For the second consecutive year, Ashton, an amateur rider from Princeton, Mass., and her 11-year-old, Thoroughbred gelding won the Amanda Cup for the advanced intermediate division at the Groton House Farm Horse Trials II, June 24-26, Hamilton, Mass.
This year, like last, she left a lot of star power in her wake as she rode her victory lap. But this time she beat the big guns from dressage day on and never gave them a chance to catch her.
The American dressage hot-line buzzed with excitement this summer when German star Ulla Salzgeber actually bought an American-trained horse--Pompidou, a 7-year-old, Dutch-bred gelding owned and ridden by Lynne-Kimball Davis of Natick, Mass.
With the 2005 eventing season just around the corner, the legitimacy of the CCI without steeplechase continues to engender debate. But even as the controversy rages, event riders must figure out how to condition and compete their horses in a new type of competition.
When Rebecca Diesinger, from Coopersburg, Pa., first saw Dollar Spot in September 1999, the then 8-year-old, Thoroughbred gelding was a disgusting mass of skin, bones and fungus. The race horse rescue organization Lost and Found from York, Pa., had saved the gelding from the slaughter truck and sent him to Diesinger's trainer and employer, Jane Corey, who often rehabilitated rescue horses either for resale or for use in the lesson program at her Pleasant Hollow Farm.
Adult amateur riders bemoaning the passing of years don't get any sympathy from Elizabeth "Liz" Benney. She's71, but just seven years ago she switched from showing hunters to eventing, and she's not showing any signs of slowing down.
"Nonsense. It's not chronological age that's important," said this New-Zealand-born, tireless eventing enthusiast, who lives on a restored 77-acre farm in Upton, Mass., with her husband of 45 years, Dave.
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