At 6:20 a.m., on the morning of Aug. 4, Deonte Sewell entered the driver’s seat of a Buick Encore and drove the 30 minutes from his mother’s home in Elkton, Maryland, to Phillip Dutton’s True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania.
In a blue-collared shirt, black Tailored Sportsman breeches and a pair of Ariat paddock boots, Sewell gave himself pep talks as he prepared for the approaching job interview: “Work hard. Work fast. Be a sponge; absorb what you can.”
After a day of grooming horses and executing barn chores with Emma Ford, Dutton’s head groom and barn manager, Sewell landed the job, a surreal moment for the 23-year-old eventer with a dream of riding in the Olympics.
“Emma made a valid point of, ‘Everyone kind of walks in the barn wanting to be a rider, but no one ever walks into the barn wanting to learn the ins and outs of the barn,’ ” said Sewell. “You have to learn the ins and outs before you can ride. You come in with the expectation to learn how to be the greatest rider, but you’re also neglecting the fact that you must learn the work that goes into being a great rider. There’s always more to it than just throwing a saddle on and riding.”
Just four years ago Sewell realized his high performance dreams might be feasible. He and a friend were volunteering at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI in Maryland when he spotted Randy Ward, the first Black eventer he’d seen at that level.
“Growing up, I didn’t even know there was a Black eventer jumping around three-stars and four-stars,” said Sewell. “I remember seeing him go down the jog strip and me being like, ‘Wait. The grooms jog the horses too?’
“I remember reading an article and seeing that he was actually a competitor, and I was like, ‘What in the world?’ ” added Sewell. “I just remember telling my mom all about it. It was the biggest thing for me.” Click to Read More (taken from Chronicle of The Horse)
Sea of Clouds (KY)
TB, B, H, FOALED MARCH 17, 2011
( MALIBU MOON – WINNER’S TICKET, BY JOLIE’S HALO )