Sarah Lockman Rides 4-Year-Old Lyamora to One of Highest Scores in World at Wellington in First Competition
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 15, 2020–Sarah Lockman rode Lyamora to a score of 9.44 points at a Global Dressage Festival national qualifier for the U.S. finals, one of the highest scores for a four-year-old in the world in the mare’s first competition.
Sarah found the Dutch mare (Ferguson x Contango) in Holland last year when Lyamora was just six weeks under saddle. She told Gerry Ibanez, the owner of Summit Farm in Murrieta, California and sponsor of Sarah that Lyamora “for sure she was the best young horse I had ever sat on.” Gerry bought the horse for Summit. He died last November but his family continues to own the horse and support Sarah.
Lyamora was awarded 10 for the canter with the remark from Janet Lee Foy, FEI 5* judge of Colorado, and Jodi Lees of South Carolina, “Lovely lift and freedom in shoulder, we can’t think of anything to make it better.”
The trot was seen by the judges as “super elastic and expressive” and awarded 9.7; the walk 8.7, submissiveness 9 and overall impression 9.8.
In 2019, Germany’s Eva Möller rode So Unique to a score of 9.64 points to win the final of four-year-old horses, a national competition held for the first time in conjunction with the World Young Horse Championships. A previous top score in U.S. four-year-old championship was 90.4% for Rosalut NHF ridden by Carly Taylor-Smith in 2014 (correcting earlier report of scores in high 8-point range).
Sarah, who works with former U.S. young horse coach Scott Hassler, imported Lyamora directly to Wellington where she has based herself for the three-month winter circuit that was cut short by two weeks because of coronavirus.
“She has been a dream to work with and I’m excited about continuing to develop her,” she said. “I am so fortunate to have my coach Scott Hassler’s eyes on me daily with her… his experience in the young horses is so helpful when bringing along such a talented youngster.
“She has so much room to get stronger and I knew it was a little early to compete her but I really wanted to take advantage of being in Wellington and expose her to the ‘show atmosphere’ which she took like a true champion. I love mares.
“I have taken time to develop a close bond with ‘Luna’ and I can feel it paid off today.”
She described Lyamora’s attitude in the show ring as, “OK, mom, whatever you say we do and wherever you point me. Let’s do this.”
“Gerry was so excited about this mare,” she said, “and I cried after they announced my score because I would really just give anything to call him up right now and tell him. Gerry really believed in me and my feel for horses, so when I had called Gerry and told him I found one we can’t walk away from, he trusted me 100% and I know he would be so happy that we made the right decision! I’m so blessed to have the continued support of the Ibanez family and feel very lucky to add yet another incredibly talented horse for the future to my string.”
The current plan is to qualify Lyamora for the U.S. Young Horse Championships in late summer, but all options were being considered.