Allan J. Hamilton, Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses
As we look forward to the 2018 show season and fill our barn with compatible dedicated horse & rider combinations, we think about those boarders who have been so great to watch train and compete such as Charlotte Jorst and NINTENDO.
Says Charlotte: “I was so happy to be at the Yard for the 2017 Florida show season. I loved the low-key feel of The Yard and the great footing. It was wonderful to be able to ride out on the trails directly from the property! I loved every minute of my stay and would recommend it to anyone.”
NINTENDO with YARD owner Ann Clements & Lexi Attard, Head Groom for Charlotte
Behind The Stall Door With: Kastel’s Nintendo
CHRONICLE OF THE HORSE 7.18.2017 Article by Jennifer Keeler Photographed at The YARD Sport Horse Center, Wellington, FL
Grand Prix dressage rider Charlotte Jorst is famous around the world for her brilliant smile while competing in the dressage arena. Jorst is native to Denmark, but rides for the United States.
One reason she’s always so happy is her Dutch Warmblood stallion, Kastel’s Nintendo. “He’s super fun, just like the video game system. Everyone wants a Nintendo in their life,” she said with a laugh.
Jorst, who began riding at age 35, started as an amateur rider but turned professional in recent years. A two-time skin cancer survivor, she launched the Kastel Denmark clothing line of UV-protective clothes.
She bought Kastel’s Nintendo in 2013 with the hopes of representing the United States at a major international championship. The pair have rocketed up from the adult amateur ranks to compete on the international stage, earning a multitude of CDI Grand Prix victories on both coasts, finishing in the top 10 at the USEF Festival of Champions, and representing the United States at the 2016 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Sweden.
Nintendo getting some treats from Lexi Attard. Photo by Jennifer Keeler
On July 14-16 at the Falsterbo CDI (Sweden), Jorst and Nintendo rode on the U.S. team and took ninth in the CDIO***** Grand Prix (65.94%) and seventh in the Grand Prix Special (62.74%). In June, they were ninth in the Grand Prix and sixth in the Special in the CDI*** at Rotterdam (the Netherlands). They have also been named to the U.S. Nations Cup team for the Hickstead CDIO***** (England) on July 27-30.
Jorst is based in Reno, Nev., but spends the winters in Wellington, Fla. When they’re not traveling the world competing, here’s what Nintendo is like behind the stall door:
• He’s a big sweetie. “He’s still a stallion, but he is just the sweetest boy around,” said Jorst. “I trust him 100 percent. He wouldn’t dream of offering to bite or kick anyone, and has never even pinned his ears about anything.”
• He’s always on his best behavior and enjoys having company. “He has his circle of horsey friends who are part of his herd, and he loves hanging out with them. You’d never know he’s a stallion—he’s laidback like that and very quiet in the barn. At shows he likes to look around and nicker at others, but that’s all he does. He’s just saying ‘hi’. And sometimes when we enter the arena, he’ll whinny once to announce his arrival,” Jorst said with a laugh.
• He loves to travel. Planes, trains, automobiles—it doesn’t matter, Nintendo makes himself comfortable and is always looking for a new adventure.
• Nintendo loves to show, and is never afraid of any arena. “He’s fearless that way,” Jorst explained. “In Gothenburg for the World Cup last year, we were down in the tunnels and then came right up to the arena with thousands of people, and he just loved it!”
• He’s obsessed with his “girls,” including groom Lexi Attard, but especially Jorst. “The moment he hears her, he’s looking for her,” said Attard. “He just adores her and they have an incredible connection. One day another groom had him out walking around, and Charlotte came to the barn. He saw her and was so desperate to get to her that he reared up and knocked the groom down to get away and run over to her.”
• Which also means that Nintendo can be a jealous boyfriend. “I have several horses in the barn, and I always have to go pay attention to Nintendo first because he is the leader of the herd,” Jorst noted.
• He’s eager to please. “He never wants to disappoint me and will actually make himself anxious worrying about it,” Jorst said. “He’s a little insecure that way and wants to be perfect all the time, so I have to be very gentle with him, which some people think is surprising for a stallion.”
• He loves sugar cubes, but apples are a dealbreaker. “It doesn’t matter what kind I buy for him, he just turns his nose up at them,” said Jorst.
• He’s a proud papa. “He’s a licensed stallion with the NRPS, and he has a few kids running around from when he was bred in Europe before I got him,” Jorst explained. “Sometimes I see them on Facebook. I may even breed him one of these days to a lovely mare that I have at home.”
• He’s very tuned in to his music. Jorst considers herself and Nintendo to be freestyle specialists, and her stallion is so into his music that if Jorst makes any modifications to their freestyle, Nintendo immediately recognizes the change with the music and gets upset, thinking they’ve done something wrong.
• Every day is Groundhog Day with Nintendo. “We’ll have a great training session, soft and supple, and you think that you’ve really made a lot of progress,” Jorst explained. “But then the very next time he’ll come out with his head in the air and it’s like he doesn’t remember anything from the previous day.
“It’s the strangest thing—it’s like you have to start over from scratch every single day. Eventually it does seem that a little bit will carry forward, but it’s not like other horses where they seem to grasp the lesson and move forward at a logical progression. With Nintendo, you start right back at the beginning every single time. In the beginning, it was very frustrating for me because I thought we were doing something wrong. But know I know that it’s just the way he is, and we work with it.”
