Moorpark, CA (August 3, 2012) –Mitt and Ann Romney aren’t the only celebrities with a with a winning dressage horse. New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag’s string of upper level dressage horses are often headliners, but it is her youngest star, Highlife’s Aria that continues to steal the spotlight in the show ring in California where she is racking up very impressive scores. At the Spirit Equestrian Center Dressage in late July, Hoag’s five-year-old Oldenburg mare strutted her stuff and took the High Score of the Show honors with a 74.06%. Aria was shown and trained by Charlie Pinneo, a Grand Prix competitor and USDF gold, silver, and bronze medalist.
“Aria and I had a great ride this weekend at Spirit Equestrian Center,” said Pinneo. “She’s a great young horse with an excellent mind and beautiful gaits. Despite this being only her second show, she got down to business and proved herself to be a winner.” Pinneo went on to say that he and Tami are aiming Aria at the 5-Year-Old Futurity classes during the California Dressage Society Championships in October. “I’d like to thank Tami for the opportunity to train and show such a talented young horse. I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” said Pinneo
Hoag purchased Aria as a three-year-old during a breeder’s auction in Florida. She was the horse that everyone thought was a “vodka purchase”. While Hoag hadn’t planned on definitely purchasing a horse at the auction, a few had
caught her eye, Aria included. “My decision to buy her seemed like more of a whim than it really was because I hadn’t talked about buying anything at the auction,” said Hoag. “But after seeing her again I decided to buy her.” Maybe everyone else thought Hoag had too much free vodka, but she saw something very special in Aria, and the mystery writer’s hunch and her keen eye for dressage horses proved to be a winning combination.
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. “Eventually I plan to bring Aria back to Florida and show her myself. I’m very happy with her progression under Charlie’s tutelage, and I am excited for her future.”
Hoag is a highly accomplished grand prix dressage rider who competes on the Florida winter circuit in the Grand Prix. She spends her summers riding in the mornings and writing well into the night at her home base in Wellington, Florida. When she is not horsing around, 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 www.tamihoag.com