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LIFE after EPM

different brands. Baronessa is allergic to bugs and breaks out in hives easily from them. Her white blood count is abnormally low. At one point Baronessa even contracted Lyme disease. She’s definitely a high-maintenance woman!” Shari reports with a laugh. But all the extra TLC that Baronessa requires has

paid off. Shari herself rode Baronessa and trained her through Second and Third Levels with the help of Carol Lawrence. When they began the flying changes, however, ramifications of the EPM surfaced. “I was working on flying changes for Third Level when

I found her change from left lead to right lead was always late,” Shari says. “In 2007, I sought out FEI trainer JJ (Jessica Jo) Tate, who moved into my barn for two years. JJ figured out how to ask Baronessa to change early behind and was able to fix the problem. JJ then took her to Fourth Level and on to Prix St. Georges and Intermediare I. Needless to say, I was thrilled with her progress!” Baronessa’s winning ways didn’t end with JJ. In 2009,

Shari was able to locally show her Fourth Level as well as in the Para Equestrian Grade IV classes. In 2010, Shari loaned the mare to a friend who in less than a month learned Third Level and earned her USDF Bronze medal. Baronessa has a 2011 colt (using embryo transfer) named Shameless by Stedinger that was recently inspected by the Oldenburg (GOV) Horse Breeder’s Society, earning a Premium award and “Foal of Distinction.” But it’s never a dull moment with Baronessa. One day

in early 2011, they found her left stifle swollen and learned that she sustained a medial meniscal tear in her stifle that required surgery and stem cell therapy. Dr. Nat White at VirginiaTech performed the arthroscopy surgery only to find a second tear in the lateral menicus as well. Today she’s on the road to recovery and the vets are optimistic about her return to her previous level of performance. “Baronessa is an amazing, talented horse with a huge

heart. She has that right amount of sensitivity yet at the same time she’s calm and steady. She’s always been a quick learner and every day she’s ready to work,” remarks Shari. “It’s hard to believe that she keeps coming back after so many setbacks: EPM, Lyme disease, allergies and now this stifle injury. What can I say? She’s my once in a lifetime horse—I’d do anything for Baronessa, and I think she knows it.”

The Friesian I DEO VOLENTE

n 2004, Mary Silva from Alvin, Texas was very excited to purchase a young, black Friesian gelding from Excalibur Friesians in California. They had imported him when he

was a mere eight months old from the Netherlands. He is by Feitse Preferent out of a mare by Teunis Preferent. Mary was looking for a dressage prospect, and her love of

22 September/October 2011

Friesians found her Deo Volente (whom she named herself) which means “God willing” in Latin. Today “Deo” is a seven year old recovered EPM victim. When Deo was

three years old, she used dressage

trainer Brooke Cramton to start him under saddle. “Just before his fourth birthday,” Mary recounts, “something was wrong with Deo’s right hind. He was acting lethargic and he would hollow his back under saddle. My vet decided to inject his hocks and stifles, and one week later, while in his pasture, he kept falling down almost like he was drunk. In fact, he suffered one really bad fall that I witnessed. He was getting worse very quickly.” They immediately drew blood, but before testing it

her veterinarian felt Deo had most likely contracted EPM, and so they overnighted the Marquis treatment just to be safe. They didn’t want to waste any time. The plan was one month on the treatment, one month off, and then two more months of treatment. “Two weeks into the first month of the Marquis

treatments, Deo appeared to be responding. His balance was improving and his back was less sore. After completing his treatments, I began a training program to strengthen him. There was lots of lunging and long lining at the local park up and down hills and over logs. The saddest outcome from Deo’s EPM was that he really lost his confidence. He was afraid of falling and I had to convince him he could move again.”

Top: Deo at age two. Photo by Mary Silva Bottom: Mary and Deo recently school at home. Photo by Jessie Richards

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