Kristin Wasemiller and Gulliver

Second in the nation for the important FEI Young Riders competition, with a qualifying average of 65.702% Kristin and her American bred KWPN gelding Gulliver, were not able to compete at The 1998 NAYRC. This was due to the results of the test that says he has the antibodies for the Vesicular Stomatitis virus. Gulliver is by Taxateur (by Obelisk), the stallion, who with rider Chelsey Sibley won the NAYRC individual gold medal in 1994.

"We didn't even realize the testing was required until July 17," explained Kristin, when teammate Katie Poulin contacted her, informing her of the required procedure. In a flurry of phone calls to their veterinarian, and Federal Express shipments to the designated lab in Iowa, the results were in hours prior to their departure for the 13 hour drive from Oklahoma City to Parker Colorado to join her teammates already on their way.

"My horse tested negative for active and exposure to the virus in the past six months." However, the additional required Celisa test showed he had the antibodies. This means at some point in his life, he had been exposed to the virus but it is not active.

"She spent the whole day in her room with the covers over her head" her Mom told me. "The worst part was disappointing my teammates" explained Kristin. "We had a good team, my horse was ready." In fact with Katie Poulin's strong performance finishing just a fraction out of the medals in fourth place with a 64%, and Kristin's qualifying scores having her second in the national standings, the combined Region 3-9 Team was poised for a medal.

Instead, the Wasemillers and Poulins rendezvoused at a Stuckey's in Brewster, Kansas. Katie on her way back to Maine had a bag of Young Rider goodies, saddle pad & T-shirts for Kristin on her way to High Prairie in Parker, CO.

This test was not required for the CDI**W Dressage in the Rockies competition the week following Young Riders at the same facility. Kristin, Gulliver, and her mother and coach Dede, decided to compete in The Prix St George and Intermediare 1 classes, sweeping them all with an average score of 66%.

Steady and focused the 17-year-old high school senior, a straight A student, also competes in school sports including soccer, and field hockey. "I have seen how her riding has helped her in both her schoolwork and other sports she's involved in" her Mom explained. "Dressage has taught her to concentrate and be focused."

Kristin has the demeanor apparent in many top international competitors. Calm and steady, she claims she doesn't get nervous before competition. In fact, she seemed to take her victory over a small but grownup field in her division, in stride. In the same manner, she took her disappointment in missing Young Riders in stride too.

"It is important to get to the bottom of what is required, and what is not regarding this ruling, or we won't be able to go next year either." worried Dede Wasemiller, who purchased Gulliver from New Mexico where many horses have been exposed and have the antibodies.

Anne Gribbons who judged both weekends was unaware of the scenario until the last awards presentation, putting Kristin at the top of her division. " She certainly would have been right up there on top if her performance was like this weekend!" Anne proclaimed, as she arranged to interview Kristin, as well.

We will continue to find out more detail and facts on this issue, and invite discussion and participation in getting the word out, as this issue is bound to continue to affect equestrian sports and the breeding businesses throughout North America.

We invite commentary and your contribution regarding this issue. Please e-mail, with your comments.