Wellington, FL — For more than twenty years, Grand Prix dressage rider Susie Dutta has been continually developing young horses into first-rate competition partners with numerous top placings at some of the world’s most prestigious horse shows.
Her focus and commitment, in addition to her impressive resume and exemplary horsemanship, have made her a role model for those who are up and coming in the sport of dressage. These qualities made Dutta the perfect candidate for the Custom Saddlery MVR (Most Valuable Rider) Award at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida.
The Custom Saddlery MVR Award recognizes equestrians who go above and beyond in the sport of dressage with high scores, superb horsemanship, and excellent sportsmanship. As the most recent award recipient, Dutta was presented with an embroidered Custom Saddlery saddle pad, bag, towel, and ribbon following her Grand Prix test with her own sixteen-year-old Oldenburg gelding Currency DC (Clintino x Cinderella).
Currency, who Dutta acquired when he was just two years old, is one of the many horses that she has trained up the levels herself — work that she considers her greatest accomplishment during her time in the sport. “I’ve ridden Currency in every prestigious horse show in the world, but for me, more than anything, I’m most proud of making horses like him,” explained Dutta. “To take a young one and make it into my next great one — I think that’s the dream. I don’t have the money to go out and buy a trained one, but I’m always in the ring with multiple horses because I can make them.”
For the past five years, Dutta has divided her time between the United States and Europe. She currently trains out of Tuny Page’s Stillpoint Farm with Oded Shimoni while in Florida. In Germany, she trains with Juergen Koschel. “I’ve made both here and there my base, and that’s something I really feel super lucky to do,” she said. “Although only four people make the Olympic team, almost anyone with a good Grand Prix horse can ride in the Nations Cup team in Europe, go to all of these really nice shows, really enjoy that horse, and get better.”
Dutta believes that real enjoyment of riding and horses, even when she isn’t in the winner’s circle, is the key to long-term success in dressage. “Good sportsmanship and enjoying every day at a competition is important, because if you’re going to do this for longevity you’ve got to really like it,” she said, explaining her signature upbeat attitude.
“These horses work very hard every single day. When they come here and they do a good job, you’re really proud of them, and you have to tell them that in the way that you ride them. Even when you don’t get the top points that you could have, you have to be able to say, ‘My horse was great, my team is happy, I am happy.’ That’s when you have to really dig down deep as a sportsman — and maybe have a glass of wine,” she laughed.
Dutta and Currency will return to the show ring at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival during the twelfth — and final — week of competition. Dutta’s goals for later this year include bringing up a very young Small Tour horse to Grand Prix level and competing several of her horses in Nations Cup teams. She will tour Europe with Currency DC this summer.
Custom Saddlery is proud to recognize riders like Dutta with the Custom Saddlery MVR Award, which, like the company’s saddles, is centered on the idea of top quality. Custom Saddlery is the maker of the Official Saddle of the U.S. Dressage Team through the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer. Custom Saddlery’s much-loved saddles are known for their exceptional fit and comfort for both horse and rider with plenty of ways to customize each saddle. Custom Saddlery provides professional fitting services and manufactures accessories to compliment the saddles, including stirrup leathers, girths, and saddle pads.
For more information about Custom Saddlery, visit www.mysaddle.com or call 1-800-235-3865.