March 2016 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 01 March 2016 00:56

Simon Nizri Show Jumping

This year’s HITS Thermal hunter/jumper show circuit marked the official launch of Simon Nizri Show Jumping. Simon, of course, is a West Coast jumping circuit favorite, but he had opted a few years back to sell his beautiful Wildflower Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe and head East. He recently decided California was pretty nice afterall and has settled back in at Wildflower and established a full-fledged training and sales barn.

Simon Nizri & E Muse Yek at the Las Vegas National Horse Show. Photo: Kim F Miller

Part of his reason for deciding to focus only on his own riding before had to do with how difficult it was to manage the farm and run a training/sales facility on his own, while also pursuing his Grand Prix career. He’s solved that by recruiting longtime Meadow Grove staffer Cuscis Fergeson and Michael Fasse as assistants at Wildflower Ranch.

As of Thermal, the trio had about 12 horses in their charge and Simon says he hopes to at least double that going forward.

Meantime, there’s a lot going on in his Grand Prix career. He and his partner of three years, E Muze Yek, started the year with a bang by finishing third in the late-January World Cup qualifier in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. They were on track to contest the league’s last class at Thermal Feb. 13, but withdrew. So, a return to this year’s World Cup Finals, where he debuted 20 years ago at just 17, is probably not likely, but plenty of other big opportunities for this talented pair.

Wendy with her husband Richard.

Wendy Gray Bizarro Passes

By Elizabeth Landers

California’s dressage world has lost a great supporter of our sport with the unexpected passing of Wendy Gray Bizarro in early February.

As a breeder, owner and sponsor, Wendy’s generous contributions to the dressage world have touched the lives of innumerable riders, horses and so very many individuals associated with the sport. Her passion was Morgan horses and she strove to improve the Morgan line through her keen breeding program, training and performing.

Wendy was well known for her love of freestyles and could be spotted at each Southern California competition where her horses competed, dancing on the sidelines, grinning ear to ear. She chose the music for each horse’s freestyle and oversaw the composition – footfall by footfall. Her passion for her horses and to the sport was outstanding.

For over 20 years, Wendy’s horses regularly earned California and USDF year-end awards and championships.

Her legacy lives on through the second generation of her Morgan horses and the offspring of her breeding program at Gray Barron Ranch in Chatsworth, along with the ardent support of her husband, Richard Bizarro and her son Evan Gertz.

It was Wendy’s dream that one of the horses she bred compete in Grand Prix (many successfully competed in Intermediare 1). This dream is getting close to becoming a reality with GBR Midnight Serenade, who is expected to debut in the medium tour this season.

It’s a great sorrow that Wendy will not be seen at the sidelines any more. A more passionate and devoted person, I have never met. Our journey together has been one of the richest experiences in my life.

Flying Changes welcomes your submissions. Please tell us about what’s happening in your life and/or at your barn: births, deaths, engagements, marriages, new management and barn moves. Please send your reports to Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Photos welcome!