Jonathan Holling & Ragtime Rebel

February 20, 2019
Rebel’s First Cross Country Field Trip

Rebel had another exciting week here in Ocala. The progress at home has been very steady. The dressage is coming along nicely, and his jumping technique is steadily improving. Being a thoroughbred he does have the tendency to want to “get away” from the jumps on landing. While that is super helpful on cross country to make the time, it does tend to make show jumping a little tricky sometimes. I find that spending the time when the horses are young working on gymnastics really improves this. So to that end we have been doing gymnastics once or twice a week. The progress in his technique has been remarkable. In fact he has been so good that I decided to do what every good event rider would do....GO CROSS COUNTRY!!  Rebel got to take his first field trip off the farm on Wednesday. We went over to Barnstaple south and used their fabulous new cross country field. It is really cool taking a thoroughbred that has raced out for their first trip. One of two things usually happens, either they assume they are at the track and get pumped to run, or they take a breath realize they have arrived at work and put their head down in preparation for their job. I am happy to report that Rebel was all business. He went right to work and aside from a green moment or two at the first couple of jumps, he did everything that was asked of him. All in all it was a great first trip. I wonder how long it will  be until his first event? — Jon Holling

January 30, 2019
Rebel Update and Jump School

Rebel is making steady progress in his training. We have had excessive amounts of rain here in Ocala this winter. Because of this I have had to run my water pump in an effort to drain our water jump. Keeping track of the young horses and the things they can and cannot deal with is always interesting. Rebel is pretty good with visual distractions and has been relatively easy to keep focused while things are going on. However, the loud gas-powered pump was nearly my undoing the other day. Poor Rebel went out to the back field and proceeded to fall all over himself for about the first fifteen minutes of his schooling session. He was absolutely terrified of the loud sound coming from the water jump on the other side of the field. In the end we were able to get some decent work in, and over the following couple of days he has gotten used to the noise. So, I have made my mental note that he is nervous about sounds. Fortunately I don’t expect a lot of water pumps running at events in his future. But who knows?! — Jon Holling

January 16, 2019
Rebel’s Training Update PLUS a Spa day

This was a big week for Rebel. I have been very careful to be certain that the trajectory of his training stays positive. Because of this he has remained here at home for all of his training. This idea wouldn’t work at most places but we are very lucky to have access to a full cross country course, two full show jumping courses and an a covered dressage arena. One additional benefit is that we have a lot of traffic, both vehicles and horses, in and out of the farm on a regular basis. So the truth is that Rebel has been anything but protected from life. This week Rebel had his second cross country school and was an absolute dream. He graduated from the logs of week one to small tables and coops. He ran through the water, jumped a ditch, and hopped up and down our banks. I expect a field trip within the next month. Oh ya one more thing, Rebel has his first salon day and got this great new hair cut! Isn’t he handsome? — Jon Holling

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January 3, 2019
Jon and Rebel, 1st School in the Grand Prix Jump Field

With the holiday season behind us, things here at Willow Run are starting to return to the normal pace of craziness that comes with Ocala in the winter. This week our newest team member Ragtime Rebel had his first opportunity to jump in our Grand Prix field. Here he is in his first trip around looking like a seasoned horse. We are very excited with the progress Rebel is making and are looking forward to him making a venture off the farm in the coming weeks. Thanks to the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center for finding and starting such a great young horse, and to his amazing group of owners for supporting him. — Jon Holling

December 13, 2018
Jon and Rebel, 1st Cross Country School

December 5, 2018
Jon and Rebel, 2nd Jump School

November 28, 2018
Jon and Rebel, 1st Jump School

About Jonathan Holling

(From the December 2017 issue of Practical Horseman.)

Were it not for his parents’ sense of joie de vivre, Jonathan Holling might never have become an eventing professional.

Growing up in the suburbs north of Milwaukee, Jonathan rode casually in 4-H, competing in Western, English, jumping and gymkhana speed classes on the same Arabian-Quarter Horse cross. When his mother decided to open a small business, “she debated between getting a boutique and a stable. My dad decided a stable would be a lot more fun,” Jonathan said. “That is where I got my first taste of what it might be like to be a professional.”

At 14, Jonathan switched to eventing and began training with Anne Jennings. After high school, he moved to Toronto to train with Peter Gray, at the time the coach for the Canadian Olympic team. At 23, he returned to Milwaukee to open his own business. Jonathan has trained with David O’Connor and Leslie Law and is a well-known CCI**** level rider and trainer. He has competed at top international events, including the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and the World Cup Eventing Finals in Malmö, Sweden. In 2012, he won the Volvo Bromont CCI*** and was a member of the 2012 Nations Cup Team at Boekelo in the Netherlands.

Jonathan currently sits on the U.S. Equestrian Federation Eventing Sport Committee and chairs the Cross-Country Safety Task Force for the U.S. Eventing Association. He runs Holling Eventing at Willow Run Farm in Ocala, Florida, with his wife, Jennifer.

About Ragtime Rebel

Barn Name: Rebel
Owners: The Rebel Restart Syndicate
Date of Birth: May 1, 2014
Gender: Gelding
Height: 16.2h
Sire: Union Rags
Dam: A.P. Elegance by A.P. Indy
Race Record: 9-1-0-0
Date of Last Race: 4/25/18
Earnings: $

See 5x pedigree at Equineline

Rebel is super intelligent and level-headed. He has a good, kind eye. He is a lovely mover. He’s got the tools to collect and expand at the canter. He has an impressive, balanced jump. And the MMSC has done a wonderful job of restarting him.
— Jon Holling

Jon Riding Rebel for the 1st time at the MMSC