DMV Ballerina, the Hanoverian filly owned by Canadian restaurateur Bus Fuller, and raised and trained by Dreamcatcher Meadows in Pemberton, has risen to a new level in dressage competition.
The four-year-old horse is now ranked no. 1 in the U.S. for four, five, and six year olds at the 2012 Markel/United States Equestrian Federation National Young Horse Championships in dressage — a rare achievement for a horse of any age, but remarkable for one so young.
Most recently, Ballerina achieved two perfect scores of 10 points at an event in Spokane, Washington, in July.
Now she and her rider, John Dingle, have been invited to compete in the four-year-old division of the event thanks to a combined average from earlier 2012 competitions of 8.780 out of 10, the highest mark of all the invitees.
The event takes place at the Lamplight Equestrian Centre in Fort Wayne, Illinois, from Aug. 22 to 26, with 780 horses from across North America taking part and the top 15 in each age category invited to the final.
Ballerina will be delivered to Illinois via Federal Express. She will be presented to judges and veterinarians on Aug. 22 for inspection, a practice competition takes place on Aug. 23 and the final is on Aug. 25.
"It's really nerve-wracking, and John is under a lot of pressure because she is undefeated and it would be a remarkable result. She's four, she's never flown before, and she's up against a lot of really amazing horses and riders, some very experienced combinations," said Dingle's wife and co-owner of Dreamcatcher Meadows, Jill Giese.
"It's not over until it's over. Anything can happen."
Giese said Dreamcatcher Meadows has qualified five horses including Ballerina for the breed championships in Washington, but are unable to attend as it is the same weekend.
Other horses will still be there, but without Giese and Dingle.