Friday, December 6, 2013

Congratulations to Gigi McIntosh on the Purchase of Rio Rio!!

RIO RIO!!
Missy and the team at Blue Hill Farm have been busy this year in their quest for 2 perfect Para mounts for Gigi McIntosh and Becca Hart.  The team has poured over multiple videos, reached out to trusted contacts within their equestrian network and wracked up some serious travel miles during the search.  It has not been an easy mission,  but we are now happy to announce that both Gigi and Becca have found their new competitive partners.......so let the training begin!!!

We're going to feature each of the ladies in a series of blogs about their new partnerships, in order to keep their supporters on top of their progress. 

"The great horse search began in earnest last spring after Hope Hand declared a moratorium on re-cycled event horses as Para mounts! Missy, Becca and I met Babsi Neidhart-Clark and Martha Thomas in Denmark to begin our search for our new competition horses.  After a lot of driving and a lot of laughing, we found two lovely horses.  Persistence paid off as Becca's horse made it back to Blue Hill Farm eventually, but mine, sadly, did not pass the vet.

After enlisting the help of a wide network of astute friends and chasing down countless videos of possibilities, five months later,  I saw a video of Rio on Dressage Daily's Horse Market. Beautiful trot, purported "10" walk, 7 years old with a lifetime of show experience.....I was smitten.  So what if she was in Washington state?

Of course, Missy was a lot more skeptical!  We needed another extensive walk video. Her trainer complied forthwith. Then we sent Erin Albreda, a veteran Para equestrian who lives in Seattle, out to try her.  Erin sent a glowing report after trying her at the Regional championships.  Not only was she bomb-proof but very straightforward to ride.  By now, I was harassing Missy to fly to Seattle with me, tomorrow, as I was sure that the horse would be sold before we left Pennsylvania! (To her credit, Rio's trainer, Jessica Wisdom, never pressured us.)

We met up with Erin, near Seattle, on a very scenic tour of Washington and saw Rio, at last, and another beautiful mare.  We brought all that video home to show the final arbiter, Jessica.  The end result was Rio Rio arriving at Blue Hill two months after I sent her original video to Missy!

I am delighted to have such a lovely horse to ride at this time in my life!  Many thanks to the friends who sent me so many prospects, Babsi and Martha, and most of all to Missy and Jessica for whom the hard work has just begun!"


Bred in Idaho and by Radikal (Weltmeyer) out of Hochkarat (Hohenstein), Rio was an embryo-transfer baby. She was the highest scoring yearling filly for the NWSHBA in 2007, the highest scoring USDF in hand yearling filly for RPSI and Reserve Horse of the Year for USDF yearling fillies of all breeds combined.

Here is a link to her information and young horse photos on the breeder's site.

She showed third level in 2013 with a 71% in her first 4th level test.

I was able to watch a bit of Rio in action this week and thus far she is living up to all of her expectations.  She's remarkably quiet with a lovely walk and a big swinging trot.  Gigi claims that she's "so lazy I have to chase her with the whip", but this lovely black mare has plenty of stride and impressive movement.  We're very excited to watch this relationship grow, and since Rio is only 7, Gigi, Missy and Jessica clearly have plenty of opportunities to improve upon her natural talents before they leave for Florida this winter to hit the show circuit!

Stay tuned for regular updates and photos on this new relationship, and good luck to Gigi and Rio on their road to qualifying for the US Paralympic team!! 



Monday, November 18, 2013

Congrats Becca on Your Successful Reigning Debut!!



Written by: Lindsay Y McCall
Photography by: Lindsay Y McCall

Oklahoma City, OK – November 18, 2013- The 2013 American Quarter Horse (AQHA) World Championship Show featured 3,401 entries, a total purse more than $2.4 million, riders from 49 states and 7 countries, and the best Reiners in the business. From November 8-23, equestrians competed in halter, english, and western disciplines. For the first time in history, on November 15, the Para-Equestrian discipline Para-Reining was demonstrated in the Performance Arena at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

USA Reining and the United States Para-Equestrian Association, in cooperation with the AQHA and National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) made the unprecedented Para-Reining demonstration possible. Debuting the discipline were three Para-Equestrians that have made their mark in the Para-Dressage world. Those athletes included two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart, U.S. Air Force veteran Derrick Perkins, and Para-Dressage rider Frederick Win.

 Alongside these equestrians was experienced AQHA rider Reyna Nicole Taylor. All four riders were judged by FEI 4* Reining judge Joe Carter from Canada. The Para-Reining demonstration was a chance for spectators, organizers, and current and potential athletes to experience Para-Reining on an international platform. This event was the launch pad for the 2014 development year and 2015 and beyond international Para-Reining competition.


