thanks for participating! Do you want your OTTB to be featured? Email me at

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Will We a Triple Crown Winner? California Chrome Wins the Preakness

 Nearly every race trainer and breeder wants to create the horse that will win the Triple Crown. After California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby, his trainer, Art Sherman, and owners were likely exhilarated. With his Preakness win today, everyone was even more excited. Only thirty four, including California Chrome, have ever won both the Preakness and the Derby. Only eleven have won the entire Triple Crown. I don't know about you, but I am excited for the Belmont. I am filled with anticipation as to whether there will be a Triple Crown winner in my lifetime. It has been 36 years since the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed in 1978. Perhaps 2014 will be the lucky year. I sure hope so! I'm eager for the Belmont to come around.

 In the Preakness, California Chrome settled near the middle of the pack until the last half mile, when he burst head, battling with Ride On Curlin during the last furlong, beating him by one and half lengths. He finished in the time of 1:54 4/5. As I said I'm excited to see if 2014 will see the first Triple Crown winner of the century!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Preakness 2014

 The second race of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, begins tomorrow. The will be a small field compared to that of the Derby with only ten horses racing, and there will be a few new names as well. California, winner of the Derby, will as be racing. I'm hoping that he wins! Without further ado, I'll tell you the names of all the contenders.

Dynamic Impact
 Competitor number one is Dynamic Impact, son of Tiznow and Featherbed, my Smart Strike, a son of Mr. Prospector. His dam is out of Favorite Feather, by Capote, son of Seattle Slew. Dynamic Impact raced only six times, breaking his maiden on only his fifth race. Two of his maidens took place this year. The only other race he ran is the Illinois Derby, which he won.

General A Rod
 General A Rod, son of Roman Ruler and Dynamite Eyes, by Dynaformer, raced in the Derby, which he placed eleventh in, and is now about to run in the Preakness. Earlier this year he came third in the Besilu Florida Derby and Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes.

California Chrome
 California Chrome, by Lucky Pulpit and out of Love the chase, by Not For Love, is a favorite and has done very well so far, winning all four races he raced this year. He has a great chance of doing well tomorrow.

Ring Weekend
 Ring Weekend, by Tapit and out of Free The Magic, by Cryptoclearance, didn't break his maiden until his fifth race. He then won the Tampa Bay Derby and then came second in the Calder Derby.

 Bayern, by Offlee Wild and out of Alittlebitearly, by Thunder Gulch, didn't start his career until this year, breaking his maiden on his first go and winning an allowance following that. He then came third in the Arkansas Derby and second in the Derby Trial Stakes.

Ria Antonia
 Ria Antonia is by Rockport Harbor and out of Beer Bayoness, by Mr. Greeley. She won two out of five races last year, and came fourth in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes, second in the Santa Anita Oaks, and sixht in the Kentucky Oaks.

Kid Cruz
 Kid Cruz is by Lemon Drop Kid and out of Layreebelle, by Tale of the Cat. He raced He broke his maiden on his second race. This year, he came second in an allowance and won both the Private Terms and Frederico Tesio Stakes.

Social Inclusion
 Social Inclusion is by Pioneer of the Nile and out of Saint Bernadette. He race three times in his career, winning his maiden, allowance, and third in the Wood Memorial Stakes.

Pablo Del Monte
 Pablo Del Monte, by Giant's Causeway and out of One Hot Wish, came fourth in the Gulfstream Derby and third in both the Hutcheson and Blue Grass Stakes.

Ride On Curlin
 Ride On Curlin, by Curlin and Magical Ride, raced seventh in the Kentucky Derby and is now about to enter the Preakness.

Buddy Systems Therapy Riding Program

 I don't think I have mentioned this before, but my trainer, Meghan, not only teaches lessons but also works with a therapy riding program called the Buddy Systems. The horses I ride in lessons, Ginger and Reno, as well as Moe, are also therapy horses. The Buddy Systems allow disabled people of all ages to ride horses, which is found to be therapeutic. It runs on volunteer work, so I decided that I wanted to help out make a difference in the lives of disabled people. Click here for the link to there website.
Meghan with Reno in his Buddy Systems attire.

