Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Joyful Union

There is nothing more pleasing than watching the connection between a horse and rider become a bond. It's even better when we've had a hand in it! So, we congratulate Anne Brackett on her purchase of her four-legged soul mate, Silver King Upandy. Anne's endeavors include the Mature Rider's Group with Cheron, jumping lessons with Earl, and general horsey-fun with the DF clan. Whatever the occasion, these two are surely going to have endless adventures going wherever their hearts lead them.

A "Magical" Christmas for Kammy

Ragtime White Magic, or "Merlin", has cast his charming spell on Kammy Bhala just in time for the holidays. Her recent purchase of this fine colt will insure her a very Happy Christmas indeed! Merlin is a very sporty youngster who will be Kammy's partner in the Dressage court under the guidance of Cheron Laboissonniere. Congratulations to you both!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Student of the Year: Christina Underwood

We are proud to announce that Christina Underwood is Dragonfire's first Student of the Year! A true inspiration to us all, Christina has graduated from the Academy Shows held at Dragonfire, all the way to completing a recognized Horse Trials at the Beginner Novice level, just in one short year.

Christina has had to overcome a great loss on her way to success. In the middle of the year, she lost her beloved mare, Star, to colic. She was faced with the challenge of riding a new mount and the fear that she would not have the same bond that she had with Star. But, if there is anything that Christina has loads of, it's determination. With her goal of becoming an event rider in mind, she began her partnership with The Dark Knight aka "Masto".

After several sweaty lessons a week, road trips to school cross country, DF's Boot Camp at Eventful Acres, and one attempt at Copper Meadows that she was unable to finish, Christina and Masto conquered the Fall Event at Ram Tap Horse Trials. Wow!

So, you might think that after all of that, Christina would take a little breather and ease off the riding for the Holidays. Well, you'd be wrong! She is already training for her next goal... to show at The 2011 Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, MT. All we can say is lead the way, Christina, we here at Dragonfire are right behind you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Strong Performances at Ram Tap Horse Trials

At the October Ram Tap Horse Trials, Earl McFall piloted Ian Deary's mare, In A Dream to a fantastic second place finish in the Open Preliminary. This is most certainly a pair to keep your eye on as they have all of the makings of being upper-level contenders.

Ram Tap was also host to the the maiden performance of Caroline Dein aboard her new partner, Will Power. Although this is a relatively new team, they are filled with talent and potential. They also proved to be steady and determined to the end, as they clinched the win in the Junior Novice division. We couldn't be more proud of them....unless we were Caroline's parents, who were both there to cheer her on!

Go Team Dragonfire!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Congratulations to Riley, Anna Ryen, and Rosy!

Congratulations to the Rowe Family of Norman, OK on their purchase of the fantastic young mare, Rosy Outlook. This show-stopping beauty will be continuing her winning ways with her new riders, and sister act, Riley and Anna Ryen. We are so happy for these three sweet girls... we just know they are going to have a lifetime of fun and adventures together!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Young Career Off to a Winning Start

Devyn Rau piloted her young mount, Miss Jeanie C, to a first place finish at the Eventful Acres Fall Horse Trials. This ultra-sensible four year old mare is by Dragonfire Kirin and out of a race bred TB dam. Kirin has crossed onto TB and Warmblood mares beautifully, producing tractable and athletic mounts. Devyn has brought "Jeanie-the-Genius" along herself, and we have no doubt that this team will have many more successes to write about in the future! Congratulations Devyn!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dragonfire Sizzles in Santa Barbara

It would be an understatement to say that Santa Barbara is one of the best places on the West Coast to show horses. While the town most certainly provides fun-in-the-sun daytime adventures and a friendly atmosphere for eating and nightlife, it is the great competition that makes the Morgan Medallion a show not to miss. Every class seems to have a past World Champion in it and each rider is turned out impeccably. Team Dragonfire not only gave many stylish performances, but also had a fantastic time doing it!

Merriewold Hanah with Earl McFall

Earl McFall and Merriewold Hanah presented a picture of power and grace in the Working Hunter division that was unstoppable. Hanah's flair over a fence combined with Earl's experience proved too tough for the competition as this pair won the Working Hunter Under Saddle, The Low Warm Up Hunters and also the Low Working Hunters. Proudly owned by Merriewold Morgans, Hanah is well on her way to establishing herself as one of the best sport horses in competition with wins in Dressage as well as over fences.

