A $750 off-track Thoroughbred continued his powerful run toward Rolex last weekend by taking 3rd at the challenging Red Hills International Horse Trials.
AP Prime, a grandson of the great A.P. Indy, turned it on for his owner/rider Leah Lang-Gluscic in all three phases of the event, beating his personal best in both dressage and show jumping. In dressage, his weakest phase, AP finished in the mid 30s, putting him mid-pack on the leaderboard, rather than his standard back-of-the-pack; he had a powerful start to cross-country day.
Without even trying, AP finished the very challenging CIC*** course with the second best time, bravely and skillfully clearing obstacles on a field, which was the site of a tragic accident, and he concluded the event with his first clear show-jumping round at the Advanced level.
Sire: Aptitude, by A.P. Indy
Dam: Czarina Kate
Foal date: March 14, 2005“The show jumping was huge for us! It’s always the phase I’m most nervous for because we put in so much leading up to it, and it’s all on the line if you knock down one rail,” Lang-Gluscic says. “But I rode well, and he jumped fantastic, and it all just came together for us!”
As the professional rider and OTTB eagerly make their way toward a debut at Rolex at the end of April, Lang-Gluscic’s excitement over their good showing in Florida was dampened by the news that fellow rider Kyle Carter lost his beloved mount Conahys Courage in a catastrophic accident at a fence on cross country. The sport horse was euthanized after an accident at fence 12A, according to news reports, and Lang-Gluscic says her heart ached when she heard the tragic news. “It’s so sad when anyone loses a horse. And when someone as nice as Kyle, who gives so much to our sport does, it’s just that much more heartbreaking. ”
The love for her own horse has grown since she bought him for $750 cash in 2010.
Dreams of Rolex were the furthest thing from her mind when she responded to a CANTER Illinois ad for a horse for sale on the backside of a small fairground in Martinsville, Ill.
But AP made it pretty clear pretty quickly that he was no ordinary horse.
“This horse let me know he was special very early on,” she says. “To say that he would wind up at Rolex was impossible because there’s so many things that could have gone wrong before that. But, I’ve known, and everyone who has been close to him has known, that he’s a really, really special horse, especially when it comes to cross country. He’s so thoughtful, so intelligent and so courageous.”
After drilling down in “dressage boot camp” all winter, concentrating on lateral work to stretch and strengthen his body, the duo will round out their Rolex prep with an appearance at The Fork in North Carolina. They’ll go to tune up their dressage and show jumping, but may sit out the cross country if it doesn’t seem necessary, she says.
“At this point, I feel there’s very little left that we need to do to prepare for Rolex,” Lang-Gluscic says. “I still have tons of work for the dressage and show jumping, but the phase where you really need to have the chops is the cross country, and he’s got that down. The way he ran this past weekend, he’s never run better. So now we’re in the waiting game for Rolex.”