Rebecca Hart, Derrick Perkins, and Frederick Win were invited into the Reining discipline never experiencing the sport in their life. World-class trainers and athletes donated their time and their high-performance Reining horses over two days to educate, coach, and develop the three dressage riders into competitive reining horses. As the Quarter Horse breed is known for, or as trainer Josh Visser put it, “The Labrador Retriever of the horse world,” these top equines showcased their athletic skill, intelligence, and ability to adapt.

Fellow Para-Dressage rider, Rebecca Hart has excelled in the Dressage world both in able-bodied and as a Para-Dressage athlete. The moment she sat on 4 year-old Zins Smart Wrangler, donated by Pete and Tamara Kyle and owned by Pat Moore, she was ready. Within 15 minutes 2010 FEI #1 Ranked Reiner, Hart’s coach for the event, Lisa Coulter of Canada, was impressed with Hart’s natural Reining ability.

Rebecca Hart and Zins Smart Wrangler, donated by Pete and Tamara Kyle and owned by Pat Moore

Hart appreciated working with a talented individual like Coulter and the feeling was returned on demonstration day. Coulter noted, “I loved working with Rebecca. She made me feel inspired. I felt the importance of this event was revealed when Rebecca’s face lit up when she did her spins. I was thinking, ‘Now that’s what it’s all about.’ It’s that feeling you can’t replace. There is a certain thrill to Reining which includes power and yet control.”

On demonstration day Hart took the reins and dominated the Level 3 Reining pattern . Hart’s highlights within the pattern were her variations of speed on her right lead circles, her roll backs, and her spins both right and left.

Hart commented, “I had a blast during the demonstration. I loved how the audience really got into my performance and they were very supportive. In fact, the whole Reining community has been supportive, which is a wonderful feeling. I enjoyed riding Pete Kyle’s 4 year-old; he was lovely. He never even thought about my legs on him and was a fantastic athlete. There was a lot to think about coming from Dressage. Each discipline is similar in some aspects but fundamentally different in others.”


She continued, “I really want to thank Pete and Tamara Kyle and Pat Moore for Zins Smart Wrangler. They had no idea who I was and brought this wonderful four year-old that they have been training. Without them, their team, Lisa Coulter and everyone involved with Pete, this would not have gone as well. Finally, I want to thank everyone at the 2013 AQHA World Championships including the entire staff at USA Reining. This show is well organized, Brad Ettleman is amazing, and I really want to thank USA Reining, AQHA and NRHA for including us. If this opportunity arises again in the future it is definitely something I would be game to do again. What a great trip to Oklahoma City.”

Rebecca Hart and Zins Smart Wrangler, donated by Pete and Tamara Kyle and owned by Pat Moore
Rebecca Hart and Zins Smart Wrangler with Pete Kyle


READ FULL ARTICLE AND PRESS RELEASE

Friday, November 15, 2013

AND YOU THOUGHT BECCA WAS JUST A DRESSAGE QUEEN!!! WATCH IT LIVE.



Oklahoma City, OK - November 14, 2013- Para-Reining will debut at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show Friday, November 15, 2013 . Para-Dressage athletes Rebecca Hart, Frederick Win, and Derrick Perkins will saddle up for a day of  Para-Reining. Viewers who are unable to attend in person may watch the Live Broadcast of the Para-Reining Debut by clicking here.(https://replays.robertsstream.com/racereplays/cust/aqha/wcs/vidcast/)  The live stream costs only $4.95 for 24 hours of viewing. Para-Reining will follow the Senior Reining - CRI* which begins at 9:00 a.m. central time. The reining CRI* is a preliminary event to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. 
Paralympian Rebecca Hart trains for Friday's competition on 4-year-old Zins Smart Wrangler. Zins Smart Wrangler was donated by Pete and Tamara Kyle and owned by Pat Moore for the Para-Reining Demonstration. 

 The Para-Reining demonstration is the launching of efforts to bring the discipline online as a fully recognized sport in 2014. USA Reining and USPEA together with the AQHA and NRHA are proud to welcome an American hero to our ranks of Para-Reining competitors.
For more information about he USA Reining/USPEA Para-Reining Clinic and Demonstration Class at the AQHA World Championship Show, including schedule, entry form and more, email:  Brad@HPowerInc.com 
For more information about USA Reining, click on www.USA-Reining.com

For more information about the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show: http://www.aqha.com/Showing/World-Show/Schedule.aspx

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rachel's Year in Review!!

2013 is coming to a close, and it's time to step back and appreciate all the accomplishments of this past year.  I have had an excellent year at Blue Hill Farm, with the opportunities to ride and train quite a mix of horses, as well as being promoted to assistant trainer!

