A chance meeting in Aachen, Germany led Chloe Fullar to a job in Michigan and that landed her the ride on Jasnieres, which then earned her an Intermediaire championship title. Confused? It's actually rather simple.
Fullar, 24, was training with and grooming for European-based American rider Catherine Haddad (originally from Michigan) at Aachen. And it was at Aachen that Fullar met Shannon Peters.. Peters gives regular clinics at Avondale Farm in South Rockwood, Michigan and she knew that the farm's owner, Merri Lewis, was on the lookout for a trainer to run the barn. Peters was impressed with Fullar, who also happens to be a Michigan native, and thought she was an ideal candidate for Avondale Farm. She was right.
"Thanks to Shannon I got to start my training business," Fullar said. "I came back from Germany and got hired to run the barn here at Avondale Farm and it's wonderful. I've got a huge apartment right on the farm and wonderful facilities. I'm only 24 and just turned professional and this is a great opportunity. I've been here for almost a year and haven't had a day off yet but I don't care because I love what I'm doing."
And one thing she's been doing all summer is collecting blue ribbons in Intermediaire competition. She collected so many of them during the Dressage at Waterloo summer series that she earned the title of Intermediaire champion for the series. At the August Waterloo Summer Finale I and II, she took two wins in the Intermediaire freestyle competition, one with a score of 70 percent and the other with a score of 71.50. Those wins earned her a trip to the regional championships.
Fullar has been earning those Intermediaire wins this summer with a 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding named Jasnieres. The gelding, sired by Michelangelo, is owned by Catherine Teifer and he's clearly been searching for a rider he likes. "The horse has been through quite a few riders." Fullar said.
But he sure seems to like Fullar, which is good because she sure likes him. "He has the best personality," she said of Jasnieres. "I think he was looking for someone who didn't just want to get on and work him. He was looking for a partner rather than a trainer. So, maybe we're a good fit because I really bond with horses and he loves that. He nickers at me when I come. He's just a really good guy."
Teifer has owned Jasnieres for about 10 years and to her credit, she stuck with him and never gave up on finding him the right match. He may not have been the favorite horse in some barns, but Fullar seems to think he's a star in her barn. "He's been nothing but a joy to work with for me and it's been one heck of a show season for us. All summer long we've had great placings, being either first, second or third and with scores over the mid-60s – except for one ride. But it's been really exciting. I can't be grateful enough to the owner for letting me ride him," Fullar said.
Fullar is certainly qualified to be competing at the FEI level. She trained for many years with Catherine Haddad and since returning to the U.S. has been training with Shannon Peters, who comes to Avondale Farm to teach nearly every other month. Fullar also trains with Elaine Gibala. In addition to Jasnieres, Fullar competes her own horse, a Westphalian gelding named Bryllant. One of her future rides is a two-year-old "that I'm making payments on." She's hoping to have another horse down the road since Teifer is hunting for a second horse to pass along to Fullar.
Fullar and Jasnieres I1 Regional Freestyle Championship with a 67.802%, and now they have another big goal in front of them – the Brentina Cup in 2009. "Next year is my last year for competing in the Brentina Cup so I would like try for that."