Eventers at this past weekend’s Plantation Field Horse Trials donned purple to honor the memory of rider, owner, mentor and volunteer Seema Sonnad, who passed away suddenly last month. The event was made all the more emotional for Missy Ransehousen, who rode Seema’s OTTB, VS Pass Play, in the Open Preliminary division.
Seema, who boarded and trained with the Ransehousens at Blue Hill Farm in Unionville, Pennsylvania, had planned for “Keegan” to compete with Missy at both Fair Hill’s May horse trials and Plantation Field’s June horse trials to aid in her goal of competing in a one-star later this year.
“The funny part is that Seema had joked with me and told me that I needed to knock a few points off of his dressage score, and he scored a 28 this weekend; he usually scores in the high 30s, Missy said. “Dressage is not his strongest phase, but he’s an excellent jumper. He did such a phenomenal job with Seema; he really took great care of her.”
Missy does not have any immediate plans to compete Keegan again, but she has enjoyed keeping him in work and seeing the outpouring of support and love for Seema at Plantation Field.
“It was really great to see people chipping in with the purple and having a good time,” she said. “I think any time that you ride a horse for someone who has passed away, it’s emotional in a sense that you want to fulfill what they felt the horse deserved.”
Plans are being made to plant a tree in Seema’s honor overlooking the cross country course at Plantation Field, a fitting tribute to someone who volunteered and competed at the venue for many years.
“It really was an amazing — and emotional — weekend for all of us,” Lisa Thomas, a member of the Blue Hill Farm family, said. “It was just fabulous to see so many people, from volunteers to the competitors, wearing purple. Seema is definitely smiling down upon us.”
Thanks you to Lisa Thomas of Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Service for sharing this photo gallery of Missy and Keegan, as well as other riders who donned purple for Seema. If you wore purple or snapped a photo of someone in purple this weekend, please post it in the comments.