Monday, May. 27, 2024

Komo Comes Back For CDS And Great American/USDF Region 7 Championships

This time owner Kathy Pavlich takes the reins for the titles.

Kathy Pavlich has owned Komo for 12 years, but she’d always been on the sidelines while he competed with Carol Plough and Charlotte Bredahl-Baker.

But this year he returned to the California Dressage Society and Great American/USDF Region 7 championships, Oct. 1-4 in Rancho Murieta, Calif., to win both Grand Prix championships, with scores of 66 percent and with Pavlich aboard.

“I had such a blast!” said Pavlich with a laugh. “I must admit it was perfect. I won all of my classes.”

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This time owner Kathy Pavlich takes the reins for the titles.

Kathy Pavlich has owned Komo for 12 years, but she’d always been on the sidelines while he competed with Carol Plough and Charlotte Bredahl-Baker.

But this year he returned to the California Dressage Society and Great American/USDF Region 7 championships, Oct. 1-4 in Rancho Murieta, Calif., to win both Grand Prix championships, with scores of 66 percent and with Pavlich aboard.

“I had such a blast!” said Pavlich with a laugh. “I must admit it was perfect. I won all of my classes.”

Pavlich took over the reins of the flashy chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding 11⁄2 years ago.

“I was so proud of Komo,” said Pavlich, who purchased him in the Netherlands when he was 5. “He got better every day.”

Komo (Ramiro—Bienfait) was recuperating from an injury when he returned to Pavlich’s barn in Highland, Calif. He had some adhesions that needed to be broken loose, and the veterinarians advised walking him at least an hour a day. He’s been back in full training for a year now.

“He’s 17 going on 7,” said Pavlich, laughing. “Every time you get him out you can count on having a good time. Every single time! It’s never boring, and it’s never life threatening. It is just always fun. Even though he’s at the same arena day after day, every day is a new adventure to him. We think that he has a terrific sense of humor. He doesn’t allow himself to be bored. He can still buck, he can still spook at everything. He’s just an amazing horse. He absolutely loves his work. He wants to come out of his stall, and he loves to go to work.”

Pavlich and her husband Tom purchased Komo for Carol Plough to ride. After Plough’s death in 2005, Pavlich sent Komo to Charlotte Bredahl-Baker.

“He loves knowing the Grand Prix movements, and he loves knowing the test,” said Pavlich. “You can practice the test beforehand just to give him confidence as to what you’re going to ask, but he doesn’t anticipate. It’s totally cool.”

Pavlich has been training with Bert Rutten, who travels to her barn every three months, for 20 years. In between Rutten’s clinics, Pavlich has Judy Harvey of Great Britain for clinics. Harvey is also a student of Rutten’s, and they have the same training philosophy.

Pavlich is planning to show Komo in the CDIs next season.

“I’m looking forward to just putting one foot after the other and just seeing where it takes me,” Pavlich said. “As long as Komo’s happy in doing this job, I just don’t see any barriers at all. I’m just going to keep on going. When he’s happy, I’m happy.”

In Love With Tristan

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Anne Seemann continued her winning ways with her Dutch Warmblood gelding Tristan by winning the CDS fourth level (68.07%) and Prix St. Georges adult amateur championships (69.34%). She also won the Region 7 fourth level adult amateur championship and placed a close second in the Region 7 adult amateur Prix St. Georges.

She is currently first in the U.S. Dressage Federation national standings for adult amateurs at fourth level and second at Prix St. Georges.

Seemann purchased Tristan (Burggraaf—Gastrona, Kaiserstern) in the Netherlands in February of 2008. He is one half Holsteiner, one quarter Hanoverian, and one quarter Thoroughbred. He knew his changes and half pass, but everything was “kind of rough around the edges.”

“Since he’s so big—almost 18 hands—he’s a little bit of a late bloomer,” explained Seemann. “He didn’t have that many muscles on him so we went back to basics. We made him as correct as we could.”

Her trainer Elizabeth Hendrix, also of Livermore, Calif., showed Tristan once last year. This year Seemann showed him enough to qualify for the championships and the USDF national awards.

“He has a really super temperament,” said Seemann. “I trailer to the local parks and take him trail riding. We do creeks and turkeys and deer. He’s really a good boy on the trails. It’s nice to have a little bit of a versatile approach to things; it’s not just pure dressage work. The trail riding is something else for his mind as well.”

Seemann was initially hesitant to get such a big horse. “But he doesn’t ride like such a big horse,” she said. “He’s just nice and pleasant, and he really tries to figure out what I want. He’s very eager to work, and he tries to please. I really like that character.”

Tristan still has a fairly forward button, said Seemann. “You can ride him fairly quiet, but you can also get him really hot off your leg too,” she said. “That is really nice, especially when we have this long show. The last test on Sunday—his sixth of the show—he was still going for me.”

Seemann is planning to move Tristan up to Intermediaire I and do a freestyle next year. She’s also working him in hand to improve his piaffe and passage.

“I’ve never had a horse who has such a good work ethic and is so honest about it,” said Seemann. “I was very lucky to find him.”

Top Two

Sabine Schut-Kery dominated the Region 7 Prix St. Georges class, winning with the 10-year-old Holsteiner stallion Cacique (70.65%) and taking the reserve championship with Vasco (67.10%). Cacique also won the CDS Open Prix St. Georges class (70.65%).

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Schut-Kery has had Cacique in training for the past three years for owner Alice Womble of Texas.

 “Sometimes I have to deal with him trying to be a little spooky,” said Schut-Kery, of Thousand Oaks, Calif. “But he was really good and reliable here.”

In order to keep Cacique as focused at shows as possible, Schut-Kery discovered that it’s best to only show him twice at each show. 

“With Cacique I just have to find a way to keep him happy and on my side, so to speak, so twice is plenty,” she said.

She likes to give Cacique a break from the concentration needed in dressage and has one of the trainers at her barn ride him over fences. Cacique has jumper bloodlines (Cambridge—Kalanda II, Linaro) and can jump at grand prix heights. 

“He’s so talented for dressage,” said Schut-Kery. “He’s not a horse that you spend a lot of time on the movements. But I do have to spend so much time on the basics riding him in a snaffle. I’m constantly doing walk, trot, canter, getting him really honest to my hand so that I feel that I have a connection and he comes back to my hand. I’m getting him really on my seat and my hips so I can really ride a transition on my hips and get him uphill and light. The movements are no big deal for him.”

Vasco, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Weltmeyer, could have two more days of showing and with each day he’d get better. He’s been off work twice this year with minor injuries and needs more show mileage according to Schut-Kery.

“He gets really tense in the back at the shows,” she said. “But I really appreciate that he does all of the movements and that they’re not terrible. I just know that he could score in the 70s also, instead of the mid to high 60s.

“He doesn’t make mistakes, the movements just aren’t as supple, and he doesn’t move elastic enough,” she added. “He doesn’t have that nice uphill flow that he has at home.”

This was Schut-Kery’s second show season with Vasco, who is owned by Kathleen Kearney of Pennsylvania.

Schut-Kery is planning to show both horses at Intermediaire I and in Intermediaire freestyles next season.

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