Tag Archives: Heidi Degele

Heidi Degele Dressage Qualifies Two for USEF/Markel Young Horse Championships

Trainer Heidi Degele qualifies Kathy Elliott’s Hercules for the USEF/Markel Young and Developing Horse National Championships with rider Michele Sizemore (Photo courtesy of Heidi Degele).

Loxahatchee, FL (May 20, 2016) – Success feels twice as nice for Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Heidi Degele, who proudly announces that two horses under her tutelage have qualified for the Four Year Old division at the 2016 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)/Markel Young and Developing Horse National Championships. With the spotlight on her rising star young horses, Degele and her team’s anticipation continues to grow for the August 25-28 National Championship at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois.

USDF Gold Medalist Degele has been training the two qualified four-year-old horses, who are both owned by Kathy Elliott, with rider Michele Sizemore since October 2015. Hercules is a 16.3-hand bay KWPN gelding bred by Chris Van Breugel out of Stal de Bekelaar in the Netherlands. Accompanying Hercules is Hylton Van De Kerkhoeve, or “Hylton,” a 17-hand bay KWPN gelding bred by Toby Horsting out of Dressagestable de Kerkhoeve in Belgium.

When the young horses arrived at her barn, Degele, Elliott, and Sizemore immediately formed a plan based on their shared understanding of the horses’ potential. Degele keenly used her classical and systematic training routine, which she developed during her three years training with Olympic Gold Medalist Hubertus Schmidt. Degele also trains and consults with Danish Olympians Lars Petersen and Bent Jensen, and incorporates this tremendous wealth of knowledge into the training of all horses within her business HeidiDressage LLC in Loxahatchee, Florida.

Sizemore is skilled with the art of navigating a young horse and retaining a patient and positive mindset while training. Sizemore also qualified two other mounts for previous years’ National Championships. Coupled with Degele’s classical training regimen, Hercules and Hylton have the tools they need for success, which has been proven throughout the winter competition season.

Both horses took high and consistent marks in all shows they were entered into this winter, repeatedly scoring 80 percent at shows in the Wellington, Florida area. At the Welcome Back to White Fences I show at the White Fences Equestrian Center, Degele directed Sizemore and Hercules to an exceptional 81 percent in the USDF Four and Five Year Old Materiale Gelding/Stallion class. At the Wellington Classic Dressage Series Finale at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds, Sizemore and Hylton took home an 81.20 percent in the FEI Four Year Old test.

Degele is proud of the strong hand she brings to play in the four-year-old division this year at the USEF/Markel Young Horse National Championships. Degele says, “I have no doubt that Hercules and Hylton can and will go into the CDI ring with the proper training. Both horses have super qualities of being honest, having good work ethic, and truly loving to work. They are forward-moving on their own, and have good hind leg action with the ability to sit and carry themselves, easily holding their poles high.”

Not only do the horses have the talented and athletic movement needed for reaching high ranks, but they are also true joys to have at the barn. “They are big horses, but big babies!” Degele smiles. “They love playing in their paddocks and stalls with toy balls, constantly trying to make them squeak. We give them both a lot of attention and they know they are very special in and outside the arena.”

As Degele’s team gears up for the Young Horse National Championships, they are keen to continue using her successful training program. Degele owns and operates her training and sales business HeidiDressage LLC year-round in Loxahatchee, Florida. Degele bases her training on a positive approach with German and American dressage foundations that have helped her develop and campaign a number of horses through Grand Prix. She is known for having an eye for the ideal dressage mount and expertly matching riders with top quality horses. Degele offers a diverse selection of horses for sale of all levels and enjoys individualized training to maximize her client’s potential. Degele consistently works towards her goal of internationally representing the United States and helping her clients achieve their dreams in dressage. For more information on Heidi Degele, visit www.HeidiDressage.com or call 561-294-4118.

Contact: Heidi Degele
HeidiDressage LLC
Cell: 561-294-4118
HeidiDressage@aol.com

 

Heidi Degele to Compete at USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage Nat’l Championships

Heidi Degele and Lakota (Photo courtesy of Joanna Jodko Photography)

Loxahatchee, FL (August 11, 2013) – USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalist Heidi Degele has always set lofty goals for herself and her dressage mounts, and is now seeing those goals achieved with her ten-year-old American Warmblood gelding Lakota HD. Degele and Lakota HD have officially received their invitation to compete in the Grand Prix Developing Horse division of the 2015 Markel/USEF Developing Horse Dressage National Championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois on August 19-23.

The partnership between Degele and Lakota dates back to the gelding’s arrival at her facility just outside of Wellington, Florida as a ‘barely broke’ three-year-old. Degele states, “I’ve trained him from his first time going down center line in Training Level all the way to the Grand Prix.”

