Flags, Frogs, Ponies and Pooches: A Report from Texas Rose Horse Park H.T.

Sarah Goodyear and Flagmount’s Harmony on course in Senior Training Rider. Photo by Kate Boggan.

When people say everything is bigger in Texas, they aren’t kidding. The Texas Rose Horse Park held its March horse trial this past weekend, March 29-31, in Tyler, Texas. Riders from the Starter level all the way through Intermediate were welcomed by newly redesigned courses and a plethora of additional events and activities to enjoy.

A Big Weekend for Ponies, Pups …

Thursday featured USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) and Future Event Horse (FEH) competition while the horse trial ran Friday and Saturday. Texas Rose also hosted its first Intercollegiate Challenge with the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas A&M Aggies facing off. Friday evening’s headline event was the Pony Challenge, wherein teams of one pro, one adult rider and one young rider donned crazy costumes and competed for crowd approval to benefit Area V rider programs.

If all of that wasn’t enough to keep you entertained over the weekend, the United States Dog Agility Association hosted an agility trial in the Horse Park’s indoor arena Friday and Saturday. Check out the local paper’s report on that here.

Congrats to the following horse trial division winners! See complete results here:

Open Intermediate: Ryleigh Leavitt & MoonLight Crush (35.0)
Open Preliminary: Kadi Eykamp & Ole Boy (31.7)
Preliminary Rider: Georgia Dillard & Galileo WP (25.9)
Junior Training Rider: Harper Petty & Obi-Wan Kenobi (29.1)
Open Training: LeeAnn McQuade & Corp Trip (35.5)
Senior Training Rider: Rebecca Hunt & Snowflake Lane (26.7)
Training Horse: Angela Bowles & Rocktop Dreamer (29.1)
Junior Novice Rider: Vienna Allport & Caramel Macchiato (31.0)
Novice Horse: Tayler Owen & Joint Ventures Remy Martin (27.6)
Open Novice: Nicole Hatley & Fernhill Fearless des Terdrix (27.6)
Senior Novice Rider-A: Angie Mitchell & Smiling’s My Favorite (34.0)
Senior Novice Rider-B: Katie Grace Bond & High Class (32.9)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider-A: Makenzie Lowe & Addie Okie (36.4)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider-B: Miriam Copeland & D’Stinctive (22.8)
Open Beginner Novice: Angela Bowles & Woodstock Classic Rock (28.6)
Senior Beginner Novice Rider: Janet Taylor & Zarpazo (26.4)
Starter: Elle Snyder & You Have A Friend In Me (26.1)

The lowest finishing score in the country of the weekend belonged to Miriam Copeland and D’Stinctive, who scored a 22.8 in the Junior Beginner Novice Rider B division.  Well-done, Miriam!

… and Frogs!

TCU White Team rider Hannah McKee and Ultimate Element. Photo by Kate Boggan.

The Texas Rose Horse Park’s first Intercollegiate Challenge brought in three teams of collegiate riders, two from TCU and one from Texas A&M. The TCU White Team — Clara Cargile (I), Caroline Madden (P) and Hannah McKee (T) — led the competition from start to finish ending on a combined score of 101.3. #GoFrogs! The TCU Purple Team took second and the Texas A&M Team took third.

Flagmount Babies Abound

Janet Marden and Flagmount’s Top Cat. Photo by Kate Boggan.

Many of us saw Doug Payne’s helmet cam video of the lovely mare Flagmount’s Mischief at the Carolina International. While “Missy” enjoyed her CIC3* debut last weekend, several of her siblings were competing at Texas Rose over Easter weekend.

Natalie Lester and Flagmount’s Patronus Charm. Photo by Kate Boggan.

The Flagmount babies come from Dr. Janet Marden’s ISH stallion Flagmount’s Freedom. Janet had always wanted to breed an Irish horse, as she admired them for their big bones and soundness. After vet school she shipped frozen semen from Ireland and bred one of her own Thoroughbred mares. Flagmount’s Freedom was the result.

“Flag” and Janet competed through the two-star level and the grey stallion then went on to take Janet’s daughter, Natalie Lester, through her first Intermediate as a barefoot 17-year-old. Flag has been a breeding stallion since he was four and has produced upper level professional mounts as well as horses suitable for amateurs to move up the levels on. At any given show in Area V you’re sure to see at least one Flagmount horse entered and more often, like at Texas Rose, there will be a whole list of Flag babies in the field.

Flagmount’s Allstar has got some hops! Photo by Kate Boggan.

Janet and Natalie were both aboard Flag babies this weekend. Janet competed Flagmount’s Allstar in the Open Intermediate and Flagmount’s Top Cat in the Training Horse Division. Natalie, who has started her own training and coaching business named after their wonder stallion – Flags A’Flying Equestrian – competed Flagmount’s Patronus Charm in the Open Intermediate. Flagmount’s Harmony and Flagmount’s Rebel both competed in the Senior Training Rider division with their respective riders, Sarah Goodyear and Clarissa Bliss. Even the FEH competition had a Flagmount horse.

Flagmount’s Rebel and Clarissa Bliss. Photo by Kate Boggan.

Flagmount’s Worth the Wait is appropriately named, says owner Alexandria Larue. Alex purchased the breeding five years before they were able to get a live foal. The black yearling filly is everything she could have dreamed of and Alex plans for “Saoirse” to be her next upper level mount. She competed against Flag when he was going Intermediate and fell in love with him: “He was always easygoing, always easy to handle at shows, he was always competitive and from there we knew we wanted a Flag baby.” Saoirse’s dam is a spicy Irish Thoroughbred who has a tendency to be a little hot, so Flag’s easygoing attitude was the perfect complement to produce an upper level event prospect with a lot of blood and a great brain.

Flagmount’s Worth the Wait competing in the FEH division. Photo by Kate Boggan.

Texas Rose Horse Park hosts two more USEA events this year: its Summer H.T. May 11-18, featuring Starter through Advanced-Intermediate horse trials as well as a CCI1* and CIC2*, and its Fall H.T., featuring Starter through Intermediate horse trials.

Go Area V Eventing!

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Results]