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Straight From the Judge’s Booth: Strategies for the Under Saddle

BY R JUDGE SISSY WICKES The more I judge, the more I am surprised that riders do not think more about how to ride an under saddle class. Yes, a good mover is a good...

The Perils of a Shifting Landscape

BY SISSY WICKES As I watched the Breeder’s Cup races at Santa Anita Downs, the tension I felt was not just excitement about the contest or my usual visceral response to watching races. I felt...

The Legacy of Rox Dene

BY SISSY WICKES It is 1994 and the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida is in full swing. Horses everywhere- hunters, jumpers, equitation, ponies. Horses walking down the path that cuts through the show grounds-...

Fountain Valley School: Reading, Writing, Riding, & The Rockies!

BY SISSY WICKES Imagine a high school student finishing a rigorous academic day, grabbing their backpack, and heading out into the blue sky and mountain vistas at Fountain Valley School of Colorado in Colorado Springs....

Vinissa Blann’s Day Dream Farm: Best of Wellington Year Round

BY SISSY WICKES Vinissa Blann is a familiar face at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. With a breadth of expertise, she can be found in the hunter, equitation, and jumper rings. As a...

Kendall Meijer Finds the Perfect Partnership

BY SISSY WICKES The story is not unusual. Kendall Meijer’s family planned a summer vacation at a dude ranch out west and decided that she should take a few riding lessons to prepare. At the...

RiverCross: a Modern Breeding Program

BY SISSY WICKES Much has been made by this author and many others of the hardships faced by the sport horse breeder in North America. How do breeders in the U.S. and Canada compete with...

Young Professional Spotlight: Jennifer Bliss and Harris Hill Farm

BY SISSY WICKES Although 34 years old, Jennifer Bliss seems to have been around the horse show world forever. She was one of the most successful pony riders of her generation and consistently at the...

Ponies & Palms: What Could Be Better?

BY SISSY WICKES The name Ponies & Palms brings a smile to all who invoke the image of warm weather and beautiful ponies. Further illustrate the picture with smiling young riders, encouraging trainers, and multi-colored...

Eurequine: Sporthorse Stallions for Every Ring

BY SISSY WICKES Edgar Schutte is a respected name in the world of Hanoverian breeding from the United States to the heart of Germany, the birthplace of the breed. Hanoverians are a breed known for...

Charleigh’s Cookies: A Labor of Love

BY SISSY WICKES “When you’re going through a difficult time – regardless of age, gender or status – there is nothing like the healing power of horses. They give everything and ask for little in...

The Long Reach of Langer Equestrian Group

BY SISSY WICKES The name Langer has been synonymous with California horse shows for almost half a century. Picture the horse show scene on the West Coast in 1970: a few scattered venues, sand or dirt footing,...

American Made: Is Importing Sport Horses the Answer?

BY SISSY WICKES For decades, horse shoppers in most disciplines traveled to Europe in the hopes of finding a hidden gem, that diamond in the rough standing in a remote barn in the Netherlands- undervalued and underpriced....

Caroline Weeden’s Merryburn Farm Continues a Tradition...

BY SISSY WICKES In the changing paradigm of top riders and trainers, there is a group of professionals who maintain a steady presence at the top levels of the sport. Caroline Weeden is one. Carl, as she...

Sweet Briar College: Better than Ever

BY SISSY WICKES Private education is a challenging and changing landscape in the age of skyrocketing tuition and online options. Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, VA found itself in the same difficult conundrum as...

Heatherly Davis’ Edelweiss Farms: All the Best for Horse and Rider

BY SISSY WICKES “We are building our dream farm here,” Heatherly Davis says enthusiastically. “Edelweiss Farms at Lavender Creek is the most beautiful facility I could imagine. It is the perfect combination of function and form.” Davis...

Michelle Morris: Clearing the Way to Success

BY SISSY WICKES Michelle Morris is as well rounded a horsewoman as one can find on either coast of the United States. A native Californian, she grew up riding in the local California circuits and...

Moving On With Isabella Littlejohn

BY SISSY WICKES For some riders, December 1 and the end of their junior riding careers is like the click of a locked door. Closed, never to be walked through again. It is a date...

A Judge’s Perspective: From Capital Challenge to the Thoroughbred Makeover

A Continuum, Not a Scale BY SISSY WICKES In early September as I distractedly scanned my calendar to get an idea of what the next few weeks held, my gaze stopped at the week in October...

The Plaid Horse at 15: A Look In

BY SISSY WICKES The Plaid Horse magazine celebrates its 15th year in 2018. First published on newsprint with a local feel, it has grown into the largest exclusively hunter/jumper magazine in the United States. Glossy...

6 Over 60

BY SISSY WICKES As a birthday milestone looms on the horizon like a noose from a gnarled tree, I look around our world for inspiration. Is there life after 60 or should I waddle off...

Heathman Farm & Cormac Hanley on the Rise

BY SISSY WICKES The Grand Prix: the ultimate in equestrian showjumping competition. We watch in person, we livestream, we read results online and on paper. We root for our favorite riders and horses in America...