Famous Clifton Eventers
We list below some Clifton Eventers success stories.
We bought Clifton Peekachu as a six-year-old in May 2003 as an easy horse for Frances to ride, and so he lived at home and not with one of our riders. But Fran never seemed to have the time to make the most of him and in October decided to send him to a rider in the USA who was looking for a horse just like Clifton Peekachu.
The years went by and we lost touch with where he was and what he was doing, until one day he popped up in 2006 in the CN North American Junior and Young Riders Championship, CCI* Junior Eventing Championship – with Katlyn McMorris winning both the Individual and Team Gold Medals.
In 2009 Katlyn McMorris was leading the CCI** on Clifton Peekachu after cross country (photo left), but two show jumping rails dropped her into the silver-medal position.
"He felt so amazing in warm-up that I wasn't really worried, but there's always that if," said McMorris, Barrington Hills, Ill. "Going to that first jump I didn't quite see it. That was definitely my fault. After that, we got it together and jumped everything else great."
Aside from the fact he was born in New Zealand, McMorris said she doesn't know what breed her gelding is.
"He's a New Zealand, station-bred mutt," said McMorris with a laugh. "He grows full feathers and has a big belly, but he's got a Thoroughbred face, a drive to run and a big heart."
This is Katlyn McMorris' story:
He is absolutely the love of my life (in the barn). Full of playful character and a true workman, he is my once in a lifetime horse. Peekachu is a horse that just gets better with work. He is a true workman. He does not get sour, in fact, the more you ride him, the more excited he is to go out and do stuff.
With the help of Allison Springer, I found him in Florida in early spring of 2004 after a year of searching and sitting on close to 20 horses. I knew we had to do some work in the dressage ring but the thing I loved about him most was his confidence and quietness while schooling cross country. He was shipped up to Illinois that March.
I was on a slower learning curve than Peekachu was because I was only doing training at the time. But he was sure to turn out to be my perfect match. My goal was to get to the 2005 CCI* Young Riders Championships. We completed the minimum amount of qualifications and I was chosen for the team. I, unfortunately, was the only one to complete the competition from my team but ended up with a silver medal. That year was the start of my North American Young Riders Championships addiction :) Each year we got stronger and stronger as a team.
In 2006 we won the Individual and Team Gold medals, even though earlier that year I had fallen off and had to ride with a screw and wires in my arm.
2007 was my freshman year of college so I took the year to get situated there and start to qualify for the CCI**. Once again, we did the minimum amount of qualification, which included doing the CCI** at Bromont. I don't think that we were necessarily ready to do it. But Peekachu never let me down. Sure footed at always, we communicated throughout the whole cross country course and never doubted a thing.
2008 we competed at the CCI** NAYRC in Colorado. Any time I was in a show jumping ring and a whistle was blown, he immediately perked up. He knew he had a job to do, although, this time he was a little too excited to get the job done. We were sitting in second place going into the show jumping ring but dropped rails. He still won a silver team medal, though.
2009 was my year for revenge against myself. It was my last year as a young rider. I turned 21 that spring and therefore it was my last year to compete Peek at the Championships. I also was taking a year off to finish up my final year of college. Peek was amazing!!! He is such a showman and loves being the centre of attention. We definitely put on a show in the dressage ring. Going down centre line he puffed up, perked his ears, and picked up his knees another two inches! He took every cross country fence in stride and jumped the best he has every jumped in show jumping We ended up with the silver medal.
Because I went back to college this is how Claire Kelly came to ride him in this year's Championships. It was a perfect plan. She needed a horse that could take her to the CCI* and I needed Peekachu to stay in shape so I could get back on him when I graduated. Claire was a perfect match for him and they rocked the competition.
Peekachu went to five young rider's championships and received one or two medals at all of them. He has a total of seven medals and I am almost positive that that is a record!
Peekachu is not the easiest horse to ride. When he goes correctly he is very fancy. But by no means is he a push button horse, especially in show jumping. But he has taught me to ride! He has quite a personality too! He has to be the centre of attention. He wishes he was a lap horse. If there are people in the barn and they aren't paying attention to him, he will find the loudest material in his stall and bang on it until someone comes to him. If I have the time, most shows he ends up just chilling in the middle of the aisle way with me. As long as he is not in his stall he is happy. This year at young riders he was hilarious. He was just soaking up all of the attention. Claire had a lot of family and friends come to watch her and my family and I went to cheer her and Peek on. At the end of his dressage test it was like paparazzi. But he just stood and posed and waited for treats and petting. He loved it. As you probably know, his second favourite thing (well probably his first) in the world is food. There is never enough.
He also loves to put on a show. He knows when he is at a competition! He points his toes a little more in his walk, he sucks up his belly, puffs out his chest, and just lights up. But on the ground, he is the sweetest, calmest horse there can be.
Peekachu is on a short horsey vacation right now before I get back on him. My plans for him do include moving him up to advanced, hopefully this coming spring and moving on from there.
And this is Claire Kelley's story:
Peekachu was undoubtedly one of the most talented horses I have ever sat on! He's absolutely amazing.
I worked out the lease with the McMorris's last year when Katlyn and I were working at Allison's barn together. It was going to be her senior year in college and my senior year in high school. The lease worked out great because I got the benefit of riding Peekachu, which taught me so much over the year, and she got the benefit of him still staying in shape while she graduated college. This past year has been the most amazing year for my horse riding. This year was my first year at NAYRC,I had tried to qualify previous years but due to my past pony's limits, it didn't work out.
Our plan for qualifying for NAYRC was to run two preliminary Pine Tops. Then our first CIC* was Red Hills, which we ended up second in a pretty competitive division. Then we ran the Fork where we ended up winning on 23.5! Our next CIC* was Fair Hill in April which we also ended up winning on our dressage score! After that we didn't run him until Surefire Horse Trials in June which we ended up second. NAYRC was one of the best experiences of my life, to take home individual silver and team silver was icing on the cake, and it couldn't have been with a more pleasant, talented horse.
My plan for the future is to attend college this upcoming fall at University of Kentucky. I am also looking for my own Peekachu. I am hoping to find a horse in the near future for me to go to the next level!
Clifton Peekachu is based in Allison Springer's yard at Middleburg, Virginia.