Teresa Butta, a prominent Maryland rider and trainer, will be traveling to Raleigh, North Carolina, this week for the 2008 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Eastern Selection Trials. Teresa will be competing on two horses that will more than likely be the smallest and largest horses at the trials---a 14.3 pony and an 18 hand horse.
In the 6-Year-Old Division, Teresa will be aboard Froelich, (by Hilltop Stallion - Festrausch) an 18 hand Oldenburg gelding owned by Dorie Forte of Woodbine, Maryland and American bred by Suellen Myers of West Virginia. Froelich (“Fro”) is no stranger to the FEI young horse competitions. In 2006, Teresa and Fro partnered to win the 4-Year-Old USEF Championship for American-bred horses at Devon, along with other successes. “Fro has taken a little more time to develop than some of my other horses because his lines are much longer and it’s been a slower process to build his strength. He has a wonderful character and has improved ten-fold since his 5-year-old year. He’s been a bit of a late bloomer, but definitely worth the wait,” Teresa said.
At the opposite end of the size spectrum is Picollino 2 (“Pico”), a 14.3 hand Westfalen Reitpony owned by Jill Frumin of Bethesda, Maryland. As a 4-year-old, Pico was not physically developed enough for the rigors of the USEF 4-year-old test. Instead, Teresa and Jill opted to give him the time he needed to develop while at the same time giving him some competition experience. Teresa showed Pico at training level and the pony impressed the judges. He received scores in the 70’s and, to the delight of his many admirers, scored two perfect 10’s in one test with the judge commenting, “WOW! He is fabulous!” This year Pico qualified for the FEI 5-Year-Old Division, and will have the distinction of being among the smallest equines to ever compete in the Eastern Selection Trials. It will be up to the judges as to whether or not size really matters. Teresa notes that “Pico is quite different than Fro and in his 5-year-old year, Pico has developed much strength. He’s compact and balanced and has taken very well to some of the more difficult movements in the FEI 5-year-old test, such as counter canter and canter-walk transitions. He’s been a delight to work with and comes out every day with a ‘can do’ attitude.”
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