Saugerties, NY – Four years of experience in a dressage saddle, eighteen years of life, and fewer than thirty horse shows doesn’t sound like the resume of one of the United States’s most promising emerging riders. Regan Salm, though, is proving that anything is possible with strong natural talent, unwavering determination, and a fantastic training program. Her performance at Centerline Events at HITS this month once again showed that she is one to watch in the world of dressage. Regan Salm, of Lincoln, Massachusetts, grew up with a passion for horses, but didn’t take her first dressage lesson until she was fourteen. She immediately fell in love with the discipline. “I loved the feeling of getting a horse so connected with you.” Salm explained. The young rider began training with Mary Bahniuk Lauritsen, and has continued with Lauritsen ever since. The completion of Salm’s talented team was Karat EG, the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding that she purchased nearly as soon as she met him. Together, Karat and Salm won a USDF Bronze Medal in 2013, and earned several impressive titles including 2013 Second Level Junior/Young Rider Regional Champion, FEI Junior Regional Champion, and Second Level Junior/Young Rider Year End National Champion.
Salm and Karat’s most recent show — Centerline Events at HITS in Saugerties, New York on August 14-17 — brought them even more success. They competed at Fourth Level and the FEI Prix St. Georges, both Regan and Karat’s first outing at both of those levels. “We placed first in the Junior division for all three of our rides, so I was beyond thrilled. Karat was such a good boy, I could not have been prouder!” Salm beamed. The pair received scores of 67.432 in Fourth Level Test 2, 61.316 in the FEI Prix St. Georges on Saturday, and 64.276 in the FEI Prix St. Georges on Sunday.
Salm was especially happy with her results when considering the short amount of time she and Karat had to get ready for Centerline Events at HITS. “We didn't have a lot of time to prepare for it, since we just got back from NAJYRC only a month or so ago. Karat had done a little bit of the PSG movements with Mary when he was in Wellington this winter, but otherwise these past few weeks were the only practice that we have had together.”
Although the eighteen-year-old was excited about her performance, she didn’t pause long to enjoy the moment. Salm was quick to turn her success at Centerlines into a springboard for even further improvement. “Since we are both so green at this, we didn't have a clean test for any of the days.” She said about her rides on Karat. “The tempis are really hard because Karat gets very excited and tries to take over, but I was really happy with him on Sunday when we had a clean line of three tempis. I was really happy to see the improvements in elements that we have done numerous times before in the FEI Junior tests. I think the exercises that we did in preparation for this weekend really strengthened Karat and gave him that extra sparkle that we needed to make up for our mistakes in the test. Karat has a really nice canter and an incredible ability to sit despite his size, and I know when we polish up everything he is going to be a fantastic Young Rider horse.”
With the talent and determination to succeed that Regan Salm has demonstrated, the dressage community is sure to see plenty more of this equestrian duo. To learn more about Regan Salm, follow “Regan Salm Dressage” on Facebook or email Regan.Salm@gmail.com.