Holly Hudspeth Path to Rolex, Chapter 1

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Holly Hudspeth, formerly Holly Hepp, in her first of many entries to come as she writes for Eventing Nation about her path to Rolex aboard Last Monarch.  Holly has competed at Rolex multiple times and earned her red coat by finishing 9th at the Pan Ams in 2003.  Holly is based out of North Carolina, and recently placed 15th at the Fair Hill CCI*** on the fantastic Last Monarch.
Holly is a well know coach, having trained the Area VIII Young Riders for several years.  Check out Holly’s website for information on training opportunities.  Click here for ‘Aiming High the Smart Way,’ and article that Holly wrote for EN last year.  Now, please enjoy Holly’s post, and check back soon for more.

From Holly:

We all know alcohol affects our judgement. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. In this case it was for the good. The case I am referring to is how it came for my ownership of Last Monarch. It all began at a party at Lefreda Williams’ in spring 2006, that my good friend Jane Murray and I were at. After a few glasses of wine she told me she had a cute, athletic spitfire that she wanted to get rid of because he was not for her. “Of course I will come ride him” I told her, as Jane always has nice horses. Not remembering much of the conversation, she called me two days later and we made a plan for me to come out. And she was right. He was cute, but wild and obnoxious, and I loved him. Days later I told her I would like to buy him, and lucky for me she let me put “Stewie” on a monthly payment plan which lasted 5 months. How great was that? I did, however, tell her that if he did not go above preliminary I would return him. Jane informed me that Last Monarch came with a “NO RETURN” policy. Fair enough. 

Fast forward to the present were Stewie and I are getting ready for Rolex 2010. Let me start by thanking a few people and sponsors who have helped me greatly in our Rolex pursuit. First off my husband Chuck, who is now the proud 1/2 owner of Stewie. Never a “horse person” before, he has seen enough and informs me when I go too slow on the xc or when my dressage score kept me from winning. Thanks honey, I needed that. Chuck is, of course, my rock when things go wrong or I am stressed out. His hug at the finish of xc makes my day. Ashley Kriegal, Kate Fitzgerald, and Kaylie O’Neil are at the barn with me on a daily basis, and I am fortunate to their help. I am sorry though for the bite marks Stewie leaves on them. I warn everyone when they come to the barn about his biting problem, but Stewie still manages to strike. (He is not quite right in the melon) Each one brings something great to my program, and they are excited as me for Rolex to come!  
Sponsors Prime Performance Nutrition and David Stackhouse have been with me for a few years now, and I appreciate EVERYTHING they have done. My saddles are amazing, and PPN has anything I need for the maintance and nutrition of my horses. Farrier Jeff Denson, Hassinger Equine, Southern Pines Equine, and Flat River Equine have all been influential and I appreciate them!  
As for now, Stewie and I have done two schooling shows at one of my favorite venues, Carolina Horse Park. In February we are headed to both Pine Tops, one OI and the other A. Of course I would NEVER miss SPHT I and II in March, then it is on to the Fork in April. Be in touch soon! 
      Holly and Stewie (aka Screwball)
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