I've been competing Hugh Knows, owned by Stonehall Farm in Middleburg VA, at Second Level to prepare him for a career as a Para-equestrian mount.  He is a great competition partner that always puts in a good test and finishes at the top of his classes.

This spring I had some fun starting Rue La La, a 13.3h pony owned by the Thomas Geno Syndicate. She is a fantastic jumper, and could power around the Novice level cross country, having a blast.  She has tons of scope and will make a very competitive eventer or show jumper.

I also started Danny, a 14h TB Welsh cross owned by Lisa Thomas ( our fabulous website designer), for her daughter Kendal.  Danny is an adorable pony who shows much potential for dressage, eventing, or the show hunters. The future looks very bright for Kendal and Danny, and I'm proud and excited to be a part of it. 


This fall I have been asked to ride Margarita, a warmblood mare owned by Elizabeth Bareis, with plans to campaign her at Third Level.  She is a very nice dressage horse, and I look forward to the chance to compete her.  

Also in the barn is Woody, the lovely little warmblood horse from England owned by Pari Nurrish. Woody is a very talented dressage horse that I have had the pleasure of schooling while Pari has been arranging her big move from England back in to the states!

I have also been fortunate to ride for Seema Sonnad for the past few years on two of her horses, Cole and Solo SWF.  Last year we sold Cole, a little horse I brought up to Training Level in eventing, in order to buy Solo SWF.  Although very brave at eventing, we made the decision that he was much more talented as a show jumper, so I now have the opportunity to  to show the HITS circuit in Ocala this winter!  The plan is to gain confidence jumping around 1.20m before putting him on the market to find an upper level event prospect.
Solo SWF
This has been quite a big year for myself and Carlingford Taldi, an Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Jessica Ransehousen.  Due to an unfortunate accident that ended his upper level eventing career with Missy, Taldi started his new life as a dressage horse a few year ago.  I was lucky enough to get the ride on him and we've moved up the levels together.   This fall at HITS Saugerties, we both made a successful debut at Prix St Georges together.  The scores keep improving each time we go out, and we are preparing for our first CDI in 2014. 
Carlingford Taldi
I now have earned my bronze and silver USDF medals, and can say that I am an FEI level rider.  I know it would not have been possible without all the support from the team at Blue Hill Farm.  Missy and Jessica have been so generous with their horses and time, and it's a privilege to train for them.  Jessica has been my mentor for the past 5 years, and I am excited to take on my goals for 2014 with her help and support! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Working Student Brigitte Aickelin Looks Forward to 2014!



2012 was a tough year for me and my Prelim eventer, Chip, who was having issues on the flat and wasn’t progressing.  I needed to find a training program which would help us improve, and that’s how I ended up applying for a working student position at Blue Hill Farm.  I sent my resume and before I knew it, I was moving from Georgia to Pennsylvania in the dead of winter. Which might I add wasn’t the smartest decision because it is SO much colder here than in  Georgia.  Regardless, I have been at Blue Hill since January 2013 and have loved every minute of it!
Chip
I have learned so much from both Jessica and Missy during my time here. They helped me make the tough decision to retire Chip from upper level Eventing in early fall of this year.  I made the long trek back to Georgia to get his half brother, Harper, to become my new training project. Harper is 4 years old, and so far is progressing quickly and loving every minute of learning the ropes of eventing. I’ve had him in training for 2 months and we are learning everything about each other, one day at a time.
Harper
My 2013 show season didn’t go as planned since Chip was not progressing, and during that time I rode Blue Hill horses, Harry and Margarita, in dressage shows. Harry taught me a ton as far as fixing my position and Margarita and I learned the ropes together. My plan is to finish this year strong on Harper and do some schooling shows before it gets too cold. 
Harper learning to jump!
2014 I plan to be competitive at the Beginner Novice and Novice level in the spring and early summer before moving up to Training by the fall of 2014. I hope to be able to go to Ocala for a month or two this winter, to compete and hone my skills so I can be really competitive in Area 2 in the spring and summer.
Even though 2013 was a tough year for me, I plan to finish it out strong and with a huge smile on my face. I know 2014 will be bigger and better; it can only lead to great things for my future competitions and my eventing career. I couldn’t have done any of it without the help of the BHF crew, my friends and most importantly, my family. Here’s to a great 2014 competition season!

Working Student Brigitte Aickelin Looks Forward to 2014!


