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Palos Hills Stables Hosts Training Demonstration

Martha Thompson-Hoyt, manager and trainer of Palos Hills Stables, hosted a special demonstration performance for her clients on Thursday evening, April 10th at the barn located in the southwest Chicago suburb of Palos Hills. Due to inclement weather, the event took place in the indoor riding arena which allowed the guests to easily enjoy a tasty potluck buffet that was set up in the adjacent lounge. Intended as a casual and fun gathering, it was also an interesting and informative evening as Martha showcased ten equine members of her show team and pleasure barn. For this special event, instead of their normal class, the owners and riders relaxed and visited over supper as Martha and her hardworking team of Patty DelFavero, Anne Conway and Emily Doll put the final ‘show ring’ touches on the performers.

Then, as the demonstration began, everyone was invited to join Martha in the indoor arena to observe as each horse was brought in individually to be worked. Martha discussed her training strategy and provided a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the development of a successful show horse. Many questions were answered as she explained how various training techniques are applied and different equipment is employed based on the horse’s physical and mental characteristics, their level of training, and the type of riding, driving or showing to which the owner aspires.

The cast for the evening was an exciting combination of experience and eagerness. The elegant WGC Aurora Borealis, a bay daughter of Callaway’s Blue Norther, started off the evening with Martha on the lines, showing that gorgeous ballet-like style that brought home the tricolor from Louisville. Owned and shown by Aimee Langer, Aurora makes a statement wherever she goes and now makes her home in the Park classes. She was followed by hackney pleasure pony WCC Wonmore Diamond Legacy, fresh from his first championship of the 2008 season at the Mid America Spring Show with owner and driver Marilou Wilschke. After putting ‘Willie’ through his paces in the cart, Martha turned the spotlight on Diamonds in the Night for owner Mary Glusak who was presented by Patty DelFavero. This black son of Harlem Globetrotter was bred by Mary to be her personal pleasure horse, but ‘Ernie’ has all of the qualities of a gaited star, if she ever changes her mind!

Another pleasure horse with show tendencies, the perky chestnut Tijuana Dance was next though the in-gate next for owner Wendy Wesley. ‘Tyler’ is quite the character around the barn, but under Martha’s watchful eye, he demonstrated his show personality and skills without missing a beat.

Next up was the introduction of Gunna Be A Star. Martha has been preparing ‘Dora’, a striking homebred daughter of Reedann’s Top Gun and granddaughter of five-time WGC CH Sultan’s Starina, for her debut in the pleasure classes later this month with Emily Doll in the saddle. Another new entrant into the show scene, Saturday Night Shoot Out, followed Dora into the ring. A drop dead gorgeous bay son of CF First Night Out, ‘Shooter’ is owned by Kathleen Kraska, and both will be making their first start together in the pleasure ranks this month.

Martha next turned our attention back to the ponies when she hopped into the cart with Daddy’s Little Girl. This speedy little firecracker, owned and shown by Ryan Vogt, has made a name for herself in the roadster pony classes and is ready to start her engine for 2008 in two weeks at the UPHA Chapter 10 Show in Roscoe, IL.

Then came the handsome chestnut Henry In Love. Owned and shown by Nancy Plucinski, this sharp-eared country pleasure entrant looks ready to take the show ring by storm. We are going to have fun watching him this year! Another exciting exhibitor to keep an eye on was the next member of the team, the black velvet Miss Houdini for owner/rider Paulette Fisher. ‘Dini’ made one beautiful pass after another and with the arena guests now completely warmed up, the whooping and applause almost replicated an actual show.

Representing the gaited community, the cute chestnut Moonlight Masterpiece showed all five of hers for owner Janice Prunsky. As the only entry for the evening, ‘Moonie’ prompted much discussion related to the gaiting of horses and was the center of attention following her performance.

The final presentation was the exciting Cosmopolitan Magic. This chestnut show pleasure dynamo, owned by the Stulginskis family and shown by daughter Tori, brought home a nice reserve from the recent MidAmerica Spring Show. This talented team will be in the show ring again at the end of the month along with twin sister, Paige and her country pleasure star, Robert Shriver.

The evening concluded with everyone agreeing that this should become a monthly event on the Palos Hills Stables activity calendar. Plans are underway for the next performance which will be held on Thursday, May 1 with an emphasis on driving techniques. For more information about activities at Palos Hills Stables, please visit our website Or, stop by and visit us at the UPHA Chapter 10 Horse Show in Roscoe, IL on April 26-27, 2008.

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