Lake St. Louis, MO – October 14, 2015 – Leatherdale Farms made its presence felt at the Great American/USDF Region 4 Championships Oct. 9-11 in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. Mike Suchanek rode four Leatherdale horses to an impressive total of six championship and reserve championship titles from Training all the way through Fourth Level.
Each of the four horses walked away with at least one championship or reserve rosette, qualifying them for the US Dressage Finals, presented by Adequan. The Finals will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Nov. 5-8.
Dublin L, a 4-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Damsey-EM Wibranda, Wolkenstein II), pulled off a double, standing out in both divisions he entered. He started by claiming the Training Level Open reserve championship with a score of 72.159 percent and followed that up by rising to the top of the First Level Open division, scoring 75.079 percent for championship honors.
“He did really well,” Suchanek said. “He’s coming into his own this year, and I’m really impressed. His mind is always growing and developing, learning more nuances to handling himself in the dressage ring. I’m looking forward to his future.”
Fleur de Lis L also added two rosettes to her growing collection. The 6-year-old Hanoverian mare (First Dance-EM De La Rosa, De Niro) was Second Level Open champion with a score of 73.354 percent and finished behind only her stable mate Hero L in the Third Level Open division, taking reserve honors on a score of 72.308 percent.
“With Fleur, I had the first ride in both classes, and she set the bar so high that no one could catch her, except for Hero,” Suchanek said. “She’s such a great all around horse and so rideable and adjustable in her gaits. I’m so happy with her.”
Fleur de Lis L and Hero L made a successful trip together to the 2014 US Dressage Finals, where Fleur earned the reserve championship in the highly competitive Training Level Open division. This year, it looks like she will have plenty of competition from Hero, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding (His Highness-Waterlily L, Wolkenstein II). He scored 76.346 percent for the Third Level Open championship.
“Hero is stepping up to that next level,” Suchanek said. “He’s building up his muscle and getting a lot stronger, and his body is catching up to his mind. He’s so trainable, coming from that His Highness line, and he’s such an impressive horse to watch in the ring. All eyes are on him when he comes in there.”
Corenzo completed the strong showing by the Leatherdale horses by earning the reserve championship in the Fourth Level Open division, scoring 71.889 percent. The 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Conteur-Ramira, Rotspon) also finished fifth in the Prix St. Georges Open championship.
“That was my fifth ride ever at Prix St. Georges, and his too,” Suchanek said. “We’re both learning and growing in our confidence as a team. We’ve really started to shine in this late summer and fall. He’s just such an impressive mover, and I feel very lucky to have him in my lineup.”
Suchanek now has his sights set on a strong showing at the US Dressage Finals for Leatherdale Farms owners Doug and Louise Leatherdale.
“I want to thank the Leatherdales for all their generosity and help as I continue my education in dressage,” he said. “I feel honored riding their horses. I also want to thank my coach, Alison Sader Larson, who has done a wonderful job, as well as my team at the barn for all their support and the Great American Insurance Group for their great work sponsoring the Region 4 Championships.”
Suchanek added, “It’s just been a great experience. I couldn’t imagine a better one.”
About Leatherdale Farms
Situated 20 minutes from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Leatherdale Farms is a privately owned farm owned and managed by Louise and Doug Leatherdale and dedicated to Hanoverian, Trakehner and Oldenburg breeding. The Leatherdale family owns several licensed stallions based in Dorum, Germany, at Hengststation Jens Meyer: the premium elite Hanoverians Damsey (Dressage Royal), First Dance (Florestan II), Hampton (His Highness), Beltano (Belissimo M); the premium elite Trakehner, Herzensdieb (Tambour); and the Oldenburg Fairbanks (Flemmingh). Frozen semen is available in North America and Europe. Leatherdale Farms was also the owner of the Hanoverian stallion His Highness, who died in 2007 and whose progeny is much appreciated all over the world.