Katie Duerrhammer & Quartett’s Journey to World Championships–Part 1 of 2

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Katie Duerrhammer riding Quartett successfully for a place on the US Dutta Corp. world championship team. © Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

July 21, 2022


Katie Duerrhammer was competing at the U.S. championships three years ago when Adrienne Lyle told her she was looking around Wellington for horses for customers. Katie asked her to keep an eye out for a possible horse for her boss, Kylee Lourie.

Adrienne called to tell Katie she had found a horse “that was very out of shape… he can canter two to three laps without getting out of breath. I think he’ll do a piaffe. I think he’ll do some ones. He’s pretty unimpressive but he’s so sweet and he’s very cute. And he’s very unassuming and TINY.”

Based on Adrienne’s description, Kylee gave the go-ahead without her or Katie even seeing the horse.

Now, that horse named Quartett is going to the world championships in Herning, Denmark in two weeks, the first senior championship for Katie whose first ever CDI Grand Prix was on Quartett 2 1/2 years ago.

The 14-year-old Quartett (Quaterback x Dream of Glory) was bred in Germany and previously competed at U.S. national levels through CDI Small Tour.

In May, he was selected along with Paxton, Katie’s other Big Tour mount owned by Kylee, among prospects for a European tour to vie for a place on the world championship team.

Quartett is “tiny” by the usual top sport requirements–as Katie describes him, 16.2 hands (164 cm) “on a good day.” Overshadowed in size by team mates Salvino at 17.1 hands/174cm ridden by Adrienne Lyle, Suppenkasper at 18 hands/183cm ridden by Steffen Peters and Valentine at 17 hands/172cm ridden by Ashley Holzer.

Quartett is, in Katie’s opinion, “a once in a lifetime” equestrian partner  with “so much heart… very hot, sensitive, very electric, but not spooky.”

Quartett is not mentally the easiest. He’s taken so long to get to where he is now, Katie said.

“Bless Adrienne. She lets me do any weird stuff on the ground to build up his confidence. He’s one that if he’s not relationship feeling and like he wants to be with you he would not trust anything. Adrienne says Quartett reminds her of Verdades that way. He’s very odd to deal with.”

Katie Duerrhammer and Quartett being warmed up by her coach, Adrienne Lyle, with Debbie McDonald standing nearby at the CDIO5* Nations Cup at Aachen, Germany that led to Katie being selected for her first American championship team. © 2022 Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

Quartett always had the heart, Katie said, but needed to gain confidence and mileage in the ring–“now I think he has that.”

Katie and Quartett won a hotly contested national Grand Prix in Rotterdam a month ago, a week before riding on the U.S. Dutta Corp. team at the CDIO5* Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany.

One of the five FEI 5* judges at Rotterdam came out after the Grand Prix and told Katie, “This is a good boy. He’s a good partner to have.”

That is how Katie wants Quartett to be remembered—”enjoyable and harmonious.”

After Quaruett was bought

The pair competed at Small Tour at Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival over the winter of 2020.

And Adrienne, who is both the coach and friend of Katie’s and mingle their businesses in Wellington in winter and the Denver area community of Greenwood Village in summer, worked with them.

Kylee rode Quartett at Small Tour but asked Katie to keep the horse for another year to finish him Grand Prix.

When Kylee asked Adrienne whether she thought Katie could compete Quartett at Grand Prix, her reply, “Yeah, I think she can maybe get a 65% at a national Grand Prix.”

After a national Grand Prix and a Special, Adrienne told her, “You’re going to do a CDI.”

“I’m like, I don’t know that I’m ready for that,” Katie recalled. “Adrienne’s like, ‘Get in there’.”

The duo competed in four Big Tour events in Wellington and Tryon, North Carolina at the beginning of 2021 then went to Achleiten, Austria in June. The experience paid off as shown by performances at Ocala’s World Equestrian Center last December and throughout the winter in Wellington.

“I love Paxton because he’s a ‘heart’ horse and I’ve spent so much time with him,” Katie said. “Quartett is one you get once in your life, probably.

An emotional Katie Duerrhammer on Quartett on winning Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Grand Prix Special for pair’s first Big Tour victory last January. © 2022 Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

“He’s very funny, he has a great sense of humor. He knows he’s very funny and super cute. You tell him something he does is not that funny and he says, ‘really?’ I love that he’s a little cheeky. He’s extremely smart. But he has so much heart.

“He has things that are not the easiest for him but when he goes in there he wants to give you every single time 250%. If he tells you he can’t do it, he really can’t do it. And that is special.

“He makes you feel like the best rider in the entire world. You just feel you can ride every single little thing. He wants to be so good all the time in the ring. In the warmup, in the schooling ring, maybe a little cheeky.

“But when you get in that show ring he wants to be foot perfect. That’s fun and a gift to show. The ones you don’t have to worry that they’re going to cheat you on something or be too distracted or whatever those are hard to find.

“You can’t train that, you can’t train the heart.

“He makes you feel very brave.”

Quartett is Kylee’s horse and the goal is for him to go back to her to compete.

Part 2–Katie Duerrhammer’s life with horses–from doing dressage on a stick “horse” as a kid, to being burned out, now riding for USA team at world championships