“Roving Reporter”

ROVING REPORTER……MARIANN DEERING

MUNDIAL CABALLOS DE PASO CONFEPASO

What do you get when you mix beautiful world class Paso Fino’s, Trote y  Galope’s and Trocha horses together with world class Latin food and some of the most beautiful people in the world? MUNDIAL CABALLOS DE PASO CONFEPASO (WORLD) 2013 in Miami, Florida.

It didn’t take much for the Roving Reporter to convince our Delegate, Linda Holzer and her lovely assistant, Christie Holzer-Hartin to experience it first hand. This was my second Mundial and I knew, with it so close in Miami, we might never get another chance, since it is only held every other year and only in the U.S. every 8 years.

Christie, Linda, Wendy, Alborado & Mariann

The Confepaso rules that govern the event are much more stringent than PFHA rules, which govern our pointed shows in the U.S. Confirmation and behavior of the horse and rider are first evaluated before entering the ring. The horse and rider that won the top show in Puerto Rico, were disqualified at Mundial due the rider’s defiant behavior toward the judges and one of the other top riders.

Once in the ring, perfection is a must! The class my 3-year old filly was entered in had 17 amazing fillies from Columbia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the U.S. Unfortunately, my filly Alborado deJH with Jimmy Espino was scratched the morning of her class; so I only got to cheer for the other horses and riders.

Yvette and Robert Trevaro were there from Rancho Toledano in California and successfully showed in several classes over the four day event.

Each morning, Linda, Christie and I would talk about the food we were going to eat. The Latin’s’ have their main meal mid-day so we quickly fell into that pattern. The only problem was that we also found it necessary to also eat a big meal at dinner in order to savor the delicacies only found at this event. I also introduced my dear friends to a fabulous treat I discovered during my trips to Medellin, Arepas!

Arepas are corn meal thick pancakes with a mozzarella-type cheese in the middle fried in a half inch of grease and butter on both sides until it becomes a heart-attack–waiting-to-happen, deep fried, sweet grilled cheese, artery-blocking treat.

One of the many vendors.

I warned the ladies that it is a meal in itself and that we would have one as an afternoon treat, but no, Christie left all of us at the table while we all still had half a beef, rice, beans, and ceviche on our plate and went and bought one. Two bites into it, they got it………delicious but definitely a meal onto itself. I also warned them that you should only eat one at a sitting. No, Ms. Linda didn’t heed my words and one evening thought two would be her evening meal…… Why don’t people listen to me?

The evening events were packed with screaming passionate fans, rooting for their country. Flags were waiving, hugs and high-fives were everywhere, congratulating not only the winners but those who were just able to complete.

Entertainment!

In the end, it was a fabulous experience and I, for one, will make sure I attend the next Mundial, wherever it might be in two years.

Your Roving Reporter

Mariann Deering

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PONCE INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW

Last month Jose Lozada insisted that I attend the Ponce International Horse Show in Puerto Rico to see how the Puerto Ricans put on a show. Since the weather sucked here in Oregon, I was only too happy to jump at the chance to visit PR and watch Jose and Jimmy Espino competing in their homeland.

First, I had to experience the local traditions and the beauty of PR. This meant great food,

Jose’s Family & Wolkowicz Family

music, riding paso fino’s through the countryside and a little Puerto Rican Moonshine! Yummm! But, I had to pace myself since it was midday and there was a lot more to see.

Andadura Races

Next, we drove about an hour into the mountains to watch Andadura Horse racing. Google it, there is no way my pictures or this article can portray the speed and grace of these horses or the craziness of the riders. Picture a dark and rainy night, men riding bareback with no helmets, on a downhill asphalt drag strip…did I say in the rain, downhill, on asphalt. These horses have a gait like the Icelandic horses’ “tolt.” Two riders, racing downhill and the first one at the bottom wins, unless they break gait. These are fast horses and on my next trip, I want to ride one…with a saddle and a helmet. At the end, they load their horses (up to five) into the back of their ½ ton pickups and drive over the mountain home….I showed this picture to my horses so they would appreciate their comfy trailer.

Champion & Reserve Champion

On Thursday, the show started with the youth classes, so I took this opportunity to lay by the pool in the perfect 80 degree weather. Once at the show grounds I was surprised to see only one tack vendor. I know this will surprise you, but I did not buy one thing while I was in PR… a little disappointed that what little shopping there was looked like “airport art”.

