Originally found on a local allotment in Nottinghamshire, Thistledown Eric came from humble beginnings, but would go on to become one of the most successful driving ponies in the UK. Originally purchased to break to harness and sell on, Thistledown Eric shown by Nicola`s son in hand, but it was in harness that he really stood out from the crowed and was recognised wherever he went, including being spotted by her majesty the Queen who met Eric on three occasions. After a glittering career Eric was retired from the ring at the age of 13 but had a long and happy retirement and was recently put down at the age of 25 from complications from Cushing`s disease. Our thought go out to the Slater family as we remember this special pony!.
Queen Elizabeth Still Living Her Best Life Riding Her Horse
P.R.`s A Promise KeptThis story started unfolding on a frosty 1995. April 26th morning while preparing to do our morning feeding at 7:00 a.m. Our beautiful mare "Northline Sunbeam" went into labor. Eleven months to the day after her long trip to the United States to be bred to the World Champion Stallion "T.V.M. I Promise". She produced, with our assistance, a truly magnificent colt. As we toweled him dry, it was obvious from the moment he hit the ground that he was a very unique and special little boy!
As we imprinted him, he jumped to his feet, lifted his head high and announced to the world that he had arrived! Within hours he was strutting around his stall with his show off, "Look At Me Attitude". It was obvious that he had a very "Promising" future just like his Canadian Champion dam and his famous World Champion sire "T.V. M. I Promise". His paternal brother, "Born to Boogie" had already shaken the show world with 2 World Championships in his first 3 years!
In 1996, "Promise" started his show career off right with his first show being the Ontario Morgan Horse Classic. He caught the judges eye coming in the gate. Jane Blue (who had judged the "Morgan World Championships the previous year) was the judge. He strutted right up to her, struck a magnificent pose, looked her strait in the eye and snorted, "I`m here and I`m beautiful". Needless to say we were very proud when he left the ring wearing the "Champion Jr. Stallion red ribbon"! (he was only a yearling) A feat he went on to win 4 years in a row!
Promise" performed at 17 shows in that year in the halter division winning many championships and finished his first show year up at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto representing the Morgan breed in the "Cavalcade or Horses".
Spectators at the Royal were amazed at how this young, little yearling Morgan colt demonstrated how he had already perfected long-lining and could do anything asked of him. What they didn`t know was that he had already been hooked and was pulling a buggy at home! (The walking ring at the Royal was just too small to negotiate a buggy in.) He seemed to love the crowds and the applause. Showing off at the Royal was just the icing on the cake to end his first year showing! He was also awarded Ontario High Point Jr. Stallion (an award usually given to the 3 & 4 yr. olds).
In 1997 at 2 years of age, "Promise" added Pleasure Driving to his list of credentials. He performed and "won" in driving & halter at many shows in Ontario, Quebec and even won the Gentleman Driver class at the Michigan All Morgan Show.
He also found time to participate in driving clinics, drove in parades (positioned between the hotrods and the fire trucks, with sirens blaring), He went on organized all breed ride/drives and ended his year by taking 23 of our family on our annual Christmas sleigh rides because his dam "Northline Sunbeam" was too far along in her pregnancy to perform this annual ritual at the ranch.
All of this work/fun paid off for "Promise" when the C.M.H.A. Presented this little 2 year old colt with the Versatile Morgan Silver Medallion (earned his Bronze & Silver in 1 yr.). He was the youngest colt to ever receive this award! We were very proud to receive it on his behalf after it was presented at the Canadian Morgan convention in British Columbia. He also was awarded Ontario Champion Jr. Stallion In Hand and Ontario Jr. Pleasure Driving horse.
In 1998 "Promise continued on his rise to fame showing in halter, pleasure driving and added Saddleseat English Pleasure to his list of talents. At the "Ontario Morgan Horse Classic" he had a clean sweep, he won the Jr. Stallion in hand, the 4 yr. Old & under Pleasure driving and the Jr. Horse under saddle. He repeated this feat at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto where he also did an interview on Global news. They had seen his class and realized that this young Morgan was on a mission!
