Monday, December 26, 2011

A Jolly Time Was Had By All

Thank You Sheldon Feed for sponsoring the prizes for our Jingle Bell Show!

It was with great pleasure that we hosted our Jingle Bell Academy Show and Luncheon last week for our wonderful students here at Dragonfire. We were treated with a fabulous display of what our students have been learning in the Academy, as well as visiting with all of the supportive family members later in the lounge over a delicious lunch provided by Melissa. Not only that, we had absolutely PERFECT WEATHER, something that we have been dreaming about without much success in our Academy Show Series.

a few Pre-show Pophams
riders line up for the judge in a youth class

Those who have their own horse were decked out with holiday spirit and were festively turned out for the show.  Kammy Bhala won the Best Dressed Award, along with a pair of wins in her flat class and pattern at our show.

Kammy and Merlin dressed for success

Mia Bouslaugh has newly partnered with Masto for the season and the match is already drawing accolades with a win in their flat class. His quiet rhythm  is perfect to showcase Mia's growing confidence and grace on a horse.

Christina congratulates Masto and Mia after their big win
Winning the large Advanced Pattern class was Megan Watkins aboard Maggie. Megan did well to keep the pattern even and exact, which really impressed me since they had to perform a four loop serpentine including two canter loops and two trot loops with a halt at the end.

Megan and her family pose with Maggie
Ben Snyder was overwhelmed with his win after a strong performance in the Beginner Pattern aboard Aida. His enthusiastic acceptance of his prize was such a treat to watch, reminding all who were there that horses are so good for a child's soul.

Ben is all smiles after a great ride on Aida
With poise and obvious joy, Daniella Zarate piloted Khan to a win in the walk/trot rail class. Her exuberant smile whilst performing with great style made her stand out to win the Best Performance Of The Show.

Daniella and Khan strutting their stuff
Focus being displayed during a pattern

Happiness is this

Congratulations to all of the riders, as your performances showed how hard you have been working to improve your riding skills. We are very impressed and can't wait to see you all again during our 2012 Show Series!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Chance To Purchase Morgan Royalty

Morgan Medallion Champion
Miss Ruby Slippers is a beautiful example of the Morgan Horse. She is wonderfully trainable, gorgeous, and loves to show. She is by the great Grand Cru Beaujolais, a many time Western Pleasure World Champion. She is out of Carlyena, who is by World Champion Stallion Carlyle Command. Carlyena is also the dam of such greats as Vendela and Rampage. With bloodlines like that, HOW COULD THIS MARE BE ANYTHING BUT A WINNER??!! Ruby is bred in the purple and is the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to the modern Western Pleasure horse. She has a the grace and finesse of a much more seasoned competitor, and is so beautiful, there is no way you will not be noticed by the judges. Not only that, she is a piece of cake to work! Later on down the road, she will be no doubt make an incredible broodmare. Buy this mare and get ready to take a lot of victory passes. To watch her performing at the Grand National, click here. 

winning at the 2011 Morgan Medallion Regional

winning at the 2010 Far West Regional

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Introducing Mr. Chew

A classic beauty
Mr. Chew has it all... striking good looks, top athletic ability, and the sweetest personality you could find. After some time at the Santa Anita Racetrack, he has found a new career here at Dragonfire as a Sport Horse and he is most definitely a barn favorite. It never fails that he is the horse that students stop and pet for hours on end. Mr. Chew will excel as an Event horse, Hunter/Jumper, or Dressage mount as well as be a true friend to his owner. Watch his recent training video here. The savvy shopper would buy him now while he is very reasonably priced as he is definitely a treasure!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Underwood Rules Ram Tap

Merissa Underwood and her zesty mare, Danny California absolutely dominated the November Ram Tap Horse Trials. Merissa seemingly was in no mood to take any prisoners in what was meant to be her final performance at the Training Level, and she started the weekend off in first place with a score of 27.3 in the Dressage. "9" is not a common score to receive in Eventing, but with a stunning go, Merissa and Danny were awarded two "9's" on their test. To watch their Dressage Test, click here. Stadium was equally pretty and with a double clear round, they held their first place. Click here to watch Stadium.

