Blazn Jewel HPF

– A True Diamond –

There were many wonderful horses in the main ring at Scottsdale, but Blazn Jewel HPF blew everyone away when she won the Half-Arabian English Pleasure Championship in front of packed stands Saturday night. The big chestnut mare gave an unforgettable performance with Jessica Clinton DeSoto in the irons, and she was the talk of the show, both in the stands and in center ring.

Blazn Jewel is the product of wonderful bloodlines and the remarkable, patient horsemanship of Mike Whelihan of Whelihan Show Horses in Olympia, Washington, and Jessie DeSoto of Vicki Humphrey Training Center in Canton, Georgia. She is by SF Specs Shocwave and out of Jeweled Spirit, an American Saddlebred mare that Mike acquired from renowned Saddlebred equestrienne Elisabeth Goth in 1992. She went on to be an excellent producer, beginning with her first foal, Blazin Fire+//; her list of decorated get includes Blazn Spirit+, Blazn Star, Miss Jewely, Blazn Beauty HPF, Blazn Heir HPF and Blazn Jewel HPF. The now 27-year-old mare had her last foal, by Vegaz, in 2013 and is now officially retired.

Blazn Jewel was striking from the moment she was born. “She was a little different color than what Jewel usually has, and she was very pretty and snorty,” says Mike. It was clear to him and to owners Richard and Janet Thompson that they had something special on their hands.

Blazn Jewel was not typical in the way she started either. “We tried to do the normal bitting and long-lining, and that was not gonna happen,” laughs Mike. “That was not in her cards.” Mike contemplated a different approach—something he hadn’t tried in his nearly 45 years of training and breeding.

“I woke up one morning and had this brainy idea to bring her in, throw a saddle on her and see what she did,” recalls Mike. “And she didn’t care about the saddle at all, so I lunged her with the saddle on, and the same day I put a rider on her. And she never bucked, never did anything. She loved to carry a rider.” She eventually grew accustomed to a bit, of course, but that didn’t come until a few months later. “That mare learned to walk, trot and canter in a halter before a bit was ever put in her mouth,” continues Mike. “She never got naughty and never bucked a day in her life. And that’s how she came about.”

When Mike had his tragic heart attack last summer, he needed someone to take over the mare’s reins. He knew immediately that his friend Jessie DeSoto would spend the time to work with Jewel and learn what she needed to thrive. It was clearly a beautiful match, and Blazn Jewel will continue to flourish under Jessie’s guiding hand, as she left Scottsdale under new ownership but will remain in training at VHTC.