July 2017 - Meet our Area VI NAJYRC Eventing Horse & Riders
Written by produced by Bec Braitling & Lauren Billys
Saturday, 01 July 2017 18:09
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produced by Bec Braitling & Lauren Billys

Coach: Bec Braitling
Chef d’equipe: Lauren Billys
Coordinator: Christine Traynham
House Mom: Lee Miller
Vets: Drs. Emily Sanders & Laura Werner
Grooms: Maddie Hogan (head groom), Allana Baker, Amelia Christiansen, Alexis Concolino, Haley Fava, Adison Lopiccolo, Maxy Phillips, Haley Turner, Callan Weiss

The CIC2* Team

Sophie Hulme & Gorsehill Bellle.

Sophie Hulme & Gorsehill Bellle

I was born and raised in Portola Valley to English parents, so I have dual citizenship.  I currently live in the UK while attending the incredible Hartpury College, in Gloucester (where else would you see Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro to the indoor arena while emptying your wheelbarrow on the muck heap, or bump into William Fox-Pitt at the International Eventing Forum).  I hope to graduate with an M.Sc. in Equine Science in 2019.

Annabelle is a 14 year old Irish Sport Horse (half -sister to Badminton 2014 winner; Paulank Brockagh) whom we imported from Richard Sheene of Cooley Horse Farm, when I was just 13.

I did not start competing Annabelle (aka the “Boss”) until I was 17.  She can be extremely fiesty under saddle, particularly before the start of cross-country, as many people who have led me to the start box over the years will attest.  However, she is a horse of a lifetime, I am so grateful for everything we get to do together, she has successfully taken me from my first Preliminary event at Galway Downs to my first CIC** at Strazgom in Poland (the venue for this year’s 2017 European Eventing Championships) and she is the one that I always turn to when I am feeling a little homesick or in need of a little pick-me-up. An ocean and a continent from all that you know really is a long way from home, but with Annabelle everything seems possible with hard work and perseverance.

I have been chasing the dream of representing Area VI at NAJYRC for seven long years. As I turned 21 in June, this really is my last opportunity to fulfill that dream and represent Area VI.  The Churchill quote “Never, never, never give in” really does hold true.  We came very close to achieving the dream in 2014 when we qualified for the Junior 1* team and were named as an alternate for the team that year.  Since then Annabelle and I have been slowly working away to qualify for the 2** team.

We certainly could not have done it without the support of the village, both in the States and the UK.

So, starting with the US team: James Alliston (my trainer in California) who saw a video of Annabelle and told me that she was definitely my team horse; Helen Bouscaren; Rachel Williamson; Brian Sabo; Heidi Gaian; Bart Halsberghe as well as two volunteers extraordinaire, Donald Trotter and Ann Burrows, whose friendly smiles and words of encouragement meant the world to me at our California events and Deb and family at Ride On Video.

In the UK, my current trainer Nick Gauntlett his wife Amanda and family our vet Tom Campbell and farrier Glen Taylor.

My parents for their unconditional support and love and continuing to fund both mine and Annabelle’s frequent flyer mileage account. Last but not least, my UK adoptive parents John and Petey Alliston. RIP John, this one will be for you!!!

I am so lucky to have the support of Finish Line UK, Auburn Laboratories, Neue Schule, HRP Equestrian and Multi Radiance Medical who keep both Annabelle and myself in tip top condition.


Madison Temkin & Kingslee

My journey to NAJYRC started in 2015 when I competed at NAJYRC at the Kentucky Horse Park. That weekend was a dream and Kings and I finished in fifth place. Ever since then I had to go again. Last year, Kings and I hit a major roadblock. Kingslee was rushed in for emergency colic surgery at UC Davis.

After the worst night of my life, Kings managed to pull through. Months of rehab and he was finally back to work, but my goal of Young Riders that year was not attainable.

Plans change, hearts break, that’s a given with horses. I didn’t get my hopes up too much, but I set my eyes on NAJYRC 2017. Kings and I qualified at Galway Downs in March, completing our first CIC2* together. A few weeks went by and then I received the e-mail about being selected.