This past season, Degele consistently earned high scores in the Intermediaire II and Developing Grand Prix classes. Recently, Degele and Lakota won High Point of U.S. bred horses at White Fences Equestrian Center in Loxahatchee, Florida, with a score of 73.16 percent in the Intermediaire II. The pair’s hard work and impressive results paid off in receiving the official invitation to compete at the Young Horse National Championships. Degele competed at the Young Horse Championships with Lakota in 2013 at the Developing Prix St Georges level, and she is overjoyed to return this year at the Grand Prix level. The competition is part of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)’s initiative to recognize up-and-coming dressage talent for High Performance – not only in riders, but also in their equine partners.

Degele was thrilled when her official USEF invitation arrived in the mail. “It was one of the greatest feelings ever, really a dream come true!” For Degele, one of the best parts of her success is sharing the achievement with Lakota. “Lakota HD is all heart – he may not be bred like most of his competition, but he wants it. He wants to do well just as bad as I do! He can be really silly in the barn or in the warm-up, often times squealing when he is excited. Yet when it comes to the center line, it’s ‘Game On!’”

Degele credits other top trainers for their help in her journey bringing Lakota up through the levels. “I’ve worked with Lars Peterson since the start, and he truly helped me ‘make’ this horse. I have also had the privilege of riding at a clinic with Steffen Peters, who actually rode Lakota.” Patrick Burssens and Hubertus Schmidt have also helped to polish Lakota’s Grand Prix movements. Degele has most recently been training with Danish Olympian Bent Jensen, who she states has done a tremendous job – especially with the challenging one tempi lead changes.

Always full of personality, Lakota is a true performer. “Once the braids go in, he can’t stand himself – jumping around on the crossties, crossing his legs, pawing, whatever it takes for us to get him in the trailer as soon as possible and into the arena,” smiles Degele. “He has made me cry a few times this season. Tears have run down my face at the shows, not because I was sad, but because I was so proud of him. There are so many other horses I’ve ridden throughout my career that may have had twice the gaits, athletic ability, and superior bloodlines than he has, but I have never ridden a horse with as much will and heart.”

With the Young Horse Championships quickly approaching, Degele plans to continue her training routine that she developed during her three years in Germany riding with Olympic Gold Medalist Hubertus Schmidt. “Lately, Bent Jensen has been helping me at the shows and that has been great! Lakota loves him, and Bent allows me to keep my program.” Degele states that as long as she remains calm, cool, and focused in the ring, then the rest is easy.

Degele owns and operates HeidiDressage LLC, and is focused on continuing up to the FEI level and competing in the CDIs with Lakota and her 9-year-old KWPN gelding, Benson HD. Degele is also concentrated on growing her training and sales business of upper level dressage horses. She thanks her sponsors Custom Saddlery, Dressage Sport Boots (DSB), Cavalor, and Premier Equestrian for their continued support. For more information on Heidi Degele, please visit www.heidi-dressage.com.

Contact: Heidi Degele
HeidiDressage LLC
Cell: 561.294-4118
Fax: 561.753-9325
HeidiDressage@aol.com

Two for Two: Heidi Degele Scores 82% with Don Fredo to Round Out the Season

Heidi Degele and her mount Don Fredo competing at Welcome Back to White Fences IV. (Photo courtesy of Heidi Degele)

Wellington, FL (April 17, 2013) – Preparedness paid off for Heidi Degele, whose road to success has been one way, through hard work. With a full-time competition stable she runs located in Loxahatchee, FL, former Michigan resident Degele finds her stride training horses and students to achieve high scores while climbing the levels to the international stage.  There are two main goals Degele works towards for the 2013 USA Dressage season: one, qualifying for the Markel/USEF National and Developing Championships held August 21-25, 2013 in Wayne, Illinois, and two, helping her student Chloe Hatch climb the levels in the Young rider division.  Degele achieved both her goals during the first week in April 2013 at the Welcome Back White Fences III and IV competitions.

Riding Don Fredo (Don Frederico x Pik Bube I), owned by Greystone Equestrian LLC, Degele scored big in the 6-year-old test with an 82.000%, which was the high score of the show.  Degele said, “The ride was almost flawless.  I gave it my all and so did Don Fredo.  I went down the center line thinking I was going to ride perfect have not let the judges have anything to comment on and it worked.  The judges complimented and thanked me for bringing Don Fredo and only had positives to say, concluding that they see him as being a CDI horse in the future.” She trains with Lars Peterson regularly during the year and she watched him win the CDI 5* the night before the class.  She said, “Lars’ ride very much inspired me. I kept telling myself to ride like Lars.  Give it your all.”  With the goal of going to the Markel/USEF National and Developing Championships held August 21-25, 2013 in Wayne, Illinois, she said, “I think it is harder to qualify the young horse in Florida, considering our shows are earlier in the year and he’s not even technically 6 years old yet. The horses up north have an advantage given that they have more time to grow and age.  So, my goal was to get high enough scores to qualify and to pick my shows wisely.  I also showed him in a couple 3rd level tests to help prepare him for the 6-year-old test.  He is really a smart horse and learns things so quick.  He is also mentally very mature, so I am so happy for this success with him.  It’s my highest score ever.”

