McWoody

You may be wondering about the Stuart Horse Trials logo. It was drawn by Pat Richardson to represent a very special horse, a horse that holds a big place in the hearts of the Stuart family. Here is his story.

Once upon a time in England a red colt with four white stockings was born. He undoubtedly spent his younger years foxhunting and learning the sport of eventing. He crossed the ocean by plane and was seen a week later by Heidi Stuart Vahue who was looking for an interim horse to finish out her last year competing as a Young Rider.

Heidi Vahue & McWoody

This big, roly poly horse, named The Woodlander or Woody, waddled off the van on Saint Patrick's Day with a complete supply of his favorite snack, Polo Mints. He had the biggest, kindest eyes imaginable and immediately won his rider's heart. In the next few months, they learned to trust and respect each other, despite one or two tantrums on the part of the horse.

They finished their first season as the National Young Rider Reserve Champions. The following spring, they tied for second with Karen Stives at the Lexington Three-Day Intermediate Event. Not bad for an interim horse!

Best of all, this big red horse made friends wherever he went. His antics inspired Pat Richardson to use him as the logo for Stuart Horse Trials. And, once he put on that kilt, he became know as McWoody.

In 1991 Heidi handed the reins over to Nancy Haggerty. She and McWoody spent many successful seasons eventing at training level and many more enjoying quiet hacks in the woods. In the spring of 2008, at the age of 31, McWoody went on to the great green pasture in the sky where he enjoys long gallops and frequent snacks of carrots, apples, and Polo Mints. We will miss him but he will remain forever in our hearts and always be the Stuart Horse Trials logo.