Two years ago, a broken coffin bone meant that Susan Jaccoma would have been happy just to take Jellowa trail riding.
But on July 22 he proved his revived soundness--and more--by winning the Grand Prix at the Green Mountain Horse Association's Dressage Days, in South Woodstock, Vt.
"Joey's" always had a bit of a wild streak in him. "He outwardly looks very relaxed," said Jaccoma, "but he can buck me off at the drop of a hat. He lets me know once a year that I'm a guest in this house."
Leslie Morse and Kingston just keep getting stronger.
Almost three months after their seventh-placed finish at the Offield Farms FEI World Cup Final (Nev.), the pair returned to dominate the Grand Prix classes at the Pebble Beach CDI in Pebble Beach, Calif., July 7-10.
After the World Cup, Morse gave Kingston some time off. "I mostly just trail rode him to keep him fit but gave his mind a break. I don't want him to peak until Aachen [(Germany) Aug. 23-28], and I think for the longevity of his career it's really important that we give him time to come down."
Rocher and George Williams proved they're back to top form after a year-and-a half lay-up at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Grand Prix Championships on June 16-18.
The pair swept the Grand Prix classes, averaging 72.96 percent, at Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, N.J.
The 12-horse field didn't include a single horse or rider from the 2004 Grand Prix Championships and Olympic Selection Trials, which kept the crowd from exceeding a few hundred each day but created plenty of room for the up-and-coming Grand Prix players to show off.
Everyone agrees that dressage horses should be elegant, powerful, even dramatic. But should they be happy too?
A brief glance at the new wording of Article 401.1 in the Federation Equestre Internationale's dressage rulebook seems to suggest that dressage horses should have smiles on their faces as they perform Grand Prix tests, but that certainly wasn't the purpose behind changing the language.
The first paragraph in the Objects and General Principles section used to read:
Jessica Heidemann and French Twist didn't look a bit rusty as they won the Galway Downs CIC*** World Cup qualifier, held April 1-3 in Temecula, Calif.
A slight tendon injury after the Rolex Kentucky CCI last spring forced Heidemann to give the Thoroughbred-Belgian Warmblood cross some time off, and Galway Downs was their first outing since then. "He's an older horse, and I do as few events as possible," said Heidemann.
They put it all together at Galway Downs to jump start their season and their quest to compete in Germany at the Luhmuhlen CCI**** in June.
Anne Gribbons went into the hospital at Thanksgiving with severe stomach pain. As doctors buzzed around her, she learned that her appendix had burst, and she was lucky to be alive.
Just three months later, she's back in the ring and winning at Grand Prix with her Swedish Warmblood Aureate. The pair won the Grand Prix (64.37%) and the Grand Prix Special (62.80%) at the Zada Cup in Clarcona, Fla., Feb. 11-13.
Ashley Holzer may not have had the biggest win of the Zada Wellington Equestrian Festival Dressage Classic on March 17-20, but she might have had the most meaningful one.
The Canadian team member rode Jornello to win the open Prix St. Georges on a score of 67.12 percent. But three years ago the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood (he's 7Â³8 Thoroughbred) was looking strong at Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I, but a freak physical condition made it unlikely he would compete again.
Kimberly Iwen started riding Grand Derneburg six years ago, but last year things started to go sour. A new trainer, a new strategy and a new outlook on competition put them back on track at the Silverwood Farm dressage show, May 21-22 in Camplake, Wis.
Iwen always knew that the 11-year-old Hanoverian (Glueckspilz--Dornrose) had tremendous athletic potential, but his temperament was a bit trickier. "He can't be pushed," she explained. "I think we were going too fast with him, and I was having obedience problems. He was just unhappy about his work."
Rocher completed her hat trick today, winning the Grand Prix freestyle at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship at the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation's headquarters in Gladstone, N.J.
George Williams and the Westphalian mare danced down centerline to Madonna, scoring a 74.75 percent for the win. "I was more on yesterday," admitted Williams. "But my big thing was getting through all three days of competition."