 Yesterday evening my parents and I went over the Silver Rose Ranch to watch and participate in the program's orientation. Reno and Ginger had been tacked up by other volunteers, who would be leading the horses while the two participants rode. Some cones, barrels, buckets, and poles that stood upright line had been placed in the half of the arena usually portioned off for dressage. It was amazing watching how calm and relaxed Ginger and Reno were. It seems that they knew they were carrying special riders and needed to be extra careful. They both seemed to enjoy it.

 The volunteers played a mounted game with the riders in which the riders grabbed a ball that was in a bucket hanging on the one side of the arena, circled a cone, and rode over to another cone, which they would try to toss a plastic horseshoe onto. Next they rode over to the barrel, drew an animal on a board lying on the barrel, and weaved between two vertical poles set a little larger than a horse length apart. They ended the game by dropping the ball in a bucket at the end. It was cool to watch and is something I want to help out with regularly. It happens every Thursday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Why Do You Continue to Ride?

 I don't always enter Viva Carlos blog hops, but this week's question really stuck out to me so I decided to write a post about it. L wrote, "Some of us are sidelined due to physical conditions, horse injuries, finances, or even lack of a equid to throw a leg over. Why do you continue to ride?
From Viva Carlos

 As many of you know, I don't have a horse of my own, which makes it hard to progress quickly and ride more than once a week. However, in spite of that, I do not give up on this sport and I continue to ride. Why? Because I can't imagine anything better. Horses are my passion. I love riding and just being around horses more than I like to do anything else, which is something only equestrians can understand. Although this sport is anything but easy all the time, I take the good with the bad and continue to ride because we love doing it. Horses seem to make my life whole, and now that I do ride I can hardly imagine life without them. My favorite horse quote perfectly describes why I ride. You've probably heard it before, but I will share it anyways.
From Pinterest,

   "I ride to fly, to feel, to touch to breathe, to laugh, to soar, to overcome, to relax, to prove them wrong, to belong, to feel strong, to heal, to love and be loved back, to communicate without words. I ride to live." -unknown

Thank you for hosting, L. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Less than Half of Badminton Riders Riding After Cross Country

 This year's Badminton cross country course was very difficult and grueling, and many riders were disqualified or retired from the course. There were quite a few falls as well. William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk had been doing well, but were disqualified after William fell of on one of the last fences. I was also disappointed to here that leading American Rider Clark Montgomery retired from the course after Loughan Glen refused a fence. Now, only one US rider, Tiana Coudray and Ringwood Magister are left, sitting in 21st place.

 With the cross country now over, the scoreboard shows Australian Paul Tapner and his mount, Kilronan, to be in the lead with a total of 56.4 points. In second place is Newzealander Tim Price and his horse Ringwood Sky Boy. They have a total of 61.6 points. French rider Pascal Leroy is in third with his horse, Minos de Petra, and scored 62.5. The fourth placer is British rider Oliver Townend and Armada with a score of 62.7. Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh are is fifth with a score of 63.9. A score of 66.3 puts Pippa Funnel and Billy Beware in sixth place. They are closely followed by Tim Lips and Keyflow Nop, who scored 66.5. Harry Meade and Wild Lone are in eighth with a score of 67.4. I'm excited about the person in ninth, a Swede name Ludwig Svennerstal and his horse Alexander. They scored 72. He is tied with Lucy Jackson and Willy Do. Finally, in tenth is Merel Blom and Rumour Has It with a score of 73.8. For the complete score list, click here.

 Unfortunately, many of the riders I have been following either retired from the course or got disqualified. Mark Todd nearly fell of at the lake, but he is still competing and is currently in 17th with Leonidas II. However, his other horse, Quimbo, was retired from the course. Andrew Nicholson and his mount, Nereo, were also disqualified after falling at one of the jumps. Even William Fox-Pitt fell of today. Now, only 35 horse and rider pairs remain, less than half of the initial number of 85. There is no doubt that the Badminton course is a really tough four-star course. It should interesting to see how tomorrow's show jumping round will go.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Update on Largo

 I mentioned last week that my trainer had found a horse, Largo, that would be perfect for me. He is a 20-year-old 17.3 hand high warmblood that is trained in upper level dressage, which means he can leg-yield, change leads, and half pass. With those skills he could teach me a lot about dressage. There's nothing better than learning dressage on a trained dressage horse! I could take him to small local shows, and Meghan said I could even win several ribbons on him. I've been discussing the possibility of owning Largo with my parents. While we all agree that he would be a great starter horse, and even my mom would like to have him and start riding again(she rode a lot when she was my age) we decided that it wouldn't work out to have a horse right now. I'm disappointed, especially since this seems like a great opportunity, but I realize that there will be other horses. I hope we will find a horse like him when we are ready for owning a horse.

