The Gossip Girls – Off and Running…


WE hope everything is going well with you, your horses are jumping high, your students are winning and the only ribbons you carry back from the ring are blue.

EVERYONE KNOWS the kitchen is a dangerous place and no one realizes this more than MASON PHELPS… As MASON was preparing dinner for friends at his lovely Wellington home, he slipped, fell and severely injured his hip which required surgery.

WE HEAR that MASON’S hospital room resembled a cross between a florist shop and STUDIO 54, complete with a doorman and velvet rope at the door. Judging from the social media photographs, MASON was not in hospital long enough to have his tailor whip up something a bit nicer than the hospital smocks !

The doctors and nurses never had so much fun with a patient !

THE NATIONAL SHOW HUNTER HALL OF FAME’s nominations have closed – these are the results –

CARLTON BROOKS -Outstanding California professional horseman, who owns the powerhouse stable Balmoral with his wife Traci. He rides, shows and teaches. He also serves on various committees and judges when his schedule permits.

KOST KARAZISSIS – Is a member of a legendary equestrian family. He and his wife JENNY are a dominant force in the Hunter Derbies on both coasts, and he stays very busy training and Judging

MARGUERITE TAYLOR – She almost singlehandedly changed showing Ponies in the country. Her pony breeding farm in Virginia, virtually created the crossbred pony breeding program, dominated the pony breeding division and turned an amazing number of star quality show ponies, many ridden by her daughter Marianne Taylor.

BILL ELLIS – Began his career with HALL OF FAME member BOB FREELS. He has shown horses and trained many junior and amateur riders for many years. He is in demand as a hunter and equitation judge. Lives in Ocala, Florida.

JUDY KELLEY – Originally from Canada, Judy showed many top hunters including BOYNE VALLEY, VITAL VICTORY and JAG. She rode for HALL OF FAME MEMBER MAX BONHAM for many years, as well as MRS. A. E. CUNNINGHAM and Canada’s COTTRELLE FAMILY.

MEREDITH MCLAUGHLIN. Showed many fancy horses in the Amateur Owner Division with great success. She is best known for her great eye when it comes to picking out young prospects who went one to show with great success with top professionals, including SANDMAN, SANDSABLAZE and BARN OWL.


Danielle Torano and Classic Importer
Danielle Torano and Classic Importer

CLASSIC IMPORTER – Shown by DANIELLE TORANO, was a three time Horse of The Year, won countless repeat championships at all the major horse shows. This pair was the picture of consistency everywhere they showed and was retired by the Torano family after he was retired from showing.

WATERSHIP DOWN – Was an outstanding winner for every one of his riders. He was ridden by KAREN NEILSON, JENNY BELKNAP and MEGAN JOHNSTONE. He was a champion at all the major shows and multiple winner of Horse of The Year honors.

THE CAD – Old time horsemen always mention THE CAD when talking about the best horses of the old days. He was owned by MRS. McINTOSH’S powerful WAVERLY FARMS and ridden by MOLLY MACINTOSH. He was a High Score Award winner and dominated the horse shows of his era..

RAVE REVIEW was owned by SHANNA JOHNSTONE’S STONEY HILL and trained by HALL OF FAME member LINDA HOUGH. He was beautifully ridden by LISE QUINTERO. He was a major winner on both coasts.



Victoria Colvin and Private Practice won the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.


PLEASE make sure you attend THE INDUCTION DINNER held during The Devon Horse Show at the beautiful MERION CRICKET CLUB, you will have a great time.
GO to THE NATIONAL SHOW HUNTER HALL OF FAME’S web site to see how you can vote for your favorite and make reservations for the best evening of the year!!!

NO ONE ever said horsemen were real smart and now THE SAFE SPORT PROGRAM has created quite a bit of havoc because folks who ride horses have to take a test before they are permitted to show.

WE hear that some smarter folks are even selling their brainpower and doing the test for others. And if you feel as though the SAFE SMARTERS have chosen you to not return your call – don’t feel bad they rarely return anyone’s call.

VERY SERIOUSLY – Wouldn’t it be interesting to know which one of YOUR representatives in Congress voted for the SAFE SPORTERS who take away your rights – innocent until proven guilty is their mantra. The majority of the people who have been accused have had their cases thrown out, but not before they spend a huge amount to defend themselves. An Email appears to be the preferred delivery for anyone who receives bad new from this group.

WE would suggest that anyone who falsely accuses another receive strong punishment .
WE would also like to suggest a back round check makes more sense than the SAFE SPORT Quiz. Not much cheating on a back round check.

THANKS to BONNIE NAVIN, the Florida attorney, who has stood up to help people who have been unjustly accused.

IT SEEMS as though NONA GARSON and GEORGE DIAMBROSIO’S Florida shows are getting bigger and better. Many riders are puttin’ their horses on the truck and heading over to on of their many venues… Nice jumps, Free lunch, Smiling faces and a great product at a sensible price.

IF YOU haven’t seen JANE CLARK at the horse shows that is because she is a very busy lady attending PBR Bull Riding events – as an OWNER ! JANE and GENE OWEN are partners in some of the very best bulls in the world !!

