Chase Hickok & Sagacious Win Under-25 Grand Prix Ahead of USA Championship
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 21, 2015–In their first competition since returning from European shows, Chase Hickok and Sagacious HF won the Under-25 Grand Prix against the biggest ever number of entries in the preliminary to the U.S. Championship,
Sierra Keasler rode Lux Stensvang to second place for a one-two result for American World Games team prospect Caroline Roffman who leased both the first and second placed horses to the riders.
Chase and the 18-year-old KWPN gelding that has helped create the reputations of three different riders scored 67.186 per cent with Sierra and Lux second on 66.465 per cent and Kate Peper and Akela third on 63.233 per cent.
Sagacious, owned by Hyperion Farm of Wellington, Florida, became a star for America when Lauren Sammis partnered with the horse to earn team gold and individual silver at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.
Six years later, Caroline Roffman, selected as the 2010 International Equestrian Federation Rising Star, became the first American to compete at Under-25 with Sagacious in the prestigious World Equestrian Festival at Aachen, Germany. The pair became reserve champion.
Chase Hickok, also of Wellington, began cshowing Sagacious in the winter of 2014 and this year went to Europe to compete in two major events.
Competing in Europe, Chase said, “was definitely a huge learning curve,” or, as she described it, “eye-opening.”
Even the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, the most competitive circuit in the Western Hemisphere, was “nothing compared to what you see in Europe, not just the level of talent and horses but professionalism. I really took it to heart, to step it up a notch to put ourselves on the same playing field.”
For Sierra this was a big leap to move Lux to his first year at Grand Prix.
“He is such a great horse with great training,” she said.
The “training” was first begun by Caroline Roffman who bought Lux at the age of six and trained the horse up to Grand Prix with the intention of accepting an invitation to compete in the Under-25 division at Aachen.
While Carline was in Europe with Her Highness O on the squad from which the 2014 World Games would be chosen, Sierra was riding Lux.
Sierra, she said, had done such a good job with Lux she believed “absolutely the thing to do” was to give her the chance to train and move up with the horse.
Caroline, who will be 26 years old next month, then sold Her Highness O to Denmark. Pie, another horse she owned, was leased to a European-based rider but next year will be ridden by Klendy Muller, the daughter of long-time Wellington-based Dutch rider Kerensa Muller.
“A bit of a change of gears” is the way Caroline describes the change from being a rider that competed in numerous championships to no competition riding.
“I’ve been selling a lot of horses and focusing on training,” she told dressage-news.com.
“For years, I’ve done the Young Horse and Young Rider Championships.
But what happened with her removal from the U.S. World Games team in 2014 was “a hard experience.”
“After that I needed to take a step back,” she said. “I did a lot of showing for a long time. It’s time to focus on bringing up young horses. Ultimately I’ll be back in the ring.”
Her goal now, Caroline said, is to match horses and riders as occurred at these championships.