2017 Oldenburg N.A. Inspection, Hilltop Farm Inc. Photo by William Alphin
It has been three years since I updated you on my journey with Raina and it feels timely to do so as we have made substantial progress! In August 2017, I presented Raina to the Oldenburg N.A. registry for approval as a breeding mare. Although Raina was approved by the American Hanoverian Society as a foal, I chose to move her into an Oldenburg book, because I just love them so much. We’ve been with them since they came to North America and participated in their first inspection hosted by Hilltop Farm. More than two decades later, they have blessed us immeasurably and been instrumental in maturing our breeding program. Mares, three years old or older, may be eligible for one of the four mare books. You can learn more about their requirements by clicking here. Raina presented herself well and earned a score of 101.5 and was entered into the Main Mare book. Although I didn’t think she was quite ready to participate in the Mare Performance Test (MPT), I made a firm plan to ready her for 2018. The MPT allows mare owners and the registry gain valuable information about their mares talents and weaknesses for performance and also aid in future stallion selection. To learn more, please click here.
During the winter months, it became clear to me that I needed to make some equipment changes which included a new saddle, bit and saddle pad. I will share more about this in the future but altogether these changes helped Raina feel more comfortable. In April 2018, I hosted a Fix-A-Test clinic with Emily Donaldson. Raina and I laid down a solid 1st-2 test earning a 67.8%. Encouraged by this outcome, I continued focusing on her throughness and suppleness.
April 2018 Fix-A-Test Clinic, 1st-2. Photo by William Alphin
Spring and summer passed quickly and MPT day finally arrived. My girl was just a superstar and won the MPT with a score of 72.8! We were also invited back for reinspection and Raina earned a score of 110, the highest score of the inspection, and placement into the Premium Mare book!
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my trainer Jessica Fay and free-jumping coach Michael Bragdell. I am so thankful for Dr. Jennifer Wright and farrier Jim Salve for keeping Raina performing at her best and to Martina who keeps all the horses happy. Last but not least, big hugs to my Blue Waters family for your support and prayers.
If you care to read about the beginning of our journey, please click on these links. Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four