USEF/Markel Young Horse Championship 2008


5th in the Nation

It has been a long summer and trying to get ready for the championship. Lots of wet saddle Pads and long days we put in but it was all worth it. Fuerst H could not have been better. He put his best test of the year in right on time and just made it look easy.
The judges rewarded him and we ended up 5th in the Nation in the 4 year old division.
I decided not to ride him in the optional Warm Up class on Friday since Fuerst is not a spooky or tense horse and just gambled on him being his usual self in the very important Championship class on Saturday and sure enough he just went down the centerline like a pro. Being the Breeder, Rider and Owner is certainly very special at an event on that scale.
Fuerst is enjoying a little time of right now and I will start him back up after a well deserved vacation

Rolex H 11th in the 6 year old Division 2007 including the Born in USA award for Highest placing American bred horse in the finals 

Owner Angela Hecker-Jackson


12th in the Nation at the Yong Horse 5 year olds 2008

When she is good she is really good but boy she can have her moments. When I got to the Horse Park in Lexington Kentucky the second weekend in September it was hot and humid just like a hot summer day. You could feel the rain and the storm in the air. The jog went on with out a problem and in the evening after everything quieted down in the barns the sky just opened up and it poured.
The warm up was a soupy mess so we used the assigned longing ring as a warm up since the footing was a lot better in it. Thinking to myself that do to the humidity and the wet pulling footing I would not need to ride Wersace in the morning turned out to be a mistake on my part. I just wanted to make sure she was not drained from the heat and the heavy footing. Well I was wrong she was fresh and ready to go like the never ending Energizing Bunny(not funny) So my warm up consisted on getting her relaxed and stretching. We had an ok ride no mistakes but the tension and the short top line did hurt my score and I did not even make it into the finals on Sunday and needless to say I was disappointed.

But I did know that I can do it a lot better and now I had to put in a better performance and for me to still ride on Sunday in the finals I had to be in the top 2 in the consolidation class for all the horse who did not make it into Sundays finals. The top 2 horses still move on to ride in the finals.

I worked her in the morning and she let off steam and when it was time for the test she was nice and relaxed and we had a wonderful ride. The judge still remembered her from the day before and were conservative in there marks but it was good enough for 2nd place and that ensured as a ride in the finals on Suday.

On Sunday Wersace put forth her best test but with the low score from Friday that counts for 40% of the overall score it was only good enough to pull up to 12th place.
I was very proud of her and she did redeem herself. These are the best young horses in the country and it is very very tough to even make it into the finals.

Congratulation to Owner Barb Wood who allowed me to show Wersace

Twilight 10th in the 5 year old Division 2005           Twilight 10th in the 6 year old Division 2006      Owner BJ Ruben. - 

Hi everybody, it is September and I do not know where the summer went.
So much for thinking I could get away for some jumping shows this summer! One only one jumping show I got to go to.
And it was a very interesting one "on top". And I mean it literally. My friend Roberto Teran who is a Grand Prix Jumper from Colombia invited me to be on his team with the Cily League International tour. So I looked at my calender and I was able to get away for a few days. I loaded up Rolex and the young Quarter Horse Holsteiner cross Casey and headed to Downtown Knoxville TN. When I arrived I was a little in disbelieve. The horses are stabled in the city parking garage and the hunter ring was on top of the 6 level parking garage.Oh ya on top that's right.
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So the hunter ring was on top of this parking garage and the warm up was the just big enough to trot over a jumped and come to a stand still 5 strides later since there was not enough room to actually turn in the canter.
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We had to walk down the ramp to the third floor to our stalls and of course up the ramp to get back to the top to the ring.
I only do jumpers so I went on to explore the "facility" to see where I will be jumping.
The colecium down town across the Marriott and attached to this parking garage. It is not very big and I thought to myself
"What in the world was I thinking"
Pic 6 But as the show went on it did not feel to bad and the horses did not think anything of it "Thank God"
could not really stand up straight since the parking garage was only 6' and his ears at times would touch the sealing.
But he jumped great. I was soooooo proud of him. For not being at jumping shows he clocked around like a pro. Our team finished 5th in the Level 5  $5000,- speed class and 3rd in the level 6 $10.000,- jump off class. He paid for the show and the gas so I thought it was a pretty good weekend after all. I certainly had a lot of fun. Sara Summers was my help for the weekend and she really wanted to got home and do more jumping again. I was hoping to meet up with the team again but my dressage schedule just did not allow for it. (pic 7)

