It has been a season of success for Endel Ots and Donatus, who scored a 73.00 percent in the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix to place first yet again during the final week of the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
The young team’s first season competing together has been marked by high scores, and Donatus is now the top-ranked horse in the Developing Horse Grand Prix.
“The ride went very easy,” Ots said. “Our warm up was super. I had an observation clinic with Debbie McDonald, and she invited us to participate in a USEF Developing Training Session March 18-19, which was incredibly helpful. In addition, Evi Strasser coached me on Donatus a week before, and both were very happy with his progress. I started to feel like I could really ride the test and polish off the edges much better this time.”
Donatus is owned by Everglades Dressage, located in Wellington, and home to Grand Prix rider and trainer Bethany Peslar.
Ots started working with Donatus just before the season began, and the pair was undefeated in the classes they have entered. Ots is now aiming the chestnut gelding at the 2014 Young Horse Championships this summer, where they will compete in the Developing Horse Grand Prix.
“He still needs some time to get stronger and more confirmed in the show ring,” Ots said. “I have to send a big thank you to Bethany Peslar for letting me ride this horse, and of course Evi Strasser for all her time and help coaching.”
A veteran in the show arena despite being only 28 years old, Ots has competed in over 150 shows and is a USDF bronze, silver and gold medalist. He was the alternate for the United States Dressage Team at the Pan American Games, and in 2012, Ots was the Reserve Champion in the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix at the Young Horse Championships.
In addition to training numerous horses up through Grand Prix, Ots has years of experience teaching all levels, from beginners to adult amateurs. “The plan this summer is to take Donatus to a few more shows and get him feeling super confident in the show ring,” Ots said.
Everglades Dressage is based in Grand Prix Village and offers dressage training for all levels of riders. For more information, visit www.evergladesdressage.com.