For our Horse of the Month feature, we introduce Jadiz C (Danelzo Z x Grannus), a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare who has been partnered with her owner, Chinese Canadian Xinran ‘Christine’ Cai of Surrey, BC for five years. Though they had a quick early connection, it has taken patient work to build their partnership to where it is today.

In 2018, Cai was searching for a new partner and came across Jadiz C, a nine-year-old amateur 1.40m horse in Belgium. “I was searching for a horse that could help me quickly move up in competition, and she was only the second horse I tried in Europe. After testing her out, I knew immediately she was the right choice and bought her on the spot,” said Cai.

Although Cai succeeded in finding her perfect match in just two weeks, the bond took perseverance and energy to create. “Adapting to Jadiz’s unique style of riding presented some challenges,” said Cai. “Her rapid responses to my aids and fast turns took some getting used to, and I struggled to maintain my balance during the first few months of training. However, with time and practice, I was able to become more comfortable with her style of riding, and we quickly developed a strong partnership.”

Over a period of three years, working together with Gary Brewster at Twin Oaks Farm in Richmond, BC, she built a very strong foundation with Jadiz. The pair then moved to Thunderbird Show Stable where Cai continued to build an understanding of how to bring the best out of her mare and optimize their performance as a team.

Horse of the Month: East Meets West in Building Partnership with Sweet and Strong Mare Jadiz C

Photo Credit: Quinn Saunders

Cai is especially pleased with how they have come along together in competition, and she has learned a lot from her mare as well. “Jadiz exhibits exceptional focus during shows and goes the extra mile to perform her best,” the 24-year-old shared. “She is particularly skilled at jump-offs, with the ability to make tight turns and jump at any angle with ease. She is an intelligent, sensitive, and sweet mare who takes her job seriously and aims to please.”

Like all horses, Jadiz has her likes and dislikes. “She has a particular affinity for carrots and apples but can be choosey when it comes to her food preferences,” Cai continued. “One of her quirks is that she can be selective about her equine companions and may not always get along with other horses. Despite these minor quirks, Jadiz is a talented and reliable partner, and her strong work ethic and sweet demeanor make her a joy to work with.”

Horse of the Month: East Meets West in Building Partnership with Sweet and Strong Mare Jadiz C

Photo Credit: Quinn Saunders

Born in Beijing, China, Cai started formal riding training when she was 16 years old. “Many of my friends at school were already involved in the sport and competed regularly in show jumping events. One of my friends kindly introduced me to an equestrian club, where I began taking lessons to learn more about the sport and develop my skills,” she said. Shortly thereafter she began competing. “In China, the competition scene for horseback riding was focused primarily on the jumper discipline, as the hunter discipline was not introduced there,” she said.

In 2018, the young equestrian immigrated to Canada with her family and that same year, began attending the University of British Columbia. “My experiences growing up in Beijing have taught me the value of hard work and perseverance,” shared Cai. “Beijing is a bustling, fast-paced city with a competitive environment, and I learned from a young age that success requires dedication, discipline, and a willingness to overcome challenges.”

Coming from the Chinese equestrian world, she was used to a strong emphasis on winning and pushing for big jumps, with most riders aiming to eventually do the Grand Prix. She has learned a complementary approach in her new home. “My experience riding in Canada has taught me the importance of building a strong foundation and enjoying the process, rather than solely focusing on the end result,” Cai reflected.

“While it’s important to have goals and aspirations, it’s also important to appreciate the journey and take the time to develop skills and knowledge. This shift in perspective has allowed me to approach equestrian activities with a more balanced and holistic mindset.”

Horse of the Month: East Meets West in Building Partnership with Sweet and Strong Mare Jadiz C

Photo Credit: Marion Cox

The pair’s goal this competition season is to have rounds where they can have a good quality canter and maintain good rhythm throughout the course. Cai feels they are still building their relationship and is ready to continue to grow and succeed together with Jadiz. “I feel like I am still getting used to her at the shows as she feels really powerful,” she expressed. “For future seasons, I hope we can move up, but I think once I understand her a bit better at shows, it will not be hard to achieve.” 

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