Clark Montgomery in Lead at Badminton

 I've been following the scores for the Badminton Horse Trials since it started, and just noticed that Clark Montgomery, from the United States, and his mount Loughan Glen are in first place with a score of 33.3 in their dressage test. Paul Tapner and Kilronan are in second with a score of 36.0, Francis Whittington and Easy Target are in third with a score of 36.2, and Lucinda Fredericks and Flying Finish are in fourth with a score 39. In fifth place is Mark Todd on NZB Campino with a score of 40.5. Mark Todd was also riding Leonidas II, who is in ninth place with score of 41.8.

 One rider who is also doing well is Sara Algotsson Ostholt, a Swede, who is tied for fifth place with Mark Todd. She was riding Reality 39, formerly called Mrs. Medicott, and has a score of 40.5. I think it's cool that a Swedish rider is in the top ten seeing as my mom is Swedish.

 Just behind her is William Fox-Pitt and his mount Parklane Hawk. They scored 41.0 and are tied with Andrew Nicholson and his mount, Nereo. Andrew Nicholson's other mount, Quimbo, is in 19th with a score of 44.7. Another rider I've been following is Tiana Coudray, from the United States, and her mount, Ringwood Magister. They are in 14th place with a score of 43.7. Tiana Coudray is currently based in England.

 Rebecca Howard, from Canada, is in currently in 34th place with her mount Riddle Master. They have a score of 48.7.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Badminton Horse Trials Dressage Results

 The Badminton Horse Trials in the UK is officially underway, and the dressage scores for day one are up on the website. Australian rider Paul Tapner and his mount, Kilronan, are in first place with a dressage score of 36. Kilronan is a 2001 Irish Sport Horse gelding that Paul hopes will make it to Normandy this year for the World Equestrian Games. Just behind Paul in second place is Francis Whittington, who scored 36.2 on Easy Target, a gelding also foaled in 2001. In third place is Lucinda Fredericks, who rode Flying Finish. They scored 39 on their test.

 As for the other riders I wanted to follow, Mark Todd is currently in fourth place with NZB Campino, scoring 40.5 in his dressage test. Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo are in seventh with a score of 44.7, Clark Montgomery and Universe are in 18th place with a score of 50.8, William Fox-Pitt and Cool Mountain are in 28th with a score of 53.8, and Peter Atkins and Henry Jota Hampton are in 36th with a score of 62.2. Tomorrow, William Fox-Pitt will be riding Parklane Hawk, Canadian Rebecca Howard will be riding Riddle Master, Mark Todd will be riding Leonidas II, and Andrew Nicholson will be riding Nereo. I'll put there scores up after they ride. For a complete list of riders' scores, click here.
  How do think these riders will do tomorrow? I believe that William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk will do well, seeing as Hawk has been placing in several four-star events. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Riders to Watch for in the Badminton Horse Trials

 The Badminton Horse Trials over in England starts today. It is a big four-star event and will help decide who will go to Normandy this summer, so the pressure is on for everyone. There will be over a hundred horses competing, with some riders bringing several horses. This year, only a few riders from the United States are competing, with some of them living and competing in England.

Clark Montgomery
 Clark Montgomery, a US rider, will be riding two horses at Badminton this year. The first is named Universe. Universe began competing in four-star events at Badminton last year, placing 27th with only 6.4 cross-country penalties. He even placed tenth at Pau CCI4 last year. Clark Montgomery is also competing with Loughan Glen, who will be competing in his first CCI4 event. Loughan Glen has successfully competed in three-star events so far.

Tiana Coudray
 Tiana Coudray, the second US, will be competing with Ringwood Magister, who finished 17th last with only a few faults. Tiana and Ringwood Magister moved to England after 2012's Olympics and have since improved.

Rebecca Howard
 Rebecca Howard will be riding Riddle Master in this year's Badminton. She, too, is based in England and placed 12th in last year's Badminton and 11th at Burghley.

