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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

A 'Demonstration' of Belief: Grand Prix Talent On the Rise for Shadow Pond Stables

Brooke Kemper and CM Sporthorses' Seaview Demonstration Photo by A&S Photography

Brooke Kemper produces Aiken Grand Prix Champion Seaview Demonstration for longtime supporters. 

Bobbie Jo Adsit was hard at work in the barn at Shadow Pond Stables when her father sent her a text message. He'd just picked up two horses that had arrived from Europe from the airport. His message contained a photo of two athletic looking geldings, one bay and one grey, contentedly munching hay in the trailer.

"I really like the bay one. He's going to be special," Adsit's father asserted.

"That's one of the first memories I have of [Seaview Demonstration]," recalled Adsit, Shadow Pond's show manager and stable rider.

That August 2022 trailer ride contained two show jumping prospects—aged 6 and 7—for Brooke Kemper and Nigel Potts' Shadow Pond operation to develop, and both are now jumping internationally. The "bay one" has proven Adsit's father right. Now 9, CM Sporthorses' Seaview Demonstration jumped to the win in the $50,000 Chesterfield Grand Prix during the first week of the 2024 Aiken Charity Horse Show, with Kemper in the irons. The pair was one of just three pairs to navigate FEI Level 3 Course Designer Nick Granat's track cleanly and came home more than three seconds faster than the runners-up in the jump-off. 

"He’s really settled as he’s grown up in the last year and a half," Kemper said of the gelding, known in the barn as "Charlie." "He's always brave and willing, and he's forward thinking. He wants to go to the jumps, and he's always wanted to do the job, but he’s definitely in the last 6-9 months really settled into the job, matured and gained confidence, and he seems to understand the sport.

"For the record, the "other" horse in that trailer was the now-8-year-old Styles, who is jumping at the five-star level with U.S. Jumping Team Short Listed rider Aaron. After being developed by Shadow Pond, Styles was sold to Don Stewart and Debbie Stewart last year. 

But Seaview Demonstration has always had a particularly strong connection to Kemper, and they bay is consistently now putting her among the top results at competitive venues like Aiken, Terranova, World Equestrian Center - Ocala, and Upperville. This week at the 2024 Upperville Colt & Horse Show, Seaview Demonstration will make his CSI4* debut.

"To see Brooke’s name up there with some of the top riders in the industry right now is amazing—especially to see her and Charlie, the horse that she’s developed and brought along," Adsit shared. "Charlie has stepped up every time."

Brooke Kemper and Seaview Demonstration school at the World Equestrian Center - Ocala. Photo by Catie Staszak Media, Inc.


When Kemper visited Europe to scout some investment horses for CM Sporthorses, a friend in Holland—Katherine Walsh— expressed a strong desire for Brooke to sit on a horse she knew of in Ireland.

Walsh, who often advised Kemper on such trips, put great thought into horse and rider compatibility when it came to scouting equine prospects, and she thought Kemper would sync well with a horse that had won some 7-year-old qualifiers for the Dublin Horse Show.

Kemper called a friend in Ireland to make him aware of her plans. As it turned out, that friend—Phillip Horgan—also knew of the horse, who was owned by Alan O'Regan, brother of U.S. based jumper, Conor O'Regan.

With plenty of endorsements, Kemper's expectations were high when she met Seaview Demonstration, but Charlie immediately gave her a good feeling.

"I thought he was sharp and smart and had blood. He was brave, and he wanted to go to the jumps," Kemper recalled. "Whether he ended up a Grand Prix horse or a junior/amateur horse, I felt like he would be competitive in whatever path he ended up on.

"It's important to give credit to Alan and his wife Emma, who laid the foundation and gave the horse a positive start," she added. 

Upon being imported, Seaview Demonstration quickly showed his potential for big things. In just his third show in the U.S., Charlie won the first two rounds of the Developing Jumper Series 7-year-old Final in Tryon, NC. 

"He had showed in one horse show in Virginia before he went to Tryon, and there we really saw him step up for the first time," Adsit shared. "He handled every question asked of him and was so brave in the ring. We quickly realized he was a real show horse."

