Bring on the silver!
After conquering their first go at 4th Level Dressage at The Garden State Classic last weekend, with a dazzling display of high-scoring pirouettes and lead changes, Sue Gallagher and her off-track Thoroughbred Kaytee Mountain are gearing up to climb even higher.
The duo will practice hard this winter and in the springtime start pointing toward another 4th Level Dressage test, followed by two Prix St. George tests, and hopefully will be well on their way to earning enough points in the USDF ranking system to earn a silver medal.
The pair earned a score of 63.3 in a 4th Level Test Oct. 13, achieving high scores of 7s in pirouette and lead changes, Gallagher says. And to her utter amazement, a judge commented that her feisty Thoroughbred gave her a “very cooperative ride.”
“Never in my life have I received a comment like that! Kaytee has never been called a cooperative ride!” she says. “But, he was so reliable in the test that he actually took me by surprise. I could just ride the test. I wasn’t worrying about him spooking.”
Kaytee Mountain and Sue Gallagher perform a dressage test earlier this year. Photo by Stacy Lynn Photo
In the windy outdoor arena, Kaytee stayed focused, and with supple movements gave one of his best performances. “By the time we were doing the extended trot across the diagonal, in the last movement of the test, I had a grin ear-to-ear,” she says. “He just felt great!”
Following this achievement, Gallagher and her horse will hunker down in New Jersey this winter, practice hard, and attend a few schooling shows so that by spring, they are ready for their next 4th Level.
Their victory was hard won. Please see an earlier article in Off-TrackThoroughbreds.comabout the years of training and patience that went in to transforming a horse who once trotted with a sewing needle gait, to a fluid, brave mover.
“Tee has come a long way from galloping around a track. I can’t wait to see what he can do over the next couple of years as we continue to practice perfecting those basics, build strength and as a result help him become even more settled and relaxed in his work,” Gallagher says in the earlier article. “He is truly a wonderful boy, who strangely enough, has taught me so much about the dressage discipline.”