Saugerties, NY – September 26, 2014 – Robbie W showed he has not missed a beat despite a hiatus from competition, leading the victory gallop twice in his return to action at the NEDA Fall Festival CDI-W, Sept. 18-21 in Saugerties, NY. Leatherdale Farms’ 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding and Canadian rider Diane Creech dominated the small tour, winning both the Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I over competitive fields of 20 or more horses.
Creech rode Robbie W to personal best scores for the pair: 72.5 percent in Friday’s Prix St. Georges and 72.588 percent in Saturday’s Intermediaire I.
“I was extremely happy with him,” Creech said. “He’s such a wonderful horse. One of his best features is that he has the heart and the mind to do it. He’s trainable, a hard worker and very honest. He’s very relaxed about it and focused, and that makes a really good dressage horse.”
Robbie W, who is by Rubin Royal, will be among the string of Leatherdale Farms horses accompanying Creech to Florida for the winter show season in Wellington. He will be declared for Canadian team selection for the Pan American Games, held in Toronto in July 2015.
“He certainly has matured more, and that little bit of extra maturity is helping him,” Creech commented. “I didn’t have to warm him up long – we just had a 20 minute warm-up, and then we went into the ring. He knows his job now, and he tries so hard for me. The Leatherdales and I are all so excited about this.”
The eye-catching gray gelding had no trouble readjusting to competition after taking time off to recover from an injury. Now back in top condition, he proved he will be tough to beat.
“Doug and Louise (Leatherdale) are so great,” Creech said. “All the decisions are always solely based on the well-being of their horses first. They gave Robbie all the time he needed to heal and more. There is absolutely no pressure. We took our time to bring him back and make sure, he is 100 percent. The joy of seeing him in the ring again is just awesome. We are so happy to have Robbie back again.”
Creech competed two other Leatherdale Farms horses, Chrevis Christo and Devon L, at the NEDA Fall Festival. Chrevis Christo, an 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Lavallo, just stepped up to Grand Prix this spring, and at Saugerties, he won two FEI Test of Choice classes in the national show. He began with a 67.9 percent for the Grand Prix test on Friday, coming out on top in a large class, and then put in an even better effort on Saturday, earning 70.147 percent for the Grand Prix Special test.
“He was super,” Creech said of Chrevis Christo. “I was so happy with him, and we’re really excited about him too. We’ll declare him for the Pan Am Games as well, and we’ll go down to Florida and get him in a routine doing the Grand Prix.”
Devon L finished fourth in Friday’s closely matched Grand Prix with a score of 67 percent. The 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding by De Niro moved on to compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle but was a bit spooked by the echoes of the music in the bowl-shaped arena, and Creech opted to retire.
“Unfortunately, he got scared with the way the music was playing, and I chose to retire and just canter him around the ring to show him that everything was okay,” Creech said. “The ring is a little bit in a hole, and the way the music reflects from the sides was a little bit weird. He’s a sensitive horse anyway, so I decided not to pressure him through it but instead to help him relax.”
Creech will now return with the Leatherdale horses to her home base in Ontario, where she will train them up to the start of the Wellington winter show season.
“We’re all looking forward to our time down in Florida,” Creech said. “It’s really exciting to have all of the horses progressing so well!”