2012 was a tough year for me and my Prelim eventer, Chip, who was having issues on the flat and wasn’t progressing.  I needed to find a training program which would help us improve, and that’s how I ended up applying for a working student position at Blue Hill Farm.  I sent my resume and before I knew it, I was moving from Georgia to Pennsylvania in the dead of winter. Which might I add wasn’t the smartest decision because it is SO much colder here than in  Georgia.  Regardless, I have been at Blue Hill since January 2013 and have loved every minute of it!
Chip
I have learned so much from both Jessica and Missy during my time here. They helped me make the tough decision to retire Chip from upper level Eventing in early fall of this year.  I made the long trek back to Georgia to get his half brother, Harper, to become my new training project. Harper is 4 years old, and so far is progressing quickly and loving every minute of learning the ropes of eventing. I’ve had him in training for 2 months and we are learning everything about each other, one day at a time.
Harper
My 2013 show season didn’t go as planned since Chip was not progressing, and during that time I rode Blue Hill horses, Harry and Margarita, in dressage shows. Harry taught me a ton as far as fixing my position and Margarita and I learned the ropes together. My plan is to finish this year strong on Harper and do some schooling shows before it gets too cold. 
Harper learning to jump!
2014 I plan to be competitive at the Beginner Novice and Novice level in the spring and early summer before moving up to Training by the fall of 2014. I hope to be able to go to Ocala for a month or two this winter, to compete and hone my skills so I can be really competitive in Area 2 in the spring and summer.
Even though 2013 was a tough year for me, I plan to finish it out strong and with a huge smile on my face. I know 2014 will be bigger and better; it can only lead to great things for my future competitions and my eventing career. I couldn’t have done any of it without the help of the BHF crew, my friends and most importantly, my family. Here’s to a great 2014 competition season!

Friday, October 25, 2013

What A Year for David Ziegler, BG and Topper!!

We're gathering the year end wrap ups from all of our Blue Hill riders, to let our supporters know about the year in review and plans for 2014!  As always, it's been a busy year with many challenges and accomplishments.  David Ziegler is going to start us off with his year in review.  Well written David!
David & BG at Jersey Fresh
Photo Credit Becca Hart
"What a year! Reflecting on it now, I cant believe all that has happened in 10 months.  BG and I stormed onto the event scene after a year long hiatus on both our parts, placing in the top of all our competitions, BG showed us this old guy was not looking for an early retirement after having been successfully campaigned around the world at the 4* level.  We are looking forward to coming back in the spring season to qualify for the NAYRC, and (fingers crossed) an autumn advanced!
Topper Strutting His Stuff!
Photo credit Terri Miller
From galloping across fields at unmovable objects, to pirouettes in the 20x60, Topper had an equally impressive season.  We kicked the year off with winning High Point 4th level at Morven Park in May, then we put our nose to the grindstone and contested our first Prix St.
George in July with great results! The rest of the season was spent with numerous successes in the Prix St George across the North East, it is incredible to think that in 17 months Topper went from being an upper level event horse to an FEI Dressage horse. This winter we plan on spending January in Wellington competing in the CDI's, gathering our qualifications to compete at the NAYRC in the Dressage!


Topper
Photo Credit Terri Miller
Campaigning 2 horses at the top levels of 2 disciplines is no easy task, but through all the support of our team at Blue Hill Farm and my partnership with SCES, my training is progressing and the financial strain has been eased.  Donations are greatly appreciated to help me own the podium in 2014, and eventually seek to be long listed to the CDN dressage or eventing teams!"

Monday, September 30, 2013

HORSE FIRST SUPPLEMENTS NEWS LETTER!

BLUE HILL FARM LOVES HORSE FIRST!!!  Missy has been using their products for years and they truly work.  Many thanks to Paddy Hughes for his continued support of Blue Hill Farm.  If you'd like to learn more about their products, and want to enter to win a jacket, please see below and sign up for their news letter.
 
In this issue we have been in Germany, Oxfordshire and won the hotly contested “Exporter of the Year Award” and launched a new product range!
This summer has been a busy yet exciting time for HORSE FIRST as we have been out and about meeting many new faces and we have launched our new product 'Relax me Now Syringe'.















The Relax me Now Syringe will settle the nerves and stomach and is best given two hours before performance. For maximum use it is beneficial to use in addition to your horse's regular serving of RelaxMe. We have had positive feedback from people using the product to great effect. More information on RelaxMeNow can be found here.

Horse First win Exporter of the year award!

We are pleased to announce that HORSE FIRST have won the hotly contested “Exporter of the Year Award” Sponsored by InvestNI at the Greater Newry Business Awards.
Tanya Hughes, Company Director, who accepted the award for HORSE FIRST, said “ It’s wonderful  recognition for all the hard work we do. HORSE FIRST have been selling top class Equine Supplements for just over five years now, and at this stage of the company’s growth, to have been nominated never mind winning, has been a great achievement.

The awards were held in the lovely Canal Court in Newry.  Paddy and Robert were at Blenheim Palace Horse Trails while the awards ceremony took place however the Horse First team made sure to give them a call to let them know we won and then we were given permission to party the night away! Further information on the awards can be found here.





