District 3 Horse of the Year Contest Has a Winner for 2013!
At the Midwest Horse Fair, on April 20, District 3 presented to "Patrick" District 3 Horse of the Year award. The award was presented to Kelly Mahloch and "Patrick" by Linda Ernsberger, President, and Bonnie Shepherd, Vice President, District 3 Wisconsin Horse Council.
Patrick was born on St. Patrick's Day 1993, Diamond in the Ruff (Patrick) was originally a driving horse due to his Belgium breeding.
Purchased in 1997 by Kelly Mahloch as a future upper level and eventing competition horse, he magnanimously made the adjustment.
In 1998, he made his debut at Midwest Horse Fair (MHF), demonstrating First Level Dressage for The American Warmblood Society (AWS). He continued to demonstrate for AWS for the next 15 years, demonstrating his advanced dressage skills as he progressed to the top levels of dressage. He performed a Musical Freestyles to large crowds of enthusiastic viewers, many times bringing them to their feet. Two years ago, he saved the US Flag from a mishap in the AWS demo ring when another handler and horse dropped it. His retrieval and subsequent cantering around the ring with it saved the day. He had never carried a flag before. While he was concerned, he was amazingly trusting that it was the thing to do, even with the crowd on their feet cheering.
Numerous years he served double duty and performed, also, for the Wisconsin Dressage and Combined Training Association for demos and lectures at MHF.
He has performed routinely for guest speakers, such as Richard Schrake, Jayne Savoie, and Lois Heyerdahl at the MHF. Additionally, he was the main demo horse for Dressage Maneuvers", "Dressage Levels" and "A Taste of Eventing", lectures given by Kelly at MHF.
Several years ago, he was the Intermission demonstration for the Saturday night Jumper Invitational at MHF along with other Saturday night performances. Two years ago, he helped the Wind Rider Challenge Winner with his contribution to the impromptu musical freestyle Pas de Deux.
Many times, he has been used for the MHF judging contest as a demo horse, helping youth to judge halter and performance classes.
At 17.2, he is a commanding presence. He draws large MHF crowds to his stall and is always ready to play ambassador. Many people have stated that he is the reason they come to the horse fair. They come to his stall first.
For such a large horse, he is light on his feet and has won Regional Dressage and Combine Training awards. Patrick has also been recognized by the AWS on a national level for his success at eventing.
In addition, Patrick has been utilized in helping to educate instructors at their regional seminar, showcasing his dressage maneuvers. Several times he has performed for various neighboring counties for 4-H groups educating youth about dressage and jumping.
His contributions on a more local level include serving as a School Master Dressage Horse allowing young accomplished riders the opportunity to learn to ride the upper level maneuvers.
Patrick is a gentleman in his stately bearing and his willingness to please. 2013 will be his last MHF performance. We will be announcing his retirement. It will be sad that his era in the limelight will be over, but we will enjoy the trail rides, the sporadic jumping, and the ambassadorship at home on Sundance Farm. At 20 years of age, he deserves to be recognized for his contribution to educating and entertaining the people of Wisconsin.