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November 7-22, 2014, Oklahoma City

Progressive Working Hunter

Bill Ellis and Un Forgettable's recurring partnership brings big results.

Un Forgettable and Bill Ellis

Un Forgettable and Bill Ellis bring home the gold at the 2012 FedEx Open World Championship Show. Journal photo.

When Laura Te Grotenhuis of Marshall, Illinois, bought Un Forgettable, she knew he was something special. But she never knew Un Forgettable would be this successful.

"I saw him on a Thursday before the (Rita Crundwell) sale, went on Sunday and inquired about him," she said. "And I just looked at him and said, 'I like him.' And so, I bought him."

"I went up, and I love Skys Blue Boy and the influence that he has put on that horse. And with the Iron Enterprise cross and the grey, (there was) not a prettier horse to be found," she said.

After the sale, Laura sought out the right trainer to get her 2007 gray stallion into shape for showing. And the right trainer just happened to be Bill Ellis of Colts Neck, New Jersey.

"My partner (AQHA Professional Horseman) David Connors and I had the horse for the previous owner, but his last horse show was in April of this year, which was seven months ago. And then fortunately (Laura) purchased him at the sale and sent him right to us and we had about three weeks with him … He came right to the party and was great."

Bill was very excited about "Smoke’s" win in the progressive working hunter class at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.

"It went very well. I was very pleased with him, especially the fact that he has been out of a real training program," he said.

And Laura feels the same way.

"(It’s been) tremendous. I’ve been under some great guidance (and) couldn’t have done without it," she said. "And they fortunately directed me toward Bill and he graciously took the horse back. (He) didn’t know me and took him back, and obviously he’s done a superb job with him.

"(He’s) the man who knows how to bring him back the proper way," she said.

Of course, the win wouldn’t have happened without Smoke. Bill explained that, even as a stallion, he is a pleasure to work with.

"He’s got a great personality. Of course, being a stallion adds to his personality a little bit," he said. "You know, you have to just remember that he is a stallion and pay attention a little bit and be on your toes. But he’s been very easy to be around.

"He’s done great. He picked up right where he left off last spring," Bill said. "When (Laura) called me, I said, 'We’d be happy to take the horse, but I’m gonna let him tell us what he’s ready for.' "

"We all talked about it and we were all comfortable about coming here and taking a shot," he said. "And he rose to the occasion for us.”