Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 show season has arrived!!

The 2013 show season is well underway with two competitions already come and gone. The first of the season was Fresno County Horse Park. I took Spot in the Intermediate division and was really pleased with how he performed. He won the dressage by a solid five points and went on to jump clean. Every day I feel so grateful for the opportunity to ride such a fantastic horse. The rest of Flying Tail Farms performed well and those who did not compete took advantage of the wonderful cross country course their and we all got a good school in. Galway quickly approached and as always they hosted a wonderful event. Once again Spot was fantastic he jumped clean and had a top three dressage finish. I know he can be winning the dressage every time and I am well aware that I am standing in the way of that happening. Dressage has been my weaker phase in the past but I am working hard to change that and every time I compete I feel it is improving greatly. We had a bit of time cross country but seeing as it was his first run of the season and his first time at the intermediate level I did not find it necessary to push him. Flying Tail Farms once again had a very good outing with Zachary Brandt having a strong finish in the intermediate division and Hollie Read showing maybe she is ready to make the move up to prelim soon?!?! A big thank you to my mom who coaches better then anyone I know! Also a shout out to Beth Cannon who made sure we had starbucks EVERY morning. Totally necessary to compete well. :) My dad made the drive out for which I am very grateful for and my wonderful boyfriend wore many hats over the weekend helping me, cheering me on and supporting me all while be awesome and we even managed to do a few crossfit workouts over the weekend. Overall I would call it a success!! As always my wonderful sponsors deserve a shootout; RevitaVet, SmartPak, Buckeye Grain, Voltaire Saddles, APF and MR4 Activet Laser. Flying Tail Farms hosted the USEf West Coast Training sessions a few weeks back and if you are in the area and did not get the chance to audit I highly suggest trying to make it happen this time. USA team coach David O'Connor is a wonderful coach and offered so much information that I am still weeks later running his lessons through my head. It was a great learning experience being able to watch, listen and talk with him. I was able to ride Spot with him and before we jumped he got on and it was awesome watching him ride. He liked Spot a lot and I am excited to work more with him in the future. The west coast riders really showed DOC what they are made of and should be very proud of themselves! As it has already been made public I am sure many of you know about the sale of my wonderful mare Copycat Chloe. Chloe shipped out to the east coast last Thursday to go back to her old/new home. She joined Allison Springer and I wish them nothing but success! That mare holds a very special place in my heart and always will. Saying goodbye to her was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done but I know she is going to a great home and for that I am very happy. I got Chloe as a very green six year old who had never competed and took her to both her and my first CCI Three Star at Fair Hill where we finished first in the Under25 Division. We also won the 2010 NAJYRC Individual Gold and Team silver in the two star division. We were named to many training lists and have had much success together. We put each other on the map and I will forever be grateful for all she has done for me and will miss her greatly but I am definitely enjoying all the updates I am getting :) I can't wait to watch the two of them do big things together! Thank you to everyone who supported Chloe and I and believed in us. Your support helped take us places I never knew was possible and I can't thank you all enough for being apart of that journey. For some more exciting news I head to Ireland in a few short days and could not be more excited! Once again I would like to thank David Garret and the rest of his family for funding this trip and wanting to support an up and coming rider. We need more people like them in this sport! I will be in Ireland for seven days and fingers crossed I can get some hunting in while I am there! CANT WAIT. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and update as soon as I am back. Last but not least I would like to welcome MR4 Activet Laser onto my team of sponsors! This laser is a top of the line laser that can treat anything from soreness, open wounds, pain, tissue repair, reduce swelling to maintenance. Better yet it can be used on humans too. I look forward to giving this a go and am excited to report back on how awesome it is! The weekend after Ireland I head to Twin Rivers with the rest of FTF for hopefully what will be another successful show! I will be sure to keep you all updated and once again, thank you for reading :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The end of 2012 season

