Next week Wimpys LittleColonel and Franco Bertolani will be representing the country of Brazil in the reining portion of the World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 taking place in Tryon, North Carolina.
We had a chance to sit down with Chloe Lawrence of Lawrence Ranch to talk about Wimpys LittleColonel and what it’s like sending a horse to WEG for the first time.
H&R: Tell us a little bit about Wimpys LittleColonel.
CL: Wimpys LittleColonel is a 9-year-old stallion that we’ve owned since the spring of his 3-year-old year. He’s by Wimpys Little Step and out of a mare that’s a full sister to NRHA Hall of Fame mare Collena Chic Olena, and he has more than $144,652 in lifetime earnings.
H&R: What’s his career been like in the show pen?
CL: As a 4-year-old “The Colonel” was shown by Jordan Larson (a member of this year’s United States WEG Reining Team) where he was reserve in the open derby at the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC). Then in his 5-year-old year Shawn Flarida showed him at the AQHA World Show where he took home the reserve world championship in junior reining. He also went on to win the Florida Reining Classic open derby that year, too.
This year Franco Bertolani and The Colonel made their debut as a team at the NRBC where they were crowned champions in the open challenge.
H&R: Coming from an owner’s point of view, what made you decide to send your horse to WEG?
CL: This is our first time to send a horse to WEG; the last time The Colonel was only 6 years old and therefore not eligible to compete at the Games. Really it was our horse that made the decision for us. We started riding him after the 2017 breeding season and you could tell that he still had the desire to be shown. He’s a really physical horse and tries so hard in the show pen, so we knew the journey to WEG was a great next step in his career!
H&R: Speaking of his busy breeding schedule, did you face any challenges preparing Wimpys LittleColonel with him being at the breeding barn?
CL: Franco and Cardinal Ranch (owned by Joao Marco), where Franco works out of, were supportive and completely understanding that The Colonel is a breeding stallion first and foremost—taking care of our mare owners is very important to us.
We all worked together with Cinder Lakes Ranch, where The Colonel stands, to make the 2018 breeding season successful while also preparing him for the World Equestrian Games.
H&R: What about Wimpys LittleColonel’s personality makes him the perfect horse for a competition like WEG?
CL: The Colonel is so easy going and has a willing-to-please personality. He’s the kind of horse that the more you ask of him, the more he gives you. He also doesn’t take much preparation to show, which is key with an event like WEG, because practice time is so limited.
Franco and The Colonel also really know how to work well as a team; they have a great connection. Franco is an excellent rider and knows what it takes to be at the top!
H&R: Has preparing him for the Games been different from regular NRHA competition?
CL: The only thing that’s been different is the passport each horse is required to have. At a normal reining competition we only need a Coggins test and health certificate. For WEG we had to get The Colonel a passport that requires much more information (and varies from country to country), and he also was required to be microchipped.
H&R: What are you looking forward to most at the World Equestrian Games?
CL: We are really looking forward to the experience of the team format and getting to cheer on Team Brazil! Brazil’s reining industry is growing so fast and it’s exciting to be part of it.
Thank you to Chloe Lawrence for talking to us. You can learn more about Wimpys LittleColonel here.