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Blogs - Chronicle staff

September 28, 2012

Humor Is Don Stewart’s Secret Ingredient

If you’re going to get anywhere near Don Stewart, be warned: The man’s about to make fun of you.

Don’t worry. He’s an equal opportunity tease, and he saves his sharpest barbs for himself. Take his comment to one of his riders after the ASPCA Maclay Region 3 qualifier. That rider forgot the final fence in the test at the competition, and Stewart reacted by telling the rider (and her mother) “I was so excited. Then your mother’s genes kicked in.”

September 11, 2012

We Need To Find A Way To Keep Quality Horses In The USA

As I researched and wrote the article “Lottery Funding Was Just The Start Of British Success In London” for the Sept. 10 issue of the Chronicle, I found myself both excited and wistful. That issue, which should be in your mailbox imminently, has multiple articles dissecting the U.S. teams’ poor performances across the board at the London Olympic Games. I was excited because I found it fascinating how the British support their riders and horses, at mulitple levels. And wistful, because they have funding sources for those efforts that the United States doesn't. 

August 10, 2012

From The Backyard To The Walnut Ring

Holland Nievergelt can’t stop smiling. It started last week when she had her nose pressed against the truck window as she and her mother pulled into the Kentucky Horse Park for the first time. And as her mom, Julie, dodges zig zagging children while driving us in her golf cart from the Walnut Ring back to the barns, Holland is still grinning ear to ear.


2 years 18 weeks ago


Julie - Great to read about your daughter and the Finals. This is Georgette Topakas from Mendham. When I saw this post and the last name, it was just too coincidental. I'm going to forward to my parents, my dad worked with Phillip's dad decades ago. We're into horses as well, but my Laurel is 5' 9" so is well past the pony years. And guess what, my husband doesn't get it either, but he's tolerant. If you get a chance, I have a horse product company, Zephyrs Garden and if you go to our website, you can see our boy Zephyr and our Large Pony Ivy. She qualified many times for the finals, but too far from CA to KY. Congrats to Holland and say hi to Phillip for me. Wonderful article, sounds like you have a great daughter with a strong work ethic, plus a fabulous pony! COTH did one on Zephyr (Tall Dark and Handsome) a while back and it's something I'll always cherish - Georgette
August 2, 2012

A Derby Finals Guide For The Rest Of Us

There’s a simple way to start a conversation at any equestrian outing: Turn to your neighbor and say, “So, who do you like?”

If you want to sound good, you’ll name one of the favorites, one of the pairs whose names have been regularly featured in the Chronicle. And for this year’s Derby Finals, we’ve made that really easy with the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals Preview issue, which has, among others things, a roster with statistics of the competitors.

June 25, 2012

Rich Fellers Finds A Balance Between Family And Show Jumping

I’ll never forget watching Rich Fellers accept the trophy for the Rolex FEI World Cup Final. Those awards ceremonies are so highly choreographed, with the winning riders placed on a podium, all the dignitaries and presenters filing in and out of the scene, with banks of photographers corralled into designated areas.

May 3, 2012

High Expectations, Low Realizations At Rolex

Rolex Kentucky has been a fixture on my calendar since I was a teenager. I attended annually as a spectator, and when I started working at the Chronicle as an intern, I begged for press credentials and promised to use vacation time to go. Not only did I get into the press tent that year, but I also got to stand in the NBC trailer and watch cross-country with Jimmy Wofford and Capt. Mark Phillips. Talk about an exciting weekend!

May 3, 2012

The Weekend That Wasn't Rolex

I’ve dreamed of it more than once: a clean, quiet hotel room with a well-made bed, fresh sheets, flatscreen TV, all to myself. No cell phone, responsibilities to husband, child or work, just the hum of the air conditioner and the pitch dark that leads to the best sleep.

It was all mine the weekend of Rolex Kentucky. A dream come true? Not at all!

April 10, 2012

The Chronicle In Iceland

There are a lot of perks to my job—front row seats at some of the world’s top equestrian competitions, getting to know the best and brightest in the sport, sharing an office with a group of other horse-crazy females—but my recent trip to Iceland for the Icelandic Horse Festival undoubtedly holds the No. 1 spot.

March 15, 2012

Friday The 13th

Looking back at a year at the Chronicle, I was happy to notice some positive changes in my life. As I’ve written about before, the beginning of my days at the magazine were plagued by unlucky encounters.

So while I didn’t think that January 2012 would necessarily be the best month of my entire existence, it had certainly started out much easier than the previous year.

Then Friday the 13th snuck up on me.

January 30, 2012

The Reluctant Writer Eats Her Words

I had a love/hate relationship with the idea of Boyd Martin being our 2011 Overall Horseman of the Year. Not really so much with the idea of him actually being it—I was adamant that no one was more deserving of the title than he—but more with the idea of actually writing the story.