|Breaking News-Lingh Foal Wins Big at Dressage at Devon
Dressage at Devon, the most prestigious dressage and sport horse breeding shows in North America, has been a great show for Lingh, even though he’s in the Netherlands. His son Landmark VT won the large ISR/Oldenburg NA Two Years and Under class in September. The handsome colt also finished fifth in the Great American/USDF Breeders’ Championship. Lingh’s offspring impressed the judges enough for Lingh to earn fifth place in the Get of Sire class, a notoriously competitive class that judges a small group of offspring by one sire.
|Memories & Reflections
It’s not all work in Europe. Here’s Karin discovering new places–Innsbruck, Austria.
MEMORIES and REFLECTIONS in Holland
By Karin Reid Offield
Making the decision to come to Europe with Lingh was a tough choice for many reasons. I had a life goal to reach the Olympics. I spent the last four years on the path to Hong Kong, even eliminating my first love of skiing in order to be “careful” not to be injured. Now that I did not make the team I am able to look back on the years and I can absolutely say, it was a great journey – a lifetime event and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to have tried. That’s the point and that is my success. Thank you everyone for helping.
I watched the Olympics with Courtney King’s mom at home in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Courtney was on the team and we rode along side her every step – and we were so proud of our team. Steffin Peters was fourth individually. My first dressage lessons were with Steffen at a clinic at Bay Harbor years earlier. Courtney came to BreknRidge Farm and gave me a lesson and Debbie McDonald was at El Rojo Grande Ranch in Sedona helping me as well.
The horse business is a wonderful world to live in and now this journey is taking place across the pond!
While I’m in the Netherlands to ride, it’s important not to miss out on all the experiences that Europe has to offer. Here are a few observations I’ve made since I arrived in May.
I’m in farm country and there is always big farm machinery coming down the roads. It’s definitely interesting to be in a rural environment that is so industrious. The machines look like Edward Scissorhands!
Surely you’ve heard that Europeans are much less likely than Americans to drive everywhere. A perfect example: My neighbor threw a sweet-sixteen party for her daughter and there were at least a hundred bicycles on the driveway next door.
While buying local food is the rage back home, here in Europe they never lost this way of life. You can buy all sorts of produce from the farmer’s wife right from her kitchen. The white asparagus has been amazing!
I began my travels in Europe by keeping a riding journal. Here are a few entries:
Karin & Lingh
My ride on Lingh started out really free today. The forward button is several mph faster than when I arrived and I can feel Lingh’s back legs powering under him. The canter is easier, but I do not let him “get long” as I found myself allowing him to do this winter. Yesterday I worked on moving forward in the canter, then giving a slightly loose rein. Then, when I brought my hands and reins toward my body, Lingh collected, meaning he shortened his stride and his body, an amazing feeling. I repeated it asking him forward again with my seat and no leg. I did this exercise quite a few times but without increasing my leg pressure, at any time. My engine was going and he didn’t need any extra leg.
When it came time to practice my pirouettes down the centerline I was able to use this “collection of energy” to move Lingh forward and back as I needed in the exercise. This movement is getting better and better. It’s an incredible feeling of motion underneath you – balanced and ready to respond.
Watching the videos of my rides is often disconcerting. What feels right and better than the day before sometimes doesn’t look right to me. I watch it over and over again. Watching the videos helps me see what my instructor sees. And it makes me feel I can certainly do better. That’s the humility of riding. I am always searching for that perfect ride. Of course, Lingh was perfect. He makes it feel easier than it is. After my rides, I spent an hour in yoga and that’s always great for the mind.
One of the best ways to improve any athletic endeavor is to watch others that do it better and emulate them. I used to do that a lot when I was riding western. There were so many “secrets” that I hadn’t a clue about, and I wanted to understand what the truly great riders were doing. So, I followed them around the arena and on trail rides. What did I have to lose? I stayed far enough behind, kicked when they kicked, pulled my reins when they did, bent in the same directions and did the same movements. Guess what happened? It was a flowing, amazing riding experience. No more stops and starts, just riding– asking the horse to get loose, bend more and keep up the paces. What happens when you ride on your own? You must not get lost out there. Make a plan. Do not stop and start, stop and start. Ride!
I unlocked several secrets of my own today. When I watched my last video I saw that my legs were too far back on Lingh’s barrel. Not today. Today I made sure my legs stayed quietly right near the girth, my leg and heels off the horse. I used my legs ONLY when I needed him to go forward. So, when I used my leg, he really reacted. The reflections in the mirrors as I ride past are now correct. I liked what I saw, and Lingh, I think, enjoyed the ride, too.
Here in the Netherlands I have ample opportunity to watch and learn. With Anky van Grunsven at the helm, I not only have the chance to watch her but to watch her other students who are also grand prix riders. Anky has won three Olympic gold medals numerous World Cup Finals and dozens of Dutch and European Championship medals. Three Olympic Gold Medals!!! Imagine!
