Phillip, catch us up on how Icabad Crane is doing at your winter base in South Carolina.
“He just arrived here in Aiken. He spent a little more time in Pennsylvania with the idea being to bring him back a bit slower this year. He had such a whirlwind last year and I just wanted to slow things down. He’ll probably start competing in April; I’ll come up with a schedule for him pretty soon. But he looks great and is really happy to be down here. We’re just schooling and working on his fitness.”
So he’ll wait until he comes back home to begin his competition season?
Yes, he’ll compete locally around Pennsylvania and Maryland. Before he moves on to the next level, I just need to get a bit more training into him and a bit more understanding on his part. So I’ve taken a little more time to educate him and not compete him.”
What are your plans for this year’s schedule?
“We’ll pick and choose. He’s at quite a difficult level. The 1* level is still not that easy for him, so certainly I’ll start out there. We’ll see how he progresses. Once it becomes a bit easier for him, then you can think about the next level. He’s very fit and healthy, but we’ve just scaled back a bit what we’re doing with him.”
What can you tell us about this week’s event – The Masterclass?
“The Masterclass will take place this Thursday evening – March 3 – at Stable View Farm here in Aiken. Boyd Martin and I will be riding four horses of all different levels, with Icabad being one of them. Afterwards there’s a Meet & Greet and time for questions. Anyone who wants to meet Icabad will have the chance to do that.”
“It’s also a fund raiser for the 2016 Rio Olympics, so that evening a lot of the past American Olympians are going to be there. It should be fun. Last year there were well over 300 people, and I think it should be bigger this year. We’re expecting quite a good contingent. And I’m sure Icabad will be the star he always is.”
Tickets for the event are still available. Stable View Farm is located at 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC 28301. For more information, contact Bryn Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.