Despite difficult weather and wet footing, Merrie Velden showed her skill by showing off the young Oldenburg stallion, Sandomere, to win the Five-Year-Old Finals. Their overall score of 8.08 was a bittersweet win for Velden and Sandomere’s owner Holly Reimers of Orlan, California as the score is just short of the 8.2 needed to qualify them to compete at the Verden Five-Year-Old Championships this summer in Germany. Sandomere, who had completed the 70-day test at the German Verband as a three year old to become a lifetime licensed Oldenburg breeding stallion, is by Sandro Hit out of a Ramiro’s Match mare. He will definitely go to Kentucky this summer to compete at the National Five-Year-Old Championships.
Photo: Markel's John, Brandon, and Lisa Seger with Merrie Velden
Velden has competed in the Young Horse classes since 2001 and is a real supporter of the program. She said, “It is not for all horses, but for those with the talent, it gives them a focus during their younger years. The judges want to see if they have what it takes to go to Grand Prix.” She feels that Sandomere definitely has that talent and drive. As far as Verden, Velden stated, “This year, the eligibility score was raised to 8.2. We would have made the cut with last year’s required score.” Reserve Champion went to the KWPN mare, Woodwind, ridden by Willy Arts with a 7.940, also short of Verden’s requirement but fully eligible for Kentucky’s National Championships.