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.
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.
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!!