Buoyed by their recent Grand Prix sweep all four days of the Kentucky Dressage Association Spring CDI, Jennifer Baumert and Marydell Farm’s Hanoverian Stallion Don Principe (1999 by Donnerhall out of SPS daughter of Prince Thatch xx) are heading for Europe to train Klaus Balkenhol for two months before returning to the United States in time for Dressage at Devon. Don Principe had been competing with Baumert’s close friend Courtney King Dye in 2010 prior to Dye’s accident in March. In the fall of 2010 it was a natural transition to move the stallion to Cloverlea Dressage located at Cross Creek Farm the heart of the Tryon Horse Country, Columbus, North Carolina, where Baumert a new mom was ramping up her training and competitive schedule. "I couldn't choose a rider I would be happier with for Prince," Courtney told DressageDaily. Hoping to also bring her own horse DeWert, the many friends of Jennifer are planning a fun filled fundraiser July 10, at Cross Creek Farm, to help finance their goal.
Baumert knows she has a good thing in the talented stallion who has been adding to the value of American bred Dressage horses through his breeding program at Marydell. Inheriting his father Donnerhall’s great mind and easy going personality Baumert has enjoyed the fairly easy transition to her mount crediting the solid foundation developed by his former riders Jim Koford and Courtney Dye. “Prince is an amazing horse to work with every day. I would definitely have to say that my favorite thing about Prince is his work ethic. He literally does not have a bad day,” said Baumert. “He absolutely loves to work. Of course, he loves to hack and play around outside the ring too! We do plenty of that.”
That work ethic is what led to four full days of successful Grand Prix competition at the KDA CDI* where the duo gained strength and accumulated blue ribbons each day. “Maryanna (Haymon owner of Marydell Farms) asked me to enter all four days at Kentucky in the Grand Prix. I thought she was crazy and I was pretty set on going home after day three,” said Baumert. “I decided to just warm up for day four and see how he felt. I would have brought him back to the barn even if he just didn't feel like doing it! It was his best day of the weekend and he was just as enthusiastic as the day we arrived!”
Baumert and Don Principe enjoyed the long weekend at the Kentucky Dressage Association Spring CDI, at the Kentucky Horse Park, location of the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, winning all their classes over the four days of competition; Thursday May 26 – FEI Grand Prix – 67.234 – Judge - Janet (Dolly) Hannon
May 27 – FEI Grand Prix - 66.596 judge Joan MacCartney (CAN)
May 28 – FEI Freestyle – Judges Joan MacCartney, (CAN) and Liselotte Fore (USA) 69.375
May 29 – FEI Grand Prix – Lois Yukins – 67.872
“I loved the show and will definitely go back. I felt like everything came together for Prince and me that weekend.” Encouraged by the judges’ reaction, Baumert knows she needs to work on bumping up the quality more, something which will be enhanced during her training tour in Germany. “I was happy that we put in very solid tests. There are really no gaping holes in the performance. It can always be better though,” Baumert admits. KDA was also where the pair did their first Freestyle where they earned a 69.375. “He LOVES the music! I will be ready for him next time though because he was a little too enthusiastic!”
With her close proximity to Marydell Farm Baumert has had several of Don Principe’s offspring come to her for training and marvels at their traits consistent with their father. “He certainly throws his temperament! The typical Prince baby has that same quiet demeanor but also the sensitivity that make training easy, or easier! I am really looking forward to working with more of them.”
Baumert is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist and certified instructor through fourth level. Cloverlea Dressage is also located each winter season in Loxahatchee, Florida at Serendipiti Farm where she is joined by son Lucas and husband David Serino along with her full time assistant trainer Ashley Parsons. Baumert knows her training barn is in competent hands with Parsons in charge, and while she has never been apart form her husband and son for that long hopes they will be able to come over for visits.
Baumert, who worked with her mother Beth Baumert’s help when Cloverlea was located in Connecticut, has also trained with Conrad Schumacher, and done clinics with Bo Jena and Henk van Bergen. In the United States she also works with Scott Hassler whenever possible, but admits she is lacking in consistent training which every high performance rider/trainer needs. “Prince and I have been together long enough that our partnership is solid. I am looking forward to working with someone for a concentrated period of time that can really help us to reach our potential.”
Baumert was recently accepted into the Medal Equestrian Foundation a 501C3 corporation that assists Dressage Riders in their mission to compete nationally and internationally with the ultimate goal of achieving Olympic glory. Tax deductible donations for members of this 501C3 helps with the enormous expense of the necessary effort to train and compete in Europe which all American dressage athletes knows is needed to raise the bar. With the fundraiser organized by friends and clients for July 10 in North Carolina, Baumert and Haymon have set their sights on 2012 and the grueling selection process ahead. Don Principe continues to show her he is up to the task and willing to work hard too.
Baumert owns and operates Cloverlea Farm, based in Columbus, North Carolina near Don Principe’s home base at Marydell, in the heart of the Tryon Horse Country.