Dressage at Stockade ~ The Secret is Out
by Nikki Alvin-Smith
As a dressage competitor are you looking for the perfect show to take your up and coming youngster for his debut in the ring? A professional, friendly atmosphere where you will have room to breathe, and can even trailer in just for the day if you want to? Many area professionals head straight to Dressage at Stockade in Glenville, New York to do just that. On the weekend of June 19-21st, 2015, the beautiful Stockade Polo and Saddle Club hosted another one of their brilliant shows.
While regional riders have long known these events, run by Anita Jaffe and Stan Horton, as a great venue to quietly get out there and do it, it appears that word has spread. Each year the show grows larger and larger.
The premise is simple. Set up three well footed rings, a central large warm up ring, have some good judges, on site stabling of course, lots of room to park and move around, a professional staff and voila! It doesn't have to be 'beautiful' but riding under the shade of the established trees is just that at Stockade.
At the Grand Prix level Jan Williams riding Desiderate 2 narrowly beat out Jeffrey Lindberg of Bishop's Gate Farm riding Delaware (Don Schufro) a 2002 Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Kaaren Powell of Ballston Spa, NY, with a score of 64.6% to 63%. Jeffrey lives close to the venue and is a regular participant at the Dressage at Stockade events. This time around, he brought three horses: the young Fetsen, and Fetsen, a 2009 Friesian gelding owned by Whitney Lawlor of Saratoga Springs, NY, who he showed to great results at first level: Jello Van de Meer, a 2003 Friesian gelding owned by Jackie St. Onge of Charlton, NY, who blasted through fourth level; and Delaware his Grand Prix mount.
Jeffrey achieved his USDF Gold Medal at this event and was extremely happy with the results of the show altogether. Jeffrey explained the background of the horses he showed this weekend:
"Kaaren has owned Delaware for 8 years, having bought him I believe in 2007 as a recently imported 5 year old from Jennifer Baumert. I showed him Grand Prix on Saturday and Sunday, scoring a 63.000% Saturday (even after losing my way and going off course) and a 67.300% on Sunday. Saturday’s result was the final score I needed to earn my USDF Gold Medal. Sunday’s ride then became icing on the cake!
Jackie imported Jello Van de Meer as a 6 year old from Holland in 2009 and brought him to me in the Fall of that year to begin his dressage training. I competed him at Fourth level this past weekend, scoring a 61.622% on a conservative Fourth Level test 1 on Friday which included some mistakes, then had a 66.111% at Fourth Level test 2 on a clean ride on Saturday to win the class, and lastly a score of 67.973% at Fourth Level test 1 on Sunday again winning the class.
Whitney bought Fetsen in 2012 from Friesians of Majesty in Townshend, VT as a green 3 year old. I showed him First level this weekend, scoring a 65.926% at First level test 1 and a 70.000% at First level test 2 on Friday, then fading to a 61.852% at First level test 1 on Saturday. Still a young horse, he showed his talent on Friday but was undone somewhat by nervousness on Saturday!"
There were lots of highs and not too many lows this weekend for Jeffrey as he went on to detail.
"The best part of my tests this weekend would have to be getting Delaware’s passage back and active in his Saturday GP after he slipped at ‘V’, quickly enough that he could transition to the piaffe on centerline. After he gave me that piaffe I knew we were going to have a good test.
The happiest part was hearing the Saturday GP score announced and realizing I had earned the gold medal, of course!
Hard to give a proudest moment, I am extremely proud of all the horses and riders whom I worked with at the show. Every single horse and rider put forth their best effort, and I am proud of all of them for that!
Worst moment had to be when Whitney’s young Friesian tried to leave the arena at ‘A’ in his first test, ended up kicking the rail which flew up under his belly and was tangled in his legs momentarily. I thought at that moment that I was sure to get some misbehavior but after urging him forward he kept going without a problem!"
Jeffrey is a regular participant on the North East USA show circuit, and he has a wealth of experience.
"I have been a dressage rider from the age of 13 which would make that 32 years now (!) having started out Western for a few years before that. My greatest influences have been from Charles de Kunffy, from whose clinics I learned as a kid what dressage could do for a horse, followed by the late Joan Harris and Elspeth Kick of the Lake Erie College Equestrian Center, where I learned to event and how to manage an equine athlete. I have had other instruction from numerous outstanding trainers, however in the last several years my training has been with Kathy Rowse (USEF ‘S’, VA) and Jennifer Baumert, whom I have known and respected for quite a long time.
As a regular competitor at Dressage at Stockade for many years he gave lots of credit for how this event is run.
"Stan Horton and Anita Jaffe put on a well run, friendly, and competitor-centered show, as they have for years. I have been showing at Stockade since their very first competition and have been continually impressed with the constant improvements they make to the grounds year after year. It is wonderful to have a venue such as the SPSC close to home, I can’t thank them enough for all of the time and dedication they have put in to making their shows what they are today."
It is clear that Jeffrey Lindberg has a bright future ahead of him and also clear that he cares deeply about his students and their own goals too.
