American rider Hannah Selleck has been a regular on the international showjumping circuit for the past 10 years — most often in her native USA, but the 31-year-old also spent a season competing in Europe in 2016.
Hannah is the daughter of Hollywood A-lister Tom Selleck — best known for his roles in Magnum PI, Three Men and a Baby and Friends — and Jillie Joan Mack and 10 years ago she launched her own Descanso Farm as a boutique and breeding and training operation. Hannah is now seeing the fruits of success.
“The youngest of our current babies, Corsica DF, is now five, and rather than riding as many young horses, I’m ready to focus on sales horses that are already going but need a little more finesse, need results, or that can improve in the Descanso Farm programme,” said Hannah, who is splits her time between Wellington, Florida, where the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was recently brought to a premature close, and Thousand Oaks in California.
Hannah has also had to bounce back from a serious leg break in 2018 that ruled her out of competition for several months.
“Following that, I had to work hard to develop a relationship with a new horse,” explained Hannah, who credits Kasper Van Het Leliehof (pictured below), a 10-year-old Nonstop x Major De La Cour gelding who came from Belgium late last year, with helping her to move back up the USA’s jumper divisions.
During week five of WEF, they won the $2,500 1.35m jumpers division, going on to finish in the money in the $8,000 CSI2* 1.40m jumpers in week nine then producing a podium finish in the $10,000 CSI2* 1.40m at the Palm Beach Open at Deeridge Farms before competition was brought to a close.
“It’s thanks to his talent and character,” she said of the horse she sees as a sales prospect. “I think he could be a perfect match for a competitive junior or amateur.
“He’s a really lovely horse; it’s been a great match.”
Hannah has also been in action with Descanso Farm’s five-year-old Corsica DF and seven-year-old Flexible mare Rumpleteazer DF, who she plans to move up the ranks.
“She’s matured a lot,” says Hannah. “During her six-year-old year, she was navigating the courses with the occasional four faults here or there, but never more than that. She never makes the same mistake twice; she’s really smart, and she seems to be on the same trajectory where she’s getting it done in the seven-year-olds and is ready to keep accelerating through the rest of the year.
“It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to do the young horse finals at WEF because of the show cancellation [due to COVID-19 risks], but Deeridge was a great way to end for both horses. They both came along really well.”
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The winter season also marked the conclusion of an impressive eight-year show career for Hannah’s long-time top mount, Barla (pictured top).
“The plan was to retire Barla at the end of the winter circuit, but the plan is also always to put the care and welfare of my horses first,” says Hannah of the 16-year-old Oldenburg mare. “I first got Barla as an eight-year-old, and for the past eight years, she has taught me so much and has always tried her heart out for me. She’s been my most trusted, challenging, and hugely talented partner. While I’ll greatly miss having her in the show ring, I’m looking forward to this next chapter of Barla’s life and seeing what fantastic foals she will have.”
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