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Road to Rio


2015/09/02



Kim Gentry, Dressage trainer in Moscow, TN has some exciting news: she and her horse Leonardo have been named to the Australian High Performance Squad for the Olympics and WEG between now and 2020. Looking forward to competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics would be, indeed, the highlight of any equestrian’s career! Australia will be sending national squads for eventing, dressage, jumping, and para-equestrian.

Leonardo has made some remarkable achievements this summer. In June at the Mid-South Dressage Academy show in Hernando, MS Leo made his debut at Intermediaire II and Grand Prix, scoring 68.5% and 65.1% - judged by an FEI 4-star judge. Leo is only 8 years old, so has made great strides for a young horse. Kim remarked about his debut, “Not bad for his first time! We had some green mistakes, but otherwise we had very solid rides and he was completely comfortable with the tests. We finally have a job for all of that energy he has! What a good boy!”

In July Leo scored 67.5% in Grand Prix and 69.737% at Intermediare II at the Chattahoochie Hills Dressage Show (Fairburn, GA) and won the FEI high point award for the show. In August, Kim and Leo scored 66.6% and 67.3% in Grand Prix at the Ole South Classic in Murfeesboro, TN under a well respected FEI 4* judge.

 “I am very excited about being named to the High Performance Squad and I’m looking forward to the experiences that this opportunity will bring to me. Leo is very young for this level of competition, especially for international competitions, so I am being careful to keep him in his comfort zone and not push him in his training. He loves his work and it’s important to me that we keep that willingness in him. My current focus is to gain experience and confidence in the Grand Prix arena together and develop an understanding of the nuances of the test with him. Leo is already fulfilling the technical requirements of the test very well. Now he needs to develop strength to show greater expression that should translate into bigger scores. That process will take many months. We had well respected judges at the last couple of shows and their feedback was really positive and encouraging along with some good scores for our first rides at Grand Prix.”

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