Since Kentucky last year we’ve been rehabbing JR’s tendon injury, but when he had his last MRI done it was clear it wasn’t getting any better. My vet, Dr. Susan Johns, was concerned that the tendon could rupture at any point so she, along with Dr. Kent Allen and Dr. Amy Norvall, did some research and set up a meeting at Rolex Kentucky this spring with Dr. Kurt Selberg and his wife, Dr. Katie Seabaugh. We spoke about the different options for JR and decided to go with Dr. Laurie Goodrich, who both Dr. Selberg and Dr. Seabaugh know well from Colorado State University. She would perform a navicular bursoscopy and then administer stem cell therapy. Dr. Goodrich's operation is a cutting edge repair procedure where she goes in through the bursa and cleans up the whole tendon. I figured I owed JR the chance for a quality life after all he’s done for me, and really had nothing to lose. I had him shipped to Colorado State University two weeks ago for the operation, which took place last Wednesday and went beautifully. They did a CT scan to see what the blood supply in his foot was like and decided they’ll inject the arterial stem cells they produced into the arteries at the top of his leg in order to to get them to his foot. He’ll also use an underwater treadmill and other some other, non-weight bearing therapies. Dr. Goodrich did her residency with Dr. Nat White and went to Cornell for her Phd., but became a surgeon instead, working under the surgeon who developed the procedure that JR just had. JR’s in rehab right now at CSU with Dr. Melissa King and I feel so lucky to have Dr. King and Dr. Goodrich joining JR’s team.
Seneca Horse Trials
I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to check in right after Seneca, but our Surefire Horse Trials was the next week so I think I was a bit overwhelmed. Urrem (REM) was second in the Preliminary! She put in a beautiful dressage test, and was clean in both show jumping and cross-country. For the first time, galloping to the jumps didn't seem to concern her and she was just beautiful to ride and so much fun. She may have been a bit funny about the bit for the first three fences in show jumping, but after that was beautiful to ride as well. I thought the Preliminary track at Seneca was quite nice and had a really good flow.
Surefire Horse Trials
A lot of friends came to help with our event--Emily, Liza and McKenzie Ragan from Kentucky, along with some of Emily’s students from Hidden Bridge—as well as Maya Black and Caitlin Calder. McKenzie got everyone in the barn organized as she had done last fall for our horse trials, setting everything up and assigning all of us something to do. She did an amazing job!
Sunny Greene flagged courses for us, and Kendyl Tracy and Kelty O’Donoghue came out and set up the dressage rings. Caitlin Calder, Emily Ragan and Po Tatham did all the flowers and decorations, which looked incredible.
I thought the courses were the best yet, with great footing and flow, and Trav Schick, Josh Sylce and Tremaine Cooper were awesome.
We could not do our event without Christy Stauffer—she is so on top of the whole thing and amazes me with what she does, from screening volunteers, to ordering port-o-potties, to organizing volunteer bags—she is just pretty incredible. Christy’s sidekick, Lisa Welch, and of course my parents Dick and Jo, are indispensable, too. And, saving the best for last, Tom is a huge part of why our horse trials just get better and better every year. He’s the backbone of the farm and the horse trials, responsible for all the seeding, aerating, and mowing that makes our footing so great as well as a million other details that go into pulling off an event. He puts endless hours into the farm and horse trials—thank you!
I also got to compete my new mare Dashwood (Nora), owned by Anita Antenucci and myself, in her first ever event at Beginner Novice, which was really fun!
Buck and The Apprentice won the the Airowear Intermediate Challenge and $5,000, Michael Pollard was second on Walterstown Don and received $3,000, and Emily Pestl-Dimmitt and her horse Airlington were third and took home $2,000.
We got really lucky with the weather because we were done by 5:40 and a huge storm rolled in an hour later. We had two tornadoes with sirens and a flooded basement! I think our horse trials coordinated well with with the competition at Great Meadow going on the same weekend. When they had to move up their show jumping to 5:00 on Saturday due to predicted storms, we figured out how to get Buck and Phillip in earlier at our event so they could leave. I think the concept of Great Meadow becoming a facility to run events again is awesome and Surefire will hopefully keep going on and improving. I think it’s pretty exciting to have two events supported in this area.