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Ostentatiously - People’s Choice Amateur and Ladies Three-Gaited 15.2 and Under Horse of the Year


by Ann Bullard


He’s not very big – at least in terms of physical size. But Ostentatiously packages a world of talent, heart, drive and charisma in his under 15.2 hand body.


He has competed at only five shows in 2006: Asheville Lions Club, Midwest Charity, Mercer County and the Kentucky State Fair. The results: seven classes, seven blues and seven tricolors, including the Ladies and Amateur Three-Gaited 15.2 and Under World’s Championship titles.


The late Sondra Moll elected to breed the Courageous Admiral son, A Grand Affair, to Asti Spumonte E.V.S, a Champagne Fizz daughter. Mike Roberts selected him on one of his trips to Moll’s farm.


“I saw him in a field of about 20,” the Bloomfield, Mo., based trainer said. “He had so much personality. He was standing away from the rest with his head way up over the middle of his back and his ears up.


“He had the attitude and show horse ways from the time they first put a halter on him,” Roberts continued. “He came down that hallway like it was a scary, scary place.”


Roberts called Mark Hulse to tell him he had a nice colt out of a Fizz dam. The youngster was broke to ride and long-lining, the day Mark and Kelly Hulse came to look at horses. The Hulses liked what they saw and returned with their long-time clients, Al, Fran and Maggie Montgomery. The decision was easy: the Hulses and Montgomery families became partners in the youngster.


At Midwest that June, James Orr watched Hulse work his three-year-old. “Jim fell in love with him and bought him there,” Mark Hulse said.


Hulse showed the youngster for two seasons. The team won at the UPHA Three-Gaited class at Boone County Fair and St. Louis, ending the reason with a reserve in the UPHA Classic Finals at the 2003 American Royal.


“As a young horse, he was very game and very eared up,” Mark Hulse said. “He always was very talented but as a youngster may not have had the musculature to do all he wanted to. He got better every day and hit some very impressive licks as a young colt. As a four-year-old, he made a sensational show at Kansas City but missed a canter lead.”


When Ostentatiously was five, Orr decided to send him to Kalarama Farm where Neil Visser took over most of the training duties for Orr’s daughter, Deborah, to show.


The petite, blond Visser and the chromed-up ‘Osten,’ as he is known to his fans, took only a few shows to hit their stride. In June 2005, she stepped up on Osten at Midwest Charity, tying reserve in the amateur 15.2 and under stake. They earned a red ribbon at Lexington and then headed to Freedom Hall for the Three-Gaited Ladies Amateur 15.2 and Under Stake. They were the last to leave they ring in that class, as Neil sprinted out of the ring with the trophy. In November, they brought home a reserve in the amateur 15.2 and under class, adding the ladies’ blue to the Kalarama tack room.


It was the last time Visser and Osten would bring home anything but blues. They began the 2006 season at the Asheville Lions Club show, winning the ladies class and the amateur championship. They stayed in the amateur division at Midwest and brought home two more trophies for the family showcase.


On August 21, the sporty chestnut and his rider trotted under the lights of Freedom Hall for the ladies 15.2 and under class in a highly-competitive class that included a number of world’s champions. The results: the team’s first blue of the show. Two nights later, they were back in the winner’s circle with Neil Visser heading the pair for their victory photo as the Three-Gaited Amateur 15.2 and Under World’s Champions.


“His name suits him,” Deborah Visser said. “He’s a little dynamo and loved his job.


Osten “is one of my two all-time favorite mounts. Neil has been fortunate enough to work a lot of great ones and Osten ranks as one of his all-times favorites as well.”


A new horse for Christmas is the dream of many a little girl. At the DeLovely Christmas party, the DeLovely team put a big red bow around Osten’s neck. Todd Miles rode him before an enthusiastic crowd as Lillian Shively introduced the gelding as Brittany McGinnis’s new junior exhibitor three-gaited mount. 


What kind of ‘person’ is Ostentatiously? “He’s the same at home as at a show,” Visser said. “He loves life and is always happy, in a good mood and willing. He treated his daily routing as if it were fun for him. If he were a person, he would always be laughing. He’s really a great horse to be around, especially if you come in with pockets full of peppermints. He’d crawl in your lap if he could.”


Ostentatiously. There are many descriptors which could follow that word. Ostentatiously talented … exciting … beautiful. Add others if you choose. They could only add to the reputation of the little dynamo that already has conquered a world of hearts.

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