Friday, September 14, 2012

Carlingford JD

Long time Blue Hill Farm boarder Trudy Phillips recently sold her horse Carlingford JD to a wonderful new home. Although we all miss him, it's great to hear that he is doing well with his new owner. I asked Trudy and Rachel Gross to write a bit about JD and what he means to them.

JD and Grade 1A Para Dressage rider Laura Goldman at the 2010 WEG Selection
Trials and National Championships. Laura and JD went on to compete in the World Equestrian Games.

From Trudy:

JD, the Irish Sport Horse, has a wonderful new home with Jen Smith of Telford, PA.  I am so thrilled that JD will have the opportunity to do what he loves to do which is to compete.  With my own business, I felt that poor JD was being ignored even though Jessica and Missy have been super to find riders for him.  

What an amazing 10 ½ years it has been from exasperating to exhilarating! JD came from Paddy Hughes in Ireland.  Missy saw him and let me know that she had found my next horse.  She told me the only drawback was that he had four white legs.  There was no way that I, working a full time job, would be able to keep those legs clean.  I already had difficulties keeping up with Paddy, a bay, my other horse at Blue Hill.  If she could live with it, I could.  What a shock to Jessica, when he arrived - this multi-color, gypsy, Thelwell pony-like, small horse.  Throughout his tenure at Blue Hill, JD lived up to his initials as Gigi (Margaret) McIntosh fondly nicknamed him “Just Dirty” much to the dismay of Jessica.  Thank heavens for cans of White Spray!  

Despite physical uncleanliness, JD was loved by both Jessica and Missy after we found his niche.  As it is with any young horse, I had to overcome his youthful games.  However, I realized very quickly that he liked company either equine or human.  Once he had a companion, he would do just about anything and without one ... well, let just say, it was questionable as to how long I would stay in the saddle.  How he grew from those earlier years to where he is today as such a solid citizen.  

Originally, he was to be an event horse with his breed of Connemara and Irish Warmblood and his ability to jump, but he had other ideas.  Not only I, but Missy and Hillary Moses discovered that we either won at the horse trials or a no go elimination.  After several extremely frustrating years, his career pathway became dressage and para-equestrian.  

Who would have thought that this little multi-colored dirty pony (even though he’s almost 16 hands) would become a para-equestrian and dressage star?  J competed at 4th level dressage with Rachel Gross, a Blue Hill Working Student, and me.  Both of us managed to have scores in the 60’s and win some classes.

Para-equestrian riders Elizabeth Pigott and Gigi McIntosh successfully competed with JD at their respective levels.  Elizabeth showed him several times at the National Championships and Gigi competed at the 2012 Olympic Selection Trials.  Although she did not make the team, she had only ridden him 2 months.

I was the proudest of JD in 2010, went he competed at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) with one of the USA para-riders.  He exceeded all my expectations by placing 4th overall in the team and individual tests as well 6th after the musical freestyle.  What a gentleman he was with all of the activity!  Nothing seemed to faze him.

Although I miss him terribly, I am so happy that he’s in the area, and that Jen has been so gracious to let me visit him and watch him compete.  Jen has been super!  I receive “picture hellos” from JD all the time as well as updates on his adventures.  I look forward to attending his shows and visiting him.  I wish Jen the best of luck in all of her competitions!

A "picture hello" from JD and Jen!

From Rachel Gross:

JD has been a staple of Blue Hill Farm for many years, he was imported from Ireland as a three year old and has been owned by Trudy Phillips until very recently he was sold to a very loving and appreciative family who will benefit from his ability to teach any rider. When I first came to Blue Hill as a working student, I was given JD to ride and have lessons on.  I had ridden at third level before, but I was definitely a little rough around the edges. JD was the perfect schoolmaster.  Lesson after lesson I was made to ride shoulder-in on the long sides of the ring until I resigned myself that I would never be able to do anything other than shoulder-in for the rest of my life. Then one day it became so easy.  After that, everything was easy. I started showing JD successfully at third level, and by that I mean he won pretty much every class I entered him in, except maybe one or two where we were second.  He won high point at my fourth level debut. He alone is responsible for so much of my education, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to call him my competition partner for those few years.  Not only is he trained to Prix st George, but he also competed at the WEG in 2010 as a Para-Equestrian horse.  He is the most personable and easygoing all around competitor I've had the pleasure of knowing, and I wish him and his lucky new owner all the best in the world.

JD in his new home

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