Melissa Hirt and her Northern Pines Farm (NPF) wrapped up the winter show circuit at the Winter Equestrian Festival having sold and leased a record number of horses to elated buyers. With the help of Colin Savaria as NPF’s new rider and assistant, the team plans to expand the sales program and continue to provide quality horses.
“We sold or leased over twenty horses during the circuit,” said Hirt. “It’s been a great season and we’re really happy to have Colin [Savaria] on board now to help us out. He’s one of those guys that can just hit the ground running and take on the job. He rides, he teaches, he organizes, he’s just what we needed and he’s doing a fantastic job.”
Savaria hails from Belmar, New Jersey, with a lifetime of riding experience. He started riding at the age of two and worked his way up the ranks, trading work for riding privileges. He rode with Emil Spadone at Redfield Farm in Califon, NJ, where he put his saddle on anything he could. Once he turned 18, Savaria started working full time for Redfield Farm, learning the professional side of the business and fitting in some college classes. After three semesters of college, Savaria turned professional and committed his time and talents to the industry.
Colin Savaria has brought up young horses for the jumper ring as well as hunters and equitation horses. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography
Savaria later worked for Amanda Flint where he got to work with young jumpers and found a passion for developing horses. During his time with Flint, Savaria rode a five-year-old jumper to the year-end championship and showed in his first grand prix on a seven-year-old he started two years prior. Savaria then spent two years in Europe making up hunters and equitation horses while continuing to learn more about the business.
Fast forward and a pandemic later, Hirt and Savaria have created the perfect match to grow Northern Pines Farm’s sale horse business. Hirt regularly imports horses from Europe along with the large number of young horses she has from her own breeding program. Hirt has been breeding and developing horses for years with an in-house trainer that breaks the three-year-olds. Savaria will take on horses that are ready for some horse show experience as well as some of Hirt’s show string. Hirt always has a great selection of horses at every age from foals to veterans and from hunters and equitation horses to jumpers.
“It’s hard to find professionals who can support young professionals like Melissa [Hirt] always has,” said Savaria. “It’s a great relationship with great horses to promote and an honest seller. I’m looking forward to riding a lot of nice horses for Northern Pines and moving talented horses to the perfect new owners.”
Hirt has Casanova Z available for breeding. He is an approved Belgian Sport Horse by Coronet Obolensky x Chellano Z. In 2020, Coronet was eleventh on the World of Show Jumping Stallion Breeding list. Coronet sired 33 horses that have jumped to the higher levels of the sport (1.60m). In 2016, Chellano was the number one stallion on the breeding list. As Casanova Z develops, he is showing true potential for the top of the sport. In addition to frozen semen, they are able to provide fresh or cooled semen.
Along with the sale horse business, Hirt has a select group of riders she trains and attends premier hunter jumper shows with such as Traverse City and the Winter Equestrian Festival as well as shows in the Chicago area. She has produced winning horse and rider teams in every ring up to the top levels including the indoor finals, Junior Hunter Finals, and Devon.