WakeUp Graces Lamplight, Wins Young Horse Selections
May 23, 2011 4 Comments
On Sunday Christy and I ventured out to Lamplight, a gorgeous show ground outside of Chicago, to see the young horse selections (and some other rides). In particular, we wanted to see WakeUp, a six year old stallion, and one of the top young horses in the world – he just missed making the finals in the 5 year old championship in Verden last year. WakeUp, ridden by Emily Wagner, took top honors this weekend too – you can read about it on Dressage Daily.
Because he’s still a youngster, WakeUp was shown in a snaffle, and the six year old test doesn’t ask for upper level movement. It does ask for collection and extensions in all gaits, however, which was really fun for me to watch. I don’t yet know enough yet to be able to spot details like late changes behind in a line of tempis, for example, but I am starting to develop my eye for gait quality.
WakeUp is a “wow” mover. He’s so through, supple and suspended that he makes other horses – other lovely, lovely, horses – pale in comparison.
What was really interesting is the fact that WakeUp, according to some reports I’ve seen, is 17 hands tall. I was surprised when I read that fact this morning, because he doesn’t look it. He’s so well balanced and works so beautifully within himself that he appears smaller. There’s nothing hulking or gangly about this horse. He just might be perfect.
This was the first time I’ve ever seen a ‘big time’ horse that is competing at the top of the sport internationally. And it was fun to hear my fellow spectators – some of whom didn’t know who that black stallion in warm up was – exclaim at his beauty and presence.
“Who is that!?”
“I just found my mare’s husband!”
Their comments affirmed and validated my own reaction to watching this gorgeous horse. WakeUp is a truly exceptional horse.
It was a treat and a privilege to watch Scott Hassler, the US Young Horse dressage coach, put WakeUp and Emily through their warm up paces. And it was fun to see Emily’s big smile and hear her say “I’m ready!” at the end of the warm up, minutes before turning in a performance Dressage Daily called “nearly flawless.” WakeUp was bred in Kansas, and is registered with the American Warmblood Registry – proof that you don’t need an import to play at the highest levels of our game!