Patricia Becker and Sandor took the blue ribbon in the opening day Prix St. Georges at the Lamplight CDI with a score of 67.90 percent. Becker didn't have to travel far for her win as she lives in Illinois and is based at Fireside Farm, owned by Carole and Frank Allgauer.
"Sandor is a super sensitive, hot horse. But when he's on, he can be pretty brilliant," Becker said of her partner. Sandor was clearly 'on' in the Prix St. Georges but Becker said that's rather typical of the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Flemingh. "He's a complicated horse, but what's good about him is that when he goes in the ring, he's really focused. He's a worker when he gets in there, he knows his job. He's a fun personality and I'm really lucky to have him," she said.
Becker has co-owned Sandor since he was four and was purchased in Holland by Becker and a client. After that client decided to give up share ownership on the horse, Becker's long-time friend Anne Ramsay stepped in. "She didn't want to see me lose the ride so she stepped up and bought the other half of him," Becker said.
Becker also competes Sandor at the Intermediaire level but has Grand Prix in her sights. "He's schooling Grand Prix and we're hoping to do our first Grand Prix in Florida next winter." Helping her achieve that goal is her long-time coach Jan Brons. Becker bases herself at his barn in Florida during the winter season and gives him much credit for her success with Sandor. "He's really helped me with the horse. I couldn't do it without him," she said.
Brons is optimistic about Sandor's potential and has been encouraging Becker to take the horse to Europe this year for training and clearly Becker agrees that she's got a star that is just now starting to show his potential. "My hope is that he will be an international level horse," she said. "The horse is super athletic and the harder the work, the better he is. He was never a lower level horse and I didn't show him much at the lower levels. He just wasn't suited to that but he really began to shine at Prix St. Georges and I think he'll be even better as a Grand Prix horse."