Dressage rider, Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida has contributed much to the sport of dressage over the years, but lately she has made huge strides and has burst back into the show ring spotlight by training and competing two young horses owned by Patricia Stempel. Custom Saddlery recognized and honored Francis for her most recent accomplishments by naming her the Custom Most Valuable Rider (MVR) at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CDI 5* for her amazing FEI Grand Prix Freestyle performance on Doktor, where they scored a 73.550%. Doktor, a 10-year-old Oldenburg by Diamond Hit, is gaining confidence through Francis’ leadership and training, and it was evident in the ring. “He’s really stepping up to the plate into the Grand Prix,” Francis commented about Doktor. “He’s a little bit hot, so I try to take time to keep him calm. Sometimes we want to see a little bit more, but I have to be careful to not let him get too nervous. But he’s getting more and more confident with every show.” This careful consideration for the horse’s development has been key to Francis’ success, and is a big part of what has earned her the Most Valuable Rider status from Custom Saddlery.
“I like training my own horses,” she commented, “and it takes a few years to bring them along.” In addition to Doktor, Francis is also training and competing Danilo, a 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding also owned by Stempel. She is hoping to take both of these young horses to Europe this season to continue their training and competitive development. Francis was awarded an embroidered Custom Saddle pad for being named MVR, and she will also be entered into a drawing to win a brand new Custom Saddle at the GDF Nations Cup CDI 3*.
Custom Saddlery MVR awards have been presented at select shows during the 2013 Winter Equestrian Festival. MVR riders include US Olympic dressage veterans Steffen Peters, Heather Blitz and Sue Blinks. In addition, Custom Saddlery endorses a host of other dressage superstars including Tina Konyot, Kathleen Raine, Lauren Sammis, Caroline Roffman, Endel Ots and David Wightman just ot name a few. Custom Saddlery has a wonderful website designed for the serious equestrian, and they encourage everyone to visit www.mysaddle.com to learn more about their saddles. On the website, visitors can view each type of saddle they offer, the various customizable options and sizes, read about the warranty, pricing policy and how the saddles were developed.