America’s Endel Ots on Lucky Strike Narrowly Misses Cut For 5-Year-Old World Championships, But Gets Second Chance

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Endel Ots of the United States riding Lucky Strike in the first qualifier for World Young Horse Championships for five-year-olds. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Endel Ots of the United States riding Lucky Strike in the first qualifier for World Young Horse Championships for five-year-olds. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

VERDEN, Germany, Aug. 6, 2015–America’s Endel Ots on Lucky Strike narrowly missed the cut for direct entry into the World Young Horse Championships final for five-year-olds but gets a second chance Friday in the “small” final. He also will compete the Canadian-owned Samhitas in the first qualifier of the six-year-old championships division.

Endel of Wellington, Florida on the Hanoverian gelding (Lord Laurie x His Highness) scored 8.6 that in any other year might have been enough to go directly to the final.

But in a starting lineup that produced performances Sussane Baarup of Denmark, president of the ground jury, described as “amazing,” the result had them tied for 15th place that put them just outside the cutoff of the top 12 to go directly to the final on Saturday.

The ride was clean, accurate and of a quality to fit with the top group.

The presentation, an important feature in global competition, was rated highly by observers especially as it was his first ever championship performance in Europe and was reflected in the scores.

The score for Endel and Lucky Strike that he owns with his father was the best ever internationally for the pair, with 8.7 for trot, 8.2 for walk, 8.5 for canter, 9.0 for rideability and 8.6 for final impression.

The rideability mark of 9, one of only seven in the class of 43 combinations from around the world to attain that or better, is highly regarded because it is a measure of the riding and not of the gaits of the horse that stem from the breeding.

Endel Ots on Lucky Strike in the World Young Horse Championships five-year-old qualifier. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Endel Ots on Lucky Strike in the World Young Horse Championships five-year-old qualifier. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The pair compete Friday with 30 horses and riders for the three remaining slots in the final of the five-year-old division. The final will be held Saturday.

Before that, though, he will ride Samhitas (Sir Donnerhall I x Abanos), owned by Canadians Jean and Gary van der Ploeg, in the first qualifier for the six-year-old world championship.

Endel came to Verden with coaching and support from Christine Traurig, the U.S. young horse coach; Evie Strasser, the well-known Canadian horse breeder and competitor on both sides of the Atlantic, and Hans Heinrich Meyer, the German young rider coach where Endel and the two horses have been stabled for several weeks.