Walk The Line Is The Energizer Bunny At The National

Oct 31, 2019 - 10:19 AM

Lexington, Ky.—Oct. 31

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think Walk The Line was just starting his career. Though the Selle Luxembourg is now 20 years old, nobody told him that.

“He’s like the ever-ready bunny,” Lynn Seithel said. “I rode him three times yesterday before [our classes], and he was a little up today, not quite as relaxed as normal because we only did him once today.”

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Lynn Seithel couldn’t stop smiling after winning the grand 3’3″ amateur-owner championship with Walk The Line. Kimberly Loushin Photo

The handsome bay has had a long, successful career, winning plenty of championships with Meg O’Mara and Lillie Keenan in the junior divisions before Seithel purchased him. While she’s picked up her fair share of tricolors, including reserve at the National Horse Show the past two years, the championship has eluded her. But this year, she kept it together on the second day (she admitted that nerves often get the best of her on the second day) to take home the 3’3″ amateur-owner, 36 and over, championship and the grand 3’3″ amateur-owner title.

“This is amazing. It’s a dream come true,” she said.

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Lynn Seithel won the 3’3″ amateur-owner, 36 and over, division with Walk The Line.

Since Walk The Line is older, Seithel doesn’t know what’s in store for him next, but she knows he’ll always have a special place at her farm.

“We’re going to do whatever he tells us he wants to do,” she said. “He certainly doesn’t owe me a thing, so I’d like to come back next year, but we’ll see. Maybe if we were champion here we might retire him, but we’ll let him tell us because I don’t think he likes sitting at home.”

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Ellen Toon was reserve in the 3’3″ amateur-owner, 36 and over, division on Gabriel.

Danhakl’s Wonder Twins Do It Again

There was some serious competition in the 3’3″ amateur-owner, 18-35, division. But no matter which horse came up on top, Quest or Enough Said, Stephanie Danhakl was going to be pleased.

It came down to the final class, with only two points separating the geldings, but ultimately Quest finished ahead, and the announcer joked that the championship could be renamed after her as both geldings accepted a tricolor ribbon.

“I haven’t been feeling well; I think I have a fever actually, so I was just trying to keep it together today, and my horses really made it easy for me,” said Danhakl. “Some of the rounds this week I think are some of the best rounds I’ve ever had on them. It’s really nice to see horses that are 12 and 13 who have been doing it with me for six years to still be excited and jump well and fresh and also at the end of a long indoor season. So it’s really a testament to my trainers [Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley] and their program that these horses are still going strong after six years and after such a long indoor circuit.”

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Stephanie Danhakl won the 3’3″ amateur-owner, 18-35, championship with Quest.

Danhakl purchased both horses on the same day six years ago. She’d recently returned to riding after taking six years off following her junior days to go to college and establish herself in the art world, but she felt the pull to return to horses.

“I tried both of them, and I couldn’t decide which one I liked more, and thankfully I was able to get both, and it’s been great with them ever since,” she said. “They’ve both been incredible horses for me year after year, and I’ve really developed a bond with each of them. Enough Said is definitely a little bit of an easier ride for me, because he’s a little bit mellower than Quest. Quest can get a little bit excited sometimes, but they’re both just so brave and so solid, and I never have to worry about a spook or a swap. They just really know their job and love their job and do it very proficiently.”

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Stephanie Danhakl rode her other mount Enough Said to the reserve spot.

Don’t miss all the Chronicle’s online coverage, with behind-the-scenes stories, lovely photos and more! Follow the Chronicle on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse and check out the Nov. 18 issue of the magazine full analysis of the competition.

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