The World Equestrian Games will be held for the first time in the U.S. when the premiere equestrian competition comes to Kentucky next year and Reese Koffler-Stanfield dreams of being there, representing not only her country, but her state. "My goal is to be the home-town girl for the World Equestrian Games," said Koffler-Stanfield, who lives in Georgetown, Kentucky, just minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park, which will play host to the WEG in 2010. About her horse Goubergh's Kasper , Reese describes him as her "dessert". "He is just the icing on the cake for me, and always tops off my day. Koffler-Stanfield topped off everyone's day at lamplight with her delightful Grand Prix Special, as she sets her sights on next month's Grand Prix Championships at Gladstone.
And after her multiple grand prix wins at this weekend's Dressage at Lamplight CDI/CPEDI 3*, Koffler-Stanfield feels she's on her way to qualifying for WEG. "I do think these wins help to show that Kasper and I are here and we're ready," Koffler-Stanfield said. She and the 17-year-old Goubergh's Kasper took first in Friday's CDI Grand Prix is 64.809 percent and first in the CDI Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 70.350. The pair has only been together since last year when Koffler-Stanfield purchased the KWPN-gelding from Suzanne Dansby Bollman. "He is the most wonderful horse. We call him our dessert because he's so wonderfully trained. I'm so lucky to have him."
Koffler-Stanfield said she trains with three great coaches – Conrad Schumacher, Kathy Connelly and Jessica Ransehousen. Ransehousen was on hand during the Lamplight CDI to help coach Koffler-Stanfield and some of her Para Equestrian riders. "And I had just seen all three of them within the last month, so we were tuned up and ready to go," Koffler-Stanfield said. She and Kasper are sitting eighth on the national list for the National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, New Jersey. Koffler-Stanfield said she brought the gelding to Lamplight so they could have an outing before Gladstone and also because she likes the show. "Lamplight is a fabulous show and I feel comfortable here. Everyone is so nice."
The trip to Lamplight, however, wasn't without its glitches. The Koffler-Stanfield team first ran into trouble when their truck broke down before the event. A friend loaned them a truck for the eight-hour drive to Lamplight. "The trip wasn't without its challenges, but it was certainly worth it in the end," Koffler-Stanfield said. After her double grand prix wins, she was all smiles. "It was a great weekend. We'll take it," she said.
Koffler-Stanfield admitted to being a bit nervous going into the Grand Prix Freestyle because after her success in the Wellington Classic Dressage series in Florida, she wondered if she could replicate it at Lamplight. "We had such a great show in March, earning a 70 percent in the freestyle, that I really wanted to do well again," she said. "Having another good freestyle ride just made the win more exciting and it was great for judges to know that we could do it again."
Marlene Whitaker helped Koffler-Stanfield create her happy, fun freestyle that includes music from the Muppets and such fun songs as "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and "Love and Marriage." "I wanted fun music because Kasper is a fun horse and he has a funny sense of humor and Marlene suggested some tongue-and-check humor. I love it," Koffler-Stanfield said. "We want to make people smile and it makes me smile and I think Kasper smiles when he rides to it."