The 2015 US Dressage Finals was dedicated to Lloyd Landkamer, internationally known recognized dressage show manager, who was an integral part of the development of the Adequan US Dressage Finals. It was Lloyd's greatest wish to make it through his terminal illness long enough to attend this year's event, but it was not to be. He lost his life after a long and valiant battle with cancer Sept. 25 at the age of 60. Together with his husband and life partner of 32 years, Bill Solyntjes, Lloyd established an Oldenburg sport horse breeding facility, Brandywine Farm, in Minnesota.
Longtime friend international dressage judge Janet Foy wanted to dedicate a trophy to Lloyd for all of his hard work for the sport of dressage. With the new USA Championships, Foy felt this was the perfect time and place. "In talking with Lloyd, we both decided an award for the top mare would be appropriate," she said. "Lloyd was always the one who loved to ride the hot redheads, and got along so well with the girls." Landkamer's one foal this year is the highest scoring foal in the country. "His dream was to have a home bred horse in the National Championships and perhaps at some point represent the USA," she continued. In December, Royal Gem with Missy Fladland, who was bred by Lloyd, will be competing at the PSG level.
Rebecca Knollman, the winner of the Lloyd Landkamer Perpetual Trophy, is known as a quality trainer who has successfully imported, developed and sold top horses from Europe. She imported Rocky Lane (Rock Forever by Rica by Rombach) as a 5-year-old from the Westfalen Auction in 2011. Knollman decided to keep the mare to develop her. After four years and having participated in the Markel/Young Horse program, she is now schooling in the Grand Prix with her sights on the Developing Grand Prix program in 2016.
"Lloyd was well known and respected for all he did for our sport," said Rebecca. "He had great appreciation for a good mare. I love mares and always seem to gravitate to them on my shopping trips. Rocky Lane is one of those exceptional mares and I'm so honored she has been honored with this award."
Rocky Lane qualified for the US Dressage Finals in St. Louis at Region 4 Championships, winning the Championship in the Prix St Georges and Reserve Champion Intermediaire I. Knollman, from Waynesville, Ohio, packed up her truck and trailer for the short trip to the Kentucky Horse Park.
Rocky Lane won the US Dressage Finals Open Intermediaire I Championships with a 70.132 percent, besting an impressive field of 24 competitors and earning her the Lloyd Landkamer FEI High Score Mare Perpetual Award.
"I think he would be so happy to have this mare receive the trophy as she is truly amazing." said Foy.
"I knew Lloyd well," said Rebecca. "I have competed at a multitude of shows he managed over the years. He helped me in the very beginning of my Young Horse career when the program was just getting started in the USA, when I didn't have a clue. It seems so strange not to have him here at the Finals, and I hope he was watching over us as we received our award. It is an honor to have our name on this beautiful trophy."