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Telluride Farm Broadens Education in Horsemanship Skills at Showplace Spring Spectacular II

Wayne, IL - June 17, 2009 - This past week the riders at Telluride Farm, in addition to winning top ribbons, received an education in horsemanship at the Showplace Spectacular II Horse Show in Wayne, IL. With rainy skies and wet footing conditions, Diane Carney's students were challenged by both the competition in the show ring and inclement weather. Carney owns and trains at Telluride Farm in Hampshire, IL.

"This past week was a great learning experience for my students," commented Diane Carney. "Not only did they win good ribbons, they gained experience from showing in not-so-perfect conditions, which is wonderful preparation for the future." She added, "To me, the value of showing is that the horse show is a test, and the lessons at home are the homework. Not only can you apply to the competition what you've learned from your homework, you can learn from the show experience and see what areas you need to focus on at home."

"To improve our riding, it's important to look at what went well and what didn't work in the show ring. Then it's time to take some initiative, go into the schooling ring, and work on the areas that we had trouble with. It's important to practice through flatwork. Showing isn't a means to an end, but something that improves our riding ability."

Carney's students had an educational week of competition both in and out of the show ring. Caitie Hope captured the championship and reserve championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division. She rode Safari and Winterplace, two horses owned by Artisan Farms LLC. Safari won two blue ribbons, two second place ribbons and a third, and Winterplace won three first places.

After winning the older Large Junior championship the previous week on Unsurpassed, Hope rode consistently well again and earned high ribbons with Unsurpassed and Africa in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters division. Unsurpassed is owned by The Cottonwood Ltd. and Africa is owned by Artisan Farms LLC.

In the equitation, the young rider competed aboard Redfield Farm's Don Juan and won the 15-17 Equitation over fences. She came away with second place in the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and third in the USEF Hunt Seat Medal. In the High Junior Jumpers, Hope won consistent ribbons with Sinatra IV, owned by Aaron Vale and his business, Thinks Like A Horse.

"Caitie is an excellent young, junior rider with aspirations of competing on the international show jumping scene," said Carney. "This year her sights are on the equitation finals, as well as preparing for grand prix competition this year and in the years ahead. On the horses, she has the concentration that is required and applies what she is learning at home to the show ring. She recently started riding different horses than in years past, so it's great for her to learn how a green horse rides in wet footing and rainy conditions, versus an experienced horse on perfect footing."

Alex Carlins, who also trains with Carney, guided That'll Do to top ribbons in the Novice and Modified Children's Hunter divisions. Earning second place in the Novice Children's Hunter Classic, as well as a first, two seconds, and a sixth, he secured the reserve championship for the division. He also took home two firsts and two seconds in the Maiden Junior Equitation, as well as the reserve championship.

"Alex Carlins is a very good up-and-coming young rider who recently advanced to the jumpers on Canterbury Farm's Ricardo. This weekend he really had to pay attention to the tests in the show ring, not just where the fences were located. He is learning to think ahead and plan his approach to every line, and this past week he learned how difficult it can be to show in rainy weather and mud. It was a great opportunity to find out some of the areas that we need to work on at home."

Tracey Berkos was successful in the Modified Adult Hunter division, capturing two firsts, a third, a fourth, and a fifth, as well as sixth place in the classic. She and her mount Ghirardelli, owned by Sarah Morris, were also the champions of the Modified Adult Hunter division. "Tracey showed her consistency this week," noted Carney. "She's ridden in the mud, in rain, in fields, and in sand her entire life. She is also very well mounted on Ghirardelli."

"It was an excellent week," Carney continued. "Not just because of the ribbons we won, but because my students really advanced with their horsemanship and sportsmanship skills. They had to pay attention to what we've learned at home and apply it to the show ring, which is the true test."

"They really learned from the experience and came home with the understanding that the ability to connect your horse's energy to the bridle is what advanced riding is all about. I think learning, both at home and under the pressure of the show ring, will help them handle future challenges, either at the Level 1 jumpers or catch-riding in the High Junior Jumpers."

She concluded, "Tuesday was derby day and 'Back the Bid' day at the horse show, which was a day organized to show our support of Chicago possibly becoming the official city for the 2016 Olympics. I think this event was not only a great way to show our support for the Chicago community, but it was a great reminder to the riders about working toward goals and showing our appreciation for show jumping at the Olympic level."

Carney has been both an active participant and influential trainer in the hunter and jumper community for many years. Her contributions to the industry extend to the many clinics that she teaches every year, in addition to those that she hosts annually for U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George H. Morris and top hunter/jumper trainer Don Stewart Jr. In 2008, she was voted 'Horse Person of the Year' by the Illinois Hunter Jumper Association, and she is also Vice Chairperson of the Zone 5 USHJA Hunter Committee.

Photo Caption: Caitie Hope on Safari at the Showplace Spring Spectacular II. Photo 2009 Lauren Fisher. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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