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Best-Selling Author Tami Hoag’s Latest Thriller: Her Dressage Horse in the Ribbons in California

July 01, 2012 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL (June 29, 2012) – New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag makes a living writing thrillers – and now Hoag has a thriller of her own. Two years ago Hoag purchased a young mare, Highlife’s Aria, and the mare has made her debut in the dressage ring and in typical Hoag style the talented mare is a winner!

Highlife’s Aria, owned by Tami Hoag and ridden by Charlie Pinneo, in winning form during their test. (Photo courtesy of Mitch Weiss)

Hoag, who is a professional Grand Prix dressage rider when she isn’t sitting at her keyboard pounding out suspenseful novels, bought Aria at an auction hosted by Highlife Farm two years ago. While some thought Hoag bought the mare on a whim, Hoag said it wasn’t really a spur of the moment decision. “It seemed like more of a whim than it really was because I hadn’t talked about buying anything at the auction. But I had seen all the horses at Highlife Farm a couple of months before and several had stuck in my mind, Aria being one of them. I went to the auction thinking if I could get a good price on one of the youngsters I liked, I would buy,” Hoag said, then added with a laugh, “To everyone else it seemed like I just had too much free vodka!”

Aria recently made her dressage debut at the Dressage at Mission Pascific show with trainer Charlie Pinneo in California, riding away with two blue ribbons in the Training Level with scores of 70% and 73%. “I am such a proud mommy!” Hoag said. “Aria just turned five, she’s a late June baby. I am very excited about her. She’s by Highlife’s Diamond Stud, by the German stallion Diamond Hit. Diamond Hit is by Don Shufro and out of the mother of Sandro Hit. Her mare line is Aktuell/Wenzel.”

Hoag said she knew when she purchased Aria that she would send her to Pinneo in California. “As soon as I bought her I sent her to Frank Barnett in Ocala for a month to get started and handled, then I put her on a van and shipped her out to Charlie in Moorpark, California. Charlie has been bringing her along slowly and carefully for almost two years now,” she said.

While Hoag said she eventually will bring Aria to Florida so she can ride her, that is a long-term goal. “Charlie is going to bring her along in the young horse classes. I rode with Charlie for a couple of years when I was living in Los Angeles, and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a quality human being and very dedicated to training the horses in a correct and classical way. I’m so excited to see him have success with my girl. We’ll aim Aria at the FEI 6 Year Olds next year, and then work toward the Developing Horse Program.”

In the meantime, Hoag will stay busy writing and riding in her home base of Wellington, Florida. She recently completed a book tour for her newest novel, Down The Darkest Road, the third book in her exciting Deeper Than The Dead series. Down The Darkest Road takes place in California and features a cast of riveting characters that take the reader on a suspenseful trip ending in a heart-pounding twist.

“My equestrian friends will notice that this book has a horse in it named Bacchus, which of course is the name of one of my Grand Prix horses,” Hoag said. Hoag rides with Betsy Steiner and clinics with Olympic medalist Steffen Peters while competing her Grand Prix horses Lonestar and Bacchus de Light. “I missed most of the show season last year because of an injured knee, and now that it is healed I am really excited to be back in the show ring.”

Hoag is known for her suspenseful page-turning novels and has 16 consecutive New York Times bestsellers to her credit with more than 35 million in print in more than 20 languages worldwide. She has two equestrian themed novels that have thrilled the horse world, Dark Horse and Alibi Man. For more information on Hoag, visit her website at