Teenager Brandi Roenick Ready for Next Stage in Dressage Career
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Brandi Roenick could be without a horse for herself when she travels with Steffen Peters to learn about competition in the big leagues in Florida and Europe the first half of next year as another step in fulfilling her potential as a star of American dressage at just 18 years of age.
The lease has expired on Weltino’s Magic, the 10-year-old Westfalen gelding (Weltino x Diva x Diamond Boy) on whom Brandi won the 2012 North American Young Rider team and individual gold medals, and is up for sale again. The Young Rider World Cup was also a goal for 2012, but it was canceled. Magic was ridden by Steffen to team and individual golds a year earlier at the Pan American Games which are at small tour.
Brandi moved from her home in a Phoenix suburb–her mother is a dressage trainer and her father a former National Hockey League All Star–to Steffen’s stables at San Diego, California in December. She plans to enroll in college in Southern California for the 2013/14 to study psychology.
Until then and with the blessing of her parents, she will learn all she can from Steffen, his wife Shannon and others at the stable.
One of her first assignments is the Dressage4kids Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic organized in Wellington, Florida by Lendon Gray. For that, Carol Cohen of Two Swans Farm has loaned her Sam’t Und Seide, an 11-year-old black Westfalen mare (Sandro Hit x Donerfee x Donnerhall).
She’ll be back in Florida twice more this winter, for CDI5* events in January and April in which Steffen will compete Legolas, the 11-year-old Westfalen gelding that succeeded Ravel, now retired after two Olympics. In April, she’ll head to Germany with Steffen and Legolas for the Hagen, Wiesbaden and Aaachen shows.
“I’ve looked up to and been inspired by Steffen since I was a little kid,” she said. “He has been like a dad to me.
“I want to learn everything that goes on, behind the scenes, seeing the different riding styles, the competitions, helping in the barn,” Brandi told dressage-news.com.
“It’s really, really cool to have the opportunity to experience the whole picture” by traveing with Steffen and Dawn White O’Conner, who has been the assistant who has taken care of Steffen’s top horses.
“This is the cherry on top of my dessert. I’m definitely going for it. I plan to be in the sport for a very long time. Nothing is going to stop me.”
Brandi had success with both her own horses, Pretty Lady on whom she won team and individual golds as a Junior in the 2008 North American championships and team gold and individual silver as a Young Rider in 2011, and capturing Young Rider team gold on Nobel in 2010.
However, she questions whether they will be competitive in Europe.
“I’d really like to get my hands on a Grand Prix horse,” she said. “I need something competitive that I can take into the international ring.”
The opportunity to ride Weltino’s Magic, Brandi said, “was a dream. I can’t say enough about how good he was for me. The amount of effort the horse put into me was incredible. He kept his cool as he tried his heart out for me. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, a huge jump in my career path.”