The end to a season is always a bit bittersweet. I find myself ready for a bit of a break yet my competitive side wants to keep going! All the horses went out with a bang this season! Galway Downs hosted one of the nicest events I have ever had the privilege of attending. Robert Kellerhouse and his team did an amazing job bringing in spectators and running a flawless event. Spot On competed in the CCI * star and I have to say that was probably one of my most memorable cross country rides to this date. I came off course hugged my mom and had to hold back tears. He is a fairly new ride to me and although we have had smooth cross country rounds leading up to this show, this was the first time we worked as a team. It was a pretty special moment for me. Spot went on to jump a double clean show jump round and came in fourth in a 50 plus division of talented horses and riders. I can't wait for his future! My other horse competing that weekend was my OTTB five year old Tito. He continues to step his game up and this weekend was no exception. He competed in the T3D and I have to say being able to do steeplechase again was so much fun! He ended on his dressage score coming in third place and keeps showing everyone what a trier he is. Another horse who's future I am so excited for! Chloe spent the end of her season strutting her stuff in the Jumper ring. She is truly a freak of nature when it comes to show jumping and its fun to see her excel in that. She did multiple mini prixs and even won one of them! One of the highlights of the year for me was watching my mom compete again for the first time in over nine years! She completely killed it winning the dressage, running fast and clean on cross country and unfortunately one unlucky rail knocked her to second. Nonetheless she made it known that she still has it!!! It was so fun to be apart of that!! GO MOM! When the end of the season rolls around it comes time to reflect on everything. I have had some highs this season and also some of my lowest lows. Unfortunately the lows is apart of this sport like it is in any sport and you learn to use the lows to make yourself better. A lot of lessons have been learned this season and I can't wait to come back out next season a little wiser. I am so lucky to have the support that I do. My mother is not only my couch she is my mentor, my friend and someone who inspires me everyday to strive for the best. She has been by my side to help me through the lows and celebrate my highs all the while keeping me level headed. My dad is my biggest fan and not only do we have an amazing bond he has a special bond with each of my horses and I know he is just as emotionally invested in these animals as I am. Being back in California made me realize how much I missed working with Shannon Lilley. She is such an inspiration and I know has my best interests at heart. I can't wait for her to be competing at the FEI levels again with me, its going to be soon too!! Flying Tail Farms is such a wonderful family and I am very lucky to be apart of it. I am very very lucky to have some wonderful sponsors. Without these guys I would not be nearly as successful and my horses would not be privy to some of the best supplements, feed and equipment out there. APF, SmartPak, RevitaVet, Voltaire Designs and Buckeye Grain. Thank you so much for your continued support! This off season welcomes the horses with a bit of down time but mostly with homework for all of us. I know what we have to work on and I can't wait to get started! All the horses look great besides being a bit dirty and furry :) Looking onto next year I have a full competition schedule but most excited about my trip to Ireland. In my last blog I introduced the Garret Family as my new owners and we have now finalized the details for our horse shopping trip. Ireland here we come!! I hope everyone had a wonderful season and are all enjoying some down time. Happy Holidays and see you all back at it soon!! xoxo Kelly Spot at Galway Chloe at woodside Spot with his pretty ribbon! The first horse inspection CCI* show jump My wonderful family! My mom competing!! Spotty boy :) Chloe Advanced show jump Spotty! Tito <3

Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer Season

Being home has been nothing short of amazing. Although I miss my friends I made in Virginia there is nothing quit like being surrounded by your family while doing what you love. Woodside was a good show for me getting back in the swing of things. Chloe came in Second in the advanced and Tito proved that he is a horse of the future. Montana did not go quit as planned for Chloe but unfortunately thats all part of it. You can read all about it on Eventing Nation and in the search bar type in "kelly pugh" This past weekend I took a handful of horses to Twin Rivers. It was fun competing there seeing as how it has been almost two years since I have been there and as always The Baxter family did an outstanding job and put on a wonderful show. My prelim horse Spot was wonderful, although I felt he got robbed in the dressage he was consistently good all weekend. I am very excited to have the ride on this horse! My training horse Tito was also consistently good. Both the dressage ring and show jump ring was full of atmosphere and he handled it wonderfully. Chloe also had a good weekend. I have been working with Bea DiGrazia along with my mother on the flat and the combination of the two have them has been helping Chloe and I get consistently better and better on the flat. It is hard for me to be patient with her knowing what she is capable of getting but that is why I am being patient. I know it is in there and in time everyone else will see it too. Overall Twin Rivers was a successful show. Team FTF had a good weekend with both Hollie Read and Holly Garret ending in the top three. Congrats guys! I also want to thank everyone who helped me this weekend. Couldn't have done it without you all! Now time to get ready for woodside! Chloe will run in the CIC three star, Spot in the Prelim and Tito in the Training. I will also be riding a client horse in the training. A very nice horse owned by Cathy Rich. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be sitting on so many nice horses! Woodside is one of my favorite events and I can't wait to be back there competing. Now for some really exciting news!! It was hard to write all that and leave this to the end but here it goes...I want to welcome the Garret Family as owners. Pretty soon here My mother and myself and the Garrett Family will embark on a trip to Ireland to hopefully come back with something pretty special! I am so excited to have them be apart of this journey. Hollie Garrett is a talented young rider and I hope being apart of this will encourage her to follow her dreams and show her that with hard work anything is possible. I am so thrilled to be going to Ireland and even more thrilled to add another horse to my string! I couldn't think of a more supportive family who not only believe in me but believes in this sport. I will be sure to keep you all posted on Woodside and Ireland. A shout out to my wonderful sponsors; SmartPak, Revita Vet, APF, Buckeye Grain, and Voltaire Designs. As always thanks for reading! xoxo Kelly, Buckleigh, chloe, Spot and Tito Dad reppin My sponsors! Jump School with Chloe Another Day at the office for Buckleigh. Chloe jump schooling at home Hula hooping with Ryder :) Chloe walk hacking in Aspen Farms Spot At Twin Rivers. Photo Credit Ashley Stone. New Pikuer Coats! Big Winner! Tito doing dressage Holly Garrett third place in her first novice! Spot! Buckleigh and his bunny friend :) My mommy breaking in my new boots! :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Im Back!

