Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Peavy and McIntosh Secure Top Honors at 2017 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships

Blue Hill Farm is so proud of our para riders who traveled to Tryon, NC last weekend for the USEF Para-Equestrian National Championships!  We are also very thankful to several trainers who stepped in to coach the ladies while Missy had obligations coaching back here at Plantation Field International.  Many thanks go out to Michelle Folden for stepping up to the plate for Gigi, and to Ange Bean for coaching Laurietta!

Gigi also wanted to communicate her appreciation to the entire team who have been instrumental in sourcing, training and preparing her newest competitive mount, Heros.  Gratitude goes out to Mette Assouline for finding Heros, and to Missy for her involvement in selecting this newest mount and for traveling to Bishop Burton to help coach alongside Michel Assouline!  The time Missy spent at hacking at Rigbie Farm with Emily Walkup certainly contributed to the great improvement in scores.

Below is an excerpt from the USEF press release.  Congratulations Team BHF!!

Mill Spring, N.C. - The 2017 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte wrapped up Sunday with Grade IV athlete Angela “Annie” Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate crowned National Champions. Grade I athlete Margaret McIntosh and Heros earned Reserve National Champion honors.

Reserve National Champions McIntosh (Reading, Pa.), another 2016 Paralympic team member, and her Heros, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, also have a very new partnership, coming to the National Championships on a leap of faith and finishing on an overall score of 70.747%.

“I didn’t know what to expect here today,” said McIntosh. “I bought Heros in June and rode her for a little while in England with Michel and Mette Assouline. She was imported at the end of July and spent three weeks in quarantine, so this was a leap of faith coming here. Heros improved with every test and has been a model of exemplary behavior. This was an old freestyle that I have ridden many times with my last horse, so coming into the ring to ride it felt like putting on an old shoe. Heros just fit into the right place and seems to enjoy the music a lot.”

McIntosh and Heros won the Grade I FEI Team Test on Friday with 70.476%. They placed second in the Grade I FEI Individual Test with a 70.475% and first again in Sunday’s Grade I FEI Freestyle Test with a 71.833%.

Laurietta Oakleaf (Coatesville, Pa.) and her 13-year-old Friesian stallion Niekele Fan Busentiz placed third in the 2017 USEF Para-Equestrian National Championships sponsored by Deloitte with their consistent performances, ending on an overall score of 69.649%. The combination won all three of their tests over the weekend, with a 69.899% in the Grade II FEI Team Test, a 68.529% in the Grade II FEI Individual Test, and ending with a 71.389% in the Grade II FEI Freestyle Test. She and Niekel Fan Busentiz had been together since the stallion was six months old. Oakleaf handled most of his training and they began competing seriously in 2015.

“His strongest test was today,” said Oakleaf. “We got him a little more round in the back and a little more through in the bit. He had a little bit more push of the hind end today. I think it was about consistency and each day asking for the same thing and adjusting or changing what we needed. I was really proud of him today. He had a really good test.”


Monday, August 7, 2017

New Horse and New Adventures for Gigi!

We are thrilled to announce that Gigi is officially back in the para game!!  After a brief retirement (which we all knew wouldn't last), Gigi has found her next competitive para-partner and we cannot wait to join them on their upcoming adventures.  Below is Gigi's story about finding her new partner and spending the first part of the summer in Europe! 


"This adventure started in February when Mette Assouline commenced hunting for a new Grade 1 horse for me. 

"Through an old friend of Mette's, we were introduced to Hanne Ejlersgaard. Due to her husband's sudden and unexpected passing, Hanne had contacted Mette about selling her husband's horse. When Mette mentioned needing a quiet horse with a great walk, Hanne suggested her own medium level competition mare, 13 year old, Heros, as she had never fallen off her!  Heros had a lot of previous experience at 3rd and 4th level.

"Missy travelled in Denmark with Mette and me, where we found perfection in the 13 year old, 16.1 hand mare by Blu Hors Hertug, Heros!  At the end of June, she shipped from Denmark to the Assouline's Brickhouse Farm in Essex, where we commenced intensive preparation for the CPEDI*3 at Bishop Burton!

"The month spent in Colne Engaine at Assouline Dressage went by way too quickly!  Fifteen years of experience in developing Para horses came to bear on Heros and me as her diet and exercise and my equipment and riding ability converged under Mette and Michel's guidance.

Mette and Michel, Gigi & Heros, Missy and Charlotte at Bishop Burton!
"As I had had Heros for only almost one month, I had no idea what to expect at our first show! I managed to make every common mistake in our first outing, going off course, pausing to poop and whinnying! Our subsequent tests showed steady improvements, culminating in a lovely freestyle for second place behind London Paralympic medal winner, Laurentia Tan!
"Despite my mistakes, our new USA team coach, Michel Assouline liked what he saw in the first test, stating, "The pieces are all there!" He and Missy were both delighted with our Freestyle performance and we are all looking forward to the CPEDI3* in Tryon in September!

