Hello and happy 2017-2018 from down at the Fountain Valley School of Colorado barn.
My name is Annie Clifford, and I am this year’s From the Horse’s Mouth writer. I’ll let you know what those ‘crazy horse girls’ are up to. I’m a two-year boarding junior from Boulder, and I have been riding for about seven years. I compete on Fountain Valley’s IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) English riding team, and I sometimes show on the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association (CHJA) circuit. The horse I ride here is named Bella, and she really enjoys eating grass.
Over the summer, some of our returning riders were busy doing cool horse stuff. Annabel F. ’20 (Fairfield, Conn.) showed in the Vermont Summer Festival in the low children’s jumpers (3’3”) and did some classics at 3’6”, placing fourth in the jumper classic at the June Benefit Horse Show in Fairfield.
Lizzie H. ’20 (Anchorage, Alaska) spent part of her summer in Colorado, competing in a CHJA show and qualifying for Medal Finals this October. She also showed at Summer in the Rockies, an A-rated show at the Colorado Horse Park, where she earned reserve champion in the pre-children’s hunters and second in the hunter classic. She also spent a week in California at a clinic with Bernie Traurig, a renowned trainer scheduled to also hold a clinic at FVS in October.
Ellie Z. ’18 spent the summer riding at home in Boulder working with a less experienced horse that she helped train. Faith Y. ’19 (Colorado Springs) rode and helped around the FVS barn, primarily riding School horse Kobie and doing some CHJA showing with him. Sakura I. ’19 (Kobe, Japan) recovered from a concussion last year and did some dressage riding at home. Horseman Grace E. ’19 (Madison, Wisc.) showed at the new facility at Balmoral Park in Illinois in the Spring Spectacular, competing in both hunter and equitation classes, championing in her novice equitation division and winning the Marshall-Sterling Medal.
This year, we are excited to have a number of new riders. Newest team members include Riley V. ’19 and Olivia P. ’21 from Chicago, Ill.; Sage K. ’20 from Boise, Idaho; Michaela E. ’19 from Anchorage, Alaska; Karlie N. ’19 from Aspen, Colo.; and Mekella B. ’20 and Brooke D. ’19 from Colorado Springs. We also have several new riders who are a little farther away from home: Lisa H. ’20, Madeleine V. ’20 and Pauline S. ’19 from Germany, Shirley S. ’21 from Shanghai, China, and Lisa W. ’20 from Tokyo, Japan. As the year goes on, these new riders will be featured in this column.
During the coming year, you will learn more about the FVS English riding team’s events, riders and horses. If you love horses, you’ve found the right blog. If you’re not a horse person, read this column anyway to find out what the heck happens down at the barn. Besides, horses are actually pretty cool, even if they don’t smell all that great. They’re pretty fast (fastest recorded horse went 55 mph), pretty big (heaviest horse weighed 3,360 lbs.), and they have cool eyes (they can almost see 360 degrees)! So, rider or not, get ready for the 2017-2018 school year of From the Horse’s Mouth.