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2019 Connecticut Distinguished Older Horse Award​​

In celebration of CT Older Horse Week and the multitude of outstanding older horses in Connecticut,

we are proud and pleased to announce the 2019 Connecticut Older Horse of the Year Contest.  

Thank you to everyone who participated in honoring these distinguished older horses and helping to

raise awareness of how special older horses are and how important it is to protect them. 

Your voting donations directly support the horses retired to Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement.

The winner will be announced at noon on May 19th at the

Mitchell Farm Open Barn & Fun Day and posted live on face book

Voting Has Closed

Your votes are a donation to the distinguished older horses retired to
Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement.  Thank

2019 Connecticut Distinguished Older Horse Award Nominees 

"Casey"  Nominated by Trish Leonard

​It took two laps around the ring to stop Casey the first time my daughter, Allie, cantered her; our trainer warned she might be too much horse.  Now, 17 years later, we can’t imagine a more perfect first horse.  Casey carted Allie over her first cross rails, won more ribbons than we can count, and was Allie’s shoulder to cry on.   She rolled Allie off into the water on a Bluff Point trail ride, nipped her in every showmanship class, and constantly reminded us who was boss mare. When Allie slipped on ice and fell underneath her, she stood still as a statue.   She was not an easy horse, but she was loyal and trustworthy and taught Allie to be a horsewoman, not just a rider.  Casey overcame a traumatic injury only to start again and teach me, a 60+ year old, to be a dressage rider.  In 2017 at 27 years old, Casey won the Vista Vintage Award for schooling shows sponsored by the Connecticut Dressage Association.   Casey now takes care of Allie’s gelding, who has navicular disease. She is his confidant and best friend. We’re not sure what he would do without her.  And neither are we.
"Wick"  Nominated by Deborah Butler

Wick (Just Be me) entered our lives in 1993 when he was a green pony.  He is half thoroughbred and half Welsh pony and was always a great mover.  Our daughter, Cynthia, showed him in the Large Pony Hunter division, culminating in winning the CHJA Green Pony division that first year.  He was, and still is, a sweet but flaky pony, shying at leaves and shadows, but always willing to persevere and happy to work.  He taught Cynthia much about riding but even more about life as she took responsibility for his training and care.  He spent most of his life at Fairfield Hunt Club and retired to Mitchell Farm ten years ago.  He is now ecstatically happy letting his coat grow long and rolling in mud after many years of being clipped and blanketed with limited turnout time.  After a lifetime of cribbing, his teeth are worn down, but otherwise you would never know that he is 34 years old.  We are so grateful to Dee and everyone at Mitchell Farm for giving him this joyous retirement after he gave so much of his life to our family and other children who rode him later.
"Kat"  Nominated by Patty Ganey
     Over our years, 26 year-old Equinox Katarina has answered every question with an enthusiastic “YES!”  Together we learned to trail ride, jump, train together in dressage, event, hunted first flight, competed in hunter trials...and that was just with me.  Kat has taught a completely blind 16 year old to jump cross country, given small children their first ride ever, taken a brain tumor survivor through the woods while politely in tune with the rider’s every request, and worked on the ground with 9/11 survivors, grieving widows, and teenagers coping with anxiety and depression.  She is currently teaching a 65 year-old woman to ride — the look on her rider’s face after their first canter together was priceless!  Kat willingly partners to take people through any endeavor presented.  She is a true gem, one of those once in a lifetime horses we all wish we knew.  
       Just last week Kat and I went for our first beach ride ever — she reverted to the sparky 13 year-old horse I brought home 13 years ago, and carried me on a lovely beach gallop on a mild February day.  
       What a gift she has been in my life, and the lives of many others.    
​​"Bart" Nominated by Kelly Lynch

     At almost 31 years young, Bart is the most loyal partner I’ve had for the past 13 years. He is my first horse and has been through it all, from the show ring, to graduations, even moving to Vermont to attend college. Bart is almost totally blind, but that doesn’t stop him from digging through your pockets to find his favorite snack, bananas. He loves to roll, especially in the mud or snow. On crisp, cool days he still gets a twinkle in his eye, will snort, and have a lot of spunk like the horse I grew up learning to ride on.
     Bart has taught countless kids to ride and has brought many to the winner’s circle, where in the Morgan circuit he’s known as “Blue Ribbon Bart”. He has been involved in Soul Friends, a nonprofit organization that provides programs that promote healing through the animal bond for at-risk children impacted by trauma, grief, or social-emotional challenges. He helped the children express themselves in healthy ways through learning how to groom and lead, as well as general horsemanship knowledge. He’s touched the lives of many and I’m so lucky he continues to enjoy his retired life with me.