Peter Atkins
 Peter Atkins will be riding Henry Jota Hampton, who has been at Rolex and the WEG in 2010, as well as Rolex 2013 with Peter. He place tenth last year at Rolex.
William and Parklane Hawk credit

William Fox-Pitt
 William Fox-Pitt will be riding several horses this year: Parklane Hawk, Cool Mountain, and Chilli Morning. Parklane Hawk is a one of the best horses there, seeing as he has never placed out of the top five in all five of his fourth-level competitions. He won his first CCI4, Burghley, in 2011. Then he won Rolex in 2012, came third in Burghley, placed fifth in Badminton 2013, and then placed third at Burghley yet again. William Fox-Pitt will also be riding Cool Mountain, an experienced fourteen-year-old who has earned silver at the WEG with Fox-Pitt. The final horse he will be competing on is Chilli Morning. Chilli Morning has never won a four-star event before, but has performed well at three-star.

Mark Todd
 Mark Todd will be competing with NZB Campino, a horse who placed twelth in the London Olympics before taking last year off due to injury. Campino will be competing in his first Badminton this year. Mark Todd will also be competing with Leonidas II, another of his horses.

Andrew Nicholson 
 Andrew Nicholson will be riding Nereo in this year's Badminton. Nereo has been competing at four-star level for five years now and has competed in both the Olympics and World Equestrian Games. So far in his career at CCI4, he hasn't placed worse than twelth, and since Burghley 2011, he hasn't placed worse than fourth.

 These are just a few riders that I think will do well at Badminton. Is there any horse/rider pair that you think have a good chance of winning? Let me know!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pictures from My Dressage Test and a Fall Picture

 I'm really happy with how many nice pictures I got from my last lesson. I even have one of me falling off! The first few are of me riding Ginger at the trot along the perimeter of the dressage court, and then there are some of my dressage test. My heels are not done in some of the pictures.
Notice my heel.

At A in the dressage court.
Turning down centerline.
Riding towards B to do a 20 meter circle
Here I think I am doing my 20 meter circle at B.
Now I am riding my circle at E and am heading back towards E.


Ouch! I'm flying over her head. I did a somersault in the air and landed on the ground pole  by Ginger.
After getting back on I did some circles at C at the trot.
Heading in the other direction. Look how much better my heel is.

Rolex OTTB Pedigree Comparison

 Because I love studying Thoroughbred pedigrees to see if I can find any names of famous horse, I decided to look into the pedigrees of the OTTBs that entered this year's Rolex, even if they didn't finish. I thought it would be fun to compare them and see what names they have in common. Click a Rolex horse's name to see the complete pedigree.

Mensa G
 I'll start with Mensa G, who placed fourteenth overall at Rolex. Mensa is by Colonial Affair and out Fire the Secretary, who is by Stop The Music, a well-known race foaled in 1970. Fire the Secretary's dam, Esdiev, is by Secretariat, who is by Bold Ruler and out of Somethingroyal. Bold Ruler. On Mensa's sire's side, we Northern Dancer and Raise A Native, two names that appear in almost every Thoroughbred pedigree these days.

 Pirate is by Pirate Stronghold and out of Stars Heir, by Risen Star. Risen Star is by Secretariat, son of Bold Ruler and Somethingroyal. The dam of Stars Heir is Perceptive Heiress, by Vice Regent by Northern Dancer. If we trace Pirate Stronghold's line, we see his sire is Seeking Gold, by Mr. Prospector, who was sired by Raise A Native. Seeking Gold's dame, Con Game, was sired by Buckpasser.

 Tsunami is by Roanoke and Tsu Tsu Slew, who is by Tsunami Slew, son of Seattle Slew(by Bold Reasoning) and Barbs Compact. Tsu Tsu Slew is out of Even In Paradise,by Affirmed(Exclusive Native and Won't Tell You). Exclusive Native is by Raise A Native, and Won't Tell You is by Crafty Admiral, a descendent of War Admiral and Man o' War. I didn't find many well-known horses on Roanoke's side until I went back several generations and found Bold Ruler and Native Dancer.

Sir Rockstar
 Sir Rockstar is by Rockamundo and out of How Unusual, by Great Sun, son of Bold Ruler. Rockamundo is  by Key To The Mint, who is by Graustark and Key Bridge, the latter of which is the granddaughter of War Admiral(by Man o' War) on her dam's side. Rockamundo is out of Crystal Cup, by Nijinsky, son of Northern Dancer.

