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Dreamcatcher Meadows strong in opener

New employee shakes off jitters in Washington competition



The accolades keep rolling in for Dreamcatcher Meadows.

The horses from the Pemberton-area stable earned some high honours at a pair of Washington-state shows — the Whidbey Island USDF Sporthorse Qualifier Show and the Whidbey Island USDF Dressage show — held from June 19 to 21.

In particular, elite stallion Dreammaster DMV was the star of the show, taking both the show grand champion and mature stallion champion titles. Not far behind was elite mare Ballerina DMV, named reserve show champion and mature mare champion.

All 10 horses at the stable entered ended up qualifying for the sporthorse final, which is earned with a minimum score of 77 per cent.

"If you get 70 per cent, you're considered to be doing really well," said Dreamcatcher Meadows co-owner Jill Giese, noting the stable's top scores were 89 per cent, 88.9 per cent, and 85 per cent.

Westminster DMV (two-year-old colt/gelding), D-Trix DMV (three-year-old colt/gelding and materiale stallion/gelding), Wishing Star DMV (yearling filly), Leopold DMV (materiale stallion/gelding age 4/5), and Wikipedia DMV (materiale mare age 3) all ended up champions in their respective divisions. Whistler DMV, meanwhile, was the reserve champion in the two-year-old colt/gelding event and Dancier's Dream was second in the materiale stallion/gelding age 4/5 category.

In the dressage show, meanwhile, John Dingle rode Dreammaster DMV to a second-place showing in the intermediate 1 open division and Kirsten Mitchell took Lady of the Dance DMV to the top of the junior division at the seconds level.

"We didn't really expect, for the first show of the season, with so many new members of the team, both horses and people, to have such phenomenal results," Giese said.

The newest human member of the team, Australian Andrew Rae, worked closely with Dancier's Dream. In the first international competition for the 21 year old, he was pleased with how he came to handle the pressure with help from veteran rider and stable co-owner Dingle.

"On the first day of competition, I think the nerves of it got the best of me," he said. "I was quite tense and the horse was a bit more tense.

"It all sort of fell into place and I relaxed and the scores got better and better as the weekend went on."

Rae said the horses in Pemberton are among the best he's ever ridden, and he was glad for the chance to take one into competition.

"I had a really nice time and I'm grateful to the owners for allowing me to ride him at the show," Rae said. "He improved constantly with each ride over the weekend and got some really good scores."

Giese noted she's been impressed with Rae's demeanour, recalling a recent ride on the farm where he kept a horse under control after being spooked by cyclists riding along Pemberton Meadows Road.