Hassler Dressage At Riveredge
After over 20 years dedicated to FEI dressage sport and breeding, Scott and Susanne Hassler launched their own business—Hassler Dressage—in early 2007. Their new venture continues their sixteen years of success at Hilltop Farm, a business they developed and grew in Colora, Maryland.
The Mid-Atlantic region and beyond will continue to benefit from the Hassler’s expertise as they stand stallions for sport and breeding, take horses in training for showing and sales, support both professional and amateur riders through training and instruction, as well as offer a variety of educational opportunities.
As 2008 begins, their new project with long-time friends John and Leslie Malone begins to take shape.
Hassler Dressage at Riveredge—Building Relationships, Creating Community
Hassler Dressage has the distinct privilege of being based at Riveredge, a sensational property in Chesapeake City on the eastern shore of Maryland. Riveredge is owned by John and Leslie Malone. Since the year 2000, Scott and Susanne have provided support to Leslie’s horse farm, Harmony Sporthorses in Kiowa, Colorado and have provided advice as Leslie built her network of riders taking Harmony horses into sport. This includes the Hassler’s German friends Ingo and Susan Pape and Michael Klimke, who are each developing horses for Harmony’s breeding or sport program. What has developed is an international team to help service the community …with evidence that these riders are giving back through various educational outreaches like The Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium which the Hasslers created.
The Malones purchased Riveredge in early 2007 so that Hassler Dressage could conduct business within a beautiful estate setting and further inspire the equestrian community. In addition to their generosity toward the Hasslers, the Malones brought a wave of relief to the local community when they placed a conservation easement on much of Riveredge’s vast acreage through the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, protecting the equestrian and agricultural nature of this historic part of Maryland.
Formerly a prestigious thoroughbred farm, the 600- acre property already bears a park-like setting with 16- and 20- stall barns. Both will receive extensive renovations thanks to the artistic vision of Leslie Malone. With input from the Hasslers, the impressive renovations will transform one of the barns into a 28-stall training center. The training center will be home to an indoor arena equipped with built-in seating to help host the many educational events the Hasslers are committed to providing the community. The property will also utilize the 16-stall barn with an existing spacious walker; ideal for hosting visiting students, trainers and horses for events. All the buildings and farm function will be designed with an ecologically friendly focus in mind. The signature piece of Riveredge will be the fabulous half- mile dressage track, equipped with premium, year round footing, provided by Arena Works.
“We're delighted to announce that the first ground breaking at Riveredge took place the week before Christmas 2007. Arena Works, a specialized footing company founded in 2001 by Scott Hassler and his brother Chip, embarked on the track that is sure to become one of the memorable features of Riveredge. In addition to being utilized as a one-of-a-kind training site, the track will also provide the setting for Riveredge to host events for the sport horse community in the future. The construction of the new training facility will get underway in late spring of 2008.
Hassler Dressage Services
Hassler Dressage offers coaching, training, instruction, symposiums and clinics. In addition, Hassler Dressage offers breeding management services for select stallions aimed for sport or who have had illustrious careers.
“We’re very proud to currently represent stallions for Offield Farms, Highlife Farm, and Harmony Sporthorses. Our passion for breeding speaks for itself. We are committed to continually providing a line-up of stallions that can make a difference in America’s breeding. Entering our second year as Hassler Dressage, we are very proud to work with these stallion owners and to have their stallions in our line-up. We look forward to future new possibilities as well. We truly believe that a team of people working together can provide much more for American breeding and sport than an independent approach alone,” shares Susanne.
Hassler Dressage offers experienced stallion management, with proven capabilities to select and develop stallions both for international sport and to optimize the stallion’s influence in the breeding market.
The Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium
Following Susanne’s American-record finish at the 2004 FEI World Championships for Young Horses in Germany, the Hasslers focused their energies toward inspiring others to help advance young horse training efforts in the U.S.
In 2005, they created and launched The Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposiums. Originally sponsored by Hilltop Farm and Harmony Sporthorses, they selected top talent across the country to attend, developing their skills as young horse trainers. The event has been a huge annual success, attracting hundreds of applicants and inspiring relationships between professionals, ultimately fostering friendship and teamwork throughout the country.
To date, five Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium participants have ridden in the FEI World Championships for Young Horses and at least a dozen more have ridden in the USEF National Championships, many claiming titles. Heralded as a great success, the Symposiums have continued under Scott’s direction for the past three years.
Professionals from around the country now look forward to continuing their training and development through this program, and the success of American riders and horses in the FEI Young Horse classes is proof of its success.
