Where did January go?

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I seriously can't believe that April is almost here -

The winter has gone very quickly and it it is very much spring here in Ocala - sun, pollen and thunderstorms - and the stress of the upcoming spring events.

Where to begin? Our winter has been pretty okay - some cold weather came and went. The horses have are progressing as they should:

Doodle (Mandiba) is back in action, having shrugged off all that ailed him at the WEG and has had a great run at Red Hills - he was meant to run at Pine Top, but pulled a shoe off and stepped on the clip half way around the show jumping.... and run at Poplar, but the ground was unusually hard and we wanted to keep him fresh for BADMINTON!!!!! Oh Ya - the little man is going to the BIG DANCE! I am so excited - I have never been and it has been a dream for years to be a part of it! So we have 2 gallops, 1 run at The Fork, 1 shoeing, and 1 vet checkup before he gets on the plane - I hope it all goes to plan...

Quin (Quintus 54) has really stepped it up this spring - he (and we) lost his owner, Becky Broussard, in December - and now the Rebecca Group, Becky's husband Jerome and daughter Sara, are keeping her passion alive - Lucky for him and us!!! A leg stretching run at Ocala, followed by a combined test at Pine Top, set him up for a test at Red Hills to see if he could handle the crowds and atmosphere... And sweet Quinny was great! He had his best dressage test to date; Karen didn't plan to go fast on the xc, he jumped great and came home full of run; he had a cheep rail in the show jumping, but all in all - he earned himself and entry to Rolex! He had another great weekend at Poplar too.... So he has 1 run, 5 gallops, 2 vet checks, 1 shoeing till he goes to the Horse Park - Magic!

You may think I am odd counting it down - but you gotta set your little goals and check each one off the list!

The Rebecca Group just purchased Veronica for Karen to ride. Oddly enough, we have known about her for a few years and sometimes you don't buy what is on your own backyard... My boyfriend, Scott Keach, imported the mare 2 years ago and has taken his time producing her to be the little motor car that she is now... Veronica was sent to Lauren Kieffer to help promote to sell and after she broke her arm (bucked off a young horse... really hard) Karen took over the ride - and when Laura Kraut needed a horse for the derby cross and Karen gave her Quin to ride, Veronica became Karen's mount... and the rest is history. The little mare has game and we are excited to see what will be in her future - she was 4th in the intermediate at Red Hills and 4th in the CIC** at Poplar.... She is onto The Fork as well.

Little Phil (Cherubino) was having a great season with Karen and his owner Kate winning the training at Rocking Horse when we discovered a cyst type lump near his ankle - With the advise of Dr Christiana Ober, we decided to take it out surgically before it attached itself to any structures - so his spring season is cut short but he will be back competing by June :) It is nice to have the choice to be proactive not reactive...

Purdy (Sunset Paradise) is developing herself at the preliminary level - her past steeplechase career has kept Karen from letting her run too fast on the cross country - she will stay at this level for a while to get the education she needs to make the next level easy for her - she is very brave and smart... and VERY good looking - we are hoping she will do the CCI* at the Virginia Horse Center (one of my favorite events ;) )

Trisciut (Bally's Cracker) has had a light winter - she bruised her feet early on and we've given her time to get better - she is a favorite of mine as I looked after her mom, Bally-Mar, for years... Trisciuty will be hopefully be back running at Virginia -

Holly (Smilla) is another new horse (what is with all the mares!!!) that Karen found for Ms Mars with the help of William Micklem. She came out of the Hutchinson Family's jumper barn in southern Ireland and has started her life eventing - the jumps are no problem, but sometimes paying attention to the jump and not the fence judge, or the people walking the course, or the other jumps, or the dog.... she is too funny -

Fun group of horses... the rest of the crew here at the farm is ticking along - mostly due to Rachel Goff who came to run our barn after working for Dr Ober for 3 years... she is witty and sharp and I am not sure how we ran ran the barn without her. Hannah is getting ready to take Nike to Rolex and William to Bromont - be such a Cinderella story to see Nike at Rolex... the ultimate comeback kid....

Lauren continues to diligently work away with the young horses - Snooze Alarm had a small injury which Lauren caught before it got bad, he doesn't owe anyone anything, so his upper level career is over - he'll be back teaching the next generation though! Her broken arm is healing well - she has been cleared to ride so she will be back competing at Ocala Horse Trials...

phew - I think that catches up on all the news...

Next gallop is Friday - hopefully I can check that off the list too!!!!