Young Horses Highlight California's Spring Benefit Dressage Competition

Sunday, May 8, 2022
Posted by Kim F Miller



May 7, 2022: Temecula, CA. The wind kept temperatures comfortable and spirits high as the DASC Spring Benefit CDI, CPEDI and National Dressage Show, presented by Four Winds Farm, played out in four arenas at the Galway Downs Equestrian Center.

Yesterday, it was Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper drawing the biggest crowds to the Grand Prix Arena, where they dominated that test. This afternoon, it was Steffen's Tokyo Olympic silver medal teammate, Sabine Schut-Kery, drawing spectators up the hill to Arena #2, where the FEI Young Horse tests and qualifiers unfurled.

Newly relocated to San Diego, Sabine eschews predictions, but it was hard not to imagine that her Tokyo partner Sanceo may have a stablemate poised to follow his path. The KWPN stallion Gorgeous Latino wowed the crowd as much as the judges, who awarded him an 87.200 in the Markel/USEF 6-Year-Old Preliminary test.

Sabine was thrilled, too. "With a young horse you don't always know how consistent they are going to be, so in that regard, he really exceeded my expectations. I am really pleased with how he constantly listened to me and was so immediately responsive. He didn't get faster before or after the flying changes -- he maintained the rhythm, and that's the first time he's done that so well in a test."

The already-in-demand stallion (Glock's Toto Jr out of Blackmanda by Rubiquil) owned by Sandy Mancini, was waiting for Sabine when she returned from Tokyo in August. She plans to take him to the USEF Festival of Champions this summer in Chicago, but beyond that the agenda is all about patiently attaining training goals. "What we had hoped to accomplish this year is already in the pocket, so I'm thinking about next year already." She predicts that Gorgeous Latino will be a credit to the slow development process she's always used and to the Markel/USEF Developing Horse program just as much as Sanceo has been.

"I think he's sort of that fairy tale kind of horse," Sabine said of the stallion's immediate popularity. "Obviously he has great quality, and he also has that black color and a really pretty face. And, he has a good head on his shoulders, which is something I think we need more of in our breeding program. He's an exciting horse for me."

Limandus, ridden by Michelle Reilly of San Diego, was second in the Markel/USEF 6-Year-Old FEI Test on a 78%, followed by Fuerst Magica RTH, ridden by Ericka Reinig, Rancho Murieta, earning a 70.80% from judge Maria Collliander of Finland.

Another showstopper in the Young Horse ring was Mozart EDI, the Markel/USEF 5-year-old KWPN owned by Joseph Newcomb of San Diego. Having earned an 80.30 on Friday, Mozart displayed his "wonderful brain" by continuing to keep his cool in his first show on a day when older contenders were losing theirs. "He has lots of energy and he always really wants to work for me," Joseph explained. "He is a lot of fun to work with."

More potential was on display in today's Young Horse Test of Choice, with 5- to 7-year-olds strutting their stuff. Six-year-old Lucky Luke earned the top score, a 79.20%, under the hand of Amelia Newcomb of Simi Valley. Five-year-old Eddie the Eagle and Marie Francesca Medosi, Cardiff, were not far behind with a 78%. Dawn White O'Connor, Encinitas, rode handsome Marmokus to a 77.200% and Marie Velden, Fresno, and Francisco rounded out the field on a 65.429%.