Wellington, FL (April 24, 2014) – For 18 years, dressage rider and trainer John Zopatti and an Oldenburg called Fabio have been an unstoppable horse-and-rider team. This past weekend, they did it again—Zopatti and Fabio won the FEI Intermediate B Open GAIG/USDF Qualifying division of the Gold Coast Dressage Grand Finale 2 in Wellington, Florida. “We know each other’s good and bad points, and it’s fun to try to show off the good points,” Zopatti said of his long-time equine partner. The pair certainly showed off the “good points” in the I-2 at Gold Coast Dressage.
John Zopatti, who trains out of Blue Marlin Farms in Wellington, Florida, has had decades of experience training riders of all levels to excel at regional and national championships. For the last fourteen years, he has also taken time to travel to North Carolina to train top eventers such as Susan Beebee and Charlie Plumb for the dressage portion of eventing competitions. Although he takes training and competing seriously and has the show results to prove it, Zopatti’s enjoyment of dressage is apparent—when asked what the focus of his equestrian business is, he simply answers “Fun.”
At the recent Gold Coast Dressage Grand Finale 2 on April 13, Zopatti’s score of 66.786% earned him first place in the FEI Intermediate B Open GAIG/USDF Qualifying division. Zopatti was happy with his results, “I like showing at the Global Dressage showgrounds. It’s a fun atmosphere, super footing, the stabling is great, and best of all, it is close to home,” Zopatti commented.
Zopatti competed on Fabio, an 18-year-old Oldenburg owned by Kristy Truebenbach Lund who has spent his lifetime working with Zopatti. “We’ve trained him to Grand Prix together,” Zopatti said of himself and Truebenbach Lund. One of Zopatti and Fabio’s most recent accomplishments was placing 6th in the nation in the United States Dressage Finals in the musical freestyle division last year. Zopatti enjoys working with a single horse for so many years because, he says, “It’s just fun now that the training is all done. Now it’s just really keeping him fit so that he can keep doing all the Grand Prix movements. I think it’s a good exercise for his body to keep him supple.” He described his training with Fabio as “Not letting him get old. He doesn’t have any idea he’s 18.”
Zopatti keeps the same mindset while working with other horses and riders. He is currently training eventer Rachel Jurgens and her 18-year-old Thoroughbred Ziggy to compete in the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. “Eighteen is my lucky number; hopefully it’s going to be her lucky number too.” Zopatti jokes. No matter what the ages and experience levels are of the horses and riders Zopatti works with, he prepares them well for the show ring and to continue advancing in the competitive equestrian world.
To learn more about John Zopatti, visit www.johnzopatti.com or call 561-722-7555.