Twenty-five Onondaga County 4-H youth and volunteers were lucky enough to take a tour of Beezie and John Madden's Caritas Farm on April 15.
Megan Maloney, farm manager, and Heather Kallas, coordinator for the Syracuse Invitational, guided 4-H youth and volunteers on a tour of the facilities, in which youth were amazed by the size and height of the indoor arena. The footing in the indoor, which consisted of a mixture of sand and shavings (cedar by smell), was unique to the footing normally experienced by the tour participants. Unfortunately, Beezie and John Madden were in Las Vegas at the World Cup.
The highlight of the tour was seeing Olympic Champion, Authentic who won one bronze and two gold medals for the USA during the 2008 Olympic Games. He is 13 years old and was enjoying the sunshine and grass in his private paddock. Authentic was also a camera ham and loved the attention. He will be going to the 2012 Olympics in London.
Participants also met Judgement, an 18-year-old stallion that has won more than 2 million dollars in prizes. He has a 2-year-old daughter.
New to the stable and showing much promise was Amadora, a new 6- to 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood, just from the Netherlands that Beezie will start riding.
Participants visited the retired horse area passing many paddocks with beautiful, friendly horses. It was great to see retired horses well kept and relaxing, just being horses.
The grounds cover just under 200 breathtaking acres. The farm has a Grand Prix practice-course and is a replica of Spruce Meadows in Canada with water hazards and Devil's Alley. There are 35 horses at the facility with some moving on and off for training. The staff of 14 consists of grooms, riders and the office staff. The tour also included the tack rooms with so many beautiful, bright, shiny bridles and saddles, and the grooming stalls.