When Ashley Arnoldt first watched a video of Light My Fire, the 2012 Hanoverian stallion was in Germany, competing in the 1.40m division. She was initially impressed by his scope, jumping form and rideability.

“A big thing that kind of drew me to him was that he’s partially related to [my U25 jumper] Lestat OLD through Lordano and he’s also a three-quarter brother to Los Angeles, a stallion that sired a lot of nice hunters in the U.S.”

The Arnoldt’s imported the horse with the intention that he’d be Ashley’s next grand prix mount and a breeding stallion for their family-run Dreamscape Farm in Langley, BC.

But plans with horses are always subject to change.

In their first show together, Arnoldt and Light My Fire contested a 1.35m class at Thunderbird Show Park and finished in third place. The following week, they were in the hunter ring—winning.

“He was very successful that first week in the jumpers. He was just a bit slow. So we thought that maybe we should try him in the hunter ring,” explained Arnoldt.

The pair made their hunter debut the following week and were champions in the Amateur-Owner 3’6” division at tbird, winning five of six classes. Two weeks later, they swept the Performance Hunter and Low Hunter divisions at Milner Downs, then started making rounds in the Derbies.

“That’s kind of how he became my Hunter Derby horse because it just it clicked and we knew he liked it, so we stuck to it.”

Still, it wasn’t an easy choice to swap disciplines, admits Arnoldt. Grand Prix horses are few and far between, especially when your prospects are limited by finances.

“It was a hard decision. But at the same time, he made it so much easier by how good he is at it and how well we work together,” she shared.

“Going to the Royal Winter Fair for [the Canadian Hunter Derby National Championship] is always something that I love to do. So when this all unfolded and we stepped into the hunters, I could see all those goals and dreams and possibilities we could do as a team together.”

The 12-year-old stallion has been proving her move right ever since, most especially in the Hunter Derbies. Arnoldt and Light My Fire have won the Canadian Hunter Derby and Western Derby series championships every year since 2021.

“He’s just so consistent in his performance in the derbies. I always joke that if he doesn’t win, it’s because I messed up.”

Light My Fire is as easy to work with outside the ring as he makes winning in it appear, said Arnoldt. “Everyone thinks he’s a gelding,” she continued.

“He’s honestly so simple. I don’t have much prep with him. We do the Amateur Owners on the weekend before the Derby and then we go.

“I think that’s what makes him the best hunter. He is so quiet and chill all the time, and I can always rely on him to step up and be good. Even when we take him to the big shows like indoors at the Royal, I never have to worry about anything. I walk into these rings and know that he knows what he’s doing.”

When he’s not competing, Light My Fire is an in-demand breeding stallion. But he’s always up for a little downtime and a snack.

“He loves Stud Muffins. He loves to nap. He loves to go for trail rides and hang out. He loves his day off after the horse show. He loves people! He thinks it’s the best thing ever when anyone ever comes to visit him. He feels like a little pop star, I think.

“And he can always spot a camera,” laughs Arnoldt. “If we’re taking ribbon pictures or he’s standing somewhere, he finds the camera every time.”

Watch for Ashley Arnoldt and Light My Fire as they look to defend their Canadian Hunter Derby Series title this season at tbird—that is, when the stallion isn’t napping ringside.

“’He’s just Lennie’ is the best way that I can explain him. He’s just so quiet and chill and awesome.”