Frederick, Maryland, USA - Raylyn Farms & Team Demeter's 11 year old Oldenburg Mare RF Demeter (Rubin Royal x Kanudos X) has won the 2013 United States Eventing Association (USEA) Horse of the Year and SmartPak Mare of the Year Award with 259 points. U.S. Team Rider Marilyn Little together with her parents Ray and Lynne were presented with the award last week at the USEA Annual Awards Gala In Cincinnati, Ohio. This was the first time in 20 years that the same horse has won both the Horse of the Year and Mare of the Year Award since Jill Walton's Barcelona Olympic partner Patrona won in 1992. In addition, RF Demeter also won the Advanced Horse of the Year.
The mare continued her consistent form this year in the United States and Europe competing in CIC and CCI events in Germany, The Netherlands, Scotland and France, both as an individual and as a Land Rover Grant recipient and member of the U.S. Team. The tour began with a 7th place finish at Luhmuhlen CCI4* in Germany. This was followed by second place at the Breda CIC3* in The Netherlands, 5th at Blair Castle CIC3* in Scotland, 2nd at Schenefeld CIC3* in Germany before ending the season at Pau CCI4* with a solid performance.
Little summarized what winning these awards and being Demi's partner means to her; "Demi's consistency, fight and heart over some of the biggest courses our sport has to offer kept her banging on the door and in the money in eight of the ten FEI events she contested this year across five different countries. The support team that it takes to make this logistical nightmare navigable is incredible, and unfortunately my words won't even begin to convey my gratitude to the team of people around Demi that have shaped and effected her journey this year and made her successes thus far possible.
"My deepest gratitude to the members of Team Demeter, Patrick & Eileen Witte, whose unquestionable support both in show jumping and now in eventing has been incredible. To my parents, Lynne and Ray Little who ride every jump with me on course and in life, their support as parents, owners, trainers, cheerleaders and partners is unwavering. My thanks to our team stable managers, Emily Dufort and Katlyn McMorris, who have tirelessly devoted themselves and countless sleepless nights in countries they probably won't want to return to in the near future, always with optimism and humor. Thank you to my sponsors, to the USEA, and to the USEF High Performance Committee for the program that continues to grow each day to support our country's riders and horses like Demi as they learn to compete at their best at the highest of international levels. Finally my gratitude to the role that David and Karen O'Connor have played in Demi's career. David's ability to understand what is needed in each situation is amazing. His ability to send you out at the Luhmuhlen start box with the American flag on your saddle pad and a shout out with the words, 'go show them who you are' is invaluable. There are no words to express my thanks to Karen for her support, coaching and desire to help me play this game she loves is inspirational. And her patience with Demi, also known as 'The Goldfish', is unending. Thank you."
Raylyn Farm turns its focus to Wellington, Florida for the Winter Equestrian Festival where Little will be showing the following list of jumpers throughout the season starting in mid January:
Nightfire 25 - Owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc & Betsy Smith
Viona - Stephanie Barnes
A Vaantje - Stephanie Barnes
Vivawell - Raylyn Farms, Inc. & Egbert Schep
Quintana 26 - Raylyn Farms, Inc.
Cita Z - Raylyn Farms, Inc.
RF Quarterman - RaylynFarms, Inc.
Je Suis Flim Flam - Raylyn Farms, Inc.
Toliver - Raylyn Farms, Inc.
Venus - Raylyn Farms, Inc.
Chaviana - Raylyn Farms, Inc. & Beverly Sheehy
Correndo - Karen O'Connor and Joanne Lende
Clearwater - Karen O'Connor
Cantacorda - Raylyn Farms Inc. & Signature Farm
H-Cassino- Raylyn Farms, Inc & Signature Farm
Capitaano - Raylyn Farms Inc & Signature Farm
E-Darco - Raylyn Farms, Inc. & Signature Farm
Jilla Rose - Raylyn Farms, Inc. & Signature Farm