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Danger In The Air Retires

The retirement ceremony


by Ann Bullard


May 10, 1990: the colt Janie Hamilton would name for the music group formed by Robin Lynn Macy (later of Dixie Chicks fame) made his appearance. The son of Cork County and Rullah’s Highland Dawn was Texas bred, Texas raised, Texas owned throughout his career – and a true Texas champion.


Jaws, as he soon became known to his human family and legion of friends, made his show ring debut in the neighboring state of Arkansas. Not quite four months old, the bay youngster won the first of his many blue ribbons, the Weanling Colts and Weanling Championship at the Arkansas State Fair.


For the next 16-plus years, Jaws lit up southwest circuit show rings, occasionally venturing from his neighborhood into the deeper waters of Kentucky. His beauty, size and presence won him friends as well as trophies and ribbons. He began his performance career in fine harness with Hamilton on the lines. As a four-year-old, he was undefeated in Junior Fine Harness competition.


Randy McBride of Neartown Animal Clinic convinced his friend to sell the five-year-old gelding, moving him to Sandra Currier at Bluebonnet Farm in Bellville, Texas. Other than going to horse shows, Jaws has never left Bluebonnet’s care.


Currier moved the team into pleasure driving competition. By their second season, they hit the winner’s circle and have never looked back. He later moved into country pleasure driving and, willing as he is, made a successful transition into Bluebonnet’s academy program. In December, Jaws made one last ‘career change,’ into equitation, a discipline in which he had never shown. As a mount for the International Equitation Three-Gaited competition, Jaws successfully completed pattern work – something for which he had never been trained.


Jaws and his owner have received numerous high point awards. They were Texas State Pleasure Driving Champions from 1995 through 2000 and in 2002 and Texas Show Pleasure Driving Highpoint Champion from 1996 to 2000 and again in 2002. In 1997 and 1998, he won the ASHA Show Pleasure Driving Horse of the Year for Region 6 and 7, and was fifth in the 1997 ASHA/Pfizer National Horse of the Year for the show pleasure driving division. In 1999 and 2000, the team earned the Show Pleasure Driving Reserve Championship for Regions 6 and 7.


As a country pleasure driving competition, Jaws earned the 2003 Texas Highpoint Reserve Championship. Finally, in 2004, he was named the Texas High Point Champion for Academy Riders 18 and Over.


On March 23, 2007, Jaws made his final show ring appearance. Friends and fans stood to honor the popular gelding and his equally popular owner and trainers. As the gelding rested in a special stall near the Bluebonnet tack room, his human family gathered for an elegant celebration coordinated by Michael Fox. Michael Fox and two friends who flew in to help with this presentation and the show’s Saturday night dinner arranged a Texas-sized sendoff, highlighted with yellow roses and a huge cake.


Randy McBride shows off the totally edible retirement cake.

It could only be called a work of art.


It was a fitting tribute to the champion who will spend his final years on the pastures at McBride’s farm in Woodville, Texas.


McBride and breeder Janie Hamilton with the guest of honor.



Lauren Greenwald: Not Your Typical Teen

by Ann Bullard


If you were looking for Lauren Greenwald during the recent Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, she was almost as likely to be found watching the jumping classes as hanging around the SGF Winning Ways tack room. Why? Because Greenwald’s riding talents extend beyond the Saddle Horse discipline. She is an accomplish hunt seat equestrienne as well.


Sherry Frankel’s younger daughter wanted to ride from the time she went round and round on ponies.


“Mom told me if I wanted to ride, I had to do Saddlebreds as she did,” Greenwald said. “I started at Bayou Park Stables, the same place she rode as a child.”


Greenwald learned her basics from the late Dorothy Dukes Ford. “I learned a lot from Dorothy and made a couple of little shows with her.”


Greenwald rode with Bayou Park until Frankel set up her own barn in the late 1990s. In her early years, Greenwald rode Saddle Seat equitation on a pleasure horse named Imperial Bay. That gelding now is a mainstay of SGF Winning Ways Farm’s academy program.


