Wellington, FL While riding away from the 2017 GAIG/USDF Region 3 Dressage Championships with a Championship title, two blue ribbons, and two Reserve Championships is certainly something to be proud of, it’s not the most impressive thing about Kristy Lund, DVM.
Lund, an adult amateur dressage competitor, trains her three competition horses while simultaneously running a boarding and training facility, working as a full-time veterinarian, and owning an animal rescue. Her results at the 2017 GAIG/USDF Region 3 Dressage Championships, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, qualified Lund for the 2017 US Dressage Finals, to be held on November 9-12 in Lexington, Kentucky. With her characteristic determination, Lund is now in full swing training for top scores at the elite competition.
Ever since Lund decided that the medal podium of a dressage ring was where she wanted to be, nothing has been able to stop her - although life circumstances have certainly tried. “I’m probably one of the most competitive people you know,” said Lund. “That’s what motivated me to start showing from a very young age.”
Since her first show, Lund has won a Championship or Reserve Championship title at every Regional Dressage Championship except for one in the past 17 years. This year was no different. Lund showed three of her own horses in four different levels, from Training Level to Grand Prix. “The horses were all pretty phenomenal. I think my Grand Prix horse was the best he’s ever been.” Akvavit, a 14-year-old Spanish Warmblood gelding, competed in both the Grand Prix and the Intermediate II. He and Lund won the Intermediate II Championship, the Grand Prix Freestyle Reserve Championship, and placed fourth in the Grand Prix. On Living Lucky, a five-year-old Westphalian gelding, Lund earned the First Level Reserve Championship. Sake Shooter, a four-year-old Westphalian gelding who is new to the show ring, placed first in Training Level.
Though training and showing several horses can easily be a full-time job, Lund’s love for animals seems to keep her fueled with enough energy to successfully take on much more. Lund is a small animal veterinarian out of Lund Animal Hospital, the practice she shares with her husband, Scott Lund. Her veterinary services are in high demand, even during championship show weeks. “I actually went to work a few times during the show, and I was taking calls on Saturday in between classes,” Lund said, adding, “I have a huge support team, and that’s really the only way I can do it.”
When not at her office or in the show ring, Lund is running Blue Marlin Farm, her boarding and training facility in Wellington, Florida. Olympian Bent Jensen is the head trainer there, and Lund trains with him regularly. She also bases her own private animal rescue out of Blue Marlin Farm, where she welcomes unwanted and often permanently injured animals and provides them with top-quality care. To Lund, every animal is worth her full attention - she has even been spotted by boarders at Blue Marlin while transporting tadpoles from puddles to more stable habitats.
Lund’s dedication to riding and to caring for animals is apparent in not only her day to day life, but also in the challenges she has had to overcome throughout her career. Several years ago at the US Dressage Finals, Lund and her three dogs had just arrived in her truck, pulling a trailer of three horses, when the truck caught fire. One of the dogs was killed, though Lund was able to save the other animals. When asked what she did after the tragedy, Lund answered, “I showed as planned, and I won the Intermediate II National Championship! I mean, what else are you going to do, go home and cry?” Just a year later, her home caught fire, and the two dogs she had saved were killed. Lund had to rebuild her home completely. After adding in a hip surgery, it’s a wonder that Lund hasn’t paused for a break - but for her, there’s no other way of life.
“When I’m on a horse, that’s my relaxation,” Lund explained. “Even though it can be a very physically and mentally exhausting sport, riding is the only time when I can tune out the outside world, so to me, it’s my stress relief. And as for caring for all those animals - someone has to do it! If I didn’t, these poor animals would have no place to go.”
Lund is now focused on the upcoming US Dressage Finals Intermediate II National Championship with Akvavit. “I plan to go back to the Finals and be successful in the Intermediate II this year,” she said. Her trainer Bent Jensen will accompany her.
To learn more about Kristy Lund, her veterinary services, Blue Marlin Farm, or her competition schedule, email Lund at firstname.lastname@example.org.