After three days of working on a new technique (sitting a bit back in the saddle), I was able to use this new position quite effectively when I practiced one half of the grand prix test today on Lingh.
It was definitely a conservative effort but still correct. What was obvious on the video? Suddenly at the end of the arena at the letter “A,” I changed the position of my upper body and leaned forward. I tried to figure out why this occurred in that exact place. I think it was because when I had finished the corner and started toward the next corner, I felt Lingh was behind my leg. Therefore, I would increase my leg pressure back on his barrel, which caused me to tip forward. The result? Nothing great. Not only did this leg pressure not work, Lingh was still behind my leg as I got into the corner and the next movement could not begin immediately. I went back and fixed the position problem, kept my leg more forward and the redo was satisfactory. Position, position.
I had another interesting experience today. I collected my reins and Lingh was quite contained in energy when a couple of motorcyclists zoomed behind the arena on a ditch trail. The noise was so intense Lingh thought we were being attacked by something. He jumped far forward, but because my reins were plenty short it was a really magical moment of the power of a horse. He’s an amazing athlete and boy was he awesome today.
An Unexpected Turn of Events
As in anything, the training and competing of a horse can take unexpected turns. After many fabulous rides with Lingh, he wasn’t feeling quite right. Since he is my pride and joy, we quickly had the situation assessed and decided that for Lingh’s long term health and happiness, we would take a break. While this has been very hard news to deal with, I’ve tried to make the best of it. And as mentioned above, one can learn so much simply by observing great riders. So I’ve been absorbing the nuances of great riding both at Anky’s barn and at horse shows in the area. I attended Rotterdam CDIO, Gelderland CDI, Aachen CDIO, the Dressage Cup that is held in Wattens, Austria every year, and many amazing equestrian events including the recent CDI held in Flyinge, Sweden’s State Stud, established in 1661! It’s been an amazing summer.
It’s fall now in Holland and living here is fantastic. Lingh and I are back in work, getting stronger everyday. He had a good rest and the riding schedule is simple, lots of trotting, stretching, like going to the gym. Eliseo, Lingh’s groom went back home to Mexico so I am caring for him all day long and we are really getting to know one another. It’s been very rewarding and an honor to be able to care for and ride such a magnificient animal.
Stay tuned for an update and thanks for your support!
Just a few treats for Lingh.
Pageantry is part of every horse show in Europe.
A spectacular day in Austria. The Swarovski Memorial Dressage Show at Schindlhof, Fritzens/Tirol in Austria.
|Lingh Foal Brings Home Big Scores
Karin Offield’s international partner, Lingh, is having a banner year.
Lingh’s son, Landmark VT (Lingh from Odette II by Jorn x Faram x Flamingo), made history for Virginia Tech University in the Lexington Breed Show in July. Winning both of his classes by large margins, Landmark VT also claimed the Reserve Champion Colt and Reserve Champion Young Horse titles.
Offield couldn’t be happier to hear the news. “This has made my day,” she said. “Now I’m eagerly waiting to see nice Lingh foals throughout the Netherlands!
Landmark VT was bred at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia under the guidance of Equine Science Assistant Professor, Dr. Rebecca Splan. Offield donated Lingh’s frozen semen to the Virginia Tech Breeding Program in 2007. Their program offers Equine Science students hands-on experience in all aspects of breeding and raising sport horses. It’s promising and rewarding for Virginia Tech and its students who prepared and presented this mare, Odette, and her foal, Landmark VT, to reach such heights in their first show.
With an incredible 85.6 percent in the Colts of 2008 Class, Landmark VT earned the highest score given that day for any presentation from more than 70 horses. Horses receive several scores on a scale from 0-10, with any score above 8 considered extraordinary.
Judge Lilo Fore awarded Landmark VT scores of 8.8 for conformation, walk, and general impression. Scores/Comments included: Conformation 8.8 (elegant neck and head, well angled shoulder, nice loose elbow, good hip), Walk 8.8 (covers ground/swinging in back/straight footfall), Trot 8.0 (shows elasticity, shows swing in back, carries himself nicely uphill) and General impression 8.8 (elegant nice expression, lovely type).
Landmark’s dam, Odet II, also had an impressive showing in Lexington, winning her Broodmare Class under judge Kristi Wysocki and earning Champion Mare and Reserve Champion Mature Horse titles. After naming Odette II the Champion Mare, Wysocki noted, “It says a lot when the foal is even nicer than the mother. I’m very impressed.”
Of course, Landmark VT isn’t the only Lingh offspring. A new crop of foals has hit the ground both in North America and in Europe. “We’re really excited about these babies,” Offield said. “We’re setting up Lingh’swebsite to capture as many photos and stories as possible.”
