Occupation: Show jumping
Hometown: Wellington, Florida
Basic stats: 15-year-old, 16.3-hand Dutch Warmblood gelding • Sire: Tolano van’t Riethof • Dam: Loma
Voyeur’s people: Owner: Amalaya Investments • Rider: Kent Farrington • Exercise rider: Claudio Baroni • Groom: Denise Moriarty • Barn manager: Alex Warriner
Major accomplishments: In 2014, Froggy and Kent won the second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in France, the ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows, the Turkish Airlines Prix of Europe at the Aachen CHIO in Germany (where Froggy also received the Halla Award for being the best horse in the competition) and the team bronze medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France. The following year, he won the Longines FEI Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg CSI***** and the $400,000 Pan American Cup at Spruce Meadows, and was the first U.S. horse to triumph in the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club Top Ten Final in Switzerland. The highlights of his season last year were a team silver medal at the Rio Olympics followed by a win in the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI****–W at the CP National Horse Show.
Background: Froggy has been in Kent’s barn since he was imported from Holland as a 9 year old. Now that he’s a veteran competitor, Kent saves him for major international competitions. Based in Calgary (in Canada) and Europe for much of each year, Froggy shows about twice a month. Over the winter, he gets a three-month break from showing when he’s home in Wellington, while Kent’s younger horses get their spot in the limelight.
Froggy has a reputation for being spooky and excitable in the show ring. The more electric the atmosphere is, the more his hot-blooded nature shows through. Noises—especially rowdy crowds—set him off, as do miniature horses and horses who are “dressed differently:” dressage horses in white polo wraps and horses in Western tack. When he encounters one of these horses, says Denise, “he stops dead still and his eyes get even bigger. If there are no other horses around, he’ll whinny for someone to come help him.”
When he’s really excited, Froggy does a trademark dance on the spot, sometimes adding in a few mini-rears. He feeds off of people’s nerves, too, says Denise. “The fewer people that are around him, the better. You just have to stay really calm with him.” He gets especially wild in award ceremonies, so Kent avoids them whenever possible.
Daily routine: Contrary to his show-ring persona, Froggy is an affectionate people
lover in the barn. Alex says, “He’s a total teddy bear. He loves to snuggle.” However, he’s not crazy about being groomed. He’d rather be turned out in the pasture next door to his best friend, Uceko (another of Kent’s grand prix horses) or rolling. “He loves to roll—anywhere, anytime,” says Denise. “He even tries to roll on pavement.” She takes him out to roll as often as possible, ideally after exercise when he’s sweaty and is going to have a bath anyway. “It’s really good for stretching out his back. He can flip himself all the way over quite easily.”
Because he’s so experienced, he rarely jumps at home. Kent likes to keep his mind fresh by training him outside of the ring—either in the field or on the track, which has a figure-eight configuration as well as an outside loop. Froggy does fitness work on the track at least three days a week. When he’s building up after a show hiatus, he’s sometimes ridden twice a day.
Froggy does not get longed or go on the automatic walker because he’s so flighty. Denise explains, “If something sets him off, there’s no way you can control him. The walker is a very small space, so the chances of him spinning or getting caught up in something are greater.” He doesn’t go on the treadmill either because, she says, “he can’t handle it. For a horse who jumps so high, he’s very uncoordinated.”
Nutrition: It’s difficult to keep weight on Froggy when he’s traveling and competing. His three daily grain meals are often increased to four at shows plus four meals of timothy hay. He eats a combination of Cavalor® feeds: Pianissimo, which is specially designed for hot horses; Fiberforce, for gut health; Strucomix Senior, a high-fiber feed for hard keepers; and Whole-Gain, a high-fat concentrate. When he’s competing, he also receives Superforce and Perfomix for extra energy. When he’s traveling, he gets a light, easily digestible feed called Mash & Mix.
Froggy doesn’t like a lot of supplements in his meals, but his team manages to sneak in Cavalor Electrolyte Balance and Muscle Fit, plus Platinum CJ for his joints and coat and Platinum BCAA to help him recover from big events.
Other care: Before classes, Froggy wears a Respond Systems magnetic blanket or an Activo-Med magnetic massage blanket. While he’s being braided, he stands on a Respond Systems Bio-Pulse Iron Footpad.
Both at competitions and at home, Froggy is treated regularly by a massage therapist, who, Denise says, “stretches him out, keeps the muscles in his back soft and works out any kinks he might have.”
When traveling, he always wears bell boots on all four feet, which prevent him from removing his shoes—something Denise says he’s very good at otherwise.