Back in October of 2002 I traveled to Ireland specifically to try Joey, as he had just been offered for sale and this was not really public knowledge yet. My dear friend Clare Ryan, whom has helped me to find nearly all of my own horses as well as for clients over the last decade, had just heard this news and shortly after received a phone call from me saying that I was retiring my first upper level horse, Rusheen Warrior, from advanced and that I was very actively in the market to find that next horse.
Joey had just completed the prestigious Le Lion de Angers event in France, as a 7-year-old - (Young Horse, two-star division). He was just coming back into work when his owner at the time, Ginnie Webb, made the decision to sell Joey because she owned him and a 4-star horse. How lucky am I to have called at the right time as Joey had not even been seen by anyone yet! I am a firm believer in that 'everything happens for a reason', and I feel that I was truly meant to go and try Joey that week.
A few weeks later Joey was on a plane to the states! For the winter of 2003, I traveled to Ocala, FL where I started out at my first event with Joey at Intermediate. Realized I had very little control on xc, yet still decided (yes, this was the very naive, young Kristin), to move him up to advanced at our 2nd event together. A couple more advanced horse trials and we were qualified for a CCI***!! Off we went to Foxhall CCI***, still undecided on a xc bit mind you. After a horrid dressage test that left us in the absolute bottom of the pack, we jumped around xc in classic 'Joey style', to move up 65 places going into show jumping!! An amazing finish in 17th place and winning the Spring Markham trophy!
That fall, Joey and I were a bit more on our game, and finished up 2nd at the Fair Hill CCI*** and also won the Fall Markham trophy! This helped me to finish 2003 as the USEA YR of the Year! Not a bad first year together!
Though Joey and I may not have racked up a showcase of blue ribbons, I think the overall accomplishments say enough about this unbelievable horse:
-16 International event completions at the advanced level (FEI CIC's and CCI's)
-10 were CCI's
-6 CCI ***
-4 CCI ****
-4 top ten finishes in CCI's
-7 top twenty finishes in CCI's
Finished Rolex 3 times in 12th, 20th, and 31st
Finished Burghley in 30th
Joey has done more for my riding and career then I can ever put into words in a blog. Beyond that, he has been a best friend for more then a decade. Joey is currently sound and healthy and my goal was to have him finish his amazing career just that way.