Debuting at Central Park-Alice and Del
Originally published September 22, 2017
Any debut is a special event but when Alice Spinella rides her pretty chestnut gelding into the ring on Wednesday there's going to be a little something extra about that ride. Alice has dedicated her 2107 show season to honor her long time trainer and friend Mert Sartre who, after a lifetime devoted to training horses, passed away in May.
In 2011, Alice and Merte went to the US Nationals shopping for her first western pleasure horse. They had in mind something about eight or nine years old. But the horse that ended up catching their eye was Odelgos Del Psyche (by Pardons Psyche and out of the mare Shah Fawn). At that time Del was still a four year old junior horse but he just seemed to be the one. As Alice says "We're like peanut butter and jelly".
When I reached out for information about Alice and Del, in addition to getting in touch with Alice I contacted her daughter Nicole,
Nicole says, "I'm the reason my mom got into horses. I got the bug when I was around 10 and after many pony rides and lessons and begging, my Dad went out and bought me a Quarter Horse. Then my Mom started coming to the barn with me and there was a "crazy" Arab mare there for sale and she fell in love with her and bought her!
Neither of us knew anything about Arabians horses and fortunately we ended up at an Arabian training barn. The barn was Meadow Ridge and the trainer was Karen Baldwin. From then on we were both hooked on Arabians and my mom got just as much into it as I did."
"My mom is all about continuous learning and what better sport than riding horses! You never stop learning! Every horse you ride is a new teacher and it's also the only sport where the "ball" has a brain!"
"As so many of us do, my mom became addicted plus it doesn't hurt that Arabians are super smart and form amazing bonds with their humans"