Developing young horses isn’t so much a process as it is an art form, and Taylor Flury would know. Flury has been bringing horses up through the levels for her family’s Minooka, Illinois-based AliBoo Farm for years.
“Working with the young horses is so rewarding because you are continually seeing them change and develop — hopefully for the better — and it is a great feeling to know that you helped to make them what they are becoming,” Taylor says. “From the time when I start a young one to when they have 'ah-ha' moments where the light comes on, it is so gratifying to know that your hard work and efforts are [worth it].”
This season, Taylor has been busy competing horses for clients as well as those owned by AliBoo Farm, including Calano Z, Cosmea Z, and Role Model. Taylor has become passionate not only about competing youngsters, but also for breeding quality warmbloods. In 2015, at the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken, Belgium, Taylor’s Carrasca Z or “Hank” became the first stallion to be approved by the Zangersheide studbook that was bred, raised, and developed in the United States. Soon his offspring will take to the competition ring themselves.
Edwina Tops-Alexander is fully back in the swing of the life on the road that is par for the course for the world's top riders. This time around, she's balancing motherhood and career goals in the sport – and is doing both with her signature work ethic and tireless dedication.
When it comes to packing for competitions – whether it's a big international tour or a quick stop – Edwina brings the same level of attention to detail to the management of her tack trunk and equipment list. From breastplate attachments to boots and cutting-edge stirrups, there are a few things Edwina Tops-Alexander never leaves home without.
Ask Luciana Diniz about Fit for Fun 13 and chances are, she’s going to get a little gushy. After more than five years together, the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare has not only helped the Portuguese rider achieve some of her best results to date, she’s also become a treasured partner and teacher. “I can't win with a horse that I don’t love,” she says, adding that 'Fitty’s' special characteristics have actually changed the way she looks for future partners. Fit for Fun, Luciana explains, is a more than appropriate name for the mare because “it’s pure pleasure to ride her.”
Although the pair ended up pulling out of last year's World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C., they have proven over the years that they embody a true partnership, with top placings in international events a regular occurrence. Luciana shares eight things she's learned about riding – and about life – from her chestnut partner-in-crime:
If you have big ambitions in the sport of showjumping, you may as well learn from the best — and they certainly don’t come much better than European champion and Olympic medalist Peder Fredricson.
Sweden’s rising star Stephanie Holmen, 28, joined the talented team at the stunning coastal home of Peder and his wife, Lisen, in 2013. With team silver and team bronze medals in the FEI European Championships for Young Riders already under her belt, Stephanie continued to grow and carved out a path to international success under the couple’s guidance.
So what gives her that winning edge? Holmen shares eight invaluable lessons she’s learned from Peder Fredricson — and reveals one very exciting horse we all need to look out for: