Sometimes a horse just needs a break, and that is exactly what Lauren Sammis did with Al Guden's Sagacious HF who after a meteoric rise to the top after making the 2007 Pan American Games US Dressage Team and collecting an individual Silver and team Gold for her country led to a disappointing bid for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. The 12 year old gelding by Welt Hit II and Sammis hung back all winter during the CDI marathon season in Wellington, regrouped with rest, training, nutrition and TLC. And this weekend at the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association's 3-star-rated show at the New Jersey Horse Park, Allentown, NJ near Sammis's summer base it came together, as an admittedly nervous owner Al Guden looked on.
Sammis and Sagacious finished second to the hard to beat Pop Art and Ashley Holzer (69.404) in the Grand Prix (67.851), and in the Freestyle with the seasoned Holzer (74.085) hitting the 70's with a 70.140. Horse and rider combinations around the country competing in CDI events aiming for the coveted rankings to make the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Championships September 8-11, held late in the schedule this year as they will also be a selection trials for the October Pan American Games in Mexico, as well as become a strong indicator of what to expect for London 2012.