Danny is foot perfect for Merissa in the stadium
To hold their lead for the win, Merissa and Danny need only go fast and clear on Cross Country day, a task easier said than done especially with the pressure of starting off in first place. Luckily, this is by far both Danny and Merissa's favorite phase of the competition and they just smoked around the course without a moment of hesitation. To watch their Cross Country round, click here.

In the end, Merissa gave the performance required to vindicate that she not only was the best in her class, but also had the best score of the entire Training Level division, as well as being named the Best Pony Club Performance of the show. Wow! Go Merissa and Danny... we are so proud of you two!

Dedicated Team

Saturday, December 10, 2011

High Times Goes High Profile

High Times at the 2011 Galway International CCI* with a double clear round

High Times has a very distinctive look, one that is hard to forget. Let's admit it, he's got that "it" factor oozing out of every pore...and people are really starting to notice! Recently we were asked for a photo of him for the official American Holsteiner  website homepage, and we couldn't have been more flattered. Check out to see Billy and also to learn more about the wonderful Holsteiner breed. Billy is a 7 year old registered American Holsteiner by Hunter out of Gerda I. Billy is also going to be featured on the Nupafeed USA Official Show Tent in life size. Nupafeed is a fantastic supplement and is vital to Billy's show performance. We love that Billy's cute mug will be traveling around to shows promoting this great company! To learn more about Nupafeed, click here. 

High Times will be life-sized in this Nupafeed advertisement 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

And Max Makes Nine...

Stephanie and Hailey Popham with Max

The Pophams have added another member to the family with the purchase of Max. Max's quiet demeanor, peppered with a little zest here and there, is a perfect match for the personality of this charming family of eight. With all of the members riding in the Academy, I think that it is safe to say that Max will stay fit as a fiddle and looking young for years! Congratulations guys.... Welcome to the wonderful world of owning horses!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Stallion For The Future

Dragonfire Wasabi in June, 2011
Are you ready to spice up the Western Pleasure scene? Do you want to give the judges in Oklahoma something to swoon over? Dragonfire Wasabi is YOUR MAN! Already a Regional Grand Champion Stallion himself, Wasabi or "Pepper" as he is known here at Dragonfire, has the proven performance bloodlines that practically guarantee he will be wearing roses in the future. Pepper is by the Multi-titled World Champion Western horse, Grand Cru Beaujolais. His dam, Dragonfire Nova, brings the 9 time World Champion, Dragonfire Kirin, into the mix. Nova herself has produced such Champions as Dragonfire Neferiti and Dragonfire Shaolin.

Dragonfire Wasabi is most certainly one of the most thrilling young prospects out there. He is destined to be under a spotlight wearing silver and roses. We couldn't be more excited to see how many titles will be credited to Pepper's name throughout the years.  Watch his recent Winter play session by clicking here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Whole New Dimension

Dragonfire Fourth Dimension
Physics Nerds aren't the only ones who will appreciate this phenomenal young mare. Dragonfire Fourth Dimension is by Minion Millennium and out of Dragonfire Nova. It is no wonder that a combination of these two World Champion producers would create something out of this world. "Demi" is a paternal sibling to our beloved Unanimous World Champion Dragonfire Timeless, and a  maternal sibling to Champions Dragonfire Shaolin, Dragonfire Nefertiti, and Dragonfire Wasabi.  She is beautiful, full of charisma, and ALL CLASS! Take a look at her recent video here. With a very sporadic 60 days under saddle this video shows she wants to be a spotlight performer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Go Billy Go": FEI Diary For High Times

In what I hope will be a reoccurring series about our adventures in FEI competition, here is a look at Billy's first (and what I hope is his last) CCI*!!!

After a somewhat shaky first few Preliminary runs plagued with stops and slow times at the beginning of the year, Billy started to live up to his potential in May at the Preliminary Horse Challenge where he came in a very close second in deep competition. Tracy's mantra of "Go Billy GOOOO" must have been on repeat in his little brain because after that he kept the big boy pants on (which is great because I really, really hate diapers!!) and was giving pretty solid rounds across country. This gave a bit of confidence to shoot for the Galway Downs International CCI* in the Fall.

