Shades of Spring

Breed: Half Arabian
Height: 14.1 HH
Breeder: Les K Ash, Ontario
Owners: Vivianne & Robert Macdonald, Ontario
Breeding: Shannazon x Shades of Summer

Shades of Spring+ was given to the Macdonald family as a yearling when they purchased her dam, Shades of Summer (a pinto Saddlebred). Spring was 14.1hh when we picked her up and she has never grown. Once broke to ride and started over fences, Spring was sent to a hunter/jumper sales barn where she was used in lessons for a year. The sales barn sent her back with a request that we put a show record on her in order to sell her. List price - $2500.

So, in 1995 we (adults) started showing her over fences at Arabian Hunter/Jumper shows, where she did well. In 1996, she was named unanimous Reserve Champion Half Arabian Hunter Over Fences in the Open and Amateur to Ride classes for Eastern Canada. She was 2nd to her 16hh stablemate and was ridden by my 57 year old mother. The price had now increased to $8,000.

In October of that same year, we went to Louisville KY for the Arabian US National Championship show, where she was named US National Champion Half-Arabian Jumper. There were 7 entries in the class with Spring being the only pony and she was ridden by an amateur. The course was 3'6" high with spread equal to the height. She was the only clear round and had .5 seconds left on the clock before getting time penalties, piloted by Diana. At this point the pony was no longer available for sale!

In 1997, Spring was again named the Arabian Horse Association's Region 18 Reserve Champion HA Hunter Over Fences AOTR with Vivianne. She also was named Region 13 (Michigan & Ohio) Champion HA Jumper. These wins culminated in her being awarded her Legion of Honour; all of her points were earned over fences.

(Editor's Note: The Legion of Honour is the first level of recognition in the Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) point system. Half-Arabians who are awarded the Legion of Honour have accumulated at least 60 points (for purebreds at least 150) and are allowed to affix a "+" sign after their name. Only points earned in AHA approved shows are counted.)

All the while, Spring was competiting at Trillium shows in the Adult Amateur and Low Hunter classes against the horses. She had several call backs in classes of 30+ horses but she was at a stride disadvantage. You should see how many looks we got because an adult was riding a pony, and even more when they realized the height was not a problem.

She continued to show Half Arabian Hunter but was retired from Half Arabian Jumper classes. In 1999, Vivianne decided to get back into long distance riding and chose Spring as her mount. In their first Competitive Trail ride they placed 11th, the second Competitive Trail ride they won. Over the next few years Spring continued to do double duty as a hunter plus a long distance pony - she even garnered two 50-mile Endurance races under her belt.

While mainly being ridden by adults, Spring has successfully introduced 4 juniors to the show ring and has been piloted by the one of the top junior talents in Ontario. In 2000, she was part-leased to Natasha Smith-Avery (Laurelcrest Farms) as a Pony Jumper on the A circuit, where she won all of the Pony Jumper classes she entered. Natasha has been named several times Junior Rider of the Year and in 2004 she competed in the FEI World Children's Jumper Competition at Spruce Meadows.

Spring is a little pony with a big heart. At the ASP inspection on April 24, 2004, at Fox Run Farms in Troy, ON. Spring, with 3/4 Arabian foal at foot, won her First Premium rating with a score of 7.1.

By Diana MacDonald

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