April 25, 2017 – Lexington, Kentucky – Things are busy at Hester Equestrian! Lauren Hester has hit the ground running after recovering from an unlucky fall off a young horse in January on the Desert Circuit that resulted in shoulder surgery. Back on the Lexington farm, back in the saddle, and back in action, the rhythm of spring in Kentucky is a fast-paced one, and Hester wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love being back home and in the saddle. It’s a lot of work taking care of the property and managing everything, but it’s worth it, and a lot of fun. I have started jumping a bit, and feel as good as new. I’m looking forward to showing in the Kentucky Spring Show.”
Construction of a second new barn on the property is complete, and is now leased and ready for the farm’s newest horses to arrive. Hector Florentino is renting, as well as Luis Biraben from Argentina, who competed at the Olympics in Rio last summer. “We are excited to welcome them to Hilaur Farm,” declares Hester.
Beautiful babies define spring in Lexington, and nowhere is that more apparent than on Hilaur Farm, with three lively foals cavorting in the paddocks. Hester’s mare Abigail has two foals by Diktator (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve, who combines some of Europe’s most successful, proven bloodlines, and stands at neighboring Spy Coast Farm). They produced a colt, Rising Diktator HE (Rascal), and a filly Rockette HE (Rosie). “Rascal,” Hester says, “has definitely been living up to his name. Rosie is a bit shy right now, but she’s only a couple of days old. Both are beautiful and healthy.”
The third foal is out of Hester’s Brandenburger mare Katie Riddle, by her former grand prix horse Cracky Z, who is now owned by Christi Israel. A colt named Riddle Cracker HE (CJ), “He is extremely cuddly and friendly, and follows us all over the field.”
In addition to raising and socializing babies, Hester teaches her students Kelby and Haley Kane. “They came to me never having shown in the jumpers, and they are winning and succeeding beyond my expectations!” As the spring season is underway, other clients have started trailering in for lessons.
With strong ties to Europe, Hester also has some young horses growing up in Holland. One, Happy Feet (Zakharov x Canturano), came to the U.S. in December and competed in her first five-year-old classes this winter. “I Love You (Teddy, a 2013 colt by Numero Uno) has started jumping under saddle and seems very talented. The others are hanging out in the field, waiting to become the next big champions… or so I hope,” she says with a smile.
Adding to the barn buzz at Hilaur Farm is the cadre of the canine and feline variety. Hester has two dogs, Scooby and Jake. “They are the cutest black and white dogs around. Jake helps me drag the ring every day, and Scooby supervises, making sure that I don’t miss anything. We have four barn cats: Ed, Jenny, Boots, and Snuggles, but Ed is the only one that actually helps maintain the barn by hunting. Hilary and Tommy (Hester’s sister and brother-in-law) have two Australian Shepherds named Chevy and Daytona who help keep everyone herded together. And my parents have their two dogs Sophie and Georgia. So it’s a farm full of creatures large and small.”
The energy at the farm is palpable, positive, and happy, as new horses arrive, clients canter around the arena and Hester prepares to re-enter the show ring in a couple of weeks.