Hi everyone, welcome to my blog for the “Breeder’s Bridge to High Performance” contest.
I started working for John Madden Sales in January of 2009 and prior to that rode for the University of Kentucky Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team and my family’s farm, River Mountain Farm, which is also in Kentucky. My junior career had some great moments, including wins on homebred horses like Miscongeniality—we won the 2002 NAL Children’s Hunter Finals at [the Pennsylvania National]. Here at John Madden Sales, I’ve ridden some of the best horses in the world and been able to develop Wrigley to the grand prix level over the course of the past few years.
Several months ago, The Chronicle of the Horse’s articles on “The Future of U.S. Show Jumping” by Molly Sorge sparked a conversation between several of us at John Madden Sales. We floated around some thoughts about the issues and solutions in our sport and were struck by an idea to try and highlight North American breeders.
There has never been an attitude of “European is better” at JMS. We all saw firsthand what Judgement ISF could do. While many of the horses currently competing under Beezie and I are from Europe, we also have Counselor, our Judgement-sired gelding in the barn, four young developing Thoroughbreds, Fresco, a 2-year-old homebred Dutch Warmblood prospect, and three yearlings sired by Beezie Madden’s retired grand prix horse Conquest II.
To John and Beezie, a good horse is a good horse, no matter its country of origin.
We developed the idea of a contest that would highlight breeders in North America and help make connections from breeders to riders. Owners will submit simple applications with videos to us, and we will narrow it down to our five favorite young prospects. It is our hope that by virtue of being chosen as a finalist, both the horse and breeder will receive valuable recognition. I will then try all of the finalists and make a decision on the winners (up to three horses).
The winners will travel to John Madden Sales and receive three months free training and board, being brought along by myself, with input from John and Beezie. At the conclusion of the three months, through this blog and the contest, hopefully the owners and breeders will have received a real value both in training to their horse and in exposure to potential purchasers, if the horse is for sale. For me, I get the chance to ride three quality young North American-bred horses and maybe find a future superstar! As a young rider stepping into the grand prix ranks, this is a great chance for me to make connections with breeders for the future.
As of today, we have 30 entries! I am so happy with the response we are getting. Keep the entries coming; we love seeing all the videos of potential top horses!