by Tim Hayes
Sam Butler was born and grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. His mother and father got divorced when he was seven, so every week Sam traveled back and forth to live with both parents. He was the youngest of four boys and in trouble almost from the beginning, getting kicked out of third grade for refusing to do his homework. He started using cocaine at twelve, dropped out of the eighth grade, and was sent by his parents to a military academy for troubled teens in the United States.
Photo credit: Rebecca Walton
It is no secret that being drawn to go first in any major equitation championship is less than desirable. But when that rider is someone who knows her horse and knows her job, the results can be flawless.
At 6:30 AM on Saturday, 15-year-old McKayla Langmeier nailed the 2015 ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Championship course presented by judges Chris Kappler and Ralph Caristo at the CP National Horse Show. Her performance left them in awe, and made her the judges' clear frontrunner to win the championship and make history as part of the first ever mother-daughter duo to win the prestigious title.
New Englanders are strong on tradition and Equine Affaire’s popular musical celebration of the horse, the Fantasia, is a tradition that horse people in the region hold so dearly that they began ordering their tickets for the November event in the middle of July. Why the anticipation and the rush for tickets months in advance? It’s an evening of unforgettable equestrian entertainment that delights horse lovers young and old—and the “perfect ending” to a busy day of shopping and learning at Equine Affaire!
Cynthia Brewster-Keating, Christof, and Pedro Cebulka with Erin Ballard and Appy Cara of the $45,000 GGT Footing/Whiteline Structures Classic 1.45m at Royal West, Calgary, AB, Canada. Photo Credit: Katy Whitt Photography
The pulse has quickened at the Royal West in week two as the big names began gearing up for the weekend’s big prizes. On Wednesday, Canada’s Erynn Ballard sharpened her game in the $45,000 GGT Footing/Whittling Structures Classic 1.45 meter with a dramatic win in an all-Canadian 11-horse jump-off.
By Jamie Menczer
Hosts of American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) events have the opportunity to create a fun theme and even reward participants who dress appropriately for that theme. At Ladd Farm in Bridgewater, New Hampshire the arena was transformed into a jungle habitat for an Arena Obstacle Challenge (AOC). Branches were woven through the metal fencing around the arena to create solid walls of foliage and the transformation was completed with the strategic placement of large inflatable four-foot tall monkeys, life size parrots, an alligator, a zebra, and a tiger's head. Ten intrepid trail riders from New Hampshire and Maine brought their trail partners including Tennessee Walking Horses, Rocky Mountain Horses, Quarter Horses, Mules, Morgans, and Haflingers. These experienced trail riders put their and their horse's confidence to the test in approaching unusual and scary objects.