2014 was a very exciting year for Concordia Dressage. We started off the year by a trip to Wellington, Florida in January. Jenna attended the USDF Young Rider Graduate Program and Martin & Jenna both attended the FEI Trainers Conference featuring Scott Hassler and Steffen Peters. February featured Austin Dressage Unlimited's annual judging seminar this year featuring Stephan Clarke. In March, Martin rode Kelly Bernard's gelding, Sueno Grande, with Anne Gribbons. On April 2, our only foal of the year arrived...a beautiful bay colt by Gran Casso out of Zarina by Contango.
In early April, Martin competed Teresa Hurley's Dante RDL at the Bluebonnet Classic I&II scoring to 70% at 1st level, qualifying for championships and earning 1st level champion. Junior rider, Katie Henson, and her mare Damali scored up to 70% at training level and earning Training Level Reserve Champion. Jenna & Martin both competed at the HDS Spring Classic later in the month with Freedance making his 2nd level debut with scores to 67%, qualifying him for championships and earning ISR/OLD NA High Point for the show. Gran Casso made his debut at 4th level with scores to 65% and qualified for championships. Jenna also competed Jypsy Rose, a five year old daughter of Gran Casso at training level with scores to 74.2%, qualifying for championships at training level and earning training level reserve champion. Also making his first show ring appearance was Sonny Moulden Skye, an adorable gypsy vanner gelding owned by Shawn Maurice. Jenna competed him at training level and qualified for the Southwest Dressage Championship Pony Championships. Martin showed Bacarro at 1st level, earning qualifying scores for championships and Dante RDL, earning more scores towards year end awards at 1st level. Valerie Jarosek competed her gelding, Iggy Pop, to scores in the 60's at training level and qualified for the Southwest Dressage Championships.
Concordia Dressage once again played host to Charles de Kunffy May 31-June 1 with a great turnout and lots of super progress being made with each rider and horse. Over the summer, Martin traveled to New Mexico for the Arabian Youth Nationals with talented junior rider, Katie Henson. They received three national top ten honors.
The first show of the fall was the HDS Labor Day Show in Katy, TX. Martin showed Bacarro & Dante at 1st level with great results and Sueno Grande, four year old hanoverian gelding owned by Kelly Bernard, made his show ring debut with scores to 76% at training level! Jenna showed Freedance in the 1st level freestyle with scores to 75%+ and qualified him for championships. Two weeks later at the Platinum Classic, Jenna showed Gran Casso to scores of 70%+ at 4th level and Jypsy Rose to 76% at training level. Gran Casso was high point at 4th level and Jypsy Rose was high point at training level. Martin showed Warendorf at 4th level with scores to 68% and Sueno Grande with scores in the 70's at training level.
Also in September, Split Mesquite Farm hosted another ISR/OLD Inspection and we were very excited with Gran Tango was named Premium Colt and Site Champion!
Our annual fall clinic with Charles de Kunffy was held before regionals and it was another well received clinic!
Regional Championships in October was a busy and exciting show with Jenna & Freedance winning the Southwest Dressage Championship 1st level freestyle, finishing reserve champion in the USDF Region 9 First level freestyle and finishing 3rd in a very competitive Region 9 2nd level championship class. Jenna & Gran Casso were reserve champion in both Southwest Dressage Championships 4th level and Region 9 Championships at 4th level. Warendorf finished 6th in 4th level championships with Martin. Sueno Grande and Martin were the SWDC Bronze Medalists for training level in a highly competitive class. Gaby Stephens and Abaris competed 2nd level and earned their 2nd level scores towards their bronze medal. Because of their placings, Freedance and Gran Casso qualified to compete at the US Dressage Finals in Lexington, KY.
The week after regionals, Martin competed Teresa Hurley's Dante RDL at the IAHLA National Championships in Ft. Worth, TX. The pair were reserve national champions in 1st level dressage, reserve champion in halter geldings and third in dressage sporthorse bereding. Teresa also rode Dante, winning champion in vintage halter and reserve champion in vintage rider.
