Inside the Barn With: Clear Sailing

Hannah Hoch’s 11-year-old dark bay Warmblood mare, Clear Sailing, is unquestionably something special – which is made apparent by both her nickname (which is in fact “Special”) and her success in the show ring with Hannah, including two second place finishes in the competitive Large Junior 15 and Under Hunters this past month at the National Horse Show.

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Emily Riden
Inside the Barn With: E.V. Comander

With Hannah Hoch in the irons, E.V. Comander is an equitation star! Hannah and her family purchased the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding in the winter of 2018, and since then Hannah and “Salty” have had great success in the equitation ring – which most recently included winning the 13- and 14-Year-Old Equitation Championship at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.

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Emily Riden
Inside the Barn With: Cassius

Owned by Michelle Durpetti, ‘Cas’ (or Ham or Stinker, depending on the day) is a nine-year-old Warmblood gelding that joined the family in 2016. Since then, he’s matured into a phenomenal High Performance Hunter, a successful USHJA International Hunter Derby contender, and as of this year, a winning Amateur-Owner Hunter mount for Michelle!

Here’s more to know (and to love) about Cassius!

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Emily Riden
All We Could Do Was Our Best

Walking into the week of the Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in Lexington, Kentucky, I was immediately impressed with the energy. There was such excitement, a lot of nerves, and a lot of happiness. For Cassius, his owner, Michelle Durpetti, and myself, we made it to this point, and we were thinking that Derby Championship is the icing on the cake, and whatever happens, happens.

I felt really good about my preparation. The program I develop with each of the horses is something I take really seriously. The great thing about Cassius is that we’ve had three years to get to know each other and determine what works for us.

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Emily Riden
Tenacity, Faith And Good, Old-Fashioned Discipline

Two years ago, Caitlyn Shiels and I were in Traverse City, Michigan, chasing indoors points for the amateur-owner hunters. I so wanted to go, and at 6, Mo was trying his heart out to get me there.

We watched the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship (Kentucky) from our rented house and casually discussed getting there in 2017 with Cassius, who was then 7, and neither of us really knew what he could accomplish. With eight international derbies under his belt that year, he and Caitlyn qualified for and went to the championship. Last year was exciting, and scary as hell, because really—WHAT did we even think we were doing here?!

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Emily Riden
GREAT LAKES EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL WEEK FOUR RESULTS RECAP! - JULY 25-29, 2018

What an incredible month it's been! We're so proud of all that the True North team has accomplished these last four weeks at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival! To the horses, to the supportive families, to Alonso and Edgar for their hard work, to Caitlyn for her tireless dedication, to Fine Art Horses for the great photos, to each and every one of our riders who make it all so much fun - THANK YOU!

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Emily Riden
Five Things You Might Not Know About Caitlyn Shiels

You may know Caitlyn Shiels for her riding resume – the junior career section of which includes both team and individual gold medals at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) and top-10 finishes in each of the major American equitation finals. Then there’s the lengthy professional portion of that resume, which includes working alongside Jonathan and Christine McCrea, Ken and Emily Smith, McLain Ward, and others, working as the assistant trainer at Canterbury Farm in Illinois, and now as the trainer and rider for her own True North Stables. But did you know that she got her show ring start in local 4-H shows? Or that she has a Jack Russell named Luna?

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Collin Pierson
Join Team True North!

Accomplished professional rider and trainer Caitlyn Shiels launched True North Stables in January 2018, and now, following a successful winter circuit in Wellington and Ocala, FL, True North Stables will head north to a new location at Buena Vista Farm in Zion, IL, and will begin accepting new clients.

“I am looking forward to returning to Illinois and getting settled, and I am really excited to be accepting clients of all levels and with a wide range of goals within the hunters, jumpers and equitation,” said Shiels. “Having competed both as a junior and a professional in each, I can’t wait to begin helping people set and reach their riding and competitive goals” 

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Emily RidenComment