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Alvaro Tejada and Voltaral Palo Blanco competing at the 2014 World Equestrian Games

Alvaro Tejada and Voltaral Palo Blanco at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival

Alvaro Tejada and Voltaral Palo Blanco at Lake Placid 2015

Maverick Helmer and Cum Laude

Maverick Helmer and Alex Pielet

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Guatemalan Team Rider Prepares for Pan Ams With Norfield Stables LLC

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: Norfield Stables LLC
Release Date: 2015-07-15

Riders Travel Across Country to Train With Norfield

Newtown, CT – July 15, 2015– Alvaro Tejada is headed to the Pan American Games to represent Guatemala as part of the country’s show jumping team. But as Tejada travels to Toronto, Canada for the games, he won’t be traveling from his home country; instead, he will be coming directly from Norfield Stables LLC, based in Newtown, Connecticut and Briarcliff Manor, New York.  

Tejada has been training with Timmy Kees, Chris Cawley and Molly Ashe Cawley at Norfield Stables for the past several months in preparation for he and his talented mare’s, Voltaral Palo Blanco, appearance at the Pan Am Games, where the first round of show jumping competition kicks off on July 21.

“[Voltaral Palo Blanco] feels like she’s in great condition – better than ever,” Tejada said. “I’ve been learning a lot from Chris [Cawley], Timmy [Kees] and Molly [Ashe Cawley]. For me it’s been a really, really helpful opportunity that they’ve been giving me to ride other horses. When you’re riding just one horse it’s difficult. The more that you can train, the more you can ride, the better you get. Chris is always looking for other horses and opportunities for me to ride.”

Training with Norfield Stables and Kees, one of the nation’s leading equitation trainers, has also given Tejada a new understanding and respect for the equitation divisions and the American-style of riding.

“In Latin America, we don’t have any equitation classes. What I’ve noticed is how important the equitation is when you want to be a top jumper. You learn the basics so well,” Tejada said. “I’m really impressed how you can see some of these equitation riders that have never been riding jumpers, they get on a new jumping horse, and they have a really nice base. They’re able to cruise around really easily and like they’ve been riding jumpers their whole life. For me it’s a totally different system that they have here. Timmy Kees is a top trainer on equitation, and it’s amazing to see how well the Norfield juniors ride.”

Tejada spent the past three weeks riding and training with Norfield at the Lake Placid Horse Shows where he and Voltaral Palo Blanco earned impressive finishes including victory in the Jamaica Tent 1.35m Jump-Off Class and second in the $30,000 Lake Placid Jumper Classic.

“Alvaro’s been a great help,” Chris Cawley said. “While Molly has been at Spruce Meadows, he’s been my main rider. I’ve been trying to get him to show as much as I can and to ride all of the horses. It’s working. The horses have all been great and a big reason is because of Alvaro.”

Cawley continued, “I think he’s grown as a rider since he’s been here. He’s learned some new things, a little bit of the American-style, and it has obviously paid off in his results. He’s going to be missed when he goes back.”

Following the Pan American Games, Tejada will return home to Guatemala and his family’s top breeding farm, Palo Blanco. There he will continue riding and training with his long time coach, Bruno Cavalheiro, but Tejada looks forward to the opportunity to return to Norfield.

“I need to go work on my young horses back at home, but I’ll be glad to come back whenever I have the opportunity,” Tejada said.

National Riders Travel Great Distances to Train With Norfield Stables LLC

While Tejada may be competing at the highest level and traveling the greatest distance, he is not the only rider going to great lengths for the opportunity to train with the Cawleys and Kees at Norfield Stables LLC. Young riders Maverick Helmer, Summer Hill and Alexandra Pielet have each traveled from across the country to pursue their junior riding careers with Norfield.

For Pielet, that means flying back and forth from her home outside of Chicago, Illinois to Norfield every weekend to ride her horses including Trading Aces, Cavalier Knight and Helene VE. Pielet presently competes in the equitation and the low junior jumpers, and has her sights set on the Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Finals and the ASPCA Maclay Finals this year. She made the switch to training with Norfield at the beginning of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival, and while it requires extensive travel on the part of her and her family, it has been well worth it for them.

“I like the style of Norfield. It’s a lot of fun,” Pielet said. “When I do the jumpers I’m training Chris and Molly, and when I do the equitation I’m with Timmy. There’s a trainer for every discipline. I like all of it – the training, the lessons I get and all of the other kids that are around. I love riding with them.” 

While Pielet makes the trip back and forth, 14-year-old Maverick Helmer is making the move full-time from Virginia to Connecticut to be closer to Norfield.

“My trainer back in Virginia, Becky Andrews, is great friends with Timmy, and she recommended that I come train with him,” Helmer said. “She thought he could offer me even more than what she could offer.”

Helmer continued, “Now I’m in the transition of moving to Norfield full-time and coming to live in Connecticut. I have an aunt that lives in Reading, Connecticut, which is four miles from the barn. So I’m moving there to train full-time. I love that there’s a whole community. There are a lot of big equitation kids that ride. The whole staff is great. The horses are wonderful. The facilities are beautiful. I feel like I’m getting great training and having fun at the same time.”

Helmer plans to stay in Connecticut with Norfield throughout the summer and fall and travel with them to Wellington, Florida for the Winter Equestrian Festival in January.

Similarly, Summer Hill made the move to Connecticut from her original home base in California, and the 16-year-old plans to remain with Norfield to finish out her junior riding career.

“We still have a barn in California, but our family’s home base is now in Lexington, Kentucky,” Hill explained. “My sister is going to school in South Carolina, so it worked out that we are all sort of moving east.”

Hill continued, “I love Timmy. He’s so loving and fun. It’s nice to have him as a bit of a father figure; he’s kind of everyone’s dad. The way he explains things helps so much, and he’s not super regimented. I feel like it’s a little bit looser, and I learn at lot more because of the way he asks me to do things.”

This week, Hill is competing at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) representing Zone 10 and with Cawley ringside to help train her in the jumpers. Immediately following NAJYRC, Hill flies home to California to compete in the U.S. Junior Hunter National Championship Finals – West Coast.

To learn more about Norfield Stables and the opportunity to ride and train with Timmy Kees, Chris Cawley and Molly Ashe Cawley find Norfield Stables online here. Follow the latest news and updates from Norfield on Facebook here.


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