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Urfreund Rosengaard (“Uffe”) is 17’1 hand bay Oldenburg gelding owned by the award-winning Thommysminde Vaulting Club in Hvejsel, Denmark, where Megan is an honorary member after nearly a decade of training there with club coach and lunger Lasse Kristensen. Uffe carried Megan during the 2010 season to a 2nd place finish at CVI** Ermelo, a 1st place finish at CVI** Krumke, and a 3rd place finish at CVIO** Aachen. Throughout 2010, Uffe consistently received some of the highest individual horse scores in Europe’s most important CVIs, competing against the world’s best vaulting horses. His score at the CVI** Stadl Paura, a 7.63, is believed to be the highest average score (for all rounds) given at a European CVI to date.

When Uffe isn’t busy racking up the high scores, he enjoys frolicking in the pasture with his buddy (and Megan’s other horse) Leonardo and long walks along the neighboring farm roads. Although Uffe is not a huge fan of cuddling, Megan usually sneaks in a kiss on the nose after feeding him copious treats.

Leonardo (“Leo”) is a bay Danish Warmblood gelding currently residing at Lasse Kristensen’s barn in Hvejsel, Denmark. Megan’s family bought Leo together with Lasse upon Lasse’s return to Denmark (after a year of coaching at Mt. Eden Vaulting Club) in 2001. Since vaulting is currently so Euro-Centric, most of the important international competitions (CVI**) are held in Europe. Americans typically borrow European horses for international competitions, but Megan and Leo have always had an edge; they’ve been working together for years!

In 2006, Leonardo carried Megan to a World Equestrian Games gold medal, receiving the highest horse scores of the competition. In 2008, Team USA (Dark Side of the Moon) vaulted with Leo to a team Bronze after only two weeks of practice. Again, Leo earned some of the highest scores among the team horses at the competition.

This year, Megan and Leonardo are working together to create the performance of a lifetime at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. It’ll be a long journey over the Atlantic for Leo, but a shot at standing on the podium (for Megan) or another kiss on the nose from the Princess (for Leo) would make it all worth it.

Paradox (“Perry”) is a handsome grey Dutch Warmblood gelding and was Megan’s training partner while she completed her senior year at Cornell University.

Before Perry, Megan had been horse-less since she moved to New York and had to drive several hours to practice on a trained vaulting horse. After a short search for an equine training partner during the summer of 2009, the Hamar family graciously offered to sell Perry, a seasoned vaulting competitor, to Megan so she could adequately prepare for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Although Megan only bought Perry recently, she has known him for quite some time. In fact, Perry carried Megan’s compulsories at the 2006 AVA/USEF Gold Women’s National Vaulting Championship and helped her win the title there.

Perry’s gentle and loving demeanor has quickly turned him into a barn favorite, both in New York and in California, Perry’s post-graduation home. When they’re not vaulting together, Megan rides Perry on the trails, feeds him lots of treats, and spoils him thoroughly.

Faronia (“Ronin”) is a bay Dutch Warmblood gelding who came to Megan from the famous DG Bar Ranch in Visalia, California. Ronin was originally a jumping and dressage horse and only learned vaulting later in his career. Because of his dressage background, Ronin learned vaulting quickly and easily, accepting high-level freestyles in his first few months of training. He quickly became Megan’s favorite vaulting horse, and her family bought him in 2000. At the time, Megan was 12 years old (and about as tall as Ronin’s legs), and her mother was horrified when she saw the local Pony Club riders and discovered that most equestrian parents bought ponies for their twelve-year-olds rather than 17’3 hand giants.

 

Ronin carried Megan to several national championships, including the AVA/USEF Gold Women’s National Vaulting Championship in both 2004 and 2005, and a clean sweep in the USEF WEG selection trials in 2006. Today Ronin is retired, along with lookalike Mt. Eden Vaulting Club teammate Jacky, in the green pastures outside of Coach Emma Garrod Seely’s house, adjacent to Garrod Farms.