We are pleased to present DEPA’s newest member, DSF McVays Ladys Waterlily and since that’s quite a mouthful, we call her “Lily”.  She is an 18h registered Percheron.  She was born on 4-6-11 and was raised and trained by Amish farmers in Nebraska where she worked the fields pulling plows, machinery and carts.  Julie acquired Lily at the Troyer Draft Horse Sale in Brighton, CO at the end of 2015.  Although Julie dearly misses her beautiful boy Gus, she is anxious to start this new chapter in her life and couldn’t think of a more fitting partner.  Lily’s career as a performer is just beginning, but in the short time she has been under saddle, she has proven she has limitless potential.  From her very first show under saddle with just 4 rides prior to the show, to her Reserve High Point Champion title for her 2016 show season, there seems to be no stopping her.

Since her 1st show in the fall of 2015, Lily has undergone extensive training to prepare her to be a well rounded saddle horse.  She has completed training for the basics with Nicole Brotz where she learned leg cues, manners and was desensitized to all sorts of scary things.  In addition, Lily has been getting dressage training from Chelsea Childress of CC Equine Services ( and is doing amazing.

Ms. Childress believes Lily has great potential in the dressage arena despite her enormous size.  In fact, Lily’s very first dressage show proved she does have promise.  She received 7’s on most of her movements and captured a whopping 69.375% on her Intro A test which earned her a 1st place.

Her high point award came from her work in English Pleasure, English Equitation, Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship and Trail.  In addition to her show career, she participated in several parades wearing elaborate costumes and never once batted an eye at all the craziness that inevitably happens at parades.  She was asked to represent the Percheron breed at the Annual Westernaires Breed Show where she showed off her newly acquired dressage skills.   And she competed in an extreme trail challenge where she was confronted with dozens of obstacles she had not previously been prepared for or exposed to.  It was a timed event and although she had one of the slowest times because we did not want to rush her first time experiencing such things as a teeter-totter, barricade maze and debris walk, she still managed to come in 7th place out of 30 entries!  This was mainly because she was given high horsemanship points for her amazing attitude and calm demeanor while navigating the obstacles.

Lily also competed in a class called a wine glass class.  The rider carries a glass full of water.  The horse and rider duo is asked to perform all sorts of maneuvers such as trotting, change of direction, whoa and backing up.  At the end of the class, the contents of each contestant’s glass is measured.  The person with the most water wins.  As it turns out, all other entries in the class were gaited horses – 5 in total.  The judge mentioned Julie and Lily were at a huge disadvantage.  This did not discourage Julie, and even though Lily had only a few months of saddle training and did not know how to neck rein (which is needed when you only have one hand to steer with), they took on the challenge with confidence.  In the end, a champion was revealed and it was none other than Lily.  It just goes to show a 2000 lb draft horse can be just as graceful as a gaited horse and shouldn’t be counted out because of their size.

When Lily isn’t hard at work studying her new skills, she and Julie enjoy leisurely trail rides.  It seems she is a natural at that.

While it will take time for Julie and Lily to form the kind of bond Julie had with Gus, we have no doubt they will be great partners.  Lily is an extremely sweet mare who is sensible, easy going and learns quickly.  She loves her 3 new sisters and seems to thrive doing new things with them.  We expect Lily will be making great strides in her new career (literally and figuratively).

Please check back in frequently to see her progress.

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