Ahnii …for those, who give a Hoot! Welcome to Go-ko-ko Odena. ‘Go-ko-ko’ is ‘Owl’ and ‘Odena’ is ‘place of many hearts’.
Living the dream. Apparently hard work and dedication pays off. Tory Lesage, of Garden River, is at the pinnacle of the show jumping equestrian world. Tory, just turned 21, and works as a groom for Kara Chad’s Stone Ridge team. Chad is a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team.
Tory started this part of her career at the world renowned Spruce Meadows, south of Calgary Alberta. She has wintered at the Torrey Pines Stable in Florida and recently came back from the show jumping circuit based out of Brussels, Belgium. She celebrated her birthday, while in Rome Italy, earlier this year.
Tory is part of Stone Ridge team that includes the trainer, the vet, the blacksmith, and the osteopath. The goal is to arrive at and maintain the horse’s peak condition, so that the horse and rider can perform in the gruelling show jumping venue. Tory provides excellent care to Chad’s string of competitive horses.
Chad’s trainer is Eric Lamaze, Canada’s only individual show jumping Olympic Gold Medalist. Lamaze is owner of the Torrey Pines stable in Florida and Artisan Farms, Belgium, and combined with Canada’s Spruce Meadows, gives Tory exposure to the best show jumping venues in the world.
Tory needs the observation skills of professional gamblers. She needs to know the horse’s tendencies, reactions to diet, training and conditioning effects. While focussing on the horse, Tory’s intimate knowledge of the connection between the horse and rider is imperative. Every little thing counts. Her daily interaction of feeding, training, conditioning, which is integrated with her observations, makes her a integral team member. As part of the team, she must be able to intelligently converse in a confident manner to assist in important decisions. She is involved in deciding what type of work the horse needs, its diet, and which horses make the grade.
Tory has been involved with horses since the tender age of 6, with her older brother Tyler and younger sister Tatam. While Tyler went on to other sports, Tatam and Tory have become accomplished riders. They started at Stone Oaks in the North Bay area, then Eastwood, then Foreshew and the last stop in Ontario was High Rail just north of the Soo. After gaining further direction form Lise Mathieu, of High Rail, Tory then went to Michigan under the tutelage of Katie Colfer Sport Horses. Colfer gave a strong recommendation, which helped to land the groom position with Kara Chad.
Tory and Tatam competed in the Trillium circuit in Ontario and in the Michigan show jumping circuit as well. They are involved with their parents’, Rob and Marlene, Hidden Hills, off of Syrette road in Garden River. In fact, Tatum is hosted a Summer Schooling Show July 15th.
Tory’s future looks awfully bright, after completing university, she then plans to go on to veterinarian school. I believe she will do extremely well. Her parents and family have given her a great foundation of skills and character, combined with her experience, personal integrity and intelligence, this young woman has a great future!
To learn more about the Chad team click here. Make sure you click on Tory’s picture to connect to a further description of Tory’s responsibilities.