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Eclipse's Dressage Journal

Eclipse

Our Senior stallion, Statesman's Eclipse began his dressage career in 2007. In 2010 he will be shown by his dressage trainer Ange Bean at 4th level. Read about his journey from the top down, or use these links to jump down to 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

January 2006: To begin his new career, Eclipse spent the winter 2005 in dressage training with Ms. Ange Bean of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Ange is the instructor and trainer at Straight Forward Dressage, located deep in the heart of horse country 45 minutes west of Philadelphia. She blends four years as a working student with Lorinda Lende, Gina Krueger and Claudia Garner with her ongoing study with Gerhard Politz and Sherry Ackerman to create a well-balanced education for her students and horses that emphasizes correct balance for both horse and rider. 
 
This emphasis consistently improves the horse's movement, and has drawn Ange's attention in the show ring on some unexpected dressage mounts -- for example, ribbons at Devon on Sandar, a thoroughbred mare, against a class of entirely warmbloods, and reserve champion OVCTA at training level in 04 and first level in 05 on Total Eclipse, a young Friesian/Morgan cross with scores in the upper 60's. You can learn more about Ange and her training philosophy at www.equichic.com.
 
Ange is delighted to add Statesman's Eclipse to her training barn.  On first riding him, his keen intelligence and willingness to learn, combined with his expressive gaits, struck Ange as the perfect raw material to create a superb dressage mount.

March 2006: The picture above is from Eclipse's first schooling show at Journey's End Farm. Margo Marano was the judge. It was a cold and windy day, but that didn't stop Eclipse. He was first at Training 1 with a 63.2 against 7 other horses, mostly warmbloods. He was second in Training 2 with a 65.5 against almost the same group. Eclipse earned an 8 on gaits in both classes. See more pics from his dressage debut here and here.

April 2006: Eclipse's second show was the Mason Dixon classic with judge Beth Barritt presiding. Ange reports that the environment was a real zoo, complete with horses in harness warming up alongside the dressage horses. Eclipse won the Morgan Sport Horse under saddle class. He was second in Training Level Test 1 with a 64.546 against 10 other horses, and fourth in Training Level Test 2 with a 64.231 against 9 other horses. He earned his first "9" on a score sheet for his final corner, turn to center line and halt in Training Level Test 2. A picture of this "9" moment now graces the header of this website!

May 2006: Angie and Eclipse next participated in a Gunner Ostergaard clinic. The focus of the lesson was primarily on improving his connection, which is the building block for future collected work. Gunner was very impressed by Eclipse's work ethic, and commented that he thought Eclipse, although he is getting a late start on the race to FEI, will climb the levels quickly.

May 26, 2006: After a show on May 26, Ange wrote to Kate: "Your boy was one of only 4 non-warmbloods (that I saw) at the show Friday. He held his own 63.7 and 65.0. The 63.7 in Training 2 put us 5th, the 65 was just out of the ribbons (7th out of 11 I think). I probably should have looked at the prize list more carefully (I signed up using the USDF calendar, not the omnibus), then I would have known this was an FEI World Cup Qualifier. So the World Cup contenders had their younger horses along too. The rider list reads like a who's-who in the FEI world. It was fun playing with the big boys.

As to training, he was so consistent overall, no signs of tension from previous outings. He trusted me, and was right on the aids from the minute I got on his back. He is getting much steadier in the connection, and his reaction to the half-halt is improved considerably. His score sheet is nothing but 6s and 7s, with an occasional 8. We'll decide at Fair Hill if it is time to move up (I suspect it may be)."

June 11, 2006: ECLIPSE WINS HIS CLASS OF 18 horses at Dressage at Fair Hill on Sunday June 11. This show was a BLM and GAIG/USDF qualifier, and Eclipse delivered a score of 64% and "8"s on his canter work, to win his class!! Below is a photo taken by owner Kate Farris. Next show: July 1, up at NJ Horse Park, Dressage at the Park, where once again, Eclipse will take on "the big boys"

November 5, 2006: In order to qualify for the OVCTA dressage championship at Second Level, Eclipse needed 3 scores from 3 different judges at Second level, all above 60%, which he did.

