Persimmon and Angela Sasso recently qualified for the FEI Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Dressage, in the six-year-old division. But she will be staying closer to home this year to participate instead in the USAE Young Horse Dressage National Finals to be held at The Horse Park of New Jersey, Allentown, NJ, August 28 - 31. The pair will then continue on to another prestigious competition at Dressage at Devon for the first ever 2003 North American Breeders Futurity Championship.
Ridden by Angela Sasso, sales manager and head rider for Iron Springs Farm, Persimmon is also trained by Todd Flettrich and Mary Alice Malone. "I think Persimmon is one of the most talented dressage horses that Mary Alice has bred." said Sasso. "Persimmon has the potential to be a top Grand Prix horse in the future. She is such a princess - she definitely makes it clear as to what her likes & dislikes are. She knows she is special and I love her for it!"
Sasso has been working for Iron Spring Farm full time since 1993. She first rode the babies and then worked her way up to the position she has now: sales manager and head rider in charge of the young horse program. Angela oversees the breaking and training of all the young horses here. She trains with Todd Flettrich and Mary Alice Malone. She also trains the young horses for the Keurings; teaching them how to free-jump, and getting them ready for the IBOP tests, which are the riding tests Dutch horses do to get Keur status.
Persimmon, owned and bred by Iron Spring Farm is by Contango, out of their thoroughbred mare, Hidden Road. Hidden Road received a first premium when was accredited with the NAWPN. She then became Preferent in 1996, and in 2002 became a Prestatie mare. Persimmon was Hidden Road's last foal.
Persimmon won the 4-year-old and Older Maiden Mare class at Dressage at Devon 2001 and then went on to be Reserve Grand Champion. She also won the Dutch Warmblood class for Mature Horses. At the 2001 NA/WPN Keuring she received her provisional keur and had the highest overall IBOP score, the highest dressage and second highest jumping score, to a jumper stallion. In 2002 she won the 4-year-old and Older Mare Class at Dressage at Devon, and then went on to be Reserve Champion Mare and Reserve Champion Mare in the USDF East Coast Breeding Championship.
At training level, Persimmon consistently scored from 70%-74%. She had a lovely Consul colt via embryo transfer in February of 2003, and is expecting another Consul via embryo transfer in 2004. Next year Iron Spring Farm plans to breed her to Roemer for another embryo transfer while she continues in sport.
"I feel fortunate that Mary Alice has given me the opportunity to ride such a talented horse." adds Sasso.
The inception of the FEI Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Dressage has inspired the UAE Equestrian National Young Horse Program to grow. In 2003 there was the largest number of Young Horses to qualify for the FEI Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Dressage in America. Yet not all qualified horses are choosing to go, planning instead to compete in the USAE Young Horse Dressage National Finals to be held at The Horse Park of New Jersey, Allentown, NJ, August 28 - 31. From there several of this country's most talented qualified young horses will then continue on to another prestigious competition at Dressage at Devon for the first ever 2003 North American Breeders Futurity Championship.