For Guenter Seidel, Fandango, the 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding trained and owned by Marie Meyers is now supported by Toyon Farm who stepped up to the plate facilitating the all important inclusion of Seidel, a USET team veteran in their Olympic quest. Sidelined from a severe accident in 2010 while preparing for the World Equestrian Games, Seidel’s devotion to his recovery resulted included full time physical therapy, which included surfing on the nearby Solana Beach. His successful return to the arena at the Dressage Affaire in 2011 winning the Grand Prix Freestyle with the horse he was injured on in the prior year, UII, led their return to the USA Nation’s Cup Team at Aachen in July 2011. Then in the summer months of 2011, Seidel’s 22-year relationship with the owners he worked with exclusively, Dick and Jane Brown, came to an end and the USA was without one of their strong holds going into the qualifying year.
Fandango is no stranger to Seidel having worked closely with good friend Marie Meyers, who competed successfully with the strong bay gelding she had trained for years. Seidel and Fandango performed a demonstration at the 2009 World Cup Final on Fandango with Elizabeth Ball and Orion. Meyers and partner Marissa Festerling also produced the Pan American Games Individual Bronze Medal and Team Gold Medal horse Big Tyme, now owned and being successfully competed with amateur rider Betsy Juliano. Seidel presented the pair in competition for the first time at The Dressage Affaire after just a few short months together. “We are two totally different bodies on a horse, said the 5’4” Meyers as she sent Seidel from the warm up into the covered CDI arena, “but the technique is the same, and it is starting to come together.”
Seidel admitted in his Grand Prix for the Special on Friday his horse was too fresh, and a change of strategy was in store. “I work him earlier in the day, and then just did a short warm up, and he was too fresh.” said Seidel. Finishing third with a 68.234 % in the Grand Prix for the Special Seidel moved into second place ahead of Sue Blinks and Robin Hood second to Steffen Peters and the legendary Ravel hitting a 70.422% score in the FEI Olympic Grand Prix Special 2012. In spite of mistakes in the changes, Fandago and Seidel gained a lot of ground overnight increasing hopes that the coming months will demonstrate the pair to be viable candidates for the fast approaching Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Dressage Championships and US Dressage Olympic team Selections.