I’m16 and Kingslee is a 17.1 hand, 19 year old OTTB that I’ve been partners with since June of 2014. Kings is the quirkiest, weirdest horse I know. Favorite snacks include Honey Nut Cheerios, Cliff bars, jelly beans and pears. If he wants something or he doesn’t want to stand and talk to people, he will head butt you out of his way.

He may be 19, but everyday he shows me age is really just a number.

My long list of thank yous includes my friends, my family, and my sponsors, who are absolutely incredible with their support. I can’t thank my farrier Dustin Smart and my vets Lisa Atckinson and Carrie Schlachter enough for all they have done for Kings, and continue to do. Hawley Bennett for partnering me up with Kingslee years ago and his owners Deb and Geriann Henderson for trusting me with their boy.

Geriann passed away in a skydiving accident November of 2015. I never got the chance to meet her, but heard she was an incredible person with a love for the sport and Kings. I hope that she watches over Kings and I and we make her proud.

Megan Traynham & Lord Lombardi. Photo: RH Saddle Club Photography

I want to especially thank my mom and my trainer Beth Mahon Brown for everything she does. She is my friend, my shoulder to lean on, my coach, and my biggest supporter. Without her I would be nothing, she makes this crazy life I lead possible.

But the biggest thank you of all goes to my best friend King. Thank you, buddy for being my horse of a lifetime.

Megan Traynham & Lord Lombardi

I am 16 years old and “Vinny” is a 9 year old Holsteiner gelding that I have been riding for three years now. This will be our third Championship together. A few fun things about Vinny are that he is more of a people person: he loves people. He also will eat anything whether it’s edible or not! I am so grateful for everyone who has helped me and I wouldn’t be here without my trainers Bea and Derek DiGrazia, my sponsors and my parents!

The CCI1* Team

Kate Canario & Ringwood Little Imp.

Kate Canario & Ringwood Little Imp

I had my eye on the Championships in the fall of 2014 but didn’t think I would be able to get qualified before I turned 18 since I have a December birthday and only started eventing as a 16-year-old as USEA measures age.

In the spring of 2015, things started to fall into place and I started to seriously target the 2017 Championships. I got the opportunity to go to Championships last year and do the mentorship program, which was amazing. My horse “Ciaran” really stepped up to the plate in 2016 and we were able to get qualified for NAJYRC at Galway Downs in the fall.

Ciaran has so many quirks. He is normally a goofy pony that enjoys licking my hand and snuggling.  At shows he goes into “show mode.” After he gets his bath and gets braided he is very serious and has this determined look about him. He knows when he does well at shows and when we could have been better. If he has a great round/test he is all proud of himself and whinnies the whole way back to the barn, then demands treats. On the other side, if we don’t do as well as we could have, he stays in the back of his stall the rest of the day and won’t talk to anyone.

The biggest thank you goes to my parents. They have supported me unwaveringly, and I am so lucky to have such amazing parents. I have to thank my trainers David Acord and Janelle Dunn for their fantastic training and endless advice. I am so blessed to have the most incredible friends and barn family who have supported me tirelessly. Finally, I have to thank my two most wonderful horses for making this dream come true. Without them I never would I gotten where I am today.

Isabella Dowen & Lasse 73.

Isabella Dowen & Lasse 73

Lasse 73 is a 15-year-old Oldenburg we bought in August of 2016. My trainer Liza Horan was in Germany visiting Michael Jung’s farm when she found Lasse and told my family we needed to buy him. After I rode him for the first time in California we realized he was a lot more horse than we originally thought, which actually suits me very well. It was amazing that Liza knew my style so well and knew Lasse would be a great fit, without me ever riding him.

Liza and I have been working tirelessly to get Lasse and I prepared for Young Riders and keep us moving up the levels. I have learned what it takes to prepare a horse for an FEI competition and have gained a new riding skill set in the process. I have never had so much fun and put so much focus towards a goal than I have with competing and riding. I am so grateful that I have Liza because she has inspired me and motivated me to be motivated, responsible and a competent rider and horseman.

