Hoku’s Comeback

All Smiles and Looking Good at Pine Top 2012

Hats must go off to Caitlin and Hoku who had their first start since coming second at the Jersey Fresh CCI** in 2011! Poor Hoku had horrendous external burns covering a large portion to her body after being stuck in the Memorial Day barn fire at True Prospect Farm. The most unfortunate factor to her injuries was that the burns were all over her back, where the saddle goes (see photos below). It took months and months of patient waiting for this little mare to heal up so she could start back to work.

I must admire Caitlin’s commitment, heart and no-quit attitude throughout the last 10 months. Most young riders would have given up, got overweight, turned into an alcoholic and got pregnant when faced with the challenges that Caitlin endured. She never had a day were her spirits were down, and always worked towards getting her mare back to the thing she loves best: eventing.

Hoku competed in the open training this weekend at Pine Top. After stellar dressage and show jumping, the joys and pleasure of going cross country took over Caitlin’s emotions and she sailed straight past a corner on the course. The fairytale comeback event finished in a big TE!

Look out for Caitlin next weekend walking the intermediate course 10 times at Southern Pines…


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  1. Anonymous says

    No doubt all of you have suffered a horrific tragedy. And I admire the dedication it has taken all of you to come back from this. However, that was a very blatant and false assumption you have made against other young riders. Many aspiring young riders have been faced with adversity and overcome it. We all do what we can for the horses we love and believe in. Remember, most young riders are fans of you and your team. Don’t make negative generalizations about them.

  2. Anonymous says

    Anonymous #1, please lighten up! I rather doubt that any young ride with an ounce of a sense of humour would take those remarks as anything other than a tongue-in-cheek comment! If anyone has earned the right to a littlte bit of dark humor, it’s Boyd, Silva and everyone else who was touched by that dreadful fire….so again, just lighten up!
    Anonymous #2

  3. Anonymous says

    That’s what’s so great about Boyd’s writing. Very funny from someone who knows about the former. Anonymous in Idaho

  4. You call her Hoku, I call her Star! I had the honor of helping Caitlin the first week back from the vets. “Star” was trying so hard even through the pain. Humans require large doses of pain killers. Caitlin carefully debrided the burns——a most traumatic thing emotionally. Star relied on her humans. I credit Caitlin with giving Star that strength. And thank you Caitlin for allowing me to play with Star last month and feed her treats. What a joy to see her now!
    Pam Chauvin, R.N.

  5. Wow–great job Caitlin bringing this horse back-

  6. Your victory fuels my smiles!

  7. Anonymous says

    Congratulations on not giving up, getting fat, turning into an alcoholic and not getting pregnant like so many young riders would have done.

  8. Okay guys, Boyd was obviously making a joke. He joked similarly with Jan Byyny when she made her comeback last year. Maybe his sense of humor doesn’t appeal to everyone but it is obvious through his own dedication to Caitlin and the rest of his staff, students and fellow competitors that he has all due respect and admiration for everyone taking part in the sport.

  9. Anonymous says

    I love this post. It’s heart-warming, gives me goosebumps when I view the photos, and fills me with a sense of pride for Miss Caitlin for all she did for this lovely horse. And…I also found this post FUNNY. It’s meant to be FUNNY, people. Boyd, I got it. Keep up the great posts. Amy

  10. This is incredible. I remember just welling up when I saw the picture of this beautiful horse after the fire. So resilient and amazing! Congratulations to Caitlin and Hoku! Agree with the other commentators, Boyd is a hysterical writer! I’m posting a link to this inspiring story on my blog today!

  11. Anonymous says

    You can compliment one person without insulting an entire group of people at the same time. That particular group represents a significantly large percentage of his fans. Dark humor or not, he’ll just have to deal with the backlash.

    Kudos to Caitlin and Hoku! It warms my heart to hear they are back out there and feeling better. So inspiring!

  12. Anonymous says

    Congrats Caitlin and Hoku!!! We’ve all managed to miss a jump at some point, what’re you gonna do!? You probably handled it with more grace than I- throwing my whip and cursing 🙂

    (and personally, I think the best way to handle adversity in life is with a sense of humor!)

  13. Congrats Caitlin & hoku, and good luck next weekend! And lighten up people, he obviously didn’t mean to offend anyone, it was meant to be funny!

  14. Congrats to Caitlin and Hoku. I can not even begin to imagine what every person involved that night has been through.
    The only way I could see a young rider taking offense to this is if they had gotten fat, gotten pregnant and become an alcoholic when faced with adversity. If those young riders who idolize him want to make it in this sport and can not handle a little joke they are really going to have a hard time of it.

  15. Anonymous says

    haha, one time in stadium I started with jump 2….that didn’t go over well. Congratulations Caitlin and Hoku! Sweet girl, Caitlin, I am sure you don’t remember me, but I was an intern at New Bolton when she came in and spent some time with her. Such a sweet little mare.

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