Wayne, Ill.—Aug. 19
Endel Ots and Sonnenberg Farm’s Dan and Gina Ruediger had two goals for Sonnenberg’s Everdance this season—qualify for the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, and win.
They’re well on their way to the second of those goals today, as Ots and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Johnson TN—Raindancer S, Zeoliet) topped the Intermediaire I (75.44%) after winning the Prix St. Georges yesterday.
“I was very happy with her,” said Ots, Wellington, Florida. “I was very excited to get out and get showing again, so I got on a little early and had a little too much warm-up, so not as powerful as I would have liked to be able to ride it, but like I said yesterday, you really just kind of pilot her around and point and shoot. She tries really hard for me. She pumps up when she’s in there. She always gets a little more energy, but manageable. She’s a very steady Eddie horse.”
Ots met the Ruedigers over the winter and was impressed with the young horses at their farm in Sherwood, Oregon.
“Dan and Gina contacted me. I’m not the best with emails; I’ll have a couple hundred in there. I spent an evening going through my emails and got a nice long email with a bunch of beautiful horses and responded. We started our communication,” Ots explained. “I was teaching a clinic in Colorado and said I could pop over there and take a look. They have a beautiful facility and just stunning horses, the best young horses I’ve seen bred in the U.S.—they rival the ones in Europe. All really great minds. They’re just really great people. I told them my goal would be the same thing—to qualify for the I1 championships and win. We kept doing some national shows until I felt like her and I really understood each other. We did a couple CDIs. It’s been wonderful.”
Ots is excited to ride his freestyle on Friday, which he describes as “Edward Gal-esque.”
“She’s a big powerful horse, and we wanted something with feeling,” he said.
Watch Ots’ test via USEF Network.
Kerrigan Gluch led the day in the “Brentina Cup” Under-25 championship aboard Hampton Green Farm’s homebred Vaquero HGF, a 13-year-old Andalusian stallion (Cuatrero IV—Encina HGF, Idilio II).
Gluch recently graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a business degree and works as an assistant trainer for Hampton Green Farm in Florida.
She’s had the ride on Vaquero HGF since 2015, and the pair has competed on the U-25 European team in the past.
“Today was one of the best rides I’ve ever had in the arena,” she said “I really focused on honesty, harmony throughout the whole test and just being as relaxed as I possibly could, and I think this test showed that. Honestly, I’m over the moon happy.”
Yesterday’s winner, Sara Hassler on Harmony’s Boitano, holds a slight edge over Gluch in the overall competition, and Brentina Cup riders will ride their freestyles on Friday to determine the champion.
Watch Gluch’s test via USEF Network.