Taylor McFall

Ironforge Aire Command and Taylor McFall

Ironforge Aire Command and Taylor McFall

In one of the most entertaining classes of the show, young Taylor McFall really gave it her all in the Walk/Jog/Trot Pleasure Championship. After working the kinks out in the qualifiers with her partner, Ironforge Aire Command, Taylor was really up for the challenge of competing against the older and more experienced riders. The crowd and the judge alike could really see that she was "feeling the rhythm" in her championship. The announcement that Taylor and Ace had won the Reserve Championship was met with great approval from the stands and a teary eyed congratulations from her coach Melissa Votaw.

Rosy Outlook and Earl McFall
Rosy Outlook continued her winning ways under the guidance of Earl McFall. This perky, but sensible chestnut filly has a smooth and forward motion that gives her definite advantage over her competition. Bred to be a sport and show winner, she is by Dragonfire Kirin who not only won World titles in Dressage but also the Open Hunter World Championship, and is out of a Holiday Compadre daughter. Compadre was also a show/sport crossover with Open Western Pleasure World Titles along with victories in Reining. Rosy gave winning performances all week with a win in Dressage Suitability and in the Three Year Old Hunter Pleasure. She then went on the be named the Reserve Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse Champion.

Dragonfire Timeless and Jennifer McFall winning in a CWD saddle

Dragonfire Timeless is living up to his family's winning reputation with a red-hot season in his first year on the circuit. By the ever popular Minion Millennium who has produced World Champions in Park, In Hand and Hunters, and out of the beautiful Raintree Ala Bella, "Timmy" is a serious class act. When this colt hits the ring he inspires comments from the crowd about his square and smooth uphill motion, and also his obvious ease in which he performs his paces. Timeless gathered up more victories at the Morgan Medallion with the win in the Four and Under Hunter Pleasure and the Junior Hunter Pleasure Grand Championship, to go along with his Far West Championship.

Dragonfire Nefertiti and Jennifer McFall

Dragonfire Nefertiti and Jennifer McFall take a victory pass in a CWD saddle

The Ladies Hunter Pleasure Championship, along with the qualifier, went to Dragonfire Nefertiti and Jennifer McFall. Owned by Antonia Casados, 'Faye' is an undeniable beauty in the Hunter division. Every season this mare gets better and better, as she combines sexy good looks with tons of heart. Dragonfire is extremely proud of this perennial winner and granddaughter of our senior stallion, Dragonfire Kirin.

Not pictured, Macy McCallion piloted her own Chehelam Cassanova to a Reserve Championship victory in the Amateur Hunter Pleasure. Macy is one of the most elegant riders, with long legs and impeccable poise. Cassanova is as steady as he is forward, and the two of them make a lovely picture.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dragonfire Heats Up The Motherlode Show

The Motherlode Show in Rancho Murieta, CA over Labor Day Weekend always promises to be "hot" with friendly competition. This year was no different as the Dragonfire Team brought the temperatures up with steamy performances in several different divisions. By the end of the show many lessons were learned, ribbons were won, and friendships were cemented by the common bond of enjoying great horses.

Stilwell Thunder

Earl McFall started us off with big wins for ALB Morgans. The yearling stud, Stilwell Thunder, was beautiful for the win in the Sport Horse Two and Under Stallions class. A son UVM Springfield, Thunder is as confident as he is good looking. At his first ever show, he was a model citizen and was not intimidated in the least when he went back in for the Grand Championship against the matured studs. Thunder then took the Grand Champion Stallion title, no easy feat for a yearling.

Lovey of Stilwell

Lovey of Stilwell, a two year old filly also by UVM Springfield, was up next and also gave a great show. Led by Earl McFall, Lovey was the blue ribbon winner in the Two and Under Sport Horse Mares class. This adorable bay trimmed in white then strutted her stuff in the championship to be named the Reserve Grand Champion Sport Horse Mare. Both ALB Morgans and Paradise Morgans (owners of Springfield) have a lot to celebrate after these big wins!

