Amy Speck-Kern and Zenanta (Photos courtesy of Joanna Jodko)
Loxahatchee, FL (June 26, 2017) – Despite the summer storms and Florida’s sweltering heat, two of Excel Dressage’s FEI competitors advanced through the upper ranks of dressage during White Fences Summer Fun I, held June 3-4, 2017 in Loxahatchee. Amy Speck-Kern rode Zenanta (Krack C x Ferro) in the mare’s debut performance at Prix St. Georges, and Amadeus (Flemmingh x Welt Hit II) in his first official attempt at Intermediaire II. Both horses delivered solid initial performances during the rated show, positioning themselves for more success in the FEI divisions.
Zenanta, who is owned by WBS Group, scored 65.1% on Saturday and 65.7% on Sunday, displaying the consistency Speck-Kern was striving for in weekly training sessions with Olympian Ali Brock. The 2004 KWPN mare’s incredible shoulder freedom and engaged hind leg naturally lends her to the FEI levels, but channeling this talent into relaxed power has been the challenge for Speck-Kern. “Because of the sessions at Ali (Brock)’s farm, Zenanta’s entire persona changed. She became much bolder, more confident, and more comfortable in her work, making it much easier to achieve a consistent connection even during the excitement of competitions,” said Speck-Kern. “With Ali’s help and simulating a competition by shipping in for lessons, she was able to progress in leaps and bounds.” Regularly awarded 8s for her half-passes and with exceptional strength to sit in the pirouettes, Zenanta’s newfound confidence ensures more FEI performances in the future.
Speck-Kern’s Saturday morning ride in the Intermediaire II was Amadeus’s first recognized score in the division, and gave them a solid starting point to develop towards a competitive Grand Prix. Brilliant in the piaffe and passage, Amadeus, who was scouted and imported as a 3-year-old by Speck-Kern and Gwen Poulin, also continues to build his confidence in the show ring. Trained to the FEI by Speck-Kern, he also excels in trot and canter extensions, and has a superb walk, for which he received 8s in the extended walk. Speck-Kern was especially pleased with this score as the extended walk comes right after the passage, a challenging transition. “Going from the energy and power needed to produce a good passage to the total relaxation and suppleness of the extended walk can be quite difficult. I was really proud of him because I felt him take a deep breath and start to demonstrate a bit of what he can do,” said Speck-Kern. “Both horses are hot and extremely sensitive, but I am very pleased with them and their effort in this show, and I’m very thankful to my entire team and fantastic sponsors for their support.”
Excel Dressage was founded by Speck-Kern in 2010 and offers training, showing, and sales of top caliber dressage horses in Loxahatchee, Florida, just minutes from Wellington’s equestrian center. After beginning her career with Olympic Bronze Medalist Michael Poulin and “S” Judge Sharon Poulin, Speck-Kern’s naturally quiet and effective riding style and training method drew a strong client base of competitive amateurs. A successful FEI competitor, Speck-Kern was ranked top in the nation at the 2016 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships aboard the Kathryn Hoog’s KWPN mare Gerona, and has developed a base of international adult amateurs that compete through the FEI level. Excel Dressage imports a select number of exceptional sales and show prospects each year, and Speck-Kern is also an equestrian Ambassador for the Kids’ Cancer Foundation as a way to give back to the research and therapies that saved her life when she was diagnosed with Acute Myleoid Leukemia at 18. With her sights set on eventually obtaining an international judges accreditation, she was recently accepted into the USEF “r” program and continues to develop her string of competition horses.
For more information on Amy Speck-Kern, Excel Dressage, or its services, visit www.ExcelDressage.com or call 414 550 1176.
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