Lexington, VA – Suzy Stafford trained and drove the Friesian mare, Sjaantje Sport, (Tsjerk X Ritse) to an 81.5 score, the highest driving score in North America, to win the 2013 Dream Gait Friesians Driven IBOP Cup. After that performance, Sjaantje was presented in-hand, earned a first premium (1e), solidifying her star predicate title, and with both Dutch inspectors in agreement was awarded yet another title: Crown, the highest quality accolade a Friesian mare can earn until she has foaled.
“I have been working with Gail and “Sjaantje” for almost three years. This achievement was truly exciting for me as I know how committed Gail is to the success of this mare. This is something that Gail really wanted for her and I am ecstatic that I was able to help her achieve this goal”. Stafford said.
The purpose of this examination is to establish a horse’s suitability for various uses and to do so with the greatest degree of objectivity. Every horse aged four or older can be presented for this examination (riding test, driving test or show driving test).
Participation in more than one test on the same day is possible. Horses can be entered for the examination via the KFPS. The results of an IBOP test can be used for obtaining the star, crown or model titles (see the KFPS registration regulations). This breed specific test enables the registry to evaluate a horses natural abilities as a performance horse as well as the equines physical conformation, movement, balance and type.
Suzy made history in 2005 when she won the first Individual Gold medal at the World Pony Championships for the United States. She has continued to medal at the World Championships in 2007, 2009 and most recently in 2011.
In 2011 Stafford drove “Sjaantje” to multiple National Championship titles at the IFSHA World and National Horse Show. 2012 brought another first for this partnership, securing the first KFPS/FHANA Friesian outside of the Netherlands to earn the Sport predicate title in harness. With big shoes to fill, the next step for “Sjaantje” and Stafford is to compete again for the Carriage Driving National title at the IFSHA World and National Horse Show held in Lexington, VA.
“This show directly follows the Keuring and is located at the same venue. This makes for a convenient and great opportunity to pull in more entries to the largest Friesian show in the Country. I will be excited to work to keep “Sjaantje’s national titles and watch Gail drive her as well in the amateur classes” Says Stafford.
Suzy is known around the globe for her talent for developing equines for the International stage. In her relatively short driving career Stafford has been long listed with the United States Equestrian Federation with eight different equines. “Striving for success is simple when my owners and sponsors believe wholeheartedly in my judgment, skill and training program.” Stafford says. Stafford operates her Stafford Carriage Driving facility out of Chester County in Pennsylvania from April to December and is stationed in Aiken, South Carolina from January through.
Stafford is a highly sought after clinician and also trains horses and teaches students out of her Stafford Carriage Driving facility. To learn more about Stafford, visit her website at www.staffordcarriagedriving.com.