A well behaved first horse inspection

Although Billy is a beautiful Dressage horse at home and in lessons, his workmanlike demeanor unfortunately does NOT translate to the short white rails in competition. His enthusiasm for the next day's cross country run spills over into the day that is meant for decorum and graceful reservation making each movement, although generally contained, somewhat resistant. I was very proud of him here at Galway, where the atmosphere is definitely electric. He wasn't thrilled about the idea of leg yielding, and we dropped a counter canter, but all in all, he was mostly focused on the task at hand. I can only imagine that this part of our performance will improve as he is so talented and I am very determined to be creative and find that perfect warm up for him! His performance, although slightly flawed, was good enough to tie us for 11th out of the 46 entered. Click here to watch Billy's Dressage.

Billy looking sharp in formal wear
I was very thankful that we had our Dressage on Thursday for many reasons. A.) Billy was already braided from the first horse inspection earlier that day. B.) I could work him a thousand times (give or take a few) for his Dressage test and he would have all of Friday to recover before his cross country run on Saturday. C.) And I am most grateful for riding on Thursday because it was gloriously sunny and warm, and Friday absolutely poured buckets of rain all day. I am sure it was disappointing for all of those West Coast foreigners (East Coasters, Canadians and Dutch) looking for some sunny California weather, as after Thursday it was pretty much miserably cold and wet.

The footing was a concern for cross country day due to the afore mentioned weather, but Galway is luckily in a river bed, so most of the way was sandy going with a very few muddy spots to deal with. Nevertheless, Earl put in very large studs for me while I was out on my final course walk before our run. Billy's warm up was exuberant as expected, and I spent as little time possible jumping and getting him wound up.

My mission for the cross country was to get right down to business and set a forward and positive tone for Billy. He is finally out of the hand holding stage (except for at ditches, of course!) and he was more than willing to stay in front of my leg and straight. It was a very, very, VERY (did I say VERYYY??) fun round. I was glad for all of the trot sets and  aqua-tread for Billy, and the P90X workouts for me, when we came in 20 seconds early on the 8 minute course with hardly breaking a sweat. His recuperation was super quick and he had nary a nick on him. His double clear round moved us up to tied for 9th going into the second jog out. To watch Billy's cross country click here. 

second half of the double trakehners

double X's with a ditch


Ditch wall.  Are you seeing a ditch pattern here?

The second jog tends to produce a lot of anxiety in Event riders, since it is really no fun to do all of that work, pay all of that money, have an amazing round on Saturday and then not pass for Stadium. Luckily for me, the only thing I had to worry about was not getting drug by Billy down the jog lane and kicking anyone as we passed by in hyperdrive.

trying to keep up with a very forward Sunday morning Billy

I had missed the bad weather all week long, but my dime was up on Sunday afternoon when I had Stadium in the pouring, and might I add, freezing rain. Billy was a trooper in the mud, and was up for the big, turning course. I was caught out early in the five stride, coming in big and not getting him back in time for the out costing us a rail. But, everything else was spot on and pretty much brilliant under the circumstances. Even with the rail, the course caused so much trouble that we moved all the way up to fifth to finish the competition. Click here to watch Stadium. 

we had plenty left in the tank on Sunday

cold and wet
receiving his ribbon for a job well done

It was the kind of week I live for, where all of the dedication and work pay off. I was surrounded by great help so that I felt at ease and could concentrate on the task at hand. Not only that, I had the support of all my friends and family at home and my great sponsors cheering me on. I grew as a rider and my horse grew as a competitor...and growth is what it is all about. But most of all, I came home with a confident, healthy and happy horse, and I can't wait to do it again (only higher!).

