The story of THF-raised mare, This Lady Rocks (“Sylvia”), is a bit of a Cinderella one. She is sired by Royalcrest’s Rockin’ On Heir (sire of CH-EQ Heirronic and Absolutely On Heir) & out of The Majestic Lady (sired by WCC The Majestic, also raised at THF). Sylvia was gifted with the good brains of her sire, but with almost no physical resemblance to either of her up-headed, saddle seat-type parents. However, she was still lovely with such a sweet personality from day one & the VZs were eager to see how her future would unfold.

Sylvia as a foal

Unfortunately, Sylvia faced a difficult road ahead. At the beginning of 2020, at 4 years old, she developed a growth on her face. It was presumed it was some kind of infection and she went under surgery. To everyone’s dismay, it was discovered the growth was a cancerous tumor. Her prognosis was grim & the vet even offered to humanely euthanize her on the surgery table. The VZs wanted to give her a chance, so decided to go ahead and remove the tumor and take her home to see how she’d do.

Sylvia recovered well and enjoyed frolicking in the lesson horse pasture. The VZs were cautious about what to do next, but she was always the first horse to meet anyone upon entering her pasture. It was almost like Sylvia was asking to be useful in some way. Early in 2021, it was decided she was doing well enough to start working her and she was sent to Dave Hysaw to break to ride.

Upon Sylvia’s return to THF, Abby Van Kooten excitedly took upon the task of working her. They put in plenty of miles together, & both learned a lot from each other. After a few months of being ridden, Sylvia already showed a kind enough temperament to be ridden by multiple riders, & even gave some riding lessons.

Against all odds, Sylvia debuted at her first horse show with Avis in huntseat at the 2021 Iowa Fall Classic. They earned 2 reserves in big classes, & everyone was thrilled with how this little mare performed! Her sweet temperament shined through and Avis guided her expertly in her first show ring experience.

For the next year, Sylvia continued to be an asset in THF’s lesson program & displayed a willing-to-please attitude. Towards the end of the summer of 2022, it was determined Sylvia should show again. Her first trip to the show ring that year was at the Iowa State Fair with Avis, & they won a big hunt seat class! Grace also showed her later that week and got 3rd in an enormous group of 22 horses of mixed breeds. What a little super star!

Sylvia’s most recent show ring appearance was at the 2022 Iowa October Classic, where she and Avis won the hunt seat championship. We sure are proud of this little mare who had so much stacked against her, but has emerged as a lesson and show ring star!