It’s amazing to me that only three years ago I was trotting out of the startbox at my first Beginner Novice and now I am gearing up for NAJYRC in Montana. I am also very grateful for my parents who support me financially and emotionally through everything. My dad is my partner in crime at horse shows and he has yet to miss one. He has listened to so many lessons, I’m surprised he doesn’t compete himself! I have an amazing team of riders surrounding me who support and motivate me everyday. It is so special to be surrounded by such a supportive group of friends and family and I am forever grateful for everyone who has helped me over the years.


Mallory Hogan & Clarissa Purisima

My horse Clarrisa is a 16hh, 10-year-old, Holsteiner/Thoroughbred cross mare. I purchased her about three years ago from David Koss while she was still quite green. Since then, we have grown up and experienced a lot of “firsts” together. Clarissa is known around the barn for her larger than life personality, which is how she got the nickname “Princessa.” Since day-one she’s always been a really smart horse. We joke in the barn that she’s like an elephant and never forgets anything!  She likes dressage, but would much rather be jumping. Clarissa is small but mighty when it comes to cross-country!

I’m 16 and I train with Andrea Pfieffer of Chocolate Horse Farm in Petaluma. I am so thankful for Andrea as she has been a huge part of our journey. I’ve been with Andrea since I was 9 and she has always encouraged me to continue to learn and grow as a rider. My parents, Kristin and Michael Hogan, have always been my number-one fans. They have always supported me in my decisions that allow me to pursue my goals in this sport and I am forever grateful for them!

My sister Madison has been a huge mentor and someone I’ve always looked up to in the sport. Lastly, my brother Max has always been the best one-man fan club! There are so many more people that have been involved in this journey in one way or another and I want to thank them all. Making the trip to NAJYRC has been a dream of mine and I feel honored to have been selected to represent an amazing area with an amazing group of girls. Go Area VI!

Kaley Sapper and Tuscan Sun.

Kaley Sapper and Tuscan Sun

We bought “Tuk” in the summer of 2015. He’s an OTTB and a descendant of Secretariat.   We’ve been training at Next Level Eventing in Temecula with Tamie Smith and Heather Morris since the fall of 2015.  The barn is almost 65 miles from my house!

Our career highlights include winning the JYRO Prelim at Rebecca last year, winning Copper Meadows Prelim Rider last fall, 7th overall and 4th Young Rider at Galway CIC* this year.

Tuk is a cross-country machine! As my dad says, “He lives to run fast and jump over big things.” Gallop and jump days are his favorite and every other day feels like Monday to him. He has the sweetest personality and wants to be friends with everyone. He loves attention, kisses and cookies and has a luscious and flowing tail. If you can’t pick us out by the funky white patch on his rump then just look for that tail!

Tuk always yawns a few times right before he gets his bridle put on.

He’s going back to school with me this fall to get his “ME” (Masters in Eventing) at Cal Poly SLO, where he lived before we bought him.

I’ve had the ultimate goal as a junior to compete at NAJYRC ever since I started eventing, and we dreamed that Tuk would be the one to take me there. We’ve worked so hard to build a partnership, and I think we’ve achieved that and more. It’s been a long journey, from learning the basics and love for the sport from an incredible trainer to finding the dream and chasing it. I’m so grateful and honored to be chosen to represent my area.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am lucky enough to take the journey with a one in a million horse.

Huge thank yous to my parents, who have done everything in their power to help me achieve my goals. They have made my dream their dream and have been with me every step of the way. My mom hasn’t missed a moment, from shining boots to sneaking Tuk cookies after a nice round. She has put me and my goals before herself, and for that, I am forever grateful. My dad has given his full support, always making me feel like a winner, no matter the outcome. My sister, too, has been a huge part of the journey, from playing groom to taking some incredible pictures. And of course my brother, with his witty bonnet (funny horse hat) comments and “good jobs.” Without all of them, none of this would be possible.

