A similar article is scheduled to appear in the June 13 edition of the Fauquier Times-Democrat.
To see Placido and Sam in action, click on this link.
“The Best Horse Ever” Wins at Upperville
When Denice Perry, of The Plains, Virginia, was searching for a new horse to join her stable, she saw an advertisement that included a phrase that caught her eye: “The Best Horse Ever.”
So, after trying the horse from Oregon named Placido, Denice brought him back to Virginia where he became an equitation mount and junior hunter for student Victoria Smith of Middleburg. Then, when Smith decided to focus solely on the jumpers, Perry knew that she’d found the perfect match for her husband, Roy, and Placido joined their family.
Three years later, Placido has proven over and over that the description on his sale ad was absolutely true, and during the 159th Upperville Colt & Horse Show, June 4-10, he added yet another title to his impressive record by winning the $10,000 Paul & Eve Fout Go As You Please Handy Hunter class with rider Samantha Schaefer.
In addition, Placido picked up third place in the inaugural $20,000 Upperville Hunter Derby, held Saturday night in the beautiful new all-weather ring on the jumper side of the show grounds, proving his mettle on both sides of Route 50.
“I’m so fortunate to have found this horse, and then to have Victoria and her father Mike Smith offer to sell him to me was such a blessing,” said Perry. “He is the best horse for everyone who rides him.”
Indeed, Schaefer, 19, felt the same way after their lucrative weekend full of ribbons and accolades. “He was so much fun,” she said with a smile. “I had a blast riding him.”
After Perry’s student Chiara Parlagreco, of Warrenton, Virginia, guided Placido to ribbons in the 3’3” Performance Hunters on Monday, Perry woke up in the middle of the night with an idea. “I thought, ‘What if Sam could ride him in the big classes?’ She was stabled down the aisle from me and is such a great rider. Chiara had several other hunters to show later in the week in the adult division, so she wasn’t able to ride him in the 3’6” classes.”
Schaefer, of Westminster, Maryland, is a rising sophomore at Baylor University (Texas) and is one of the country’s top collegiate riders. She earned MVP honors and led her team to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championship in April after finishing her successful junior career last year.
Schaefer gratefully accepted the ride, and guided the 16-year-old warmblood gelding to victory in the featured Go As You Please Handy Hunter Class presented by the Fout family. Each rider designed a course that showed off their unique talents, and Schaefer chose many tight rollbacks and bending lines. The class is a show favorite and harkens back to the old days when handiness was a treasured trait in a show hunter.
“It was phenomenal to watch them perform in the main ring, and Sam rode him beautifully,” said Perry. “It was so nice to see Placido perform at his true capabilities. We haven’t used him at this level for a couple of years, and to see them in the Hunter Derby, where she chose the four-foot options, was great. He can go in the 2’6” hunters and the four-foot and is equally as good. He’s just an amazing horse.”