My Grand Prix Horse, My Granddaughter’s Best Friend

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Hanoverians are our YourDressage Breed of the Month for March!  This breed originated in Germany, and is one of the oldest and most numerous of the Warmblood breeds.  Hanoverians are known for their good temperament, athleticism, beauty, and grace. Dressage enthusiasts who ride Hanoverians have the opportunity to earn special awards through the Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards as The American Hanoverian Society is a Participating Organization


We recently asked our social media followers to share stories of what makes this breed so special to them.  Here, a rider shares about her Hanoverian, fierce enough to be a competition mount but gentle enough to provide pony rides to her granddaughter.

By Regina Cristo

Ehrenwort Junior, aka Ernie, came into my life unexpectedly in the summer of 2019.  I was not looking for a new horse at the time, as I had my young Dutch Horse on the market and really wanted to sell him before looking seriously for a new upper level horse to continue my dressage education. Of course, that’s not the way things worked out!

I saw an ad for this beautiful, talented Hanoverian gelding, who happened to be in my small hometown a couple hours from me in New York.  Did he really have to be so close? He sounded so terrific, and just what I would be looking for after my horse was sold.  I decided to use a visit with my mom a couple miles away from this horse as an excuse to go see him.  Of course, my mom was cheering me on, my husband was wondering what was happening, and I was excited. 

Ernie, by Ehrenwort out of Hilary, was lovely and sweet.  He was imported in 2017 and was trained through Grand Prix.  As an adult amateur, I had been working my way up the training scale and competition for 12 years after a 20 year riding hiatus to raise my four sons.  Ernie would be my fifth horse in this journey.  Earning my USDF Gold Medal could actually be a reality with Ernie.  The stars aligned and Ernie was mine a week later.

We have been working since then to get to know each other and are having a blast.  We will be out this coming season doing Intermediate1 with the help of my long time trainer Melissa Suits of Suits Dressage.  As I approach my 60th birthday soon, it is exciting to have this wonderful horse, trainer, friends, and family rooting for me! 

Ernie is my first Hanoverian.  He’s talented for sure, but sweet and carefree as well.  The highlight of my life are my grandchildren, and my four year old granddaughter has the horse bug from hanging out with me at the barn!  She adores Ernie, and he is so smitten with her.  He goes from his work with me to being a perfect leadline horse for her.  You can’t ask for much more than that in a horse.  It’s incredibly fun! 

Life is short, buy the horse if you can.  Sharing a great horse with the ones you love is an amazing gift.  Thanks Ernie.

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