 Parker is the son of Marquetry and Hello Mom, by Caveat, son of Cannonade, whose sire, Bold Bidder, is the son of Bold Ruler. Hello Mom's dam is Road To Heaven, and is by Kennedy Road. Parker's sire is by Conquistador Cielo, by Mr. Prospector, son of Raise A native, by Native Dancer. Conquistador Cielo is out of K D Princess, by Bold Commander by Bold Ruler. When we look at Marquetry again, we see that he is by Regent's Walk, by Vice Regent, by Northern Dancer.

Irish Rhythm
 Irish Rhythm is by Vice Chancellor and Dawnsari, by Dawn Flight. Vice Chancellor is by Vice Regent, son of Northern Dancer, out of Natalma by Native Dancer. Alibi, by Birkhahn, is the dam of Vice Chancellor.

 Ziggy is by Ziggy's Boy and is out of Berry's Blush, by Foolish Pleasure. Foolish Pleasure is by What A Pleasure, son of Bold Ruler. Berry Blush is out of Cherry Berry, by Nice Dancer, son of Northern Dancer.

 Houdini is by Hot Rock and is out of Nancy's Star, by Big Sal, son of In Reality, the son of Intentionally. Nancy's Star is out of Marching Star, by Marshua's Dancer, son of Raise A Native, by Native Dancer. Marching Star is out of Watch Her Go, by Riva Ridge, son of First Landing.

 Shiraz is by Gallapiat and is out of Bold Blossom, by Fountain Of Gold, son of Mr. Prospector, who is by Raise A Native, the son of Native Dancer. Bold Blossom is out of Blossom Deary, by Boldnesian, by Bold Ruler. Shiraz's sire, Gallapiat, is by Buckpasser, son of Tom Fool. Buckpasser is out of Busanda, by War Admiral, son of Man o' War. Gallapiat is out of Gay Missile, by Sir Gaylord, out of Somethingroyal.
Relentless Pursuit; credit

Relentless Pursuit
 Relentless Pursuit is A Lee Rover and is out of First Raise, by Raise A Cup, son of Raise A Native, by Native Dancer. Raise A Cup is out of Spring Sunshine, by Nashua, son of Bold Ruler's sire, Nasrullah. First Raise is out of Our First Pleasure, by What A Pleasure, son of Bold Ruler. Relentless Pursuit's sire, A Lee Rover, is Conquistador Cielo(see Parker), by Mr. Prospector, by Raise a Nativer, son of Native Dancer. Conquistador Cielo is out of K D Princess, by Bold Commander, son of Bold Ruler. A Lee Rover is out of Aware, by Buckpasser by Tom Fool.

Madison Park
 Madison Park is by Monaco Magic and is out of Mistress Of Mine, by Band Practice, son of Stop The Music, by Hail To Reason. Band Practice is out of Fleet Empress, out of Countess Fleet, by Count Fleet, a Triple Crown winner. Mistress Of Mine is out of Irish Lulabye, Real Top Deal. Irish Lulabye is out of Game Fleet, by Fleeting, by Count Fleet.

Collection Pass
 Collection Pass is by Collection Agent and is out of Winged Passage, by Assault Landing, by Buckfinder, son of Buckpasser and Shenanigans, the latter by Native Dancer. Assault Landing is out of Trail landing, by Solo landing, by First Landing. Winged Passage is out of Light Of Foot, by Majestic Light, who is by Majestic Prince, son of Raise a Native, the son of Native Dancer. Light Of Foot is out of Laughter, by Bold Ruler. Collection Agent, sire of Collection Pass, is by Dancing Master, son of Dancer's Image, by Native Dancer. Collection Agent is out of Contrary Brogue, by Mr. Brogann.