Tom and Maraget Kimmel and I hosted a clinic with Michael Poulin. It was a very educational weekend and Michael captured everybody's attention. It was a very nice turn out and I would like to thank Tom and Margaret very much for the use of there wonderful facility. Everybody would like for Michael to come back and I hope that we can arrange it again next year.
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He helped me and Rolex with our first baby steps towards hopefully piaf.
He was very intense and making sure everybody understood the correct feeling of a half halt and made sure every question was answered. As he said over and over " There is no such thing as a stupid question"
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He would stop the rider, here Margaret Kimmel, and explain the exercise again,  making sure it is understood.
The participants myself, Tom and Margaret Kimmel, Sandy Merkel-Finley, Stacy Denton , Murphy Jones, Jennifer Boyd, Paulette Reid, Pat Welborn, Janet Weigel, and Susan Harris on her schoolmaster Lennox who was Robert Dovers Olympic mount and a treat for everybody to watch,  where joint by the auditor's to a film and discussion after the last ride on Saturday.
We enjoyed the increadable food provided by Tom and Margaret prepared by  there good Friends Venetia, Mike and  Larry.
pic  12
It was delicious.
Now I have to get ready for the young horse championship coming up Sept. 12 -14th 2008 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
I am leaving with Fuerst River H who qualified for the 4 year olds.
Wersace who qualified for the 5 year olds.
and Casey who will go at the Robert Murphy Jumper Show going on at the same time as the Young Horse Championship at the Horse Park. I am taking Rolex along to school in the jumper ring but more than likely not show.
My Dad is bringing a young horse as well to school jumping as well as help Sandy Merkel-Finley with her mare in the children/Adult 3'3-3'6 class and her young Palomino in the Hopeful. By the time I run down to the regular Dressage Show to school Pat Welborn for her AA 4th level class and Murphy Jones on her 5 year old TB gelding for her Junior Training level test,  I believe I will be busy.

July, 4th 2008

It has been whet in the mid west and we have been working in the indoor now for the last 4 month and are ready for some sunshine.
Rolex and I went to Florida for just a short time to work with Michael Poulin again and it was a good trip. Rolex is maturing and finally coming together as a horse.
In preparation for the big Symposium and clinic with  Mr. Christoph Hess, an FEI I Judge and current  Head of Instruction & Head of the Personal Members Department at the German Equestrian Federation Rolex and I worked hard.

Michael Poulin worked with us for a few days at his Farm in DeLeon Springs in Florida before heading down to Stuart/Palm City where the clinic took place.

Do to a lot of auditors they moved the Symposium to Treasure Coast Farm.
The beautiful facility was donated for the use by owner Tom Mikes.

The week started with the clinic held by Mr. Hess on the education and proper training of young horses. For three days we watch very talented young horses age 4 and older being worked in the classic way of the training pyramid.

Always stressing the Regular beat in all paces

Keeping a swinging back, relaxed paces and elasticity in the movements.

The contact between the riders hands and the horses mouth stay smooth and steady. That the mouth stays closed and the horse keeps stepping forward to the bit with a straight and supple poll chewing the bit.
That the poll should always be the highest point and the noseline stays infront of the vertical.

The desire to go forward with actively pushing and overtracking hindlegs and that the horse covers more ground in extended paces and the collected paces become more elevated Impulsion gives cadence to the collected trot and canter.

That the horses have an even bend and flexion on both reins as a necessary preparation for the collection

Here the power and activity of the hind legs start to carry more weight become well engaged and the haunches will lower stepping more under the pint of gravity and you start to get a more up-hill tendency.

It was again a very educational trip and I can only encourage anybody to attend these symposiums since it is a great opportunity to interact with some of the best riders and judges in this country.

When do you have a chance to listen as well as asked question and hear there reasons for scores and what they are looking for when you ride a dressage test?

To watch O Judge Stephen Clarke from the UK a successful international rider himself winning many National Championships as well as reserve rider for the Seoul Olympics  interact with the demo riders asking questions to the auditors as well as answering them.   Listen to Linda Zang O Judge from USA who has judged all over the world and a member of the 1980 Olympic Dressage Team.

The symposium started on Saturday with the theoretical discussion and viewing of videos from the 2007 World Championships for Young Horses followed by discussing the rides, scores and the training principles for Young/Beginning horses The first half of the Training Scale ( rhythm, suppleness, and contact) and its relationship to the FEI Young Horse tests.

