April 2014 Issue - page 1

LANC., PA 17604
Vol. 21 No.5
Our 21st Year
May 2014
Devon Horse Show returns, will McLain Ward
make it nine? ... pg. 6
Rose Tree Hunt returns to its roots after 50
years ... pg. 8
Brandywine and Fair Hill Point to Point recaps ...
pgs. 18 & 26
Racecourses ditch synthetic surfaces despite safety
gains....pg. 4
... and much more!
Going Green & Natural
pages 20-23
Australian Guy McLean Finds a Home at York County, PA’s Evergreen Farm
(Continued on page 16)
by Stephanie Shertzer Lawson
It was freezing in the Equine
Arena of the Farm Show Com-
plex at 4:30 am on February 27,
2014, less than twelve hours
before the start of the Pennsyl-
vania Horse World Expo. Guy
McLean and his wife Emily
had fought their way across the
weather-ravaged country, from
Texas to Pennsylvania, just the
day before. Arriving in Harris-
burg after a three day trip, they’d
been in the Equine Barn settling
the four horses until late into the
night, returning at 4 am after far
too little sleep to help promote
the Expo for three local TV news
Guy, riding bridleless and
bareback with a liberty horse at
his side, worked with the report-
ers as they broadcast live for
several hours. After putting the
horses away he and Emily tried
to grab an hour’s sleep before
the Expo started at noon. Ahead
were full days of seminars and
personal appearances, and at
night, Theatre Equus rehearsals
and performances. A grueling
week, to be followed by appear-
ances in Springfield, Missouri;
Ontario, Canada; Equine Affaire
in Ohio; and a three week trip to
Australia, all in the span of seven
weeks. But following the Expo,
a welcome break: Two weeks
with Mum and Dad.
Guy McLean, an Australian
citizen who moved to the US in
2010 to seek fame as an equine
entertainer, has a Mum and Dad
in Queensland, Australia and a
second set of “parents” in Peg
and Terry Helder of Evergreen
Farm in Wrightsville, York
County, PA. His twice yearly
visits “home” are some of his
favorite weeks of the year.
“This place and home are
the only places I like to hang
out,” he said on an early March
afternoon—his 39th birthday--
as he watched Terry Helder ride
a two-year-old, All the Bells &
Whistles, in the indoor arena.
He had been at the farm three
days and had started six horses.
“This is more work than I do on
the road,” he joked. Two of the
young horses had needed just two
rides, some might take three or
four, he said. “They are wonder-
ful minded horses.”
Horse World Expo 2011
The McLeans and Helders
first met just before the Penn-
sylvania Horse World Expo in
February, 2011. Guy and Emily
had only been in the country—in
Texas, where they had joined
another Australian transplant-- for
six months. “So when Denise
(Parsons, one of the Expo’s pro-
moters) called and said ‘Come to
Pennsylvania in February’ I had
no idea about cold and snow. I
said ‘Sure!’” Guy said.
The McLeans, driving from
Florida, began to encounter snow.
Even worse, they were arriving
too early to get stalls at the Farm
Show Complex. Mutual friend
Craig Johnson, of Gainesville,
TX, who knew Terry Helder from
the reining circuit, called to ask
if the Helders would put them
up. “I said sure but they’d better
hurry because they’re calling for
snow, and they won’t make it”
back the twisting rural roads to
Evergreen Farm, Terry said.
With no four wheel drive, the
rig with four horses sliding on the
back roads of York County, the
McLeans kept calling the Helders.
“They got to East Prospect and I
said, ‘Look, you’ll never get here.
Stop driving now, leave your
horses at Creekside Stables.‘”
They settled the horses, unhitched
the rig and drove to the Harris-
burg airport to pick up friends
who were flying in from Australia
to help at the Expo. “We thought
we’d never hear from them
again,” Terry said.
“They called the next morn-
ing. They wanted to work the
horses and asked if they could
still come. So I drove over and
hitched their trailer to my four
wheel drive truck and brought
the horses over. They and
the horses stayed with us that
“We’d been in Florida where
the horses were sweating stand-
ing in the shade and now we were
in Pennsylvania and they were
shivering with four blankets on,”
Guy remembered.
Though Guy is now one
of America’s top equestrian
stars, this was one of his first
east coast appearances. “We
didn’t know who they were, just
that they needed help. We had
some friends, one of whom had
played polocrosse in Australia,
and we asked if he had heard of
him. He said, ’oh he’s my hero,’
and told us a little about what
he does.”
Guy performs on horseback
with three additional liberty
horses in the arena. He places the
horses wherever he likes, side-
passes between them, uses them
as obstacles for pole bending and
barrel racing, and lays one horse
down and sidepasses the oth-
ers over it. He canters in place
and backwards, and stands on
the horse’s back while cracking
whips and flailing tarps.
“So they went to work the
horses in the indoor, and I said,
‘are you the person who lays the
horses down and sidepasses over
them?’” Peg said. “And he said,
‘yeah, wanna see?’”
Wrightsville, PA breeders Peg and Terry Helder (left) “adopted” acclaimed performer Guy McLean
and wife Emily (second and third from right) after the couple was stranded in a snowstorm before
the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo in 2011. Now the couples, shown with Australian friend Jess
Butt (far right) spend weeks together each year and are “closer than most families.”
Photo credit: Jeffrey N. LeFevre
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