Here's To You
 Here's To You is by Wills Way and is out of China Sky, by Skywalker, the son of Relaunch, who was sired by In Reality, son of Intentionally. Skywalker is out of Bold Captive, by Boldnesian, son of Bold Ruler. Bold Captive is son of Captive Audience, son of Native Dancer. China Sky is out of Bolchina, son of Bolger, who was sired by Damascus. Will's Way is the son of Easy Goer, by Alydar, who was sired by Raise A Native, son of Native Dancer. Easy Goer is out of Relaxing, by Buckpasser. Will's Way is out of Willamae, by Tentam, son of Intentionally. Willamae's dam, Raclette, is out of Lauries Dancer, daughter of Northern dancer.
Expedience credit

 Expedience is by Ayes Turn and is out of Promenador, by Cannonade, son of Bold Bidder, by Bold Ruler. Promenador is out of Hayseed Honey, by Jerry Crow. Hayseed Honey is out of Stormy Love, by Promised Land.

 If you read all these pedigrees, you may notice some similarities. For example, many have Raise A Native, Native Dancer, and Northern Dancer in them, as well as Bold Ruler. Buckpasser appeared in Here's To You, Collection Pass, Relentless Pursuit, Shiraz, and Pirate. You may also notice that Vice Regent appeared in Irish Rhythm, Parker, and Pirate. Mr. Prospector also appears in several pedigrees as well. What A Pleasure appeared in Relentless Pursuit and Ziggy, and Secretariat appeared in several. All in all, each had many names in common. Perhaps it is because those names are commonly found in Thoroughbred pedigrees, or maybe those sires and dams make great eventers.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

California Chrome Wins Kentucky Derby 2014

 This year's Kentucky Derby winner is California Chrome, a Californian horse. He took a good position early on and galloped down the homestretch to win the 2 million dollar prize and the first jewel of the Triple Crown. California Chrome's dam is Love The Chase, a mare who had run poorly as a filly and was purchased for $8,000. When studying her pedigree, her owners noticed that she was a descendent of Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer, so they decided to breed her. She was bred to Lucky Pulpit, a stallion with a $2,000 stud fee. Lucky Pulpit has won only three times out of twenty-two starts. Despite his poor racing career, he has a nice pedigree and is a descendent of A.P. Indy, son of Seattle Slew. He is also related to What A Pleasure, sire of Foolish Pleasure, and Mr. Prospector.

 So far, California Chrome has a had a great career, especially since his Derby win. Maybe this year will be the year that the racing world gets another Triple Crown winner.

Ouch! I Fell off During my Dressage Lesson + an Opportunity with Owning a Horse

 For this week's riding lesson, I worked on dressage Intro Test C with Ginger. I warmed her up with walk-halt transitions riding around the arena twice before entering the portioned off dressage court. I trotted around it several times. Ginger needed a bit of encouraging sometimes, but she was otherwise great.

Next, I went through Intro Dressage Test C for the first time on Ginger. I trotted down center line, halted and saluted, then continued toward C, turning right and riding down the long side of the arena. I rode a 20 meter circle at B, then another at A, skipping out the canter part. I then rode across the diagonal of the arena, turned left, then made two more 20 meter circles, one at E and another A. At P, I slowed to a walk and rode to H. Finally, I trotted down the long side, turned down center line, and halted and saluted at G.

After that I rode Ginger on a long rein around the dressage court to give both of us a break. When I was ready, Meghan said I could do some cantering, something I hadn't done with Ginger before. I rode toward C and began a 20 meter circle in the trot. At the S-R line, I began cantering. I did only a few times on each circle.

What Meghan noticed is that my heels weren't down, so when Ginger stopped, I would lose my balance. That is what caused the next event. When I was cantering near M, Ginger slowed down, and I went somersaulting over her head, landing on a wooden ground pole the marked the dressage court. Unlike last time, this fall hurt. The part above my right hip hurt a lot, and I knew at once that it would lead a terrible bruise. Meghan ran over to me and told me to take deep breathes and up slowly. Once one my feet, I walked over to the mounting block, limping slightly. I'll probably be very sore tomorrow.

I remounted, and Meghan led Ginger back over to C, where I began circling to the right at the walk. I trotted around once, then slowed to the walk and changed directions and trotted to the left. Then I rode Ginger out of the arena and rode around the barn and dismounted by the entrance. I untacked, brushed her out, and put her away. I'm still a bit sore, although not badly injured.

