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Team #551 Ellen Fox and Nick of Time

Team #551: Ellen Fox and Nick of Time
From: Aiken, South Carolina
Ages: 77 & 29
Combined Age: 106
Test: Training Level Test 1
Date: April 11, 2022

My journey with Nicky began at the Pleasanton, California, racetrack. He was six years old. Fortunately for him, my veterinarian Diane Isabell also worked at the track and found him for me. I rode him at the track, and we felt he was a good fit. I bought him the day before he was to compete in a claiming race, hence the name “Nick of Time.”

When he arrived at my stable in the middle of January 1999, he was a handful. I realized I needed someone who could deal with off-the-track Thoroughbreds. I was lucky to find Nadine Pestana, a dressage trainer and rider who had dealt with a lot of racehorses growing up. They were a match! We had several years of flatwork, but my passion was jumping. I had competed with my previous two horses in adult amateur jumpers and Medal Classes. A jump instructor moved into one of our barns and we started jumping lessons, mainly group lessons at home and a few local shows. 

Nicky and I moved to Aiken, South Carolina, in November 2011. He finally had the freedom to live like a horse, grazing in pastures all day. We have been together for 23 years through all the hurdles in life, both mine and his, and we have always come out the other side together. 

I have been taking jumping lessons for about eight years with my instructor, Lynn Coates Holmes, whose disciplines include eventing and dressage. She, as well as many friends, encouraged me to honor Nicky and our 23-year partnership by completing a Century Club ride.

I could not have achieved this goal without Lynn who organized the whole event with USEF “S" judge, Amy McElroy, and the support of good friends. We completed our ride on April 11, 2022, at my community dressage arena with friends cheering us on. 

I am grateful that “Team Nicky and Ellen” were able to achieve this milestone in our lives together.