Enter Beijing.... a KWPN mare (UB40 x Jetset-D x Voltaire). Though only 6 at the time, she was perfect. The Dominguez family put total faith in our decision, and Beijing was on a flight to the USA to begin her development. In 2013, the family made a huge commitment to chase Alex's dream, and she left Guatemala to begin training with Beijing full time. We should also add that part of the deal was for her to commit to full time college, which she has done, maintaining a 4.0!
Alex became 100% dedicated to the training and development of Beijing, and this wonderful mare seems equally committed. Qualifiers began in early 2015, and before we knew it, Alex was representing Guatemala at the Nations Cup in Wellington, and sealed her qualification requirements for the Pan Am Games.
The adventure began! Although we had costly mistakes in the competition, 19 yr. old Alex and 9 yr. old Beijing (the youngest combination in the Games) represented Guatemala, and made a huge statement about what is yet to come! We could not be more proud!!!
It seems apropos that the first news should be of our recent adventure to the Pan American Games.
In 2012, we were introduced to the Dominguez family by FEI judge, Natalie Lamping. At that time, they were starting to look for a horse, but were a little undecided on what they should really be looking for. When the decision was finally made to search for an up and coming talent for 5'2" Alex, we knew we needed a sports car. This was a difficult task, as the horse had to be suitable for Alex, have talent for the future, and be easily trainable, as Alex was just 16 yrs. old at the time. And.... there were big goals. Alex had set her sights on representing her native Guatemala at the Pan American Games in 2015, making the horse search even more interesting!
Alex and Beijing at the Nation's Cup
Thirty four years ago, Jeanne Pakes wandered in to the barn looking for a summer grooming job. On July 2nd, 2016, we said our first and final good-bye. She fought a private, selfless battle with colon cancer, and lost the war.
Few really got to know Jeanne, but those who did, will not deny her being one of the wittiest, funniest, most caring and dedicated human beings alive. Her day started with horses, and ended with horses... there was no 9-5, weekends, or holidays. It was whatever needed to be done, until it was done. She was my shotgun, my backbone, my confidante, and the most loyal friend I could ever know.
I just can't imagine life without her.
Godspeed, my friend. Take care of Herbie and Janni until I get there... and we'll ride again.
(June 3, 1958-July 2, 2016)