Endel Ots and Lucky Strike Bring Home The Win In The US Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. George
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Wellington, FL – Endel Ots and Lucky Strike have earned many congratulations over the weekend after winning the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship with a score of 72.794%, which was held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. While this is not Ots’ first victory at the US National Championships, this one had something special about it for Ots and his family.
Ots and his father, Max Ots have owned Lucky Strike an eight year old Hanoverian gelding by Lord Laurie-Heidi X His Highness since he was three years old, and Ots has been the sole rider and trainer. Having had great success thus far with “Lucky”, such as winning the Markel/USEF Six Year Old Dressage National Championship in 2016, winning this year has a little more meaning to Ots for several reasons, “For me this is the beginning of his FEI career…to be able to show the talent I felt inside him the first moment I sat on him was very emotional.” Said Ots.
As any good dressage riders knows its all about the details and for Ots that is what has allowed him to earn high scores from the judges time and time again. “He (Lucky) received a 9 on a centerline and halt, and we have been working on those at home to be more fluid and balanced. That for me is a very important movement as it stays with you thought out your whole FEI tests.” Said Ots. Ots and Lucky also received ‘9s’ on their medium, and extended trots; which has the product of focusing on details such as cadence and reach. Having received numerous comments about their harmony and potential moving forward, Ots hopes to use this pipeline as a way to do great things for USA going forward.
Getting to compete against the very best in the nation and seeing all the competitors come together is the real highlight of the US Dressage National Championships. “I love seeing all the horses develop over the years. To be able to go back year after year, and see the constant improvement of the horses is a wonderful thing. Christine Traurig has been such an instrumental force in that process.” Said Ots of his experience of the course of several championships. When it comes to his own success in the ring Ots wishes he could just let Lucky go out alone and collect the accolades he has won. “I think he knows he did a good job, and I appreciate his efforts. He gives so much for me in the ring. He is such a happy horse, and loves people so he enjoys the crowds. He loves people fussing over him, and the little kids who come to his stall and feed him treats.” Said Ots of Lucky’s winning personality.
Going forward Ots is heading home to let Lucky enjoy some down time in the pasture and some hacking around the South Florida canals, before setting their sights on trying for the Pan American Games next year. When it comes to achieving goals, Ots is no stranger to working hard to make them become a reality and gave this advice to riders hoping to one day compete at a high level, “Look for any opportunity to be able to get here. I have competed here on many horses, and have had the good fortune to be able to win a few different times. Every time I have come it has helped to improve my riding, and has given me a new perspective on something to work on. The information is there for you, and the best thing is you will make 2 and 4 legged friends for life here.”
Originally from De Pere, Wisconsin, Ots, who now calls Wellington, Florida home, has been competing since a young age and has been enjoying international victories for the past several years. Known for his talent and ability to give a leg-up to younger riders, and bringing along impressive sales horses.
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