Liatris

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Lee warming up at clinic with Greg Best, July 2010

Liatris (Lee) is a 1999 Thoroughbred/Holsteiner cross (Loyal Pal x Lakshmi), bred by Suzy Wong of Atkinson, NH.  I started riding Lee in the winter of 2005, when she came to stay at 4.0 Farm in Stratham, NH,  where I worked at the time.  Lee came along with me when I began working at UNH full time, and despite living at the university for ten years , she never managed to complete her undergraduate degree.

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Lee (left) and her friend Izzy at a dressage clinic at UNH.

Bred for the hunter ring, Lee has done a bit of everything — jumpers to 3′, dressage to USDF sanctioned First Level, IHSA team favorite–but she didn’t find her true calling until she was 15 years old: distance riding. We did our first conditioning distance ride at the GMHA Distance Days in 2013, and when she was almost too fresh to handle at the final vetting, a bystander suggested “perhaps a longer ride next time might tire her out”. Her distance career was short and intense due to her late start; she completed her first two 25 mile rides in 2014, and went on to complete the three day 100 mile rides at GMHA’s Distance Days in 2015 and 2016, along with numerous shorter preparatory competitive rides each year ranging from 15-30 miles. In 2017, she ‘stepped down’ from the 100 mile distance but still completed several 25 and 35 mile one day rides. She did her final competitive distance rides in 2018, but while her mind was willing it was clear the intense demands of the sport were no longer agreeing with her physically. Beginning in 2019, Lee has been enjoying a life of “semi-retirement”, teaching unmounted and mounted lessons for working students and continuing to be my ‘go to girl’ for hacking, hunter pacing and other more intensive distance work.

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Enjoying the beach.

During her performance years, Lee and I participated in clinics with such varied luminaries as Nona Garson, Greg Best, Linda Allen, Pauline Alberts, Joe Forest, Verne Batchelder, Amy Barrington and Cindi Rose Wylie. I will always be grateful to Rachel Greene-Lowell for so much encouragement and assistance in developing Lee’s strengths. But it was Denny Emerson who saw this horse for who she truly is: an emotionally sensitive yet physically tough as nails warhorse, and gave me the push I needed to try for a big dream.

Lee and I visited Acadia National Park in 2018.

Lee was a challenging ride at many points, but she and I have come out on the other side as a true partnership. She has the distinction of being the first full time equine resident at Cold Moon Farm.

Lee

Lee retired with 550 lifetime miles at Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Association sanctioned rides.

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Lee and I on Cookie Hill, Day 3 of the 79th annual 100 mile ride at Green Mountain Horse Association in VT in 2015.

“Liatris” is a flower; Lee’s dam, Lakshmi, went by the barn name of Petunia.  Therefore, her name honors both the flower theme and the tradition of naming Holsteiner foals with names that start with the first letter of their dam’s name.

Liatris Notable Accomplishments

2020

Valkyrie 100 Mile Challenge (100 miles of ridden trail)

Journey 100 Mile Challenge (20/100 miles of ridden trail, in partnership with my other four mares)

2016

GMHA Distance Days 100 Mile Competitive Trail Ride (Perkion Award for Best Thoroughbred or TB Cross; Spinner Award for Best Non-Registered Trail Horse)

2015

GMHA Distance Days 100 Mile Competitive Trail Ride (Perkion Award for Best Thoroughbred or TB Cross; High Point Rookie Rider)

Grand Champion/High Point Rookie Horse/High Point Rookie Rider Maine 30 Mile Competitive Trail Ride

Lee with stablemate Snowy on the summit of Little Blue Job (Strafford, NH). Spring 2020 (age 21)
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