‘He Is Happiest at the Horse Shows’

Photo © Image by Katie

Hadley Zeavin on Why Her 27-Year-Old Horse Griffin Is Still Thriving


The eighteen months before I got Griffin in 2013 were the hardest of my life due to a bad riding accident and my dad’s unexpected death. When my trainer Mark Watring found me Griffin, I felt the tiniest sliver of hope for the first time in a while. Griffin saved me, and I like to think that he’s the last (and best) gift my dad ever gave me. 

I showed Griffin in the Adult and Low Adult Hunters and he’s made so many of my dreams come true—most importantly he helped me love riding again. Griffin has a long history of show ring success. He was originally purchased from Morgan Thomas for Travis Lubow as an equitation horse in 1998. When he didn’t care for the open water, Karen Healey and Archie Cox determined he would make a better hunter. Travis’s younger sister Jordan Lubow, with whom I’ve been friends with for over 20 years, started showing him when she moved off of ponies. Jordan and Griffin were reserve National Horse of the Year in the Small Junior Hunters 15 and under, and he went on to have success with other riders and trainers including Corinne Bevis and Michael Leon before he came to me. 

Photo © Image by Katie

He is the kindest, most forgiving horse with a great sense of humor, and he comes out every day excited to do his job. Griffin loves to be fussed over and groomed, and he is happiest at the horse shows. He told Mark and I a few years ago that he needed to step down, so he’s leased out in Santa Barbara, CA, to clients of Courtney Cochran, whom I’ve known since I was ten years old. At 27, some horses would do well being retired, but Griffin genuinely loves having a job. Thanks to amazing care through his whole life, he’s still showing in the crossrail divisions and enjoying his job. I feel unbelievably lucky that Griffin and I found each other, and so honored to be Griffin’s forever home.”

*This story was originally published in the September 2021 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!