Salisbury Trust Wealth Advisory Services, a division of Salisbury Bank, has announced the finalists in of its first annual Sportsmanship Award contest. The contest was open to horse and rider pairs of all ages and skill levels (Beginner Novice, Novice or Training). A committee at Salisbury Trust selected four winning pairs, who the Bank will sponsor to compete at three events:
- Riga Meadow Horse Trials, July 17, 2011
- Town Hill Horse Trials, September 3 and 4, 2011
- Kent School Horse Trials, October 9, 2011
Each participant's scores will be tallied throughout the sponsored events and the horse and rider with the lowest average score will receive the Salisbury Trust Sportsmanship Award.
Meredith Tiedemann, Vice President and Trust Officer, says "We were thrilled to see how very many talented horse and rider pairs were interested in our program - in fact, we were overwhelmed by the number of deserving applications we received. It was a real challenge to narrow the field down to just a few winners. We feel that not only these four women, but many of the other entrants, are very deserving of this opportunity
And the winners are…
Edith Taylor and Tantrieste ("Trixie") - Underhill, VT
Edith Taylor knows a lot about perseverance. Just over a year ago she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and through all the treatment, her horse "Trixie" and her equestrian friends have been a source of encouragement and support. She notes that "even on the days when I don't quite feel up to it, they provide the conviction that I still have a future."
She describes German-born Trixie as a "jewel of a horse," despite the fact that when she arrived in the U.S. she looked more like a dachshund than a champion equine. Their first ride was a mere five weeks after Edith's cancer surgery and in the midst of chemo, and despite Trixie's inexperience and Edith's weakness, they quickly bonded. Edith notes that Trixie has a willing heart and a forgiving nature; "It never occurs to her to say 'no,' whether jumping, hacking or working in the flat." Along with taking a shot at the award, Edith hopes to provide visible encouragement to "fellow travelers in illness and adversity."
Dr. Katherine Kane and Massapequa May - Kent, CT
Katherine Kane seems to attract horses with a story to tell. As a high school sophomore, driving to a dressage event with her first horse, her trailer was hit by a drugged driver, triggering a multi-car pileup. A police officer's response was to pull out his gun and euthanize the wounded horse, but a horseman in a car behind them somehow managed to transport the critically injured animal to a veterinary surgeon who opened his offices on a Sunday morning to attend to the animal. After 3 hours of delicate surgery, not only was the horse saved (she would live another 12 years), but the rider became sold on a career as a veterinarian.
Her current mare also has a history, as a runaway who was confiscated from a farm. After three years living in someone's backyard and eating takeout from a gourmet deli, she was purchased at auction by Kane, who started retraining her. "Before long," she observes, "she showed us she'd been waiting all her life for a real job. She tackles anything I ask her to do with great enthusiasm. This horse's relationship is more like that of a rescued dog and I am her person."
Nancy Cerniglia and Reinsieg ("Yogi") - Craryville, NY
Nancy Cerniglia is no stranger to hard times. As a kid she mucked stalls in return for riding lessons. Later, as a teen mom, she put herself through college for computer programming, spending nights studying and caring for her baby by day. Once she found employment it meant 50-60 hour weeks, but she never gave up on her love of horses.
She purchased Yogi as a yearling in 2000 and calls him her dream horse - despite having to pull him through pneumonia in the first year. Nancy's dedication to her horse was such that she found a farm, put up a fence, converted a garage to a stable, and transported her colt there to recuperate. It took four months of varying antibiotics, but he recovered and is now, "a kind and willing partner who always gives his all." Despite residual lung damage and a week immune system, she reports, Yogi loves eventing, and she has done most of his training on her own. With her current bank job threatened by the economy, Nancy entered the contest as a way to continue to ride, noting "to win this sponsorship has meant the world to me."
Lynne Flanagan and Dora - Sharon, CT
Lynn Flanagan got hooked on horses and riding at the tender age of five, and spent her childhood learning about horses and how to care for them. It took her a mere 35 years to finally realize her dream of owning her own horse. But what a horse! Because she couldn't afford to buy a "school master" she opted to buy a five-year-old "Off the Track Thoroughbred." Like all race horses, Dora has a tattoo under her lip; when Lynne ran the number through the Jockey Club's database, she was astonished to find that her horse is the granddaughter of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew! Although, as Lynne found, she only raced in four races and won a grand total of $480.00.
Fortunately, Dora took to eventing better than racing, and for the past two seasons, Lynne and Dora have been competing successfully at the Beginner Novice level. In the upcoming events, they plan to move up to Novice. Lynne says she enjoys competing because "It allows me to set goals for both myself and my horse. The ribbons are just the icing on the cake!"
About the Award
The Salisbury Trust Sportsmanship Award was created to honor the spirit of Eventing. The Bank has chosen to sponsor four horse and rider pairs whose perseverance, integrity, horsemanship, sportsmanship and humor exhibit this spirit, enriching not only the equine community but our community in general.
Salisbury Bank is a full-service community bank headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut and presently operates full service branches in Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury and Sharon, Connecticut, Sheffield and South Egremont Massachusetts as well as Dover Plains and Millerton, New York. The Bank has been serving families and businesses for 160 years and offers a full range of consumer and business banking products and services as well as trust and investment services.