Horse News

A nice, old-fashioned Holiday Party that was truly fun for all!

Posted on December 17, 2017

Horses got to sleep in this cold wintry day while the rest of us played in the Great Room at the farm! We were welcomed by wreaths in the bay window and beautifully decorated tables overflowing with food – ham, delicious home-made soups, Seth’s magic mac, to name a few – and all kinds of sweet things! The traditional mulled wine totally disappeared (have to make more next year) along with other libations! All the young-at-hearts decorated the horsehead sugar cookies (have to make more next year). Our first-ever White Elephant Gift Exchange with everybody in a huge circle was a resounding success. The three most swapped items were the leopard bench, the socks, and the Darth Vader toaster – such lucky people who got those prizes!

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Shelly Francis Clinic

Posted on November 18, 2017

Riders of all levels, half a dozen new to our clinic series, enjoyed two days with Shelly, showing their progress and learning training tips for the next level. We hoped Shelly would be able to come back in April… Sadly for us but happily for Shelly, she will be competing in Europe for the U.S. Team again. Good luck Shelly and see you back at Cricket Hill in October 2018!

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Annual Fall Show brings out the colors!

Posted on October 23, 2017

A beautiful day brought in guests from five farms and brought out all our Academy Schoolmasters! First came the dressage, a YDF qualifier with Judge Katie Rocco:

Then came the Jumping: Kira, a.k.a. Dwight Yoakum, designed four different courses that accommodated beginners up to the more experienced jumpers.

And of course, what would our Fall Show be without the Costume Class!

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Region 8 Championship classes were huge!

Posted on September 20, 2017

Excellent weather, plenty of pressure, and lots of high spots! Lula’s goal for this show season was to qualify for and compete in the Regional Championships at Training Level. So it was a thrill to have been there along the way to see Lula grow into and meet her own challenge! Of course, Maddie had been perfect all season. Lula also picked up a qualifying score for 2018 and plans to return in Training Level and hopefully First as well!

Rio really settled into Third Level this year, consistently in the 70’s. At Regionals, in a class of 46, Rio and Kira were fifth with 70.4%, just a point and a half behind Michael Poulin who won it, which you might be able to read on the score sheet! The photos below, like those of Lula and Maddie, were taken at a show earlier in the season… the Saugerties pictures weren’t quite as good.

Christoff came along to his first Championship show at First Level. After the first few hair-raising shows, Christoff and Kira were well into the seventies throughout the season. He’ll show at Third Level in 2018 while Rio goes on to Fourth.

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Welcome Lulu to Cricket Hill!

Posted on September 2, 2017

Lulu, a.k.a. Lighthouse, a.k.a. Lost Letters, happily joined our band of trusty school horses! A beautiful 11-year-old, 16.1 hand Thoroughbred, Lulu was a generous donation to Cricket Hill Academy by Drs. Woody and Saida Baxt, Beckenrah Farm. Lulu is a very calm, honest mare.

Lulu is a valuable addition to our riding program for adults, especially those who enjoy jumping. Very show-worthy, Lulu has taken adult amateurs to the ribbons at Hunter Jumper A-shows! Kira will brush up her basic dressage so she can be shown in both Dressage and Jumping, as well as go to some hunter paces. Like many Thoroughbreds, Lulu started her career as a race horse (Lost Letters is her Jockey Club registered name), actually won one of a handful of starts, and spent a few years as a brood mare. We can only imagine how cute her babies were!

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30th Annual BBQ! One performance only! Ride of the Valkyries!

Posted on August 26, 2017


Watch the eight riders in full battle dress help celebrate Cricket Hill’s 30th year!

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Lyla awarded GoldStar III at the Barbecue!

Posted on August 25, 2017

Congratulations Lyla on your GoldStar III award! She earned it early this year, but we wanted a nice occasion to present it! Lyla was also last year’s recipient of the Golden Fork Award. To sample Lyla’s creativity as Editor and Publisher of the Saddle Club Gazette, click here for the archives!

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Carnival Comes to the 30th annual BBQ!

Posted on August 24, 2017

This year, at the annual BBQ, we decided to add a little Carnival and Silent Auction to help raise funds for Academy programs. The games were mostly for the kids, although there were painted faces of all ages, and the Silent Auction was definitely for adults!

