Saugerties, N.Y. – Four days after she was born, little Dakesa lost her mother due to a complication from foaling. From that moment on, humans took on the job of feeding her and an old gelding became her surrogate “mommy” in the field. The rough start to life didn’t hold her back. Dakesa was crowned the 2013 Champion for Fillies in the USDF New England Breeder’s Series Championship at the New England Dressage Association’s Fall Festival. “This was to be her first season just to come out and see the world. We weren’t really expecting anything big from her at NEDA but she won,” said Dakesa’s owner and breeder Linda Mendenhall, of Groton, Mass. of the now two-year-old Hanoverian filly. “She is definitely the one that gets me choked up when she does well and it’s really nice to see her coming along and starting to realize her potential.”
Mendenhall remembers well the first four months of Dakesa’s life. “Every three hours I would take a bucket of a powdered milk mix out to her and bucket feed her. I didn’t sleep much for four months because all day and all night I would go out every three hours with that bucket. She’d come and eat and then run back off to play.”
During the day, Dakesa, by Dacaprio out of SPS Pakesa, and her gelding “mommy” would spend the day in the field with one of Mendenhall’s other mares and its foal. “So she did have another foal to play with so she could learn to be a horse.”
Along with Dakesa, Mendenhall showed her newest foal at the NEDA breed show – Bellasaria HM, by Bellissimo M and out of EM Day Dream. That filly ended up winning the championship title for foals in the New England Breeder’s Series Championship. Bellasaria will soon be heading south to her new owner, Samantha Kidd of Atlanta, Georgia. But Dakesa will remain with Mendenhall.
“It was a blow to our breeding program to lose Dakesa’s mother so this one is important. She’ll stay with us in order to continue that line,” Mendenhall said. The success that she and her husband, Jeff, have had with their Hanoverians is evident in the fact that they are currently sold out and some horses sell before they’re even born. Dakesa will go under saddle next year with Mendenhall’s trainer, Maria DeBiccari.
In other New England Breeder’s Series Championships, Sport Royal Tres, a two-year-old colt by Guy La Rouche out of Sierra Marosl, owned by Rita Dee and bred by Elizabeth St. John, was crowned colt/gelding champion. The New England Series champion for mares was Darling ISF, by Sir Sinclair and out of Saigon Jazz, a five-year-old KWPN mare bred by Iron Spring Farm and owned and shown by Cara Kettenbach. The New England Series champion for stallions was Fie Studnitz Andersen’s Rocazino, a seven-year-old Oldenburg by Rosenanz and out of Escarda.
The NEDA Grand Champion for the breed show was Sir Sebastian, a Hanoverian by Sir Gregory that is owned by Alix Szepesi and was shown by Robert Murray.