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Blog Tales from the LOPE Ranch

Best of 2017


Here are some of the 2017 highlights at LOPE:

Favorite Learning Moments


“Every single thing this internship has taught me will help me become a better friend, employee, horsewoman, and all around person.”

The LOPE interns had a great year of education with our horses! Read what they learned at LOPE (in their own words).

Most popular horse on LOPE’s FB page

We went back and counted up the likes, comments and shares on our FB page. It was very close between Oro Rush (the mischievous permanent LOPE horse) and LP’s Tiger (the elegant warhorse mare with 141 races). But LP’s Tiger (aka “Elle”) won by a nose, with her lovely face and tale of veterinary mystery.


Hardest Loss

At the start of 2017, we lost Lightening Ball (aka “LB”). He was a beloved racing warrior and LOPE graduate who belonged to Lynn (LOPE’s ED). In memory of LB, LOPE took in another racing warrior (the mighty Flavor) and launched our new Racing Warrior Program. Read LB’s life story here.

Longest Distance Arrival

Shadow Warrior survived two hurricanes — and came to LOPE all the way from Puerto Rico! He easily beat out Flavor and LP’s Tiger (who both came from Maryland). Welcome to Texas (and LOPE), Shadow Warrior!

Most Memorable Show Ring Debut


Oro Rush made his debut in the jumping arena in August — and won Reserve Champion! Ok, technically it was the Poles division — and it’s possible that the competition was less than huge (2 other horses) — but to Oro, it was the Olympics. And he won gold (well, not really — since there aren’t any medals in schooling shows)! Please don’t tell him any different. He’s so proud of himself. And so are we!

Most Creative Use of Mud

We were sure the winner here would be Fiesty Day (aka “Friday”). He consistently manages to cover himself with mud balls (even when it hasn’t rained in days). But LP’s Tiger (aka “Elle”) took the win with this especially splashy display of mud layers. Friday is crushed by his loss and is already prepping to win this category in 2018.


Most Exciting New Sponsor

LOPE is honored to add Treaty Oak Distilling to our family of sponsors! Treaty Oak Distilling is located on 30-acre facility in Dripping Springs with a state-of-the-art distillery, a tasting room, restaurant and gift shop. Their products include Treaty Oak Rum Treaty Oak Barrel Reserve, Waterloo Gin, Waterloo Antique, Graham’s Texas Tea, Starlite Vodka and Red-Handed Bourbon — plus beers (Bright Side Blond Ale, Lil’ Hop Session IPA and Fitzhugh Ale). Welcome Treaty Oak Distilling!


Favorite Schooling Show Venue


In 2017, we attended several schooling shows. Scissortail Hill Equestrian stood out with their great facilities (covered arena, dressage arena, jumping arena, cross-country course and trail/obstacle course with working equitation elements) — as well as their creative, well-organized shows. To top it off, the SHE staff and riders are friendly, supportive and fun! And they host the LOPE Benefit Horse Show each year — with record turnout almost every year. Kudos to Scissortail Hill Equestrian!!

Best Ranch Horse Impersonation


Flavor was bred in KY, at the prestigious Claiborne Farm. He’s so fancy that his registered name is just “Flavor” (just one word, like “Elvis”) In spite of his elegant, TB royalty bloodlines, Flavor has the heart of a ranch horse. After just a few months in TX, here’s Flavor’s new western look.

Best Looking LOPE Graduate

Zuper was the first racing warrior to come to LOPE, way back in 2004. He became our trusty herd boss and babysitter. After many years of service, Zuper was retired to a beautiful Hill Country ranch. We visited him recently — and Zuper still is the handsomest OTTB we’ve ever known!

Best Show Mom

Melissa is the mother of LOPE intern Daelynn. This year, she also has became LOPE’s unofficial “show mom.” Whenever LOPE was at a schooling show, Melissa was there. She brought water bottles to the warm up ring, held horses while riders run for bathroom breaks, checked the ring schedule to make sure we appeared there at the right time, pep talked the newbies (horse and human), carried snacks for emergency calorie infusion and made sure everyone had fun (no matter what the score was). Thank you, Melissa!!

It’s Not Too Late to Donate to LOPE in 2017!

Make a Year-End Donation Now
Austin Equine Hospital Schleese
Paddock Foundation American Association of Equine Technicians and Assistants Sam Houston Race Park
Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance The Ranch Broker Moose Pants Studio
Thoroughbred Charities of America Scissortail Hill Equestrian Secretariat Foundation
Treaty Oak Equine Express