Tami Hoag Scores at Southern Comfort

Tami Hoag won the Intermediaire II with Feliki with a 62% at Southern Comfort in Clarcona, FL, February 9-11, 2001. She also placed second in the Grand Prix. She has owned the Dutch mare since November, and this was their third class together.

"She was great. She's such a partner," said Hoag. Later this season she plans to compete at Miami and the FL Dressage Derby. A best-selling novelist, Hoag plans to move to Los Angeles in the near future.

Also owned by Hoag is Oliver, a Dutch four-year-old KWPN gelding (Iroko x Joriena/Zuidenhorn). He is trained by Betsy Steiner, who described him as "Truly incredible to ride. He's so soft and supple and athletic, it feels like his feet hardly ever touch the ground."

Steiner believes that Oliver has the quality and ability to do the young horse championships in Europe, and hopes that they will be included in his future. "Thanks to farms like Hilltop Farm (MD), young horses are being better promoted in the US," said Steiner. We need a system here for young horses to expose and promote them and make people more aware of breeding here."

Text by Amber Heintzberger

Tami Hoag is a celebrated novellist. Order her books at Amazon.com

Sunday, February 18, 2001

Susanne Dansby-Phelps Dominates Southern Comfort Small Tour

Susanne Dansby-Phelps of Atlanta, Georgia, won both the PSG (70.5%) and I-1 (72.5%) at Southern Comfort, Clarcona, FL, aboard her eight-year-old KWPN gelding Kasper (Facet/Annet). Having broken her back riding a young horse last year, she wasn't able to begin riding him until September, though he was imported earlier in the year. "He's always fresh," she said. "He gives 150 per cent. He has a huge heart, and he's like riding a soft stick of butter."

"When I go in the ring I spend a few minutes in a quiet place, just thinking about my test," she says. "Sometimes I draw the movements in the air with a finger, or I think about my ride meditatively. I only watch one ride or so in preparation for my own ride."

Michael Poulin found the horse but originally Kasper wasn't for sale. Circumstances changed, and when he became available, Phelps knew she had to have him. "I had tried a lot of horses in Holland, but when I listened to my heart I knew he was the right one," she said. Dansby-Phelps stated that Poulin also told her he thought Kasper was the nicest horse he'd seen in twenty years, which added to her surety.

Originally owned and trained by Willem Schott of the Netherlands, the horse did not pass the stallion testing because of a cyst in his foot, which has caused him no problems. Now she says all he needs is more strength and he will be ready to move up to Grand Prix. She plans to ride him next week at Wellington.

Text by Amber Heintzberger