After taking a spill in the show-jumping portion of CIC three-star event at The Fork in their run up to a Rolex debut, Leah Lang-Gluscic and her $750 Thoroughbred AP Prime were cleared last Friday to compete.
The good news came after six “sickening” days spent worrying after AP Prime stumbled in the footing between jumps 2 and 3 and fell in competition on April 1. He banged his front leg, causing a minor contusion, says Lang-Gluscic.
AP passed flexion and palpation with flying colors however, and when an ultrasound confirmed what the veterinarian suspected—that he was as sound as ever—the pair immediately put in a ride at the Ocala International Three Day, and then left the ring having achieved their personal best, and having chased the showjumping jitters away.
Dam: Czarina Kate
Foal date: March 14, 2005“This has been a roller coaster of stress,” says the relieved rider. “The vet came on Tuesday and palpitated and flexed and lunged him, and she was thrilled with the results. She’s been checking on him often since December, so she knows him really well, and she felt his legs were absolutely status quo. And we got that confirmation when the ultrasound showed he just had minor swelling.”
Soon concerns about AP were put to rest, as Lang-Gluscic performed with confidence later that afternoon in Ocala; riding in a competition where some Rolex-bound riders were able to hone their skills before the big event coming up at the end of April.
More nervous than she has ever been for a show jumping round, Lang-Gluscic was quick to re-enter the ring. And with words of encouragement from the mother of top rider Lainey Ashker, put her fears behind her. “Valerie Ashker patted me on the leg and said, ‘Don’t worry, you’re sitting on a Thoroughbred,’ ” Lang-Gluscic says.
And with that, AP put in a brilliant performance.
“What other horse has the heart to fall down like AP did a week ago and come out to do a personal best? He’s unbelievable! He’s all things that are good,” Lang-Gluscic says, noting that had he been nervous or uncomfortable, she would have reconsidered her Rolex plans.
“When you’ve worked so hard to get this far and something like (The Fork) happens, it really shakes you up, and you imagine the worst-case scenarios after that,” she says. “But, I told my vet if there was even a 1 percent chance that running him at Rolex would increase his chance of injury I’d pull him. She said he’s status quo, that he’ll never be sounder.”
With that assurance, combined with AP’s performance on Friday, Lang-Gluscic was once again full steam ahead on her “horse of a lifetime,” an off-track Thoroughbred she bought for $750. (Please see an earlier story about how Lang-Gluscic found AP Prime).
“This sport can take you so low, but everyone has been so supportive. There were people in Ocala who I know, but don’t really talk to, and they all knew what happened at the Fork. When I walked by, everyone congratulated us. This is the first time in six days I’ve felt lightness again.”
On to Rolex!