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Hot to trot

Hometown horse makes headlines

POSTED: September 8, 2010 4:00 a.m.
Frank Reddy Dawson Community News/

Horse trainer Leslie Bean has trained Miss Pamela for nearly two years. Bean, McCracken and Miss Pamela are headed to the World Equestrian Games at the end of the month.

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Trainer Leslie Bean explains dressage as a “tango between horse and rider.”

If that’s the case, dressage is a dance that Miss Pamela, a local Irish Draught Sport Horse, has mastered.


The 7-year-old mare was recently chosen to take part in the World Equestrian Games in September and October, a gathering of breeds and trainers held once every four years.


According to owner and breeder Moira McCracken, Miss Pamela is the only home-bred horse from Georgia attending the event in Lexington, Ky., and likely will be the only one for a good, long while.


“This is the first time the World Equestrian Games have ever been held in the United States and probably will be the only time in my lifetime,” McCracken said.


McCracken said the games are “the largest sporting event of 2010.”

Miss Pamela’s role in the event will be that of a demonstration horse for her specific breed.


Bean said the mare will be showcased every day during the more than two-week event.


“We submitted our application more than a year ago and were chosen out of hundreds and hundreds of horses and riders,” Bean said.


Miss Pamela, or Pebbles as she’s known by those on the farm in Dawson County, was chosen for her skills at dressage.


“Dressage is beautiful,” Bean said. “The ultimate goal is for the rider to show little or no movement and to be quiet as possible. The horse responds to the rider and they basically dance together.”


Dancing skills aside, McCracken said Pebbles is a joy to have around the farm.

“She is miss personality plus,” said McCracken as she watched the horse nosing at a folding chair beside the stable on Friday. “She’s a prankster. She gets into mischief all the time.”


Pebbles bit the metal chair, snorting, as she lifted it off the ground.


“You see!” McCracken said, rushing toward the mare.


Bean said Pebbles is a rather large horse for her breed, at 17.2 hands.


“Hands” comes from the literal definition of a man’s hand. A hand is generally four inches across from pinky to thumb, according to Bean.


McCracken said she’s proud of the horse.


“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, to take a home-bred horse and have it represent the breed in the United States, it’s an incredible honor,” she said.


Dressage is one of several other disciplines that will be featured at the World Equestrian Games.


Others include show jumping, endurance, vaulting, reining and para dressage for riders with disabilities.


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