The technical course today was no match for Kristin Hardin and Firestone S, who posted the only double clear in the $10,000 1.45m Welcome Jumper Stake. The class was a featured event on March 29, during Week II of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, Texas.
The well-bred 11-year-old gelding, from the Galoubet line, is one of the scopiest horses Hardin has ever ridden she said.
“Firestone tries really hard and can jump anything,” Hardin said.
Hardin, of New Cuyama, California, is very familiar with courses designed by Marina Azevedo and adjusted her strategy accordingly.
“I thought the course was great,” she said. “Marina builds a lot in California, so I’m used to her courses. They don’t look as challenging as they ride, but when you get out there, it’s not easy. The oxers are always square and wide. It’s technical the way she builds. It was good, and I’m glad I get to jump her courses a lot at home. Today I rode the jumps like they were a little bit bigger. I was more accurate in what I was asking him to do.”
“The last time I came to Pin Oak was in 1985 and that was the last time I’ve shown in Texas. It was fun then, and it’s really nice to be back. God bless Texas!” Hardin said.
Stephanie Brown Enjoys a Successful Return
Stephanie Bassett grew up riding and showing with Katie Lambert-Boone of Irish Day Farm. When she went off to college, got married and had children, she knew in her heart she’d return some day.
“My husband went to medical school, and we had no money while he was doing that, so I had to remove myself from the horses,” she said. “I couldn’t just go ride once a week…that’s just not me. I always told Katie that I’d be back some day.”And that someday is now. Bassett, of The Woodlands, Texas, returned to the show ring at Pin Oak aboard her new mount, Ivy League, and has won classes in the Modified Adult Amateurs both weeks. She’s also enjoyed cheering on “Harvard” with professional Morgan Erbstoesser in the irons as the pair earned last week’s Baby Green Hunter tricolor.
Bassett purchased Ivy League, a 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood (by Uphill), last fall from professional Courtney Calcagnini.
“We moved when my husband finished school and got a job last August,” she said. “So, I told Katie to start looking! He was out in the pasture at Courtney’s growing up.”
During the purchase process, however, Bassett had to have neck surgery, and establishing a partnership with Harvard was delayed.
“I started riding after three months—the doctor gave me the OK even though it was supposed to be six months. He kind of knew I’d be doing it anyway,” she said, laughing. “So, he’s like, ‘Don’t do anything risky.’ And, of course, I’m on this big, young horse that I don’t know very well. But so far everything’s been really great with him, and I’m so lucky.”
Prior to Pin Oak, Bassett had just jumped Harvard four times, but they clicked quite quickly.
“The first day he needed a little time on the longe line, but after that he was like, ‘OK, I’ve got this!’ He’s been wonderful,” she said.
Around The Rings on Day 2
A Texas-sized thunderstorm interrupted the Hunter rings on Day 2, but later the sun came out and it was a beautiful afternoon. Despite the rainy start, fun was had by all – kids of all ages enjoyed the puddles and full ditches around the show grounds!
Best Grooms’ Party Ever!
Rodeo Houston, Pin Oak style! The 2017 GROOMS’ PARTY, held Tuesday evening, was an action-packed night, filled with great food, and prizes for ALL!
Thank you to Vicki Hunton of Olde Oaks Farm for organizing and sponsoring this annual event. We also thank the many donors who made the evening the best Grooms’ Party yet! #PinOak2017
Don’t Forget The Pin Oak Official Photographers
Pin Oak Week I is a wrap! Don’t forget to view and purchase your photos to remember your cherished memories of the show!
Casey McBride Photography and Andrew Ryback Photography are the Official Photographers, and we thank them for their service, dedication and amazing photos!
Please visit Andrew Ryback at his silver Airstream trailer onsite for Pin Oak Week