Team Canada eventing veteran, Selena O’Hanlon lights up when she gets to talk about her 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games partner, Foxwood High.
The 16-year-old bay Canadian Sport Horse [ by Rio Bronco W out of Evita II], also known as “Woody”, just gets better with age, she said after cross-country day in Tryon, N.C.
“Woody answered every question. He was as fast as he’s ever gone, coming home after that hill. I couldn’t ask for more. As he gets older he just gets better,” Selena said.
“He’s so easy to love. He’s a gentle giant. And sweet and very calm. He’s polite. He loves mints and carrots and is starting to become a fan of apples. He’s just so easy to handle in every situation. He’s quiet in the 10-minute box, so it makes him a good cross-country horse because his heart rate comes down quicker.”
Selena won the Fair Hill International CCI3* aboard Woody last year, becoming the first Canadian pair to do so.
“He can get a little electric in the dressage, but he’s gotten better over the years. The crowd cheering for him (at WEG) was a little more than he’s used to. So it didn’t help for dressage, but he has to be so fit to run the cross-country. He’s such a pleasure to work with.”
“At Red Hills, we’ll stop at the fence line and he’ll reach over. I’ll say to the kids, ‘it’s Woody like in Toy Story, you can pet him,’ and he wouldn’t move. They could anything. He wouldn’t step on you. People like him because he’s personable. He has a big fan base.”
The only thing he doesn’t like is having his head or face brushed, laughed Selena.
“It doesn’t matter if its the softest goat-haired brush in the world, don’t try to stroke it gently,” she said. “You can scrub his head, you can sponge his head, you can spray his head, but that’s the only thing he doesn’t like.”
Listen to the full interview with Selena here, where she talks about her Canadian WEG teammates and how the WEG cross-country course compared to Badminton: