Earns U.S. Dressage Federation Gold Medal
Oleson and her Half-Arabian dressage horse, SB Flame Dancer (Ralmas
Roper x Hey Dance Alittle), captured one of the sport's highest
accolades--a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Gold Medal.
Dancer was also the only Half-Arabian to earn a USDF All-Breeds
award at the Grand Prix Level in 2002. To earn the Gold Medal, Heather
and Dancer needed four scores of 60 percent or higher, two from
Intermediate 1 or II and two at Grand Prix. Six other Arabians and
Half-Arabians listed below earned USDF Silver and Bronze Medals.
was Oleson's first horse, a brash Arabian/Appaloosa yearling that
was a good mover, spirited and spunky. Oleson's mother broke Dancer,
and Oleson did all his early training with help from a local dressage
trainer and a dressage-oriented 4-H club. She took Dancer to his
first USDF-recognized show at First Level when he was 5 years old
and she was 13. By then the two had started working as a team.
could always get him to do something pretty easily," says Oleson,
who lives in Sherwood, Ore. "He was always very willing to
work for me."
junior high and high school, Oleson took Dancer up to Second Level
and "toyed with Third." Then Oleson took a hiatus as a
working student and didn't ride Dancer for almost nine months because
she thought he was going lame. When Oleson picked up Dancer's reins
again after nine months of training and setting goals, the two started
had a good foundation and was pretty steady," says Oleson.
"Once he figured out his changes, it was quite quick."
and Dancer rode in the North American Young Riders Championship
in 1999, which requires Fourth and Prix St. Georges Level work,
and they performed their first Grand Prix in 2002.
build is not ideal for dressage," admits Oleson, who credits
his work ethic and a long-term relationship for their success. "They
want a horse that is uphill and higher in the withers. He is downhill
and about two inches higher in the croup. It was a constant problem
to get him up. It is difficult to get collection in the trot and
to get him to change his balance and push forward for piaffe and
passage work. However, he could still do remarkable collected work
even though he wasn't built to do it."
gives the 15.1-hand gelding high marks for his extended trot, trot
half passes and canter pirouettes. However, the best compliments
she gets are from judges who like to see a lot of harmony. "He
has a nice look as he goes through the test, very quiet in the bridle,
very rhythmic and steady. Everything looks very easy, and even if
I have some difficulty with a movement, it never detracts from that
fall Oleson sold the 16-year-old to Andrea Marek, an adult amateur
she's known for years who is showing him Third Level. Oleson still
rides Dancer once or twice a week and credits the spunky Half-Arabian
with laying the foundation for her dressage career.
Medal--Four scores of 60 percent or higher with two scores from
Intermediate I or II and two scores at Grand Prix.
Flame Dancer (Ralmas Roper x Hey Dance Alittle)--Heather Oleson,
owned by Andrea Marek
Medal--Four scores of 60 percent or higher with two scores at Fourth
and two at Prix St Georges.
Valor+// (Wierny+/ x Valaria)--Kristina Ehrle, owned by Fran Dearing
Klassic (Le Fire x MHR Lola)--Lauren Luhmann
Windsong (Virdon El Sancho x Windsongs Sedina)--Megan Hays
Medal--Six scores of 60 or higher are required with two from each
of these levels: First, Second and Third.
(FF Elcondor x HV Bay Angel)--Joanna Simonton
RA+ (Ivanhoe Tsultan x Mon Cie)--Heather Stalker, owned by Jean
(Tornado x TCA Trizeera)--Tevia McLaren
is a 40,000 member equine association that registers and maintains
a database of more then one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian
horses. It administers more than $4 million in annual prize money,
produces national events, maintains official event records, recognizes
more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides
activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For
information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses,
call 303-696-4500, e-mail info@ArabianHorses.org
or visit www.ArabianHorses.org.