From Endurance to Dressage
Not mine, at least not in the traditional sense, but I'll get to that in a day or two. First, I have to brag about my"new" trainer and HIS success. Last spring, I started training with Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage. It has been a year or two since Sean has been able to show. First, COVID caused shows to be cancelled and then he was in an awkward place with several of his horses - they weren't quite ready for the next level and going backwards didn't seem super productive. This weekend's show at Southern California Equestrian Center gave Sean the opportunity to finally show off his stuff.
On Saturday morning, Sean started off with Clooney at PSG. Clooney belongs to my friend, Valerie, owner of the Dressage Pony Store. Check out her site - she has more than just pony stuff, and she is always searching for European styles for both horse and rider. She carries a lot of things that you won't see at the big name retailers, but her pricing is just as competitive. Anyway, she owns Clooney, a Westphalen pony, and he is FANCY. While Valerie does show and ride Clooney herself, she is very interested in seeing Sean get this handsome fellow to the Grand Prix, and they are almost there.
For their Saturday ride, Sean and Clooney knocked it out of the park. Sean rode the most harmonious test possible, and Clooney was rock solid. They ended up with the Open High Point score with a very respectable 73.824%. Later that day, Sean rode Bella, a five year old Hanoverian mare that he has had in training for the past year. This was her first show ever, and she scored a 68% and change for her first test which was the high point for Ring 2.
Sunday's scores were just as fantastic, if not better. Sean rode Bella for a score in the 70s. Bella is for sale by the way. She's a sweet girl who is obviously talented and very willing. She would make a lovely partner for an amateur or open rider. Sean's success didn't end there though. He again rode Clooney at PSG and took home ANOTHER score in the 70s!
It was so much fun to support Sean and see him do so well. Of course, it also reaffirms that I made a good choice in trainer. Seeing him ride so successfully while using the same ideas that he is teaching me only confirms that he knows what he's doing. While Izzy and I weren't so successful in earning good scores, I came home feeling great about the show and am already looking forward to next year.
Congratulations, Sean, you deserve it!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: