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Mollie Bailey

February 5, 2011

The Chronicle's Overall 2010 Horse Of The Year: Lone Star

It all started with a warm-up class.

Lauren Shelton was slated to make her junior hunter debut in 2008 at Capital Challenge (Md.), and her mount for the occasion had never shown in that ring. So at his wife’s suggestion, Hunt Tosh tacked up his student’s junior hunter, Lone Star, for the $15,000 WCHR Professional Rider Final. The horse finished 10th, then went on to jump beautifully later in the week for Shelton.

January 23, 2011

Rosalynn And Farmer Find Blue In Jacksonville

Green Cove Springs, Fla., Jan. 22

Rosalynn and Kelley Farmer added another long ribbon to their collection tonight when they topped the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Jacksonville National. They moved up to the top from third with lovely jumping and tight turns in the handy round.

“It was always my plan to go inside and jump the higher fences—she does those so easily,” said Farmer, Keswick, Va. “After I saw Liza [Boyd] and Jen [Alfano] go, I knew what I had to do. Their horses both jumped beautifully, and those two never back down.”

January 16, 2011

Angels In The Hunt Field

Talk to any foxhunter, and he’ll have a story for you about the best mount in the field. Time after time, it’s not the boldest staff horse or the most sure-footed guest packer that he’ll describe, but a shorter and scrappier fellow: the ideal hunt pony.

Nearly every hunt has one of those special animals that becomes the envy of everyone in the field: game, athletic, smart, forgiving, with an instinctive understanding of the sport. Those extraordinary individuals become hand-me-downs, reserved and spoken for years ahead of time.

December 9, 2010

Making The Most Of Those 45 Minutes: An Amateur's Guide To Lesson Efficiency

Top trainers weigh in on how competitive amateurs can get the most out of their lesson time.

For legions of busy, overachieving adults, just carving out time to get in the saddle can be extraordinarily difficult. It’s even harder to navigate the logistical concerns of getting to a trainer. So when all the stars align and you manage to get in a lesson, it’s all the more important to make the most of every moment.

October 29, 2010

California Girls Shake Up Washington

Washington D.C., Oct. 29

If you brought a junior hunter to the Washington D.C. this year hoping for a Washington International tricolor, you’d better have a strong California connection.

October 23, 2010

Pessoa Makes It Two In A Row In Harrisburg

Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 23

Rodrigo Pessoa couldn’t watch the jump-off for the $75,000 Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W during the Pennsylvania National, but from what he heard in the schooling area it wasn’t an average short course.

“We didn’t have a screen there, but when I heard scores like 20, 8, 12, and 4, I said ‘This is kind of unusual,’ ” said Pessoa, who tacked up HH Ashley for tonight's featured class.

October 22, 2010

Eye Remember Rio Sees It Through At Harrisburg

Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 22

Victoria Watters figured out a foolproof way to deal with her nerves on the day of the $10,000 North American League Adult Amateur Hunter Finals—she channeled them toward something concrete.

“I was so nervous,” she said “It’s stupid, I know, so I made a bet. I said, 'There’s two beautiful alpaca coats up there, and I told [trainer Anne Thornbury] if I get that prize money, we’re going up there and going shopping.' I just took my nerves and put them toward another goal!”

October 21, 2010

C. Quito Hits The Big Time At The Pennsylvania National

Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 21

For Ariana Snowdon, just attending the Pennsylvania National fulfilled a lifelong dream. The fact that her horse, C. Quito, scored the regular conformation championship after a long trek from Jackson Hole, Wyo., simply served as the icing on the cake.

“I’ve never been to Indoors, but I’ve always dreamed about it,” said Snowdon, who owns the horse with her mother Margot Snowdon. “But we said, ‘We have this amazing horse, let’s see what we can do.’ ”

October 19, 2010

Lone Star Wrangles A Big Win

Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 19

Hunt Tosh knew he’d have his work cut out for him as he headed into the ring aboard Lone Star for the regular working handy hunter class at the Pennsylvania National. He could hear the whoops and cheers from the schooling area after a spot-on lead-off performance by Rosalynn and Kelley Farmer, and he'd had all day to think about their close race for the division championship. After finishing half a point behind her at Capital Challenge (Md.) last week, he felt especially compelled to give Betsee Parker’s horse a serious ride.

October 16, 2010

Press Proves The Best At Penn National

Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 16

Victoria Press enjoyed the horse show of her young career at this year’s Pennsylvania National. She and Olivia Jack’s Love And Laughter claimed the large pony hunter and grand pony hunter titles, as well as topping the pony hunter classic. She also picked up two red ribbons aboard her other mounts, large pony Midnight Hour and medium pony Hillcrest Kilkenny. The judges rewarded her great riding with best child rider on a pony honors. Betsee Parker’s For The Laughter finished as the reserve large pony, with Victoria Colvin up.

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