Janne Rumbough and her new horse Wallony have only been together nine months but they have developed a winning partnership. At the WEF Dressage Classic in Wellington, Florida, March 14-17, the pair competed in all four of the First Level Tests and placed first or second in each, scoring in the 70s three times.
Rumbough and Wallony won Test 1 with 70.357% and Test 2 with 70.968%. In Test 3, the pair was second to Anneliese Vogt-Harber and Riviero by just fractions – Riviero scored 69.429% and Wallony earned 69.143%. In Test 4, Rumbough and Wallony earned second place with 70.294%, just behind Yvonne Barteau and San Remo who scored 72.941%.
Wallony is a six-year-old, 16.2-hand, liver chestnut Hanoverian gelding by Walt Disney out of Weserperle by Venzel. "He is so wonderful," said Rumbough. "He can be a bit wild outside the ring because he’s young, but when he goes in he is so serious. He’s awesome. He wants to please so much. He’s very steady and has a beautiful rhythm." Rumbough said that Wallony never looks at anything and if he makes a mistake it is due to ‘pilot error’.
Rumbough purchased Wallony from Juan Matute of Spain. Matute bought Wallony as a two-year-old at the Hanoverian auction in Germany. "He has an eye for young horses," said Rumbough, who has purchased other horses from Matute, including her Andalusion stallions Trinfador and Gaucho. Wallony went through basic training as a four-year-old and was shown by Matute on the Sunshine Tour last year. Rumbough was in Spain in March 2001 looking for a Hanoverian and when she saw Wallony she liked him. After she rode him, she loved him and bought him. He arrived at her farm in Wellington in July.
Rumbough is an amateur rider who also breeds horses. She has been part of the Wellington dressage scene since 1972. She lives in Palm Beach but comes to her farm, MTICA, in Wellington every day. "MTICA stands for ‘More Than I Can Afford’ – and that’s not only money," said Rumbough. "It’s time and family. Horses involve your whole life." Rumbough has four horses that she trains and shows. She has a groom, but she drives her own trailer and braids her own horses. In the summer months, she packs everything up and drives to East Hampton in New York where they summer at a barn in Sag Pond. Originally from Denmark, her first trainer was Gunner Anderson. In the States, she has trained with many top trainers including Robert Dover and Bent Jensen. Currently she works with Jan Brons. "He doesn't ride my horses, but he is my 'eyes on the ground'," said Rumbough. Juan Matute flies in from Spain every few months to work with her.
Rumbough, 58, is proud of her ‘Vintage Rider’ status because of how it affects others who see her riding at the shows. "All the young ones – and older ones too – who watch me tell me that I’m an inspiration to them to get out there and ride and compete. If I can do it, so can they!"
Rumbough said that Wallony already does piaffe in hand and knows the flying change and has potential to be a Grand Prix horse. "But I never believe it before you’re there," said Rumbough. "It’s a long journey from First Level. You never know. It’s one day at a time. You enjoy it and feel lucky to have such a nice horse."