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Heidi Degele and Ibistrona D Clinch TerraNova CDI Championship 

Thursday, November 17, 2022
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WORLD EQUESTRIAN CENTER - OCALA, FLORIDA

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Next Stop the World Equestrian Center CDI 

Heidi Degele doesn’t just sell horses: She sells dreams. And judging from the Loxahatchee, Florida dressage trainer’s growing number of CDI titles on her mantle, those dreams are getting grander by the day.

Photo - Heidi Degele and Ibistrona D (Susan J Stickle)

Degele has been honing the upper-level skills of Ibistrona D owned by Equine Holdings LLC, since the mare arrived in her barn three years ago as a First Level neophyte. This October, they set CDI centerlines ablaze, handily scoring a win by better than two points in the FEI Prix St Georges and narrowly finishing, by less than a point, in reserve in the FEI Intermediate 1*, when Florida’s newest horse show grounds, TerraNova Equestrian Center & Estates in Myakka City, hosted its first international dressage CDI event and World Cup qualifier.

Feel the Potential

“When Stella (Ibistrona D’s barn name) first came to me she I could feel the FEI potential in her and with the dedicated help from trainers, Lars Petersen and Melissa Taylor, we have progressed steadily up the levels. Now, you just point her down a center line and she’s game on,” Degele says of this daughter of Don Tango B (the highest scoring dressage stallion at the 2011 KWPN Stallion Performance Test) and granddaughter of classic Oldenburg, Sunny Boy.

The string of competitive successes she has compiled has quietly but no less keenly turned the competitive spotlight on this modest but talented horsewoman.

“My heart has always been in competition,” Degele says, crediting her highly respected training and sales services since 2006, Heidi Dressage, LLC, with the foundation for her own USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medal-earning career.

Heidi Degele and Ibistrona D (Photo: Susan J Stickle)
Heidi Degele and Ibistrona D (Photo: Susan J Stickle)

A Gift to Learn from Horses

“When you keep an open mind, you can learn so much from a horse,” she says. “It’s a gift to have so many horses come through my barn and experience their training. I learn - as a trainer - from the trainers of these horses. Maybe that’s why I’ve been successful. I can figure a horse out quickly, given the scope I have developed from all the horses I had the honor of riding and selling. This has always sort of been my ‘niche.’ I was born loving horses and people tell me I have a good feel for pairing horses and riders together.”

Degele concludes, “I don’t just ‘sell’ horses. I love to hear how happy someone is with having found the right match. When a new owner calls or texts me and says they’re happy with their horse, to me that’s as good as getting a 70% on a dressage score.”

This weekend, Degele and Stella head down centerline once again, at the November Dressage CDI1* at the World Equestrian Center (WEC) in Ocala.

For Degele, every time she rides this charismatic mare and feels her Grand Prix potential continue to develop, is already like scoring a win. Big dreams are only one right horse away. Learn more at HeidiDressage.com.