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Team #603 Lynn Fitch and Killian

Team #603: Lynn Fitch and Killian
From: Taylors, South Carolina
Ages: 76 & 26
Combined Age: 102
Test: Training Level Test 1
Date: November 5, 2022

I have been horse crazy since birth! It wasn’t until after college and marriage that I finally bought my first horse, and Arabian/Quarter Horse named Charlie. I learned everything I could by reading books and “by the seat of my pants!” My marriage ended and I moved to Pittsburgh, PA. I bought a farm and started a boarding stable, and I started breeding Trakehners. I hunted locally and did lover level eventing and dressage. At age 50, I adopted my first daughter and moved to South Carolina. Over the next five years, I adopted three more daughters. I hunted occasionally and showed in a few local dressage shows. When I adopted my two sons in 2001, there was little time for riding. I sold my hunt horse, Johnathan, as well as most of my riding and barn equipment thinking that chapter of my life was closed.

After several years, Jonathan was re-homed to me in his advanced age, and the door reopened to riding. My daughter, Heidi, had an interest in show jumping (hunters), so I went on the search for a suitable horse. I found Killian online in Kentucky. I saw a video of him and really liked his way of going. However, it took three months of looking at other horses before making the decision to take the trip to see him and try him out. He was ridden on a snowy, sleety day in an open field over home-made jumps, and he never missed a beat. He loves jumping and cross-country.

Two years later, my daughter went off to college. After 12 years of not riding, I decided I would ride Killian. Hunter paces have been his favorite competition, and he earned Reserve Champion in 2018. Camping trips and trail riding with his buddy, Rusty, are favorite activities as well. He can be headstrong and used to getting his way, but we have come to an understanding over the years and built a lot of trust. I learned of the Century Club a year ago. I thought it sounded interesting, but I believed we had been away from dressage too long to participate.

Through encouragement from my friends, Debbie Knebel, Sherry Wyatt, and Kari Tankersley, owner of Twin Tree Farm, Killian and I began practicing to ride a test. The November day of our Century Club ride was cold and rainy. We both felt pretty stiff, but we persevered to complete the ride. While dressage is not Killian’s favorite activity, he gave me his best effort that day just as he has on every other occasion. It has been a thrill to add this award to Killian’s record of achievements!