Jenny and Billy

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dragonfire Nefertiti and Caroline Dein: A Story Of Success

Far West Regional Jr. Ex. Champions

Morgan Medallion Regional Jr. Ex. Champions
Grand National Champions 16 Yr Old Hunter Pleasure
Dragonfire Nefertiti and Caroline Dein have had a fairytale season together competing exclusively at Regional Championships and The Morgan Grand National and taking victory passes at all of them.  With this being the first season Caroline has competed on the Morgan circuit, it was truly a testament to her riding ability and competitive nature. Owned by Toni Casados, "Faye" has been a well known fixture in the winner's circle for Ladies Hunter Pleasure.  But it was Caroline that took her seamlessly into the Junior Exhibitor ranks with fantastic results. What a wonderful partnership this has been to watch!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dragonfire To Host Hawley Bennett

Dragonfire is most pleased to be hosting a Hawley Bennett-Awad clinic January 28-29, 2012. With her extraordinary accomplishments on all of the Canadian Teams including the Pam Ams, WEG's and the Olympics, this elite equestrienne hardly needs an introduction! Her drive and her youthful energy is not only unsurpassed in the industry it is also infectious as she has had a hand in several top young rider's careers.

With her keen eye and direct teaching style, Hawley will undoubtably give you a clinic to remember.

The clinic fee is $215 for two days of intimate sized groups that will guarantee that Hawley will be able to give you the attention you need to improve. The Dragonfire facility also boasts a fantastically large ring with several types of stadium and cross country type obstacles that will give you the challenge you desire. Auditors will be just as pleased with the large seating area on the raised berm and a sound system to hear all of Hawley's instruction. The auditing fee is $10 per person for both days.

Be a part of this sensational rider's team as she continues to set the international scene on fire and learn from her vast experience. Send payment to Dragonfire to reserve your spot now, along with your experience level. Limited stabling is available for those traveling over distance.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rouge et Blanc DF Under Saddle

Roger free jumping as a three year old
We know you have all been eagerly waiting for Roger's under saddle video, so here it is!  This is one of the sweetest, puppy dog three year olds we have ever had the pleasure of starting here at Dragonfire. Roger is smart, sensible, and friendly and loves any job you ask of him. His training to date includes long lining, free jumping, flat work and hacking out in groups and alone. He has a lovely canter and tons of talent along with an amateur friendly temperament.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

High Times Goes International

High Times and Earl McFall
At the inaugural CIC at the Woodside Horse Park in Woodside, CA, High Times made his FEI debut with Earl McFall. Because of scheduling conflicts with the Morgan Grand National, it was Earl not Jennifer, that got to guide this handsome powerhouse around the CIC* course. The duo started out in fourth place after Dressage and remained there for the duration of the competition. The high placing finish is a credit to High Times' talent and Earl's ability to catch ride a horse he never gets to ride at home (sharing Billy doesn't happen much!).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

High Times and Jennifer McFall top left corner. In A Dream and Earl McFall on right.
At the recent Twin Rivers Horse Trials both Dragonfire trainers, Earl and Jennifer McFall, were featured on the cover of the program. What an honor! Of course, Andrea Baxter of Twin Rivers Ranch claims it was by total accident that two of the three pictures were of McFalls, as the pictures were favored by both the photographer and the printer and they had no idea of the relationship of the riders. But since we like to aim high, we are hoping that in the near future there will be THREE McFalls on featured on the cover! The Dragonfire Team is grateful to it's sponsors: CWD Saddles, Nupafeed Supplements, KEP Italia Helmets, and Eurostar Riding Clothes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

There's A New Sheriff In Town

Taylor McFall made her eventing debut with her trusty steed, Roses Are Blue, at the 2011 Eventful Acres Juniors Over Jumps. In a field of much older and more experienced riders, Taylor navigated thru the sand box and both her stadium and cross country courses with the confidence of an old campaigner and came away with the a red ribbon in the end. Truly, this maybe the best McFall yet!

To watch Taylor's Dressage Test, click here
To watch Taylor's Stadium round, click here
To watch Taylor's Cross Country, click here
Dressage at it's finest (including Taylor's first attempt at out Barbara!)

Pumpkins give Rosie that extra lift she needed in stadium
Colorful and Perky was Taylor's theme cross country. I think she accomplished that.

Ahhh, to be young. Playing with leaves is still as fun as winning prizes.