In good news, Meghan found a horse that would good for me. He is a 17.3hh warmblood, Largo, who is trained in high level dressage and can leg-yield, half-pass, and do lead changes. He is a 20 year old schoolmaster and Meghan said he would be able to win some blue ribbons. Largo would be able to teach me dressage and give me skills I will need to move on to other disciplines, such as eventing, something I want to do someday. We haven't finalized anything yet, but my parents and I are talking it over.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Kentucky Derby 2014

 The Kentucky Derby, one of the biggest horse races in the United States, is coming up this Saturday, May 3rd, and while I am not a huge racing fan, I enjoy watching the it and the rest of the Triple Crown. I decided to list the competitors for this year in case anyone is interested. One named California Chrome even comes from California. I know who I'll be rooting for.
Vicar's in Trouble credit

Vicar's In Trouble
  Entry number one is Vicar's In Trouble, a bay colt who was sired by Into Mischief and was foaled by Vibrant. Into Mischief sired a couple of the horses that ran in last year's Derby. Also in his pedigree is Bold Ruler, Mr. Prospector, Raise a Native, and Northern Dancer. As a two-year-old he raced only twice, both in maiden races. He ended his season after breaking his maiden on his second race. This year, he has raced in three races: the LeComte Stakes, the Risen Star Stakes, and the Louisiana Derby. he won both the LeComte Stakes and the Louisiana Derby, coming third in the Risen Star Stakes.

Harry's Holiday
 Harry's Holiday is by Harlan's Holiday and was foaled by Daisy Mason, an unraced mare with Stop the Music in her pedigree. Harry's Holiday also has Affirmed, Secretariat, Raise a Native, and Norhtern Dancer in his pedigree. He raced three times last year, breaking his maiden on his first race, then coming second and then first after that. As a three-year-old, he fifth in the Pasco Stakes, won a race at Turfway, came third in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, then second in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes. Most recently, he came thirteenth in the Blue Grass Stakes.

Uncle Sigh
 Uncle Sigh is by Indian Charlie and was foaled by Cradlesong, who is by Pine Bluff. He is a descendent of Seattle Slew, A.P. Indy, Secretariat, Raise a Native, and other well-known racehorses. Last year, he raced twice, coming second in his first race and breaking his maiden on the next. This year he came second in both the Withers and Gotham Stakes, and came fifth in the Wood Memorial Stakes.

 Danza, sired by Street Boss and foaled by Champagne Royale, is also racing in this years Derby. He has Damascus, Bold Ruler, and Mr. Prospector in his pedigree. In his career, he has only race four, breaking his maiden on his first go, the going on the come third in the Saratoga Special Stakes. This year, he came third in an allowance and won the Arkansas Derby.
California Chrome credit

California Chrome
 The favorite for this years Derby is California Chrome, by Lucky Pulpit and out of Love the Chase. He is related to Raise a Native, Northern Dancer, Native dancer, and Buckpasser. As a two-year-old he came second in his first race, the won the next. He came fifth in the Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes, won the Graduation Stakes, then came sixth in both the Del Mar Futurity and the Golden State Juvenile Stakes. Then he won the King Glorious Stakes to end the season. This year he won the California Cup Derby, San Felipe Stakes, and Santa Anita Derby.

 Samraat was sired by Noble Causeway and foaled by Little Indian Girl. Also in his pedigree is Mr. Prospector, Northern Dancer, Secretariat, and Raise a Native. He broke his maiden on his first race, and went on to win an allowance and the Damon Runyon Stakes. This year he won both the Withers and Gotham Stakes, and came second Wood Memorial Stakes.

We Miss Artie
 We Miss Artie was sired by Artie Schiller and foaled by Athena's Gift. He is related to Mr. Prospector, Raise a Native, Northern Dancer, Damascus, and Alydar. As a two-year-old, he broke his maiden on his second race, came sixth in the With Anticipation Stakes, first in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity, and seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. In 2014 he came second in the Kitten's Joy Stakes, eighth in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes, and won the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes.

General A Rod
 General A Rod was sired by Roman Ruler and foaled by Dynamite Eyes, who was sired by Dynaformer. Raise a Native, Mr. Prospector, Native Dancer, and Northern Dancer are also in his pedigree. As a two-year-old he raced twice, breaking his maiden on his first time before coming second in an allowance race. This year, he won the Gulfstream Derby, came second in the Besilu Stables Fountain of of Youth Stakes and third in the Besilu Florida Derby.

