Wellington, Fla. – May 16, 2016 – Diane Creech and Louise Leatherdale of Leatherdale Farms focus on long-term development of their horses so they are confident and happy in their work. The fruits of their patience and dedication are becoming evident as several top-quality Leatherdale Farms horses, trained and ridden by Creech, are showing great promise at the beginning stages of their Grand Prix careers.
Two of these horses – Diana C, a 9-year-old Hanoverian mare (Damsey FRH – Belinda, Brentano II) and Hallmark, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding (His Highness – SPS Lapislazuly, Lancier) – competed with impressive results in the medium tour during the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival before Creech decided they were ready to go down centerline at Grand Prix at the end of the winter season. Both Diana C and Hallmark earned over 66 percent in their Grand Prix debuts.
“A horse does not become a Grand Prix horse from doing a Grand Prix test once,” Creech said. “For me it means, now that they have done the big step to Grand Prix, I slow down for a couple of months. I like to let the workload settle a bit as I don’t want to overstress them. Then gradually the work starts to make them confident with those tests.”
Owner Louise Leatherdale shares Creech’s strategic approach to the horses’ progress and development.
“Louise’s passion is to watch her young horses mature into great athletes,” Creech said. “It is so wonderful to be working together with a true horsewoman with great horsemanship. She truly is the pinnacle of a super horse owner.”
A large part of Creech’s success with the Leatherdale horses can be attributed to treating each horse as an individual and adjusting the training accordingly.
“Both horses are so different,” she explained. “For Diana, it comes so easily that I really have to hold back. She is so eager to do the right thing, so I don’t ride her ‘to win’ but to give her confidence and ease in the ring.
“Hallmark is like teaching a football linebacker the technique to dance with a tutu,” Creech continued. “He always wants to be so powerful and had to learn to dance light as a feather, especially for the passage. Once we could accomplish that, then we could add a little of his power back into it.”
Another up-and-coming Grand Prix mount owned by Leatherdale Farms, Chrevis Christo,had impressive scores of up to 77 percent at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevis Cavallo – Chrevis La VI, Matador) excels at the piaffe and passage work, and Creech focused on getting him more confident at the Grand Prix level.
“The Olympic Games are unfortunately one year too early for him,” Creech explained. ” I didn’t want to over-face him, so I took one step back and gave him some extra time. At the end, I think, it will be so worth it because he is such a special Grand Prix horse. Louise and I have great hopes for him!”