2009 Special Year End Edition

Special Horses, Special People, Special Accomplishments

As I look back over the year that was 2009 many things come to mind. It has been a year of hardship for many with a deep recession, record unemployment, mandated state furlough days and a reduced school week just to name a few. Add in a year of record rainfall it seems as though we’ve been living with a dark cloud over our heads for months.
But as I scan through my notes there were some amazing things happening in the CGES family.

Our technical assistant Kelly Canez made several changes in her life including taking control of her diet and beginning a program of regular exercise. Many of you have noticed the transformation as she dropped 60 pounds this year.

Young rider Akayla Thompson, age 6 won her first ribbon in the walk-trot class at the Albany Fall Classic Horse Show. She was mounted on her 24 year old Arabian gelding, RO Captivashun. “Captain “ as he is affectionately called has been a real ambassador for the breed having taught several young to show with confidence.

Speaking of young, Michelle Puryear of Byromville had her dreams come true when her miniature horse mare finally delivered a healthy filly after a very long gestation period. The grulla filly was born June 20th after 380 days of gestation weighing a strapping 17 pounds.

Robin Cook claimed the title of National Champion at the Miniature Horse National Show in Oklahoma with her colorful entry, Pick Pocket's Coz For Applause.
 Not to be outdone her mother Olivia did a fine job training Moon River See More Shine for a top ten placing in the driving division.

Melissa Molaison was busy this year with her Tennessee Walkiing Horse mare, Painter’s Polka Dots completing 8 NATRC Competitive Trail Rides in 2009. They racked up 320competitive miles and won 7 first place awards including awards for Best Condition, Horsemanship and High Point Team.

Cheryl and Todd Smith of Byron are serious trail riders. You’ll often see them packing up for a weekend on the trail. We received these pictures from a picturesque beach in Inlet Point, South Carolina.

Nadia Rosenbaum is rapidly climbing the ranks as a top level rider of hunter-jumpers. She won numerous titles on the Florida circuit last year and was doing well on her new pony Rollingwoods Giv Em L when the pony became injured in a freak accident. Digital radiographs at CGES showed an incomplete tibial fracture. Fortunately his owner and trainer acted quickly and “Gimme” had a full recovery. He returned to the show scene in October and completed a beautiful medal round at the Pleasant Oaks Horse Show.

One of the things that always strikes me is the many ways in which we can enjoy our horses. Big or small, young or old, English or western, racing or pleasure, show or trail, halter or performance. I could go on and on but the bottom line is we have horses because they enrich our lives.

The Georgia National Fairgrounds hosts many events each year but one of the most unique is the Equine Special Olympics competition. This year there were a record number of entries with over 350 competing. As I looked over  the arena packed with exhibitors I was truly in awe of the unique power of the horse to thrill it’s rider, to take them to places they otherwise cannot go, to free them from the restrictions of life and to fulfill the dreams of the owner. While many may lack the physical tributes considered to be essential these humble servants were truly beautiful.  Our own Susan and Matt Shultz competed with their horses Gold Plated Deuce and Skips White Path to earn several medals. Congratulations indeed!

The Halloween Holiday seems to grow larger each year with special stores dedicated just for the ococasion. Wendy Marston of Fort Valley had no trouble finding a costume for her granddaughter and her trusty mount Rowan.

Several years ago we did a prepurchase exam on a very young Quarter Horse mare for Mary Beth Gentry to use for barrel racing. It’s been quite a good combination as she has been steadily climing the ranks in Georgia High School Rodeo. This year she won both state championship titles in barrel racing and pole bending on Dashing Eve, the young mare she trained herself. She qualified for the chance to compete at the National Finals in Oklahoma and placed in both events. Since Mary was a Junior she’s got one more chance to claim the whole shooting match.

In another venue pretty buckskin Quarter Horse mare Purrfect 10 and her owner/rider Michelle Puryear had a very successful year in the cutting pen winning the Heart Of Dixie 5/6 Champion title and the Southeast 5/6 Reserve Champion title. All this after the mare had sustained a nasty facial fracture two years ago.

Even when you have a really talented horse and rider and trainer it can be very tough to have all of the pieces come together at the right time and place. Injuries happen, judges preferences change and sometimes things just don’t go well. Not this year. Charles and Brenda Thompson of Bonaire took a chance several years ago putting a  large amount of money on the line to buy a stallion. They started him under saddle and good things started to happen. A few years later they started to breed him to a few mares and good things started arriving. That might be enough but this year the the stallion did double duty. He carried a young rider to the Region 12 Arabian Horse Championship in one of the most competitive divisions on the circuit. He then traveled to Lexington, VA and won the title of Region 14 Sport Horse Champion under saddle and Grand Champions Sport Horse with a his trainer Monti Hight. Capping off a Cinderella year Kruise travled to xxxxxx and was unanimous National Champion Sport Horse.  It was quite a victory to win at his age, with riders both youth and professional, at home and on the road and while still breeding a full book of mares in between trips. If that weren't enough many of his offspring are claiming titles of their own.

I wish you all well this year. May your life be enriched by the horses you love.