The Gossip Girls – On the Road Again…

Hello Darlings –

Cannot begin to tell you how busy WE have been… Recently, Mason gave us full rein of the Phelps Sports jet and we used it to race from show to show and away from the terrible storms!

IT SEEMED no matter where WE were in the country, the lack of quality care and turn out for horses, clean stables and personal turnout of riders was all too prevalent…. If you do not realize the judges see it you are a fool!!

Clean horses don’t smell… Horses whose feet are properly cleaned don’t have thrush… When it is chilly, horses need to have covers on them – standing at the ring sweating and blowing after competing is just poor horsemanship… Good grooms wear out curry combs and towels not sponges… Think as much about your horses’ stalls being clean as you do about all the flowers in front of your tackroom… VERY, VERY few grooms or riders bother loosen their horse’s girth after walking out of the ring !!!!

North Run was awarded the Sidelines Style Award at the American Gold Cup for their beautifully turned out stabling area.
North Run was awarded the Sidelines Style Award at the American Gold Cup for their beautifully turned out stabling area.

Take a look at the horses from the North Run, David Rapoza, Carlton Brooks and Heritage and you’ll see how it’s done

THE MAJORITY of the riders have dirty butt britches – dirty saddles are one cause of this ! The stain used on poor quality leather used on your expensive saddle could also be a culprit… And these dirty britches come in all colors – the white or tan ones – doesn’t seem to matter!!! And, those folks who wear the same pair of britches day after day are just disgusting!

Dirty, unpolished boots, spurs and bits show a total lack of caring, and grooms who don’t wipe the stirrups and boots before their riders go in the ring deserve a spanking!
Take a look at Daniel & Jimmy Torano to see top rider turn out.

LISTENING to people who seem to feel that qualifying for the Medal Finals, or driving their children to lessons at a local stable miraculously turns them into a trainer is frightening. Listening to the gibberish these young fools holler at their unsuspecting victims is very sad. Looking at the poor quality of the care they give the horses in their trust is very sad!

GEORGE MORRIS promised this was in the future and he was absolutely correct.

BEFORE you complain about what the showgrounds look like – have you ever picked up the paper you drop on the ground or the coffee cup you dropped in the schooling area? Most likely not! Do your grooms throw manure on the ground instead of forking it in the containers provided by management? Who ever bothers to pick up the trash at the wash stall??


CAN anyone explain when it became acceptable for riders and trainers to hold up the rings for so long? Learning the course, painting the feet, endless pointing at jumps, resetting the saddle are things that shouldn’t be done in the ingate… The time you take to get into the ring multiplies into hours – woe is the poor rider who has to ride in the last couple classes.

IF YOU really must bring your dog, bird, goat or pet pig to the show, for goodness sake tie ’em up or pay for an extra stall for them. Recently, a jump crew guy’s pitbull attacked a very nice jumper and did a great deal of damage to the horse – it may never recover ! Thankfully, when the rider fell off, the dog did not attack her!! WE hear that show’s management showed very little concern over the entire affair.

LASTLY, WE are sick and tired about the complainin’ and bad manners ! Get over it people – this is horse showin’ – not curing world hunger or curing cancer. Smile when you get yer ribbon… Say thank you to the ingate guy who smiles despite the rudeness shown to him day after day. When you go to the show office to settle your account try being polite – do you REALLY think those folks have an easy job?? Do you laugh and smirk behind your customers’ backs when they have a poor round or school – did you ever think it might be your fault ??

DON’T make the vets, farriers or feed dealers chase you down like a dog to get you to pay your bill! Otherwise bring your own vet, farrier and feed to the show.

Margie Engle and Royce at the 2017 American Gold Cup
Margie Engle and Royce at the 2017 American Gold Cup

AMAZING MARGIE ENGLE! After a fall which resulted in a major injury to her knee, she is still in the saddle riding like a champ. Her husband, DR. STEVE ENGLE, has been setting jumps and helping in the stable at the recent shows… They are such a nice couple and certainly are a great team!!

