Kelley Buringa & Ladybird

By: Kristina McCombie


No, we’re not talking about the movie! This exceptional mare is bringing home top ribbons in Grand Prix events across the country. Read how she and her rider, Colorado-girl Kelley Buringa became the team to beat.


HH: Tell us about your horse, Ladybird:

KB: Ladybird is a soon to be 9 year-old Irish Sport Horse by Lancelot and Farnes Ruby mare. I recently bought her in September of 2017. Around the barn we call her Lady Pajara. The guys love to add a little Spanish to all the horses names.


HH: How long have you and Ladybird been a team? How did you find each other?

KB: Ladybird was sent to Matt Cyphert and I by Kyle Timm to sell in February last year.   We started in the 1.20m Jumpers and ended the series in the 1.30m Jumpers. We were trying to sell her as a Junior/Amateur Jumper throughout the year and took her to all the shows. She was very competitive everywhere we went.


HH: What do you currently show in?

KB: We currently show at the Grand Prix level across the country.


HH: What makes Ladybird such a great addition to your barn?

KB: She has been a great addition to the barn because she always gives it her all! She has the biggest heart and that is so rare to come by.


HH: Does Ladybird have any quirks or goofy traits? How is she around the barn?

KB: You could say she is very particular. She chooses people; which is why I decided to buy her myself. We just had a connection from day one and I found myself having the hardest time letting that go. It’s not everyday you find a horse that trusts you completely. Around the barn she thinks she owns the place. She’s definitely a girl!


HH: What are your goals for the rest of the year and beyond with Ladybird?

KB: The goals I have for us are to just have fun. I want to be competitive of course, but for me it’s more about bringing this young horse along and showing her how to love her job and seeing what she can accomplish! We were invited as Wildcards for the International of Omaha so we will do our best there, as it will be her biggest debut to date.



HH: What successes have you shared with Ladybird? Anything in particular you are especially proud of?

KB: Every time we come out of the ring there is something to be proud of her for. But to date, I would say how well she jumped at the Denver Stock Show. We had a rail early, but it was completely my fault. She had never gone in front of a crowd like that before and I was in awe of how far she’s come in such a short time. I feel like we can do anything together!

*Editors Note: Since this interview, Kelley and Ladybird were the winners of the $7,500 Welcome Week 5 of the Gulf Coast Winter Circuit.


HH: What do you enjoy most about riding Ladybird?

KB: I’d say my favorite thing about riding her is how smart she is. She’s an athlete and loves to work and learn.



HH: If Ladybird was a teenager, which table would she sit at in the cafeteria and why?

KB: As a teenager she would be the girl who had her mom call her out at lunch so she could go to the barn and ride!


HH: What are Ladybird’s Favorite treats?

KB: I recently introduced Ladybird to the Horse Cannolis and she just can’t get enough! But in my eyes, she deserves whatever she wants.



All pictures courtesy of Kelley Buringa, Phelps Media and Alison Hartwell.