ShowChic's ShopTalk Presents A Gifted Evening with Carol Lavell

Thursday, January 23, 2014



Krystalanne Shingler of ShowChic, Carol Lavell, and Michele Hundt of ShowChic during the January 14 ShopTalk
Krystalanne Shingler of ShowChic, Carol Lavell, and Michele Hundt of ShowChic during the January 14 ShopTalk

Wellington, FL - They were the most celebrated American dressage duo of their decade: Carol Lavell, the petite no-nonsense Vermonter and her Herculean (17.3 hands) bay Grand Prix horse, presciently named Gifted, whose enormous size and stride devoured tempi changes and piaffe/passage transitions like penny candy. Together, the pair singlehandedly raised the electricity level in every international arena they ever entered and, in gaining legions of fans, lifted dressage within their own country to unprecedented levels of interest. Carol Lavell met with other equestrians for a casual evening of stories and smiles remembering Gifted and that extraordinary time in American and international dressage at ShowChic's ShopTalk on January 14. Lavell described her journey to the top with Gifted, as well as her current pursuits during this unforgettable evening.{C}One of the undisputed highlights of Lavell and her Garibaldi II/Lombard-bred Hanoverian's career came at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where their sixth-place individual finish clinched Bronze for the US team and erased a 12-year medals drought for US Olympic dressage. Two years later, at the 1994 World Equestrian Games, Gifted, then 14 years old, helped the US squad bring home yet another team Bronze.
Described as noble, light on his feet, and a dressage hero, Gifted put his country firmly back on the European radar as a serious contender while piaffing his blaze face and four white stocking into America's hearts.




After earning USDF Horse of the Year titles at Fourth Level, Prix St. George and Intermediare I, Lavell debuted Gifted on the 1989 European circuit, returning from that first tour with individual Gold from the North American Dressage Championships in Canada. In 1990, they were 11th at the World Championships, and in 1991, Gifted was named USDF Horse of the Year at Grand Prix. They also became the first American dressage duo to win the Grand Prix at the Hermes International Dressage Show in Goodwood, England.
In their time together, Lavell and Gifted represented their country in two Dressage World Cups, and helped win US team Bronze medals at both the 1992 Olympics and 1994 World Equestrian Games. When Gifted died in January 1997, Lavell said of her once-in-a-lifetime-partner, “He was a volunteer, with a cooperative spirit that keeps on giving."
“We love hosting these evenings for our horse community. Shop Talk has proven to be a successful way for dressage enthusiasts to gather and learn. It’s always great to meet new people and welcome back those we have known for years,” said Michele Hundt of ShowChic. 
For more about ShowChic Dressage or ShopTalk, click www.showchicdressage.com or call 561-319-2121.