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Crown Talisman: The Ideal Event Horse

S by Liz Cornell

ometimes just the right mix of Holsteiner and Thoroughbred blood produces the ultimate event horse. Intelligence, courage, speed, big supple

gaits, self-preservation and a great work ethic. These are the attributes required for any horse to make it to the top of this difficult sport. Event trainer Doug Payne of Pottersville, New Jersey may have just found that perfect mix. Crown Talisman, a 17.1 hand Holsteiner

Thoroughbred cross, came to him as a five year- old to be sold in 2008. He’s by Carlson out of the Thoroughbred Lakewoods Crown Jewel and was bred by Martha Thomas in Maryland. Doug quickly determined that the big gelding was green and sensitive and would be difficult to sell to an amateur. But he knew the horse was special. “Tali is an exceptional athlete,” says Doug. “He needed training, yet he was such a quick learner. He never made the same mistake twice.” Doug decided to work it out with his owners and

found a way to purchase the horse for himself. Due to Tali’s talent and trainability, Doug moved him quickly along up the levels in 2009. In 2010 he bumped him up to Preliminary with a long list of firsts including winning the USEA American Eventing Championships in the Preliminary Horse division (GA), Fair Hill International (MD), Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials (NY), Morven Park Fall (VA), The Virginia Horse Trials and Full Gallop Farm (SC) in February this year. Tali was also second place for the USEA Preliminary Horse of the Year. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the horse has big supple gaits and consistently earns fantastic dressage scores! 2011 started with great anticipation. Tali was invited

to a number of the USEF training sessions this winter with the U.S. team coach Mark Phillips. His level of performance had never been better. He was on track to make a bid for the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico this coming fall. The move to Intermediate this year brought a string of bad luck. At Full Gallop Farm in February, Doug made an error. “I was galloping along cross country and completely forgot to jump the third fence from the end. That eliminated us from his first time out Intermediate, which is a shame since we were winning after dressage and show jumping,” reports Doug. For their next competition at Pine Top Spring

68 May/June 2011

sport horse snippets

Doug and Crown Talisman during the USEA Championship which they won at Preliminary. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld

in Georgia, the results were along a similar track. He was again winning after dressage and show jumping. Unfortunately, Tali injured his stifle while jumping cross country, and Doug had to pull him up. “After surgery, the vets feel his prognosis is good. Sadly any hopes of the Pan American Games are out for 2011. He is resting comfortably and will hopefully be out competing next year,” Doug adds. It’s unclear what the future holds for Doug and

Crown Talisman, but it’s certainly been a wonderful journey on a super horse in a short amount of time. Today he shares ownership of the horse with Larry and Amelia Ross of Oldwick, New Jersey. “I do believe that the right combination of Holsteiner and Thoroughbred blood produces the ideal event horse,” says Doug. “Crown Talisman is a perfect example of that and is potentially my ‘horse of a lifetime.’ All we can do now is hope for a full recovery.”


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