James Atkinson Gets the Ride on Nabouco De Lessay

Martha McDowell and Nabouco De Lessay at Rebecca Farm in 2013. Photo by Samantha Clark. Martha McDowell and Nabouco De Lessay at Rebecca Farm in 2013. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Here’s a happy story to kick off Christmas Week! James Atkinson announced today that he has accepted the ride on Nabouco De Lessay after Martha McDowell, Sarah Broussard and Carolyn Hoffos put together a surprise syndicate for him.

Originally sourced by Fernhill Sport Horses and ridden by Jen Wooten to the three-star level, Martha purchased the 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding with Sarah in 2012. James, who coaches Martha, rode “Hugo” to an Advanced win at Rebecca Farm last year while she was recovering from an injury.

Martha decided to sell the horse in November, and while James was making calls to find a buyer, she hatched a plan to form the Hugo Syndicate with Sarah and Carolyn, James’ mother-in-law, who also owns his 2011 Pan American Games partner Gustav.

“I am completely humbled that these remarkable people want to support me in achieving my goals,” James said in a press release. “Each of them are good friends of mine and are truly incredible in what they have done for not only myself, but our sport as a whole. I cannot wait to see what Hugo and I are able to accomplish together, and having this group along on that journey will make it all the more special.”

James plans to target a CCI2* with Hugo in the early part of 2015 and then hopes to aim for the first CCI3* at Rebecca Farm in Montana. “How cool would it be to do well at the first ever Rebecca Farm CCI3*? With it being Sarah’s event and Martha’s home state, it would truly be icing on the cake of an already very special thing.”

We wish James and Hugo all the best for a successful 2015! Thank you to Martha, Sarah and Carolyn for their support of Canadian eventing and the sport as a whole.

Go Eventing!

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