Horse First on the go!

Mid September Paddy, Tanya and Robert from HORSE FIRST attended the annual Spoga Horse International Trade Fair in Germany. The trip was very successful and we had the opportunity to speak to many interesting people around the globe. We also had the opportunity to catch up with Japanese rider Taizo Sugitani which was a real treat!

Next stop Paddy and Robert headed to Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials which took place in Oxfordshire.

Although the weather wasn’t as good as we expected there was a great turnout at the event and thanks to everyone who came and introduced themselves to the Horse First team and took the time to enter our competition.  Winner will be announced this week so watch out for that special phone call!

If you were at Spoga or Blenheim Palace and have any questions on our horse supplements feel free to contact us any time. In the meantime here are some pictures of the team at Spoga and Blenheim. More pictures and more can be found here...Enjoy!

Paddy at Spoga!


PRODUCT OF THE MONTH..

Exselent E

Exselent E will aid muscle development and the retention of suppleness in the muscle tissue during work.  If your horse is feeling stiff, short of stride or you feel that you are getting less follow through in walk, trot and canter then Exselent E is the product for you! Give the product a go today and see the results for yourself! Our other range of equine supplements can be found here.
For your chance to win a HORSE FIRST jacket simply answer the following question:

Name the Japanese rider that visited HORSE FIRST at Spoga? Entries within the next 7 days will be valid..Good luck!

Send your answers to
info@horsefirst.net


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Congratulations Nicola Johnston!

Nicola Johnston from Mollinsburn, Scotland was the happy winner of our Blair Competition winning Garlic & More, Exselent E & Cuppra. Congratulations Nicola we hope you enjoy your goodies!

9,000 'likes'!!!

WOW!!! We cant believe we have reached 9,000 'likes' on Facebook! Thank you SO much for your support! If you haven't 'liked' us on Facebook yet see what all you are missing out on here!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Help Support David and BHF Riders Through SCES!

I have been on my soapbox lately!  In addition to working with all my favorite people at Blue Hill Farm, I work with several other riders and agencies/businesses in the equestrian industry.  One of the groups that I love to work with is SCES (Southern California Equestrian Sports), a non profit group based in California which raises competition funds for riders.

"SCES is a non-profit organization dedicated to help equestrian riders and organizers raise tax deductible funds to compete in or support their National or International competitions, throughout the US and abroad."

I have been working with Margie Molloy for several years, maintaining their website and helping her drive membership.  SCES helped greatly to raise funds during the barn fire at Boyd Martin's and they have been instrumental in helping riders raise funds to reach their competitive goals!  
David & BG at Plantation Field International
Photo Credit Lisa Thomas
It's time for BHF riders to jump on the band wagon & to start fundraising for their future endeavors.  Missy, Steph, Rachel and David are in the application process and we need your help to start them raising funds for their individual competition goals.

David has already completed his application and has been approved!  

"I’m thrilled to be a part of the SCES team, seeing how this organization has helped countless top riders, I knew this was the first step in bridging the gap between being a young rider and a young professional.  So many young riders make it to the Championships then
disappear, my goal is to hit the young rider championships on my way up to be a young professional aiming for team spots, as well as becoming a licensed course designer, having had a couple internships with course designer Richard Jeffery to date.

I’m hoping my involvement with SCES will bring more awareness to my pursuits, as  great an opportunity I’ve had growing up, traveling across the continent, from Alberta, to California, to Florida, it has been difficult setting up a strong base, and I see SCES as hopefully
being a strong link between all the connections I’ve made, where ever they may be."


So won't you help David by being one of the first donors for his competition fund?  He's working diligently towards qualifying Topper and BG for next year's Young Riders, so we need to start fundraising now!

Simply click on this link and he's on his way.  You can also visit the Team Page on our website for individual donation buttons.  Hopefully we will have the girls applications approved soon!


Thanks so much for supporting the crew at BHF!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

BHF Riders Shine at Blue Goose and The Dennis Mitchell Clinic!!

We've had a busy week at Blue Hill Farm!  David Ziegler and Peninsula Top Man had a great result at the recognized Blue Goose Stable show with beautiful pirouettes in the Prix St. George for second place.  Lauri Albert and Donner Tanz won their second level class with an excellent ride as well. Margaret (Gigi) McIntosh rode the Grade Ib Para test for the first time with her new mount Paxton Abbey with great success as well!


Lauri & Donner
Dennis currently has a busy schedule traveling throughout the united states teaching clinics and coaching at shows, so we were lucky to get him to our part of the world for a few days.  Dennis was a very adept clinician, quickly evaluating each horse and rider combination accurately while giving individualized attention and positive feedback!
Steph and Dylan!

