Loxahatchee, Florida – Collecting Gaits Farm, owned by Jeff and Shereen Fuqua, is a strong supporter of dressage in the U.S., including supporting the annual Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. And this year, one of the farm's own horses, Bogner B, under the guidance of Courtney King-Dye, is on the road to qualifying for the National Intermediaire Championships, scheduled to be held at USET in Gladstone in June. "We're very hopeful he'll make it," said Jeff Fuqua. "It's unexpected, but very exciting. We gave Bogner to Courtney to finish him to Grand Prix. Competing him was not in the original plan, but she's been able to unearth his real talent in a short period of time. She's only had him about three months."
The most recent win for King-Dye and Bogner B, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, was the CDI Intermediaire Freestyle at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI, held Feb. 26-March 1. The pair took the win with a score of 70.10. In second was Marco Bernal riding Halbgott with a score of 69.150 and third was Yvonne Losos de Muniz riding San Piko to a score of 67.150.
King-Dye said Bogner B has a mixed personality and his Intermediaire freestyle reflects that. The freestyle was designed with the help of Marlene Whitaker and consists of what she calls "Hava Nagile" music – upbeat Jewish music that includes segments from Fiddler on the Roof. "It's really, really fun and it fits Bogner's character," King-Dye said. "He often looks so serious and business-like, but yet, he has this really fun side and he'll just throw out a buck. Not in a mean way, just playful."
Whether King-Dye and Bogner B actually make Gladstone is still an unknown because as King-Dye herself says, "there are a lot of good horses, but I think we have a good shot at it." The pair has been showing well this winter. A few weeks ago at the Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI, King-Dye and Bogner B scored in the 70s in Prix St. Georges competition, placing second behind Jan Brons and Teutobod, who have been frequent winners on the Florida show circuit in Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire competition.
Most of all, King-Dye said she's pleased with how well Bogner B has been progressing over the course of the Florida circuit. Eventually, the gelding will be returned to the Fuquas so that they can enjoy the ride on him and the one who will most likely have it is Jeff Fuqua. He has already competed with the horse at Prix St. Georges. "Although, I'll say we had a pretty wild ride," Jeff Fuqua said with a laugh.
Jeff Fuqua said the thought of one day competing with Bogner B at Grand Prix is rather exciting, but until then, he's quite content to watch his horse develop under the eye of King-Dye. "Courtney has been really great with him. He really took to her because she really cares about the horses."
For her part, King-Dye is hopeful for Bogner B, saying that "he definitely understands the passage, that's rather natural for him and he's working his one tempis. The piaffe is really the only determining factor whether or not he can do Grand Prix." One thing she can say for sure is that the horse will be a joy to ride. "He really is so much fun to ride and he's very straightforward," King-Dye said.