Woman’s miniature horses stand tall in competition
Published: Monday, September 1, 2014 at 10:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 1, 2014 at 10:58 p.m.
When her mother got a miniature horse almost a decade ago, Macy Plemmons thought it would make a cute pasture pet.
After all, she was a hunter/jumper enthusiast who competed with “real” horses. The minis were more curiosity than anything else. Soon, however, Plemmons realized how wrong she was. And now the little horses have become the center of her horse world.
The University of Florida senior and her mother, Teresa Plemmons, have become deeply involved in the miniature horse show circuit and are preparing to attend the American Miniature Horse Registry National Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, starting Thursday.
“I never knew about this whole other world of minis. Soon we started showing the big horses less and less, and now we only show the minis,” said Macy Plemmons, who is studying English and communications at UF.
Despite having only a handful of horses, the duo have had tremendous success at the national championships, where more than 2,500 horses compete in several divisions and classes.
“There are breeding farms here in Ocala and Marion County that are taking 40 or more horses to nationals,” Plemmons said.
Macy and Teresa are taking only six, but it is a string that has won multiple national championship titles. Last year, the pair won their first grand national championship title with a little mare named Silver Meadows Original Masterpiece.
The horse won her title in the roadster cart division. The mare pulls a cart similar to a harness racing rig, with Macy as the driver dressed in racing silks.
“It’s all about speed. It’s not a real race, but we go fast. That’s why I like it,” she said.
Other divisions include carriage driving, with drivers in elegant dress; halter divisions where the horse is judged solely on conformation and accepted standards; and a unique play on hunter/jumper competitions.
“The handler wears tall boots, breeches and a riding coat, just like in regular hunter/jumper competitions, but they have the horse on a lead going over the jumps. It’s kind of like a dog show,” Macy Plemmons said.
Teresa Plemmons said she got the mini horse all those years ago strictly as a hobby.
“It was a true hobby. It went from a hobby to more work, but it’s still fun. You have everything you have with a big horse without the danger of getting stepped on or falling off,” she said. “It’s fun, but we’re serious about it. We don’t like to lose.”
While there are specific breeds of small horses, to be considered a miniature, the horse has to measure fewer than 38 inches tall.
Most of the work at their five-acre farm is done by the two women. Macy has become the main trainer for the horses, and Teresa has taken an interest in breeding. Last year she helped foal their first baby.
“I wanted to be there when the first one was born, but from now on I think we’re going to send them to foal somewhere else,” Teresa said. “The mare did great. It was quick with no problems, but I was still scared to death.”
To follow the show results online, go to http://goo.gl/Ee02rR (the link is case-sensitive).