Lauren Asher on De Noir in Top Tier of American Young Riders With Prospect of Making USA Team for Europe

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Lauren Asher on D Noir in California. © 2016 Terri Miller
Lauren Asher on De Noir in California. © 2016 Terri Miller

April 19, 2016

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Years of hard work and drive have catapulted college student Lauren Asher to the top tier of United States Young Riders with her De Noir and a prospect for an American team to compete in Europe this summer.

Lauren and De Noir, bought seven months ago after success at Small Tour ridden by Mette Rosencrantz, in three months have jumped into second place on the U.S. European Tour rankings and to 60th in the world rankings of 322 Young Rider combinations from not being on the standings at the beginning of the year.

In seven CDI starts this year, Lauren and De Noir, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding, have logged five victories and two second places.

The U.S. Equestrian Federation this week is expected to name three combinations to compete in Young Rider events in Europe including the Nations Cup in Hagen, Germany June 7-12. At the top of the rankings is Barbara “Bebe” Davis of Wellington, Florida on Feivel Mousekewitz.

Lauren transplanted herself to Southern California in 2015 to study business at the University of San Diego and to pursue her passion for riding, works with David Blake at nearby Encinitas..

Although her family, including an older sister, was not into horses Lauren began riding Hunt seat when she was five years old, then dabbled in Western before jumpers while living in the well-to-do Denver area community of Greenwood Village. She first tried dressage at the age of 11 when her jumper coach was off having a baby.

In 2010, she began competing at beginner levels of dressage and four years later was riding in CDIs in Colorado and went to the North American Junior Championships on her Lysias with the team from the region that includes Colorado but stretches from the Canadian border in the north to Mexico in the south. She went back to the championships as a Young rider with Lysias, an Oldenburg gelding then eight years old, the next year.

While keeping an eye out for another horse, her friend Veronica West, a California junior, told her about De Noir that Mette Rosencrantz had campaigned at Small Tour seeking a place on the 2015 U.S. Pan American Games team.

“Everything with De Noir just seemed to click from the beginning,” Lauren recalled.

She described De Noir (De Niro x Matcho AA) as “a real character and very intelligent. He was a breeding stallion in Denmark for a long time, so sometimes he still thinks he’s a stallion and can be a handful, but that is also nice in some ways, as he loves to show off, and I really adore that about him. He is my best friend, and I spoil him quite a bit. He loves his job and tries very hard for me, so I always take the best care of him possible to help make up for everything he gives to me. He also has to be one of the most gorgeous horses I have ever seen, and he for sure knows that, too. In his eyes and mine, he is a ‘total 10’!”

Success in the competition arena with him was not a surprise to Lauren who said she has made a lot of sacrifices on the journey to where she is now.

“The day in and day out has not always been easy or glamorous,” she told dressage-news.com, “but I alwasy believed in myself and knew I could do it. I have always worked extremely hard and been incredibly focused on my goals. I am a determined and driven person, which has helped me motor through adversity such as a shooting at my high school in Colorado in 2013 or driving three hours in my car through Denver traffic to Boulder every day after school to go ride. and still go on to chase after and accomplish my goals.

“Things were not always easy to this point but I kept on trying and when one approach wasn’t working I never gave up or stopped believing in myself but just re-assessed and tried a different approach until I finally found one that worked.”

Along the way, she has been to Europe several times and has good friends in the Netherlands. She loves learning languages that so far includes Dutch, French and Spanish and is working on adding German and Danish. She likes to watch videos in Dutch and follow riders she admires–Adelinde Cornelissen, Emmellie Scholtens, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Kirsten Brouwer as well as Carl Hester and Isabell Werth.

 

“I for sure would like to make a career out of this,” Lauren said. “It is the thing that gets me out of bed every morning. I hope to one day have a business where I can combine my language skills with my training and competing.”