Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Hi, everyone!

Recently, someone asked how to secure a catch ride and how to move up a division through a catch riding experience. One of the most outstanding opportunities for catch riding during the Winter Circuit in Wellington, Florida, is supported by the R. W. Mutch Educational Foundation. If you are interested in an opportunity to ride with a trainer in Florida, read about the scholarship details on the web site (www.rwmutch.com). Applicants are required to present a video of their riding for scholarship consideration and, if accepted, are asked to cover some of the expenses during their stay.

Yesterday, some of the Beacon Hill riders arrived in Lexington, Virginia, for the Show Jumping portion of the North American Young Riders and Junior Championships. In addition to selecting Show Jumping competitors aged twenty-one and under, selected Dressage and Three Day Eventing riders participate in the championships.

Today, we have jog inspections which conform to FEI standards and regulations.
Catch up with me soon for more on NAYRC in Lexington, Virginia.
Talk to you later.
Maria Schaub

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Hi everyone!
When you ride at Beacon Hill Show Stables, the expectations and goals for your riding are discussed regularly between you and your trainer(s) and at meetings with your trainer(s) and your parents. When I started riding at Beacon Hill in December of 2000, my parents leased an equitation veteran for me named, Archie. We started in the three foot equitation division (mini-equitation) but Frank and Stacia Madden, my trainers, encouraged a move-up to the Big Eq at the Lake Placid Horse show in 2001. Being the youngest and newest Big Eq student in the barn meant watching other accomplished Beacon Hill students, another invaluable experience, such as Krista Freundlich and Kristy McCormick while they had lessons. Krista Freundlich took me under her wings during my first few years, just like an apprentice of sorts, and showed me all she could. In 2001, Archie and I qualified for the Pessoa Medal Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, Pa. It was an awesome first experience! When Archie's lease was over in late 2001, I was riding mostly sale horses in the equitation with an occasional catch ride in the children's jumpers.

In 2002, I went to WEF for one or two weekends and at home that winter, Max Amaya, a trainer at Beacon Hill, spent many hours teaching me all that he could. His work ethic is an inspiration to many and he is a great horseman. I showed at Devon, for the first time in 2002, and was able to qualify for the ASPCA Region II competition, Medal Finals and the USET Finals East.

During 2003, I catch rode Whimsey and several other horses and later that same year, my parents purchased him with the help and generosity of a family friend. Although Whimsey had been a jumper, he adapted to the equitation rather quickly. We were second at the HBO Medal finals in Worcester, Mass. and eighth at the Pessoa Medal Finals that year. Whimsey is a great teacher and partner.

In 2004, my first full winter competing in Florida, Whimsey and I received the Christy Conard Trophy - the award for the high score equitation rider at the WEF circuit. Looking back, that was the year that I started showing consistently. Whimsey and I were 3rd at ASPCA Maclay Region Two qualifier in September. Unfortunately, he was injured at Capital Challenge in early October. Whimsey and I had qualified for all the Eq finals; Medal, Maclay, USET and WIHS. At USET finals, only a week after Capital Challenge, I rode a six year horse that John & Beezie Madden generously lent to me, and for not knowing her, we had a reasonable show. At the Medal and WIHS finals, I rode a jumper that was fresh out of quarantine from Europe. Given his new introduction to the equitation, it went well. At the Maclay Finals, the Goutal family generously lent me Clementine's horse, Crusader, and we were eighth that year.

In 2005, thanks to Frank and Stacia Madden, I went to WEF as a catch rider and Whimsey spent the winter on stall rest. I was lucky to have catch rides in the hunters, jumpers and the equitation and was fortunate to meet and be trained by some really great horseman. When the Wellington shows ended and we moved on to Tampa, my parents leased a sale horse on a month to month basis, an equitation veteran named, Amigo. He was a talented horse with a quirky, sometimes nervous personality and I learned quite a bit while I adjusted to riding him. After the WEF circuit, my trainers allowed me to show their horse, Marga, in the low junior jumper division. She is a strong yet talented mare and she has taught me a great deal. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to ride in the junior jumper division. In 2005, I qualified for all the equitation finals and was first at the ASPCA Region II competition and fourth at Medal finals on Amigo. For the USET finals, I was lucky to ride another Goutal horse named, Orion, and we were Reserve Champion. Amigo was sold after the WIHS Equitation classic and I returned to catch riding in the equitation.

In 2006, I went to WEF with the hopes of showing Whimsey but he wasn't quite ready, although we did show in a few classes during the circuit. Luckily, with the help of my trainers and the generosity of many, I catch rode again. The Wellington circuit ended quite well when I catch rode a wonderful horse, Nelson, generously loaned to me by the King-Kaplan family, and we won the Ronnie Mutch Equitation Classic. In June, 2006, my trainers encouraged a move up to the High Junior Jumper Division on Marga. At the Beacon Hill Classic in 2006, Marga and I were third in the Open Speed Derby, our first class with the professionals. In 2006, Whimsey and I were 2nd at ASPCA Region II qualifier, 4th at the Capital Challenge Equitation Championship, and eighth at the WIHS Finals. On another catch ride provided generously to me by King-Kaplan family, I was eighth at the USET East finals in 2006.

