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Stories of Standardbreds, Part VI: High Standards

Meet Percy, a Standardbred who excels in the jumper ring.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Francese

A Standardbred jumping at the Devon Horse Show? Hard to believe but true. This past May, videos of a Standardbred taking on some sizeable fences at the Devon Horse Show made the rounds on Facebook.

The horse was High Standards, a Standardbred who had a long and illustrious race career under the name Yoo Hoo Bunny. His race career ended when he was involved in a sulky accident. A then 12-year-old Cali Karbler purchased Yoo Hoo Bunny and changed his show name to High Standards. 

Photo courtesy of Ashley Francese

When Cali purchased High Standards, she had been leasing a hunter horse for three years. She knew nothing about Standardbreds when she bought him, but she instantly fell in love with his big personality. 

Percy, as he’s known around the barn, was not immediately fond of his new human. He was a racehorse and he was not exactly warm and cuddly. But Cali did self-care with him and spent long hours at the barn gaining his trust and working to get some affection out of him. 

Photo courtesy of Ashley Francese

It took about a year of learning to be a team for Percy and Cali to start to gel. Cali worked on her confidence and her ability to ride him, as he was different from any horse she had previously ridden. Early on in their partnership Cali questioned her decision to buy him and her ability to ride him, but she never questioned Percy’s talent.

She knew that he had endless potential, and she worked on herself so that she could be the partner that he deserved and so that she could show the world what he is capable of. 

Photo courtesy of Ashley Francese

Initially Cali and Percy worked toward the goal of eventing, but Percy showed such a natural talent for jumpers that Cali took her trainer’s advice and made the switch to the jumper ring. Percy loved jumping and he and Cali really started to think and act as partners.

She re-entered the hunter/jumper world, entering the 3’ intermediate jumpers and she and Percy started winning….a lot. They got reserve or champion at every show they entered. 

Photo courtesy of Ashley Francese

They moved up to the 3’3” division and then, at the end of their first year together, moved into the children’s. Percy has endless scope and a heart as big as the jumps he sails over. Cali reports that his try blows her away daily and that he gives 110% every ride. 

Cali is a hard-working young horsewoman, who believes that nothing comes without hard work and determination. She trusts and loves Percy, and these two have grown into true partners and tough competitors. 

Photo courtesy of Ashley Francese

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