“We competed in open equitation classes against $150,000 horses and got our butts kicked,” Greenwald said with her unfailing good humor. “There’s no shame in that. After I got Bopp [Worthy’s Hale-Bopp,] I started doing more performance riding.”


Greenwald and Bopp hit the ring together in 2002, winning the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited title at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. They remained in top ribbons in three-gaited and show pleasure competition from the southwest to Louisville until the gelding was recently sold. His replacement: the bold moving, always sharp-eared bay, Out Go The Lights. They have just ventured into the competitive junior exhibitor show pleasure division. Greenwald recently has undertaken the challenge of pleasure equitation, competing very successfully at the 2007 SASHA and Pin Oak Charity Horse Shows.


A horse Frankel bought at a charity auction introduced Greenwald to the hunt seat world.


“That was almost four years ago. Mom was bidding on a little Thoroughbred at a Diabetes Association auction, trying to raise the price. It got dropped on her. We thought about putting her in training, but Mom thought it would be better if I could work with her. I began showing hunt seat seriously two years ago.”


Greenwald rides her three other horses, Cabana Boy (aka Joe), Passion and a gray jumper, Gin Fizz, from stalls on the other side of Winning Ways Farm. Her hunter trainer leases part of the farm.


Greenwald shows both her Three-Gaited Show Pleasure horse,

Out Go The Lights, and jumper, Gin Fizz.


“I think that it’s kind of hard; I have to battle old and new habits. You can’t carry much over; but have to have a switch in your brain to turn on and off. Sometimes I get confused. That’s primarily with hunters, riding Saddlebreds is mostly instinct,” she conceded.


Greenwald is anything but a typical teen. To those who don’t know her well, she can seem almost shy. Yet her unfailing good humor, sharp wit and depth of knowledge about subjects of all kinds make her one of the more interesting high school juniors you might meet. She maintains wonderful grades at Houston’s Memorial High School, where she plays intramural sports and works on community service projects.


Just ask her about baseball – and about the St. Louis Cardinals in particular. During the 2006 World Series, she stayed glued to the television set following her favorite team. No one was happier than Greenwald when the team won the 2006 World Series.


“I’m the Cardinals’ number one fan in Texas,” she said proudly. “My horse’s [Out Go The Lights] barn name is Albert, for Albert Pujols. I named my dog Jim, for Jim Edmonds.”


Greenwald certainly is up for a challenge when it comes to riding. Although she had ridden and shown five-gaited horses, including the Texas High Point Five-Gaited Pleasure Champion Anacacho Dance Again, five-gaited equitation was something new. Yet when she was tapped for captain of the Five-Gaited Equitation Team at TASHA’s Invitational Equitation Competition in December, she was ready for the challenge. Although the visiting South Africans won that section of the competition, Greenwald and the rest of the U.S. riders represented their trainers and country well.


“Lauren’s very competitive. She thinks ahead and makes smart rides. She and her sister [Lindsey] both are ace show riders,” trainer Steve Chadick said. “We don’t have to worry about her making dumb mistakes. She’s ridden everything we have at home other than the two-year-olds.”


“She’s really good with the younger kids,” May Chadick added, pointing out that Greenwald helps the young academy riders, often leading the walk and trot on line competitors. She is the president of the farm’s ASHA Youth Club and is always willing to lend a hand whenever needed.


“Lauren is a super human being whose smile lights up a room,” Frankel said of the daughter who is her “good companion. She’s very sensitive and has a lot of insight for someone her age. She tries to see the best side of everything.”


As for the future, Greenwald says she “hopes to be a trainer one day, although I don’t know how intelligent that is. I’m looking toward Texas A&M and their equine science program.”


That’s more than a year away. Meanwhile, Greenwald and Albert will head to Big D Charity in May, with Germantown Charity and other shows to follow. She’ll be on the lines with the roadster pony Heartland Talent Star and will show Shamrock’s Phi Guy in pleasure equitation. What others may be in her immediate equine future remains to be seen. One thing is certain, win, lose or draw, this teenager will give it her best, accept the results with good sportsmanship and always be a credit to her sport and her family.







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