Parker, CO - August 13, 2013 - Parker Adventist Hospital Dressage in the Rockies I, II and III, presented by Horseware Ireland and held at the picturesque Colorado Horse Park (CHP) Aug. 5-7, was the ideal opportunity for riders to earn points and qualifying scores for Regional Dressage Championships while enjoying the summer Colorado weather. Julie Burt, the Dressage in the Rockies I High Point Champion in the FEI division, earned a 67.643% in the Intermediaire-I aboard her own Genuine Gem, a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare by Gold Luck out of Armandy. "Gem is incredibly tolerant of my learning and has a fantastic attitude," Burt said. "We are competing at I-I this year and scoring pretty consistently in the mid- to upper-60s, and hoping to compete at Grand Prix next summer."
"The ride we had on Friday at Dressage in the Rockies - we had a few mistakes (we did a few one-tempis at the end of our threes) but still scored a 67," she admitted. "I can't take too much credit, because my horse is truly a Gem!"
Burt said she grew up riding donated horses at New Canaan Mounted Troop, a military-style, non-profit riding school where they competed in hunter/jumpers.
"I remember George Morris telling me the pony I rode was 'sour, stiff, and flat as a pancake'" Burt said. "I LOVED her, and was heartbroken when the riding school sold her."
About a year and a half ago, Burt decided a schoolmaster could help her achieve her dressage goals. "That is how I ended up getting Gem," she said. "I knew I was going to get her from the minute I saw her because she begged for treats the same way my 'sour, stiff, and flat as a pancake' pony did as a kid. Great way to make a decision about a horse, right? Anyway, in our first two shows last year we got the scores for my silver medal."
Burt has been living in Colorado for nearly 20 years and competing at the CHP for about 15 of them. At first, she entered eventing competitions, but realized she enjoyed the dressage day of eventing the most.
"I never wanted to compete beyond novice because the jumps looked really scary," she said. Later, she came to the Horse Park, as a Pony Club instructor for the rallies.
"Once, I judged the dressage portion of a Pony Club Rally at the Horse Park," she said. "During a test with a very small kid on a little white pony, a deer bounced out from between some houses and ran right in front of the pony who was coming down center line. The kid and the pony never missed a beat but everyone watching, including me in the judges' box, nearly had heart attacks."
"Now, I go to the Horse Park to compete in dressage shows," she said, adding that she hopes even more dressage shows are added to future Colorado Horse Park schedules.
"The new footing is fantastic! My horses feel like they are springing off the ground," she said. "It is just a great place to show. Everything is convenient, clean and user-friendly. You can even get a good cup of coffee after you check in."
Another High Point Champion, Nicole Glusenkamp, said she also appreciates the new footing in the arenas and particularly likes the staff at the Colorado Horse Park. "We LOVE to come to CHP," Glusenkamp said. "The staff is always friendly and helpful and there are always yearly improvements that make it easier to compete. We LOVE the new footing."