The accolades just keep pouring in for Pemberton's "Dream Team."
Local stable Dreamcatcher Meadows has earned plenty of recognition within the North American dressage community its work in turning Ballerina DMV into the continent's top-ranked four-year-old horse. Now, there's a new crop of horses bred and trained at Dreamcatcher Meadows that's looking to follow in Ballerina's hoof-steps.
Meet Lordsley DMV, Lady of the Dance DMV and Lancelot DMV - each of which are garnering attention for their strong performances.
Lordsley, a two-year-old stallion, is up for a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) year-end award in his age class. Lady of the Dance, a three-year-old mare, is currently the No. 1-ranked horse in the USDF's three-year-old materiale class. Lancelot is also ranked within his three-year-old colts and geldings class.
Meanwhile, four-year-old Radiance DMV just completed her very first show in Auburn, Wash. at the end of July and placed in the top three of all her classes, qualifying for the regional championships in Oregon next month. Dreamcatcher DMV, also known as Aria, also qualified for the regionals, while Whistler's Shelley Sharpe rode five-year-old gelding Mastermind, purchased from Dreamcatcher Meadows two years ago, to high finishes at the Auburn meet.
So what's the secret to Dreamcatcher Meadows's continuing success? Barn manager Emily Schnoor said it's mostly due to the work owners Jill Giese and John Dingle have put in.
"Definitely, all of their effort and passion for the sport and for breeding these animals is a huge part of it," said Schnoor. "All of their horses that they've bred are getting old enough that they can now compete them and campaign them.
"It's just kind of the next cycle of horses coming through."
But Giese herself explained that Dreamcatcher DMV, the horse she rides in competition, has played a big role in the stable's success.
"These horses are all progeny of hers by embryo transfer," said Giese. "She's the mother of Radiance, the mother of Lady and the mother of Lancelot - though she's never been pregnant for more than seven days. And, she's the grandmother of Ballerina.
"Basically, we've built a whole business around this horse."
Dreammaster DMV, who earned a prestigious Hanoverian licence last year after being bred and trained in Pemberton, is yet another offspring of Dreamcatcher DMV.
"She's had nine foals and of this group, they're all related to her in one way or another," said Giese. "That's why we did it - she's just got incredible genetics.
"We call this place a 'one-stop shop.' Usually, you have a stud farm or a place that just creates foals, or a place that just trains young horses or trains young riders. It's extremely unusual to have everything under one roof."
As for Ballerina, Giese and Dingle are preparing her for her biggest competition to date, as she's been invited to the U.S. Equestrian Federation/Markel Young Horse Dressage Championships taking place in Chicago later in August based on her current No. 1 ranking.
Giese said there will be a lot of pressure on Dingle to guide Ballerina to another great score, noting that the horse earned two perfect 10s in scoring at her last competition.
"I've never seen that before," said Giese.
Travel will be another challenge for Ballerina prior to the event as she'll have to get to Chicago by plane, but she's never flown in the past.
"She's going to be at the show grounds for nine days and I'm just hoping that nothing goes wrong - that she doesn't stress out in the travel," said Giese. "Stress management is a big deal in all of this, then you're up against some of the top horses, some that haven't had to travel at all. To go from Pemberton to Chicago with your horse is a bit of an ordeal."
The Young Horse Championships take place Aug. 22 to 24.