Lehua Custer & F.J. Ramzes Awarded $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize

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Lehua Custer and F.J. Ramzes. Photo: © Gina Falcone

Jan. 10, 2019

Lehua Custer and F.J. Ramzes have been awarded the 2019 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize of $25,000 for what The Dressage Foundation credited the rider’s talent and commitment to excel at international dressage.

Lehua, 39 years old originally from Hawaii and now living in California, is a U.S. Dressage Federation Certified Instructor/Trainer and learner judge graduate. She was an assistant to Olympian Hilda Gurney for 10 years. She operates Lehua Custer Dressage at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank.

F.J. Ramzes, is a nine-year-old KWPN gelding (Juventus x Rampal) bred by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York that was bought by Wendy Sasser as a yearling as her future competition horse. She later turned over the ride to Lehua for further development. Lehua and Ramzes, competing at national small tour, were named to the US Equestrian Federation’s Dressage Development Program in 2018.

The pair are currently in Wellington, Florida working with U.S. team coach Debbie McDonald.

The training with Debbie, she said, “is going so great that I plan to use the grant money to continue working with Debbie. The goal at this point is to develop into a team that is solid enough to compete internationally. I am also grateful for the support from Ramzes owner, Wendy Sasser, as well as my clients at home who are extremely patient and understanding. Many thanks to everyone at The Dressage Foundation and Carol Lavell for believing in us.”

The Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize Fund was established in 2009 in special remembrance of Carol’s mother, May Cadwgan, and in honor of her father, Gordon Cadwgan. The Prize Fund has made 13 awards totaling $325,000 in support of U.S. high performance teams