Wellington, Florida (February 28, 2016) – Seasoned U25 Grand Prix rider Sierra Keasler kicked off her 2017 campaign with a victory in the FEI Young Rider Grand Prix during week 6 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Aboard her primary campaign horse, Lux Stensvang, Keasler utilized the national show to streamline their Grand Prix test for the upcoming CDIs. As the combination’s first time in the show ring following their top 5 finish at the 2016 US Dressage Finals Brentina Cup in (what month and is this the right name of the show?), Keasler was pleased with the solid tests on a relaxed, happy horse.
In Friday’s Intermediare II performance resulted in a 68.974% despite a few extra one-tempis, followed by a 67.674% in the Young Rider Grand Prix on Saturday, which topped the class. Marked by an exceptionally fluid and elastic canter tour, Keasler noted Lux was very relaxed in the warm-up both days, and in the show ring he was eager to perform and nicely on the aids. Previous experience lent the Danish Warmblood gelding (Lobster x Verona Stensvang x Diamond) additional confidence and relaxation in this week’s performance. Under the coaching of Silke Rembacz, Keasler is thrilled to have a win on top of a positive first of the season show experience.
“Lux’s biggest strength is his canter tour, particularly the pirouettes and changes,” said Keasler of the weekend’s rides. “Both tests felt effortless, and I’m particularly pleased with our flow in the Grand Prix. Our piaffe and passage were more rhythmical and with clearer diagonal steps, and we continue to improve in that area. We’ve been working with Silke since November, and I believe her style is one of the reasons he was so relaxed at the show. He’s sensitive and the kind of horse that needs the complete confidence of his rider and the rider’s coach. I’m really looking forward to our first CDI outing at the Palm Beach Derby, and am so grateful to have a horse like Lux.”
With this year’s requirements for the U25 Grand Prix requiring a Freestyle, Keasler has been prepping Lux’s in anticipation of their 2017 CDI debut. “The freestyles are known for being the most fun and entertaining part of the sport, but its incredible the amount of work required to put one together,” said Keasler. “The music we’ve selected is classic and fits him well, and I’m excited to present it at the CDI level.”
Lux and Keasler, in addition to Rembacz’s mentoring, have been selected to participate in the USEF’s Select Athlete’s One-on-One Coaching Program, and took advantage of the first of her sessions with FEI Judge Charlotte Bredhal on the Wednesday after her first 2017 victory.
Keasler began her advanced dressage career in 2011 as a successful Junior competitor in the NAJYRC. She spent nearly 5 years as a working student for Lionshare Dressage in Wellington, Florida, where she honed her skills as a Young Rider and eventually came to purchase Lux. She placed in the top 5 at Nationals that year, and quickly progressed to the FEI level, earning her USDF Silver Medal after competing Hyperion Farm’s Corcovado at Prix St. Georges. She and Corcovado were also the Fourth Level Young Rider Region 3 Champions in 2014. In 2015 she earned the ride on Lux Stensvang, and in their first outing at Grand Prix scored 72.9%. That same year they successfully competed in the U25 Grand Prix at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and were the Reserve Champions in the 2015 Brentina Cup. In 2016 she again campaigned Lux in the U25 Grand Prix, culminating in a 4th place overall finish at the 2016 US Dressage Finals. After purchasing Lux as her primary competition mount from Lionshare Dressage, Keasler began training in 2016 with FEI dressage trainer Silke Rembacz as she competes in the CDI U25 Grand Prix divisions at the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
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