In the Developing Horse National Dressage Championship competition sponsored by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International, taking place alongside the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championship competition, Michelle Gibson and Don Angelo earned the blue in Saturday’s competition with a score of 69.899. The seven-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Don Larino – Elektina by Rubinstein I) was bred in Germany by Hartmut Janssen and is owned by Diamante Farms in Wellington, Florida.
Gibson was thrilled with the win. “I’m very excited,” she said. “He was a good boy. A little bit distracted, but there was a lot going on. There were ponies in the competition across the road. Normally he’s super at the shows, not paying attention to anything, but he was definitely distracted by the other show.”
Still, Gibson said the stallion “listened to me and we had really beautiful changes.” Gibson and Don Angelo have been together for less than two years and eventually hope to work their way to the CDI Grand Prix. But they’re happy for the Developing Horse program because it serves as a stepping stone without an undue amount of pressure on young horses. “It’s important to have something in between the six-year-olds and the national championships. This program is a great opportunity for riders to get their horses out and to get them experience but without the pressure of national championships.”