Part One : To be continued with more photos….
By Karin Reid Offield
If someone were to ask me who my favorite horse to ride was the answer after Lingh, of course, was Hexagon’s Louisville. He was my champion because I purchased him on the way up that incredibly steep ladder of dressage. During my dressage career that began in the early 90’s every horse I had access to I tried to ride as a dressage horse. I loved to train horses. A paint, a buckskin, an old roper, and then as I became more eager and “found my niche” I was lucky to find suitable dressage horses to ride up the levels to FEI.
Early on my golden moments of showing were at the Del Mar Show, Parker, Colorado, Lamplight in the Mid West and then onto Lexington in Kentucky. These “suitable” horses were my professors as I bumbled my way into and out of the walks, trots and canters. They taught me leg yields, and pirouettes; they taught me mediums and halts and they taught me what to do when the bucking and taking off subsided while still in front of the judges. I was lucky to have such dear friends and patient trainers and coaches.
When the day came for my trainer Mike Etherly and I to go on to Europe for horse buying, little did I know that “this trip” would find us Louisville. Leunus van Lieren’s Stal Hexagon near Rotterdam was our last stop of a five-day search. We drove all afternoon and night from Tullstop in northern Sweden and arrived at 7:30 am before leaving for the USA.
That day I rode the entire Grand Prix on Louisville in the first school. He was the easiest horse to ride I had ever sat upon. We struck a deal and he arrived in America a few weeks later. Michael and I began the journey of my showing in the Grand Prix’s and on Louisville I experienced some of the greatest moments I will remember in my dressage career. Unfortunately after the Freestyle Championships in Wellington he injured himself in a turnout accident, and eventually I retired him and later after an amazing retirement at Hassler Dressage in Maryland I returned him to Stal Hexagon to be with his oldest and favorite friend, Leunus van Lieren for the rest of his life. Thank you Leunus for caring for him so beautifully!