A strong dressage score two weeks ago at the Paradise Farm Horse Trials played a critical role in the success of Phillip Staples’ Real T Mor.

However, it was the horseman, Aiken resident Jane McDonald MacLeod, who helped to make a difference as the rider/horse combination placed first going novice level. MacLeod expects to be competing at horse trials this summer at Poplar Place and Chattahoochee Hills.

“He looks really good,” said MacLeod, of the 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse, who has made the successful transition from fox hunting to eventing. “He’ll be competing at Full Gallop Farm next weekend.”

MacLeod manages Ernie and Vicki Tussey’s Happy Landings Farm on Bulter Road, and has a number of horses at the facility.

“I’ve been here for nearly two years,” said the native of Ireland. “I have a bunch of young horses, several for Phillip Staples, and a really cool three-year-old for Jane Hottensen, and two ponies for William Howard, Boob and Bonny. For a change, they’re mostly local horses.”

The horseman also has a young jumper in her barn, a five-year-old, named Doc, who is by the stallion Indoctro, and owned by New York-based Eamon Hughes, that she’s very impressed with, and believes has a lot of promise. MacLeod has also sold a number of horses recently, and the horseman’s business has increased since the birth of her son Ruairi.

“We’re trying to bring over some more horses from Ireland,” said MacLeod. “They sell pretty quickly.”

The newest horse in MacLeod’s barn is an off the track Thoroughbred, named Baby, and is the horseman’s latest event horse prospect.