The Dressage Foundation announced that Lehua Custer and F.J. Ramzes, owned by Wendy Sasser, have been awarded the 2019 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize in the amount of $25,000. Custer was selected because she displays the characteristics and qualities of being a talented, committed, qualified rider with plans to reach and excel at the international levels of dressage.
Custer, originally from Hawaii and now a resident of California, is a USDF Certified Instructor/Trainer and L program Graduate with distinction. She was Olympian Hilda Gurney’s assistant trainer for 10 years and currently operates Lehua Custer Dressage at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
F.J. Ramzes, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Juventus x Rampal) was bred by Cornell University (New York). Sasser purchased Ramzes as a yearling as her future competition horse. As Ramzes progressed successfully up the levels, Sasser officially turned the ride over to Custer for further development. Custer and Ramzes were named to the U.S. Equestrian Federations’s Dressage Development Program in 2018.
“I am honored to have been chosen to receive the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize,” said Custer. “I recently arrived in Wellington for a month of training with Debbie McDonald, which is going so great that I plan to use the grant money to continue working with Debbie. The goal at this point is to develop into a team that is solid enough to compete internationally. I am also grateful for the support from Ramzes owner, Wendy Sasser, as well as my clients at home who are extremely patient and understanding. Many thanks to everyone at The Dressage Foundation and Carol Lavell for believing in us!”