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August 5, 2013

Harding Makes Tough Decision To Sell Come On III

Shawna Harding and Come On III qualified for the national Grand Prix championships three times in their 10-year career together. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Shawna Harding has put her longtime Grand Prix dressage partner Come On III on the market.

Harding, Aiken, S.C., cited health reasons for the sale. She’s been battling chronic Lyme disease, which worsened last year following her appearance with Come On at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final (the Netherlands). “Basically I was just exhausted and sick all the time,” she said.

Harding went to seven doctors before finally learning last fall that she’d been suffering from exhaustion and chronic fatigue because of adrenal failure from Lyme, along with complications from other infections. She was also diagnosed with malaria, which she believes she contracted while visiting a friend in Italy.

“I’ve been thinking about [selling him] for the past year,” said Harding, 43. “I would love for somebody who wants to ride with me to take over the controls so that he stays in my care, but I know that’s not possible. It’s selfish to think that somebody can’t love him as much as I do, so it’s with a heavy heart, that’s for sure.”

She’s been partnered with the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Come Back II—Canna, Lantaan) for 10 years. “He’d make a great partner for anybody,” she said. “There’s nothing weird about him. He’s been all over the world. He’s still super fit. He loves to work; he loves to hack.”

Harding and Come On represented the United States at the World Cup Finals in 2011 and 2012. They contested the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Grand Prix Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The pair won the Grand Prix for the Special and the Special at Dressage At Devon (Pa.) in 2010.

While Harding couldn’t pick a favorite memory of their time together, she's proud to have brought along the gelding from a young horse to the Grand Prix. “To make your own Grand Prix horse and to compete it and actually have success, he’s been with me for most of his life,” she said. “Just being around him everyday, he’s such a wonderful, kind horse. It’s a really tough decision.”

She plans to continue riding her small tour horse Rigo, as well as clients’ horses as she recovers. “It’s by sheer will,” Harding said. “I have good days and bad days. It’s much better than it was.”

 
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