Wellington, Florida—March 28
Before Kasey Perry-Glass entered the ring for Wednesday’s Grand Prix CDI*** during Week 12 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, she hadn’t come down centerline aboard her Olympic mount Goerklintgaards Dublet in eight months. Since July of 2017, the horse who helped the U.S. team take bronze at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro has been noticeably absent from the big Grand Prix classes.
“He just needed some time to be a horse,” Perry-Glass said. “After [the CHIO Aachen in Germany] his body just didn’t feel right to me, and we felt like we needed to let his body heal. Not that there was a specific injury, he’s just been going at this high level for the last three years, and I think he was just telling us that he needed a break, and it’s so important that you listen to your horse.”
Perry-Glass listened and brought the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood back to the United States for some rest and relaxation at her farms in Hailey, Idaho, and Wellington, Florida.
“We were able to turn out and just let him chill,” Perry-Glass said. “I would get on him every so often to trail ride, but he just hung out and really soaked it up.”
The long break served “Dublet” well—he came out guns blazing with Perry-Glass in their first class back, scoring a 73.21 percent to win the Grand Prix CDI***.
“We’ve been itching for it,” Perry-Glass said with a laugh. “We’re really figuring out that his mindset is a big part. The more fresh he is the better he is, and it’s so important to keep these horses physically and mentally healthy.”
Almost 2 percent separated Perry-Glass from the next competitor, Arlene “Tuny” Page on Woodstock (71.43%), but she thinks Dublet has even more in the tank.
“I was actually more prepared for this show than I have been in a long time, and it shows in the scores,” Perry-Glass said. “Now we can go back and really fine tune his work and figure out how we can bring that brilliance out even more, because there is more in there.”
The FEI World Equestrian Games are approaching in September, and had Perry-Glass and Dublet not taken an eight-month break from the show ring, they would presumably be high on the list of potential combinations to represent the United States in Tryon, North Carolina.
“It’s always good to have those big goals, and I obviously really want to be a part of that,” Perry-Glass said. “I’m signing up for [the spring CDI at] Tryon and will do that show, and we’ll see how it goes. If I can get a waiver to be on the European selection team I would obviously love to go, but that all depends on the committee and if they’re willing to have me.”