Friday, Jun. 14, 2024

Leibler Will Compete At FEI Young Rider Dressage World Cup

Isabelle Leibler, winner of young rider individual and freestyle gold at this year’s Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, will represent the United States at the FEI Young Rider Dressage World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, on Dec. 14-18.

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Isabelle Leibler, winner of young rider individual and freestyle gold at this year’s Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, will represent the United States at the FEI Young Rider Dressage World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, on Dec. 14-18. Leibler, 16, and her Watson 108, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding (Weinzauber—Djuna, Damenstolz), qualified by scoring the highest overall freestyle average, a 72.89 percent. 

“I didn’t expect this for sure,” said Leibler. “Honestly, it was just unreal. Being that it’s my first year [at the Young Rider level], I thought maybe this was something I’d have to really work at for years and years. To be able to come out and have the summer Watson gave me, and to qualify for this, is just unreal. I’m so excited to go over and compete.”

Watson 108 and Leibler, Greenwich, Conn., started showing together about a year ago. On top of their successes at NAJYRC, the pair also won the Young Rider Championship at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival Of Champions (N.J.) in September. Leibler rides with Marcel Van Der Burgh and takes occasional lessons from Lendon Gray and Robert Dover.

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“We’re mostly just focusing on refining the success we had this summer,” said Leibler of her preparation for the Young Rider World Cup. “We’re working on polishing the tests, making them really smooth, making sure the rhythm is really constant and technically sound. We try not to change anything too much because Watson likes to stay in a really steady environment. 

“I’m really grateful to all the professionals who have helped me, and to my family. They stood behind me and supported me. They really are the backbone of everything I do, and I’m so lucky to have them,” she added.  

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