Debbie Stephens and Swagger
Debbie Stephens and Swagger

DEBBIE STEPHENS is on the sidelines after an MRI revealed not just a torn groin muscle but the fractures in her pelvis after what seemed like an easy tumble…

(L to R): Wendy Lewis, Jay Matter and Dee Thomas
(L to R): Wendy Lewis, Jay Matter and Dee Thomas

IT IS with great sadness that WE report the passing of DEE THOMAS… She was a lady who worked very hard to get to the top of her sport… She could braid, drive the van, ride the best, care for her horses and everything in between. He life had been very lonely and difficult since JAY MATTER, better know as “JAYBIRD” passed away. WE will miss her smile and watching ride in the showring.
God Speed.

WE hear that UPPERVILLE may be building another ring on the jumper side… This is America’s oldest show and the past few years have been better and better.

Jennifer Alfano and Stardust – Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
Jennifer Alfano and Stardust won the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Hunter Derby at the 71st Annual Buffalo International Horse Show – Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography

THE BUFFALO INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW just finished this year’s run and it was terrific! One of the country’s old fashioned events, each and every part is well done from the decorations in the ring to the charity’s silent auction to the huge donation the show gives to the Therapeutic Riding Program every year… This is old fashioned horse showing at it’s finest.

WE HEARD that WILLIAM MARTIN’S sister, EDWINA, was plucked from the rooftop of her Texas home during the recent hurricane !!


THE recent storms have brought out the best and worst in the horse business…
How about the horse show facility which “graciously” opened their stabling – for a reduced charge when the other horse show outfit told everyone to bring their horses for free – in the same town!! The only request for free stabling was that you stripped your stalls when you leave.

Can you imagine the logistics of shipping 800 horses out of Florida’s Gulfstream Park Race Track ??

D. J. Johnson ran 35 trucks up and down Route 95 to get horses out of harm’s reach… He and all the other horse transportation companies did yeoman’s work keeping horses safe.

WE HEAR that THE NATIONAL SHOW HUNTER HALL OF FAME, THE NATIONAL HUNTER & JUMPER ASSOCIATION and THE VIRGINIA HORSE SHOWS ASSOCIATION all joined together to buy hay to fill the horse vans which were headed to Texas. TOM PAISLEY shipped this donation of hay… CREECH HORSE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY as well as many other horse transportation companies shipped trucks full of supplies down to the hard hit Texas area… THE OCALA BREEDERS FEED & SUPPLY was one of the outfits that gathered the supplies for the horses in need.

THREE CHEERS for everyone who took in folks who needed a safe place, including SUE ASHE who opened her home to JACK STEDDING and LINDA ANDRISANNI for a safe visit during the storm…

FORMER show rider BOBBY SLOAN who lives on his sailboat, CHILD OF THE WIND, set the anchor and took to shore and stayed with friends as the storm approached his western Florida mooring. After the storm passed everyone was fine.

IF YOU are going to post pictures on social media sites remember to buy the pictures – not steal them from a photographers site… No matter how charming you find yourself, your children and your horses , these people have to be paid for their services.
Try to be a little artistic about your pictures – don’t plaster your horses with every ribbon you won at the show – a single blue ribbon gets the point across… Make sure the victims you get to stand with you are nicely dressed… Think about the back round – pictures in front of the manure pile or in barely bedded dirty stalls just don’t do the trick.

Mason Phelps stands with Region 1's top three riders (L to R): Ava Stearns, Cooper Dean and Abigail Brayman at the Region 1 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships hosted by Old Salem Farm during the American Gold Cup.
Mason Phelps stands with Region 1’s top three riders (L to R): Ava Stearns, Cooper Dean and Abigail Brayman at the Region 1 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships hosted by Old Salem Farm during the American Gold Cup.
Mason Phelps at the American Gold Cup

JUST SEEING a slim and trim MASON PHELPS sporting his NATIONAL HORSE SHOW orange wardrobe at THE GOLD CUP make us realize the indoor shows are not far away… Used to be everyone dressed for success at indoors – riders, trainers and owners alike. Wouldn’t be lovely if this tradition was revived?

Bring your owners into the ring for a presentation picture… Have your assistants properly dressed to jog that extra horse or help in the schooling area…
You never know who is watching !!!

MOST people know TONY BUCCI as the farrier from Florida… But few people know of his talent as a artist… He recently gave KAREN GOLDING a beautiful painting of her dog Jackson. It is amazing a man whose work requires so much strength could paint with such deftness and skill !

STAY SAFE as you finish up the fall schedule of showing and head home!!
Consider send a donation to THE SALVATION ARMY to help those hardest hit by the recent storms… Or offer to give a friend a hand cleaning up!!


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