North Forks Cardi is a 7 year-old Welsh Cob stallion standing 14.3 hh—a large pony by anyone’s standards. However, his presence in the dressage ring and dressage sporthorse in-hand classes is anything but little. As a 3-year old, Cardi was started under saddle to give him a job, something to do. There was to be no rush, nothing strenuous, no pushing him. However, he took to being ridden like he was born for it. After four months under saddle, his co-owner/trainer Jessica Wisdom, suggested we enter him in a Training Level USDF class. He not only won his first Training Level class, but was Tr. Level Champion at that show. Three months later he capped his debut season by winning the USDF All American Region 6 Training Level Championship.
Ffffast forward three years. Cardi and Jessica competed in 2007 at Third Level and racked up championships going against the BIG BOYZ AND GIRLZ—our competition includes Dutch, Hannoverian, Friesian, Swedish, TB, and every combination of animal that produces much bigger than 14.3hh.
But the pony continues to prevail, and land right up there at the top. Between Training and Third Level, Cardi has won championships at every level and scored in the 70s at every level. He and Jessica enter at least four shows during the season, to qualify for the Region 6 Championship Show. They also compete in the USDF DSH classes and Cardi’s 79.7% at the NW Sporthorse Breeder’s Championship Show this month put him in the winner’s circle with the Cosequin Champion Stallion neck sash. The fact his sons and daughters are also champions in Open USDF DSH classes is the icing on the cake!
Prior to beginning of our 2007 show season, we accepted the invitation of photographers April Visel and Sharron Sheppard to attend a photo shoot for stallions only in the Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara areas. Twenty-two hours after leaving the Pacific Northwest, we arrived with Cardi in tow, to Santa Ynez. Over a dozen photographers converged and captured images of the stallions at Summerland Beach, at Jade Creek Arabian Farm, and in the hills of Santa Ynez. The lovely photos captured by Amy Cody capture the essence of this powerful stallion full of Welsh character and athleticism.
Ending Third Level being ranked FIRST in Region 6 [over 20 other horses] and 19th nationally, has been a big boost to preparing Cardi and Jessica’s for their FEI debut at Prix St. George in 2008. Watch for them!