The name Taylor Flury has become synonymous with young horse development—and EQUILINE America. Wearing her signature royal blue EQUILINE show coat, Flury has achieved success in the young horse divisions and beyond this year, including the 7 & Younger Jumper Championship at the Hampton Classic and wins in both the 1.40m Kindredbio Open Jumper Prix and the Johnson Horse Transportation Welcome Stake at Balmoral Park with the 7-year-old Zangersheide stallion, Carrasca Z—better known as “Hank.”
Flury recently received invitations for three horses—Calano Z, Cosmea Z, and Hank—to compete at the prestigious FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships in Lanaken, Belgium. There, Hank stole the show, finishing 5th of 183 competitors in the 2nd qualifier for 7-year-olds and qualifying among the division’s top 40 competitors to compete in the 7-yer-old final.
Flury checks in for EQUILINE America’s latest blog to talk about her experiences in Lanaken and the next set of goals she’s set:
EQUILINE America: What was it like to compete at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships in Lanaken?
Taylor Flury: It’s been a goal of mine to show [at Lanaken] forever and ever. I showed once here before in 2015, but it was with two 5-year-olds, and it was a somewhat last-minute thing. We were prepared, but this year, this was my goal, and I spent all year trying to build toward it.
It’s been a great experience. What I really liked about coming was to see where the young horses here are [in their development] and how mine compared. All three were competitive and right there, but the competition is so tough. One rail keeps you out of the finals.
I think I have a better understanding of what I need to improve on and of the changes I can make in my program. One of differences that I see in the States is that there’s a big gap between the 7-year-old [classes] and the international level. In Europe, the gap starts to get closed, and there’s more of an international level of competition. It makes you work harder and shows you where you need to improve in the future.
EA: Tell us more about your star pupils that received accepted invitations to Lanaken:
TF: All three are horses that we’ve owned since they were weanlings. I started them and was the first to show them.
Cosmea is super talented but very much needs to be in a program and needs to be brought along. I think she’s going to be a future grand prix horse. She’s been awesome all year. We stepped up to the 1.40m, and she’s getting it, but she’s a little greener than the other two.
Calano is a 6-year-old stallion. He was the 5-year-old Champion at the East Coast Young Jumper Finals last year and 6-year-old Champion this year. Both times, he was the only one to jump all four rounds clear. He’s an awesome horse—so rideable with such a good brain.
Carrasca has always been my leading man. He’s so rideable, so scopey, and there’s no other horse I’d want to walk into a big ring on. His attitude makes him so special. He’s always willing, he’s very forgiving, and he’s very brave. He’s also super athletically talented. He has blood and will take you to jumps, while also being very adjustable and rideable. His personality is what takes him above being just a talented horse; he always wants to try.
The really nice thing about all three horses is that I didn’t worry about walking in the rings with the big atmosphere here. It’s majorly different from the States, but they’re all super brave. They’re not spooky or worried about that kind of stuff. It’s a nice thing to have.
EA: What is life like at Aliboo Farm?
TF: It’s crazy! I usually ride anywhere from 10-12 horses a day. I’m the first one to feed in the morning: At 5:15, I feed everyone in the barn and do turn out, so I can put eyes on all the horses. There’s a running joke that I love my quiet time in the morning. I’m the only one there for the first hour.
Then I usually start riding. It can be a varied day. Sometimes I’ll have 3-year-olds that are just getting started. I’ll be the first to put the saddle on and get on them. Then there are older ones that are 7 and do “real horse” stuff. The 10-12 that I ride are all under the age of 7.
In the spring, I oversee the breeding. I handle the coordinating of getting the stallions collected and shipped out to different people. There’s always something going on. We have 35 horses in the barn right now of all ages, from foals up to riding horses. This year we’ve had a lot in for training, because people send me young horses to develop.
EA: What has it meant to you to be a part of Team EQUILINE?
TF: I love EQUILINE. Not only do I love their clothes and products, but what sets them apart is their customer service. They want to help you have the best experience, by having the right clothes, the right fit, and having the right saddles or tack. I really appreciate that with them, and they’re willing to do that for everyone, not just sponsored riders.
I love the clothes as well. I haven’t fit [well] into hunt coats before, but I can wear one of their coats right off the rack; they’re long enough in the arms and not too bulky in the body. I also love the simplicity of the clothes. I can wash them myself on the road, and they’ll still look just as good as if they’ve gone to a dry cleaner.
EA: What do you think of EQULINE’s saddles?
TF: I started riding in the saddles a year and a half ago. I rode in it, and each time, I liked it more and more. I love that it puts you in a great position on the horse. You can sit in it and stay balanced in it. You can also play with the blocks in the front and back. I love that if you get on different horses and adjust your stirrups, you can adjust the blocks to make them fit where they need to. They’re all that I ride in now.
EA: What is your favorite EQUILINE product?
TF: The work bandages! They are reasonably priced, and I love the fact that they’re fleece on the bottom and have elastic bandage material on top. The horse doesn’t get rubs but still gets a tight fit because of the top elastic layers.
I also love my royal blue EQUILINE hunt coat. It fits well, and it’s beautiful to look at. It’s so pretty, and it’s different but not ostentatious. All the clothes and products are so classy. They are traditional but still very stylish.
EA: What is something people might not know about you?
TF: I was born on Halloween, and my nickname growing up was “Boo.” Halloween is my favorite time of the year. I’m super superstitious and love everything to do with witches and haunted houses.
EA: What’s next for Hank?
TF: His plan is to get a vacation for a little while and to step up to the 1.50m level next year and do some national level grand prixs. I also want to keep developing him in terms of. The KWPN stud committee looked at him in Lanaken. They’ve only approved one stallion born in the U.S., and that was [Beezie Madden’s] Judgment. The KWPN stallion judges provisionally approved [Carrasca]. So, I’m keep going with his breeding a little bit and hopefully step him up to the 1.50ms. I want to keep developing him into a 1.60m international horse someday.
EA: What are your short- and long-term goals?
TF: Short-term, I’m hoping the 7-year-olds can step up into some grand prixs this year, and I want to keep developing them and the breeding program in the States. Long-term, I’d love to have horses that are competing at the international level. I want to be developing horses that are competitive at the top of the sport.