In November, Jenna & Martin traveled to Kentucky with Gran Casso & Freedance to compete at the US Dressage Finals. It was a terrific experience. Freedance was able to show off his freestyle in the beautiful AllTech arena and Gran Casso made his Prix St. Georges debut to score a 64% and win the class.
Here were the Year End Standings for our Concordia Horses:
CTDS Champion Training Level - Martin & Sueno Grande
CTDS Reserve Champion Training Level - Jenna & Jypsy Rose
CTDS Reserve Champion 1st Level - Martin & Dante RDL
CTDS Champion 1st Level Freestyle - Jenna & Freedance
CTDS Champion 2nd Level - Jenna & Freedance
CTDS Champion 4th Level - Jenna & Gran Casso
HDS Reserve Champion Training Level - Jenna & Jypsy Rose
HDS Reserve Champion National Level Freestyle - Jenna & Freedance
USDF Top 5 Nationally 1st Level Freestyle - Freedance
IAHLA Top 3 Nationally - Dante RDL
ISR/OLD Champion National Freestyle - Freedance
It was a super year and we are excited about 2015.
When I saw the information for the USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program posted online last fall, I knew it was something I wanted to apply for. There is no other program like it and I was interested in learning more.
Today there were seven different presentations on many aspects of professional riding that is just as important as riding your horses really well. The first topic included character traits needed for success (hard work, discipline/endurance, courage, dedication/perseverance, physical fitness, knowledge, integrity) presented by my trainer, JJ Tate with Jenny Van Wieren. Other topics included legal issues for equestrians, sponsorships, USEF programs, The Dressage Foundation Funding Opportunities and Interacting with the Media.
Super information and I'm looking forward to tomorrow! Tonight we get to have dinner with Scott Hassler, Debbie McDonald, and Robert Dover!
It's been a very busy year so far! We have ridden in a few clinics already this year (JJ Tate & Alfredo Hernandez) and hosted our very first clinic at our new facility in April with Charles de Kunffy. We had a fantastic turnout and all the riders learned a lot and had a very inspirational clinic. We will have Charles back in the fall, on a weekend this time, for another wonderful clinic! Spaces are limited - sign up soon!
We have competed in a few shows already this year. Our four year olds, Jypsy Rose and Bacarro, competed at a schooling show in March and then a month later headed to their very first recognized show where they did well, scoring to 69% at training level and learning a lot along the way!
Ballagio ("Louie") competed in his first dressage show after spending most of his life training as a jumper. He is now in full time dressage training and is doing very well. He and Bacarro will be competing in the HDS Summer Show in just a few weeks and this will be Louie's first recognized dressage show. Both Louie and Bacarro are for sale.
On May 9, Lugana foaled a beautiful solid bay filly by Sagnol (Sandro Hit/Landadel) named Sangria Sunrise. She has loads of presence and is a fantastic mover. We love the filly so much we bred her back to Sagnol for 2014! Our Contango mare, Zarina, took first try on frozen semen to Gran Casso this year. We are very excited about this cross! Gran Casso had one foal in 2013, a beautiful filly out of a Donnerschlag mare owned by Sandra Lindenburg.
Gran Casso is doing very well in his training and the plan is to get the flying changes confirmed this summer and compete at 3rd level in the fall. Freedance did very well at the HDS Spring Show at 1st level scoring above 70% in most of his classes. He was the Oldenburg NA High Point Champion and is now qualified for championships. The plan for him is to compete in 1st level freestyle classes in the fall and possibly move up to 2nd level as well. We have decided that Jypsy Rose, while doing very well in her first big show, needs a little more time to physically mature before showing again. Hopefully we will get our final qualifying score for championships in the fall.
Robin Hudson's horses, Ruby and Bentley did fantastic at their first recognized show of the year. RubyDeaux scored up to 68% at 1st level and will be moving up to 2nd level soon. Bentley scored up to 72.8% at training level and is now qualified for championships. He will be moving up to 1st level at the summer show.
