Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Republic of Endurance - Horsebytes Blog

Horsebytes Blog - Monica Bretherton - Full Story

There's an endurance powerhouse missing from the list of nations competing at the World Equestrian Games.

That is the Republic of Texas.

This realization came while talking to Darolyn Butler last week. We met briefly at the WEG trials in Brothers, Oregon, when she was hoping to possibly be riding herself in Kentucky. That was not to be, but she still had a major role to play - as standard bearer for the State of Texas and international endurance racing in general.

When I asked how many of her horses were nominated, she listed five, plus one she sold. In addition, Kattie Shah's horse Ace's Comett, one of Cecilia Strahle-Engquist's possible mounts, is a resident of her farm, Cypress Trails.

You might quibble that only one of her horses has a rider who is Texas-born and bred - her daughter, Ceci Butler-Stasiuk. The three members of the Namibian Endurance team, Anna Wucher, Kordula Voghts and Olivia Mattaei, and a Colombian, Maurizio Gaona, are riding four more, and the mare she sold, DJB Juniper, is shortlisted for the USET team with American rider Deborah Reich of Croton-on-Hudson,New York.

Still, Darolyn pointed out that only a few countries are likely to field more horses than Texas. I wanted to know exactly how she had become its standard-bearer at the World Equestrian Games, and that meant delving into the past...

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