This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
“My goal was to sit quiet, point Carlsson to the jumps and let him go. He took care of the rest.” And the rest became Olympic history. Great horse. Great rider. Great performance. That’s


what it’s all about.


SOLEI – A DRESSAGE SUPERSTAR


“Dreams Can Come True” By Rebecca Rigdon


S


ometimes in life there are horses that have a significant impact on us. For me Solei has been that horse. The journey to find my partner started


because of a tragic accident with a young Holsteiner mare I had named Tica. In the spring of 2005, one week after her first show, while playing in the pasture Tica bucked, landed in a hole, and shattered her knee. She was only four years old. I tried to save her and make her comfortable enough to live out her life in green pastures, but the surgeries failed. Like any driven professional that has infinite dreams of being on top some day with a special horse, I thought my dream ended with the loss of such a spectacular mare. I knew that I had to move on. “There is always a better horse out there,” my mother Arlene Rigdon reminded me. So, over the course of the next six months, I sold all of my young foals and went off on my own to Germany in search of my next partner. After visiting several barns with no luck, I decided


to attend the 2006 annual fall Holsteiner Auction in Neumunster. This is where I first saw Solei (her auction name was Anastasia). After watching her go, I thought she was amazing for a young four-year old, especially considering the electric environment of the auction hall. She embodied the strong presence and power of her sire Aljano, as well as the sensitivity, elegance and expression of her grandsire Lorentin I. I was instantly in love. Over the course of the next few days I rode her again,


called my mother for advice, and hoped that I was not making a decision about her based on my emotions. This beautiful mare looked exactly like the mare I had just lost, so I had to be very logical about my purchase. Unfortunately, Solei went over my budget at auction and sold to a Southern German buyer named Herr Berger. Although disappointed, I was determined not to give up. I tracked Mr. Berger down during the final auction party and boldly announced to him, “Hello, my name is Rebecca Rigdon, and you bought my horse.” Being the wise salesman that he is, after ten days of negotiation


46 May/June 2011 SPECIAL HOLSTEINER SECTION


and after raising more funds by mortgaging my house (which I do not recommend), I finally had my horse! As a five-year old I took her to her first shows. She


consistently scored in the 70’s and at one show she narrowly missed the 80% mark. I competed with her in the Young Horse Championships as a six-year old in 2008, placing in the top ten despite hurricane force winds that final day! She caught the eye of my current coach Steffen Peters a few years ago, and since then I have moved my business to his facility in San Diego where I to continue to work with Steffen and his wife Shannon. Solei has not always been easy. She is a hot, ultra


sensitive mare, but when I was able to channel it correctly, that sensitivity worked to my advantage. We have been competing on the West Coast for the last two years at Prix St. Georges and she has consistently been scoring in the high sixties and low seventies winning numerous classes. I am both fortunate and thrilled to have had this amazing journey with Solei. She is now nine years old, and every day I ride her I think, okay, she can’t possibly give me any more, and she does. Currently we are ambitiously setting our next goal for Gladstone and the Pan Am Games in Mexico this year, but with all of the very strong competition, I will be just as happy if she stays consistent, becomes stronger, and we can continue to work towards our goal of Grand Prix in 2012. Our dreams live on… v


Rebecca and Solei competing at Intermediare I at the L.A. Burbank show in 2010. Photo by Garrett Moon


American Holsteiner Horse Association


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76