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Jennifer B. Calder

January 16, 2017

Floods Wreak Havoc On Julie Winkel's Maplewood Stables

Five years ago, a brushfire burned through hunter/jumper trainer Julie Winkel’s Maplewood Stables outside of Reno, Nev., and destroyed her home. Last month a wind storm knocked down her 20-year-old hay barn, and on Jan. 9, forces of nature once again revisited her 165-acre farm in the form of torrential flooding.

October 24, 2016

Nationbuilder Dies On Steeplethon Course At International Gold Cup

Nationbuilder, a 12-year-old gelding owned and trained by Jonathan Sheppard, died after landing from the second-to-last hurdle in the $40,000 timber steeplechase held on the steeplethon course at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., on Oct. 22.

The third race on the undercard for the International Gold Cup, the steeplethon is a unique race offered at only a few meets. It is comprised of a variety of timber, hurdle and water jumps over a 3-mile course.

January 26, 2016

Behind The Stall Door With: American Pharoah

American Pharoah transfixed the nation when he brought a 37-year-old Triple Crown drought to a jubilant end last year. Rather than retire him immediately to stud, as is the prevailing wisdom, owner Zayat Stables and trainer, Bob Baffert, sportingly decided to continue to race the extraordinary athlete to the delight of his fans.

Following the Belmont Stakes, there were sold-out crowds at the Haskell and Travers in August and a spectacular grand finale in the Breeders’ Cup Classic where American Pharoah crossing the wire 6 1/2 lengths ahead of the next finisher.

September 2, 2014

The Last Saddlery Standing

The perpetually rearing wooden horse still stares out the enormous picture window oblivious to the constant bustle of New York City, just as he’s done since 1912. All around him, the world has changed. The once plentiful shops offering equestrian accouterments to clients with names like Rockefeller and Kennedy have disappeared, leaving Manhattan Saddlery as the sole surviving tack shop in the borough.

September 2, 2014

"I Rode At The Garden"

Reflections from some of the National Horse Show’s most legendary participants.

Rodney Jenkins: I had a horse called Arbitrage; he was like 5 or 6 years old. I was on the USET team that year [1973], and he was my third horse. None of the team guys wanted to go in the puissance, so Bert de Nemethy asked me to take him in for a couple rounds, so we participated and didn’t look bad.

September 2, 2014

Urban Legends: Manhattan's Horse Show History

Manhattan has never been the most natural setting for a hack or a handy hunter class, but this bustling New York City borough still boasts a unique and rich horse show history.

The uninitiated clustered four and five deep along wooden sawhorses lining the makeshift show ring.

They stood on tiptoes, children on shoulders, to catch a glimpse of the illustrious riders and famous horses soaring over jumps.

The skyline of Manhattan stood in crisp contrast to Central Park’s Sheep Meadow, where the last brightly colored autumn leaves clung to the trees.

May 28, 2014

Farmer’s On Top At Devon

Devon, Pa.—May 28

When the phone rang late one night just over a month ago Kelley Farmer assumed the worst. But on the other end of the line Evan Coluccio’s voice revealed excitement, not concern.

“We wouldn’t have this horse, Mindful, without Evan,” she recalled. “He found his video online and told me to get out of bed and open my email immediately.”

That interrupted sleep proved worth it when Mindful and Farmer clinched the high performance hunter championship today at Devon.

December 29, 2013

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Every holiday season, the Chronicle Forums’ Secret Santas deliver much more than presents.

It wasn’t an outwardly extravagant gift—a box of chocolates for her, a few brushes for the ponies, Hello Kitty figurines for her 3-year-old daughter, and a World War II book for her 11-year-old son. But when Kat Butler, 37, (known on the Chronicle’s online chat forums as “Freebird”) opened the carefully packed box last December, it meant everything.

October 21, 2013

ExtraExtraordinary Euthanized At Far Hills

ExtraExtraordinary, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Susan and Charles Strittmatter of Clorevia Farm in Virginia and trained by Doug Fout, was humanely euthanized on the track following a catastrophic injury in the third race of the Far Hills Race Meet in Far Hills, N.J. 

October 4, 2013

Italian Wedding Makes Sheppard A Proud Father At Saratoga

Jonathan Sheppard scores his 14th New York Turf Writers win with a homebred.

My big, fat Italian Wedding? Well, not anymore.

Italian Wedding, as Jonathan Sheppard explained, “was quite small when he was a young horse and a little on the chubby side. He was kind of...cute, but he didn’t look really look like any major race horse. He looked like a fat little pony.”

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