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Event Horse?


say the least. The process can you opt to take your search abroad.


Organizing Your Travel Tagging along with a professional who has contacts and knows his/her way around can save a lot of headaches for an amateur not familiar with a foreign country and the finer points of its horse dealing practices. And when someone else is sorting out the details and finding horses to look at, you might even find time for sightseeing or extra horse-related activities. “This year I took two clients to the Monart sales in Ireland,


and for people who didn’t come with me I took tons of videos,” says Missy. “For the couple who came with me, I booked my flight, sent them the info and found an Airbnb. We organized it over a couple dinner parties, and they spent a couple days sightseeing, went foxhunting and planned to go to the races, but got too busy. I know a lot of people locally so when we weren’t at the sale, we went to a few very typical Irish yards and saw some horses there too.” Whether you’re trying one horse or twenty, you’ll most likely hop on for a ride, so make sure you pack a few riding essentials. “Of course pack riding clothes,” says Missy, who adds she’ll often see 20 horses in a day. “I always ride in tall boots but half chaps and boots are easier to pack. And carry on your helmet—I’ve had mine smooshed when I packed it! Look at the weather forecast, and don’t go to Ireland without a rain jacket. Bring small spurs, in case you need them. Remember you’re going to bring the horse home, and when you get home you’ll be riding it, so don’t only see what they do with the horse, get on and put it through its paces and see how it feels.” Tim’s travels are concise and focused, as


he doesn’t want to spend too much time away from his business at home. He says that he typically flies out of Dulles Airport on a 5 pm flight, arrives in Dublin at 5 am and is looking at horses at sunup. “I’ll spend a couple days looking at horses, with the second day focused on going back to see the ones I liked the first day and maybe take them for a little cross country school. Then I’ll stay in the hotel at the airport and fly home. It’s very efficient.” This plan doesn’t work for every


By Amber Heintzberger


circumstance, though. “I went over with a client looking for a very specific horse, and we traveled the length and breadth of the country, driving hours between horses,” he adds. “If you want to find a very specific horse, you have to be willing to put in the time.”


Ground Yourself in Reality Lest you get swept up in romantic imaginings of visiting a couple of gleaming stables teeming with glossy horses just waiting for you to hand pick your favorite, Ryan offers a real- ity check. “One thing to think about is it sounds glamorous, but


there’s a lot of leg work that goes into it,” he says. “Sometimes we’ll be driving all day, looking at horses under lights at 11 pm, getting up and doing it again the next day. You might find one horse you like and get to a vetting and something comes up in an x-ray or there’s some reason you don’t get it. Then it hasn’t been that efficient because you’ve spent two or three days, paid for airfare and vetting and come home empty-handed. That would be a huge point I’d like to make:


The Irish Eventing Team finished second at the WEG in Tryon. Here supporters congrat- ulate Sam Watson after his clear round on Horseware Ardagh Highlight. Ireland is a popular horse-shopping destination for Americans because of its compact geography, quality horses and entertaining culture (and lack of a language barrier).


Warmbloods Today 29


Amber Heintzberger


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