Ilse Schwarz & Don Joseph Sweep Inaugural Spy Coast Farm Young Horse Dressage Final

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Ilse Schwarz (center) with two blue ribbons and Sue Jacoma, runnerup in the dressage test, beside Lisa Lourie of Spy Coast Farm at the Young Horse Final awards at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Dec. 9–Australian dressage rider Ilse Schwarz and Don Joseph, a five-year-old Oldenburg gelding, on Friday swept the inaugural Spy Coast Farm Young Horse dressage Finals at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Ilse, based in Wellington, and Don Joseph (Don Kennedy x Calmera x Santander) won the Suitability for Sport (Dressage) and Dressage Schooling to maintain their unbeaten record in three qualifiers and the $10,000 Final of the first year of the championships.

Ilse and Don Joseph scored 8.0 in the suitability class and 75.87 per cent in dressage schooling from judges Jan-Olof Wannius of Sweden and Jos Sevriens, a former Dutch trainer who has lived in the U.S. since 1985.

Don Joseph is owned by Gaye and Joseph Scarpa (for whom the horse was named) of Wellington. They bred the horse in Germany and imported him as a three-year-old. He has been trained from the start by Ilse, who moved from Armidale, Australia, to the United States in 1998 and trains and competes several horses, including her own up to Grand Prix.

The Young Horse Show Series for dressage, eventing, hunter and jumper prospects was created by Spy Coast Farm with the North American Studbook with qualifying competitions at three different venues throughout the year. More than 78 horses qualified for the final over five shows at the three venues.

Lisa Lourie, who with her husband, Robert, owns Spy Coast Farm which breeds, raises and competes horses from their farms in New York, Kentucky and Florida. The breeding stock includes such horses as the mare Rolette bought after competing in the 2008 Olympics ridden by Ben Maher of Great Britain.

Lisa said she has signed an agreement to sponsor the Young Horse Series with an expanded circuit on the East Coast of the U.S. and the Finals in Wellington for another four years.

“The first year,” she said, “far exceeded our expectations in both participation and quality.”

No expense was spared to bring in top judges and advisers as well as professional handlers for in-hand and jump chute classes.

She was particularly gratified at the participation of dressage riders, trainers and breeders that demonstrated to other disciplines the importance of sound basics for young horses.

The Young Horse Show Series qualifying competitions in Wellington are scheduled for Feb. 7 and Feb. 28 in 2012 with the Finals at PBIEC at the end of the year.

Lisa said discussions are being held with other show organizers to expand the series.