How many horses have you had named Traveler?


How many horses have you had named Traveler?

Jun. 14,2016
Macella O’Neill - Diamond Mountain Stables

Saturday morning at Sonoma Horse Park, Christine O'Hanlon & her beloved horse Traveler once again jumped a blazing fast double clean round to earn yet another blue ribbon & Jeff Fields turned to me & said "how many horses have you had named Traveler?" . Well....just the one!

18 year young Traveler with his owner Christine O'Hanlon. Photo Credit: Deb Dawson

But, preceding his sensationally successfully career w/Christine for these last several years, this beautiful Dutch blood bay gelding  has had quite a busy life. Like so many of today's jumpers, Traveler was bred in Europe & we first met him in Mexico where he was a charismatic, somewhat fractious young horse. Actually, not much different than he is today, all these many years later. The truth requires that I confess that Traveler was distinctly NOT my first choice, but the lady who was shopping w/ me, Carol Green, lost her heart to him @ first glance. The very enthusiasm & independent thinking that made him a bit challenging to ride were captivating qualities to her. I had my hopes that her ill fated attempt @ " hand grazing" him, which resulted in him achieving liberty after cheerfully trampling her & romping about the grounds @ length & wrecking a swatch of  destruction  before he was recaptured, might have deterred her. But, as a harbinger of things to come, she was completely charmed by his antics & he was headed to the Golden State.

Less than a year later Traveler won the inaugural Grand Prix @ the then brand new Thermal horseshow & once he started winning he never looked back, winning one class after another that year. Traveler's owner was a very versatile horsewoman with a facility of her own, whose love of Traveler inspired her to take him home for her personal enjoyment  & have him embark on a western career which involved extensive trail riding, cattle work & lots of Perelli time.  This phase of Traveler's life seemingly resembled every other phase of Traveler's life as during those years it was not uncommon for us to receive a call from the Calistoga Police when Traveler fetched up on Main Street unattended.....

Photo Credit: Becky McIver

Traveler's sabbatical from the show ring came to and end & he was returned to us very nearly immediately preceding yet another Thermal & w/ just a few short weeks of prep he was back in the ring winning every single Level 5 class he entered, several coolers & Circuit Champion despite only showing a few weeks! 

Traveler and Macella. Photo Credit: Flying Horse Photography

Despite his stellar record, the goal of finding Traveler a new home was daunting due to his "exuberance", but Christine O' Hanlon was totally up for the challenge & has proved to be just about the perfect partner for him as the two of them not only are hard to beat but generally have a great time just about every single day.

Traveler and Christine doing gymkhana in jumpers. Photo Credit: Becky McIver

In his time Traveler has always been, as Charlie says, a man of his word. One hundred percent of the time he's given one hundred & ten percent. Unsurprisingly, his accomplishments have not been w/o their cost & great (& extensive) vet care, shoeing & the constant kind care of Gelacio have all been required. Naturally, he has not been without his challenges, but our prevailing philosophy has always been to try to accommodate all horses,  & one that is so genuine & effortful makes it especially rewarding. Additionally, we feel that we owe our horses a lifetime  of "career guidance" by accurately assessing them & truthfully representing them & thus finding them appropriate & successful homes. All of which explains how we've actually only had one Traveler! 


For more information about Macella O'Neill and Diamond Mountain Stables, please visit

Macella O'Neill and Diamond Mountain Stables on ProEquest.