Bull riding’s gain is certainly show jumping’s loss – few owners have ever bought as many horses as JANE or supported the sport as well as she has.

CoBurn Bradshaw riding 2 Cookies Photo: PRCA Photography
CoBurn Bradshaw riding 2 Cookies
Photo: PRCA Photography

IF YOU watched the NATIONAL FINALS RODEO on Thursday night you got to see JIMMY LEE’S TWO COOKIES, a saddle bronc which helped CoBURN BRADSHAW, score an 89, to win The Average. This plain lookin’ bay horse can really jump high – but usually there isn’t a rider underneath him when he does it.

WE hear that TOM STRUZZIERI traveled to China recently to shop. What a smart man.

OH DEAR…. WE hear that the fellow who was a bigshot in the USEF D & M Program is now suing his former bosses… Apparently he says they are using him as the scapegoat to avoid further embarrassment to THE FEDS’ testing program and improper results…
He has requested a trial by jury, and the folks he is suing includes President MURRAY KESSLER, his aide WILLIAM MORONEY, DR. KENT ALLEN, SONYA KEATING.
HAD BONNIE NAVIN not flushed the fox out of the D & M hen house, several top exhibitors might have been giving pony rides at The South Florida Fair instead of showing at WEF this year.

WE also hear that THE FEDS and The University of Kentucky and in talks to have Kentucky do the drug testing. Didn’t we dance this dance a long time ago with a lab in Philadelphia?

WE HEARD that one of the power house hunter stables recently lost their rider… After nearly a quarter of a century ! ! There are ways to leave and then there are ways to leave. Nice that the Boss kept her cool through it – life goes on….

THREE CHEERS for SISSY WICKES… WE certainly appreciate her wise commentaries in THE PLAID HORSE MAGAZINE and at various meetings and especially her bravery to stand up at various meetings and say what most are to shy to say.

INTERESTING TO NOTE that considering the current issues concerning the ever increasing cost of showing and the apparent lack of faith in The D&M Program and Committee, does it not seem a little off kilter that some of the longest thrashing about was over the names of various divisions and what color riding jacket was acceptable?
What do we get for the high priced recording and membership fees? Points that aren’t up to date?

And if you call, God Forbid, the rudeness of some of the folks at USEF is totally inexcusable. Try this one on for size – a recent caller was told, “They are well aware of who you are and they will NOT accept your call.”

Some will also get half snotty and threaten the callers with reporting them with bullying. Enough is enough.

Where is MISS MANNERS when she is needed?

INTERESTING to note that two of this year’s nominees for THE NATIONAL SHOW HUNTER HALL OF FAME are hunter that came from SHANNA JOHNSTONE’S STONEY HILL FARM and they were trained by LINDA HOUGH. Those two ladies really knew how to do it right.

OLDTIMERS will certainly remember DICKIE and WENDY HENDRICKS….
WENDY was WENDY WANAMAKER who rode with JUNIE KULP and in her day was one of the slickest amateur riders to ever win at all the important shows and also win ladies races at the hunt meets. DICKIE worked with FRANK CHAPOT and THE USET among others. DICKIE was one of the very smartest horsemen you ever could have met.
Recently, their son RICKY, won the ECLISPE AWARD for one of the Steeplechase horses he trained – in fact he had two nominated… The amazing part was RICKY was the first ECLIPSE AWARD WINNER to ever win as a both a Jockey ( at the age of 18! ) and as a Trainer of a champion horse.

IT IS with great sadness that WE share the passing of BETSY MacKENZIE. Originally from Pennsylvania, BETSY showed hunters years ago with LOUISE SERIO’S father BUZZ WARNER. It was at this time that BETSY met DENNIS MacKENZIE, whom she would later marry.

The couple worked for some of the country’s best stables, including SUSIE and BETSY JACKSON, EDIE SPRUANCE where they cared for the famous RIOT FREE, and HARRY GILL where they cared for IDLE DICE.

Dennis and Betsy MacKenzie with Idle Dice

BETSY was a wonderful lady who really loved horses and treated them all the very best. After retiring from caring for show horses she worked for GENE MISCHE and STADIUM JUMPING, INC. in the horse show office at their many shows.

She was a thoughtful friend, excellent horsewoman and a very kind lady with a ready smile. She will be missed.

WE HEAR that everyone’s friend GLENN STRAUB showed his unattractive side at an open meeting, when he threatened WELLINGTON, stating that if he was forced to operate his inactive golf courses ( which have been compared to hay fields, and thought to be a fire danger, as well as lowering property values )…..

“You’re not going like the black people who come in here, the Hispanics.” If forced to operate the courses and not just maintain them, he would start offering Frisbee Golf and Soccer Golf. He said he would allow the public to pay at his course for $ 3.00 a round.

ENJOY whatever you are doing this winter, from chasing foxes to showing in the sunshine or just trying to keep warm and dry. Remember the horses are what make it possible….
Thank your grooms, van drivers, vets and farriers…. Pay your bills on time….
Be polite to the people in the office who answer some pretty ridiculous questions day after day….

Congratulate the riders and owners who beat you….
Sit by the ring and get a free lesson from the best in the sport.


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