With Lakota, an 8-year-old American Warmblood owned by Mesa Farms LLC, Degele scored 65.58% Saturday and Sunday scored 66.69% in the FEI Developing Horse Prix St George.  Degele said, “My Goals for Lakota are to qualify for the Chicago Young Horse Championships.  I believe in this horse.  He has so much heart, more than any other horse I’ve ridden.  He loves to work.” With Both horses scoring high, Degele not only has qualified for the Illinois Championships, but by qualifying early in the year, looks forward to being competitive on the national stage for the United States of America.  Degele also rode Joanne Brooks’ 8-year-old Danish warmblood Lyric in the Third Level Open division to scores over 68%.  Lyric, who came from Canada to train with Degele for the season, made his debut at Third level with Degele who praised the horse’s work ethic and trainability.

Proud of her student Chloe Hatch who rode Slogan to a 60% in the Junior Team Test on Saturday, Degele said, “I am very proud of Chloe.  These are hard tests and hard competition.  She has been sick and Slogan actually had fractured his leg about a year and half ago.  So the fact they are competing at this level is such a huge accomplishment.”

Degele also competed the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare Ratina, who is by Rotspon and owned by Kristi Bloom.  The pair scored a 69.2% in the Third Level Test 1 Open division.  Degele stated, “This is another sales horse; I wanted her to have a current show record and in fact I ended up selling this wonderful mare 4 days after the show. I was so very proud of her.  She didn’t put a foot wrong and was happy to show off in the ring.”

With Kresjan, a 12-year-old Danish Warmblood by Lanskoy and owned by Claire Liang, Degele scored 66% in the Open Prix St George division to win the class, an impressive move since this was the horse’s first time being shown by Degele.  Degele said, “I just wanted to give this lovely horse a show record in the US.  He was successfully shown in Europe, and is a great horse, super easy and push button.  We are very proud of him.”

Degele wants to give a special thanks to Custom Saddlery for being such a great sponsor throughout the years and to help her achieve the 2013 path ahead.  With the strong scores, 2013 will prove an epic year for team Degele.

Contact:
Heidi Degele
Cell: 561.294-4118
Farm / Fax: 561.753-9325
Email: HeidiDressage@aol.com

Heidi Degele and Don Fredo Score 78.5% to Win

Heidi Degele and Don Fredo enjoy a victory pass after scoring 78.5% at the recent GCDA Fall Fling. (JRPR photo)

Wellington, FL (November 19, 2012) – USDF Gold Medalist, Heidi Degele, rode to the win aboard Don Fredo at their first show together during the Gold Coast Dressage Association Fall Fling November 10-11, 2012.  Scoring 78.5% in the 4- and 5-year-old Materiale Class and earning an 8.5 at the Walk, 8.0 for Trot, 7.0 for Canter, and an 8.0 overall Impression, this dynamic new duo made quite a spectacular debut.  “From the first time I saw Don Fredo, I truly believed in him and felt that he is a truly special horse,” Degele said about the 16.2h Oldenburg gelding. “The Fall Fling was so special because it was his first show with me riding him.  We have only had him a little over a month,” she continued. “He had such a great work ethic in the warm up ring and in the show ring, and he never looked at anything. He was all business and acted more like a 10-year-old. It pleased me so much to have a young horse act that way.”

USDF Silver Medalist Jessica Beier, M.D. owns Don Fredo. Beier is an adult amateur rider based in Tifton, Georgia.  Don Fredo is by Don Frederico, who was just proclaimed Hanovarian Stallion of the Year at the 2012 Hanovarian Stallion Licensing ceremony in Verden, Germany. His grand sire is Donnerhall and his dam’s sire is Pik Bube.  “He is super sweet and playful,” says Degele about Don Fredo’s personality.  “He is always putting something in his mouth, like most babies,” she laughs.  “He knows me already, even though we haven’t had him that long, and when the owner is riding him in a lesson, he likes to slow down or stop by wherever I am sitting in the ring just to say hello.”  Degele is excited to see what else Don Fredo has to bring this season, along with the other horses and clients she has in training.

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