Anne Gribbons has owned and trained many world class horses in her riding career, but there have only been a few that gave her the feeling like the one she had on her 9-year-old Alazan, when she nailed a 70% in the Intermediaire I, Saturday April 2, at Dressage at Equestrian Estates. “I have not felt a test like that on a horse since Metallic.” Anne said, referring to her former USDF Horse of the Year who among other accomplishments competed in the 1996 Olympic Games.
“He got in the groove at this show. He is very bright, and I just knew he ‘got it’ - what showing is all about. And….” added Anne, “He liked this whole business of being at a show, people watching him.” Gribbons credits the beautiful show grounds and facilities at Equestrian Estates, in Loxahatchee, home of the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, for providing the perfect atmosphere for her young and sensitive Alazan. “I could feel he was more confident.” explained Anne. “There is plenty of open space to warm up, yet enough action to keep his attention without overwhelming him.” The handsome chestnut gelding, named for the Spanish word for chestnut, Alazan, is from Anne’s native country Sweden. He is out of a Swedish mare, by the Danish stallion, Midwest-Ibi-Light, so is both a Swedish and Danish Warmblood. “I am looking forward to riding this horse in the Grand Prix,” said Anne, “but I am in no rush with him, or me. We have plenty of time.” she smiled.
Elizabeth Williams the technical delegate, Walter and Mary Anne McPhail, owners of Equestrian Estates, and show manager Evelyn O’Sullivan all made a point to stop during their busy duties of running the three day four ring competition, to join the crowd to watch their dear friend and respected colleague ride a beautiful test. Gribbons, now fully recovered from a ruptured appendix suffered December 2004, had given everyone including herself a scare over the episode.
Now that Gribbons is back “in the groove” with riding Alazan and her Grand Prix mount Aureate, Gribbons admits winning is the icing on the cake to an enlightened outlook on life; grateful and happy to be doing the things which she loves the most, riding and judging. As an FEI ‘I’ judge, she recently completed the lasted Judges’ Forum and been invited judge the Falsterbo CDI, in Sweden July 7-11.
On the Scene at Dressage at Equestrian Estates