Please check out our wonderful sale horses. We currently have four. Bacarro, our fantastic 2009 Hanoverian gelding by Bonheur will make a wonderful horse for a competitive amateur or junior rider and is fancy enough for a pro. Ballagio, is a 2007 Oldenburg by Balou du Rouet and with a sensitive, advanced rider, they sky is the limit to his talent. Santana is a 2010 Hanoverian gelding by Sonntagskind. Wonderful movement, super cute and the perfect size for a smaller rider. Dalliance is a 2001 Hanoverian mare by Davignport. She is the dam of our super young star, Freedance. She is for sale as a broodmare but is sound and can be ridden as well.
We do have training and boarding spots available. Please contact us for more information!
2012 was a big year at SMF! In March, our first homebred foal, Freedance competed in his first show under saddle and won all three of his materiale classes. He went on to be chosen to participate in the Scott Hassler Young Horse Symposium. In September he competed at training and 1st level scoring no less than 70% and up to 77%. He finished the year as #16 in the nation with an average over 74%. He was 1st for All Breeds (ISR/OLD) in Training Level Open & Materiale Open. His competed in his first championships in November and earned his first 1st level qualifying score for 2013.
Jenna & Waren had a great year as well, earning over 60% in their first three outing at Prix St. Georges at the Texas Rose Fall Dressage Show, qualifying them for championships and earning Jenna her USDF Silver Medal. They competed in championships at Prix St. Georges with high marks for their trot work.
Jenna & Gran Casso started the year winning 1st Level Champion & 2nd Level Champion at the Texas Dressage Classic at the Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, TX. They qualified for championships at both levels and did very well, earning the Bronze Medal for the Southwest Dressage Championships at 1st & 2nd level and 3rd place in GAIG/USDF Championships at 2nd level. They are now working on flying changes and hope to make their 3rd level debut in 2013.
Jypsy Rose & Bacarro, our 2009 foals were started under saddle in the fall by our working student, Celine. She's done a great job bringing them along and we look forward to competing them in materiale and training level in 2013!
We welcomed two new fillies to our herd in 2012. Rubiana by Rubignon out of Lugana and Gran Diva by Gran Casso out of Dalliance. Diva was Premium Filly and High Point Champion at her ISR/OLD Inspection. Rubiana put in a great showing at her Hanoverian Inspection with high praise from the judges.
We also saw the construction and completion of our new training facility in 2012. The full sized covered arena has GGT footing, a full short side of mirrors, 10 stalls, hot/cold wash rack, 4 grooming stalls, feed room, office, bathroom and a large tack room. We welcomed clients in June 2012. We also got all new fencing in 2012 and upgraded from electric fencing to pipe no climb.
We are expecting to have a really great 2013. We have three mares due to foal in the spring. Our new mare, Zarina (by Contango) to Gran Casso, Dalliance to Freestyle, and Lugana to Sagnol. We also have three 3 year olds to start this year. Santana (by Sonntagskind out of EM Atlanta), Florestern (by Furst Klasse out of Lugana) and Gloriana (by Gran Casso out of Reigner).
We plan on competing Freedance in the FEI 5 year old classes, Gran Casso at 3rd level, Warendorf at Prix St. Georges/I-1, Jypsy Rose in Materiale, Training Level & USEF 4 year old test, Bacarro in materiale and training level. Hopefully the three year olds will be out this fall competing as well.
We are really looking forward to an exciting 2013!
Our first show for the fall and with our new clients was a great sucess! Six horses made the trip to Katy for the competition. Freedance was a star in his very first tests at a recognized show scoring between 71% - 77% in all of his training level classes during the show. Last weekend at the CTDS schooling show, he scored an 80% and a 74%, hopefully a sign of great things to come! He was very well behaved and acted like a seasoned pro.
Martin's first show with Robin Hudson's Ruby was great with scores of 65%, 68%, 73% and another 73%, at training level, qualifying for SWDC and earning one score toward their GAIG/USDF Regional Champioship scores at training level.
