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of training with top eventing professionals, including Phillip Dutton, he never realized his potential. He did however, find competitive success in the event world, including a win at a CIC** at the Fair Hill Horse Trials.

Despite his jumping talent, Felix would get so nervous at the start of the cross-country phase that he would simply stand and shake, Silva explains. His owner saw how much more he enjoyed dressage and was willing to make the financial investment to have him change careers, even though she remained a committed event rider.

“That first time I got on him and showed him the aids, he just clicked,” Silva recounts. “He enjoyed it so much he was almost showing off!”

Silva Martin competes Felix at 4th level Dressage.

“But as an amateur, don’t make a quick decision,” she cau- tions. “It may be how you are presenting the training. Often, it’s a good idea to have a professional ride your horse a few times to help you decide.”

Felix, a chestnut Irish Sport Horse, was trained as an event horse but simply didn’t enjoy the job. Despite several years

In 2008, after one year of training, Felix showed successfully at Third Level and has made the move to Fourth. Recently he left Silva’s Pennsylvania base and rejoined his owner in Northern California. There Felix is in training with Gina Duran of Topline Training, he is showing Prix St-Georges, and he is looking for a new owner who wants to focus on the dressage he enjoys so much.

Breeding to Show Jumping

the Dutch Warmblood Topas

“While her appearance was that of a broodmare, the quality of her jump was fantastic. That’s why we decided to take a chance on her.”

David Tromp, who runs Beyaert Farm in North Salem, New York with his parents and siblings, knows all about finding talented horses in unexpected places. Topas, his nine-year- old Dutch Warmblood mare, was a broodmare when he found her in Holland two years ago. The pair began compet- ing just a year ago.

The Tromps purchased Topas from a breeder who normally bred a young mare once, then sold her. In this mare’s case, however, he was determined to get a filly to preserve the bloodline – her sire is Indoctro and her dam’s sire is Huzaar. Because he continued breeding her, she was ridden only in the early stages of each pregnancy, and again after each foal was weaned. When under saddle, she competed sporadically in 1.10 meter (approximately 3’6”) jumping classes.

Gina Duran of Topline Training schools the canter pirouette with Felix.

“When they pulled her out of the stall, her appearance was that of a broodmare,” David says of the first time he saw Topas in 2007. “But the quality of her jump was fantastic, even over low fences, and her breeding was wonderful.”

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