"I have since returned to the states, and now we are waiting for Heros to be released from quarantine and return to Blue Hill Farm.
"Thanks so much to Missy and Jessica Ransehousen, Mette and Michel Assouline, Charlotte McIntosh, Ellen Beardsley, Alex Philpin and Becky Reno for all their great help in making this wonderful trip happen!"  ~  Gigi

Friday, April 21, 2017

Team Blue Hill Farm is All Pink - We're Off To Rolex!!

Well it's nearly upon us!  The team at BHF has been on the road, with Missy bringing a load of horses back to BHF in Unionville, before departing for one last trip down to Ocala before heading back to Lexington for Rolex! 

It's hard to imagine, after a lifetime of growing and learning together, that Madeline and Ari are getting ready to tackle their first RK3DE!!  We're so proud of all her determination and work ethic that have resulted in their amazing success together.  We wish them the best of luck in these final days on this enormous journey, and we can't wait to report on their adventures over the next week in Kentucky.

USEF Photo Shannon Brinkman

This quote from the recent US Equestrian feature on our Rolex Rookies pretty much sums it all up:

“It’s very special,” Backus said of her long relationship with her Rolex mount. “We’re kind of like siblings, we know each other so well. I would be lucky to have anything like that ever again. Having that bond and connection over 10 or 11 years is pretty incredible. It’s a bit of a fairytale, isn’t it?”

Check out the full article below, and please join us in wishing Madeline and Ari a safe and amazing experience at Rolex.  Go Team Pink!!

USEF Article - Kind of Like Siblings.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Count Down to Rolex AND Working Student Position Opening!!

It's that time of year when everyone at BHF South starts to make their migration back to their home base locations all over the country.  Our riders head back to Kentucky, Georgia and Pennsylvania but we always see them return to Blue Hill Farm in time to prep for large upcoming events.

This upcoming month Missy will travel back and forth from Ocala, returning mid month to prep Madeline in her lead up to Rolex.  It's an exciting year for the entire team at BHF because we are all going to converge at the end of April in Kentucky to cheer on Madeline and Ari as they tackle their first RK3DE!! 

Madeline and Ari at Red Hills
Photo Lisa Thomas
This is a goal of a lifetime, and Madeline has steadily and diligently worked towards this day with her long time partner PS Arianna.  Can you imagine starting a relationship with your horse at the age of 10 with this ultimate goal in mind, and by age 21 reaching the pinnacle of your dream?!  The team at BHF is so proud of this remarkable young lady and we can't wait to sport our pink this year at Rolex!!

Upon the conclusion of Rolex, Madeline has decided to return home to Colorado to help her mother with her business.  She will return to BHF in Pa in late August to prep for the fall competitions with Ari.  We now need to fill her very capable shoes.

BHF Has An Immediate Opening for an Ambitious Working Student!

Our Working Students Have Fun and Become Friend For Life!
Photo Brigitte Aickelin
We are looking for a capable, independent, hard working event rider to join our team.  This person needs to have competition experience, preferably someone with upper level experience or poised to be there in the near future.

The job requires that you roll up your sleeves and help in all aspects of horsemanship, including the care and grooming of the horses, feeding and turnout, cleaning tack, help around the farm and exercising the horses.  In exchange for your competence and hard work, you will receive olympic level coaching, living quarters, board on one horse and the ability to compete at area USEA events.

Our working students also become part of our family, so come for the education, but you'll form friendships for life!

Please send us an email with detail on your riding experience, photos and perhaps a recent video of schooling or competing.  We would also appreciate several letters of recommendation.

Inquiries can be sent to 

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Missy directly at 484-576-3947.

Friday, March 17, 2017

BHF News from Ocala and Red Hills!

I spent last week in Ocala at Blue Hill Farm South taking in some quality training preparation and camaraderie with the event riders in their lead up to Red Hills International.  For everyone who has been following along on all of our posts on Facebook, it was a bit of a wild week for the Eventing crew at Blue Hill Farm.

Megan Lynn and The Natural E
As many of you know, we had a very successful weekend at Red Hills with Megan Lynn and The Natural E winning the 1* for proud owner Karen Isberg.  In addition, Madeline showed the eventing world that she and Ari are truly ready for their first go at the Rolex Kentucky 4*, which is at the end of April!  Becky and Lion also rocked around the 1* for a stellar 15th place finish as well!

Madeline and P.S. Ariana (aka Pony Knees)

Becky Joules-Cornetta and Lion Drive
Our weekend did not end as planned, with Donna Miller having a bad collision with a tree coming out of the first water on XC.  She and Salty were having a brilliant round up until that point, and we are very grateful that he galloped back to the stabling unscathed.  Donna unfortunately suffered some serious injuries which kept her in the hospital for the week, but she's tough as nails and will recover.  She should be on her way back to her farm in Georgia to recover with her recuperation.

Many thanks to all members of the Blue Hill Team, especially Missy, for sticking by Donna's side during this emergency.  It's not going to be an easy road back for Donna, but we have faith that she'll be back in the saddle and ready for more competitive adventures once she is fully healed.

