Three Days Three Ways wishes you the happiest of Mother’s Days! Our Mother’s Day Special includes the most adorable, smiling faces from the kiddos of some of our favorite 3-Day eventers. It doesn’t get any cuter than this!
Our first kiddo belongs to Jennifer Holling, Canadian Team selector and wife to eventer (and World Cup Eventing Finalist) Jon Holling. All of whom make Willow Run Farm, in Ocala, FL, their home. Here’s a little bit from Momma Jenn on her sweet son, Caiden:
photo of Caiden Holling courtesy of the Hollings.
Q. How old is Caiden?
A. He just turned two on April 2nd. He was almost an April Fool’s day joke but we held off.
Q. Who are his friends?
He and Liam Pollard are best pals. Two little blond, blue-eyed boys running around. And Mommy, Daddy and his nanny B [Bronwyn]. He, Liam, and Riley Carter are his friends at horse shows, they have swimming and movie parties together. They have it all figured out and are totally spoiled.
Q. What’s his favorite treat?
Coca–Cola. He has an addiction problem. If he sees a red can he goes a little crazy. Other than that he eats fruits and vegetables but not so much meat. He’s a self-imposed vegetarian. He loves broccoli.
Q. What’s his favorite activity?
Driving on the tractor. He has to drive on the tractor. He likes to go on it with the maintenance guy, Dave.
Q. What was his first interaction with a horse like?
A. He wanted on. He was always about getting on because Daddy was on a horse.
Q. What’s his favorite outfit?
A. He likes his Wellies because that means he’s allowed to get dirty.
Q. How is he like his mom?
A. He has my taste buds and his father’s personality. But he sleeps better than either of us. Thank God for that.
Q. How is he like his Dad?
A. He is Mr. Mellow.
A. Does he have any pets?
A. He has a Lucy. She’s a pit bull and he shares his bed with her because he’s in a big boy bed now.
Q. Anything else you want to add?
A. It is possible to have kids when you ride. A lot of women are afraid of it and we are lucky in that we have a nanny. But everybody is willing to step in. At one horse show I took a bad fall and Will Faudree stepped in. He went into the trailer and got Caiden and then went to the store and got him baby formula. When I got back from hospital everyone had ridden and all the horses were taken care of. They say it takes a village. The village is there for you when you have a kid.
The Holling Family at Rolex. Courtesy of the Jenn and Jon Holling
Next up is adorable Kira Lewis, daughter to 3-Day eventer Wendy Lewis who came in 9th at Rolex in 2005 as well as being 12th rider overall. She just added number two to the family with tiny Cooper who’s just a few weeks old. This interview was a riot because I actually talked with Kira herself. So all of this is straight from the horse’s mouth, so-to-speak.
photo couretsy of Wendy and Rob Lewis
Q. Who are your dogs?
A. Molly and Roxy. They make me laugh. They are so funny. We play catch. They sleep with me and in their bed. They sleep in their bed and then go in my bed. They peek in. Roxy is black and white and Molly is just yellow.
photo courtesy of Wendy and Rob Lewis
Q. What’s your favorite color?
A. My favorite color is pink and purple. I have a flying Tinkerbell and it really flies.
Q. Do you like fairies?
A. I have fairy things. I can really fly like a fairy.
Q. Do you have wings?
A. Mmm hm. I have fairy wings and I can really fly with them because they’re real.
Q. Where do you fly?
A. I fly in the tv room. That’s how I can fly. I’m gonna do it right now! I don’t know if I can fly, though, because I’m getting big. But I think I can still do it.
Oh dear. Are you having fits of laughter at how delightful she is? She’s like that all the time. It’s too much! But wait, we have more for our Mother’s Day special.
Our next tiny guest is Ms. Riley Carter, daughter to Canadian Olympian Kyle Carter and his wife Jennifer Carter. For this interview I spoke with Jen on the phone and she consulted with Riley for input.
photo courtesy of Jennifer and Kyle Carter
Q. How old is Riley?
A. She turned three in December.
Q. What’s her favorite color?
A. Jenn asks Riley in the background: What is your favorite color? She reports back: Pink. It’s her favorite color of the morning. Usually it’s blue. It depends on the mood.
Q. What is your farm like?
A. It’s 57 acres just North of Ocala. Riley plays on the cross-country course everyday. It’s a giant playground for her. We have 32 stalls altogether, a house, and a place where people who work for us live. We’re lucky because right across the street is a new park with a play area for kids and baseball fields and soccer fields. We don’t have to worry about putting anything up here.
Q. Does Riley have a pony?
A. Her pony’s name is Sunset. She’s a little paint, pony mare. 12 hands, maybe. We’re not exactly sure on her age but she’s between nine and seventeen. The people that owned her don’t really know. She’s a super pony. At this age she rides once a week, sometimes more often, but the pony is always good no matter what.
Q. What’s her favorite thing about Sunset?
A. Jen asks her directly: Riley what is your favorite thing about Sunset? This stumps her, so she asks her again and reports back: Cantering. Jen editorializes: She’s only cantered once. But apparently it’s her favorite thing!
Q. What’s Riley’s favorite book?
A. She loves to read; she’s obsessed with books. She likes the Beatrix Potter books which is a book series about a duck and his friends. She’s seriously book obsessed and could read all-day long.
Q. What’s Riley’s favorite game?
To be honest, if she’s awake she’s a horse. She’s a jumping horse. She’s horse obsessed. Her favorite thing is to canter around pretending to be a horse. She likes us to give her lessons and is big into lunging. She, in turn, gives us lessons. She’ll put on horse’s boots and she went through a phase where she had to wear a figure-eight nose band and breast plate. Then she lunges. It’s great when you can lunge her because she can run until she’s tired then you don’t have to chase her. She’s pretty fast.
Q. Do you have any pets?
A. We have three dogs and one of them is her favorite, Ally. She’s a Jack Russel cross who’s really good with her. They run around. If Riley isn’t inside running she’s outside running.
Q. What’s Riley like?
A. She’s not shy, and for most part never met a stranger. At shows it’s great because we can trust anyone and she knows so many people. Moms help at shows. She’s a very active kid obsessed with horses, pretty much.
photo by Rob Lewis
Our last guest is very special in that he’s the son of a very special eventer. But an equine one! Emily Daily and Josh Walker of the USEA along with their Connemara mare, Cady, have just welcomed into their family a new baby boy named Amigo.
photo courtesy of Emily Daily and Josh Walker
Q. When was Amigo born?
A. Amigo graced us with his presence last Thursday at 2PM, the day after a full moon. Thank you, Mama Cady, for waiting until Josh returned home from Rolex!
Q. Did his birth go smoothly? Were there any concerns?
A. This is Cady’s third foal (her first two were fillies), and thankfully everything went very well. Josh and I were both on-hand to assist, and I did pull on my gloves to help a bit, though she hardly needed it. Although, when I first felt his feet (which were the only parts of him that had emerged!), I thought they seemed abnormally large, and I panicked and thought, good lord, who is this draft foal?
Funnily enough, I was actually on a business call (camped outside her stall!) when I realized what was happening (you can imagine how that call ended: “Um, sorry to cut this short, but I need to go. NOW!”). It’s amazing how quickly everything happens. It’s over almost as soon as it begins… probably no more than 5-10 minutes from the time she laid down until Amigo popped his little head out. There’s so much emotion that goes into breeding—the careful selection of the stud, the breeding process, the care of your special mare (I’ve had Cady for 14 years), and the anxious hand-wringing anticipation and sleepless nights (or weeks, in my case) as the due date draws nearer. Cady actually foaled on day 361 of her pregnancy (normal gestation is 340-343), so the longer she held out, the more nervous I became. When I knelt in the straw of the foaling stall, holding this living, breathing healthy little dream foal in my arms for the first time…well, the flood of relief was overwhelming, needless to say.
Q. What breed is Amigo?
A. Amigo is a purebred Connemara. His mother is Ridgetop Cady O’Daly (“Cady”), a talented little mare who’ve I had the pleasure of owning since she was a weanling. Her father Aladdin’s Denver competed successfully through Preliminary, and Cady and I have enjoyed great success at the Training level. The highlight of our career was competing in a Training Three-Day Event a few years ago. Cady’s a member of the family—I’ll have her for the rest of her life.
Q. Who is his dad?
A. Amigo’s sire is my family’s Connemara stallion Tre Awain Goldsmith (“Tag”). Tag competed through Training level with my mother, and was also very successful in the dressage and jumper rings, but was retired from competition a few years ago. My mother and I have very much enjoyed bringing along Tag’s offspring—nearly all of them have been blessed, luckily, with his fabulous temperament, lovely movement, and incredible athletic ability.
Q. Has his personality started to emerge already?
A. Well, we actually named him Amigo because of his friendly attitude, and also as a shout-out to Josh’s San Diego roots. Originally, I’d vowed to name him after this year’s Rolex winner, but I wasn’t fond of the name William or Willie, so I suppose his secret name is “Amigo Fox-Pitt.” Although, I’ve yet to pick a registered name…I’m toying with the idea of Cady’s Worth The Wait (Cady O’Daly Farm is our farm name, so all our homebreds have ‘Cady’ in their registered name).
photo courtesy of Emily Daily and Josh Walker
He’s a little fireball. We took him and Cady out to explore our fenced backyard when he was a day old, and he galloped around the yard like he owned the place. No shrub was left un-sniffed! Since day one, Amigo has been intensely interested in whatever activity is going on, and will totter up to anyone for a little nibble or poke. The only bad thing about having just one foal is that they assume people are their “playmates”…I think we might have to nip that theory in the bud as he grows stronger! He’s quite a smart little thing, though – he’s already learned his routine (in the stall during the day, and out to explore the paddock for a few hours).
Q. What kind of mother is Cady? Doting? Casual? Panicky?
A. Cady’s a great mother – she was more interested in wolfing down as much grass as possible rather than keeping a close watch on her child. Her first two fillies were so easy-going—I don’t think she has any idea what this wild little man has in store for her! It’s fun to see her sweet relationship with Amigo, too, especially since she’s not exactly a warm and fuzzy type of pony…she’s very business-like in her demeanor, unless of course, you have carrots and in that case, she’s a complete ham.
Q. What do you see ahead of Amigo?
A. Chances are he will follow in his siblings’ footsteps as a well-rounded competitor—his brothers and sisters have all gone on to have wonderful careers in many different disciplines, and it’s always exciting to track their successes. I will probably end up keeping him for several years, and then get him started under saddle. If all goes well, I could hang onto him longer, and he could be my next eventing partner…who knows what the future holds?
Q. What are Amigo’s favorite activities?
A. Sleeping, nursing, bothering Mama, chasing the dogs, pretending to eat hay, gumming on fingers, posing for photos, and leaping around the paddock. He looks like a little black spider monkey scampering around our yard – I’ve never seen longer legs on a pony foal… fingers crossed he keeps growing. Tall purebred Connemara geldings happen to be my favorite.
photo courtesy of Emily Daily and Josh Walker
Thank you to all the moms I talked with for the Mother’s Day special including Jenn Holling, Wendy Lewis, Jen Carter, and Emily Daily. And to their bundles of love Caiden Holling, Kira Lewis, Riley Carter, and Amigo Daily-Walker. Happy Mother’s Day to them and to all of you!