Back at the farm, we hosted a 2 day clinic with Ocala based show jumping trainer, Dennis Mitchell of Kimberden Farm, whom Missy has been riding with for nearly 10 years.  Dennis is a former Grand Prix rider and has trained Olympic level riders such as Aaron Vale and Todd Minikus, as well as multiple USEF champions in both the hunter and jumpers.  

Please head on over to our Facebook page to see our full photo album from both the Training/Prelim and Intermediate groups.  Thanks to Dennis for making the long haul up to Pennsylvania!!


Photo credits Lisa Thomas

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Great Weekend at NJ Horse Park!!

David and BG
Photo Cedit Becca Hart
The BHF Eventers all had a good weekend at the New Jersey Horse Park!

David Ziegler and BG scored a 34.8 and show jumped one of few double clear rounds to sit in fourth place in the OI going into cross country. Adding only 9.2 time, the pair finished in third place.

In the Training level divisions, Missy and Ike scored a 35 and had no jump penalties to finish in seventh place.   Seema Sonnad and VS Pass Play (Keegan) had a steady clear cross country, and Madeline Backus scored a 36 and went double clear on cross country.

Everyone is getting ready for the show jumping clinic with Dennis Mitchell on the 6th and 7th, and then Fair Hill and Richland later in August!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dennis Mitchell Clinic August 6th & 7th!


Blue Hill Farm is pleased to present a show jumping clinic with Grand Prix rider and trainer Dennis Mitchell!


August 6th and 7th, 2013

Tentative Schedule
8:00-10:00 Prelim- Intermediate 
10:00-12:00 Training- Prelim 
2:00-4:00 Novice- Training
4:00-6:00 Beginner Novice

Groups may be shuffled based upon interest. 5 riders per group.

Cost for two days $250
Space is very limited, please reserve your slot by July 25th!

About Dennis

Dennis Mitchell has over 50 years experience in the equine industry. He is a former Grand Prix rider and trainer of Grand Prix riders and trainers, including Aaron Vale and Todd Minikus. Dennis has been the trainer of numerous USEF national champions in both the hunter and jumper divisions whose passion for the sport has taken him all over the country. At any given horse show he can be seen running between the short stirrup and 
Grand Prix arena with equal enthusiasm and an ever- present smile on his face. Dennis is currently based in Ocala, FL.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

For Sale - PS King of Hearts!


King of Hearts



















PS KING OF HEARTS

7 yr old 15.1 hh AWS-registered, Anglo-Trakehner Gelding. 

Successfully shown Training level eventing, schooling Preliminary and showing lots of potential for the upper levels. 

Sweet, kind, handsome, sound, bold but not strong. He ties, loads, bathes and trail rides. UTD on shots, shoeing and teeth. 

$30k

Email Madeline Backus 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Many Thanks To New Sponsor Higher Standards Leather Care!




    Super-effective, leather-nourishing soap in wonderful distinctive scents. Used by top professionals! Handmade in small batches by eventer Libby Henderson.
    The Story of the Soap
    Back in 2003, while looking for a Christmas gift to give her barn friends, Libby Henderson decided to experiment with making saddle soap. She found a recipe, and began to tinker with it, researching different essential oils, and working on scent combinations. It was fun and challenging, and the soap worked really well!
    The following spring, Libby developed a terrible crush on Karen O'Connor's mount, Upstage, or "Woody," owned by Dick & Vita Thompson. She was entranced by the story of the "little horse that could," and just loved his personality.
    During Rolex week, Libby sent a care package to Kentucky for Woody and his "staff." In that package was a container of my handmade soap. She was stunned a couple months later, when Karen's excellent longtime groom Max Corcoran asked for more of the soap, saying it was wonderful stuff.
    For the next nine years, Libby made the soap for Max as she needed it, and shared it with other friends. So far, her soap has been to the Pan Ams, the World Equestrian Games, the Hong Kong and London Olympics, Rolex, Badminton, Burghley and many other top venues.
    And now, the soap used by one of the best upper level grooms in the business is available to the rest of us, from entry level all the way to the top! It is called Higher Standards Custom Leather Care. The current scents are named after some very special event horses, who are retired or no longer with us.

    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care can be purchased on Etsy! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Missy Announces Her Alliance with Voltaire Design!


Missy is happy to announce her recent alliance with Voltaire Design, the newest of the French saddle manufacturers!  Voltaire manufactures beautiful custom saddles for all disciplines....from eventing to dressage, show jumping to the hunter ring.

Voltaire works with the very best people in the industry to deliver an outstanding product, helping each rider achieve their best performance. From saddle fitters to factory workers and customer service experts, each member of the Voltaire Team is working hard to take the stress out of saddle shopping and make it a pleasant experience!

