The third dressage show of the season at World Equestrian Center – Ocala on February 25-27, 2022, featured an action-packed schedule at all levels, from USEF Training Level up to Grand Prix. Ocala-based Tyra Vernon of Big Rock Equestrian Center worked hard at the Dressage XIII show, which was sponsored by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage, riding six grand prix level tests in the space of two days.
The USDF Gold medal rider picked up four wins, a second and a fourth place with her three unconventional horses, Ruben, Hadrian Interagro and Hawk Interagro. Ruben, a 17-year-old Friesian stallion, was unbeaten in his two starts, logging a top score of 73.125% in the freestyle.
Freestyle to Pink
“I always love riding the freestyle with the Friesian because he’s so dynamic and different,” said Vernon, who came across the horse when he came in for training and ended up buying him for herself and training him to CDI grand prix. “We have really cool music which everyone loves — it’s Pink — and even if the judges don’t love it, the crowd goes wild.
“It’s fun with a horse like a Friesian that you don’t necessarily expect to see in the grand prix ring, and I’ve brought many of them up the FEI levels. I like their temperament and trainability, as well as their looks. I like something a little different; there are a thousand bay warmbloods going around the ring. I suppose technically they’re not dressage horses, so they have their weaknesses, but over the years I’ve figured out how to make it work and it’s exciting.”
“These other breeds can have their shortcomings, but what it really boils down to is the quality of the training,” continued Vernon. “If you can make all the small pieces work, you get points for that. You may lose points in the walk compared to a warmblood, but if you can hit all the markers and get all the details right, you’ll be just fine. It’s great fun.”
Source : worldequestriancenter.com