At their first ever rated Dressage show, Kammy Bhala and Toni Casados, hit the court with gusto. Kammy, aboard Iron Forge Aire Command, was all business and accuracy in Opportunity Training Level Test 2. Toni, riding her own Whitmor's Magnitude, was uber-focused to keep her mount on track and doing all of the movements at the appropriate times. These ladies efforts were well rewarded with a first place nod going to Kammy and the second place going to Toni. Way to go!

Dragonfire Lotus

Another maiden voyage was made at the Motherlode, this time for the young mare, Dragonfire Lotus. At her first ever Dressage show, she scored an amazing 68.92% in Training Level Test 2!!! Ridden by Jennifer McFall, she was as cool as a veteran in the show arena and ultra stylish. This three year old Morgan, sired by Dragonfire Kirin, promises to have the same illustrious career he had in the Sport Arena.

High Times

High Times and Jennifer McFall were the high scorers of the show with a 72% in First Level Test 3. The six year old Holstiener gelding has the most eye-catching gaits, which make him hard to resist. Combine his gaits with bold riding, and you have a recipe for victory. He not only won First 3, but also won First Level Test 4.

Ragtime Mi Oro Double and Makena Graber with Traci Graber

Makena Graber, after spending the majority of the season with her new mount Ragtime Mi Oro Double at the Academy @ Dragonfire Show Series getting invaluable experience, was ready to hit the bigger shows. With great support from her loving family, Makena "jumped into the deep end" with great success! "Sugar" was as adorable as they come, as she rose to the challenge and gave some of her best performances. With roaring applause from her family and barn-mates, Makena won the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Seat Equitation. Coached by Melissa Votaw, she was so poised and collected, you would have never known that this was her first Class A show with Sugar. As if that weren't enough, this team also gathered up the Reserve Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship sash.

Natalie Jensen was absolutely thrilled with her baby's performance. Art in Motion, a four year old gelding by Dragonfire Kirin, was stellar at his first ever show. Art in Motion is pictured to the left over fences and to the right proudly receiving his awards. Gathering top ribbons in both Dressage and jumping, it's hard not to compare this youngster to the great Dragonfire Kublakhan. His fantastic gaits and extravagant jumping style will certainly take him a VERY long way. Shown by Natalie, "Spencer" won the Low Working Hunter Reserve Championship.

Our Star Academy Riders from left to right: Taylor McFall, Alyssa Hansen, and Katie Sipes

The real stars of Dragonfire, were a select group of our Academy riders tackling the Opportunity 13 and Under Junior Exhibitor classes. These little professionals were expertly coached by Melissa Votaw, in what were some of the biggest classes of the show. Their enthusiastic determination easily brought compliments from the crowds and kudos from the show officials. Alyssa Hansen, riding Whitmor's Magnitude was solid for a red ribbon in the Equitation class. Her strong position and ring savvy give her an obvious advantage. Katie Sipes, paired with World Champion Celeste Aida, was called out as the reserve winner in the Pleasure class. This was a very pleasing picture, as Katie had a beautifully forward rhythm going on Aida, and looked every bit the part of a young equestrienne. Taylor McFall piloted Iron Forge Aire Command for sixth place in both of these great classes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Montana On Our Minds

The idea of The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, MT had danced in our minds for several years. We had heard all of the glowing reports of the facility, the footing, the jumps and the hospitality. We also knew that it was an event that could draw riders from all over the country, making it the largest competition in the United States. With a spirit of adventure, a small band of Dragonfire riders and four horses made the long trek to the breathtaking beauty of Kalispell.

We were immediately overwhelmed with the scope of the Rebecca Farm Team. Attention to detail was certainly at the top of the list, and this was true for the facility, the management and the fantastic hospitality. There just isn't enough praise for
a show that provides free ice for over 600 horses and their people for an entire week!

We were also treated to top rides from the country's best, including WEG and Olympic Team members. The facility is perfectly laid out for the spectator, so we missed none of the action as Phillip Dutton, Karen O'Connor and Buck Davidson duked it out for the top slots in the Three Star. I was thrilled as Karen and Mandiba (my Baby Jade's big bro) lead all the way from Dressage through Stadium to be pinned the winners. These performances were so fantastic for our team to watch, truly inspirational.