Then the show started…beautiful horses and lots of amateur owners. The show jackets on the women were spectacular, very detailed and beautiful. In PR you are allowed to have silver on your tack and sparkles on your show clothes. It was all very tasteful and beautiful. Most horses were shown in breast collars with silver trim.

The big winner was Jimmy Espino who owns Criadero de JH

Jimmy Wins Championship

in Ocala, Florida. The crowd went wild and started chanting JH. Drunk guys are allowed to rant and rave at the riders on the rail, waving their arms and going crazy throughout the entire show. I thought they were heckling them, but I guess they were words of encouragement. Keep in mind the entire show was in Spanish and beside Jose, Jimmy, Ali and Edgar Ortiz (United Paso Fino) and Debbie Wolkowicz and her family, I knew no one!

On to the next adventure…..Spectrum in May will be my next stop!

Your Roving Reporter,

Mariann Deering

FERIA DE LAS FLORES – MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA

Yes, it’s true, I went back to Colombia this July for 20 days, by myself, to experience the annual Feria de Las Flores in Medellin, Colombia, and to look at the country not as a tourist, but possibly as a place I might want to open a seasonal B&B and spend more time.

Feria de Las Flores (Fair of the flowers) in Medellin. The Fair consists of 10 days of events from flower, car, art, fashion and bird exhibits, a huge parade of floral floats, bands and dancers, entertainment, i.e., Mark Anthony, food, a 4-day SPECTACULAR horse show, and the ending event, the Calbagata (Trail Ride/Horse Parade). Diana, Carolina and Daniel Sierra were excited to have a reason to take in more of the events than they would have if I had not come over with an agenda. All of the activities were great, but let’s just jump into the horse events.

54th Expointernacional Equina de Medellin Grado A – This is the best of the best Paso Fino, Trocha, TroteyGalope, and Trocha Galope horses in the country. It also includes some of the best demonstrations of Friesian, Andalusian and gaited mules I have ever seen. Colombian’s love ALL breeds! The facility was packed each day, standing room only, as you can see from the picture. The Paso Finos, are all fino horses….no pleasure or performance. And, over the 4 days,only one woman competed on a TroteyGalope. She was in the championship and the trainers that I was sitting with thought she and her horse would take the class, but she actually came in 3rd…hummmm. Guess I will keep showing in the USA, where I stand a chance!

United Paso Finos, Edgar Ortiz, contacted his brother, Juan Carlos Ortiz in Medellin to make sure I was well cared for and entertained when the Sierra family needed a break. I joined them for several days and they made sure I wanted for nothing. At the show, food was made fresh in the stands and adult beverages were handed out by

the bottle (Aguadiente) like it was popcorn. I didn’t see any ID being required. Aguadiente is a liquor made in Colombia and sponsors every event throughout the country. I liked the fact that the ambulance was parked next to one of many Aguadiente stands at the horse show. The best show was what was going on in the food court and in the walkways to and from the grandstands. Party Party Party…all day/all night. Showing off on your horse went to a whole new level.

I know what you’re thinking…did I feel safe. Yes, because I had people educate me on what NOT to do, where I shouldn’t go and when taking taxis out of certain areas of the city was not a good idea. Police were EVERYWHERE. I felt safer in Medellin than I would in downtown Portland at night. Everyone was searched, I mean really searched, entering the show. Babies are held while mothers are searched. There are just as many women in the police force as there are men. And they are not big burley people, but they are all armed to the nines! Some of the handguns had barrels close to 2 feet long and were pretty intimidating. On the last evening of the competition there were half as many police as spectators. Like I said, they like to party and when the show is over, the unofficial show and party on the grounds takes over.

Bogota Jungle Ride – After staying with Alberto’s father and sisters, Alberto Sierra and I were invited to visit Mario Bolivar and his family, at his ranch high in the mountains above Bogota. WOW, WOW, WOW, what an experience. The day we arrived he had arranged for his staff to take us on a ride from one ranch to another. I got to choose what I wanted to ride, Paso Fino, Trocha or Trote galope. I chose the Paso. This horse went places I wouldn’t have been able to walk. Sometimes, she was almost sitting down as she scrambled up the rock face of the mountain. Keep in mind, we are above 8,500 feet above sea level and this means substantial drop offs. The jungle and the unique vegetation were amazing. I so wanted to bring home one of the 6’ long fern frauns for our next scavenger hunt.