The eventing line of saddles includes the Lexington monoflap cross country saddle and the Elkton, a stripped down aggressive monoflap for cross country. The Adelaide is the Voltaire Design answer for dressage. It is a monoflap model that is extremely stable and comfortable, combining freedom of movement with a secure comfortable ride.

Check out Voltaire Design's website and Facebook page, and don't hesitate to give them a call to schedule a free test ride by calling Amandine Colson at (813)428-2131!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Now Standing at BHF - *ArdCeltic Art!

*ArdCeltic Art
Photo Shannon Brinkman
*ArdCeltic Art
The Ultimate Sport Horse Stallion is now standing at Blue Hill Farm!

2003 Imported Connemara Stallion
By Monaghanstown Fionn
(By Abbeyleix Fionn by Ashfield Sparrow by Carna Bobby Out of Moydow Lady by Murphy Rebel)

Currently Competing Intermediate and CCI Eventing with a Master Adult Amateur rider and 4th Level Dressage with scores near 70%!

ISR/Oldenburg NA Sport Pony Division Approved Lifetime Breeding License

Approved Weser EMs German Riding Pony Breeding Stallion

American Connemara Pony Society Inspected and Approved Stallion
Registration No. S 1766 XLIII

Photo Shannon Brinkman
****HIGHLIGHTS OF 2012****

Art's Amateur Rider was awarded 2012 USEA National Master Intermediate Rider of the year and at the 2012 Jersey Fresh CCI** finished in 6th place and #1 placed Amateur!

He is a solid Intermediate Level competitor finishing in the top 3 of his first two Intermediate outings during the 2012 season.

Click HERE to see all the information on this fabulous stallion.

Schedule an appointment to come see Art at BHF! Breeding will be arranged directly through his owner by emailing Donna Miller or calling her directly
(770) 569-0839.

Welcome Brigitte Aickelin!

Brigitte Aickelin Aboard Chip

NAME: Brigitte Aickelin
DOB - 08/09/1993
With BHF since January 2013
Discipline: Eventing
Horse: Forty Six Peaks (Chip)
2004, 17.0h TB Gelding

Bridgitte Aickelin is our newest recruit at BHF. Coming to us from Cumming, Georgia she began eventing at the age of 8. She found her first event horse, Baskin, at the age of 10, who taught her the ropes at the lower levels. Her current horse, Chip, came straight from the track and began his competitive career at BN Pony Club Eventing Rally with Brigitte.  He progressed quickly and they quickly moved up the levels to their first Prelim together in February 2012, at Pinetop Farm in GA.

Chip and Bridgitte have shown in many pony club training level events and at PC Championships in 2011, as well as the AEC's, in 2012 at the Prelim level. Their goal at BHF is to complete their first 1* together by fall of 2013. We're happy to welcome Bridgitte to the team at BHF!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

PLANTATION FIELD SPRING HT WRAP UP!


The entire crew at BHF had a successful run at Plantation last weekend. For this roving reporter, it was so great to see everyone back in town after what seemed to be an eternal winter back here in Pa!

David and BG continued their quest for qualification for Young Riders, and showed us that they will clearly be in real contention. They led the Intermediate through dressage and stadium, then had just 3.2 time faults on XC to finish in second at their second Intermediate run! Next stop Fair Hill and then Jersey Fresh. They clearly have their work cut out for them in order to qualify, but both are looking fit and up to the job.

Peter Berk, who hails from Ct. but trains with Missy in Ocala, stopped off to compete at Plantation on his way home from Florida. He led the training division after dressage and stadium, unfortunately navigating a wrong fence on XC which ended his winning ways, but we know next time he'll be out of the start box with a vengeance!

Our friend Jason Racey, who rides out of Radnor, also had a very respectable day on Dodger, who finished 7th in the Prelim division!

I apologize to Jason and Peter for not being on course for their pictures, but hope to catch them in action at an upcoming event.  Stay tuned for more spring updates........LT

Check out the photo album of David and BG on FB!

Plantation Field Full Results

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DAVID ZIEGLER AND BG'S NEXT CHAPTER IN LIFE!


Rising 20 (and hopefully has stopped growing) and hailing from Beiseker Canada, near Calgary, David Ziegler joined the Blue Hill Farm team as a working student approximately a year ago.  Prior to joining BHF, David has had a life rich in horses and multiple disciplines.  His Mom has ridden both english and western, showing in equitation & jumper divisions before competing on the western paint horse circuit. 

