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Woodslee Olympian mare foals second filly


by Sylene Argent

In 2016, Woodslee-born mare, A Little Romance – who is affectionately known as Blue or Blue Eyes around the barn, was in top shape as she represented Canada as an eventing competitor in the Olympic Games that were held in Rio, with her handler, Jessica Phoenix.


  Having proved herself as an accomplished eventer with her combined performances in the jumping stadium ring, out on the cross-country course, and through completing dressage patterns, the 15.3hands, 16-year-old Trakehner- Thoroughbred mare has spent the past few years raising foals.

  Two-years ago, Blue gave birth to her first filly, “A Fierce Romance,” and just gave birth to her second filly, on June 5. The new foal is sired by one of the stallions Phoenix trains, Humble GS.

Blue’s owners, Don and Anita Leschied, have referred to Blue as having a big heart to make up for her small stature.

  Blue Eyes was born to run, Anita recalled, when she spoke about her mare in the past. “When she was a foal, she loved to run through the fields and woods, keeping close to her mom, Regan, but just loved to bolt up our small hill and whinny the whole time she was running.”

Her newest foal, who may be given the barn name Blueberry, seems to be taking after her dam’s love of running. “She is very independent,” Anita said, adding she had a little help in keeping her balance from caregivers shortly after birth. Then, the little one spent around an hour running about the stall, discovering her new legs. “She was a fast learner and a fast runner.”

 

Anita remembers being in Rio to cheer Phoenix and Blue on during the Olympics, and just being excited to have her mare compete at such a high-level. She recalls Phoenix telling her Blue was a bit frightened going over the jumps as she was the first horse to go through the course, but by the end, “She thought she was on the best cross-country horse she had ever ridden. I have always remembered that and taken that to heart, thinking ‘well, this little mare, something was in her heart when she was born 16-years ago. We are proud of her.”

  When out on a cross-country course, Anita said Blue would perk up her ears and listen to Phoenix when preparing for a jump. As soon as she was over the jump, her ears would pin back and she would gallop to the next one. “She was like, let’s get going,” Anita said of Blue’s determination to succeed.

  Anita believes Blue’s heart on the course is what Phoenix is hoping will be passed onto little Blueberry.