In 2007, I was asked by James Toon, to show a six year old mare, I Toon, in the Big Eq during the Wellington Circuit. I also catch rode a beautiful hunter named, El Raymond, as well as some other Junior Hunters throughout the circuit. For the Ronnie Mutch Equitation Classic, I had a catch ride on a fabulous horse, Aaron, owned by the Polle family. It was a dream come true to win the class for the second year in a row! At Devon, I was fortunate to ride two different horses, Cobblestone and Versace, owned by the King-Kaplan Family. Another dream was realized when I became the equitation champion at Devon. This June, with the encouragement of my trainers, I competed in my first Grand Prix on Marga at the Beacon Hill Classic. It was a great experience and I hope to continue riding at the Grand Prix level in the future.

When I look back at my "moving up" experiences, I am truly grateful and thankful for all that I have had along the way and realize that the tough times taught me as much, if not more, than the times when I achieved my goals. With new aspirations and the desire to achieve all that is possible, I look forward to the future.
Catch up with me later this week for an update on the HITS Saugeurtis show.
Talk to you later!
Maria Schaub

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


A.a.e. recently asked how I moved up divisions over the years. I will attempt to answer the question in two parts, starting with what happened between the ages of eight and a half and twelve years old.
I began riding at a camp at Snow Bird Acres Farm, Schooleys Mountain, NJ. I absolutely fell in love with horses and riding while at camp. The eight week camp had shows and I participated in the walk, trot and cross rails on their school horses and ponies. In September of 1997, I started lessons with Mary Babick and Darby Smith (now, Mazzarisi) at the Colts Neck Equestrian Center, Colts Neck, NJ. I started riding once a week but quickly increased my time at the barn up to four times a week, or whenever my parents could take me. I rode school ponies and especially loved a pony named Pete who could buck you off if you weren't paying attention but who luckily had an affinity for me.
I did not show again until February 1998, when in a concocted scheme between my parents and trainer, I "visited" Mary at the HITS Ocala horse show. Upon arrival, the secret unfolded and I learned I was scheduled to show in the short stirrup division on a lovely pony named, Half Pint, owned by my friend, Whitney Roper. It was my first big show and my parents and trainer did not "let the cat out of the bag". It was a great surprise! Later that same year after showing sparingly at local shows, my parents leased a pony for me named, Sandcastle. My first big show on Sandcastle, in the short stirrup division was in the summer of 1998 at the Vermont Summer Festival, Manchester, Vermont. That summer, my trainer encouraged me to move up to the small/medium childrens with a reminder that I could not return to that division after leaving it - a USEF rule. For the rest of the year, I showed sparingly but we did go to HITS Culpeper for a couple of shows. I remember my trainer helping me while I struggled to get the lead changes with that pony.
In 1999, my parents leased a horse show veteran for me, a wonderful large pony named, Touch of Flair, for the children's large pony division. I showed "Tofy", her barn name, at the HITS Ocala Circuit in February for four weeks, the Garden State Horse Show, some of the HITS Culpeper spring shows and at the Vermont Summer Festival. Unfortunately, Tofy tore a check ligament during the Vermont Summer Festival and we were unable to go to the Marshall and Sterling Finals in the fall. She was a fabulous pony with a big heart and I learned a great deal about how to care for an injured pony during my time with her.
For my eleventh birthday in December of 1999, I got a medium Chincoteaque pony, Junior Mint, and my parents also leased another medium pony named, Cinnaburst. In 2000, I showed Junior Mint mostly in the Small/Medium Green Pony Division and Cinnaburst in the Medium Pony Division. It was so much fun to show two ponies and I learned a great deal riding a green pony. The Fairfield Hunt Club, Fairfield, Conn., hosted the Pony finals and I was fortunate to show the ponies at that competition. In August 2000, after growing quite a bit and looking big on my smaller of the two mediums, Junior Mint, was sent to a sale barn. Luckily, I still had Cinnaburst and that fall, I showed at Capital Challenge for the first time. When I moved to Beacon Hill in December of 2000, I moved up to horses. I did not show at the big indoor shows until 2001 while riding with Frank and Stacia Madden.
The next blog will talk about my "moving up" experiences at Beacon Hill Show Stables.
Speaking of Beacon Hill, we will be going to the HITS IV Sauguertis Show next week, the North American Young Riders Championships the week of July30th in Lexington, Virginia, the Monmouth Horse Show, August 22nd to August 26th and the season wrap-up will be at the Hampton Classic, from August 28th thru September 2nd.
Talk to you soon!
Maria Schaub

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hi, everyone!

When approaching the Lake Placid Showgrounds, the Adirondack mountains surround the pleasant scenery creating a majestic visual background for the exhibitors, and their families and, for the spectators as well. Although significant rainfall negatively effected the second week of the show, the usual horse show attractions were added such as the dog show, the Animal Planet booth and the shopping, of course!

Overall, the Beacon Hill riders had a great show!
This week, we will be in Colts Neck and the horses will rest.
Catch up with me soon for the Beacon Hill Show schedule for the remainder of July and the month of August and for an answer to one of your questions.

Talk to you later!
Maria Schaub

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Hi, everyone!
Despite the chill in the air, especially in the morning, the first of two weeks in Lake Placid went quite well. Beacon Hill had a great showing in many of the divisions.

Recently someone asked about my plans after my junior career is over in November.
As you are aware, I will be attending Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey after I have completed my last junior year.

Whether or not I have the opportunity to become a World Cup rider or ride for the United States Equestrian team in my future and, those are my short and long term riding goals, I know I will follow my dream of being able to care for and train horses.

With riding as my inspiration, I am ready to face all of the challenges before me in order to build on my understanding of all aspects of the horse business.

Catch up with me later this week for a wrap up on Lake Placid.

Talk to you later!
Maria Schaub