Monday, April 27, 2015

News from Gigi and our American contingent in Europe!

News from Gigi and our American contingent in Europe!  We're so excited to hear that they're all doing well, and in a call with Missy today, she said that they have analyzed the judges comments and know exactly what they need to work on to win the next competition!

We are so excited for Gigi, Rio, Missy and Rachel.  


To my great friends and supporters!

Rio and I had a wonderful weekend in Waregem! We finished in second place by tenths of a percent in the 1a Team and Individual Championship Tests with 69.8% on Friday and 67.8% on Saturday. Rio's Freestyle Musical ride to the soundtrack of "The King and I" earned 71.3%! (Our first score over the 70% benchmark in Europe!) I was delighted despite finishing in second place again!

 After the prize giving ceremony we took advantage of a break to visit the American War Cemetery 'Flanders Fields', literally across the road from the show venue. This memorial to 348 Americans killed in World War I was beautifully tended with bright spring flowers relieving the stark white crosses, definitely helping us keep the day in perspective.

Missy Ransehousen, Rachel Gross, Rio and I will spend the next week back in Neeroenteren, BE, working toward higher scores in Mannheim on May first thru fifth!

Thank you so much for all your good wishes!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Thorncroft Press Release Featuring BHF Rider Riley Garrett!

Thorncroft Equestrian Center Promotes Para-Equestrian Sport Growth

  By: Lindsay Y. McCall

Malvern, PA - April 9, 2015 - The Para-Equestrian sport works closely with many therapeutic riding programs. This partnership helps foster developing athletes and provide disabled riders a high performance sport opportunity in addition to the therapy program. A few of those therapy and education programs include Carlisle Academy in Lyman, Maine, and Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern, Penn.. Therapeutic Riding Programs use horses and equine-assisted activities in order to achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral and educational skills for people who have disabilities. It not only focuses on the therapeutic riding skills but also the development of a relationship between horse and rider. The Thorncroft Equestrian Center is a mainstreaming facility where handicapped and non-handicapped people come together to ride together, learn together and relate to one another; and within an accepting environment, foster growth in each other.

Hope Hand, Paralympian and former student at Thorncroft Equestrian Center graduated from Thorncroft Equestrian Center  and moved onto competing in able-boided Dressage competitions.

Hope Hand (right ) with U.S. Para-Dressage Chef D'Equipe Kai Handt. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall
Her education and ability propelled Hand into high performance competition leading her to the Paralympics. Hand has since given back to the equestrian program that helped develop her as a rider by mentoring those interested in the Para-Equestrian discipline. Fourteen year-old Riley Garret is one of those athletes.
Riley with Hobbs

Garrett began riding horses when she was three year old. She started riding at Thorncroft Equestrian Center in 2012. She then became a working student and trained under Carole Laulis. Garrett explained, "I am part of the big happy Thorncroft family. Carole Laulis was my trainer and built me into everything I am today. My goal is to compete as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team in the future. Another goal of mine is to compete in Kentucky with the Junior Young Riders Team."

Garret is working hard at accomplishing those goals currently riding with Missy Ransehousen at Blue Hill Farm.

Garret added, "This is a once-in-a-life-time experience, and I would never be in this position if it wasn't for the support, guidance and love given to me at Thorncroft."

Thorncroft Equestrian Center  is continuing to be a mainstreaming facility where handicapped and non-handicapped riders work together. It is also providing an exciting avenue to those interested in competitive riding with their Para-Equestrian program.

Through therapeutic riding facilities like Thorncroft Equestrian Center, the high performance Para-Equestrian discipline can create a pipeline for future Paralympic athletes.

30th Annual Victory Gallop In Benefit of the Therapeutic Riding Programs at


The 30th Annual Victory Gallop is scheduled for Saturday April 18, 2015, in support of the Therapeutic Riding Programs at Thorncroft. The Victory Gallop occurs from 6 PM-12 AM at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, PA. The evening includes a black-tie dinner, dance and auction. To learn more about Thorncroft or to attend the 30th Annual Victory Gallop please visit

Thursday, April 9, 2015

And They're Off!!

Bags are packed and Rachel and Rio Rio are ready to go!!

Susan McClean, dear friend of Gigi's from her Stoneleigh Burnham school days, picked up Rachel and Rio this morning….bound for JFK!  They will fly early tomorrow morning, and James will meet them at Jeanette Haazen's stable on Friday night.

Gigi's daughter Charlotte has her bridle shower this weekend, then Gigi flies to Europe to meet the crew on Monday.  Let the competition begin!!


April 23 - 26 CPEDI3* Waregem Belgium
May 1 - 4 CPEDI3*  Mannheim, Germany

We wish Gigi, Rachel and Rio the best of luck abroad and know you will make us proud!!

To our supporters back home, thank you again for all the recent donations and please continue to spread the word about fundraising on Gigi's behalf.  She has the ambition to make the team and we can help her get there!!

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