P Tat Special One W

e’ve heard it many times. Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. “He is my horse of a lifetime.” “She’s my one and only.” “No other horse can ever replace Beau.”

Is it true that there is only one horse of a lifetime (HOAL for short) out there for each rider? It certainly seems that way to me. My

HOAL was able to practically read my mind; physically, he fit me like a glove when I sat on him; he was there for me through thick and thin, and he patiently put up with my mistakes. Two years ago I lost my beloved giant chestnut Holsteiner, my HOAL, who came into my life as a yearling. Due to career-ending

injuries he incurred at age ten, I wasn’t able to ride him for the next eight years other than light trail rides. So for the last ten years I’ve been searching for his replacement, however it’s been a journey riddled with disappointment. Even though I’ve had plenty of horses to ride, none of them have been able to fill the void that my chestnut leſt behind. He just seems impossible to replace. As we count down the days to the World Equestrian Games, held this September in North Carolina, we can look forward to seeing

many special partnerships—HOALs—on display there. One in particular is the bond between top U.S. dressage rider Laura Graves and her KWPN gelding Verdades. Teir story has been making headlines for years. Laura acquired Verdades as a foal and has brought him to superstardom herself. Te pair’s international feat, placing fourth at the

last World Equestrian Games in Normandy, catapulted them to international fame. Te first time I witnessed their partnership from the sidelines, about three years ago in Wellington, they took my breath away. Teir Grand Prix Freestyle was what every rider dreams of—two flawlessly performing as one. It is a ride I will never forget. While I’ve never had the chance to ask her, I’m almost certain Laura would say Verdades is her HOAL. In the opening article on page 16, we take a close look at all five horses selected for the U.S. Eventing Team heading to the WEG.

Since the team was announced early, it gave us time to find out more about the horses and how the riders are prepping them for the Games. I was especially pleased to read about Marilyn Little and her mare RF Scandalous—a partnership that’s been developing for the last four years. She comments “Kitty” is also a real friend who gives her best when it counts. As the top placing U.S. rider at the 2018 four-star Land Rover Kentucky Event, they are a strong pair to watch. I should also mention that Lauren Kieffer with Vermiculus and Lynn Symansky on Donner are two other eventing pairs on the U.S. Team with lengthy and impressive partnerships. Trow in the amazing Phillip Dutton and the experienced Boyd Martin, and our team looks very strong. I look forward to our eventing team (and others) standing on that awards podium in September. Also inside this issue are some interesting facts about the WEG you may not know (page 23) and a conformation analysis of past

top WEG horses in four disciplines by columnist Judy Wardrope (page 36). Also find out how the Belgian Warmblood (BWP), our breed sponsor, continues to show impressive showjumping rankings with the WBFSH (page 39) and see their list of BWP contenders for the WEG. It’s always beneficial to take a break from riding at home and travel to watch the best of the best compete in your favorite discipline

at events like the WEG. It’s inspirational and a great way to become reenergized so you can return home with new ideas and aspirations. Even though I’ve been missing my equine soulmate for a while, lately I’ve been rethinking the whole HOAL concept. A sweet

and gentle stallion entered my barn almost seven years ago as a four-year-old and has recently become all mine. Aſter enduring a few physical setbacks, he’s come through them with a new vigor I’m learning to appreciate. Perhaps my next special partner is right here, simply waiting patiently for me to realize it. Enjoy the issue,

Liz Cornell

10 September/October 2018

Our Mission: Warmbloods Today is the leading magazine in North America focused on the entire spectrum of Warmblood breeds. It’s a place where people from all aspects of the sport horse community can come together: amateurs, owners, trainers and breeders. Each issue contains interesting, informative and often heart-warming stories of peoples’ experiences with their horses, along with thought-provoking opinions from various professionals and amateurs. We cover all horses from European descent bred for the sports of jumping, dres- sage, eventing and driving including the Iberian breeds and American Warmbloods.

ublisher’s Welcome

Ed Haas

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