Thank goodness for air vests, helmets and a swift safety team at Red Hills International.

Please visit our Facebook page for multiple media posts from Eventing Nation and the Chronicle,  plus my photo albums from the week in Ocala and Red Hills!

~  Lisa T.

Media Roundup Below.

Live Results

Megan Lynn's Chronicle article on 1* Win
Megan Lynn's EN Article on 1* Win

Madeline Wins "Who Jumped it Best" on EN!
Madeline is Rolex Bound!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Congrats to Laurietta Oakleaf and Niekele Fan Busenitz at AGDF!!

Final CPEDI 3* of the Season Concludes at 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 

Mar 12, 2017 - 7:26 PM
For Immediate Release
Kim Beaudoin for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
 Wellington, FL – March 12, 2017 – Week nine of the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), featured CPEDI 1*/2*/3* Para Dressage, presented by Mane Stream courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Mission Control, Adequan®, and Nutrena. Competition concluded on Sunday at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), in Wellington, FL.
The 2017 AGDF hosts seven CDI events, two CPEDI competitions, and national shows through March 25.

The Para Freestyle Test Grade II – CPEDI 3*, was won by Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) and Niekele Fan Busenitz, a 2004 Friesian stallion (Sape 381 x Wemke H x Fetse 349) owned by Oakleaf, with a 70.833%.

Commenting on her ride, Oakleaf said, “We are improving from where we were at this point last year. We are working on stretching him more forward, and his gaits are much bigger, so we’ve got to re-do our musical freestyle to fit him better. I’m very proud of him, and I’m very proud of the direction we’re headed. We are working for a spot at the 2018 World Equestrian Games so I’m hoping we can really keep moving forward.”
Oakleaf and Niekele Fan Busenitz won all three of their classes throughout the weekend. “He is a Friesian, and I tried to find something that would fit him,” said Oakleaf in regard to her musical freestyle. “We wanted something that represented his presence as a stallion, so I tried to find something with a good beat and something to keep him up and going with that beat.”
Laurietta Oakleaf and Dale Dedrick in their winning presentation with Rebecca Reno of Mission Control (left) and judge Adrienne Pot (right).
Second place in the the Para Freestyle Test Grade II – CPEDI 3* went to Dale Dedrick (USA) and her own Bardondales Ultrasuede, a 2007 Connamera Cross gelding, with 70.056%.

Other classes of the day included the Para Freestyle Test Grade I – CPEDI 3*, which was won by Robyn Andrews (CAN) and Fancianna, a 2001 Friesian x Andalusian mare owned by Andrews, with 73.500%. Charlotte Merle-Smith (USA) and Firewalker, a 2006 Westfalen gelding owned by Merle-Smith, took the winning ride in the Para Freestyle Test Grade III – CPEDI 3*, scoring 69.056%. Katie Jackson (USA) and Royal Dancer, a 2005 Westphalian gelding owned by Julia Handt, captured a win in the Para Freestyle Test Grade V – CPEDI 3* with a score of 74.458%.

Pamela Hardin (USA) and Quarterjack, a 2005 Brandenburg gelding (Quaterman x Medea ii x Rohdiamant) owned by Hardin, were victorious in the Para Freestyle Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* with a score of 73.458%.

Placing second to Hardin in the Para Freestyle Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* were Angela Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate, a 2008 Oldenburg mare owned by Rebecca Reno, who scored 72.375% with their “Chocolate” themed freestyle.

Peavy and “Cocoa” were also named high point horse and rider of the weekend, with an overall score of 71.798%.

“Her canter tour is my favorite,” said Peavy of her freestyle. “She’s very elastic and flowing in the canter. We have a nice serpentine and different, exciting movements. The theme was picked to go along with her name so it suits her.”

Third place in the Para Freestyle Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* was awarded to Eleanor Brimmer (USA) and London Swing, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding (Londonderry x St. Pr. St. Ribanna x Rubinstein I) owned by Martina and Kai Schneider, with a 65.958%.

Competition at AGDF will resume Wednesday, March 15, with the CDI 4* and FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Havensafe Farm; CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation; and CDI 1*, presented by CaptiveOne. The week also features a National Show and the 2017 Florida International Dressage Youth Championships.

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit
Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with credit.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

News and Updates From Missy and Madeline!

We wanted to put a quick update out on our blog for those who don't follow us on Facebook!
The annual migration to Ocala was successful and incident free, with Missy arriving at Blue Hill South last night around 10:30pm. 

There's several exciting announcements about Madeline, which includes her naming to the USEF 2017 Eventing 25 Training list. 

Read Full Coverage on Eventing Nation

Madeline and PS Ariana, photo Jenni Autry/EN

More exciting news from Madeline also includes an extra little Christmas present that arrived in the mail this week!  We couldn't be any prouder of her accomplishments this past year and look forward to what is ahead for 2017.

Right now Missy and Madeline are out for a hack in the sunshine down in Ocala, and yes, we northerners are all jealous!!

Next up will be a full report from David on his plans for 2017.  Stay tuned!