Not many professional jumper riders would take the chance on a horse who didn’t even know how to canter, but in the mid-1970s, grand prix rider Susie Hutchison and her famed trainer and mentor Jimmy Williams did when they took on Bionic Woman, a failed Standardbred trotter.
With patience and time, Williams trained the mare to be a jumper and Hutchison took over the ride as a 20-year-old, winning numerous grand prixs on the West Coast and representing the United States twice at the Nations Cup at Spruce Meadows (Calgary).
As a 20-something amateur rider in the 1970s, Sherry Robertson didn’t have much to spend on fancy show hunters, so she spent a lot of her time on the backstretches of racetracks in the northeast searching for her next top mount. In those days, the racetrack was the place to find a prospect, even for top riders like Rodney Jenkins.
As Robertson strolled the aisles of the barns at Dover Downs (Del.) one chilly winter afternoon, she came across a tall, dark and handsome bay Thoroughbred gelding.
Olympic eventer Karen O'Connor has been appointed the new coach of the Mexican eventing team and will assume the role immediately. She’ll train the team for major events including the Pan American Games in Toronto this summer and the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.
After suffering a fall and serious back injury in 2012, O’Connor was forced to take a step back in her competitive career.
Andrew Nicholson will not be a part of Equestrian Sport New Zealand’s high performance squad for at least the first half of the year, despite making himself available in December.
The country’s No. 2 rider removed himself from consideration in October after a disagreement with the treatment of his Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) mount, Nereo, following cross-country.
Great Britain’s Leslie Law may be best known as the individual gold and team silver medalist in eventing from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, but for the past nine years he’s made his home in the United States, and now he’s exploring a new role in the sport as the U.S. Equestrian Federation Eventing Developing Rider Coach.
As part of his program for creating a pipeline of riders, U.S. Eventing Chef d’Equipe David O’Connor created the Under 25 and Under 18 training lists to identify and mentor talented youth riders.
While Kim Walnes was disappointed to be left at home as the non-traveling alternate for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles with The Gray Goose, she suddenly found herself with a job nearly as exciting that summer—a starring role in the movie Sylvester.
When a location team for the movie put a call out for a big, gray advanced level horse that could tackle the Rolex Kentucky jumps as a stand-in for the main character at the Kentucky Horse Park where they would be filming, Walnes and “Gray” were a natural choice.