As always, the BBQ is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends!

This year, the coveted Golden Fork Award for outstanding volunteer work for the Academy was presented – with great ceremony – to Taryn Zarrillo, see below. Taryn was instrumental in gathering donations for our silent auction this year and writing the many thank you notes. She was also a driving force behind the Ride of the Valkyries, this year’s BBQ entertainment. See the video. Thanks Taryn, and keep the fork polished!

Filed Under Garden News, Horse News

2017 Youth Dressage Festival Number 19

Posted on August 10, 2017

It was the 19th year of the fabulous Youth Dressage Festival, and Cricket Hill’s 19th participation! Yes, we were there from the start! This year we had two new competitors on our team – Ava and Abbey – and two who’ve competed before – Erin and AnneMae, who just joined us this spring.

Everybody had worked hard during the Dressage Workshop the week before, and the horses were in top form. In fact Sarika, received her “Academy Schoolmaster” title at this show with Erin up! Everybody got a ribbon in their division… “very impressive!” Lendon Gray told us! The team is anxious to start meeting earlier this year, as the show comes in July in 2018!

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Dressage Day Schooling Show

Posted on June 4, 2017

Another great opportunity to get the kinks out and/or qualify for the Youth Dressage Festival!

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Spring ’17 Schooling Show Offers Dressage, Equitation, and Combined Tests

Posted on April 23, 2017

The day was bright and sunny, perfect weather for our first schooling show of the year! All Dressage Levels are offered, so all ages of riders and types of horses come to compete.

Combined Tests are becoming more popular at our shows, and Bella and Neo showed the way!

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Jumping added to the Egg Hunt & Races!

Posted on April 15, 2017

Once again the weather smiled on us for the Egg Hunt!

After collecting the goodies, contestants filled a plastic egg with sand and lined up for the races.

Then came jumping – it was Show Jumping, not Hunters -  speed and faults!

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Lulu awarded Goldstar V – 1st in program’s 11 year history

Posted on March 10, 2017

Congratulations to Lulu on achieving GoldStar V, working with her fabulous pony Madison and Kira! This module has also been newly revised and covers much more than the previous edition. We wish you well on GoldStar VI and this year at the Youth Dressage Festival!

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Deb and Courante return to Cricket Hill

Posted on March 1, 2017

We were happy to learn Deb and Courante were coming back, but unfortunately, Courante sustained a serious tendon injury a week before he was due to arrive. So sadly, he came to be on rehabilitation. He’s getting his laser treatments, lots of TLC from Deb and staff, and Delilah, his next door neighbor, provides good company.

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Riders “Find Their Seat” at Unmounted Clinic

Posted on February 18, 2017

It was a packed house tonight at an unmounted Centered Riding clinic held in Cricket Hill’s Great Room. Thirteen riders – some on their annual return, others for the first time – came for the start of their Spring Tune-up! Jami introduced the group to the four basic principles of Centered Riding. Everyone celebrated each person’s “aha” moment!

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Three Saddle Clubbers awarded four GoldStar Certificates!

Posted on January 15, 2017

Saddle Clubbers took a moment this busy afternoon to recognize the achievements of three chums! Amel and Amelie were awarded certificates and patches for GoldStar I. Claire was awarded both GoldStar I and II, completed over the past few months. Congratulations! GoldStar provides a firm foundation for all types of riding, and is a great way to watch a rider’s progress.

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Holiday Party

Posted on December 11, 2016

Musical rides & games, youth grab bag, Secret Santa for adults, fabulous pot-luck lunch, traditional mulled wine, yummy desserts, renowned Farmer’s Wife horse cookies, Happy Holidays to all!

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Buddy comes to spend the winter

Posted on November 28, 2016

This year, Thoroughbred Buddy went East for the winter – from Thompson-Finch Farm to Cricket Hill! Marnie MacLean – Buddy’s devoted Mom – went South to Puerto Rico with husband Don to harvest their citrus crop. Buddy is perfectly happy making friends with all his neighbors; here, it’s Tate. The photographer had to be quick as Buddy is so friendly, he walks right up…. the next picture was a nose! Welcome Buddy!


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