Mechelle Sieg on her paint mare, Rena rode some of their bests tests to date and have made tons of progress in their six months with Concordia. She also earned her final score toward her USDF Bronze Medal.
Kelly Bernard did great as well scoring between 62% and 66% at first level on her lovely hanoverian mare, Chante.
Gran Casso scored 68.8% and 66% at 2nd level, earning his final Regional Championship Qualifying score and winning the class on Saturday.
Martin schooled Bentley and it was amazing to watch as Bentley became more and more settled each day, schooling in all of the show arenas and warm ups. They will be making their show debut in Tyler in 3 weeks.
Texas Rose Fall Dressage Show is next up on the calendar! Jenna will be making her Prix St. Georges debut on Warendorf and showing Training Level & Materiale on Freedance. Martin will be showing Ruby at Training and First Level, Bentley at Intro and Training Level and Gusty at Fourth Level. Kelly will be showing Chante at First Level.
Our new barn is under construction and we are getting close to welcoming in our first horses this coming weekend! The barn will have 10 12'x12' stalls with mats, windows in the back and drop down windows to the aisle. It will also have a very large climate controlled tack room with lounge area, bathroom, feed room, 4 large grooming stalls, wash rack and office. Each horse in training will have a 100' x 50' individual paddock. We feed Triple Crown Feeds three times per day and offer hay all throughout the day. The arena is a full sized dressage arena with premier GGT footing and will soon have a viewing platform and a full short side of mirrors. All horses that board must be in the training program. Please email us if interested!
I showed Gran Casso & Freedance a the Texas Dressage Classic a few weeks ago in Tyler and had great success. Gran Casso continues to get stronger and in his second outing at 2nd level scored over 69% and was 2nd level Champion of the show. He scored a 73.9% at 1-3 and was also 1st level Champion. At home we are continuing to focus on exercises that help create suppleness and uphill balance in preparation for flying changes later this year. His half passes are coming along well and his medium canters and trots are developing nicely. We may do another show or two this season and then focus on training for 3rd level in the fall.
Freedance did wonderfully for his first time ever ridden off our property! Every day he became a little more relaxed and comfortable in the warm ups and show arenas. He won all of his classes and scored up to 79%+ in his materiale classes. In one of his classes, he scored an impressive 8.4 on his walk!
Next on the agenda is the Young Horse Symposium this weekend at Twinwood Farm in Simonton. I will be riding Freedance with Scott Hassler and I'm hoping that he can give us some insight in how to be successful in the four year old classes this year. Freedance was started a little bit late and has only been consistently under saddle since January and may be a little behind as far as strength and balance but he improves a little everyday. We work a lot of bending lines to help him become more supple over his back and are starting to incorporate more tempo changes and transitions into the work to build strength and carrying power in his hindquarters.
This past weekend, Martin and I and our young student, Celine traveled to Aubrey, TX to audit top US rider, Steffen Peters. The clinic was hosted by Lyndon Rife and he did a fantastic job putting together an organized, educational clinic. Steffen talked a lot about the importance of energy and suppleness and always having a high expectations with your horse during the ride. He said to think of them as your business partner. You must be firm but fair. He also spoke about how much of dressage training is mental, and only a small part physical. The horse must be taught to understand what you are asking of him. The three of us all took a lot out of the clinic
Martin & I had a fantastic experience this past October. We were lucky enough to be able to work with international rider and trainer, Jessica Jo Tate. Warendorf went along for the trip and the experience the three of us gained while we were up there was invaluable. JJ is a wonderful trainer and coach. She is truly academic in her teaching and always puts the horses well being first anfd foremost. In addition to getting lessons on Waren, we were both able to get on a few of her upper level horses which was truly a wonderful experience. Martin & I came back to Texas better riders and the help that we received on Waren was great! I am hoping to make my Prix St. Georges debut on Waren sometime next year.
We hope to bring JJ in for a clinic or two in 2012. Check back for more info.
Here you can find show results, clinic reports and basic happenings around the farm!