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Kim Gentry and Leonardo Win Grand Prix at Tryon Summer Dressage Show


By Nancy Brannon

News travels fast on the Internet. Posted on HKM Georgia USA facebook page was: “HKM USA Team Rider Kim Gentry and Leo win Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center... Congratulations Kim! And happy for you to be part of the team!”

At “News” on the Oak Hill Ranch, Folsom, LA website: “Congratulations to Kim Gentry and Leonardo for winning Grand Prix at Tryon with a 68.4%!”

The 2016 Tryon Summer Dressage show, June 18-19, at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, NC, was a benchmark for Kim Gentry and Leonardo. At this show Kim and Leo placed third in their first Grand Prix Open division test, scoring 61.300%, under Judge Kristi Wysocki “S”. Kim analyzed her ride: “Leo warmed up great for our Saturday test, but he got tense when we went into the big international ring. There was construction going on ring side, and a nail gun going off the whole time through our test. We had a quite a few mistakes in the test as he was not 100% focused on me.” But they came back in their second test to win the Grand Prix with an astounding score of 68.400%, under Judge Sue Kolstad “S”!

Kim Gentry wrote on her facebook page: “Many, many big thank yous to my wonderful sponsors and the people who have helped me get to this point. Thank you for believing in us!” She commented on the Tryon International Equestrian Center: “What an awesome facility!”

Kim has been working with Leo over the last several months to develop the technical aspects of the Grand Prix movements and to develop more strength and confidence in the horse in the arena.

“The environment in these large, international arenas can be very tense, and horses sense that,” Kim explained. “Leo is a very sensitive horse and can get hot and tense in these environments. Now he’s more settled when we go into the arena. He’s now relaxed and settled in the warm-up, and I have the same horse when I go into the arena. The Tryon test was our best Grand Prix to date!”

Her training with Leo continues. “We’re still developing more strength in piaffe and passage. Our goal is to accomplish this and bring our scores up to the 70% mark over the next year,” Kim said. “We have the piaffe and passage work at home, but in the test, the movements come up quickly. Leo needs a little more strength and confidence so that the movements are ‘there’ in the test.”

Kim and Leo also won both Grand Prix classes at Chattahoochee Hills, at Bouchaert Farm in Fairburn, Georgia, May 28-29, 2016. Their scores were 67.1% both days. At this show, Kim rode another horse, Fine Art, who won the Four-Year-Old Young Horse Championship qualifier with 80.0%! “Riding a 4 year old at his first two shows in the USEF Young Horse Qualifiers and riding Leo in the Grands Prix definitely tested my riding skill set!” Kim said.

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