I’m also so so grateful to the H family for believing in me and helping me reach my dream. I’d also like to thank Tamie, Heather, and the entire NLE family. They have improved my riding immensely and given me opportunities I never dreamed of. They have shown me what it’s like to love the animals and the sport unconditionally and how to be a better horsewoman. The whole barn has been supportive and eager to see me succeed.

I’m so grateful to have all of the barn in my life, not only as trainers, barn mates, and supporters, but as lifelong friends and extended family.

Lastly, thank you to all of Area VI-volunteers, organizers, small businesses, sponsors, friends. It’s a very special community we have. Everyone is friendly, supportive, and so dedicated to this sport. From a friendly face in warm-up (Don Trotter!!!) to the hard workers behind the scenes, none of us would be competing, nor would we be having as much fun, without you!


Delaney Vaden & RedRox Jazzman

I am so excited to represent Area VI with my best friend Jazz, a 13-year-old American Warmblood (half-TB/quarter-QH/quarter-Clydesdale).  Like most journeys ours so far has been full of ups and downs and many accomplishments. Jazz and I were lucky enough to compete at last year’s NAJYRC and are thrilled to be able to do it again. We’ve been partners for 4.5 years. Together I did my first Novice, and then first Training, and then both of our first Training Three Day, Prelims, One Stars and Intermediates. It is so special to me that the two of us have achieved so many firsts together, and that I get to say I am the one bringing him up through the levels myself.

Jazz is a total goofball with oodles of personality. He is quite a ham and always begs for my food, which I usually share with him. He loves every horse he meets, especially his “brother,” Hobbes. He has the most heart of any horse I have ever ridden and I trust him completely. His favorite phase is cross-country, show jumping being second, last being dressage. However, we have worked very hard to improve our dressage, as well as our other phases.

Jazz and I are eternally grateful to those who have helped us achieve our goals, and work to help us achieve our future goals. It takes a village, and our village is why we are where we are. With the help of numerous vets (Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, and Dr. Gardener), our amazing farrier (Scott Bakewell), Body workers (Grant Showalter, and Thea Montello), incredible trainers (Bea and Derek DiGrazia, Amanda Volle, Danielle Casalett, and Volker Brommann), family (especially my grandparents), sponsors (Auburn Laboratories, CWD, Ecogold, Zandona, and Frilly Fillies) and friends we are truly living a dream. Thanks to everyone for this opportunity to give it our best!

Sophie Tice & Mojo.
Sophie Tice & Mojo

I have been training with James Alliston and Helen Bouscaren for about four years now and they have been incredibly supportive. I ride James’ Mojo, a 16.1 hand bay gelding. He is a 15-year-old OTTB that is full of talent. He is a horse that never ceases to make you laugh and tries his heart out to please you. With the help of James and Helen, I competed at my first Training Level and continued to grow to be able to compete in my first CCI 1*.

My journey to NAJYRC was very fun! I applied last year to be on the One Star team for Area VI, but was put as one of the alternates. Although it was disappointing not going to compete, I was extremely happy to be able to go and help as a groom that year. It was very fun for me to see some of my best friends who were riding have the time of their lives. It was also extremely informative to see how things worked. I believe that it was good for me and Mojo as a partnership to wait another year because I was still fairly new to the level and we needed to work on our dressage to make it more consistent. I am extremely grateful that I was given the opportunity to compete this year for our area with an amazingly talented group of team members and I am so excited to see how it goes.

I am first off extremely grateful to have parents who are so supportive in everything I set my mind to. They’ve convinced me that as long as I work hard, I can accomplish many things in this sport. I love having the sport of eventing as a family affair that we all enjoy and can bond over. I am also incredibly thankful to my trainers. They are very hard workers that always push their students to strive for excellence. James giving me the opportunity to ride Mojo has been outstanding and both of them are excellent trainers. The whole James Alliston Eventing family is always rooting each other on and make everyday riding such a fun experience. I would lastly like to send a huge thank you to the Area VI coaches and all of the organizers who put countless hours into this operation.