The following year, Charlie impressed again as he took the next step up, jumping clear in the American Standard Grand Prix at the Upperville Colt and Horse Show, finishing seventh. He jumped his first two-star upon kicking off his 2024 show season, and he finished fourth in a CSI3* Grand Prix Qualifier at WEC - Ocala in January. Kemper and Charlie capped the 2024 Winter Spectacular show series at the venue with a sixth place finish in the National Grand Prix that was held in concert with the CSIO5* Longines League of Nations. 

"We jumped him in some 1.45m classes in 2023. He was really good, but a year ago, if he made a mistake, I could feel him get nervous. Now, he's settled and he's gained confidence," Kemper explained. "He’s more professional and he's really just gained in strength, physically."

It's been amazing to develop him at WEC," added Kemper, who now bases Shadow Pond year round in Ocala. "There's the Grand Arena behind the Equestrian Hotel, and there are a couple weeks where the horses can jump in the Stadium, and then the Grand Arena gets redecorated for the League of Nations, and it's like being at a different horse show. It's amazing to show at one location that basically gives Grand Prix horses three different venues to jump in."

Brooke Kemper and Seaview Demonstration jumped clear for a top 10 finish in the American Standard Grand Prix at the 2023 Upperville Colt and Horse Show. Photo by Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Multi-Purpose Investment

When Emily Cyrway first met Kemper, she was a high school student looking to compete in more rated shows. Her trainer at the time, Ian McCartney, sent her to Ocala from Fairfax County, VA to spend her spring break showing with Kemper in Ocala.

The next year, Cyrway extended the trip to five weeks, and she eventually began riding with Kemper full time. After graduating high school, she attended college at the University of Florida—conveniently located within an hour of the Ocala show circuit.

"Riding with Brooke was just fun," Cyrway recalled. "I'm very grateful to her, and I probably spent more time with her in high school and college than I did with my parents. Brooke taught me resilience and grit. It's impossible not to look up to her, especially as a woman  in a male-dominated field."

While Cyrway loved horses, she knew that riding professionally was not in the cards for her, and after injuring her back, she focused more on her collegiate studies and stepped away from competitive riding. Still, she kept in touch with Kemper as she began working full-time at a nursery as a tropical plants expert, specializing in indoor plant design out of Great Falls, VA. 

It was a big moment when Kemper was named to a CSIO3* Nations Cup team in 2022, but an injury to her top mount forced her to miss the opportunity. That sparked the Cyrway family to take action. 

"We all love Brooke and know how talented and hard-working she is," Cyrway explained. "My parents are in a position financially where they could invest [in some horses]. We knew it would be a sound investment because of who she is, but she was just also so deserving of more opportunities than she was able to get at the time."

Cyrway recalls watching videos Kemper sent her of the horses she tried in Europe. Watching her trainer and friend ride Seaview Demonstration brought back fond memories.

"Watching the videos, Charlie just looked like her kind of ride," Cyrway recalled. "Something about him reminded me a little bit of Chandler."

"Chandler" was Kemper's first Grand Prix horse. Known in the show ring as Classified, the bay first put Kemper on the map shortly after founding Shadow Pond. Kemper developed the horse from a green 4-year-old to an accomplished veteran before his retirement in 2020.  

Still, Seaview Demonstration is bringing Kemper to new heights. Kemper plans to take another step forward with a four-start start at Upperville, where Cyrway will be able to watch the pair in person.

"Right now the plan is to let him build his experience at the 1.50m-1.55m level and jumping some of those larger, more technical tracks," Kemper shared. "It's been nice to have a horse compete at that level and be consistent, and it's even nicer to have that horse and other horses that Shadow Pond developed and produced jumping the level. It just shows that our program works."

"I'm just really happy for Brooke," Cyrway said. "I am invested, but I also just want to see her succeed for herself. It's been fun to watch them come along and nice to see Brooke so happy with him."

The World Equestrian Center - Ocala played a significant role in Seaview Demonstration's Development. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.


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