For many guests and boarders Savior Faire Stables’ Labor Day BBQ was more than a grand farewell to summer. It was a way for them to help their friends Sandy Burns-Gardner, Kathy Schack and Jennie Burns send their talented 6-year-old stallion, Hit Parade SFS, to Kentucky for the 2008 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships.
Hit Parade SFS is currently ranked number one in the United States Dressage Federation’s 6-year-old division and everyone at Savior Faire has worked hard to help him fulfill his potential. Savoir Faire Stables imported Hit Parade from Holland in 2005 with the assistance of Norbert Gieling. He attended the Young Horse Dressage Championships for the first time last year as a 5-year-old.
The Young Horse Championship is an invitation only championship, with many of the nation’s top up-and-coming dressage horses vying for spots. On his campaign to qualify and prepare for the USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships, Hit Parade won several championships in California. At the Western Selection Trials held at Dressage at Flintridge, Hit Parade earned yet another tri-color as reserve champion. He finished the selection process with an overall average of 8.3, and everyone at Savior Faire was ecstatic when he received his second invitation to the championships. But showing isn’t cheap, especially when the show is on the other side of the country.
“Since it was the National Championships we wanted to do something very American. After all we are living the American dream,” says Jeanne. “And what’s more American than a BBQ on Labor Day? We were all overwhelmed and deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support.”
Over 100 people attended the BBQ, which was a special blend of fun, food and fundraising. While hot dogs and hamburgers roasted on the grill, guests were entertained with freestyle demonstrations by Sandy, Shawnee Scharer and Anna Buffini. The demos started with Sandy riding Connie Chaney’s Cenira, followed by Shawnee on Ubramino, Anne aboard Eros Ramazotti and Doris Herwig on Zack Provost’s Luca. The show concluded with Sandy performing on Hit Parade. Pam from Bella Vista Cosmetics also brought her mobile spa and donated skin treatments. But the highlight of the event was the silent auction.
The Burns were touched by how many generous donations they received for the auctions. Guenter Seidel donated a lesson, Eric Vawter donated two jumping lessons, farrier Kim West donated a trim, the law offices of Alex Schack donated Charger tickets and a Big Bear ski rental, ABJ Equine donated vet services, Advanced Dental Care donated a dental service, Jane Brown donated several baskets and Peter Scharer donated two bottles of rare wine; the list went on and on. Savior Faire also put an inspection winning Oldenburg yearling colt by Hit Parade on the auction block.
It was a smashing success. Less than two weeks after the fundraisers, Hit Parade was on a trailer and Kentucky bound.
As it turns out Sandra and Hit Parade had more than just tough competition to combat. The remnants of Hurricane Ike were blowing through Lexington when Sandy and Hit Parade entered the arena. As high winds pulled panels off neighboring buildings, the judge was forced to seek refugee in her truck while show staff took down the judges’ tent.
Despite the adverse conditions Sandy couldn’t be more pleased with Hit Parade’s performance. “He was such a good boy,” exclaims Sandy. “When the panel came down he spooked a bit, but he went right back to work. He was very focused in the warm-up arena and when it was time to show, well, he went right down the center-line and didn’t look around at all. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
After their test concluded they were approached by judges Holly Simensen and Kathrine Burger, representing the German Oldenburg (GOV). Hit Parade was already a registered Rheinlander stallion when Savior Faire imported him, and last year he was issued a lifetime breeding license from ISR-Oldenburg Registry N.A.
“Katherine and Holly were judging Hit Parade for approval into the German Oldenburg stud book,” explains Kathy. “After his class Katherine told us, ‘We happily approve this stallion!’ It was a really great show for us. And the USDF took it to a new level this year. They had a big VIP tent setup that was all decked out and we were able to watch the show from our table inside.”
Savoir Faire Stables once again traveled to Kentucky with a team of experts including their vet, Dr Anne McCabe from ABJ Equine, and their trainer Guenter Seidel. But Guenter was more than a spectator this year. He won the 2008 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) National Developing Horse Dressage Championship aboard Richard and Jane Brown’s, U II.
Chris Hickey and Cabana Boy, owned by Hilltop Farm in Maryland, won the 6-year-old division. Hilltop Farms was very impressed by Hit Parade and decided to take him on as a guest stallion for the 2009 breeding season.
For more information about Savoir Faire Stables and Hit Parade SFS call 760-521-1124, visit them on the web at www.savoirfairestables.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.