"I will probably take a couple of young horses to the next Stockade show, for their experience. Many of my students want to compete at that show as well, so I will spend most of my time coaching. Then Kaaren will be showing Delaware in the Amateur division of the August CDI at HITS in Saugerties in August, so I will be coaching her there for sure! After that, we will wrap up with the Regional Championships in September at HITS, Jello will compete in the open show I hope, and I will be entered in the PSG Championship on Bon Orpheo, Ruth Andrea Levinson’s 2006 Lusitano gelding.
My long term goals include continuing to bring along all of the wonderful, talented horses and riders that are at my barn, it is something that I love to do every day! Each one has individual goals of course, but new for me will be continuing a horse’s development at the Grand Prix level with Delaware. I am excited to see how much better he can get!"
One of the leading breeders of Oldenburg horses in the USA, Maurine Swanson of Slatington, PA had two horses expertly shown by Cara Klothe at this event. The Shakespeare RSF four year old daughter Shtiletto, scored a whopping 77.4% in the USEF Four Year Old class. It was a beautiful and accurately ridden performance and though the youth of the horse was apparent, she was handled with kind hands and a soft seat in a forward manner throughout the test. A joy to watch. The pair scored very well at training level with many first place wins and scores up to 76.2%.
Cara also achieved excellent results Hot Tamale, a seven year old Hanoverian mare by Hotline at PSG, with first place in both FEI PSG 2015 (71.053%) and USEF Developing PSG (71.618%).
Harry Diel riding his Bernt L'Orange had some spectacular moments in their fourth level tests over the weekend. The 9-year-old Bretone Hanoverian gelding showed excellent self carriage and the professional training from Harry Diel was apparent. Harry Diel, a German Bereiter and German citizen, showcased the gelding to scores of 68.333% winning first place at fourth level T2 on Sunday and building his scores steadily at the event as the horse settled.
In the FEI Young Rider division Guilia Cohen rode her 13-year-old Danish warmblood, Lasserre, with a quietness and an excellent seat to achieve 67.895% in the Individual and 66.053% in the PSG Team 2015. Her riding skills are exemplary and the fluidity of her tests were a joy to behold. It is always a pleasure to see the Young Riders excel and progress.
Dressage at Stockade was wonderful outing for the four year old Lusitano WF Gianni, bred and owned by Lauri Burnley and ridden by Dr. Tracy Durham; this gelding, sired by Marjan de Destinado, placed first at training level T 2 with 64.231% on Friday, going on through the weekend to attain 68.8% and 70%.
"WF Gianni was showing under saddle for the first time earning good scores with very nice comments from the judges. Came away from the show with confirmation that we are on the right track with our breeding and training program. Looking forward to showing more of our young stock at this venue in the future!" said a proud Lauri Burnley.
Lauri Burnley's Lusitano breeding program at her farm, Wildwood, in Port Crane, NY produces some beautiful Lusitano foals and regular clinicians at her farm include Carol Lavell and sporthorse handler, Phil Silva.
Dr. Tracy Durham also competed her own horse, the stallion Drake Interagro, a handsome eight year old bay, to good results at third level, with their highest score of 64.231% placing them first in Saturday's class.
Tracy enjoyed the weekend of showing and commented,
"Anita Jaffe and Stan Horton, owners of the Stockade Polo and Saddle Club, always put on a fabulous show. The grounds are lovely, and very horse friendly. This is why I chose Stockade to provide positive show experience for my Lusitanos. Wildwood Farm Equine Center LLCs 4-year-old gelding, WF Gianni (Marjan De Destinado x Uma), competed at Training Level earning good scores and top 3 placings in his first outing. My own Drake Interagro (Tufao x Questra) gained a lot of confidence and a blue ribbon at 3rd Level."
Also competing at Stockade, was Tom Noone of Abingdon, MA, riding three horses at the event: Forthright, a Fred Astair Oldenburg gelding showed great promise in the Four Year Old Test, achieving 77.8% on Friday and then improving over that great score on Saturday winning the Four Year Old class with 79%; Weis Guy, a Wolkentanz Hanoverian owned by Darrin Lawrence, performed with good gaits and an accurate test as you would expect from Tom Noone at the Grand Prix Freestyle (72.750% & 72.250%); and finally Fine Artist, a spectacular gray, also a Fred Astaire gelding owned by breeder Donna Winters was winner of first level T 3 on Friday (76.176%), and first level T 3 on Saturday (72.794%). No wonder Tom was smiling!
Tom Noone had great things to say about the Dressage at Stockade show,
"I would like to praise Stanley Horton and Anita Jaffe for doing such a great job running their horse shows! I have attended shows at Stockade for multiple years, and it is always one of my favorite places to compete. I find it to be one of the most friendly and accommodating shows on the NorthEast circuit!"
The next dressage at Stockade event is at the end of June, so be sure to check it out if you have not already visited. There are lots of nice restaurants in the neighborhood, like the Irish pub in Charlton, to make it a great day out. And if you are a competitor looking for a nicely run show with a peaceful yet professional atmosphere, you won't be disappointed in Dressage at Stockade.