Lexington, Ky.—Nov. 7
Heather Mason has known RTF Lincoln since he was a foal, and their partnership has grown as the Oldenburg-Holsteiner has moved up the levels.
From backing him to making it to Grand Prix, Mason’s been there the whole way, either in the saddle or watching his previous owner compete him.
Mason and “Lincoln’s” partnership shined today at the U.S. Dressage Finals where they topped the open Intermediaire II championship with a 72.15 percent.
“He was fantastic today, very rideable,” said Mason, Lebanon, New Jersey. “I made a couple of little glitches, which were my fault because he was more rideable than he normally is. He’s usually very hot, and he actually let me use my leg today, which was nice. He almost halted into the second canter pirouette, which was unfortunate, but he really was very good.”
Mason rode the 14-year-old gelding of unrecorded breeding in a snaffle, which she said he prefers.
“He has always been very light in the hand, and I’ve been encouraging more contact,” she said. “As a third level horse I showed him in a double bridle because we were prepping for the FEI competitions when doubles were required, but now they’re not, so he’s back in a snaffle, and he goes well in it.”
Bred by Cornell University (New York), Mason bought Lincoln as a foal, then eventually sold him to Meredith Whaley, who showed him under Mason’s guidance until she needed double hip surgery three years ago. She knew she wouldn’t ride him again because he can be a bit tricky, so she gave him to Mason.
“He broke out incredibly quiet, then after I sold him and he had some time off he turned into a very hot horse, which was a little bit tricky,” said Mason. “Meredith was a client of mine. I did a lot of the initial showing with him, then she had just started showing him his third level year, and she was doing quite well with him. Then he got hurt and was out two seasons, then she needed the hip surgery. Unfortunately just as it was starting to work it fell apart.” Mason took over when he was ready for fourth level.
Mason has bought several foals from Cornell’s program, including her Grand Prix horse Czar.
Alice Tarjan defended her adult amateur Intermediaire II championship title aboard the flashy Candescent, a 9-year-old Hanoverian mare (Christ—Farina), scoring a 73.82 percent, well ahead of reserve champions Jennifer Huber and Madame Noir (66.27 percent).
This was the mare’s second year at the level, so she came out much more seasoned. Tarjan’s been competing her in developing Grand Prix classes, but still feels she needs a bit more confirmation in her piaffe and passage work before moving on to the full Grand Prix.
“I’m not so worried anymore about trying to get the movements done on her [in the Intermediaire II],” said Tarjan, Oldwick, New Jersey. “It’s been a little bit more consistent, so we’re trying to work on the consistency and the harmony. This sport is really difficult, so it’s always a work in progress.
“I used to have to rely a lot on trying to get her hot with a little bit of positive tension to be able to get everything done, but now the horse knows the movements better, so I’m able to back off and try to ride it much quieter and trust the training that it’s there and that she understands what I’m asking for,” she added.
We‘re on site at the Kentucky Horse Park for the U.S. Dressage Finals! Check back at coth.com all weekend for more news and stories. If you’re at the show with a cool story, let us know by emailing Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look out for the Dec. 2 print edition of the Chronicle for more from the show.