When Charlie Moorcroft started his own pony breeding program at his family's 100-acre Lee Hill Farm in Hanover, Conn., in the mid-1990s, he kept his startup financially afloat by doing everything, from feeding to training, himself--as well as teaching clinics elsewhere on a freelance basis. In time, a number of his ponies won championship titles on the Welsh Pony breed and regional show circuits.
Charlie still breeds championship ponies. But he's also passing along his classical riding foundation (acquired during years spent working with an array of top horsemen) to a new generation of riders from all walks of life. As Charlie equips his young students for success in the pony divisions, they're also absorbing the work ethic and attention to detail that underlie his current successful business in Wellington, Fla.--as well as the self-reliance and self-respect that will be assets for them in or out of the horse show world.
Get a behind-the-scenes look as Charlie warms up student Jessica Donatelli and her two mounts for a pony hunter class at the 2008 Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida.
To read more about Charlie Moorcroft and his system, see the article "Pony Ring's Pied Piper" in the July 2008 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.