• Kristen VanDerlaske and Rocky


    In the wee hours of April 9th, 1987, on a farm in Rockford, Illinois,  a plain bay colt came kicking and screaming into this world.  Named Conquackador, after his sire, Quack, a California turf champion, and with Native Dancer, War Admiral and Man O War bloodlines on his mother's side, this plain colored colt seemed destined for track glory.  Frequently a handful in the paddock, he earned his battle scars early, included one that nearly severed his right ear tip.  At the tender age of 18 months, he went off to Fairmont Park near St. Louis, to learn the ancient and noble art of racing. Like his father before him, this was to be his destiny; he was to continue the family glory.

    Alas, glory on the race track was not to be.  Young Conquackador proved to have stamina and power, but not the quickness or surefootedness of a racing champion.  He left Fairmont, with two less body organs, to seek his fortune and adventure elsewhere.  After spending time in Maryland and Delaware, he decided to try his hoof at life in Virginia.  He'd heard much about the legendary show and fox hunters of this state, and felt this could be a fit for his lust for adventure.  He was bought as a second string horse for a local junior hunter rider, and from her he learned the art of being a show horse, a fancy man of action.  No hedge spooked him, no fence could keep him in. They brought home ribbon after ribbon. 
     
    Then life changed.

    His rider lost interest in showing, and riding in general. He was stunned, how could someone just give up their love for the chase? For showing off? For HIM? He languished in a field, getting back to nature, and trying to find himself again. 
     
    Enter a gangly, overly-loud preteen girl with hair going everywhere and a love for big fences and fast turns.  She changed his name to Irresistible, to match his personality, and as a pun and homage to his battle scarred ear.
     
    After a period of figuring each other out, the pair made their debut in the jumper ring in 1998.  Having decided to leave the glitz and tradition of the hunters for the action and excitement of the jumpers, they soon became inseparable, earning championships all over the state, from the VA Horse Center, to Commonwealth Park, even in to Maryland at the Columbia Horse Center.  They earned year end championships on the local and A-rated circuits.

    When college demanded more time of the girl, they switched to dressage, the venerated and ages old training method of cavalry mounts. 

    In their new, albeit brief, dressage career, they regularly earned scores in the 60s and 70s, with the highest being a 79.5%. But the passion of the jumper ring came calling again, and not being able to resist, the girl and her brown horse answered the Siren's song.  At the age of 22, Irresistible was earning jumper championships again, at 3' this time instead of his youthful 3'6'' and 4'.  The pair even tried their hand a the show hunters again as well, for old times' sake.  They earned the Washington Bridle Trails Association (WBTA) rated Adult Amateur Hunter championship in 2010 and ribboned in the Thoroughbred classes at Upperville  - where Irresistible goosed the judge because he fancied her- and participated and earned ribbons at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) local hunter divisions.

    Father Time reared his head, though, and it was apparent in 2011 after successful showings at the Barracks, WIHS local day, and WBTA again that 3' was becoming a bit of stretch for the bay fancy man, despite his valiant attempts to conquer that height. 

    Though at a much lower height, Irresistible found a new calling as a warm-up mount for the girl doing the jumpers at 2', preparing her for her rides on the green horses that she now rides for others.  This height continued to be a piece of cake, and after only two shows in 2012, Irresistible earned another year end ribbon in the local jumper circuit. While injury has kept him sidelined in 2013, Irresistible looks forward to excitement and new quests in 2014, at the ripe and sassy age of 27.   After all, you can't expect a man of adventure and distinction to behave, no matter how long in the tooth he becomes, can you?