“I’m so excited to see where this horse ends up because she is trainable, rideable, consistent and powerful! She’s definitely a serious horse for the future,” says 23-year-old Hope Beerling of Vianne, a seven-year-old mare by Vitalis out of a Ramiro’s Bube dam.
Hope has known the horse since she broke her in as a three-year-old and has trained her through the levels under the expert eye of renowned American Grand Prix rider Catherine Haddad Staller, who bred the mare.
“We’re doing all the seven-year-old classes and she’s consistently scoring 76% for the test and 83% for her gaits. Our immediate goal is to get her to Ermelo (for the 2023 FEI WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses, 3-6 August),” explains Hope.
Late last month, the pair travelled to the Mid-Atlantic Dressage Festival at Virginia Horse Centre, where they contested the CDI-YH Seven-Year-Old classes. Although they were the only combination in the Preliminary Test and Final, they achieved very impressive scores of 74.414% and 77.771% – thereby achieving the qualifying scores needed to have a shot at Australian team selection for Ermelo.
To be considered for selection, seven-year-old overseas based horses must have a minimum of one performance of at least 70% at a CDI-YH. As was the case last year, FEI rules stipulate that Australia is only able to send one combination in each age category, with preference given to homebred (Australian-bred) horses – however, overseas-bred horses with Australian riders may compete if no qualified homebred horses enter. At present, American-bred Vianne has the highest score of any seven-year-old eligible to compete for Australia; a decision regarding the Nominated Entries will be made by the Equestrian Australia National Dressage Selectors in late June.
“Every day at (the Mid-Atlantic Dressage Festival) Vianne got better and better and stronger and stronger!” says Hope. “She was an absolute superstar and is just so consistent every time we go down the centreline. By the final day we pulled off one of the best tests we’ve ever done. We received some very positive comments and scores including a 9 for trot, with the judge commenting on how much fun it was to judge and how powerful the horse is. We ended the competition on an 82.4% for her gaits and 73.143% for the technical.”
All going well, Hope is planning to travel to Europe with Vianne in July and base in Germany or Denmark for a month before Ermelo. Her next goal is to then try and find a syndicate for Vianne, who is currently owned by NorCordia – an equine investment company cofounded and owned by Catherine Haddad Staller in conjunction with Denmark’s Ulrik Clemmensen – so she can continue the strong partnership she’s built over the past four years with the mare. “I do think Vianne has what it takes to be an Olympic horse and help get Australia near the top of the sport,” says Hope.
The other special horse Hope currently works with is Morocco. “He’s a six-year-old that I’ve been developing over the last eight months, and he is very naturally talented. A super, super horse. He may in the long run be a better horse. I’m not sure, but right now Vianne has all the quality to be an Olympic mount. Those two are very special.”