 Vinceremos, sired by Pioneer of the Nile and foaled by Kettles Sister, and related to Mr. Prospector, Northern Dancer, and Bold Ruler, raced only once as a two-year-old, not breaking his maiden. As a three-year-old he went on to break his maiden, win the Sam F. Davis Stakes, come second in the Tampa Bay Derby, and fourteenth in the Blue Grass Stakes.

Wildcat Red
 Wildcat Red was sired by D'Wildcat and foaled by Racene, and is related to Mr. Prospector, Secretariat, Raise a Native, Northern Dancer, and Damascus. In 2013 he raced three times, breaking his maiden in the first race, winning an allowance, and coming second in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes. As a three-year-old, he came second in the Gulfstream Park Derby, won both the Hutcheson and Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes, and most recently came second in the Besilu Florida Derby.

Dance With Fate
 Dance With Fate, son of Two Step Salsa and Flirting With Fate, is a descendent of Seattle Slew, Northern Dancer, and Raise A Native. He broke his maiden on his second try, then came second in both the Del Mar Futurity and the Frontrunner Stakes, ending the season with an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Next, he   won an allowance, came second in the El Camino Real Derby, and won the Blue Grass Stakes.

 Chitu, by Henny Hughs and Sea Gift, is a grandson of A.P. Indy, the son of Seattle Slew. He also Secretariat in his pedigree. Chitu raced twice last year, winning both a maiden and an allowance. This year, he came second in the Robert D. Louis Stakes and won the Sunland Derby.

Medal Count
 Medal Count is by Dynaformer and out of Brisquette, by Unbridled's Song. He broke his maiden on his first try, the came fifth in the Bourbon Stakes and eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. This year, he won an allowance, came fifth in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes, won the Transylvania Stakes, and came second in the Blue Grass Stakes.

 Tapiture, son of Tapit and Free Spin, by Olympio, is a descendent of Secretariat, Raise A Native, Damascus, and Mr. Prospector. He failed to break his maiden, coming second, but raced in the Iroquois Stakes anyways, placing third. He came third in his next, but then won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes to end the season. This year, he won the Southwest Stakes, came second in the Rebel Stakes and fourth in the Arkansas Derby.

Intense Holiday
 Intense Holiday is by Harlan's Holiday and out of Intensify, by Unbridled's Song. He also has Affirmed, Secretariat, and War Admiral in his pedigree. Last year, he broke his maiden second try, came fifth in the Foxwood's Champagne stakes and fourth in both the Nashua and Remsen Stakes. This year he came third in the Holy Bull Stakes, won the Risen Star Stakes, and came second in the Louisiana Derby.

Commanding Curve
 Commanding Curve is by Master Command and Mother and is related to A.P. Indy, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat. He didn't break his maiden until his fourth try, ending the season. This year he came sixth in the Risen Star Stakes and third in the Louisiana Derby.

Candy Boy
 Candy Boy, by Candy Ride and out of She's An Eleven, by In Excess, didn't break his maiden until his fourth. He then ended the season with a second in the CashCall Futurity. THis year, he won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and came third in the Santa Anita Derby.

Ride On Curlin
 Ride On Curlin, by Curlin and out of Magical Ride, by Storm Cat, a grandson of Secretariat, broke his maiden on his second try before coming fourth in the Iroquois Stakes and third in both the Foxwood Champagne Stakes and the Street Sense Stakes. This year, he won an allowance and came third in both the Southwest and Rebel Stakes. Most recently, he came second in the Arkansas Derby.

Wicked Strong, credit
Wicked Strong
 Wicked Strong, by Hard Spun and out of Moyne Abbey, by Charismatic, is another favorite for the Derby. He has both Secretariat and Alydar in his pedigree. He broke his maiden on his second race, then ran third in the Remsen Stakes. This year, he came ninth in the Holy Bull Stakes, fourth in an allowance, and won the Wood Memorial Stakes.

Pablo Del Monte
 Pablo Del Monte, by Giants Causeway and out of One Hot Wish, by Bring The Heat, is related to Secretariat and Northern Dancer. As a two-year-old, he broke his maiden first try, won an allowance, and came fifth in the Generous Stakes. This year, he came fourth in the Gulfstream Park Derby and third in both the Hutcheson and Blue Grass Stakes.

Who do you want to win and do you think there will be a Triple Crown winner this year?