The Dialadream Story cont'd
Norm Picov warned that the horse was too wild for a young girl
Picov Cattle Co. from Ajax purchased Dialadream at a select sale as a two-year-old and shipped her to their sales barn in fall 1975. Kelly was looking for a project horse to show on the quarter horse circuit. After seeing the mare trot, Kelly approached owner Norm Picov who warned that the horse was too wild for a young girl. Kelly was relentless and finally Norm agreed he’d take Kelly’s not-so-wonderful A circuit hunter Mary Merry in trade as part of the deal for Dialadream. In 1976 and 1977, Kelly and ‘Dreamy’ competed on the quarter horse circuit in Ontario, winning many English classes, flat and hunter /jumper, and qualified for the World Championships in Oklahoma. They also won ribbons at Western World and Quarterama. By 1978, Kelly was bored with the quarter horse show circuit and discovered eventing. She and Dreamy went to Lakefield horse trials in the fall of 1978 and won the starter division, in their very first event. Horse and rider relished the challenge and by spring of 1979 were competing at training and moved up to preliminary in 1980. By 1981, they were competing at intermediate and went to Radnor International Intermediate Three Day Event that October, where they completed well, earning a spot on the CET long list.
In 1982 they were shortlisted for the World Championships and competed Advanced in the U.S. “However, just before Blue Ridge event that spring, Dreamy threw herself backwards onto me, all but crushing me,” says Kelly. “I was unable to ride at Blue Ridge and I was still lame for Rolex, but after I fell at the water at Rolex, we continued on to complete, then were selected to go to World Event Championships in Germany in 1982.” In Germany, they finished in 35th place as top Canadians and then after a good spring in the U.S. in 1984, they were selected to go to the Olympics in Los Angeles, where they finished 25th, again as top Canadians. “During the time that I was competing Dialadream at the international level, riders had to carry 165 pounds, including the saddle, and with me being only 110 pounds, I had to carry 45 pounds of lead under my saddle,” says Kelly. “In those days, you had to weight out at the start, which meant tacking up in the field by the start box. Dreamy had the habit of rearing up just as you were about to fasten the girth and dislodging the saddle. This was always a nervous time.”
At the Olympics, while being tacked up by Tracey Newman (Kelly’s groom and great friend) and Kelly at the start box, Dialadream reared up and fell over, got up, broke free and ran into the desert with Kelly’s saddle dragging from the breast plate. She stepped on the saddle, which broke the breastplate and continued out into the desert before she turned around and ran back. “We caught her, tacked her up with borrowed tack and off we went on to roads and tracks. She had such a ground-covering trot that we always finished roads and tracks with 10 minutes to spare,” recalls Kelly. That fall they placed second at the Chesterland International Three Day Event. They competed at Rolex in 1982 through 1985, producing some top 10 results. In 1986 Kelly sold Dreamy to a rider in California, where she injured herself shortly after her arrival and was retired as a broodmare. She died in California in Dec 2001.
Dreamcrest Farm is named after the feisty mare.
I do not honestly know if I would ever try to develop such a difficult horse again, even if a reincarnated version of her was to land on my farm. I would probably decline. Dialadream and I were lucky, as I was so young and stubborn and all-knowing in a teenager’s way and she was so difficult, but had speed and scope to burn. And she was my favourite colour.