In 2007, Hassler Dressage and Harmony Sporthorses partnered to continue this inspiring program. Plans are in progress for hosting the 2008 at Riveredge in Chesapeake City, Maryland.
Diverse Horsemanship Strengthens Hassler's Background
photo by Richard MalmgrenScott Hassler has one of the most diverse backgrounds of today's respected horsemen in the U.S. He grew up eventing and competing open show jumpers through the Intermediate and the mini-Prix levels. As a teenager, he rode for the early Holsteiner organization in the U.S., preparing horses for auction and sale. Scott won numerous Junior/Young Rider titles, one year winning a national title with the USDF and the USEA on the same horse. Scott also had the experience of competing internationally as a member of a Four-in-Hand driving team, competing both in Donaueschingen, Germany and Appledoorn, Netherlands.
After his young rider years, Scott dedicated himself completely to the sport of dressage and the passion of warmblood breeding. He spent two-and-a-half years training under the late great master Herbert Rehbein at the famous Groenwohldhof, near Hamburg, Germany. There, he dedicated himself to studying the other warmblood breeds and understanding the connection between breeding and sport. He finished two stallions to Grand Prix during these years and competed in German national shows.
Expert Advice from the Best
Since then, Scott has trained and developed over twelve horses to Grand Prix, making his life's tally well over twenty five. He was on the USET's Short List with two horses and was finalist with both for the Pan American Games Selection in 1995.
Scott continued his development as a rider under notable trainers Harry Boldt and Michael Klimke, among others. Since 1998, Scott has been honored as one of the few Americans who is a member of the International Trainers Club.
In 2004, Scott conducted the USDF National Training Symposium along with Steffen Peters and Christoff Hess. Scott took on the Young Horse Development and Breeding section of the program, which highlighted his recent accomplishment in coaching his wife Susanne to the highest placed finish by any American at the FEI World Championships for Young Horses.
Scott Hassler - National Young Dressage Horse Coach
For many years, Scott has dedicated his time to national bodies in order to make a difference. Currently, for the United States Equestrian Federation, he is a member of the Dressage Committee and the Breeding Committee. For the USDF, Scott chairs the Sporthorse Committee. His leadership has helped bring about such critical developments as the sport/breeding related record-keeping system now active in the USDF and USEF. Scott is frequently asked to contribute to special projects by the national bodies, which he often accepts in order to give back to the sport.
In 2005, Scott was appointed our National Young Dressage Horse Coach and Trainer by the USEF. For that position, Scott conducts two training sessions over the winter months (currently FL, CA), he coaches and trains the riders at the three young horse selection trials, then he organizes the selected riders to go to the FEI World Championships for Young Dressage Horses and travels with them to Europe for ten days to coach the team at the World Championships. Then he finishes up the year for his coaching role at our national young horse championships, where he coaches and trains most of the participants in the finals.
Scott takes this role very seriously and with a tremendous amount of passion. Since he is the first-ever US Young Dressage Horse Coach, Scott tries to customize and fit the needs of this program as it develops. The program has more than tripled in size since it began. “I’m deeply committed to growing this program and to continue to get the best horses and riders to represent the US. Sometimes this includes Olympic riders or other very proven riders. At times like that, my role may become to simply support from the sidelines. I try to remain flexible regarding the needs of the horses and riders in front of me, sometimes actively training and other times simply supporting,” shares Scott.
Susanne Hassler - Carrying On Her Heritage
Susanne definitely bears the dressage gene. Her earliest inspiration for the sport came while watching her grandmother Carin Laurin Wold compete for Sweden in World Cup and World Championship qualifying events. Susanne’s mother, Anita Owen, is a busy FEI-C judge. Growing up in Colorado, where she participated in Pony Club and competitive trail riding, Susanne started riding dressage at age 12.
As a 16-year-old, Susanne studied dressage under Christina Hermodsson in Sweden. She came home inspired to participate in the North American Young Riders Championships, and invested herself in her training under Sue Curry (Schaefer) and her mother, Anita Owen. After finishing high school, Susanne moved to Canada to compete in her first NAYRC (where she placed 12th in the finals) and stayed on to continue her studies under Canadian Olympian Christilot Hansen-Boylen. In 1985 at her second NAYRC’s, Susanne placed 3rd in the Consolation Finals and met her future husband Scott on the awards podium. In the following year 1986, Susanne won the Individual Gold Medal at the U.S. Young Riders Competition, the first time the event was held separately for the U.S. and Canada.
Her successes in the Young Rider divisions brought Susanne scholarships and awards. In 1985, she was the first dressage rider to ever win the prestigious sportsmanship-performance award, the Hermes Trophy. She was also awarded a training grant by the USET, which allowed her to take the opportunity offered by Belinda (Baudin) Nairn-Wortman, Susanne's employer at the time, to go to Germany to train under Herbert Rehbein.
Back in the Saddle
In 2004, Susanne was able to resume her serious competitive pursuits aboard the young Hanoverian stallion Royal Prince for Hilltop Farm. Undefeated in both the five- and six-year-old USEF/Markel Selection Trials, Susanne rode Royal Prince to the best result for an American entry to date at the FEI-World Championships for Young Horses in Verden, Germany. Her fourth place finish at Verden was followed by the win of the National Championships for Young Horses, making 2004 a memorable year in Susanne's competitive career. Susanne now is focused on developing young stallions like Harmony’s Davidoff Hit and Harmony’s Wamberto, both of whom she’ll campaign in the years ahead.
Susanne looks forward to continuing to pursue her competitive aspirations aboard the stallions and other horses she takes in training. She remains ambitious to compete in the FEI Young Horse divisions and to develop the stallions in her management up through Grand Prix.
Together, The Future Looks Bright
As the plans for Riveredge start to become reality, Scott and Susanne look forward to all that is ahead. They are proud to have assembled a talented team to support the activities of Hassler Dressage, a dream team of talented and passionate people who look forward together to all that is to come! Sensational stallions and impeccable service are their standard. At the heart of their work is their passion for the horses and the relationships behind them. From amateurs and professionals, to stallion owners or breeders aspiring to produce international caliber athletes - all relationships are deeply valued. The Hasslers believe in the support that community can offer, and strive to create an atmosphere where everyone can succeed in meeting their goals.
They welcome all inquiries on any of the services they offer, from breeding, training, clinics, sales.
2009 Hassler Dressage Stallion Line-Up
Hassler Dressage has an impressive line-up of top quality stallions no matter what you are looking for. The 2009 list includes:
* Harmony’s Rousseau (Ferro-Roemer-Homerus), 1998 KWPN Stallion, FEI Silver Medalist at the 2003 World Championships for Young Horses, leading KWPN dressage-producing stallion, owned by Harmony Sporthorses
* Harmony’s Wamberto (Rousseau-Voltaire-Dutchboy), 2003 KWPN Stallion, 2006 KWPN Stallion Licensing Dressage Champion, 2007 Champion of the 100-Day Stallion Performance Test at Paxton Farm.
* Harmony’s Davidoff Hit (Don Davidoff - Sandro Hit-Continue) 2002 Oldenburg stallion with Gold-Medal winning pedigree and top talent
* Rosall (Rosario - Akzent II - Freiherr), 2003 Oldenburg stallion owned by Kent Island Sporthorses.
* Lingh (Flemmingh – Columbus- ), the famous 1993 KWPN stallion owned by Offield Farms, international medalist and popular sensation
* Hexagon's Louisville (Burggraaf - Vesins xx- ) a charismatic 1993 KWPN stallion owned by Offield Farms with Championship titles of his own
* Harmony’s Locksley I (Londonderry-Weltmeyer-Derby) 2001 Hanoverian stallion owned by Harmony Sporthorses, classy and reliable influence
* Harmony’s Weissmueller (Weltmeyer – Bumerang- ) 1996 Hanoverian stallion owned by Harmony Sporthorses, promoted by Susan Jacoma
Please contact the office for more details on these stallions or to order a breeding information packet and DVD.
Sidebar on Rousseau
We’re proud of our long-term relationship with the stallions in our care. Harmony’s Rousseau is certainly a highlight. We selected Harmony’s Rousseau as a coming 3-year old for Hilltop Farm. We’ve managed his career to date and are very proud of his accomplishments!” shares Susanne.
Out of only four foal crops coming of age for licensing in the Netherlands, Rousseau has produced unprecedented results: three yearsin a row, Rousseau’s sons have been named Dressage Champions of the KWPN Stallion Licensing. Wamberto (2006), Zagreb (2007, now known as Blue Hors Zack), and now Ajong (2008) each were champions and held as examples of breeding perfection. Rousseau bears the highest index for the production of dressage horses (181) of all KWPN stallions, further claiming his stake as one of today’s leading producers in the world. With Premium licensed sons in Germany as well, Champion mares around the world, and top riding horses to his credit, Rousseau has demonstrated his quality influence time and time again.