Nancy is also excited about the up-and-coming ‘superstar’ horses and their owner/riders that spent the winter training with her.
Donna Tella and owner Kathy Giovenco of Virginia returned for the second consecutive winter to work with Nancy. “Donna Tella is really fun because we’re finishing him with all the Grand Prix work now,” Nancy enthused. “He has an absolutely wonderful temperament to work with and he’s a very athletic horse, so I have a lot of fun helping Kathy. Kathy rides him mostly herself, but I get to sit on him a couple of days a week. He’s learning all the piaffe/passage and working on changes.”
Kathy previously had success showing Donna Tella in First and Second Level, then took 2008 off from the show ring in order to help him learn the flying changes. Kathy plans to show Donna Tella in Third Level next.
“He’s come along really well in the Grand Prix work, but Kathy wants to give him confidence at the lower levels and bring him up slowly in the ring, which is nice,” Nancy pointed out. “Her dream is to do freestyles with him.”
Another horse to watch that Nancy is training is Wespe, a six-year-old imported Hanoverian mare owned by amateur rider Deborah Cantrell.
“Deborah rides Wespe herself, but she travels a bit so I get to ride her horse a little more often,” Nancy explained. “Wespe is doing all the work for the FEI Six-Year-Old test, so we may show her a little bit in the Six-Year-Old classes in the spring. She’s really fun to work with. She’s got a fabulous temperament, she’s a lovely mover, and she’s a very athletic little girl! She’s learning everything in all the right ways and getting stronger. She’s fluent in flying changes. Of course, she is gorgeous as well!”
Nancy has been riding Deborah Cantrell’s horses for many years. When Nancy and Oded Shimoni were business partners, Deborah was Oded’s sponsor for his World Equestrian Games performances in 1998 and 2002, and his Olympic bids in 2000 and 2004. During that time, Nancy worked with Oded and rode Deborah’s horses as well. “Deborah was very supportive of Oded then and still is,” Nancy noted. “It’s really nice to be riding for her and helping her.”
Also heading for the show ring this summer is Chic Omar, the talented Dutch gelding that Nancy competed last summer while owner/rider Judith Behren was traveling. ‘Omar’ will once again be Nancy’s mount in the small tour for summer 2009. Nancy’s student Judith is Chic Omar’s primary rider, but her summer travel schedule gives Nancy the opportunity to ride, train, and show this beautiful FEI horse.
“Judith is absolutely my longest-standing, most dedicated student,” Nancy avers. “While she’s away over the summer, I’ll have the opportunity to ride Omar more and show him a bit in New England. He’s a wonderful horse and I’m really looking forward to competing with him again!”
Alexis D to Return to the Ring in 2009
Nancy’s own veteran Grand Prix superstar, Alexis D, will return to the show ring soon. “In 2009, my goals are to get Alexis D back in the show ring and also do some demonstrations with her,” Nancy explained. “We did the Grand Prix freestyle for some fundraising situations in 2008 and it was really fun. In particular, Jane Carroll has a fundraiser for her therapeutic riding at Bear Spot Farm in Massachusetts. I participate in that every year. I am hoping to do that again this year.”
Nancy has been partnered with the lovely bay mare for seven years. “She’s taught me a tremendous amount about riding and Grand Prix,” Nancy says. “I got a lot of good experience on her in the ring. She has been a big step on the ladder on the way up. She’s done a lot for me.”
Nancy noted that because of Alexis D’s age and because the mare has developed eyesight problems, she is not aiming her for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky. “I’d like to have a team caliber horse to aim for the WEG,” Nancy said. “I’m looking in that direction now and I’m hoping a great horse will come my way.”