Work, Family And A Rapid Rise To FEI: Amateur Chanca Is Finding Success At The Top Of His Sport

Amateur dressage rider Anartz Chanca has risen to the top levels of the sport remarkably quickly, and one of the top professionals he works with—spoiler: she’s also his wife—has a theory about how he’s done it: “Some people are born with it—the athleticism, the drive, the feel for horses,” Marta Renilla said of her husband. “Anartz [Chanca] is one of those people, which explains why he was able to progress from training level dressage to Grand Prix in two years.” Last month at the GAIG/USDF Re

Ringside Chat: After Tokyo, Tamie Smith Is Ready For Action In Aachen

Tamie Smith hasn’t seen much of her home in California this year. She left in mid-February to campaign a string horses on the East Coast eventing circuit in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games. After a brief trip home, she was selected as a Tokyo alternate for the U.S. Eventing Team with her top horse Mai Baum, a 15-year-old German Sport Horse owned by Alex Ahern, Ellen Ahern and Eric Markell. That selection sent her back east for a mandatory outing, then on to Aachen, Germany, for training an

Obsidian Market Update 8/6/21

With summer wrapping up, we want to focus this week on our summer interns — why we have them, who they are, and what they contribute to our team here at Obsidian. We heard from the three interns we have this year, as well as Todd Feldman and Cynthia Gill, who both spend a lot of time with them. For the past several years, we’ve had students from Virginia Tech (our very own Pat’s alma mater) or the University of Maryland. These students are usually majoring in certified financial planning, econo

Langwost-Barlow Is Back On Her Unusual Road To Grand Prix Success

Rebecca Langwost-Barlow has a list of dressage accomplishments as long as her once-badly-broken arm and the kind of guts usually associated with top event riders and a terrific laugh. After staying home for the past year or so during the pandemic, Langwost-Barlow returned to the show ring this summer and proved that she hasn’t lost a step. Aboard her own Libertina, Langwost-Barlow won the Grand Prix with a 70.67% and finished second in The Maestro Cup FEI Grand Prix Challenge at Dressage at Lex

Mirey Kurkcuoglu Is Expanding Horizons and Setting Examples

Americans who have never traveled to Istanbul might not be able to readily imagine an entire island where horses are the means of transportation, but where they are rarely ridden for pleasure—especially by girls. Mirey Kurkcuoglu had her work cut out for her when, at four, she decided that she was going to ride horses. The determination she displayed from toddlerhood has served her well in her pursuit of success in the show ring. Mirey’s parents both immigrated to the U.S. from Istanbul as chi

Eric Johnson, President, Audio-Video Group: Sharing Voice and Vision for 20 Years

Eric Johnson founded Audio-Video Group in 2000 because he wanted to build relationships with clients in his community and ensure they could spread their message effectively. Now, 20 years into the life of Audio-Video Group, he’s reflecting on the journey and what he has accomplished. Eric discovered his love of electronics while in high school and graduated from college with an Associates Degree in Electronics Technology. He worked in nurse call and school intercom systems until his father, a c

Ashley Holsinger Deferred Law School for Horses and Never Looked Back | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Ashley Holsinger’s Memory’s Hill Stables started with a vacant farm and a dream, but Holsinger’s equestrian career began long before her Virginia farm. For a horse-crazy kid, the next best thing to growing up on a horse farm is to have access to riding through family. Ashley Holsinger, now a professional hunter trainer in Waynesboro, Virginia, had an aunt and cousins who rode horses. “They rode Arabians and saddlebreds,” she said. “I would come home from visiting them and beg for riding lessons

From Backyard Ponies to A Shows: Ada Cosby’s Career Proves the Power of Loving the Process | The Plaid Horse Magazine

For many of us, riding as a kid meant galloping bareback through fields instead of glossy ponies and hunter courses. Ada Cosby is no exception. She began riding at six years old and did all the things a kid can do with a pony—from foxhunting to riding down to the corner store to buy candy. “It was a luxury,” she said of her upbringing in horses. “It expanded my love of horses as well as my knowledge.” As she grew up, she got more interested in competition and moved into bigger barns. Eventuall

Prioritizing the Horse Yields Great Rewards for JJ Lavieri & Cassidy Equestrian Services | The Plaid Horse Magazine

JJ Lavieri had what was, for many horse lovers, the dream childhood. His parents owned a Venezuelan cattle ranch where he spent much of his time. “I was always on a horse,” he said. At eight years old, JJ began taking English riding lessons and fell in love with the change in discipline. He wanted the western horses to be his hobby and the English riding to be his sport. Even as a young person, that’s how he set up his equestrian life. Parents supportive of his passion, JJ found an early mentor

Morgan Caplane: From County Shows to the Grand Prix Ring | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Morgan Caplane got her start in horses in the most delightfully unfettered way a child could, and has grown that seed of passion into a successful imports and sales business in California. Her desire to be in the barn every single day has turned into the gift of finding the right horses for specific jobs. Neither of Caplane’s parents were horse people, but when she was a young child they bought a property in Mariposa as a weekend getaway. “The guy who came to do the fencing told them the proper

Peg Seals: From a $100 Pony to the Hall of Fame | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Peg Seals got her start riding ponies at birthday parties, and is now one of the top professionals on the East Coast. She owns Freedom Farm in Smithfield, Virginia—a full service boarding and training facility serving the hunter/jumper crowd. “When I was a little kid, I learned that it was possible to rent birthday party ponies for $8 a day. And then I realized it didn’t have to be my birthday to rent the ponies! So I would save up my $8 and rent a pony for a day. I probably rode the ponies’ le

Pam Baker’s Quest for Empathy in the Hunter/Jumper Sport | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Pam Baker’s name is familiar in the hunter/jumper world, and with good reason. She has spent a lifetime in the industry. A master of the craft, she has worked with horses and riders for decades. Baker’s equestrian lineage goes back to Captain Vladimir Littauer and Clayton Bailey, early proponents of the American system of forward riding. “The only reason I’m still in the business is that I went to a clinic when I was a teenager that Captain Littauer was giving, and I’d never heard anyone talk a

The Clothes Horse: Decades of Excellent Craftsmanship Bring Lifelong Rewards | The Plaid Horse Magazine

There’s something so elegant about the perfectly turned out horse in a custom cooler. For decades, The Clothes Horse has set the bar for horsewear and is well known for providing the awards coolers for The Devon Horse Show. They feature almost limitless color and pattern options with attention to even the smallest detail to appeal to every horse owner. We sat down with Katrina Coldren, owner of The Clothes Horse since 2001, to learn more about this incredible legacy brand and her involvement in

Maria Shannon Continues a Legacy of Supreme Horsemanship at The Barracks in Virginia | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Maria Shannon has been riding since before she could walk. She had the good fortune to be born into an equestrian family. Parents Tom and Claiborne Bishop, owners of The Barracks in Charlottesville, Virginia, taught her to ride, as did well known Virginia trainer Glenn Moody. Like Shannon, her parents have been lifelong equestrians. Her mother, Claiborne, began riding at age three with Elliewood Keith at Keithwood, where she would eventually meet Tom. The two married in 1970, the same year they

Kaitlyn Boggio is Out & Proud in the Horse World | The Plaid Horse Magazine

This Pride Month project of having queer equestrian conversations has been a special experience, and one that I hope readers are carrying on in their own communities too. One person I’ve been lucky to become acquainted with in this process is Kaitlyn Boggio, a 25 year old professional. She is currently the assistant trainer at Rendez-Vous Farm in Ashford, Connecticut. They specialize in hunter/jumpers and her responsibilities primarily involve showing client and sale horses. Boggio identifies as

Christopher Webb on Being a Gay Man in the Horse World | The Plaid Horse Magazine

The horse world, at least the English side of it, seems to have a lot more openly gay men involved than in other professional sports. While it isn’t clear that the same can be said for other people in the LGBTQ community (we’re here, but we don’t always have as much visibility), this is part of what makes equestrian sports special. But what is it about the horse show world that seems to draw in more wonderfully openly gay men than other professional sports? Though no one story can give us all t

Hard Work & Good Horsemanship Pay Off for Alliyah & Kierstin Antoniadis | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Alliyah and Kierstin Antoniadis are young riders demonstrating the value of horsemanship to a successful riding career. Many adults remember being horse crazy kids who were dropped off at the barn for an entire day- scrubbing buckets, cleaning stalls, riding whatever fuzzy lesson ponies they could get on. It’s a great way to learn about horses, but kids don’t always have those opportunities these days. Alliyah and Kierstin figured out how to make opportunity for themselves from a very young ag

Zachary Parks and the Gift of Horses | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Zachary Parks had an unlikely start to his equestrian career. During his very first ride, on the beach in California, he fell off and got his foot caught in the stirrup and wound up in the intensive care unit. “I got hooked—literally,” he joked. Most people would likely call it a day at that point and move on to a different, safer hobby like skydiving… but Parks felt pulled back to horses. When his family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, he was fortunate to be able to take riding lessons at

Kasey Evans Sets Proper Foundations for Success with Thoroughbreds, Happy Clients, IHSA and More at Bridlewood Farm | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Kasey Evans understands that good things take time. The southwestern Virginia resident takes the long view on green horses and riders, which lets her keep an eye on what really matters: a solid education for the horse and rider that will serve them well in the long run. “I got my start later than kids do now,” she said. “I started riding at 10 or 11 and got my first horse when I was 13.” She rode with legendary Virginia hunter trainers like Chris Wynne and Pam Baker, which meant that she got th
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