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Team #582 Margaret Holmquest and Buttercup

Team #582: Margaret Holmquest and Buttercup 
From: Pinehurst, North Carolina
Ages: 79 & 30
Combined Age: 109
Test: Walk Test
Date: August 20, 2022

My horse tale began in the summer of 1974 when we bought a small farm in Ringoes, New Jersey. My husband and I wanted our two children to enjoy a childhood in the country atmosphere. Little did we know that this was in the center of the Amwell Valley Hounds and Pony Club.

The day after we moved in, our neighbor, Mary Weeden, welcomed us and asked if the front and back acreage could be used for a horse event in the next few days. We had no idea what this was but agreed immediately. The following morning we were awakened by the sounds of a John Deere tractor cutting the fields and a group of folks setting up small white fencing with letters. Who knew this would be the first of many dressage and three-phase events we would experience?

Shortly after, we acquired our first horse, Brownie. What a sweetheart! He was so patient with my daughter, Jen, and me as we learned to ride. My son decided early on that if he had to shovel the stalls and take riding lessons, he wanted no part!

Over the years, several ponies joined my daughter, and I bought a four-year-old mare named Honeybunch. What great care she gave me as I learned to fox hunt and do horse events. She became my daughter’s trusty mount through many years of Pony Club activities and shows.

As time passed, Jen went off to college in Virginia and Honeybunch became too old to ride. For 15 years or so, I did not get on a horse until we moved to Pinehurst, North Carolina, and found McClendon Hills Equestrian Center. There is a wonderful instructor and barn manager, Samantha Southard. She has patiently worked with me as I try to relearn how to ride. Her horses, Casey and Buttercup, are treasures as I regain some skill and confidence.

One of the boarders volunteered to have a horse show on August 20th and Sam told me about the Century Club. What excitement! At the ripe old age of 79, aboard the patient and kind Buttercup, age 30, we entered. With deference to her age (and probably my ability level), we did a walk-only dressage test. All the support from Sam, my daughter, Jen, who flew down to help, and my barn family made it a wonderful day! There was even a surprise party with cupcakes that sported 100 signs and horses!

Now energized and motivated, my daughter and I went looking for a horse that would let me continue to learn and trail ride. Enter Mojito, a 15-year-old Quarter Horse, who will be coming to McClendon Center on September 20th!

How very blessed I am to have such a supportive family and friends, and I thank The Dressage Foundation for creating the opportunity to celebrate my age and horsing experience!