OTTB steals dressage win from fancy w’bloods

Wapato Gold and Cassidy Stobart won the Junior Young Rider Training Level Northwest USDF Championships

Wapato Gold and Cassidy Stobart won the Junior Young Rider Training Level Northwest USDF Championships

Resplendent with jaw-dropping beauty, the elegant show horses dazzled like fashion models on a catwalk as they waited their turn to strut before judges at the Northwest USDF Championships.

Warmbloods and sport horses of all breeds and backgrounds were positively intimidating to behold, says Paula Graham Stobart.

“You could just tell by looking at them, these horses are in full-time training, and are very, very fancy and well-trained. And definitely not Thoroughbreds.”

Well, there was one Thoroughbred there. Her Thoroughbred.

Wapato Gold, nicknamed Wapo, a less statuesque, 15.2 hand ex-racehorse more than made up for his lack of height Sept. 21st and 22nd at the Junior Young Rider Training Level event, when he entered the ring in monsoon rains and socked it to 20 non-Thoroughbred competitors.

Wapo and Stobart’s 17-year-old daughter Cassidy wiped the field with all those glamorous horses so thoroughly that at the end of their test, when they halted at X, the judge remarked that it looked like the horse and rider were having a phenomenal time out there.

“When Cassidy and Wapo’s time slot came for her test, it started to pour, and it wasn’t going to stop. But the thing about Cassidy and Wapo is that they train outdoors in rain all the time. It doesn’t faze them,” Stobart says. “So with the weather, we thought we might have an advantage.”

And they did. The adorable Thoroughbred and rider won the championship against all those fancy horses!

Wapo and Cassidy in an earlier ride, before the stormy competition

Wapo and Cassidy in an earlier ride, before the stormy competition

“From the moment he entered the arena, he never missed a step,” she says. “He was on his mark. He was paying attention. And he never tried to avoid the water; there was nine inches of water in the corners!”

Other horses were not so agreeable. One bucked and was “horrible, nasty” and at the end of the stormy show, both judges, hands down, gave the highest score to little Wapato Gold and Cassidy Stobart.

And as if it couldn’t get better, the pair was also given the High Point Thoroughbred Award!

“This competition was huge!” she says, noting that she swelled with pride when
Cassidy and Wapo posed for her to snap their picture in the winner’s circle, while all those statuesque beauties were being loaded into trailers and going home.

18 responses to “OTTB steals dressage win from fancy w’bloods”

  1. Melissa

    Good job! Just rescued my first tb. This September. She was my birthday present to my self! Managed to out bid the kill buyer! She’s 19 to mare. Just took her trail riding Thursday and we encountered UPS trucks, FedEx trucks, barking dogs, blow up Christmas figures, no problems at all.

  2. christina

    Love it! Stick it to the folk who think they need to ride colossus of rhodes to make an impression!

  3. Melissa Pappas

    This is a wonderful story. We used to breed and race thoroughbreds. When their time at the track was through for one reason or another, we always made sure that they landed with people who would love and care for them. That’s the only way we, as small breeder/owners, could continue. I love reading stories reminding us all how truly talented this breed is – whether on the track, in the show-ring, or in the pasture as beloved family members. Brava!

  4. Pat Gauvreau

    Congrats to you both. OTTB’s are awesome horses and fantastic athletes. I think your success story will help a lot more OTTB’s find new homes and new starts. You’re great ambassadors and I wish you many more years of happiness doing what you both love to do.

  5. RBrooks

    Congratulations, Cassidy!! Keep representing the OTTB’s!

  6. Cindy

    Wonderful! Bravo Cassidy!

  7. Cassidy

    And thank you to everyone! He got lots of carrots and treats! Thank you for your words or kindness and encouragement

  8. Cassidy

    As his owner and rider, this horse has never missed a beat in the arena or in practice. He is an amazing horse to ride. He astonishes me with his ability to comprehend and conquer anything put in his path. I am truly proud that he has been recognized for his talent. It shows everyone that a thoroughbred is not too much for anything. I started training him when I was only 11; Now I am 17 years old. I couldn’t be prouder of his success. He deserves it❤️

  9. TBDancer

    Only missing piece is the score ;o) LOVE reading about those hard-working TBs just doing what they do best–working hard!

    1. Paula Stobart


      Their scores were: Judge at C 70.000% David Schmutz
      Judge at B 68.000% Dinah Babcock
      For a combined score of 69.300%
      They also had a very respectful 1st level test:
      There was a tie between 1st & 2nd and 3rd & 4th
      Cassidy & Wapo scores were: Judge at C 66.452% Diane Royce
      Judge at B 65.323% David Schmutz
      For a combined score of 65.887% ~ Less than 1% separated 1st ~ 4th
      With coefficients breaking the tie they placed 4th!

  10. SP Stewart

    I think you are confused about the definition of “fancy”. This TB has a couple centuries of breeding behind him and is officially a HOT blood, unlike the WARMbloods, which are by definition not “pure”. 😉 He’s not a hairy little grade pony. He’s one of the three recognized hot breeds, and he OUTPERFORMED ’em. No theft there. 😀

  11. Jon

    Nothing thrills me more than to see a hard working rider and her OTTB clean the clocks of the WB crowd. Well done young lady! Give Wapo extra carrots for being so good.

  12. Cynthia

    Congratulations! He is really beautiful and you both look great.

  13. S.Allen


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