March 27—Wellington, Fla.
It’s not very often that the horse you pick out as a yearling goes on to win in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center under your saddle. But Sarah Scheiring did just that when she piloted Eros SCF to the top of the $15,000 Adequan 6-year-old Classic today at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Sarah Scheiring took Eros SCF from
Scheiring showed Eros just three times this winter, aiming to peak the gelding for just this class, and her patience paid off when the Dutch Warmblood gelding (Balou du Rouet—Moriana, Coriano) topped the field of 54 to win over Lisa Goldman and Roc N Groovy.
Owner Lauren Gristwood was ringside to see Eros win, just as she was when she and Scheiring first watched him trot around a frozen roundpen at Carlos and Karin Jimenez’ Sporting Chance Farm. Back then, Gristwood was a working student for Scheiring, and she’d just sold a project horse and was in the market for a new one. She’d always gotten a kick out of young horses, but she’d never had anything just 1 year old.
“You wouldn’t believe how many people told Lauren what a bad decision it was,” said Scheiring. “Every single person said, ‘Why would you do that? That’s so dumb!’ But she believed in me.”
Scheiring and Gristwood were impressed as soon as they saw him walk, and when he trotted over a pole they fell in love. But the kicker came when they brought him back in the barn, and a dog came running down the aisle and whizzed between Eros’ legs, and the yearling didn’t move.
Gristwood broke Eros herself (her first ride was bareback in a field) and put the first few years of work on him. Then she handed the reins over to Scheiring, the only other person who’s ever ridden him. Gristwood, who’s now based in Virginia, spends some of her time on the circuit grooming, so while she’s been in Florida caring for Ben Asselin’s mounts she’s been able to watch her horse compete and hop aboard herself from time to time.
“He’s such a fun horse to be on,” she said. “You can just get on him and loop the reins and go for a trail ride.”
Eros showed selectively last year and this year, winning the first two rounds of the Young Jumper Championship—East (N.Y.) as a 5-year-old. Scheiring’s focused on instructive rather than competitive trips, but for the jump-off in the final class in Wellington she took advantage of her horse’s turning ability to find the tightest track in the jump-off to win today’s class.
“He’s perfect,” said Scheiring, who rides professionally with Jamie Maillet of the Chester Riding Club in Chester, N.J. “He never lets me down.”
Eros SCF got his start at Carlos and Karin
Karin’s been just as excited with the horse’s success, but she’s not surprised he’s done so well. That horse’s dam, whom showed in the United States under the name Madison Avenue, shone in the jumper and hunter rings, and has thrown lovely foals since she got her.
“Our horses live out in a field and get to live in a herd when we’re not working with them,” said Karin. “When they’re yearlings we take them to a friend’s indoor to free jump a little. When Eros went we just said, ‘Oh my god!’ When Sarah called looking for a young one I knew this one would be great.
“He’s been unbelievably consistent,” continued Karin. “I’ve been talking to Sarah almost every day before and after. This is her horse for the future. They’ve built such a great partnership.”
Karin is so impressed with Eros that she’s bred Moriana back to Balou du Rouet, and Scheiring has already bought half ownership of that coming sibling.