Look on the calendar in any dressage barn in the USA and you'll see some big red circles in the month of August. That's when the elegant, elastic and elitely superlative dressage horses and riders will travel to New Jersey and strut their stuff in the Grand Prix Dressage Selection Trials for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The Trials will be held during the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions against the dramatic backdrop of the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey, for two consecutive weekends of extraordinary competition, August 6-8 and 13-15.
One horse will be strutting his stuff after some anxious months on the sidelines. Sagacious HF won our hearts along with the Gold Medal in Dressage at the 2007 Pan Am Games, but this winter he was on the sidelines with muscle soreness issues and missed most of the winter competitions in Florida.
But last month rider Lauren Sammis rode Sagacious HF to a spectacular return in the Grand Prix ring at the Blainville CDI3* in Quebec. Sagacious was back in winning form; he and Lauren earned a second place in the Grand Prix with a 66.681% and a second place in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a 73.200%.
?I rode Sagacious in reserve in Blainville, in a dress-rehearsal type way,? Sammis said. ?I know when it comes down to it I can ask for more and he will be brilliant.?
I wonder how many people at Blainville saw the little pink ribbon sewn into the beautiful gelding?s saddle pad. I was so touched to see that Lauren still has that special symbol emblazoning her tack. When Sagacious and Lauren traveled to Brazil for the Pan Am Games, the horse's owners stayed behind. Judy and Al Guden were fighting for something much more difficult than even a gold medal in dressage; they were fighting for Judy?s life. The Pan Am Games was the first time I saw the pink ribbon on Lauren?s saddle pad.
Sadly, Judy is no longer with us, but that little pink ribbon is still there to remind us of her. And I know that you know what a pink ribbon means and what a powerful symbol that is to see on such a powerful, graceful horse. So watch for Sagacious, Lauren, and one of the most sentimental yet powerful saddle pads in equestrian sports at the WEG selection trials in August. If Sagacious makes the team, it will be because he earned his place, but what a story this horse carries with him every time Lauren saddles him for a show. And he carries it beautifully.
About Sagacious HF: Lauren Sammisand Sagacious HF won the Team Gold Medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in the Prix St George and the Individual Silver Medal for the US. In 2009, they made the successful transition to the Grand Prix, winning 10 out of 12 CDI competitions entered. Sagacious is an 11-year-old KWPN (Dutch Warmblood) gelding owned by Al Guden of Hyperion Farm in Wellington, Florida; Al purchased Sagacious as a weanling in Holland in 1999 and imported him to the USA in 2004. The horse recently earned "Crown Predicate" honors from the KWPN (Dutch) Registry. This special symbol on his registration papers means he is ranked in the top 200 FEI Dressage Horses in the world; Sagacious HF was ranked 56th in the world when the award was made in June.
Sagacious has an active Facebook page where his supporters and friends can follow his progress toward Gladstone and the WEG selection trials. He'd love to add you to his list of friends!