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Today Jonny is 16 and still winning at grand prix. “He’s happy and everything is just ticking right,” Guy says. Jonny’s producing a new generation of international pros-


pects at Willow Tree Farm. Last year Next Johnny WTF (damsire Lancelot O) won the Four-Year-Old Young Jumper Futurity Western Regionals. “His jump and his gallop—it feels like I am riding his father,” says Guy. What will take this five-year-old to the top? “A whole lot of


luck, and managing him properly, taking all the right steps, so he has a good upbringing and positive show miles. Maybe in five or six years, we’ll see Jonny’s son walking around the grand prix ring.”


Daniel Bluman


Daniel’s ridden in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and the 2014 World Championship. In London in 2012, he tied for twen- tieth individually on Sancha LS (Chin Chin x Polydor, another top horse from Mexico’s Studbook La Silla). He represented Colombia in these championships, and now rides for Israel. Sancha LS is a remarkable champion in her longevity. Six


Guy Thomas and Jonkheer Z at the $35,000 Desert Welcome Stake, February 2018, at the HITS Desert Circuit, Thermal, California.


Guy Thomas


Guy represented New Zealand at the 2004 Olympic Games when he was only 27. He was riding the mare NZ Madison, sired by Chrialka Zibu. “She was an outstanding horse,” he recalls. “I was probably a little too young and we could clash horns really well. Once we figured each other out, she was a really talented horse.” He describes her as “a Thoroughbred-Clydesdale cross. She


was a rubber band—she could jump and stretch. She had all sorts of talent, but was very hot-headed and opinionated.” Like many other talented athletes, Madison had a strong


personality. “They all have to have their own little persona and their own quirks. That’s what makes them good. They’ve got to be a little bit strange,” Guy explains. Guy is the son of international jumper riders Graeme


“Butch” and Lu Thomas. Originally from New Zealand, the Thomas family now runs Willow Tree Farm in Burson, Cali- fornia. They breed and train jumpers, standing two stallions: their homebred BWP Peterbilt (Liocaylon x Concorde) and the Zangersheide Jonkheer Z (Jetset-D x Skippy II). Butch found Jonkheer Z (”Jonny”) in Europe. In the states,


the bay stallion was ridden by young Karl Cook who took him to the 2013 World Cup final in Gothenburg, Sweden where Karl earned eleventh place at his first final. His trainer, Eric Navet, rode Jonny at the 2015 final in Las Vegas. Jonny came back to the Thomas family, and Guy’s been riding him since 2016.


Guy describes the qualities that attracted his father to


Jonny when the horse was a youngster. “He’s supremely talented. He’s got all the right tools. He’s careful. He’s extremely polite. He’s got great manners but a ton of jump, a ton of stride. He is really the whole package,” he explains.


16 May/June 2018


Daniel Bluman and Sancha LS at the AIG $1Million Grand Prix, in March 2015, at the HITS Desert Circuit, Thermal, California.


years after London, at 15 she continues to jump the big tracks of CSI competitions. In 2018 she and Daniel won the $205,000 Netjets Grand Prix CSI 4*, at the Winter Equestrian Festival week 4. Daniel’s been showing her for eight years. He says he looks for carefulness when riding a young pros-


pect. “I am comfortable riding horses with great respect for the fences, even if at first they don’t seem to have all the scope or strength to jump the biggest tracks.” About judging if a horse has athletic potential, he says,


“Great horses are receptive to training and enjoy what they do. They play the game and know their role in our team.” Daniel and his brother Ilan Bluman run Bluman Equestrian in Welling- ton, Florida. When riding prospects, how does Daniel tell if a horse feels like he could be a future superstar over fences, compared


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