At the Royal Winter Fair, he again represented the Morgan Breed by trotting up a storm with a 13 year old girl riding him Saddleseat. Again, it was obvious that he just loved the attention and applause. The louder the crowed cheered, the more he blew himself up and the higher he trotted. "Chris Irwin the Horse Whisperer" did several demonstrations with "Promise" at the Royal saying he was an excellent specimen and was surprised at how gentle he was for a young stallion.
"Promise again did many trail ride/drives, parades (now under saddle) clinics and after the show season, he even went on the deer hunt with the boys. This year for the annual Christmas sleigh ride he was even hooked as a team with a mare.
"Promise" was also introduced to the breeding shed this year where he was a perfect gentleman and did his job mannerly. He was though, very confused as to why some times the mares hated him and the very next day they loved him! Such is life though isn`t it?
He had made us proud again when he topped off his 3 yr old year by being the youngest stallion to earn the C.M.H.A. Versatile Morgan "Gold" Medallion. (going from silver to gold in just 1 year again). He was also awarded Ontario Champion Jr. Stallion, 4 & under Pleasure Driving Champion, Open English Pleasure Champion and the Open Pleasure Driving Champion!
In 1999 "Promise" greeted his first 2 young sons "P.R.`s Prime-Airy Promise" and "P.R.`s Moonshine Promises"(now residing in Pensulvania) into the world.(see pictures in Photo Gallery), These 2 youngsters won 1st and 2nd place in the weanling class at the 1999 Ontario Morgan Horse Classic while "Promise went on to win the Jr. Stallion Championship! Another clean sweep. "Promise" was bred again to one of our mares that spring and also to outside mares both within the breed and out.
"Promise" showed again this year in many shows in halter, pleasure driving and English pleasure (even while breeding). We decided to add the "Open Parade Horse division" to his classes since he seemed to want a new challenge. What a challenge it has been breaking into this division which has traditionally always been a Palomino/Saddlebred category.
The challenge began with getting the equipment which is normally designed for larger, longer backed Saddlebreds. We started with a fairly simple version of saddle, bridle, tapiderios and had to make our own original version of serape, mane/tail decorations and outfits to wear. We competed at a number of shows. Some welcomed us into "their" Parade Class stating it would be even better with more competitors in it. Other shows finally agreed after much arguing and letter writing. Since it is called an "Open Parade Class" why couldn`t our fabulous Morgans participate. "Promise" could definitely trot high enough and being a Morgan had the sense to make it around the ring clean. He would just go out there and do his job while most of the Saddlebreds wouldn`t stand still or would spin and carry on with all the heavy, noisey equipment on. We won our fair share of our classes just by having a clean trip and a sensable horse, but we still lacked the full proper attire and equipment to really fit in.
A few fairs still totally refuse to let Morgans participate. The "C.N.E." and the "Saddlebred Classic" were 2 huge shows to permit us in and that opened the door to allow our little Morgan in and he sure showed them that he was a force to be reckoned with.
Of course with no Ontario Morgan Parade divission, we didn`t pick up any awards there but we sure shook up the Saddlebred Parade divission! "Promise" made us proud again though at the 1999 Canadian & Ontario Morgan awards. In the Ontario awards, he was Jr. and Senior Champion stallion In Hand, Pleasure Driving 4 & under Champion, Open In hand Champion, Open English Pleasure Champion, Open Driving Champion and the Futurity 4 yr. Old Under Saddle Champion! In the Canadian awards, he went all the way to Canadian National Res. Champion English Pleasure Morgan (at 4 yrs. of age)! Also receiving the Canadian Zone Res. Champion awards for In Hand Stallions, English Pleasure, Western General Purpose & versatility! It was a very good year and a tribute to his athlitic abilities.
