24 NewsTrader T

en years ago this month, Xena Vimercati was stunned at the USEF

award banquet when her Friesian stallion, Sjoerd, was named Horse of the Year. Could anything top that? Well, maybe so for a horse-

woman who as a young girl only had Breyer Model Horses because real ones were unaffordable. Those childhood dreams sparked by Breyer models have come full circle because last month Breyer announced that Sjoerd would be their 2022 Portrait Model. “It’s literally beyond my wildest

dreams,” Vimercati says. “Breyer Horses were everything to me growing up. I did not have a horse and could not afford riding les-

Keeping Horsepeople informed

Friesian stallion Sjoerd memorialized by Breyer after brilliant show career

sons. What I did have were my Breyer Horses and my dreams. “However,” she adds,”never

in all my dreams as a child did I ever, ever fathom a horse I have loved, raised, trained, shown and given my heart to would one day be a Breyer Model.” The stallion will travel

to Lexington, Ken., for the Breyerfest July 15-17. In the mean- time, Vimercati and her Three Day Ranch will be celebrating Sjoerd’s Breyer Model that com- memorates his contributions. Sjoerd retired in 2015 with 74

world champion titles and 130 regional champion titles, and he is still ranked No. 1 with over 19,000 career points. According to his Breyer profile, to date

he and his off- spring have won more USEF and International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) champion titles than any other Friesian stal- lion and their off- spring. But as remarkable as his accomplishments are, the story of his journey with Vimercati in the face of obstacles is even more inspiring. It was profiled in a Feb. 2, 2012 California Horsetrader article that you can read here:


Blenheim reveals plans for new Grand Prix Arena at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park


AN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Blenheim EquiSports announced Jan. 3 that con-

struction of a brand new Grand Prix Arena will commence this month at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano. The Grand Looke Arena will be constructed on the east side of The Oaks International Grand Prix and Ortega grass fields. This new arena will feature an advanced sand and fiber mix, the same same type of footing used at The Las Vegas National Horse Show, according to Hillary Ridland, CEO of Blenheim EquiSports. “We received very positive

feedback from riders and train- ers in Las Vegas, regarding this world-class footing,” Ridland says.

The 40-acre Rancho Mission

Viejo Riding Park includes the largest expanse of grass fields for

show jumping in the U.S. “Jumper riders have expressed

a desire to have more options when it comes to footing, and we have been listening,” Ridland adds. “The addition of the Grand Looke Arena gives Blenheim more flexibility to hold featured competitions on the grass or the sand, beginning in 2022.” Additional amenities for

spectators will also be added to ensure the Grand Looke Arena becomes a centerpiece for excit- ing competitions for years to come, the release said. Construction will begin this

month with a completion date prior to the first show of the sea- son, the Blenheim Spring Classic I on March 30 – April 3. This initiative follows the

announcement in December that The Ridland Group has been chosen to enter into nego- tiations with the City Of San Juan Capistrano to manage The

Artist rendering of the The Riding Park

for the Riding Park, including a multi-million dollar water treat- ment system. From March through

September, Blenheim EquiSports will host 14 weeks of top-level hunter/jumper com-

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Nations Cup™’s first appear- ance on the West Coast and will attract some of the world’s high- est caliber show jumpers.

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Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park over the next 20-30 years. It is one of many new infra- structure investments planned

petition, including the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA, to be held May 10-15. The event marks the Longines FEI Jumping

Cover Guy Sjoerd in 201 G Sj

di 2012

Breyer Horse photo Blenheim EquiSports photo

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