Earl McFall aboard Wrigley, with owner Natalie Jensen

Earl McFall and his ladies: Jenny, Natalie, Christina, Merissa and Devyn. Only thing better would have been a GREEN tractor!

And, as if THAT weren't enough, Team DF had very strong performances that put us at the head of our classes! Unfortunately for Devyn Rau, she was not able to complete on her Mushu the Dragon, as he had some filling in a leg that made her stay out of the cross country competition. A very wise decision, indeed. But out of the remaining three horses, we had two first place finishes and a second.

Earl McFall was focused and accurate in his Dressage test with Natalie Jensen's Wrigley, to score a 27 and slide into second place. Earl's prowess on the tough cross country course really shined through and gained him the first place advantage going into the last day after a fast and clear round. On Stadium day he was well ahead, and even with a rail, he was able to keep his lead to win the Open Training A division.

High Times and Jennifer McFall featuring CWD saddles
My own High Times has been a force to reckon with in the Training Horse division, and in this Open Training D class in Montana, things were no different. His 28 in Dressage had him right at the top of the division in fourth place. After the most challenging cross country course of his career, "Billy" moved up to second with an exhilarating fault-free round. With yet another clear round under the time in Stadium, Billy moved into the first place slot to become the winner.

Merissa Underwood and her new mare, Danny California, make quite the stunning pair as they are both equally thin and feminine. Looks aside, they are both strong competitors who were focused throughout the competition. After an average score in Dressage, the duo focused on moving up. With speed and confidence, they mastered to Training level cross country course and added no more penalties to their score. Neither one crumbled with the pressure of the third day, and were rock solid in the Stadium for a clear round. This was no easy feat, as they were one of the few to do so! After it was all said and done, this new partnership gain the second place ribbon, and all of the great prizes that went with it, in the Junior Training A.

What a fantastic time we had competing our wonderful horses in one of the most picturesque environments imaginable. This destination will be a highlight of our 2010 show season.. and hopefully many more to come!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Making Memories at the 2010 Dragonfire Boot Camp

Some of the braver campers turn out for The Monty Challenge

This year's Boot Camp at Eventful Acres was filled with learning, laughing, and having fun! Of course, we all expect to learn some new skills under the intensive lesson schedule at Boot Camp, but I think that it is the latter part of laughing and having fun (sometimes well into the night!) that draws the campers to Oregon House every year in July.

We would like to thank ALL of the campers for exceeding our expectations in your lessons, the improvement was impressive. And also for the camaraderie and the chance to get to know you better. Aside from the spectacular Monty Awards, we also have a few more awards to mention.

The judges have voted and The 2010 End of Camp Awards go as follows:

The Most Improved Camper is Makena Graber. This was her very first time out on cross country, as well as her horse's, and by the end of camp they were both looking like pros.

The Best Dressed Camper is Merissa Underwood. Her attention to detail and neatness is much appreciated.

The Most Adventurous Camper is Kammy Bhala. Not only did she rock The Monty Challenge bareback, but she also went off the rope swing at the lake. What a lady!

The Sportsmanship Award goes to Natalie Jensen. Her friendly support of the other campers' progress made all feel great.

2010 was a year to remember as we all "Aimed High". We eagerly look forward to next year's Dragonfire Boot Camp and the memories that will be made there!

Friday, July 2, 2010

2010 Far West Was Far Out!

The 2010 Far West Regional Championship was a great success for Dragonfire. The many victory passes taken by Team Dragonfire are a credit to the high quality horses we are fortunate to work with and a fantastic group of staff, friends, and clients. We would like to thank the show management for all of their hospitality and hard work, asa great deal of fun was had by all, and we look forward to returning in 2011.

Dragonfire Nefertiti (WH Zimbabwe x Dragonfire Nova, by Dragonfire Kirin) is looking better tha
n ever, and is certainly a contender for a World title this year. "Faye" is the most stunning of beauties, and is always willing to give 110% in every performance. Ridden by Jennifer McFall and owned by Antonia Casados, her efforts were awarded at this show with a win in both Ladies Hunter Pleasure
and the Open Mares Hunter Pleasure before her Reserve Championship in the Ladies Hunter Pleasure.

