Kennedy is a Dutch Warmblood gelding who joined us for retirement in January 2011.  Kennedy was born in the Netherlands on July 4th and his birthday undoubtedly ended up being a contributing factor in his name being Kennedy.  I think his mom picked the best show name possible when she chose the name “Mr. President” for him.  As you can imagine we have had all sorts of fun with his name and have amused ourselves with the obvious jokes.  His friends are his secret service detail, the trailer of course is Air Force One, and, well, you get the idea!

Kennedy, better known as Mr. President in the show ring, with his mom
Kennedy’s sire is the Dutch Warmblood stallion Uniform who is one of the leading sires of dressage horses in Holland.  One of Uniform’s best known offspring in the United States would be Metallic.  Metallic competed with Robert Dover in dressage in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, earning a team bronze medal.     
Uniform, Kennedy’s sire

Kennedy’s mom has been riding and involved with horses most of her life.  She started riding hunters, then switched to eventing, and finally settled on dressage about 20 years ago.  She also had some time working on thoroughbred farms in Kentucky when she was a student at the University of Kentucky prepping yearlings for the sale.  After riding most of her life and having owned several horses, she has a very good idea of what she is looking for when searching for a horse.  
Kennedy grooming with Toledo while Rampal and Stormy graze nearby

Kennedy and Stormy grooming

Kennedy’s mom had a horse that she had decided to sell and she was searching for her next equine partner.  Her trainer happened to be discussing this with a hunter/jumper trainer that was also based at their barn and had Kennedy for sale as he had recently been imported to the U.S. in March of 2004.  Kennedy came up in the discussion and it was decided that his future mom should try him.  Normally his mom prefers to buy younger horses and Kennedy was 12 at the time, but she decided to consider him for a few reasons, with the main one being that she had two young children and she really needed a steady, quiet horse.

Clayton, Rocky, Kennedy and Stormy having a group nap
Kennedy, Toledo, Johnny and Tiny grazing under the early morning sun

The match was instant as Kennedy’s mom knew the first time she rode him that he was the perfect horse for her.  Kennedy is a very comfortable and steady ride which was exactly what she was looking for.  In addition to being a steady and comfortable ride, she said if she rode him correctly and found his buttons Kennedy was very honest under saddle and would give you exactly what you were asking for.  In May of 2004 Kennedy and his mom officially became partners.

Mr. President surveying his surroundings
 

Kennedy and his mom did some showing in dressage, eventually competing through 2nd Level and earning a Dover Medal Award at one show.  Their showing together was very limited as his mom’s life partner had cancer and ended up passing away.  Kennedy’s primary job description was to provide support for his mom during a very difficult time in her life and showing was a secondary concern.

Kennedy and Toledo

A couple of years before Kennedy was officially retired he began having some suspensory issues in both hind legs.  Kennedy was very patient through his rehab and he did get better, but in the end it became apparent that his hind legs were not going to hold up to regular work. Since Kennedy also had issues in the past with a dry cough from dust his mom knew she needed to find a place where he could live comfortably outside.  In January 2011 Kennedy made the trip to our farm.  I remember very clearly when Kennedy arrived. My dad always loved to meet the new horses so he made sure he was at the farm when the shipper arrived.  As he was being led down the ramp my dad said “another white one?” and Kennedy officially added himself to the collection of grey horses at Paradigm Farms.  I still smile when I think about my dad’s comment of “another white one” so thank you for the fond memory Kennedy.

Kennedy, Toledo and Stormy

Kennedy fit in easily from his first day.  When he first began transitioning into his group he immediately decided that two of the horses in his group, Toledo and Rocky, could not possibly make it through life without his guidance and immediately began escorting them everywhere.  Kennedy has been loyal to his two chosen charges and almost two years later is still happily attempting to run their lives for them.

trotting through the pasture

When not eating or grooming with his friends, Kennedy can most often be seen standing quietly, often in the woods, quietly hanging out.  This pose is almost always accompanied by Kennedy’s signature drooping lower lip.  He is definitely enjoying the good life.

Kennedy with his drooping lower lip

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Kennedy as much as we have!