Wellington, FL – The Horse of Course was the first choice for many riders during the Florida winter circuit, and now their riders are making waves on the international stage. With a spot on their country’s teams for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games a real possibility, these riders plan to compete in Europe decked out in tack, equipment, and attire from The Horse of Course. Danish Olympian Lars Petersen leads Horse of Course’s group of riders, and is one of Denmark’s top riders in 2014 as he and Marcia Pepper’s Mariett recently finished second in the Danish National Championships. With a winning score of 74.412 in the Grand Prix Special, the pair finished reserve to Lone Bang Larsen and Fitou L. Their performance strengthened their bid for a spot to compete in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normany, France. Based out of Loxahatchee, Florida, Petersen trusted The Horse of Course to outfit him in a new black Kentucky softshell shadbelly before leaving to compete on his European tour.
His mount Mariett, a bay 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare (Comeback II-Zendi, Sidney) is ridden in the Sommer Lars, an exclusive model of the Sommer FlextraEQ saddle. Designed by and named for Petersen, the saddle features a mono-flap design for closer contact with the horse, no thigh block, and special flaps that mold to the rider's legs. Mariett’s Sommer was fit by The Horse of Course’s master saddlefitter, Marty Haist.
Petersen isn’t the only one making good use of The Horse of Course’s expertise in saddlfit and equestrian attire. American Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida returned from a European tour to compete at the US Dressage Festival of Champions, held June 12-15 at the United States Equestrian Team Headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. Her seventh place finish with Patricia Stempel’s Doktor secured her a spot to compete in Europe for a chance to ride on the US Dressage Team for the World Equestrian Games. For the last five years, Francis and her horses have trained and competed in Sommer saddles: “I love these saddles. They're really comfortable for me and the horses. There's no pressure on either side of the spine. The horses feel freer moving and I don't have sore backs.”
In addition to Francis, The Horse of Course would like to congratulate American rider Caroline Roffman and her own mare, Her Highness O for finishing sixth overall. The pair will also be headed to Europe to compete in anticipation of the World Equestrian Games in the fall.
“It has been a pleasure to work with these riders and watch their horses develop,” said Beth Haist of The Horse of Course. “We strive to provide them with the best equipment and outfit them in the best equestrian apparel so that they can focus on bringing out the best in their horses. We wish all of the riders luck as they compete in Europe and at the World Equestrian Games.”
The Horse of Course carries an extensive selection of Sommer saddles, including the FlextraEQ Savoy, Lars Flextra and Spezial dressage, and is a proud supporter of its dressage community, both sponsoring classes and traveling cross-country with a convenient mobile store to bring stylish clothing, accessories, saddles and products directly to shows and riders.
To learn more about The Horse of Course and its 2014 calendar of events, visit their website at www.thehorseofcourse.com.