2009 USDF Bronze Medallists
All of us at Touch 'n GO Farm would like to congratulate four riders who earned their USDF Bronze Rider Medals in 2009.
Lisa Cantrell & Consonare
Peggy Miles and Luc
Rita Dunn & Grand Finale
Leanne Roberts & Illusion GA+
In 2007, Gigi started giving regular clinics at Susan Hill's Topperhill Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee. A core group of dedicated riders have made huge strides in the past two years. Not all of the progress has been demonstrated in the show ring. Some of the greatest successes include better connections between horse and rider, adult amateurs achieving more than they ever thought possible, and horses demonstrating more talent than their owners realized they possessed.
Some competitive achievements include:
Rita Dunn and Grand Finale
- Earned the USDF Bronze Rider Medal
- 8th place in Region 1 USDF Dressage Championships, Third Level-Open
- Earned Fourth level scores towards USDF Silver Rider medal with rides as high as 68.4%
Susan Hill and Liberty Please
- 2009 USDF All Breeds Award - Performance Horse Registry (PHR), Reserve Champion, Vintage Cup, First Level
- 2009 USDF All Breeds Award - Performance Horse Registry (PHR), 3rd place, Adult Amateur, First Level
- Competed at Region 1 USDF Regional Dressage Championships
Kelli Dickens & Urielle
- Earned the USDF Bronze Rider Medal
- Earned three Dover Adult Amateur Medals
- USDF Merit Award
- Uri won a Lifetime Silver medal Award with the Belgian Warmblood Association
Sallie Hirter and Night Light
- The pair earned a 63.9% at River Glen 2009 in Second Level-test 3
Gigi has known Jim Hoey since 1973. He came to Hob Nob Hill Farm as a student from Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She trained the school's intercollegiate riding team and Jim was a jumper rider. From that time forward, he supported Gigi in many ways.
Jim became a professional trainer but always stayed in contact with Gigi. Through thick and thin, Jim always found a way to make Gigi laugh. He even worked for Gigi at the original Touch ‘n Go Farm in Bangor, Pennsylvania.
In February of 2009, Jim came to Georgia to visit the "fraulein" as he calls Gigi. They spent several days reminiscing and Gigi finally talked Jim into riding Sabia, a 16.3 Lusitano gelding. Without his own riding equipment, Jim donned polo wraps as substitutes for half-chaps. Cassidy enjoyed listening to the "good, old times" stories and learned a lot about her mother's younger, wilder days. Jim teased Gigi about her dressage focus and goaded her into getting back in the jumper saddle. For the next four days, Cassidy and Gigi jumped Vinny and Hannah with Jim cheering from the sidelines.
E-mails and phone calls will have to suffice until next time. It was great seeing a dear, old friend.
Gigi received an e-mail from Roberta Pass in early 2008 after launching our new web site. Several e-emails later she had an invitation to visit Brazil to see Brazilian Lusitanos.
Scott, Gigi and Cassidy travelled to Sao Paulo on January 8th. Roberta's husband Florian served as chauffer, historian and business manager. The Pass' farm is named "Sucandi" which is a play on the word "sugar" in Portuguese. They specialize in breeding, and selling "sporthorse" Lusitanos. Cassidy and Gigi rode several horses over fours days as well as looking at dozens of youngsters at liberty.
The Pass' bed and breakfast is located on the farm nestled in the hills next to the Brazilian rainforest. The accommodations were comfy and the hospitality was five-star. Cassidy hit it off with the Pass's daughter Giovana and other children staying at the farm. After visiting two other Lusitano breeders in the Sao Paulo area, the two families enjoyed a spectacular meal at the Pass' favorite "churrascaria" or Brazilian steakhouse before returning home. The beautiful farm, wonderful horses, warm hospitality and tropical setting made for an exciting start to the new year.
Gigi had a tremendous 2000 Competition season riding the KWPN mare Katinka. The owner bred Katinka the following year and on March 22, 2002 a colt named Vincere was born. Mostly on intuition, Gigi purchased "Vinny" intending for the handsome colt to be the last dressage horse she would train from scratch.
Katinka remained a broodmare for a few years until she was purchased by Heidi Calwell, a local, adult amateur rider. As fortune would have it, Vinny and Katinka both attended a Poplar Place show in spring of 2008. Mother and son had a chance to meet for the first time in six years.