Kulak Equestrian is off to a phenomenal start this year with an incredible group of horses, staff, owners, and sponsors. However, we would like to take the time to dedicate Kulak Equestrian’s first Newsletter in memory of the loss a very special member of our team, Lora Schultz. Marcia has served as the private trainer for Michael and Lora Schultz for the past 22 years, and Mrs. Schultz recently lost her courageous battle with cancer. Her loss leaves a huge void in our daily activities at the farm. A memorial was held on January 15th in celebration of her life. Her obituaries can be found in the Chronicle of the Horse as well as The New York Times. Please take the time to read them and pay tribute to an amazing woman who touched and inspired so many fellow equestrians.

Kulak Equestrian packed up their bags back on snowtober Halloween and made the voyage to the beautiful sunshine state. We haven’t looked back since and the scene is now in full swing down here in Wellington. We have a full crew; 2 seasoned WEF show hunters, 2 upper level dressage horses, 1 jumper, 7 event horses, and 2 young prospects that look as though they could go in just about every and any direction!

As usual we’re blessed with an incredible staff. Led by Marcia and Mrs. K. Michelle Realmuto is enjoying her 5th winter. Recent Skidmore grad Elizabeth Charpentier (“Charpie”) has been on board since spring. Emily Urban from Penn State, interned for a month and Karri Bellamy is commuting from Scotia. Tommi Frate picks up the pieces part time and of course the boys, Valentin and Elcido.

The newest addition to the barn is Shannondale Mojito, an Irish Sport Horse purchased by Richard and Daliha Bourns from the famous Goresbridge Sale in Ireland. Mojito arrived in November and even though he is coming just 5 years old, he is incredibly mature. Everyone immediately fell in love with his temperament, athleticism, and of course his stunning skewbald color! Marcia is enjoying the ride on this exciting sales project.

In November, Marcia competed Karri Bellamy’s mare Princess Fiona in the Ocala Horse Trials. She collected a 4th place ribbon in the Novice, and she earned several more ribbons closer to home with Aurora, Mike and Lora Schultz’s young sale prospect. Aurora showed at the pre circuit shows in the training jumpers, and she has now done amazingly well showing at WEF in the hunter arena.

Also competing at WEF is our resident jumper Perle. owned by Nancy Hooker, and ridden by her daughter Heather, these girls make a fabulous addition to our team. They are lovely people and Perle has placed in nearly every class she has entered. She won the Low Amateur Classic this past Sunday in a field of over 80 entries and was champion of that highly competitive division. Job well done!

In the eventing world, the first event of 2012 was just that, an event of firsts. Marcia piloted Mojito in his inaugural run here in the States. Karri flew down from New York for the weekend and competed in her very first recognized event. Both she and Mojito had successful debuts! Marcia also rode Fiona to 2nd place in the mare’s first training level event.

Two weeks later, Kulak Equestrian was at Rocking Horse I. In the Open Training Marcia rode Michelle Chester’s Yoscha Bosche to 3rd place, and Michelle Realmuto rode Haley Bowman’s Black Swan to 4th place. Michelle’s parents, Margaret and Jon Chester drove down from Aiken to watch Bosche compete. They were a huge help and we thoroughly enjoyed having them there. It was a debut outing for Lily McCabe, who rode her pony Tower Hills Michan to a blue ribbon in the Beg. Novice. Also in that division, Lauren Jorgenson debuted with her horse Chase to a yellow ribbon! All in all, it was a very successful weekend.

Back at the farm, things have been very busy. We have had none other than George Morris, The Master, here teaching. He has been coming twice a week in the afternoon to instruct. The lessons were organized by fellow eventer Sharon White, who is in Wellington on a High Performance grant. She has benefited under his tutelage, along with Jimmy Fairclough, who joined in a few lessons. George invited Marcia to ride as well. She used his lesson as a tune up for Bosche before Rocking Horse. She’s planning to ride Aurora this week! In the meantime, we have all enjoyed watching and learning from him. For those of you who are toughing it out up north but wish to keep improving, I recommend reading any and all of his literature.

On the horizon we have more George Morris, Hunter Week at WEF, and Ocala Winter II Horse Trials.

Stay tuned…