In the Saddle with Jessica Thoma: #TripleAmputeeEventer

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Jessica Thoma’s journey as a rider amazed and inspired us all at Dover Saddlery, and we wanted to share her story with you.

Jessica lives in Tennessee and has been riding for more than 20 years. She first learned how to ride on school ponies, later moved up to a Mustang, and she now owns, with her family, a total of 10 horses. Five of them are a herd of miniature horses! Her introduction to the equestrian world began with learning how to ride Western, but her focus quickly changed to English after watching numerous videos of professional jumpers and eventers complete their courses. She started learning how to jump bareback because she could not afford to buy an English saddle at the time, and when Jessica’s parents gave her a three-day event video game, she was hooked. It soon became her dream to become an eventer and to show at recognized events.

Jessica’s story so far may sound familiar to your own; many could say they, too, began their riding career in a similar manner. But Jessica has started writing a story that’s

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entirely her own as a #TripleAmputeeEventer. In 2017, she began to feel sick constantly, and eventually developed a severe rash that prompted multiple misdiagnoses. Her condition drastically deteriorated. Finally, through a biopsy of a lesion on her side, her doctors discovered she had Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN), a rare type of vasculitis in which the blood vessels within the arteries become inflamed and cause organ damage. Jessica nearly died three times during months of hospitalization, and ultimately underwent surgery to amputate both of her legs and her left arm. After a long ordeal, Jessica is finally back home with her horses and family.

We recently interviewed Jessica Thoma to hear firsthand all about her inspiring journey as a #TripleAmputeeEventer, her plans to continue riding and to work in the equestrian field. She loves to draw and play video games, but at her heart, synonymous with her love of riding is her passion for teaching people, especially kids, how to ride. For those who want to learn more about Jessica, she also keeps her supporters updated on her progress through Facebook (Jessica Thoma) and Instagram (@TripleAmputeeEventer).

 

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In the Saddle With Chloe Reid – Dover Cover Model and Show Jumper

Chloe Reid DoverOur new catalog is coming out next week, so we sat down with our cover model, Show Jumper Chloe Reid. She was happy to tell us how she got started riding, what challenges shes had to face and a bit about some of her favorite horses.

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In the Saddle with Bob Cacchione – IHSA Founder

Bob Cacchione opened up a whole new world of horse showing to college students when he created the ISHA in 1967. We sat down with him during a break at the College Preparatory Invitational Horse Show in Wellington to hear about why he loves the IHSA, how he thinks the CPI can help, what advice he has for young riders and more.

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Eddie Federwisch (Director of Equestrian Programs at SCAD), Mary Drueding (St. Lawrence University Head Coach) & Bob Cachione (Executive Director of the IHSA)

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In the Saddle with Starfighter – Our Holiday Catalog Model

starfighterLove our new holiday catalog this year? Curious about the gorgeous grey horse posing in many of the shots? You are not alone. Many of our loyal fans have reached out to us wanting to know more about him. That grey beauty is Starfighter, a four-year old Hanoverian by Stolzenberg out of Caliku. We sat down with his owner, Gail Dady, and got the full scoop on our latest Dover model. Continue reading

In the Saddle with Parlanti’s Gianluca Caron

parlanti passion We are extremely excited about our newest boots from Parlanti. Designed exclusively for Dover, these gray Parlanti boots are exceptionally styled, combining fashion and function into the ideal riding boot. We recently caught up with Gianluca Caron, CEO of Parlanti Passion USA, to find out what makes the brand unique, how he got involved with the company and how our new gray Parlanti Dallas Field Boot was developed. Continue reading

In the Saddle with Jonny Lavine – A Life of Polo

jonny lavineIf you haven’t had the experience of watching a polo match, it’s something to definitely get on your schedule. While different from the horse show circuits many of us know well, polo offers a different, fast-pace way to enjoy the sport of horseback riding. Jonny Lavine, who currently plays for the University of Miami polo team, was happy to tell us how he got into the sport, what makes a good polo pony and what he finds necessary around the stable.  Continue reading

On Location at Brackenside Estate

brackenside estateAs you drive onto the grounds of Brackenside Estate, you are almost transported into another era. The gravel drive, expansive fields, meticulously manicured grounds and soft nickers of horses nearby all make the experience enchanting. During our fall photo shoot at Brackenside this week, we were lucky enough to be given a tour of the estate by the owner and learned about the rich history of the property. Continue reading