In her debut performance, Taylor McFall shined in the Walk/Trot division with her partner, Iron Forge Aire Command. With great enthusiasm, Taylor entered the ring with style (thanks to Marsha De Arriaga!), grace and confidence. Taylor and "Ace" were ultimately named the Walk/Jog 11 and Under Western Pleasure Reserve Champions.

Rosy Outlook, by Dragonfire Kirin and out of a Holiday Compadre daughter, made her saddle debut at the Far West Regional with Earl McFall in the irons. As her breeding would suggest, she was all business as she won both the Dressage Suitability Under Saddle and the Three Year Old Hunter Pleasure class. Owned by Dragonfire Farm, "Rosy" has been UNDEFEATED in her career, with only blues to her name in three different divisions: In Hand, Hunter Pleasure and Dressage.

Dragonfire Timeless (Minion Millennium
x Raintree Ala Bella)
will most certainly
have a timeless appeal in the show ring. He is tall, stretchy, and a big mover that comes strongly off all four. Combined with his smooth gaits and focused performance, "Timmy" is absolutely irresistible. An entry of the Dragonfire Farm, Timeless was named the Far West Junior Hunter Pleasure Champion with Jennifer McFall riding.

Not pictured, but no less impressive, was Barbara Fleming aboard her own, Alias. Barbara and Alias bested the the others in the Dressage ring with two winning rides in Second Level. These two have been working really hard for this move up, and her scores proved that the hard work paid off!

Another very exciting youngster is Melissa and Michael Votaw's Miss Ruby Slippers. Bred in the purple, "Ruby" is by Grand Cru Beaujolais and out of Carlyena, a Carlyle Command daughter and producer of World Champions such as Rampage. In her debut, Ruby turned several heads and inspired many compliments as she won the Three Year Old Western Pleasure with Melissa Votaw aboard. She then returned in the Junior Horse Championship with Jennifer McFall and took the Reserve Championship honors. All photo credits: Casey McBride Photography

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Underwood Claims Top Honors

Terina Underwood, remained cool at The Shepherd Ranch Horse Trials to win the Novice Rider division despite the pressure of going into Stadium in first place. Moving up to first after mastering the tough cross country course without penalty aboard The Dark Knight, Terina had less than a rail separating her from second place going into the final phase of stadium jumping. Not letting the pressure bother her, she put in a double clear round for the win, much to the delight of her family and the DF Team. Way to go Terina!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Student of the Month: Megan Watkins

I am particularly proud of this young rider. She has a great work ethic and focuses every emotion into her riding. She started out as a hesitant rider and had a hard time trusting the horses. After a lot of hard work, dedication, and Khan, she has shown me that she is one of my intermediate riders. She can get her horse completely ready for a lesson. Including; putting the bridle on and saddling with no help at all! She is also already cantering in her lessons.

She is always ready to ride with the appropriate riding gear, and her hair neatly back. I never have to remind her to wear her gloves or get her hair out of her eyes: tidy = style for Megan. Her attention to detail is refreshing and it is a complete joy to have her as my student.

To sum up Megan, I would have to say, "Clean boots, a can-do attitude, and a smile."


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal

May 7th brought the arrival of our smashing new Morgan filly, Dragonfire Hopeful. By World Champion Dragonfire Kirin, and out of Coulee Bend Anticipation, "Hope" is a full sibling to both Dragonfire Lotus and Dragonfire Feng Shui. This cross has not disappointed us yet, as this filly looks to be every bit as lovely as her sisters. Kirin crosses strongly with UVM bred mares for Sport, so we expect this filly to excel in Dressage or Jumping. Her super flashy markings will make her a real stand out in any crowd!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Joy to the "Max" at Dragonfire

Born late at night on May 24th, Axiom DF, or "Max" has been a thrill since conception. By one of the most striking Holsteiner stallions we have seen, Ariadus, and out of our Trakhener mare by Olympic producer Fleetwater Oppostition, we were excited from the beginning on this venture. But, being a breech baby in the middle of the night, might have been a little more excitement than we bargained for! Thankfully, we had a happy ending with a stunning result.

Max continues to thrill us with his balanced gaits, strong frame, and a wonderfully playful attitude.


About Me

My photo
Wilton, CA
A full service equestrian facility offering lessons for all ages, training, showing, breeding and sales.

Blog Archive