One of our best horses has crossed the rainbow bridge. Pippi (registered name Flaming Desyre ++++//) was bred and owned by Martin and Rusty Cook, and while she has earned many National and Regional awards in Open and Adult divisions, Pippi has been shown mostly by 10 and Under riders in Walk/Trot classes.
During her early career it was trainer Jim Porcher and owner Rusty Cook that campaigned Pippi to her early wins, the first blues coming when Pippi was only a four- year old and won the Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse Championship at the Spring Fever II show.
In 2014, under the guidance of Mariah Wilson’s Platinum Performance Horses program, Pippi embarked on an impressive career focusing on introducing young riders to the joys of horsemanship. It was with Oriana Bavin that Pippi won her first youth class, Sport Horse Under Saddle JTR in June of 2014 and by that July, Oriana and Pippi were Reserve National Champions at Youth Nationals in that division.
By October 2014, Pippi was the mount for an even younger rider, Amanda Klingler. With Pippi, Amanda competed for two years in the Walk/Trot division and graduated to her first year of JTR as well. During their years as a team, Pippi and Amanda brought home five Youth National Top Ten Awards.
Having proven herself as the best of Walk/Trot horses, by October 2017 Pippi was partnering a new young rider in the Walk/Trot classes, Brier Lahoff. Pippi and Brier were quite a team and competed in over 30 classes and were always a favorite to win their Walk/Trot Sport Horse Under Saddle classes. But Brier and Pippi also more than held their own against the “big kids” in the Sport Horse In Hand Division. At Scottsdale 2019, Brier showed Pippi in the Sport Horse In Hand Mares Hunter Type ATH and in a very deep class—in which every other mare in the ribbons was a National Top Ten or better—Brier and Pippi were second.
Pippi and her youth riders won many National and Regional honors, USEF Horse of the Year awards, and local High Point trophies. All of us will miss this wonderful mare but the lessons she taught will live on in the horse girls she mentored and who loved her.