• When he’s not in the dressage arena, Nintendo loves being a trail pony. “We hack on the trails here in Wellington and then at home in Reno we ride out everywhere,” said Jorst. “He is super confident and likes to lead, just strolling around on a loose rein. I think he likes to clear his head.”
The YARD Sport Horse Center is located in Wellington, FL, where for 40 weeks a year, the heart of American sport horse competition beats at full-tilt.
We offer our Boarders a “home away from home” during Show Season. We understand the stress & challenge of world-class training & competition and do all we can to provide a well-built and well-maintained facility for your equine athletes.
The YARD Sport Horse Center is a 5-acre farm conveniently located in Little Ranches, close to all equestrian competitions as well as tack shops, groceries, banks, etc. We offer 28 large & airy stalls and our main barn is constructed of CBS/stucco with concrete & matted aisles, industrial fans, auto fly spray in each 12×12 stall, every stall has a door & a window, 3 air conditioned tack rooms, full bath with shower, fridge & microwave, hot & cold wash racks, grooming racks, ring, GGT dressage arena with oversized mirrors, judge’s stand and observation pergola, 6 grass paddocks all with new hot-wire and miles of hacking trails. We have easy in- easy out parking for your horse trailers & our Staff does all your horse laundry (saddle pads & blankets) FREE of charge on a daily basis. We also offer complimentary horse weighing for Boarders on our hyper-accurate digital weighbridge.
The YARD has no “hidden fees.” Trailer parking and manure collection is included in our stall price.
Dry stall reservations are on a first-come/first served basis & require deposits.
I live at The YARD and am fully committed to running a facility worthy of Wellington’s world-class equestrian reputation. We hope you will consider making The YARD your base of operation during this coming Show Season.
Ann Clements, Owner & Manager
© 2012 Jonah Borum
About Ann CLEMENTS
Pictured above with FREDDIE MERCURY, the Prix St. Georges Oldenburg gelding that Jane Forbes Clark leased for 2 years and then purchased from Ann in early 2015.
Ann Clements started saving her pennies to buy a horse at the tender age of 6 and still treasures the tiny cardboard jewelry box her mother saved upon which Ann had written My Horse Money. Her father, a military man who moved his family every two years, did the best he could to satisfy his youngest daughter’s attacks of “horse crazy” by taking her to the nearby polo grounds where, with luck, she was allowed to sit on some of the ponies cooling off. The day near her 15th birthday that she and her dad picked up the 10 year-old quarter horse gelding named Billy Sweet he had bought for her was perhaps the happiest day of her young life.
Although she went on to spend many years in hiatus from the horse world raising her family and growing businesses in Nashville & New York City, Ann returned to her oldest passion in 2008. Settling in Alpharetta, GA she started training in dressage and purchased DAVIDOR (Davignon/Donnerhall), a senior Grand Prix level Hanoverian breeding stallion, who, with his Trainer, was the 2008 USDF Reserve Champion Intermediare I Region 3. DAVIDOR passed away in 2012.
In 2010, Ann had imported a lovely Oldenburg dressage gelding she named FREDDIE MERCURY (Florestan/Donnerhall). In May of 2011, FREDDIE was rated 6th in the country in PRIX ST. GEORGES with an average of 73.35% and was later short-listed for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Freddie was purchased by Jane Forbes Clark in April 2015. Ann had also purchased, in 2011, a young Oldenburg gelding she named QUASAR (Quando Quando/Forrest) who is currently competing at the ADVANCED 4**** Level with Trainer/Rider 3-Day Eventing international superstar Buck Davidson. In 2014, QUASAR qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games as well as being named the United States Reserve Champion in the American Eventing Championships’ Merial Open Intermediate Division. Buck & QUASAR’s notable 2014 competitions included 1st Place at Morven Park Intermediate, 2nd Place at Chattahoochee Hills Intermediate and 1st Place at Rocking Horse Preliminary. In 2015, Buck & QUASAR placed both 4th & 2nd in INTERMEDIATE during the Rocking Horse Winter I Horse Trials near Ocala, was moved up to ADVANCED and continues to be qualified to compete at the US Eventing Team Trials in Gladstone, NJ in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, August 5-21.
the majesty of the horse has long been expressed by artists…poets, songwriters, sculptors, painters and photographers. A lifelong favorite of mine are Leonardo DaVinci’s classic sketches done for a future larger-than-life bronze sculpture he never saw come to fruition. Our logo represents the strength, grace and anatomical beauty of all equines as envisioned by perhaps the greatest artist who ever lived.
Leonardo’s horse is a sculpture that was commissioned of Leonardo da Vinci in 1482 by Duke of Milan Ludovico il Moro, but not completed. It was intended to be the largest equestrian statue in the world, a monument to the duke’s father Francesco. Leonardo did extensive preparatory work for it, but produced only a clay model, which was destroyed by French soldiers when they invaded Milan in 1499, interrupting the project. 500 years later, in 1999, after Leonardo’s surviving design materials were used as the basis by a coalition of artists and private & corporate sponsors, the completed gigantic bronze horse was gifted to the city of Milan by the United States and has become a top sightseeing stop for international visitors to Italy.
In late 2012, Ann bought a farm in Wellington, FL, the home of the Winter Equestrian Festival and a world center of high-level, international equestrian competition. She undertook a massive renovation in January of 2013 of the 28-stall barn, the land and the house she now calls home. The YARD Sport Horse Center is the beginning of a multi-phase development that focuses on the care and training of upper-level sport horses. Ann’s business philosophy is simple: work with the best and learn from them while they work.