Sarah Tubman Gets New Mount, 7YO “Gorklintgards Smarties,” Bought by Syndicate Aiming at Future USA Team

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Gorklintgards Smarties with Sarah and Lee Tubman in Wellington. Photo: Courtesy Sarah Tubman

Aug. 6, 2023

Sarah Tubman has a new mount, “Gorklintgards Smarties,” a seven-year-old bought by a syndicate aiming for future United States teams for the Pan American Games gold medal rider.

The GS Syndicate announced the acquisition of the Danish Warmblood gelding (Gorklintgards Santos x Michellino) to be ridden by Sarah who is trained by her husband, Lee Tubman. They are based in Wellington, Florida where Smarties recently arrived.

The current top mount for Sarah, 35, is First Apple on which she won individual and freestyle gold at small tour in the 2019 Pan Ams, and at Grand Prix has competed extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, including on the U.S. Nations Cup team at this year’s prestigious World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany. She and First Apple are short listed for this year’s Pan Ams.

Sarah said she discovered Smarties while visiting the stable of Daniel Bachmann Andersen in Denmark this summer.

“It was truly love at first sight,” Sarah said.

After two rides, she said, it was evident “that destiny had brought us together.”

The GS Syndicate said it “is immensely excited to have secured this exceptionally talented performance horse for the future. The vision is to create a community of like-minded owners dedicated to supporting an American rider and the bright future of U.S. dressage.”

“Now is the time to plan for the future, and I have always believed that the only way for the US to truly compete with the Europeans is to make our own horses,” Sarah said.

“Smarties’ is extraordinarily talented in piaffe, passage and has an exceptional walk. His impeccable work ethic and enthusiasm for training truly embody his name, ‘Smarties.’

The partnership has no set deadline, Sarah said, but added: “We would be delighted if we could be part of Team USA for LA 2028.”

Smarties is based with Sarah and Lee at Donato Farms, a state of the art facility in Wellington.

Syndicate members include Jessica and Jeff Friedrich, Timi and John Sobrato, Anthony Chimino, and other dedicated dressage enthusiasts.

“I am profoundly grateful to this group of people who not only believe in me and our program but in this horse,” Sarah said. “We are exceptionally eager for the future.”

The most notable American dressage syndicate to date has been for Salvino, a Hanoverian stallion that was bought from Spain as a mount for Adrienne Lyle. Salvino was later acquired by Betsy Juliano, a major supporter of American dressage.

Salvino was ridden by Adrienne on the U.S. silver medal teams at the Tokyo Olympics and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, and at the 2022 World Championships where the Americans earned a start at the 2024 Paris Games.