Canadian Ashley Luca-Tyson Succeeds With USA 5-Year-Old Sans Souci K

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Ashleigh Luca-Tyson  and Sans Souci K
Ashleigh Luca-Tyson and Sans Souci K

June 26, 2014

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Ashleigh Luca-Tyson was looking at a young mare in Germany as a  prospective star and less than a year later is among the top five-year-olds in the United States and may get an invitation to head back to her homaland to the World Young Horse Championships.

The 31-year-old Canadian and the American owners of Sans Souci K decided early in this year’s show schedule, though, the horse needed more than a few months of training and competition so would aim for the world championships as a six-year-old in 2015.

Ashley and the Oldenburg mare (Sir Donnerhall I x Florestan I) owned by Debra and Bob Pulver of River Oaks Farm in West Des Moines, Iowa scored 8.048 in the qualifier at Flintridge, California. That put the pair in second place behind the 8.540 for Petersborg’s Qasanova, a Danish Warmblood stallion (Quaterback x Calypso II) ridden and owned by Matthew Johnson of Wellington, Florida.

The U.S. Equestrian Federation decides whether to issue invitations to combinations in the five and six-year-old divisions that achieve results above 8.0 in selection events and riders would not confirm whethet they had been invited to Verden.

Ashleigh lives in the Phoenix commnity of Scottsdale, Arizona with her American husband and their two-year-old daughter, Addision. She won’t talk about whether she will switch citizenship but the owners of the horses she rides are Americans, and she trains with Americans Steffen and Shannon Peters in California.

She comes from an equestrian family, competing in dressage since the age of 10, first coached by her mother. After graduation from school, went with Canadian Olympian Leslie Reid to work in the barn of Udo Lange and Cristilot Boylen in Germany for six months.

Over the years, she competed in California and Arizona in winter and through Leslie met the Pulvers of River Oaks Farm. Debra is a serious amateur, competing with three horses.

The Pulvers arranged a blind date for Ashleigh with the pro at Bob Pulver’s golf  club–“they were looking for someone for me to date,” as she put it.

It worked. They have settled in the Phoenix area where Ashleigh built a training business, taking six months off to have a baby.

A year ago, the Pulvers offered to buy a young horse for her to train and compete.

Steffen Peters was on his way to compete at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany and connected her with the Sans Souci K connections.

“They shipped the mare four hours to Aachen,” Ashleigh recalled. “She walked off the trailer and into a stall. A few minutes later we hear thrashing, banging noises from an older horse. The mare was just standing in the stall and eating.

“She has an absolutely fabulous temperament… beautiful kind eyes.

“This mare is by far one of the simplest personalities I’ve had and and the most rideable of any of horse.”

In the half dozen national shows before the Flintridge CDI qalifying event, “Sassy,” as Sans Souci is called, produced improving scores but Verden and the U.S. championships in Wayne, Illinois are not options for this year.

“Our goal is to ride nice and easily over the summer and have her ready for the six-year-old test preparing for the following year to do small tour,” Ashleigh said, “then see where it takes us from there.”