You can check out Lingh’s site at www.lingh.nl for all the latest news and photos. It’s in English and Dutch.
Tiamo Trocadero Updates
Karin’s first Olympic schoolmaster Tiamo Trocadero has a new home. Ken Borden, a well-known sport horse breeder, has acquired Tiamo and his son Tiamo’s Royal Reid. Borden, who has received many USEF top breeder awards, will continue Tiamo’s breeding career and guide Royal Reid’s ascent as a stallion prospect.
“Tiamo is a very special horse for me,” Karin says. “He brought me up the FEI ranks and together we earned many championships. I am so grateful to him for everything that he taught me. I am thrilled that Ken has taken the reins for both Tiamo and his gorgeous young son.”
Karin & Tiamo Trocadero
Photo Credit: Teri Miller
Meet Tiamo’s Royal Reid
Karin’s love of Tiamo prompted her to seek out a mare last year for breeding. Fortunately, she was able to secure a fabulous German mare, Danina, as the ideal match with Tiamo.
On June 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm, St.Pr.St. Danina gave birth to a beautiful colt. The handsome chestnut colt is considered a stallion prospect, meaning that he’s has the quality and disposition that make him worthy to pass on his genes. As he matures, he will continue to be evaluated to determine if he will become a licensed stallion, which is no easy task.
“He’s a very similar type as Tiamo,” Karin says. “He’s also has fabulous, flashy white markings just like his dad.”
As a tribute to her father Roy Reid, the new colt is called Tiamo’s Royal Reid. Karin explains, “I always told my dad I’d name a horse after him and here he is! He’s a friendly, smart guy-just like dad!”
Tiamo’s Royal Reid not only has inherited good genes from his sire but also his dam. Danina, who earned high scores at her inspection and mare performance test, has been awarded the prestigious St. Pr. Sr. in front of her name. This designates her as a States Premium mare-top quality Danina earned high scores in her Mare Performance Test as a three-year-old.
She is an exquisite daughter of Davignon. Her mother is St. Pr. St. Wenke by Werther. Werther was the first winner of the Hanoverian Stallion of the Year Award, and consistently remains in the top ranks of the FN Breeding Index as a sire of competition horses for all disciplines.
Royal Reid was presented at the American Hanoverian Society inspection in July, where he impressed the judges with his “harmonious movements” and his “good reach at the trot”. Just this fall, Ken Borden, who has won numerous breeder of the year awards, acquired Royal Reid.
|Trenton is Sold
Tiamo’s first son, Trenton, a five-year-old, also has a new home. Only days after the article in our last newsletter, Trenton was sold to a family that lives in Southampton. This is the same farm where Olympian Robert Dover trained Karin and Tiamo three summers ago.
“Of course I’m very sad to see him go,” Karin says. “But it’s the most beautiful farm, Two Trees Farm. Any horse would be proud to live there.”We received this lovely letter from his new owners in August:Trenton is lovingly owned by Lois Bass and Janet Fletcher, identical twins who share a lot. The girls have been riding together for 31 years! Trenton resides at Two Trees Farm in Bridgehampton, NY, a most magnificent place. Trenton is well taken care of by his groom, Luis. Luis grooms, tacks and turns-out Trenton two times a day in a large, grass-lush paddock. Luis secretly adores him. He is never too harsh and only mildly reprimands his youngster behavior. Trenton is always turned-out beautifully; he has amazing views of the polo fields, the polo games, and the horses being trained. And he has all the grazing he could wish for.
Usually mid-morning, either Janet or Lois shows up for a half hour training session and then a lovely sojourn around the farm. Trenton is quite brave for his young years and light experience. He leads the way and seems unfazed by the polo ponies, the flags waving, the tents and scoreboard, or the water sprinklers suddenly going off. He is the perfect trail horse for two experienced (could be read as “older”) women.
Early on, Trenton had mounting block “issues.” After two sessions with a wonderful horseman, Trenton now stands at the mounting block like a gentleman–for mounting as well as dismounting. He also loves to play the game of “pick up the crop.” Upon dismounting, I toss my crop on the ground. While I loosen his girth and massage his eyes, Trenton picks up the crop from the ground and carries it back into the barn for me. He’s so cute! We visit him often in his stall between rides. He has begun to love the company.
Trenton has progressed quite nicely in his training. At first, he was afraid to walk down the hills. He was not exactly sure about falling on his face. He now walks beautifully, keeping the weight on his hind end. He has advanced from uneven and unbalanced gaits to quiet, even trotting and cantering. He loves practicing his rail exercises and he has begun to canter over small fences at a slow, even pace. He is the smartest horse we have ever worked with (and there have been many)! He aims to please “the girls.”
We love him!!!
Lois & Janet
Trenton & Lois