USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist Heidi Degele and her mount, Sonata, rode away with the high score of the show during International Horse Sport Dressage Premier, held at Equestrian Estates in Loxahatchee, Florida. Scoring an impressive 78.5% in the 5-year-old Materiale Class, Sonata earned 8’s in all gaits except medium walk, in which they scored a 7.5. “It was truly amazing being the high point of the entire show!” Degele stated. “Sonata got 8 on trot, 8 on canter, and an 8 for overall impression. The judge explained that she wanted to give us a 9 on walk, but Sonata got a little nervous in the medium walk, so we received a 7.5,” she explained.
The mare is owned by Kay Moss and has been trained by Michael Cabell, along with Degele as co-trainer and rider. Sonata is a coming 5-year-old mare by Sinatra Song and grand-sired by the famous Sandro Hit/Pik Bube. She is an embryo transfer foal out of the mare Berlina, an all around champion at Devon, and is by Brentano II/Hill Hawk. Degele states, “Sonata has amazing bloodlines and is a horse for the future! She gives and amazing uphill feeling with such a free shoulder movement, that makes her a dream to ride.“
Degele had even more success during the show in the Prix St Georges class in which she rode her client’s horse, Cruiser, to a 65.789% after only working with the horse for 2 weeks. She also rode the young Lakota to a 64.737% in their second Prix St. Georges show together. On Sunday, Degele continued her winning streak as she and her mount, Don Fredo, won the USEF First Level Test 2 Open Class with a score of 72.703%. “From the first time I saw Don Fredo, I truly believed in him and felt that he is a truly special horse,” Degele said about the 16.2h black Oldenburg gelding. Don Fredo is owned by adult amateur and USDF silver medalist Jessica Beier, M.D., from Tifton, Georgia, and his bloodlines are more than impressive. He is by Don Frederico, who was just proclaimed Hanoverian stallion of the Year at the 2012 Hanoverian Stallion Licensing ceremony in Verden, Germany.
Currently, Degele has several adult amateur clients in for the season, including Cara Broderick, who flies her horse back and forth from England to train with Degele. Broderick rode her horse, Duval, to an impressive score of 62.368% in the Third Level, Test 1 during the show.
Degele trains with Lars Peterson on a consistent basis and also continues to attend clinics with Hubertus Schmidt, Steffen Peters and Conrad Schumacher when they come into town. Degele trained with Schmidt for 3 years in Germany (2004-2007) with her stallion, Ramiros. She also bought a 3rd level horse while there named 'Everybody's Darling.' She finished training her to Grand Prix with Schmidt, and brought her to USA to win a USDF Gold medal on her.
For more information on Degele, visit her website at www.heididressage.com.