California Riding Magazine • November, 2009

Winner's Circle

Jenni Martin and Mondeo.

Dressage Double Take

Yes, this is hunter/jumper trainer and Grand Prix jumper rider Jenni Martin in dressage mode. She’s riding dressage trainer Donna Richardson’s Mondeo and winning at Third Level at the California Dressage Assn.’s recent San Diego Chapter show. Richardson sent Mondeo to Martin and her husband and training partner Steve McAllister after the horse’s Grand Prix career was stunted by a suspensory injury. After three years trying to bring the horse back, Richardson got frustrated and gave the hunter/jumper team a try. “Jenni and Steve are masters at rehabilitating horses,” Richardson notes. In the process Martin received some dressage instruction from the
very accomplished Richardson and the results speak for themselves.

Pat Parelli Honored

The Humane Society of the United States has named Pat Parelli as its Humane Horseman of the Year, an annual award presented to an equestrian who has committed themselves to improving the welfare of America’s horses. Parelli was presented the award during a private horsemanship event at his ranch in Pagosa Springs, CO and again at a recent training event in Fort Worth, TX. Parelli was honored for his work with the HSUS on a program centered on the trainability and adoptability of rescued horses.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Pat Parelli to celebrate horses and help find adoptive homes for rescued horses across the country,” says Keith Dane, HSUS director of equine protection. “The Celebrations (Parellis’ tour) and the Parellis have been a powerful force in highlighting the adoptability of rescued horses. 
We are delighted with the results of this collaboration.”

World’s Smartest Horse

Karen Murdock’s super smart off-the-track Thoroughbred Lukas multiplied his fanbase exponentially when NBC-TV affiliate KMIR Palm Springs ran a piece on him in September. The video was picked up by NBC national news and CNN, reports media wiz Elizabeth Kaye-McCall, who was stunned by Lukas’ performance herself. “I was there for the filming and one of the most incredible things was when the reporter mixed up the shapes Lukas identifies,” she relays. “There was no rehearsal, Lukas was responding to a strange person, and to objects in a different location relative to his trainer. This is on top of identifying the shapes at all.”

Murdock has been telling Lukas’ story (California Riding Magazine, August 2009) in hopes of making more people aware of horses’ intelligence and value and, thus, less likely to abuse them. Appropriately, Lukas recently became a spokeshorse for CANTER in California. This is the organization that seeks to match retired racehorses with non-racing homes.

For more on Lukas, visit and for more information on CANTER, visit

West Meets East

Continuing a tradition that began a few years back, West Coast junior hunter/jumper riders kicked off the “Indoors” circuit back East by kicking butt!

It began at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in late September with domination in the Equitation division. Fifteen-year-old Far West Farms rider Cayla Richards swept her division, with Theo Boris hot on her heels as reserve champ. Caroline Spogli took that honor in the 13-14 age bracket. Sydney Callaway and Hannah Von Heidegger did the
same as champion and reserve in the 12 and under category.

Next up was the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, where the Zone 10 jumping team won the Prix de States competition. Riding in the jump-off against a combined team of Zone 1 and 8 riders, Lucy Davis and True Love logged a clear round and a fast time to secure victory. Her teammates were Karl Cook and Notories Utopia, Saer Coulter and Chelan and Paris Sellon and Troyes. Butch Thomas served as chef d’equipe. In the individual Junior Jumper competition, all four riders were clear and fast. Davis finished with a silver medal and Coulter with the bronze, while Cook and Sellon rode to a very respectable eighth and ninth respectively.

The next day at Harrisburg was the USEF/Pessoa National Hunt Seat Equitation Medal Finals, where our own columnist Zazou Hoffman finished second with superstar Tina Dilandri in third. East Coaster Jessica Springsteen took top honors against a whopping 237 competitors.

California pony riders were not to be outdone at Harrisburg. Pearl Theodosakis and Made For Me were reserve champions in the Small Pony division and Destry Spielberg, with Love & Laughter, and Sklyar Nelson and Macy Grey, also scored impressive ribbons.

Our region’s presence was equally strong in the Hunter winner’s circles at Harrisburg. In the Junior Hunter ranks, Alexandra Arute, Hannah and Nicoletta von Heidegger and Alexander Block and Gabbi Langston ribboned frequently. In the Open division, trainers John French, Jack Hammond, Keri Kampson and Peter Lombardo won big on various horses.

Thanks to West Coast Active Rider’s Kathy Hobstetter for the timely reporting of these exciting results.