The whole family has ridden western (David has two sisters, one his twin) but David started pony club at 7 and caught the eventing bug early.  Lots of boys in that area rode western or did the jumpers, but he focused on eventing from the beginning.   Initially he got a taste for eventing through pony club, riding through his D1 rating, until 2006 when he left to train seriously within the Canadian event world.
Topper at Prelim
He started to show jump with Marilyn Dixon (Irish eventing team), evented with Sandra Donnelly (highest placed Canadian at Beijing) and Lorraine Lafraimboise (former Canadian eventing team coach).  In 2009/10 he headed to Ocala to ride with Leslie Law, as his sisters had since switched to eventing, and his older sister was a working student for Leslie for 3 years. His mother rented an apartment in Ocala in 2009 and all kids went with Mom to Florida, while attending the Rockyview Virtual School.  They were not new to this winter migration, as the  prior 2 winters they lived in Ca and show jumped at HITS Thermal.  
During the winter of 2010/11, David started to train with Missy in Ocala, returning home in the spring to finish high school.  Later that year, he received a call from Missy that Steph had been hurt and would he be willing to start early as a working student.  The next day in Nov 2011, he hopped on a plane and came to Blue Hill Farm!
BG Making Prelim Look Like Short Stirrup!!
During this time Missy was bringing BG back into training and Feb 2012 they ran at Rocking Horse & then Advanced at Poplar, where he unfortunately pulled his hamstring on XC.   BG returned home to recover and his ability to return to the 4* level was in question.  Missy and Jess decided that it was best to retire him from the top level and to re-evaluate an appropriate career for the horse who has successfully competed in France, England & brought home a 3rd place prize from Rolex in 2008.
Last winter David asked Missy whether she would potentially lease him out to a young rider, as it became clear that would be a great direction for BG.  He was not necessarily plugging for his own career, but was curious about this school master’s next move.   Missy replied that he would only go to a perfect home.  They never discussed it again, but in Aug David was asked to get in the tack to bring BG slowly back for conditioning work.  The relationship solidified and soon they had competition plans.  At one point David O’Connor actually called to see if they would lease him out to his YR program, but it appeared that BG (Big Guy) had found his next eventing partner in a 6’4” young man from Canada!
David showing upper level form!
With the goal of prepping David and BG for Young Riders, a plan was put into action to qualify. With the FEI rule changes, in order for David & BG to compete at future championships, BG needed to have his nationality changed to that of his rider, so for $1 and a cup of maple syrup, BG was "sold" to David and is now a Canadian!
He recently ran the combined Prelim test at the Florida Horse Park where he was in the lead before withdrawing prior to XC.  David joked that at the next event he took off in dressage & was a wee bit strong!  BG decided he wanted to get done the dressage done early & the medium trot was anything but medium!  He was fabulous in show jumping, marching right in without a warm up, jumping clear with 1 time fault.  
They had a ton of time on XC because BG was so strong that David contained him to show jumping canter.  Even with these time faults, he came off course feeling amazing.   Afterwards  David went over and hugged Missy, telling her that he felt like a child from the Make a  Wish Foundation who had just checked off his final bucket list items!  
The ultimate goal with BG is to run a 2 CIC & 1 CCI 2* to qualify, but finding qualifying events this year for Young Riders in mid July may prove challenging.  They can’t do Bromont because of visa restriction, as once they leave the US, they can't re-enter. 

David’s own horse,
Peninsula Topman (aka Topper) is also in the cards for Young  Riders.  This is the horse he brought to BHF, who has run a CCI 1* before the decision was made to focus on the dressage.  He’s a talented jumper with perfect form but not enough bravery on XC, so their sites are set on qualifying in dressage for YR’s.  They plan to qualify for Devon this fall,  take him to Wellington next year and to qualify in 2014.  Perhaps that year we will see the first ever Young Rider to qualify both a horse in Dressage and Eventing?!

I asked David for a bit of feedback on his experience at Blue Hill Farm since joining as a working student, and having first hand knowledge of their barn community, his commentary is spot on!  
“ Blue Hill has the best working student position on the continent, as everyone is family. It’s not just tacking up horses and slave labor, there is a real focus on improving your riding, not just on your own horse, but every horse you ride.  Something that so many other programs lack. Missy has had more influence on my riding than anyone else and there's no place I'd rather be.  

Riding BG has shown me the end result of Missy and Jessica’s training program, and I aspire to the challenge that one day I'll be able to produce horses as well as they do. I feel that since having the ride on BG, my own riding on Topper has improved exponentially.”

In the immediate future BG and David will run Intermediate this upcoming weekend at Poplar.  They’re hoping the bigger fences will make the XC a bit more ride-able.  The rest of the BHF crew will be at Poplar as well, with Steph running the combined Int/Prelim, Megan Lynn running 2* and Kathleen Sullivan taking both her horses in the Training.

Good luck and safe riding to the entire BHF team this weekend!  Next stop Pennsylvania.  We can’t wait to have everyone back home!!