Global Dreams With Minnie (Catania Saflo Z)
When I had my surgeries 9 years ago I was unable to ride for a year and I was lost with what to do with myself until I developed a passion for breeding. For the first 2 months after my surgery I was not allowed in the barn for fear of infection. Of course, I was the difficult patient who would go visit my horses in their pasture; that’s not the barn right J. My surgeon is one of my favorite people and so I would tell him and he would just shake his head, but he knew that I needed to see them.
I spent that time developing my interest and knowledge in breeding and was lucky enough to have several mentors in the world of breeding who I would call and have long chats with. My favorite time was when the Zangersheide Magazine or Stallion Guide would come in and I would spend hours poring through them. I really respected Zangersheide as a Studbook and what they were doing for the breeding and young horse industry. When I was cleared to fly after 9 months of being at home, my mom surprised me with a trip to the Young Horse World Championships and I was in total awe. They had foal and stallion approvals there as well as the 5, 6, and 7 yr. old world championships for young horses. It was amazing to be there and get to watch as 250 of the best horses from around the world in each age group competed for the top prize. That was when I decided to make it a goal and a dream to go there to compete, and show Europe that we have top young horses in America and we can compete on the same level as them.
This is an event hosted by Zangersheide in Belgium during late September and only the top young horses around the world are invited to attend. Each country is issued so many invitations for their top young horses to compete; the United States is issued 2 invitations per age group. On average 250 horses from each age group of the best 5, 6, and 7 year old horses around the world attend this event. These are the best of the best young horses and riders invited to this event; there will be Olympic and World Championship riders attending. The United States has not had a rider and horse based out of the United States win this event; it is predominantly riders and horses from Europe who win and take the top placings. Europe is known for breeding and raising the top young horses and we are trying to change that here in the States. We want to show them that our quality is just as good and we can compete on the same level as them. This year I received an invitation to take Catania Saflo Z, a 5 yr. old mare AliBoo Farm purchased as a 4 month old and we have brought along and developed ever since. She is currently ranked #1 in the United States in the 5 yr. old Young Jumpers and recently won the 5 yr. old Championship at the Hampton Classic after turning in 4 clear rounds. She has a stellar track record and has earned many prestigious awards already this year after turning in countless clear rounds. She was the only 5 yr. old to jump clean and win both classes at Devon, a very prestigious and challenging horse show on the East Coast, and she was Circuit Champion this winter in Gulfport, MS. She earned the circuit championship after winning all 5 classes she was entered in over the course of 2 weeks at Gulfport.
Minnie, as she is known to us, is one of the sweetest mares and she always tries her heart out in the ring. She also loves applesauce!! She may only be 5, but she knows every time she walks in the ring, it is go time. I started her myself when she was 3 years old and since that time she has shown how smart she is always trying to do what is asked of her and we have grown to have a really close bond. She is a very special young horse and we believe she has the talent and the heart to be the first winner from America and set the stage for America to produce the next generation of winners.
I am asking for your support as a young rider and breeder from America to compete at this very special event. I think we have a strong chance of bringing home a medal from this event to the States and making a change in the world’s impression of breeding and raising young horses in America. In order to fly Catania over to this event and her expenses while there I am looking to raise about $30,000. I have set up a GoFundMe account for anyone looking to show their support because this is a stretch for my family. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I believe we are prepared and ready to go there to win!
I know people will ask why I am crowd funding because they think we should be able to afford to take her; however, that is not the case. My family has worked very hard to bring along and develop these young horses but it is not in our budget to fly this horse to Europe and back as it is very pricey. Every year we create a budget and we are very much a family run operation with everyone pitching in to help make it possible. My dad ships our horses everywhere, my little brother and my best friend were my grooms at the Hamptons, and I love to be my own groom. I like to be the first one at the show to feed, I always wrap my own horses, and I do the night check. The reason we started breeding and developing young horses is because we knew we would never be able to afford to purchase top show jumpers so we went about making them.
I greatly appreciate and thank you for any support you can offer no matter how big or small, or even positive thoughts!
Link to GoFundMe: