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Furnace Brook Riders Enjoy First MGN




 by Sara Pizzuto

          Furnace Brook Farm’s Audrey Robinson and Jackie Helle are newcomers to Oklahoma’s dressage ring. It is these riders’ first time at the Morgan Grand National, but potentially their trainer’s last.       

           Jackie Helle made the long trip from Massachusetts to Oklahoma to compete with her family’s 22-year-old Bay State Quizzical. She is showing in the AMHA Dressage Seat Gold Medal Finals, and the training level dressage division. It was Jackie’s dream to compete in Oklahoma after her sister first won a dressage world championship with “Quiz” in 2011.

            “It’s awesome because he’s really a part of our family, so it’s nice that my sister did well with him, and I can do well too. It’s so surreal to actually be here,” she said.

            Audrey Robinson has also had a great start to the week in the training level and first level divisions, in addition to the AMHA Dressage Gold Medal Finals with her partner Graycliff Caravaggio.

            “It’s super exciting to be here,” she said. “It’s the end of everything we have been working towards.”

            Trainer Erin Van Steenburgh says that both Jackie and Audrey have grown up riding at her farm. Erin has trained numerous world champion dressage riders, but the possibility exists of transitioning her farm into a therapeutic riding facility. Regardless, Erin’s message to her two students is simple.

            “I stress how lucky they are to have the opportunity to compete here. I think it’s important to appreciate the opportunity, enjoy the opportunity, love their horses, and try to do their best.”

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