CTV, the North Suburban Access Television, captured Saturday night at MHHS. Award winning producer, John Rusterholz led a five-camera crew. Our hosts were the fabulously talented pair of Seth Clayton and Tracy Grandstrand. It will air on channel 15 in the northern suburbs. Go to  http://www.ctv15.org/calendars/Channel15.html for listings.

Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z sail over the MHHS jump. Photo by Lili Weik

Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z sail over the MHHS jump. Photo by Lili Weik

DVDs will be available. Contact Carrie Wirth at cwirth@minnesotaharvesthorseshow.com or call 612 209 0310 for details.


Support our supporter.

If you went to the Minnesota Harvest Horse Show, you probably noticed the huge banners over the in-gate. Infinity Direct, our premier title sponsor  of the $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Classic on Friday, are the fine folks who we have had the fortune to work with to update the MHHS brand. They worked tirelessly to create our new logo, design print ads, do a direct mail postcard, they designed the template for our website, they created the poster, the tickets, the VIP passes, you name it.

Elliott gets a blue ribbon.

Elliott gets a blue ribbon. Photo by Lili Weik

Best of all, Infinity Direct has a special affinity to the horse  world. Jennifer Brasseur, our Account Executive, is not only fabulous to work with, she  is also an accomplished dressage rider and owner of a gorgeous Holsteiner gelding, named Regatta. Infinity Direct’s CEO, Tom Harding, also has a special connection to the horse world. His son, Elliott participates in the We Can Ride program. You might have seen him in the We Can Ride Demonstration on Saturday night.

Our friends at Infinity Direct have entered the new Minnesota Harvest Horse Show logo in the Advertising Federation’s Show. Not only that, anyone can actually vote for the audience favorite.  Support our generous and wonderful sponsor. Go to: http://www.theshowmn.org. On the home page, sign in, then go to “View the Work”, select Infinity Direct from the Agency drop-down menu, then vote for the Minnesota Harvest Horse Show. Horse people need to stick together. It would be so wonderful if they won.

A success!

What an amazing night it was last night! The first-ever Ariat Jumping with the Stars! celebrity jumping event came to a successful conclusion. The crowd at the Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum on the State Fair Grounds was completely silent as Bill Keller rode the first round in the class. When he finished, the crowd erupted with applause and whistles!GailRusty ingateDSC_0506a

Second was Rusty Gatenby. Once again, the crowd was silent as he navigated his way around the arena. Of course, Rusty was NOT silent. He was talking to the crowd all the way around, and a wave of laughter followed him around the arena. Huge applause for him when he finished!


Rachel Blount

Matt Blair was third to go. The former Minnesota Viking was very serious and focused as he made his way around the course. When he finished, the crowd once again cheered and he broke out into a big smile!

The jumps were then raised for the final two riders. Rachel Blount was next up, and she rode a course of two foot verticals. Over the second fence, her horse left long and she was bounced out of the tack. Her landing was soft, and she dusted herself off as she stood up. Her horse was patiently waiting for her. She hopped back on to applause and whistles, and successfully complete the course. The crowd let her know how much they could empathize with her, as they raised the roof with their claps and cheers of support.

The final rider was Cathy Wurzer. The crowd silently watched Cathy negotiate the course, and loudly approved of her round when she finished and came back into the line up.


Trainers, Gail Nederostek, Heather Parish and Sue Kyllonen flank former Minnesota Viking, Matt Blair aboard Rolly, owned by Laura Jean Critchett.

The three judges cast their votes and commented on each rider. And after the crowd cast their votes by texting, the winner was announced. Cathy Wurzer took home the trophy! All participants received medals, including the trainers.


Rebecca from Arc de Triomphe, HJ Hoppmann from Ariat, Trainer, Kim Barone, Assistant Trainer, Kate Leis, Cathy Wurzer and Casanova owned by Anne Healy.

Rusty’s Ready!

Watch the television segment that ran Friday, yesterday, on KSTP-TV. Rusty and Gail talk about the competition tonite. Is Rusty ready? Watch him jump and see for yourself!

KTSP Story

Final preparations


A rider's point of view in the warmup ring

A rider's point of view in the warmup ring

If I ever live to be one hundred years old, (which is doubtful at the rate I’m going), I now know what my body will feel like. 

After nearly three weeks of hunt seat riding and cantering in two-point position over small fences, my legs are only a little stronger than a well cooked noodle. My lower back and right hip are sore after recently becoming intimate with the arena floor. My ankles are tender after trying to jam my heels into the proper position. (Ankles are supposed to be flexible. Not mine. Mine are like plywood. Pretty stiff.) 

Despite my obvious physical limitations– I’m having a ball!

I had my final schooling session on Cain on the showgrounds today while the incredible Kim Barone patiently tutored me:  reminding me to really flex those (stiff) ankles and sink down into my heels.

Earlier this week, during the Harvest Horse Show, we schooled a bit even as Kim was warming up a horse to take into the Coliseum. In mid-air, over a jump, Kim would call out “Heels down Cathy! Toes out!” and I was left to wonder how on Earth she managed to watch me slog around the arena while she was flying over a fence! She’s amazing and an excellent trainer. 

A patient (and chilly) Kim Barone in the warm-up ring.

A patient (and chilly) Kim Barone in the warm-up ring.

I’m not sure what to expect during the Ariat “Jumping with the Stars” event. All I can hope is that I keep those heels down, don’t wack Cain in the mouth, and remember to breathe while on course. All of that is easier said than done. I hope you all come out and watch. It is bound to be very entertaining!

Read Rachel Blount’s story about her riding journey and watch the video of her lessons with local professional, Sue Kyllonen. Click on the photo.


Same story–different chapter

Cathy_Kate_DressedThere are basic rules in riding but there are differences in seat and leg position depending on the discipline. I know this. I’ve had to learn the differences between western riding/dressage/saddle seat and now hunt seat riding over the years.

I’ll admit,  I’m a little dense at times, so it took my equine partner to point out, (not so subtly), that I needed  to learn the lighter hunt seat, instead of pounding my seatbones into his back with my driving dressage seat.  When my instructor Kate, at Raven Ridge, asked me to “sit” the canter, I thought I was. I just couldn’t figure out why Cain felt so uncomfortable and was jostling me around in the saddle. It was his way of saying “Hey! Get off my back!”  I’m now learning all about the half seat and two point position. I just wish my poor, wobbly legs would hold me up in the proper position!

Check out my new riding duds. I’ve always said if I can’t ride well, at least I can look good! The Ariat “Jumping with the Stars” event will be testament to that. I might not ride well, but at least I’ll look like a pro!