Callieís mom, Gerry, is an avid dressage rider and it seemed natural that Callie and her sister, Jackie, would gravitate to equine pursuits while growing up on the familyís Beaufield Farm near Lindsay, ON. Callieís first pony, Roxy, a tough little Quarter Horse/Welsh cross, was a Christmas gift that was ìgreat for learning.î Callie and Roxy competed up to the 3í6î jumpers and had their first cross-country experience together. In 2010, Callie bought Glendening Avis, a 2005 mare by the Trakehner stallion Ferrari GS out of Adora, a Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare, bred by David Levison of Glendening Sport Horses in Shanty Bay, ON. ìAvis obviously stood out from pack because of her colour, and I knew the Glendening name from seeing some of their other horses around,î says Callie, 22, who, when sheís not riding, works as a dental assistant at her fatherís dental practice. Although the mareís dressage and movement werenít great at the time, Callieís coach, Carol Spratt, felt it could be greatly improved. Callie and Avis trained over the 2010/11 winter with veteran Canadian Team rider Penny Rowland, who had put the early training into the mare. Their first season, Callie and Avis did two pre-training events and won them both before moving up to training, where the mare was consistently in the ribbons. ìWe did two preliminary events by the end of the season. It never felt like I was rushing her,î says Callie. Last year, the pair moved up to intermediate and finished 11th at the Richland Park CIC** in Michigan. ìIt was a big, tough course and Avis was great,î says Callie. But last fall at the Fairhill CIC**, the mare was underweight, stiff, and didnít pass the first jog. She was diagnosed with arthritis in her neck, was treated, and she and Callie headed to Florida in early 2013. They went on to win two intermediate events (Ocala and Rocking Horse), yet Avis remained lethargic and thin. Someone suggested she might have Lyme Disease, an illness carried by deer ticks. Symptoms can include fever, lameness, arthritis, and joint swelling. A blood test revealed that Avis was indeed infected. She underwent intensive IV and oral antibiotic treatment with no guarantee that she would recover well enough to return to high-level competition. But the mare bounced back with a vengeance, winning the preliminary division at Wits End in June, then placing third in CIC** competitions at Dreamcrest and Will Oí Wind. ìShe felt amazing,î says Callie. ìAvis is not overly strong or bold, but she is incredibly honest and very smart and she has a lot of self-preservation. I can tell if she gets worried, but I always trust her.î Callieí mother Gerry is also learning to trust that Avis will take her daughter safely around a course. ìMom couldnít watch my first preliminary cross-country and when I did my first intermediate event, she couldnít come. I did get her to walk the Richland two-star course; she knows that Avis is more than capable, so sheís getting more comfortable with it.î Callieís other staunch supporter is her boyfriend, Chris Murray. Callie trains ìninety per centî of the time with Dreamcrest coach Ian Roberts. She is also eventing Ledger, a young gelding that can be a ìbit spooky and difficult, but I think heíll be worth it,î and has put the initial training on two young homebreds by Rafiki. But her loftiest goals involve Avis. The plan is to compete in the Fairhill CCI** this month. ìIím ready to get a CCI two-star under my belt and if we get that, weíll start thinking about a three-star. Iíd like to aim for the 2015 Pan Am Games and the next Olympics, but Avis has taught me to take things day by day.