Monday, August 16, 2010

Harry Houdini Does Rebecca Farm

The omnibus said this was not a 'move up' course, and boy were they right! Both the xc and stadium at this year's RF were formidable - many of the traditional leaders in various divisions were found out.

Thursday's dressage didn't go exactly according to plan when a big draft-x literally ran into Harry and Sara as they were about to head down centerline. Harry's test was a bit tense and the pair were tied for 6th at the end of the day. Still, Harry's "thing" has always been xc and the daunting course was no challenge as he handily answered every question with strength and style, moving up 3 places and standing alone in 3rd after day 2.

An unlucky rail in stadium dropped the pair to eventual 4th, but Sara was thrilled with his performance - particularly with how he immediately turned on the jets when she asked him to run after 4:30 minutes of grueling xc. Harry flew up the hill to the fort (2nd to last question) then down to the 3'9" brush jump. GO HARRY!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sommers Knight - BN-A Champion!!

2004 black gelding, Sommer's Knight out of Sommer Schwalbe (Schwalbenzug - Luneur) served as a 'catch ride' last weekend for Emily Sixby, who trains with Troy Wing (Knight's regular trainer) and served her well.

Troy said the minute he gave Emily the leg up, Knight knew it was "showtime" and he was ON. He certainly dazzled the judge in dressage, posting a 26.70 score - which turned out to be low score of the show. In stadium, he was his usual brilliant self, and had one of those "ah-HAH!" moments xc, focusing on the task @ hand and jumped around brilliantly.

Emily and Knight finished on their dressage score to win the BN-A division Championship. A feat made more impressive by the 2nd place horse's score (also finishing on the dressage score) of 41.20. The game plan is to move Knight up to Novice next weekend, but since he qualified for the Area I Championships and also posted 1 of 2 qualifying scores for the AEC's, we'll see if they hold Knight @ BN for one more outing (giving him a total of 3 @ the level!) to try and capture his 2nd qualifying score for the AEC's. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A New Chapter for Harry and the Beginning of a Brilliant Career for Fritz!

Harry was picked up this morning and is off to Sara Mittleider in Idaho. Will always be happy Kristen found him, leased him and gave him his start in eventing. I honestly can't say enough good things about her. Thanks again, K!

It was obvious from the start Harry was uber-talented as an eventer and would quickly need someone to take him to the next level. Enter Sara Mittleider - 5x Rolex KY3DE rider who's had Harry's full brother Manny since March 2009. Sara's looking for her next Intn'l. eventing super-star once she retires current star El Primero (a.k.a. Tony) and she's had her eye on Harry for some time. As it became apparent Manny's future was in SJ and Harry progressed faster than anyone expected, it seemed like a good time to send Harry to Sara and Manny to Helmut (Schrant Taz's former trainer/rider). Harry & Sara debut next week so stay tuned for news about this exciting pair!

As other Taz kids turn 4 and start under saddle, will give updates on them. And the first update is on a 2006 gelding who's really something special: Memeltanz (a.k.a. Fritz) is out of the outstanding TK mare, Mixta (Erzsand *E* - Condus *E*). This talented grey is now under saddle and though unconfirmed in this footage, his suppleness, suspension & power is already impressive and he will be a formidable dresage competitor as the 2010 show season progresses.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane

The last time I watched a horse going around the Training course @ Greenwood Farms in Weatherford, it was Tzigane. Yesterday, it was his look-alike son, Harry Houdini getting his first taste of what it's like to do Training level.

Rider/trainer Kristen Wertz has done a tremendous job with him and deserves a HUGE thank you from both Jimmy and I. The best-bred horse cannot compete alone, and to have a trainer/rider with the skill and sensitivity to balance incredible talent with still-developing mind and muscle is a rare thing. Kristen has done her job to perfection and Harry is now starting to pay her back. It will be fun watching this pair compete the rest of the season.

Harry has to do one more USEA recognized HT @ Novice to complete requirements for the ATA Eventing Futurity then they'll move up to Training where Kristen says she's "gonna let Scary rip". Supah!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Manny the Water Horse, Part II

It's a good thing they call Florida the Sunshine State because that was certainly NOT the case in Paso Robles, CA at Twin Rivers HT's. The 3" of rain fell overnight as promised and before noon organizers canceled XC for the day and would re-assess conditions later in the day to determine if they could go on Sunday. Shortly after 1pm the decision was made for organizers; there was no possibility of getting an ambulance on the field, so XC was out.

If possible, it was raining even harder for their stadium round. Footing was sloppy on top, but solid underneath. Manny wasn't sure he could trust it at first and the first few fences was not his usual bold self to a jump. However, after a taking off and landing a few times w/no slipping or sliding he got better and better and by the end was looking for the jumps, going double-clear and moving up to 7th.

Manny the Water Horse

Ah, sunny California . . . NOT . . . it rained buckets yesterday in Paso Robles (with 3 add'l inches and gale-force winds forecast for last night). Manny did not like the rain one bit, but went to work and did his job when Sara asked. GOOD BOY, MANNY!

Based on the forecast, the game plan today is to go ahead w/stadium, but most likely scratch XC as he's scheduled to go late in the day. Given Sara's patience in re-building his confidence and how well he's going, we decided it's much better to play another day than risk shaking his confidence.

Regardless, Sara and I were both VERY happy with Manny the Water Horse!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In Germany . . . it's TAZ-MANIA

Taz was introduced to the German breeders last weekend at the Muenster-Handorf Hengstschau (stallion show) and could not have performed better. Regular rider Helmut Schrant was on hand to demonstrate his ability over fences, and it immediately became apparent this was a super idea as Taz jumped easily and w/o effort over everything. While Helmut was interviewed about the stallion's internal characteristics, new regular rider, Kruemel hopped aboard for some spectacular "flag riding"!

The German audience is quite knowledgable about bloodlines and they are thrilled to have access once again to the Condus/Ramzes AA blood . . . that this is combined with Rondo thru his sire line makes his pedigree super-exciting blend for breeders.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An AMERICAN Trakehner

Normally this blog covers the offspring of our mares and stallion, but since December 10th, our foundation stallion Tzigane *Pb* has been at Gestuet Majenfelde in Germany under the expert care of Stephanie Herken-Wendt and chief rider, Kruemel and a video they sent today was so special it deserved a post.

Next weekend Taz makes his debut in front of the German breeders at the Muenster-Handorf stallion show. As the 5th ATA-approved Trakehner stallion to be later approved by the Verband, Steffi and Kruemel have a special introduction for him with the German breeders. So next Saturday, Taz will enter with his country's flag flying and a video that came today shows what a great job he'll do representing American Trakehners!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

KABOOM - Harry & Kristen for Another Year

Harry Houdini will remain with Kristen Wertz for 2010. Kristen just renewed her lease of Scary for another 12 mo's (guess he didn't "scare" her too much).
Team TwinGates was thrilled because this has become quite a winning pair and we're expecting even bigger things from them in 2010!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Harry Wins Again

Harry Houdini and trainer/rider Kristen Wertz started their 2010 season together the same way they ended 2009 - with a win at Willow Draw. The pair posted the best dressage score of the day with a 25.5 - including a 9 on his final turn down centerline to halt - and left all the rails up in stadium (this was a CT) to place 1st of 11 in BN @ Willow Draw.

This was Harry's last outing at BN, he leaves one division undefeated and will debut at Novice mid February - STAY TUNED!