Kristen Becker Begins to Rebuild Her Dressage Life Thanks to a Generous Gift from Emily Wagner and Wake Up
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Posted by Mary Phelps
Following the devastating fire that took the lives of Kristen Becker’s four horses along with the total loss of a barn and 14 other boarders she shared her daily routine with, Kristen Becker who was poised for the Brentina Cup at the Dressage National Championships 2014 with her beloved Ramses got a phone call which began to lift her from a loss unimaginable to any of us. “A few days after the fire I got a phone call from Emily Wagner. We had become friends during our time competing together both having brought our young horses along to the Grand Prix. “ Wagner offered her condolences and then invited Kristen, when she was ready to fly out to her farm in Kansas with an offer that left Kristen speechless and overwhelmed. “Emily wanted me to have one of Wake Up’s babies!” said Becker. “I flew out there almost immediately and took a look at an impressive array of young ones.”
Photos by Payton Adams Photogrpaphy
Wagner’s superstar American Warmblood stallion Wakeup (Wagnis - Maiden Montreal by Macho) had worked his way through the ranks of the Markel/USEF National and Developing Horse Championships competing for the USA in Verden at the World Young Horse Championships in 2010, winning the six-year-old National division in 2011, and the Developing Horse Championships in 2013. Together with her mother Jana Wagner, Emily owns and manages their Wally Woo Farm, breeding their beloved stallion and developing young horses as well as teaching and training. “All of Wake Up’s foals have hind ends that are just amazing! “ Becker fell in love with a 2012 American Warmblood colt, Wilhelm - Bloodlines: WakeUp x Wagnis/Maiden Montreal) out of Darcie (Deutschmark/High Hopes) “He has a goofy, crooked blaze, impressive gaits, and was just as sweet as can be. I’ve had him at the farm now for almost two months and I truly believe he started the healing process for me. I absolutely love every moment with that horse!”
For Becker, this was the first step to begin the rebuilding process of her life and her riding career, but it has not ended there. Prior to the fire she had made some inquiries about a young 2011 Oldenburg stallion in Europe, Baldour she had seen on a video. “After the fire, I contacted Gunter Thiede of GT Malibu Sporthorses regarding the horse, and he made it so simple to get him to me. I plan on keeping him a stallion if possible and start breeding him next year. Bloodlines: Balesteros x Belissimo M/Hauptstutbuch Discovery, out of Hauptstutbuch Monita x Sir Donnerhall 1/Hauptstutbuch Morena)
Right now he’s figuring out that this is his home as I’ve only had him at the farm for two weeks, and I don’t want to rush into anything with him. He has a wonderful personality and I absolutely cannot wait to start riding him! His work ethic is fabulous and he has a great head on his shoulders.
Between the dressage community and especially the Wagners, the support is overwhelming even to this day, and I am forever so sincerely grateful. The reconstruction is scheduled to start soon as all the grading is being done currently. The owners of Brookwood Equestrian Center, Melanie and King Howington, have all the plans finalized for a beautiful new facility.
“It’s sad to know that my U25 (Under 25) career came to such a screeching halt,” admits Becker, “but I am so excited to start with my young boys. I really enjoy taking my horses up the levels as that is what I did with both my late geldings, Frankentraum and Ramses. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the ones I’ve lost, but the best therapy for me is having two new, spunky studs to love and care for.”
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