Suzy Stafford securing the Intermediate Championship with PVF Peace Of Mind, and Preliminary Championship with J.P., owned by Diane Ameter. Photos: Pics Of You.
Dade City, FL – Gold medalist Suzy Stafford comes home with the tri-colored ribbon in the Intermediate division with her own Morgan mare PVF Peace Of Mind and was crowned the Champion in the Preliminary division with J.P., a Hanoverian gelding owned by Diane Ameter.
This is the first time Stafford and Peace Of Mind competed at the Intermediate level winning the dressage with a stellar score of 39. “This mare has 3 wonderful gaits and a super work ethic. Dressage has always been one of her strong phases and she only seems to get better with age and strength,” Stafford says.
J.P. made his mark in the dressage arena as well winning his dressage phase with a consistent relaxed test. “Having J.P. relaxed and happy in his work at a show has been my main goal in his training. The goal is to have him solid enough in his basics for his owner Diane to take the reins next month and put in the same relaxed drive. I feel that I have accomplished that here in the ring,” Stafford said.
Marathon day for both horses was a challenge as the heat brought on a shortened course by the officials. Peace Of Mind was all business as she tackled the obstacles with strength and agility. “I am delighted how game this horse is becoming in the obstacles, she is getting more power as she develops and it is a great feeling to have that strength when I asked her for it,” Stafford says, smiling.
J.P. took all his new experiences in stride including the water complex. He stayed forward and consistent throughout the course. “I am happy with his gung-ho attitude through the obstacles as he can be tentative at times. I am looking forward to Diane taking the reins at the next CDE at this level so she can enjoy her horse as much as I have,” says Stafford.
“It takes a lot of work and organization to drive two different turn-outs in two different divisions. I would not have been able to do it and be successful without the help of J.P.’s owner Diane Ameter and my working student Stacey Hoff. They kept me on schedule and made sure everything that the horses and equipment needed was taken care of so I could focus on driving and learning the courses. I am truly grateful for them,” Stafford said.
Two double clear cones rounds secured their places at the top of the leader board. “What a show – horses were great, venue was stellar and the show was well run, damn near perfect!” Stafford says with a grin.
Suzy is known around the globe for her talent for developing equines for the International stage. In her relatively short driving career Stafford has been long listed with the United States Equestrian Federation with nine different equines. “Striving for success is simple when my owners and sponsors believe wholeheartedly in my judgment, skill and training program,” Stafford says. Stafford operates her Stafford Carriage Driving facility out of Chester County in Pennsylvania from April to December and is stationed in Aiken, South Carolina from January through.
Stafford is a highly sought after clinician and also trains horses and teaches students out of her Stafford Carriage Driving facility. To learn more about Stafford, visit her website at www.staffordcarriagedriving.com.