Second place finish

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making Memories at the 2011 Motherlode

The Motherlode Morgan Show has been a staple in Northern California showing since what seems like the dawn of time. With the great staff and innovative ideas on how to keep this show strong, I image that it will continue where other shows have struggled and failed. We love taking advantage of the All Breed classes for our Non-Morgans, as well as the Academy/Opportunity classes for our first-time show riders. Sport Horse In Hand classes are also offered, and very well received with tons of entries. Typically we only bring 7 or 8 horses to a show, but because of the broad spectrum of classes offered at Motherlode, we brought 17 this time!! Keep up the good work guys, our exhibitors LOVE your show!

Stilwell Renaissance Man

For the second year in a row, ALB Morgans produced the Grand Champion Sport Horse Stallion, this year with Stilwell Renaissance Man. Shown by Earl McFall, "Manny" was up against some very stiff competition from the aged stallions, but this two year old colt has such a correct, rhythmical trot that he dazzled in the show ring. Also for the second year in a row, UVM Springfield is the sire of the Champion Stallion. He is certainly showing his ability to produce a consistent winner!

Manhattan Jubilee
Dragonfire Farm owns the Grand Champion Sport Horse Mare, Manhattan Jubilee. This stunning three year old mare is by Dragonfire Kirin and out of the great UVM Columbine. With parents like that, it is no surprise that she is smooth bodied, big moving and sharp as a tack. We expect "Jolie" to have an exceptional career in and out of the show ring.

Merriewold Kasey
Merriewold Morgans has been breeding top class Sport Morgans, and they have hit the mark again with  Merriewold Kasey. At only three, he has already reached the 16 hand mark. Not only is he big, but this sleek chestnut has a trot that Dressage riders would kill for. Kasey has the makings of a real Dressage star. At his first performance in his career, Kasey was the Reserve Grand Champion Sport Horse Gelding.

Lovey of Stilwell
Despite the heat, Earl McFall had a beautifully expressive go in the Junior Western Pleasure Championship with Lovey of Stilwell to win the tricolor. Although she is just a three year old, Lovey looked as polished and stylish as any four year old could hope for. ALB Morgans bred and owns this adorable mare.

Merriewold JS Bach
Earl McFall dominated the Junior horse ranks, winning the Junior Hunter Pleasure Championship with Merriewold JS Bach. This young gelding has been wildly successful in his first year of competition, winning at every show he has made an appearance at.  Combined with Kasey's success In Hand, it was a great show indeed for Merriewold Morgans.

Melissa and Ava Votaw with Taylor McFall

Those are some cute girls!
Taylor McFall after her first canter class

Makena Graber's Medal success
Mia Bouslaugh 
Kammy Bhala

Academy students gave strong performances all weekend, and provided Dragonfire with loads of rides to be proud of. Ava Votaw made her maiden performance in the Leadline with Roses Are Blue, waving to the crowd and giving everyone a big smile. Makena Graber and her own Ragtime Mi Oro Double were a dominate force, winning in both the Hunter Pleasure and Equitation divisions. It was particularly sweet to see her win the AMHA Hunt Seat on the Flat Medal class in her first try at it. Mia Bouslaugh was stellar at Motherlode with Dragonfire Lotus. Mia was so impressive at her first show, keeping her head on straight thru all of her flat classes and even over fences. She went home with some really nice red ribbons to start her collection. Taylor McFall got a taste of what it was like for her parents riding multiple horses at a show, and in loads of classes to boot. She was in heaven winning blue ribbons with Dragonfire Kublakhan in the Dressage, and even more blue ribbons with her pony, Roses Are Blue, in the Jumping and Hunter Pleasure.  Our adult riders were fantastic to watch as well. Natalie Jensen gave a solid but sparkle plenty performance with Rendition Thrill A Minute to win the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship. Barbara Fleming has been working very hard in the Dressage with her gelding, Alias, and was rewarded for that hard work with very high marks (over 70%) in Second Level. Both Kammy Bhala, riding Ragtime White Magic, and Toni Casados, riding Whitmor's Magnitude, went for the Dressage classes and did us proud with their great rides and fortitude in the heat. 

Akira Beijing
Akira Beijing and Erin Critz were spot on over fences in the Working Hunter Division. Erin worked forward and straight lines, attacking the distances with her game mare. In the end, they were the Working Hunter Champions.


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

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