That night, after a fabulous dinner and great wine, his trainers brought out his show horses and invited me to ride them all around his brick courtyard. OMG! There was one Fino and one TroteyGalope I wished I could have put in my suitcase. The next day, Mario, Alberto and I took off on new stock to the next ranch where he raises cattle. Mario and Alberto rode gaited mules from the famous stallion Terremoto. I stuck to another Paso Fino. This ride was steeper and rockier than the trek the day before. Holy crap! One misstep…….These animals were amazing!

Bogota, is not a city for me. We spent almost 3 hours stopped in traffic. It must be a common occurrence because we were able to eat lunch in our car from vendors walking up and down the traffic lanes.

Desfile (Parade) a Caballo Feria de Las Flores

This is what I extended my trip to experience! The Calbagata or Trailride through the city of Medellin. In past years, this event has broken the Guinness Book of World Records by having the most horses in any parade. Feria de Las Flores broke the existing record by having 7,000 horses participate in one year. This year, I was told that there were not as many, but the parade lasted for 3 hours. Nothing but horses and their riders. Men, women, children, Paso Fino, TroteyGalope, Trocha, Trocha Galope, Andalusian, Mules, and one Paint Quarterhorse through the city of 5.5 million people. I was supposed to ride in it, but that did not come to fruition. I was so disappointed, but next year, I will be back. And, I guarantee you I will be a participant and not a spectator.

Future Trips

As mentioned in a previous article, the possibility of taking a group from the NWPFHA on an excursion outside of Bogota next January is not really something I think is feasible. However, I do believe that whether you and your families are into horses or not, the Feria de Las Flores is an event that provides something for everyone! Medellin has so much to offer and after being there twice with another trip planned this upcoming February, I would be happy to help anyone make the trip an attend the event in August. You have a year to plan!

Your Roving Reporter,

Mariann Deering

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The Grand National Show,  Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky

October 2012

By Mariann Deering

Each year I attend Nationals, the venue continues to improve.   From Perry Georgia to Memphis Tennessee and now Lexington Kentucky.  What a treat to visit the Blue Grass State!

The climate on October 10th was unusually cold (in the low 30′s at night.  I actually packed for the cold, however, my two traveling companions, Linda Holzer and Christie Hartin, brought very cute clothes but nothing that would be considered WARM!

 

The venue, Kentucky Horse Park, was fabulous!  Clean, huge and a beautiful setting for  the 54th Annual Paso Fino Grand National Show.                                                                                                                                               The Park is so big that there were multiple shows going on at the same time.  Christie and Linda left to visit the Rocky Mountain Horse National Show being held in another arena..  The exhibitors told us they had come to watch our show too.  We  shared our lunch table with three ladies exhibiting in a Regional Dressage Show.  It was interesting to swap stories and answer the question always asked, “How do you teach them to do that?”  There was also a Hunter/Jumper Show and a Driving Class Show.  All this going on at one time, and we  never saw  any evidence of it unless we rented a golf cart or took a LONG walk.  It was my understanding that there were approximately 28,000 horses on the grounds at various shows, including our beautiful Paso Fino, Trote Y Galope and Trocha horses.

It seemed like there were more horses than last year’s show and all of the major breeders, trainers and ranches were there.  I fell in love with a couple of horses, unfortunately, they won their futurity classes so the prices shot out of my range.

Only five of us were present from the Northwest…Linda Holzer, Christie Hartin, Robin and Dean Mudd and myself.  Of course we all vowed to take horses there next year, but it was usually said after a few cocktails.  We’ll see next year!

There were many more venders this year, that was good to see and added “shopping” to our list of things to do.  Food and drink were plentiful inside the arena as well as a small café and coffee stand outside.  PFHA put on the silent auction again this year and asked us to participate.  The Northwest donated a wine basket and NWPFHA cap, all in a beautiful fall basket.

