Lauren Sammis’s 7 Years With Sagacious Ends

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Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF at the 2007 Pan Amercan Games. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

GLADSTONE, New Jersey, June 17–The partnership between Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF has ended after seven years and a career that included team gold and individual silver medals at the Pan American Games that were dedicated to the owner who died just months later of  breast cancer.

Lauren of South Orange, New Jersey, and Al Guden, the owner, confirmed to dressage-news.com Sunday that Sagacious would be shipped to Wellington, Florida, for evaluation after the horse was withdrawn from the U.S. Grand Prx Championships following the return of health issues.

Lauren was the trainer and rider of the horse for the entire competition career of the 13-year-old KWPN gelding (Welt Hit II x Judith x Cocktail).

She said when withdrawing him from the championships last Thursday:  “I don’t feel he’s capable right now of doing what is required at this stage. He is struggling to do the work.”

He competed in the first week of the championships and passed the veterinary inspection for the second week that included a Grand Prix and an Olympic Grand Prix Special.

She said she appreciated the support over the years of Al, whose Hyperion Farm owns Sagacious, but she declined to provide details of the cause of the problem or speculate on whether the horse would be retired.

Lauren is a highly respected trainer and rider.

“I want people to remember Sagacious at his best, which he was last Sunday in the Grand Prix Special,” she said of the first weekend of the trials when the pair scored what other competitors and spectators described as “the best 66 per cent” they have seen.

Lauren has struggled with the health of Sagacious in recent years, competing infrequently.

Lauren and Sagacious won the hearts of dressage fans at the 2007 Pan American Games when she tearfully dedicated the team gold and individivual silver medals to owner Judy Guden who died just a few months afterward following a five-year battle with breast cancer. The Pan Ams were at small tour.

In the pair’s first year at Grand Prix in 2009, Lauren and Sagacious competed at five CDIs with a string of first place finishes.

In 2010, they showed only three times and last year that was cut back to two shows.