Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rider's Wednesday -- Thoughts on a Homegrown International Contender

And Hope for Lame Horses

Cecelia Trabert, the English rider featured in Clinton's book, and I have kept in touch after working together on that project. Her friend Deena Smith has been involved with one horse that is headed to Germany to represent the U.S. Deena has also been instrumental in offering hope and healing to one of her mares that developed laminitis.

(Just so you get to know the players, Deena is aboard "Rusty" in this picture. That's Cecelia, Rusty's owner, standing.)

I received the following information in an e-mail the other day. It was so interesting on so many levels that I asked permission to reproduce it in today's blog. So, Deena will be the "guest blogger" this Rider's Wednesday:


Brigadier (aka Bufford) is headed to Germany to represent the United States as a 6 yr-old in the 2006 World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Dressage. He qualified by becoming Reserve Champion at the Western Regional finals with a final score of 8.276.

Brigadier was born and bred here in Kansas and is registered with the ISR/OLD. While I am not the actual breeder (Page Hinds-Athan), I was the one to deliver him so it's been fun to watch him grow as a competition horse, competing and holding his own with the more expensive imported horses in the sport.

Brigadier is being trained and ridden by David Wightman of Adventure Farms.

Brigadier was the highest placed USA bred horse (placing 3rd) at the 2005 USEF/Markel National Young Horse Dressage Championships as a 5 yr-old.

I am very honored and excited at the opportunity for Brigadier to compete for the United States. As you can imagine this will not be inexpensive. The USEF does cover about 1/3 of the cost for this show, but that's all. I have found a fund that is tax-deductible for anyone who would like to contribute. Let me tell you a little about this fund.

My mare Keva developed laminitis almost 3 years ago. She was reaching the end of her time this winter and I knew that this spring I was going to have to make that decision that all of us horse owners dread.

Then one Sunday I read an article in the back of the USDF Connection and in it was information about a specialist in VA, Dr. Andrea Floyd of Serenity Equine Hospital.

I contacted her immediately and transported Keva there mid February of this year.

I just returned from visiting Keva this past weekend. She looks really good for a "dead" horse! She walks like a normal horse now... trots but is still a little tender about it... only lays down like a normal horse (I did not once see her down in her stall the entire 3 days I was there!)... she looks and acts like the horse she was prior to the laminitic event.

She will be coming home in August with the prognosis of total pasture soundness. We still don't know about riding soundness as she had a lot of damage in her tendons... but don't count this option out!

I saw many horses like Keva at the hospital... some in worse shape than she was. All are on their way to recovery!

I also met some of the horses that a special fund helps care for. It is called the CFMEF fund. These horses are rescued and have had some kind of catastrophic lower limb injury and/or laminitis. If this fund had not rescued these animals they would have lost their lives.

Dr. Floyd and her staff are the most caring and wonderful people I have ever met. When I was in VA this weekend I arranged with Dr. Floyd to use her fund to collect donations for Brigadier's trip. How it works is that everyone can donate to the CFMEF fund in the name of Brigadier (its important to make that clear on the check) and she will, in turn sponsor him. I have agreed to give 10% of all of the donations to this worthy fund for the care and treatment of the rescued horses. Checks can be sent to:

Serentity Equine
2954 Evington Rd
Evington, VA 24550

You can also go to the website, access the CFMEF page and use Pay Pal. Be sure to mark the donation/check in the name of Brigadier and give a return address. This is a tax deductible contribution and you will receive a receipt as such.

I appreciate any and all help for this wonderful opportunity to send my little Kansas boy to Germany to go against the best in the world and at the same time help some very needy horses.

Thanks again!!

Deena Smith


According to Cecelia, Deena got to see the amputees on her visit to Virginia. Some horses and donkeys there have "peg legs and a wonderful life." A six year old stallion has been there 3 years with his peg leg, breeds with no problem and is well cared for. Deena says it is amazing.

Worth checking out, anyway...

Happy riding! And good luck, Brigadier!