In 2000 Tanya began to ride in the Parade division with a new outfit that she made for herself and some modifications to "Promise`s" equiptment. In the show ring we fit right in with our fellow Saddlebred competitors winning our fair share of classes. All of our fellow competitors were helping us fight our way into the parade classes. We definitely feel like true pioneers on new territory in the Canadian Parade division. A class that is not traditionally done by Morgans
By year end, he had done it again, winning the Canadian Zone Championships in Western General Purpose, and Park Harness plus Res. Champion in Hand Stallions and Versatility. He was also awarded "Ontario High Point Champion" in Open English Pleasure and the Open Driving Championship!
In 2001, he was still going strong winning the Ontario Open Driving High point Championship and the Canadian Zone Champion In Hand Stallion. He also received Res. Champion in Western General Purpose & Versatility.
Over the winter of 2001/2002, we put together a whole new parade ensemble (white & silver) which contrasts beautifully on "Promise`s" dark liver chestnut body.
We welded up a humane tail brace and made an awesome false tail from 2 real tails from the dead stock dealer. We died them and sewed them together to make a stunning full flowing false tail that is normally worn in the parade division. "Promise" really blew some minds when he came out this year with his new parade gear, false tail and decorations. He really seems to know that he looks fabulous right down to his white with purple sparkled hoofs. He carries his false tail with no problems and won most of his Parade classes this year. On top of still winning in Halter, English Pleasure, Hunt Seat, Park Harness & Pleasure driving. A lot of the times in the same shows! (at one show, he had a clean sweep and took the Championships in all 4 divisions. English Pleasure, Western Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure and Pleasure Driving)!
The ultimate compliment for us came when Cliff Whismer, the reining Saddlebred Parade horse World champion, who we have competed with manytimes, said to us,
"to see your little Morgan in the ring, you could not distinguish him from the Saddlebreds".
The crowning jewel however was his being awarded by the C.M.H.A.:
"Canadian Nataional Grand Champion Morgan Stallion"!
Plus! Canadian Zone Champion in Versaility and Zone Champion Stallion, Res. Champion in Pleasure Driving and Western General Purpose. He also won the Ontario high point championships in Open Driving, Senior Stallion and Promotional.
In 2003, "Promise" added Carriage driving & Western Pleasure to his long list of skills.
He cleaned up at the O.M.H.C. Classic (his first carraige show) taking Res.Champion High Point Carraige horse (out of 10 seasoned entries).
He ended the year Ontario High Point Champion Carriage Horse, Ont. Champion Morgan Stallion in hand, Open Pleasure Driving Champion, Morgan Promotional Champion & Res. Champion Western Pleasure horse.
Not to mention that he also was awarded Res. Canadian Grand National Morgan Stallion and received his "Justin Morgan Award" in Pleasure Driving! Quite a feat for an 8 year old home grown/hometrained boy!
2004 will be a whole new year. "Promise" obviously loves all the fussing to get ready for a parade or carriage class and will be a force to be reckoned with. He will still do all of his regular duties and anything we ask of him. He is truly one of a kind. He just wants to please us and always gives us 110%.
We strongly believe that the Morgan horse is the best overall and the most versatilehorse in the world. We meet all types of horses and people at the 20 plus shows that we compete at each year. We find that showing in open shows is the best way to promote the Morgan horse, where all the breeds are in the ring at the same time, the public sees different breeds competing with our Morgans, all being judged together and they can see the obvious comparisons. We always come out very well if not on top!
People come up to us at shows and say such comments as "so this is a Morgan, I didn`t realize that they could do so much" or "I didn`t think a breeding stallion could be so gentle and trained so well". It is not uncommon for us to give lineups of young children "pony rides" on "Promise" at fairs. Their parents could not believe that their youngster was actually riding a "Morgan stallion". We are always demonstrating to the public at shows, fairs, ride/drives, parades, etc. that Morgans are definitely the most versatile overall horse that can be trained or bred to do just about anything you want them to do and that their beauty is just a sideline.
