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Team #661 Michael Pasquale and Jammy

Team #661: Michael Pasquale and Jammy
From: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Ages: 80 & 24
Combined Age: 104
Test: Training Level Test 3
Date: June 25, 2023

Inspired by the amazing stories of recent Century Club members older than I am, I decided to challenge myself to another Century Club ride. I never imagined how challenging it would be.

I started riding at age 46 when I got the idea that I wanted to ride a horse through the woods. I began by taking weekly group lessons with 10 or 12 people, never knowing which horse I would be riding. I loved it! I wanted to ride more, so I began taking private lessons. Riding was a great escape from my very stressful career as an architect and interior designer. 

After a couple of years, I naively bought a four-year-old racehorse off the track called “Jack be Nimble.” My 24 years with Jack were quite an adventure. Jack was high-strung, spooky, and fast. He taught me patience, how to “stay on,” and the meaning of the word “terror.” After Jack passed at 28, I continued riding. I half leased a horse and occasionally rode a very generous friend’s magnificent Friesian. I decided that my next horse would be a Friesian, and while I was searching for one, Firenze (Flo) from my barn came up for sale.

Flo was a beautiful 18-year-old Hanoverian who had an illustrious dressage career with her previous owners. When it was suggested that I buy her, I didn’t think I should because I was 73 years old and had very little dressage experience. Everyone said I would learn a lot from her. I did buy Flo and the day after the sale, I slipped on some ice and fractured my hip. After my recovery, Flo and I trained with Keith Angstadt at Bradford Equestrian Center. We entered several dressage competitions, and in 2020 we did a Century Club ride (Team #442). Since then, Flo (now 25) and I have continued to train with Keith Angstadt. We’ve competed at Second Level and are now working on Third Level movements.

I first met Jammy and his owner Pam Tenaglia about 15 years ago at Rivergait Farm in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where I was boarding Jack. We have fond memories of our time at Rivergait, but eventually went our separate ways and didn’t meet again until about three years ago when Pam and Jammy joined me and Flo at the Angstadt’s Bradford Equestrian Center.

During our time apart, Pam and Jammy (who is one of approximately 6,000 registered Canadian Horses in the world) competed in breed classes with the Northeast Friesian Horse Club (NEFHC) from 2009 – 2014, took part in the Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure in 2009, and have successfully competed in dressage at Second Level. When I mentioned that I needed a new partner for my second Century Club Ride, Pam generously offered Jammy. 

Jammy is a very energetic 24-year-old which required some retraining on my part since Flo is a somewhat laid-back Hanoverian. To that end, Jammy and I have been working with Kaylee Angstadt, Pam and Jammy’s trainer. Five days before the show, Jammy and I were practicing the test when he was spooked by something in the shrubbery, spun around, tripped, and fell onto his side. Miraculously, neither one of us was seriously injured. 

On the day of the show, I got on Jammy for the first time since the fall. My bruised ribs were aching and my confidence was shattered, but I kept telling myself “JUST DO IT,” and we did! We were first in our class with my personal-best score of 69.6%.

Many thanks to Pam Tanaglia, Kaylee Angstadt, the staff at Bradford Equestrian Center, and the Century Club for giving me the opportunity to meet my latest equestrian challenge.