When Caroline Roffman received an e-mail from Margaret McIntosh inquiring about borrowing a horse for the USEF High Performance Southeast Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium, Roffman immediately wanted to help. Accomplished para-equestrian McIntosh asked for just two things: a horse with a good mind and a great walk.
Roffman, an international grand prix rider and head trainer at Lionshare Dressage in Wellington, called her working student Sierra Keasler to suggest that McIntosh borrow Keasler’s Delorean MF, the 6-year-old son of Don Principe known around the barn as “Baby Horse.”
McIntosh is a talented rider who enjoyed a successful eventing career with the help of Bruce Davidson, which led to her competing in the CCI*** and CCI**** at the Rolex Kentucky three-day event in 1997 and 1998 before a life-changing accident. While riding, McIntosh fell over a cross country fence and broke her neck in 1999.
Although she was initially paralyzed from the chest down, McIntosh was able to regain her mobility and get back in the saddle as a para-equestrian. She has risen back through the equestrian ranks, earning the title of 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian dressage reserve champion.
Unable to bring her own horse to Wellington for the symposium, McIntosh looked to Roffman for the perfect ride.
For Keasler, the decision to lend her horse to McIntosh was an easy one. “After hearing her story, there was no way I could say no,” she explained. “At the symposium, Baby Horse made me proud. He took his job very seriously and worked so hard for Margaret.”
McIntosh competes in para-equestrian dressage at Grade 1(a), a classification in which riders walk their dressage tests. Although she just barely missed the mark for the 2012 London Olympics Selection Trials and she was unable to compete in the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games due to a classification discrepancy, McIntosh continues to push forward in her competitive career. Her sights are set on qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
ABOVE: Sierra Keasler stands with Margaret McIntosh on Delorean MF at the USEF High Performance Southeast Para Equestrian Dressage Symposium.