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Endel Ots Frames the Future for Zen Elite and King’s Pleasure
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
MARKEL/USEF NATIONAL YOUNG AND DEVELOPING HORSE CHAMPIONSHIPS | US DRESSAGE FESTIVAL OF CHAMPIONS | BREEDING NEWS
Whether you prefer to call it a coincidence or manifesting a goal, the only thing more spine-tingling than the performance that clinched the inaugural Markel/USEF Young Horse Seven-Year-Old Dressage National Championship title for Endel Ots and King’s Pleasure at the US Dressage Festival of Champions at Lamplight Equestrian Center is the uncanny prescience the now-eight-time champion titlist showed months earlier by gifting Heidi Perlman Humphries, owner of the black KWPN stallion, with a picture frame engraved with a single intent: Zen Elite Equestrian Center’s King’s Pleasure USEF 2022 7 Year Old National Champion.
Photo: Zen Elite Equestrian Center’s King's Pleasure in the frame winning the 2022 Markel/USEF 7-Year-Old National Championship. (SusanSticklePhotography.com/Photo frame courtesy of JRPR Equine News Room)
“I will be putting a championship picture in the frame that Endel Ots bought months ago for me. I am so excited!” Humphries posted, addressing Ots on Facebook on August 29, shortly after the Zen Elite entry led the a tri-color victory gallop over the top horses in the nation in the inaugural Markel/USEF Young Horse Seven-Year-Old Dressage National Championship.
“I thought that was so brave of you, Endel, to buy the engraved frame long before we even started seriously showing,” she said. “I guess you ‘just knew’ it would happen.” Ots and King’s Pleasure won the FEI Seven-Year-Old Final Test with a score of 78.129% and earned the inaugural championship on an overall 78.295%.
During last year’s holiday shopping Ots mused over what to get the successful businesswoman behind one of the most cutting edge dressage facilities the Fort Lauderdale area has ever seen, complete with a 20,000-sq. ft. insulated covered arena and fully equipped rehabilitation/spa/gym center for horses and humans, all while embraced in a climate of cascading waterfalls, spiritual stone gardens, and peaceful gardens embodying Humphries’ hope for a space of tranquility and focus, true to its name.
Ots has worked closely with hypnotist and performance coach, Laura King, so he knew just how to frame that dream...and put it in a box.
See the Future
“I wanted to show Heidi what I could see. I wanted to show her how much I believed in King’s Pleasure, and in the progress she has made with Zen Elite Equestrian Center,” Ots grinned, “So before King ever went down a center line in a single qualifying class, I had a sterling silver frame engraved that read, ‘Zen Elite Equestrian Center’s KWPN Stallion King’s Pleasure USEF 2022 7- Year Old National Champion”.
“In typical Heidi fashion, she told me I didn’t need to put that kind of pressure on myself. To just have fun and she wanted her horse to be happy. Even if we had not won, she would have been happy.”
“Heidi’s been instrumental like that,” Ots shares, “She just wants her horse happy and to have a long competitive career. If I finished 15th instead of first it would have been as important to her to have brought one of only fifteen horses of his age group to these National Championships.
“But after seeing everything and everyone important to her and King at that show? There was no chance I wasn’t going to win. That’s not cocky. I felt it. I could see us, in that arena, winning that blue cooler.
“That’s why, almost a year ago, I got that frame. It felt inevitable.”
Among 15 Zen principles is to build a community and contribute to it. At Zen Elite, Humphries say, “Steps forward and back, up and down, are part of the process. Endel made it happen with our special boy! Our sweet King gave his all in that arena. We are just so extremely proud of both of you.
“You and King made a lifelong dream come true." And that’s a dream you can frame.