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Team #573 Joyce Martin and Derawnda Ricardo

Photo by Creek Dreams Photography

Team #573: Joyce Martin and Derawnda Ricardo
From: Brownsville, Vermont
Ages: 80 & 21
Combined Age: 101
Test: First Level Test 3
Date: July 24, 2022

I think I was born loving horses. I grew up in Boston, and as a child, I pestered the mounted police asking to pet their horses. I didn’t get the time to learn to ride (with beginner lessons) until age 26 after my two sons were born. I then purchased my first horse, which was an $800 Appaloosa. Toby taught me how to survive in the saddle! In 1972, I met Karl Mikolka, formerly of the Spanish Riding School, and that was when my riding education really began. Karl was my mentor for nearly 40 years. Karl died in 2019, and I still miss not being able to contact him and ask questions.

A small group of us started a dressage club on the South Shore of Boston, Heritage Dressage Association, which is still in existence today. HDA, with the help of New England Dressage Association (and their equipment), ran the first rated two day dressage competition. In 1985 I purchased Forte, a Trakehner, as a two-year-old. I lunged and long lined him until he was four when Bill Warren saddle broke him. I continued training him with help from Bill and Karl. In 1993, I bought my next Trakehner, Lennox, in utero from Tylord Farm in Vermont. I did ground work with him until he was three. He was trained to drive and was saddle broke by Larry Poulin at age four, then I continued his dressage training. I imported my third warmblood, Lindor – a Holsteiner, in 2005 as a saddle broken four-year-old. I enjoyed dressage on Lindor until he died in 2019. That is when my friend, Jenny Kimberly, offered Rick, a Morgan, for me to ride. Rick was not my first experience with Morgans as I had bought two Morgans in 1992, Flash and Flirt, who I learned to drive with Robin Groves’ assistance.

Jenny’s Morgan, Rick (Derawnda Ricardo), is 21 years old. He has almost 2,000 miles of competitive trail riding and 300 miles of distance driving (endurance included). He won the Eastern States 100 Mile Challenge Trophy with Jenny, which requires the same horse and rider combination to have the highest placing in three of the East Coast 3-day 100 mile Competitive Trail Rides. Wilson Groves competed with Rick in the Live Oak Combined Driving Events around 20 times. Rick was in numerous sleigh rides in Vermont with both Wilson and Jenny. Rick won the Justin Morgan Performance Competition twice with Jenny: once at the Morgan Heritage Days (2019) and again at the Lippet Country Show (2021). To win this competition the horse has to win a half mile driving race, half mile under saddle flat race, and a ladies’ pleasure class under saddle. In addition, the horse has to win “The Stone Boat,” which consists of pulling a 500lb stone boat for 20 feet straight. He truly is the versatile Morgan Horse. At the age of 20, I started teaching him dressage. So here we are – an old hag on an old nag! We both want to thank The Dressage Foundation for this opportunity to add dressage to Rick’s extensive resume.