It is not often that a rider experiences a particularly unique partnership with a horse as special as Columbo, known as “Pete” by his friends and owner, Kristina “Stina” Thakor. Pete is being honored this year by This Old Horse, one of the benefactors of the Minnesota Harvest Horse Show.

Coming up on age 21, this bay Dutch Warmblood came into Stina’s life in the Fall of 2002 when she was 15 years old. The day Pete walked into the barn, Stina was enamored with his looks, personality and came to love him almost instantly. His owner gave her the opportunity to ride and lesson on him regularly and in 2005, offered him to Stina for purchase.

Pete was a very good 3’6” Hunter horse winning many Amateur/Owner Hunter Classics. He was also very athletic and always needed a good challenge to stay sharp. In 2008 Stina transitioned him to the Jumper ring where over the years Pete did everything from .9M to 1.3M, going up and
down in height depending on where he was in his career, and Stina in her riding.

By way of Massachusetts, Stina, her husband, Richard Thakor, and son Aiden, 3, landed in Minnesota in the Fall of 2016. Pete has been with Stina as she became a new Mother, sharing her with Aiden and taking care of her while she rode up to 28 weeks with Lily, now 5 months old. Pete was more than ready for a return to the ring in 2018 just 6 weeks after Stina gave birth!

Pete, has traveled the eastern half of the country showing in Hunters, Jumpers, and Equitation since 2003. He has qualified for many Medal Finals, participated in Junior Hunter Finals East, USHJA Zone 7 EQ Finals, Pennsylvania National USEF Medal finals, Saracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament Maclay Finals, Marshall & Sterling East Finals, USHJA Region 1-2 Jumper Championship, SE Hunter Association Horse of the Year – Adult Hunters Champion, many HITS on the Hudson jumper Championships; heck, he and Stina even swam in the Atlantic Ocean with seals!

What does Stina think about this wonderful partnership they have had for 17 years? As she so aptly puts it: “He has a mischievous super smart 2018 Minnesota Harvest Horse Show Page 39 guy attitude. He knows how good he is and has an ego about him. When he gets on a trailer he comes to life because after all these years he knows he’s going to a show! He will jump off the trailer like a 5 year old and strut his stuff. He is a cool dude, has a great work ethic, and when he is presented with “the fun stuff” he’s really game for it!” He is so quiet at home that they have lunged Pete with 3 year old Aiden aboard and Pete, once again, slips into his role as care-giver.

There are no plans to retire him if he is sound and mentally still in the game. Stina is worried he would become depressed and “fall apart” emotionally as he did when he wasn’t showing during his eye surgery rehabilitation in 2015. If Pete “tells” Stina he wants to retire tomorrow, he will be done. “He doesn’t owe me anything. But if he wants to continue showing for 10 more years he can do that too!” Who could ask for more from this great “old horse”!