As a weanling, Northern Exposure had already begun what would be a long and successful show career. Bred by Kelly McDonald, by the Morgan stallion Southerly Conowingo and out of DVF Remember Me, he was shown in-hand as a weanling, yearling and two year old. At the age of two he was purchased by Don Parsons and began showing under saddle in English Saddle Seat classes, ridden by Sherrie Groot.


When Northern Exposure (aka Robin) was 9 years old, he was purchased by amateur rider Kathy Padgham and shown extensively in Alberta and the United States. He had a long and varied competition career, including the following highlights: Reserve 4th Level Dressage, Grand National Champion Amateur English and Grand National Champion Amateur Western at the 2008 Morgan World Championship Show; three times the winner of the Justin Morgan Medal for Western Pleasure and once for Hunter Pleasure; and Canadian Morgan Horse Association Western Pleasure Champion, Hunter Pleasure Champion and In-Hand Champion Stallion. Robin also competed successfully in Show Hack, Hunter over Fences, Road Hack and Dressage Seat Equitation. He was a fan favourite demo horse at the Mane Event for trail and dressage as well as for the Morgan breed.

The key to Robin’s many years of success…his willingness, his love of learning and his ability to go directly from pasture to show ring without missing a beat. Kathy’s trainer says, “Robin is a great athlete and one that probably surprised many people who assumed that a 'small' horse wouldn't be able to compete with the larger warmbloods that we see in the dressage ring. Robin showed us that the saying 'the best things come in small packages' is true.”

In the winter of 2008/09, Robin was 16 and in great shape, ridden nearly every day. Kathy attended several clinics with him over the winter and was encouraged to compete at Grand Prix Level dressage by two different clinicians. Unfortunately, Robin was injured in January, a laceration to his hindquarters that almost severed the biceps femoris and semitendinosus muscles. Despite several setbacks through his recovery, Kathy hopes they will be able to compete in the Western and Trail divisions next year, being somewhat less demanding than the higher levels of dressage.

Of course, no matter what their level of success, horses are just horses in the end, each with their own individual personality. Robin has an excellent memory and remembers horses that were stabled with him at various events and barns. When he travels he is always looking for “his show friends” and seems to recognize them when he sees them. A free spirit at heart and not one to be contained, Robin once gave his head a shake while awaiting his trail class and his handler found herself holding onto the reins of a horse-less bridle. He’s also been known to run great distances wearing hobbles!

But Kathy sums up best what makes Northern Exposure a special horse, “I love to ride him, he is an extension of me, we are a team, and I have been very privileged to have such a competent partner.”