Allison Brock & Rosevelt Preparing for USA Championships with Washington Exhibition

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Allison Brock and Rosevelt competing in Europe. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Allison Brock and Rosevelt competing in Europe. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Allison Brock and Rosevelt will go into their first ever United States championships with unusual preparation–an exhibition performance at the glittering Washington International Horse Show.

Ranked fourth in the nation at Grand Prix, Ali, as she prefers to be called, and the 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion will not have competed for six months when they ride into the Global Dressage Festival show grounds in Wellington, Florida for The Dutta Corp. Grand Prix Championship in December.

The championships will be the start of the campaign for Ali and Rosevelt to go on to the Global circuit of seven CDIs over the first three months of the year seeking to be among a group of horses and riders to go to Europe for observation events to select the Olympic team of four horses and riders and probably a traveling reserve combination.

Ali and Rosevelt (Rotspon x Laurie’s Crusader XX) went through the same procedure this year, being selected for a squad to go to Europe where the team of two Big Tour and two Small Tour combinations were selected for the Pan American Games which took team gold and clinched a start at Rio. Ali and Rosevelt were reserves.

Ahead of them in the championship standings that wrap up at the end of this month but with no more qualifying CDIs in the United States, the pair rank behind only Steffen Peters of San Diego, California on Legolas at the top with Rosamunde in third place and Laura Graves of the Orlando community of Plymouth on Verdades in second place.

If Ali, who will be 36 years old by the time the championships start Dec, 9 is named to the American team for Rio it will be her first as a rider. But she went to the Sydney Games in 2000 as the groom for Flim Flam ridden by Sue Blinks that won team bronze.

Rosevelt, like Flim Flam, is owned by Claudine and Fritz Kundrun, the German-born business executive. Although preferring to maintain a low profile, they are active and financially generous supporters of American high performance dressage.

Ali works out of their farm at Keswick, Virginia in summer and their winter training center in Wellington.

Claudine and Fritz Kundrun with Allison Brock. © dressage-news.com
Claudine and Fritz Kundrun with Allison Brock. © dressage-news.com

Ali worked with Rosevelt for more than a year with Kyra Kyrklund and Richard White at their English base. Since returning to the U.S. she has arranged clinics with Kyra and Richard in Wellington when possible.

However, as she wants more frequent help she works with Michael Barisone of Long Valley, New Jersey who has competed a succession of top Grand Prix horses and went to the 2008 Olympics as reserve with Neruda.

Ali didn’t want to go into the championships without a warmup after a break over the summer following a succession of high placings in Florida and two second places at Achleiten, Austria in June. She worked with Michael in preparation for the World Cup event in Devon, Pennsylvania two weeks ago. She took Rosevelt to Devon but withdrew when heavy rain seriously affected the arena footing.

But for the Washington exhibition, Ali and Rosevelt would be show rusty heading into the Festival of Champions.

Ali said she gained from the experience of competing at Munich, Germany and Achleiten.

“You up your game,” she said, “it gets tighter and crisper. You hit it as hard as you can.”

Since returning home, she said, “we’ve reorganized some things.

“He’s a lot of sharper in passage which has been an issue. We’ve really been working on transitions, just cleaning things up. He is more mature and solid.

“I feel as Rosevelt and I go on this journey we grow as a team.”

Allison Brock on Rosevelt celebrating a victory. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Allison Brock on Rosevelt celebrating a victory. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

As for Olympic prospects, Ali feels that Rosevelt has really matured in the past year, solid in both the Grand Prix and the Special that are the focus of team performances.

“To me that is a good anchor horse for the team,” she said.

“No, he’s not an 80 per cent horse, not in the crazy top tier, but he is solid and he is correct. That gets you a very long way.

“I’m not putting too much pressure on my horse or myself. I’m not by any stretch resting on my laurels. I’m taking it one show at a time.

“At the end of the whole process, if we’re good enough to be in top group that’s great. If he’s not he’s not

“We need to send the strongest team. I don’t want to look at it as we have to get on the team.

“I’m really super appreciative and grateful that Rosevelt and I have gotten this far. Bless his heart. Thank you, horse, for getting me this far.

“I guess I know how lucky I am

“When you have a horse a long time and the relationship you build you have to be grateful for all of it.

“Horses are gifts. They really fight for you. It’s cool, really special.”

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This report was prepared by dressage-news.com and presented by Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock insurance.