Mason City, Iowa – Oct. 10, 2017 – In the beginning of October, the Leatherdale Farms team travelled to Iowa to compete in the GAIG/USDF Region 4 Championships with great success. Mike Suchanek piloted the talented young horses to multiple championship wins and other exciting results at the regional show that qualified them for the prestigious US Dressage Finals held in Lexington, Kentucky, in November.
The 6-year-old Hanoverian mare Duchess L (Damsey – De La Rosa, De Niro) made a great impression in her large Third Level class of over 30 horses, claiming the Open Championship win with a score of 71.154 percent. She also earned a wildcard for the US Dressage Finals after scoring 70.854 percent in the Second Level Open Championship.
“Duchess is great and keeps proving she is ready for the next step,” Suchanek said. “She continues to prove that nothing is too hard for a Damsey! She did amazing in our test with expressive flying changes and she really showed off her medium trot.”
Hannigan L (EH Herzensdieb – Pia Colada, Pik L), another talented 6-year-old bred and owned by Leatherdale Farms, earned his qualification for the US Dressage Finals placing third in the Third Level Open Championship with a score of 70.577 percent.
“Hannigan is doing well and progressing right along,” Suchanek said. “He’s ready for more and he’s starting to really show off his ability. I expect him to be at Prix St. Georges next year.”
The 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding Fighting Chance L (First Dance – EM Helia, Hohenstein) collected multiple tricolor ribbons at the championships, clinching the competitive Fourth Level Open Championship with a score of 71.389 percent as well as the Open Prix St. Georges reserve championship.
“It’s his first year competing at a FEI level,” Suchanek explained. “I didn’t go into this show with high expectations, but he came out and earned the reserve championship. He really showed off his abilities! He’s like a sports car and is very easy to adjust in the show ring. On Sunday, he was really listening to me and on the aids. I can’t wait to see what his future holds.”
Following such a great performance in Iowa, the Leatherdale Farms team is thrilled to have qualified all three horses to the US Dressage Finals, which will be held in Lexington, Kentucky, Nov. 9-12.
“We are very happy all three of them qualified and we are expecting to go to Finals,” Suchanek said. “A big thank you to Louise [Leatherdale] for her generosity. We love the opportunity to make her proud each time we go in the ring. We are very proud of these horses and it’s going to be an exciting future for all.
“I also want to thank Alison Sader-Larson for another great year of learning from her, as well as Jessi Lash and my grooms for all their hard work,” he continued. “I’m very fortunate to have such a great team.”