Watkins brought three horses to show in Florida. In addition to her top gun Cipriani, she campaigned SSP Shazam, a half-Welsh, half Arabian (for sale) who has done all the FEI pony work and Watkins thinks can succeed as an international mount. He’s won the half-Welsh division at second level in the breed shows.
Oublette, her 15-year old FEI mount returned to the FEI Ring in their first grand prix tour coming off an injury,at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby finishing second to Swedish rider Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven in the Grand Prix Special. With the help of trainer/rider Shelley Francis, Watkins finessed her efforts into a marked improvement. "I'm most pleased with how Whit made definite improvement in the energy and engagement of her horse from the Grand Prix to the Grand Prix Special." Francis commented. "She is a serious and dedicated rider and a delight to coach."
After the winter season in Florida, Whit heads back to Hubertus Schmidt’s barn in Germany, whose atmosphere she describes as so professional but relaxed. After touring and meeting several trainers through a friend based in Germany, Watkins picked Schmidt. “The assistant trainers were singing in the aisles, the horses were all so relaxed in their work. I thought this is me, this fits me.”
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