After the lunch break we went to the Practical Demonstration  beginning with the Basic Gaits

In this part the Judges did comment on the walk, trot and canter and the affect of shape and conformation on the horses way of going. The basic paces were discussed as well as how to judge a horses ability of movement. We had an intense and in depth conversation about the relationship of rhythm and tempo, the first pillar of the training scale and the basic training principle of the young horse.

On Monday we got to ride the test for the judges and it was quit intense. We all felt like we were at some real big show with three O Judges and seven I Judges giving the scores. 

Rolex had a perfect ride and all I could think about was that I would have loved to have had that ride at the Young Horse Championship with todays high score.

I hope to get some pictures from Gwen Poulin who took them throughout the day.

But it is never boring at Rhein-River-Farm.

My upcoming young horse Fuerst River H who had the winter off is back in work and he is going to his first horse show Memorial Weekend at the KDA Breed Show to do the Material Classes and the 4 year old FEI young horse class.

At first I did not think I could get him ready for it since I did not ride him very much this winter but now that the weather has opened up he is doing great and I feel very good about trying for it. I am sure I am going to get some nice pictures from the show to update.

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Fuerst River winning both Material classes at the KDA  Breed ShowI  +  II with scores of 75% and 79%
Ending up Grand Champion both days.

Also getting a 70.2% in his FEI 4 year old test and putting in a super nice ride.

For the whole show never getting blow a seventy

He repeated his winnings at the SLADS show in St. Louis where he won his USEF/Markel young horse class for 4 year olds with an 80% on Saturday and a 74% on Sunday. Again putting in two very good rides but just a little tired on Sunday.


Fuerst just returned from Paxton Farm where he was again successful with a 76%
And wonderful remarks from the Judges. Securing him a spot in the Finals in September.

Fuerst also won the Equitation class with 12 year old Rebekah with an 80%. Her horse could not go by vet's order and she was so down and had looked forward to it and worked hard for several weeks. She is one of my young students at
Wanaja Farms in La Grange KY. With an half hour to go I decided that she could handle Fuerst and agreed to let her try. She got rewarded and I think she got the ride of her life. As her Dad told me she never stop smiling for the whole show.

Here are all my students from the show including Rebekah on Fuerst (grey) Tori on Ribana(Rolex's full sister(black)

Wersace, the little coming 5 year old Hannovarian Mare did her first Horse show in April. Her owner Barb Wood needs four 60% scores at second level test 3 or 4 to get her in the Elite Mare Book. So we went and did at her first horse show,first test in her life 2nd 4 qualifier and she won with almost 68%.

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She comes in a small package but with big gaits.

Wersace did very well at the KDA show winning again her 2nd level rides and qualifying for the Regionals. In her 5 year old FEI class  she got  high seventy and at the SLADS  show in St. Louis she won her class with  an 80%. That should  secure her a place in the finals in September as well.

Wersace did not go home with me after the show. The owner is keeping her for a little while to get her in foal and will send her back as soon as they have flushed her and implanted the egg into another mare. But I should still have enough time to bring her back and get her ready for the championship.

Rolex is doing his first 4th level test at the KDA show and I just fitted him his Double Bridle. He looks so grown up in it. I have jet to ride him in it but I do not think it will be a problem.  My goal for him this year is just schooling Dressage and not showing him so much. I have to show him 4th level test 2 to get my scores to keep him on track with the keuring since I am doing it thru performance.

Next  year he needs PSG scores and than he is fully licensed for RPSI.

He just did his first 7-8 year old jumper class thou at level 6 (43). He jumped around with one rail. He is getting more comfortable in the ring now and I hope to get to one jumping show a month with him this summer so that I can show him maybe in the level 7 (46) the end of the year.


Rolex might get to get his first breeding season next year to some selected mares only.  I just got him a really nice TB (for his birthday) since I am convinced he is the perfect cross for the TBs. She is a lovely big mover herself so I am excited about that and can not wait.

 His first Dressage show at the KDA memorial weekend was a success. He did very well winning his 3-3 qualifier with a 73% and scoring 67% + 68% in his first time 4th level 2 tests.


The jumpers Levi and Casey are doing well. Casey who came to me last July to be broke has already jumped around the level 1. He is coming along just fine.



Casey at his first horse show.

Rolex H on USDF hompage

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Angela is also available for clinics, coaching, and lessons.