Another "first time combo" at the Arabian US Open this year is Patriot V++++// and Jennifer Henderson riding in the Hunter Pleasure Pro/Am class. The third part of that team will be Jennifer's mom, Lorie Henderson, making it very much a family affair! Patty-as he is sometimes called- came to be a part of Herd Henderson largely in part to Lorie’s life- long friendship with Sheila Varian. Lorie lived not far the Varian Ranch, first visited in the 1980’s and attended the Spring and Fall events at the ranch as often as she could. But it was actually Patriot V’s name that ended up playing a big part of the story of how he came to become of Firelight Arabians.
By 2009 Firelight Arabians had moved from California to Kentucky. They already had several Varian bred horses but when her husband Neil spotted a Varian Ranch ad for a foal named Patriot V it definitely caught his attention. Lorie and her family are huge history buffs and they collect early American history memorabilia. A horse named Patriot! How cool is that? True story! Lorie liked his pedigree. His sire is Jullyen el Jamaal and Lorie was familiar with his dam, Precious V. She liked the photos. So Lorie flew to west to see him.
Patriot V at Varian Arabians
Lorie LOVED him the minute she set eyes on him! A quick call back to Kentucky and the trailer was on the way to California. Now comes my favorite part of the story! If you linger too long in a target rich horse shopping environment, things happen. Things like finding another really cool colt and thinking what any logical horse person would. “What the heck! There IS an open slot on the trailer heading back home!” No self- respecting horse person would let that go to waste. And that is how Brando V came to Kentucky as well.
Patriot has definitely proved that the long drive was more than worth it. Lorie’s daughter,Jennifer, started showing Patriot in hunter pleasure amateur to ride and sport horse under saddle classes in 2012 when he was just a four year old. And he’s been bringing home awards from Regional and National shows every year since.
Patriot V++++// at the Breyerfest Weekend
However, while this might be Patriot’s first trip to the Arabian US Open it’s not his high profile meet and greet! Patriot and his team of humans are up for anything that helps to promote the Arabian horse. He’s been part of many promotional events such as the Kentucky Horse Council Youth Weekend and the huge Breyerfest Weekend at the Kentucky Horse Park where he patiently greets horse fans of all ages. However, sometimes all the standing around can get a little boring and Patty has his own way to amuse himself! Towel waving! As long as he has a towel to play with, it’s all good!