Kati Dagge riding Sai Baba Plus. (Joanna Jodko Photography)
Southwest Ranches, FL (July 2,2021) — Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Kati Dagge is excited about the talented new horse she will be campaigning as part of her association with an idyllic equestrian center. The USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist scored the ride on Sai Baba Plus (Sir Donnerhall – Daylight, De Niro), a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, also known as “Rolex,” owned by Heidi Humphries. Humphries owns Zen Elite Equestrian Center in Southwest Ranches near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where Dagge is the head dressage trainer.
“She’s really good with the horses,” Humphries said of the 2014 Young Adult Brentina Cup Champion. “She’s really gentle with them and I like her style of riding. Every horse she gets on seems to respond to her. She’s more than a trainer; she truly cares about every horse.”
Dagge and Rolex are just getting acquainted, so the “Rollout for Rolex” is yet to be determined, but Humphries thinks their competition debut in the Large Tour in the Florida isn’t too far off. “They’re just getting to know each other, but they’re already clicking very well,” she said.
Endel Ots, who will be collaborating with Dagge as her coach on Rolex’s training, found the talented Grand Prix horse for Humphries with Kati in mind. Rolex was competing internationally in Europe and Humphries thought he was the perfect horse for Dagge to ride and represent the Zen Elite Equestrian Center. Earlier in the year, Humphries purchased the young KWPN approved stallion King’s Pleasure (Dark Pleasure x Johnson) for Ots to develop through the levels. “Endel has an amazing eye for selecting horses. He found King’s Pleasure and now Sai Baba Plus. I am thrilled with both these horses,” Humphries shared. Dagge and Ots have known each other for about 10 years, and he has coached her on other horses she has brought up through the levels. “Kati is young, ambitious, and a very talented rider. I am thrilled to have her as lead dressage trainer at Zen Elite. I am so excited to watch Kati and Rolex in the show arena. I truly believe this dynamic duo will be a winning team,” added Humphries.
Dagge, who grew up in a horse-loving family, knows she hit the horse jackpot with Rolex. “I’m super thankful to Heidi for the opportunity to ride such an amazing horse and for the trust she has in me to be the one to represent the farm,” she said. “She’s got an incredible vision for what she’s doing there. I really think we’re going to have one of the top facilities.” From a huge covered arena to dry and wet treadmills to cold water therapy and an air-conditioned barn, Humphries has thought of everything to make the equestrian center first rate. “She’s an avid horse and animal lover with an amazing vision for the sport,” Dagge continued. “I’m so thankful that I’m part of it.”
Humphries’ goal when creating the facility was to develop a world-class sport horse center with the feel of a spa featuring amazing trainers and fantastic horses. She noted there are several first-class facilities in Wellington and Ocala, but there are horse enthusiasts, ambitious riders, and their equine partners in Dade and Broward county as well. “Why should they have to drive an hour or two to Palm Beach when they can have it here in Broward County?” she said. “We want our boarders to think of Zen as their home away from home or a vacation close to home, a place where they can shoot for the stars with their amazing horses and learn from top-quality trainers at a state-of-the-art facility.” With a 20,000 sq. ft. insulated covered arena, two huge outdoor arenas, and a full rehab/spa/gym for equines and humans, Zen Elite Equestrian Center is poised to be the premier boarding and training center in the area.