The Liberty Hill horses and ponies are not just talented athletes, they are cherished members of our family. Each has been chosen for their talent, personality and kind, generous nature. Some have been with us for over 15 years. They all have something to teach and excellent teachers they are. When Liberty Hill riders perform to the best of their abilities, our horses most always do their part.
Teddy, a 16.3 Dutch, Bay Gelding, imported from Germany was purchased for Kelly as an A/O jumper in 2000 but soon declared he preferred the equitation ring. Exceptionally good at his job, he has brought along many riders to “the next level” and proven that he is a superstar in his own right (and expects to be treated as such…every single day). In his younger years he regularly posed for Dover Saddlery cover shots in between showing duties.
Favorite pastime: Zipping and unzipping the jackets of brave victims and playing with his squeaky toy, the rubber ducky on the cross ties.
Must haves: Fly net at ALL times, even in the rain
Dylan, a Registered Irish Sport Horse, 16.3, Grey Gelding, 22 years old was chosen and imported by Kelly from Ireland in 1992 with the help of Irish trainer John Brennan.
After several successful years competing to the A/O jumper division, Dylan was sold to a gentleman from the midwest to compete in a smaller division. After a few years he suddenly reappeared, purchased by a friend at auction in Massachusetts, who didn’t recognize he was Kelly’s old horse. In his travels, Dylan developed a hind leg with Lymphangitis. It was a lucky day for sweet Dylan (due to the swollen hind leg) as he could easily have gone onto another trailer heading to a most miserable destination. Happy and safe again, he was eventually outgrown by his new beginner adult rider. Trainer Mark Jungherr called and offered Dylan back to Kelly as requested and the very next morning he was brought home and here he will remain, for always.
We are so glad he found his way home. Another thing that found it’s way home was a special work of art. Dylan, while showing with Kelly at Saratoga, was the subject of a beautiful painting done by renowned equine artist, Monica Acee. The painting (at right) graced the cover of The Chronicle of the Horse publication in 1994 and the original was recently purchased by Kelly and now hangs in her home.
Vinny, a TB Cross, 14.3, Bay Gelding, 10 years old was purchased in 2010 and he has been a wonderful addition to our family. He is the consummate professional and loved by all who know him. He is as wonderful for beginner children just starting out as he is in the show ring cantering courses. Vinny might just have the kindest eyes of all.
PJ, a TB Cross, 14.3, Black Gelding, 8 years old, is named after Popov, Kelly’s old Grand Prix horse, for looking and behaving quite a lot like him….just a hand smaller! PJ was “plucked” from a field and began his career just like that because of his looks, bravery and mellow personality. He is serious and doesn’t like to be coddled, but prefers to get to work. He is a brave, kind and forgiving teacher.
Loves: Trail rides
Dreams about: Lead changes….sigh.
I thank God every day for Tinkerbell. She is so many things but most of all, she is an angel pony who we are incredibly blessed to care for, learn from and love.
At a Saddle Rowe horse show many years ago, a Liberty Hill rider in the lead line class was asked by the judge, “Is this your pony?” Without pause Kelsey thoughtfully replied, “No, she belongs to everybody.”
She truly does belong to all of the children who have loved her and learned from her and those that continue to discover the joys of ponies and riding from her. A most grateful thank you to Ron Francoer of Starlite Farm for giving us the honor of owning Tink.
Tutti, a Shetland Welsh Cross, 12.1, Strawberry Roan Mare, 18 years old, came from Rhode Island. She was the year end Short Stirrup Champion and we bought her when she was 10 years old. She still enjoys her duties teaching our very smallest riders.
Famous for: A sofa like comfy trot!
Favorite activity: Eating.
Dislikes: grazing muzzle.
Jamie, an Appendix Quarter Horse, 16.0 Strawberry Roan Gelding, 15 years old, started his career in the eventing world where he learned to be as brave as brave could be! He is a fabulous teacher and would quite possibly jump through fire if we asked him to. Jamie has successfully competed at all of the biggest shows in New England and has also participated in IEA shows, claiming IEA Horse of the Year back in the 90′s.