Mason City, Iowa - June 4, 2017- Mike Suchanek and Leatherdale Farms' talented mounts wowed the judges at the first competitions of their season. The Leatherdale Team competed at the Lamplight May I and II dressage shows in Wayne, Illinois, and the Bara Trac I and Too shows in Mason City, Iowa. Coming in first place fourteen times out of nineteen tests, MikeSuchanek showcased his successful partnerships with Leatherdale's young horses.
"I'm really excited about how far along they are coming, especially since most of them debuted at higher levels this year," Suchanek said. "We have been focusing on developing their strength and working on improving new movements we introduced, such as the flying changes and pirouettes. Thank you to Louise [Leatherdale] for the opportunity to show her horses and make her proud!"
The team made the trip from the farms' Minnesota base to compete at the two-day show at Lamplight Equestrian Center. In 2016, Duchess L (Damsey-De La Rosa, De Niro) won the First Level Open Reserve Championship at the U.S. Dressage Finals, and Suchanek was excited for her Second Level debut this year. The 6-year-old Hanoverian mare won both of her classes, earning a 76.970 percent in Second Level Test 1 and a 74.024 percent in Second Level Test 3.
"Duchess is such a lovely horse and learns so fast," Suchanek explained. "She put on a lot of muscle over the winter and things are becoming easier for her. I'm really excited about her future."
Hero L (His Highness-Waterlily L, Wolkenstein II), a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding who won the 2016 Intermediate I Open Championship at the U.S. Dressage Finals, performed well to win the Prix St. Georges class with a 75.395 percent at Lamplight.
Continuing the winning streak, Hannigan L (E.H. Herzensdieb-Pia Colada, Pik L), a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding, competed at Third Level for the first time and won both of his classes with a 71.795 percent and a 76.538 percent.
"Hannigan loves his work and he is very intelligent - it's actually been a challenge to hold him back in the work because he wants to keep giving more," Suchanek laughed.
Suchanek and Fighting Chance L (First Dance-EM Helia, Hohenstein) also debuted at a higher level at Lamplight and earned scores of 68.333 percent and 67.111 percent and blue ribbons in both of their Fourth Level Test 3 classes.
After resting for a few days between shows, the team packed up to travel to Iowa for their second show of the season - Bara Trac I and Too. Duchess L continued her domination at Second Level and scored an astounding 81.098 percent and 71.818 percent.
Earning two first place scores, Hannigan L received a 74.359 percent and a 68.205 percent in the Third Level Test 3 classes
To wrap up of a stellar start to the summer show season, Fighting Chance L continued to gain confidence at Fourth Level by winning one of his classes, and placing second in another class with a 65.111 percent.
"Fighting Chance loves to show off in front of an audience and he is very enthusiastic about his work," Suchanek said. "I'm happy with his results and I think his scores will continue to improve the more times he goes out in the ring."