Shaking off the disappointment of last year’s failed run at Rolex, Leah Lang-Gluscic and her $750 Thoroughbred AP Prime are back and better than before in the run up to her second bid at the nation’s fabled three-day event.
Sound as a bell and more graceful than ever, AP delivered exceptional overall work at the Carolina International CIC and Horse Trial last month, with specific improvements to his dressage work, Lang-Gluscic says.
Dam: Czarina Kate
Foal date: March 14, 2005“My coach and I had a lesson there a few days before the test, working on the trot, and he said I needed to be brave in the ring. He said if I was brave and attacked the test, that I’d be rewarded and he was much better than he’s ever been,” she says. “Normally in the trot work I feel like I’m holding on for dear life because he’s so bouncy. This time, he was more relaxed in the back, and I wasn’t braced, so he gave me somewhere to sit on him. We got a 7 ½ for his extended trot, which is the best mark he’s ever gotten on that movement.”
Lang-Gluscic also made an equipment change, putting him in a drop noseband, which encouraged a stronger connection, she adds.
AP’s performance at Carolina capped off a long and goal-oriented year since the horse and rider scratched from the cross-country phase of last year’s Rolex. (Please see earlier story here: http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2015/04/13/after-fall-at-the-fork-ap-prime-cleared-for-rolex/).
Prior to the run, one of AP’s legs showed it still had not completely healed from an injury sustained in an earlier competition. Rather than risk it, Lang-Gluscic pulled out of Rolex, walking away from what would have been her first run at the famous competition.
But slowly and cautiously she looked after AP’s condition, availing him of all every advantage from therapeutic EquiVibe treatments to improve his flexion, to diet changes, and a very gradual return to work. Please see earlier article here: http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2016/02/10/750-horse-steaming-toward-rolex-after-blip/
After a year of hard work, Lang-Gluscic, a former investment banker turned professional horseman, along with the OTTB she purchased for $750, will once again compete among the most elite riders in the world.
“I feel really good. I’ve been a lot more relaxed about going this year,” she says. “Having faced the fact that you can work as hard as we worked last year, and still not get there, if we had to, I could face that again. Anything can happen. But, after Carolina, I now have a reasonable expectation of getting it done.”
She adds, “I feel like we’re returning to Rolex with much more maturity and focus. And he’s starting pull all three phases together with a quiet confidence he didn’t have before.”