Third in a series
“She’s more beautiful … spectacularly beautiful,” gushed Maurine Swanson when asked how Shilhouette, her three-month Oldenburg filly, had changed over the last month.
The judges agree.
“The Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society sent an American and German judge to our farm. They looked at 29 foals including 24 of ours. They checked out her lineage, by taking a sample of hair from her tail and doing a DNA analysis, and they registered her. Then they looked at how she’s built, and watched her walking and trotting in the outdoor ring with Fhlora, her mother,” said Swanson. Swanson hoped that Shilhouette would qualify as a ‘Premium Foal,” meaning that she’s built and moves better than the average foal. She was not only named a ‘Premium Foal,” but also a ‘Foal of Distinction,” indicating that the inspectors believe she’s outstanding. After evaluating all 29 foals, they pronounced Shilhouette ‘Champion Filly” of the day.
At the Dressage and Sport Horse Breed Show the next day, Shilhouette continued to impress. After getting a new hairdo, braids with white rubber bands to accent her dark mane, she promptly walked onto the trailer with Fhlora as if she were a seasoned traveler. When she walked off the trailer, her ears perked forward with curiosity as she discovered that the world extends beyond the farm’s familiar fence lines. From then on Shilhouette was on and off the trailer, and in and out of the show ring all day long. Even though Shilhouette and Fhlora were competing in different classes, they went everywhere together. Their success in each class kept them moving and climbing to the next level.
Shilhouette competed and won in the Fillies of 2011 class, which qualified her to compete in the Great American USDF Breeders Championship at Dressage at Devon. She also competed with her half brother, Shwatch, in the Get of Sire class, where two foals from the same sire show off their lineage, and both foals won. Fhlora won the Brood Mares 4 and Older, Mare championship, the Mature Horse Championship and the Grand Championship.
While Shilhouette behaved like an angel for the first six classes, the Grand Championship pushed her past her breaking point. Unable to hold herself together anymore, she decided it was time to buck and play. Luckily the focus was on Fhlora and the judge paid no attention to the antics in the background. Shortly after Shilhouette’s energetic outburst, she loaded willingly onto the trailer and promptly fell asleep standing up.
Shilhouette repeated her successes at the Maplewood Warmbloods Dressage Sport Horse Breed Show on August 5, winning the Fillies 2011 class, the Filly Championship and, along with her brother, the Get of Sire class. After a long, hot, successful day, Shilhouette and Fhlora were ready to come back home.
Shilhouette is now spending most of her time in the field chasing and jumping on her foal friends. Halter games are also part of her repertoire. Of course, she catches up with Mom for a drink of milk and spends evenings with Fhlora in her stall.
Late in September, Shilhouette faces competition from across North America when she is presented at Dressage at Devon. Reserved seating to see Shilhouette at the Breed and Performance Show at Dressage at Devon is available at http://dressageatdevon.org/shop/ and general admission tickets will be available at the show grounds only from September 25 to October 2.
Photos courtesy of < ahref=”www.SusanJStickle.com” target=”_blank”>Susan J Stickle.