Newtown, CT- Alvaro Tejada is headed to the Pan American Games to represent Guatemala as part of the country's show jumping team. But as Tejada travels to Toronto, Canada for the games, he won't be traveling from his home country; instead, he will be coming directly from Norfield Stables LLC, based in Newtown, Connecticut and Briarcliff Manor, New York. Tejada has been training with Timmy Kees, Chris Cawley and Molly Ashe Cawley at Norfield Stables for the past several months in preparation for he and his talented mare's, Voltaral Palo Blanco, appearance at the Pan Am Games, where the first round of show jumping competition kicks off on July 21.
"[Voltaral Palo Blanco] feels like she's in great condition - better than ever," Tejada said. "I've been learning a lot from Chris [Cawley], Timmy [Kees] and Molly [Ashe Cawley]. For me it's been a really, really helpful opportunity that they've been giving me to ride other horses. When you're riding just one horse it's difficult. The more that you can train, the more you can ride, the better you get. Chris is always looking for other horses and opportunities for me to ride."
Training with Norfield Stables and Kees, one of the nation's leading equitation trainers, has also given Tejada a new understanding and respect for the equitation divisions and the American-style of riding. "In Latin America, we don't have any equitation classes. What I've noticed is how important the equitation is when you want to be a top jumper. You learn the basics so well," Tejada said.
"I'm really impressed how you can see some of these equitation riders that have never been riding jumpers, they get on a new jumping horse, and they have a really nice base. They're able to cruise around really easily and like they've been riding jumpers their whole life. For me it's a totally different system that they have here. Timmy Kees is a top trainer on equitation, and it's amazing to see how well the Norfield juniors ride."
Tejada spent the past three weeks riding and training with Norfield at the Lake Placid Horse Shows where he and Voltaral Palo Blanco earned impressive finishes including victory in the Jamaica Tent 1.35m Jump-Off Class and second in the $30,000 Lake Placid Jumper Classic. "Alvaro's been a great help," Chris Cawley said. "While Molly has been at Spruce Meadows, he's been my main rider. I've been trying to get him to show as much as I can and to ride all of the horses. It's working. The horses have all been great and a big reason is because of Alvaro." Cawley continued, "I think he's grown as a rider since he's been here. He's learned some new things, a little bit of the American-style, and it has obviously paid off in his results. He's going to be missed when he goes back."
Following the Pan American Games, Tejada will return home to Guatemala and his family's top breeding farm, Palo Blanco. There he will continue riding and training with his long time coach, Bruno Cavalheiro, but Tejada looks forward to the opportunity to return to Norfield. "I need to go work on my young horses back at home, but I'll be glad to come back whenever I have the opportunity," Tejada said.
To learn more about Norfield Stables and the opportunity to ride and train with Timmy Kees, Chris Cawley and Molly Ashe Cawley find Norfield Stables online here.