"Promise" has from the moment he was born, made us proud of him. He is always willing to do whatever is asked of him. He is so special, not just to us but to all the lives he has touched in the 10 years he has been with us. His youngsters have the same attitude, temperament and personality that he has and that pleases us to no end but how could that be helped, after all, he is a "Special Morgan"! Has this been bred into him, or put into him with our special love for him?? That is not for us to say but he sure loves all the attention!
What does the future hold for "Promise"?
Maybe we`ll take a shot at Big Bens title. Afterall with a versatile Morgan like this, nothing is impossible!
Promise will only be standing to a limited number of mares this year (by private treaty) and our breeding book closes early as we prefer not to breed him during show season. If you are looking to add that "Special" foal to your program (or purchace one of his youngsters), give us a call or e-mail us at:
Melissa TozziMelissa Tozzi is a driving rider from the USA, below you can watch Melissa Tozzi in action at Sargent Equestrian center carrying out training for single horse driving.
Coloured Sport Horse Foals - Sell your foal online at Stableexpress equine classifieds.
The Quarter Horse for Show
American Quarter Horse has earned a great deal of popularity for its even temperament. For novice riders the Quarter Horse would be a great riding partner for the show competition or pleasure riding.
The horses that are bred for competitions are usually stout in shape with wide jowls. Those that are used for the farming are smaller in size with very strong hind legs.
If you are looking for a horse that could help out on a farm, a ranch rounding up cattle, or for a horse that can compete in races and competitions, then you may want a Quarter Horse.
Wilbrord van den Broek-Frans Hellegers Dressage World Championships 2012 LeziriasFranciscus Hellegers is a driving rider from Holland, help us expand our rider database, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apex Training Services - Driver CPC Periodic Training
Drivers of large vehicles over 3500Kgs or buses or coaches who hold the Driver CPC qualification will be required to attend 35 hours of Driver CPC Periodic Training every 5 years.
The driver CPC periodic training course must be a minimum of 7 hours duration and delivered by an approved centre. The subject matter for the course must be mapped to the European Directive syllabus and the course must be approved by Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training.
Drivers are free to decide the course that they wish to attend based upon the relevance of the training to their job and cost. It is possible to deliver some qualifications, for example. ADR, First Aid or some Health and Safety courses that can also be approved as Driver CPC Periodic Training.
The benefits of combining courses, is that a driver CPC periodic training can in effect be delivered at the same time as another relevant qualification. Although these courses will attract some extra costs the driver will be reducing the time away from the job whilst attending training.
Benjamin AillaudBenjamin Aillaud is an equestrian horse driving from France, Benjamin Aillaud represented France at the 2018 world equestrian games. Horses competed by Benjamin Aillaud includes Bitang, Favory Fantom and Maestoso Jupiter.
Ger HennesseyGer Hennessey - Ireland - Horse Driving
Daniel SchneiderDaniel Schneider, successful in the equine sport of driving
Rosemary NealeRosemary Neale She drives a varnished Norfolk cart and her groom is Martin Wilkinson, below you can watch her in action driving her 13.2 Welsh pony winning the cones competition with a clear round, Rosemary also won the Concours d`Attelage overall and took home the trophy.
Benny GosschalkBenny Gosschalk competes in the equestrian sport of horse driving, Benny Gosschalk represents Holland internationally, below you can watch Benny Gosschalk competing in Menwedstrijd Assen Marathon.
Meghan BengeMeghan Benge is an equestrian from the USA, below you can watch Meghan Benge in the horse driving competition in the Obstacle stage at the Live Oak International CAI.
Betty 14.2hh mare 14yrs. A sweet mare with huge feathers and chunky bone a good weight carrier. lovely kind temperament and very chatty when ever she sees me.!
She is ideal for happy hacking and pleasure rides. Good solid feet a low maintenance cob will happily live in or out, sweet little head compact body put together very well. Sensitive and forward going to ride the sort of cob you dont need to kick along.
A great cob, a loyal friend. £1650..ono