Linda, Christie and I volunteered to hand out ribbons and awards…what a blast to be that close to champions.  We didn’t get stepped on, but came close a couple of times.  Our birds eye view down in the “awards hole”  added more dirt in our hair and down our shirts that we were able to gather sitting in the front row in the stands.  It was common practice to keep your hand over your beverage unless you wanted a little dirt clod added.

We ended each night at the Waffle House.  Home of the half inch thick rib eye steak.  We were always joined by the Famous…..either rider, trainer or owner.  Lee Vulgaris and his lovely wife Margaret treated us to dinner one night.  It’s becoming a Nationals event for us  to meet them at one Waffle House or another.
Next year I hope more of you will join us for the fun!

Your Roving Reporter

Mariann

 

 

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ROVING REPORTER……MARIANN DEERING

Article from the September/October 2012 Newlsetter

The once in a lifetime injury……horse, not human!

My horses know how to tell time, they know the sound of my truck, the squeak of the gate opening. They know that when I get home they are the first ones on the food chain that get taken care of before I go inside and get comfortable…scratch that…before I feed the rest of the ménage.

As horse owners, we all know or have had that sinking feeling of going out to feed, or bring in your horses, and one horse doesn’t come in. Last November on a dark and stormy night this is exactly what happened to me.

Olivia, “the Queen” is always the first in as the “boss” of the heard, then the gelding ChaCha trying to look like he’s the boss and then my sweet, 21-year old trote y galope mare, Sissy, who you all know is my favorite.

After latching Olivia and ChaCha in their stalls to start on their hay, I turned on the spot lights facing the pasture to see if I could see Sissy walking up the path. No such luck. Now all sorts of terrible visions were racing through my head…was she dead, had she somehow broken her leg and was I going out to find a bone sticking out, did I have my phone to call the vet….what if I had to be the one to shoot her and put her out of her misery?

Okay, so perhaps I was over reacting, but I love this horse more than any horse I’ve owned. Now, if it had been Olivia (the one that broke both bones in my right arm this March) I probably wouldn’t have been so dramatic, but this was my Sissy!

I started to work my way down the path and saw her buckskin body at a distance…she was just standing there motionless with her head down. Not a good sign. Maybe she was she was having a bout of colic? Then she started to move with an extreme limp on the left side. I got to her and urged her to walk with me the 50 feet to the barn. It was a struggle, but she did it.

Once in the stall, I felt every square inch of her leg search for heat or swelling and her hoof looking for a puncture wound When I could find nothing, I gave her some bute and assumed it was a bad abscess so I would have the vet out in the a.m. saving probably $100+ for the after hours call.

The vet was out in the morning and although she didn’t get a reaction with the hoof testers, she had me soak her hoof and pack it with ointment to encourage the abscess out. This went on for almost two weeks without improvement.

Pre Surgery

Once again she came out, this time to X-ray from the shoulder down. Bingo! The fIrst X-ray showed a strange mass in her shoulder area. This was later determined to be part of her shoulder bone and a large section of cartilage that had broken away.

I was devastated that I might have to put her down….I didn’t want her to be in pain. The surgeon at Willamette Valley Equine assured me that she would have to rehab very slowly, but because the break was in the top part of the shoulder she should be fine. Thank goodness for Energy Equine Insurance, I went ahead with the surgery and started the long road to recovery.

After Surgery

Stall rest for 1 month, then 1 month outside in a larger stall, then a larger corral, then the outdoor arena, then in her own pasture. Every day she would get stronger and tried to show me just how good she was feeling. Every time I would see her pick up speed, or start her amazing little trot, I would pray she wouldn’t slip, fall and reinjure herself. That is what they think happened…..she was playing in the pasture, bucking, kicking and loving life until she slipped and broke her shoulder. “A once in a life time injury, ” said Dr. Holder.

It has now been 5-1/2 months and I am riding her and building up her endurance. She is back to her cute trot and does not limp when she slows down to a walk. The only sign that something is different is that sometimes she has sweat drenching the location of the incision. I was told this was due to disrupting the sweat glands during surgery.

Looking back, I never thought she would ever reach this level again. I am so thankful to the staff at Willamette Vally Equine, Dr. Holder for his skillful surgery, and Dr. Saunders for her post op care when Sissy pulled the stitches out……that was disgusting! To have her back with a little extra sweat is truly a blessing.Your Roving Reporter,     Mariann Deering