Im back! I am back to blogging and even more exciting back to California! Since my last blog a lot has happened so I will try not to dwell on the little details but more or less cover the big stuff! Last I talked to you all Chloe and I were in Aiken for the winter and well underway with the season! As per usual we ended our Aiken trip at The Fork Horse Trials in Norwood, North Carolina. This is one of my favorite events but not somewhere that I have had particularly good luck at. All of Aiken Chloes (and my) dressage had been improving quit steadily. I was getting some very quality work and was really excited to show the whole world what Chloe was made of. Unfortunately Chloe is a completely different horse at a show. The atmosphere and above all the noises! She is so sensitive to noises and without those "noises" it is hard to replicate what kind of horse I will have trotting around the ring. Both times I have competed at the Fork the speakers have gotten the best of her. I am in the process of trying to figure out how to ride with speakers everyday. Maybe a radio will do? After another disappointing dressage test I was feeling pretty low on myself. Knowing the kind of work I can get from her at home had me feeling like I was letting her down. Maybe if I was better, knew how to ride through it. There had been some ideas tossed around about selling her and this made me equally depressed. Giving up on her didn't seem to be the answer either. I decided at this point all I could do was focus on the rest of the show and dwell on the rest later. YOu cannot go into a three star cross country round doubting your riding. You just can't. So we went out of the start box and I was soon reminded just how special she is. She tackled the (what I found to be a fairly tough track) with ease and we both came off course feeling better and more confident then before. This is a sign of a good course. I managed to mess up my line to corner and she wacked her knee pretty hard. Lots of icing and walking she passed the jog and then I decided to withdrawal her from the competition. Knees can be tricky and I would much rather her be healthy then make her show jump. Show jumping is one of her stronger phases and there will always be another day. Coming from this show with very mixed results and a long drive ahead made me really reflect on everything. I knew I had a nice horse under me, I knew her dressage was tricky but good riders don't get good by only sitting on easy horses. I knew that if in the future I wanted to be able to work through tricky horses it would have to start with Chloe. I know she has it in her and I am so lucky to be sitting on her. Yes her dressage is a challenge and it is also wonderful experience for me to better myself. Chloe and I have come up through the levels together teaching each other, trusting each other and most of all progressing together. After The Fork Allison and I continued on to Virginia where Beverly Equestrian awaited our arrival. This is the new facility that Team Springer runs out of. When I say facility I mean breath taking, unreal state of the arc facility. It really is unreal and to have had the opportunity to ride there was so special. Allisons groom grace had gone ahead and started the transition phase. Moving an operation into a new facility is not an easy task and it took a lot of time and hard work to make sure it went smoothly. It was around this time that Allison took off to Rolex, Kentucky and was the highest placed American coming in second place. This put her right on the Olympic selectors radar and this is when I stared to weigh all my options. Originally I had only planned to be on the east coast for a year to gain experience which I did and then some! Having been there for a year and a half I had to start thinking about where is best for me to be, where I have the most opportunity and where I want to be. Allison has been nothing short of amazing to me. She has been my mentor, my coach, my friend, my fan and my inspiration. With her being gone for two months with the olympics I realized I am still at a spot in my life where I need to be in consistent training. With another young horse at home, a sister pregnant with twins and an amazing support crew out west I decided now might be a good time to come home. So within a few weeks my dad had flown out and a truck and trailer packed to the brim with Chloes stuff, my stuff (a lot more then what I came out with) and Buckleigh we headed back home. It was hard to leave behind the beautiful state, all my wonderful friends who had become my family and the life I had started there. But I knew it was the right thing to do. After dropping my best friend Grace off in Chicago (one of the hardest parts!) My dad and I headed back to California. It was a long, long, long, long, long drive. It is the third time I have made that time and for some reason I always seem to forget just how looonnngggg that drive is. Chloe traveled great and I was greeted with open arms. It was weird being the new kid at the barn but it was home and it felt great to be back. Chloe had a few days off to recover from the trip but before long she was back in work and getting ready for Woodside Horse Trials. I had three horses going there and they all exceeded my expectations! Chloe came in second in the Open Advanced division and this was a great way to start off being back! My mom has a young OTTB named Tito and he ran the novice division and showed he has a ton of potential. The other horse I rode was Spot who after being in the top three after dressage I realized I was in love! He competed in the preliminary challenge and was near perfect. It felt great/feels great to be back and showing on the west coast! Since woodside I have had some bad luck regarding my health. I got wacked in the head by a young horse and got a pretty severe concussion that left me on bed rest and a good amount of time out of the saddle. This was weird for me, probably the most time I have been away from the barn in years. I can't thank Zach Brandt and Theresa Hartcourt and the rest of FTF for keeping my ponies going for me. It turned out to be a good time to be on bed rest because my sister decided to have her twins during this time! I am an auntie!!! a huge congrats to my sister and her husband!! I can't wait to get those boys of some ponies :) I recovered and was able to take a horse and student to an event only to come home and get trampled. Saying trampled sounds pretty awful but luckily I am only walking away with some pretty good bruising. I think I need to wear my helmet at all times. NO joke. YAY for horses!! Now the count down to Rebecca Farms starts! This show is in Montana and it is no doubt my favorite show out there! I have not been able to attend for a few years so I am beyond excited. To add to the excitement I have received the Rebecca Farms travel grant which will help to cover the traveling costs! This is very exciting!! Chloe will run the CIC three star there and Tito ( named after my moms favorite vodka) will run the training there. As most of you know Shannon Lilley, assistant trainer at Flying Tail Farms had emergency back surgery which has left her out of the saddle for a good chunk of time. Her attitude is so inspirational and everyday I am am trying to mirror it. I know that soon enough she will be back in the saddle again and we will be once more rotting her on while she is winning more gold medals! I also want to welcome some new sponsors to my team. Buckeye Grain and Voltaire Saddles. Buckeye Grain is unreal and I promise if you put your horse on it you will notice the difference in no time. Chloe has never looked better, never traveled better and never been happier. If your interested in more details or getting your horse on Buckeye grain please contact me! Voltaire Saddles is the next sponsor and I can't be more thrilled about this. The quality of saddles and the costumer service is unreal. Again, if you have any questions feel free to ask! And onto of them I want to give a shout out to the rest of my wonderful sponors. Smartpak, RevitaVet and APF. Lastly, I want to thank my wonderful support team. My family, everyone at Flying Tail Farms and all my friends who I still talk to in Virginia and my wonderful boyfriend! You are all my rock and I feel so lucky to have you all. My last and final note! The long list for Team USA competes in Barbury Castle this weekend across the pond in Europe. Good luck to everyone and especially Allison and Arthur! We are all cheering for you!! Sorry this is so long! Can you imagine if I included all the little details! It feels great to be back blogging and I promise next time you hear from me it will be in a couple days when we start our journey to Montana! Kelly Here I leave you with some pictures in no particular order! My going away dinner! My best friend and I! Our matching was not planned!! My sister and I on bed rest together Spot and I decked out in smartpak My mom who who flew out for The Fork. this was before Sunday Jog. Woodside Advanced Woodside Advanced The Fork CIC 3 star The Fork The Fork The one and only Buckleigh. Hard day at the office. My arrival back home Im an aunt!! The

