The couple sat down to reflect on their experiences being a NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team horse owner
What was your road to owning jumping horses?
Barb: We used to live in California, and when our daughter was young, we bought a Quarter Horse for her, which came with a four-month-old foal. I learned to ride when the foal was old enough so I could ride with our daughter. One thing led to another, and I gained further interest [in horses], and I learned to do the hunter courses and some of the jumper courses, and I just loved it. It was one of those bucket list items, and I just decided it was now or never. In addition, [we gave] Kevin Babington a budget [to work with], and that’s how we got involved with this level, and we enjoy it very much.
What do you enjoy most about being an owner of a jumping team horse?
Barb: The U.S. team experience is extraordinary. It’s so well organized. You feel so welcome into the group of owners, riders, and trainers. We’ve just had such a positive experience.
Dave: It’s fun to be part of a competiitive team experience and to see what it takes to compete at the highest level.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to own a jumping team horse?
Barb:Just take the leap; make it happen. Don’t be afraid to approach a rider that you feel like you want to sponsor. That’s what we did with Laura.
What has been your most memorable moment as an owner and what would you like to achieve in the future?
Barb: The first time I heard the national anthem play for one of our horses was an extraordinarly memorable experience. I hadn’t anticipated how memorable it would feel and how much pride I would feel at that moment. It was very emotional. Our goal for the future: whatever Laura tells me her goal is will be our goal.
What were you feeling during your first team event?
Barb: It was an incredible experience to see our horse in such great company with the elite of the elite and to share in the experience with the other owners and with everyone who puts together the team. We felt welcomed, excited, and full of pride.
What do you like about working with Laura and what makes her the perfect fit for your horses?
Dave: We like the fact that she gets so much out of each horse but never asks them to do more than what they are capable of doing. She doesn’t see herself as a diva but as the captain of a team, which includes us as owners, her groom, vets, farriers, trainers, and her sister. It’s a team that has a set of shared goals and operates together. I think this is what makes her a success, a good teammate because she understands that approach. She communicates so well, and we always know what’s going on. She makes us feel a part of the whole program.
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