Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz - photo courtesy E-Venting

Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz – photo courtesy E-Venting

Horse husband extraordinaire and HJU guest blogger Brian Rutledge takes us behind the scenes and gives us an honest look at the life of an upper level rider’s partner.

Brian started out as a normal non-horsey guy, but after meeting Colleen, soon found himself mucking stalls and as they say, the rest is history…

Thanks for sharing your impressions, Brian!

You can follow Brian on Twitter at @rutledgeplus4 and Colleen at

Hey everyone!

It’s Brian Rutledge, checking in after the madness of the past 4 weeks. I had to wait about a week after Badminton because Colleen flew in, was home for a day and immediately headed up to Jersey Fresh to compete. I’m not going to lie, I am glad the madness is over… at least for now. I know Colleen will be competing just about every weekend until November but the craziness of her going overseas is at a standstill for a little while.

Even though the show jumping phase at Badminton didn’t turn out like Colleen was hoping for, I am still an incredibly proud husband. My wife made history.  She and Shiraz became the first rider and horse combination to jump around all four star events in the Northern Hemisphere: Rolex, Burghley, Luhmühlen, Pau and Badminton. I know how hard she worked for this and it’s a great accomplishment. She believes she knows what happened in show jumping – why Shiraz pulled the rails he did; which makes me happy because I know how stressed Colleen gets when something is wrong with any of her horses.

I am really glad she came back and had a successful event on Covert Rights at Jersey Fresh the following week, because I think it helped her work through the disappointment of show jumping at Badminton. Did I mention Covert Rights got third place in the two star? Which doesn’t surprise me at all; as I have said in other blogs, I think this horse is going to be a superstar – but again, what do I know.

CR - photo by Bernadette

CR – photo by Bernadette

I do admit CR (aka Covert Rights) is my favorite horse in the barn. I know everyone loves Shiraz and I love him too, but CR has always had a special place in my heart. He is such a friendly horse and he never leaves me alone.

As soon as Colleen finished Badminton, I decided to do some digging to see how she could go about getting to Australia to compete in the one and only 4* she has left: the Adelaide Three Star Event CCI**** in November.

Well, let me tell you… after finding out, I am not sure that it is going to happen. First, Shiraz would have to be quarantined in the US for three weeks. Then, he would have to fly over to New Zealand and be quarantined there for another three weeks before actually being able to go into Australia. And then rinse and repeat for the trip back. So yeah, that’s a little crazy… I don’t mind being a single daddy and can handle my kids just fine by myself, I do it all the time, but when you add all that up, it is 4 months total! So I think they need to loosen up a bit over in Australia before that trip to Adelaide happens…  Oh, and I also need to win the lottery.

For the immediate future, Colleen has a lot of young horses she is bringing up. She is going to be a very busy lady this summer, going to a lot of lower level shows and working her tail off. The good news for me is spring has sprung and I get to hop on my motorcycle and ride to shows that way. Yes, horses are Colleen’s adrenaline rush and I have mine.

Well, hope you enjoyed my little blog and will talk to you soon.