Although Arts traveled across the country to compete in Four-Year-Old competition at the USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Championships, reserve champions Kathy Priest and Reliance traveled around the corner. Priest is based in Versailles, Kentucky. Reliance (Rohdiamant – Gesstine by Classiker) is owned by Priest. The Oldenburg gelding, bred in Germany by Oliver Kotschofsky, earned an overall score of 8.16.
“I’m really happy with him. With a four-year-old, you never know what’s going to happen when you get into this kind of electric atmosphere. But, he was really well-behaved and real attentive and that bodes well for the future,” Priest said of her rising young star. She also had much praise for the Young Horse program. “It’s a great program. We need to keep developing and bringing along good horses in this country because we can do it here just as well as Europe.”
The panel of judges expressed a bit of jealousy upon seeing Reliance, telling Priest that “this is certainly the kind of horse that we’d all like to have. He looks like he’s really capable of doing the kind of work that we expect of him for dressage in the future.” They awarded Reliance with an 8.3 for a trot that showed “good articulation of the joints.” His walk scored a 7.8 and his canter an 8.8.
Reliance scored an 8.0 for submission with Gribbons saying that “he was very obedient. He sort of gave us the eye sometimes, but he didn’t do anything about it and he kept the lid on and was very good and in front of your leg.” The gelding scored an 8.4 for general impression.
Saturday was an overall good day for Priest because with Ronaldo she won the Six-Year-Old Consolation class, which earned her the right to compete in Sunday’s Six-Year-Old Championship competition.