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I cant even began to explain how fast time has gone by. I swear just yesterday we were pulling in to our Farm here in Aiken but in reality we have been here for two months now and and the season is well underway!
Settling in was an exhausting feat and for three girls the amount of lifting and unloading we did was enough to put a body builder to shame! Okay maybe thats a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much! We were greeted with the lovely weather that we venture down to Aiken for and all the horses seemed to settle in quite nicely! Once in Aiken it has been all business. We currently have sixteen horses and only two of us to do all the barn chores. Allison is very hands on though and that helps us out along with the help of Jessica Rich. Without her Grace or I would not see a day off, so thank you! With all the horses this has left me to do a lot of the riding and I am averaging about five or six a day and that has been an absolute privilege.
Chloe has been doing great and has really matured since last year which I am incredibly excited about! We have been working a lot on our dressage and I believe it shows. She has done several dressage shows since being here and was quite good at our first show of the season. Speaking of our first show that was two weeks ago at Pine Top in Thomson, Ga. Chloe was very rideable in the dressage, show jumped a clean round and rocked around the course feeling good and confident! I really have a good feeling about 2012!
I leave tomorrow for her first advanced run of the season also at Pine Top. On top of working on her dressage the selectors have all said I need to work on her making time on cross country. Last year she was quite green at the level and I never really pushed her to make the time. This season I have been working to have her be a bit more fit and I am excited to see what I have!
On top of competing Chloe I have had the great opportunity to sit on Allison's horse Burger. Since Virginia I have been sitting on him quite regularly and really enjoying it! He has really helped me ride Chloe better and just getting the chance to sit on such a talented horse on a regular basis has been really great. I competed him at a local show here, Full Gallop and he was really quit super! He is currently for sale and would really excel in the hands of a young rider.
All in all Aiken has been really good to us! We have a great group of horses, the weather has been fantastic and of course we are all excited that show season has started! It is fun to be in a town that is literally filled with equestrians. Our local gas station has a sign saying "welcome eventers" Our local yoga studio has an equestrian class and of course its nice having all my friends so close. Jennie Brannigan and I go back to California days and now to be in Aiken together? The eventing community really is small! We have a new working student coming soon and I know Grace and I are equally excited for some extra help around here! SmartPak is also coming soon, in time for my birthday actually! What better way to celebrate then with that crew?
Now off to pack for Pine Top!
I will be sure to keep you all updated!
Kelly, Chloe and Buckleigh

Smartpak swag

It would not be a blog post without buckleigh!

And last but not least I leave you with a baby picture of Chloe and her best friend Radar. Does not get much cuter than this!