Ange and Eclipse took a 58.6 to win the Championship class. Counter Canter was a bit of a challenge as Ange has been schooling flying lead changes in prep. for Third Level work next year...so Eclipse just thought she meant "change leads"...which he did. Fortunately judge had a sense of humor and seemed to understand what was going as as she wrote in the comments "change of lead not necessary..."! :) Eclipse is pictured below with Ange at the OVCTA Championships.

Thus ends an AMAZING dressage diary for 2006. Starting in January, when Ange first got Eclipse, who had never had any formal dressage training up to that point, I don't think anyone imagined the years triumphant end. Gunner Ostergaard knew this horse would "rise through the levels quickly" based on a clinic Ange did with Gunner in early March, and BOY was he RIGHT!!! We are still awaiting USDF, AMHA and MDA year end dressage award results, but we will post them as soon as they are available. Ange and Eclipse had a very successful training level period this spring with scores in the mid 60s, with some 8s on the canter work (a difficulty for many Morgans). As they moved on to Second Level this fall (Ange...what ever happened to First Level??? :), Ange and Eclipse continued to earn in the low 60s, culminating in this championship.

Although Eclipse IS very talented, he could not have done this except under the wise tutelage of you, Ange. You are a talented rider, an astute trainer - who knows when to push horse AND rider!, and now, a dear dear friend. I look forward to grooming for you and Eclipse next year when we set our sights on the prestigious Lunquist Medal awards at Second Level (we just missed qualifying for BLMs this year at training level by 2% in his last training level test in Sept.)

Eclipse ended the year with several year end awards, including:
4th place; USEF Region 10 at Training Level
6th place; OVCTA (Olney Valley Combined Training Assoc) Second Level and above category
One of 8 Morgan Dressage Association high point award winners for Training Level
6th place; Morgan Dressage Association Training Level Awards
AMHA High point award; 11th place out of 14 with an average of 64.54 pts

Thank you dear readers for being with us through this amazing journey. Please return in 2007 as Ange and Eclipse continue their endeavors. Eclipse will stand to a limited number of outside, approved mares in 2007, so if you are interested in a possible breeding contract please contact Kate soonest at Ensignsgrace@hotmail.com.

October 1, 2007 : Ange and Eclipse got off to a late start this year because Kate was pre-occupied with other issues and didn't want to give Eclipse back!!! But, in May, Eclipse left home and returned to his second home with Ange Bean. But inspite of this, record so far is VERY impressive!!

SUDDENLY FARM DRESSAGE: (August 22). Eclipse competed at First Level Test 3 and 4 at this recognized show with his trainer Ange Bean and posted scores of 64.57 and 63.68 in their tests. The scores were high enough to win High Point Morgan Award and overall Reserve Champion!! Not bad for first time out this year (no schooling show...no time!!) Eclipse and Ange also qualified for the prestigious Lunquist Medal Awards (BLMs) at first level during this show!!

DRESSAGE AT STONE TAVERN -- Over Labor Day weekend, the weather could NOT have been
better for dressage at NJ Horse Park. The competition was EVIL...but it was another chance for Eclipse to test his mettle against the "big boys" and he came through BIG TIME! His average scores at first and second ran from 59-64% -- VERY consistent and not much difference between his first and second level scores. Eclipse was placed 6 out of 10 in his Second Level Test 4 on Saturday, 2nd out of 6 on Sunday in his Second Level 3 class, and 2nd out of 4 for Second Level 4. He also qualified for BLM for Second level at this show (!!) and our decision is
that this is the level he will compete in October at BLM.

So given only two shows, Eclipse is qualified for BLMs at both first and second level...like I said, not a bad year!! So stay tuned and we will report on our return to NJ for BLMs in October! Wish us luck!!

November 5, 2007: Eclipse did it!! On November 5th, 2006 Eclipse and Ange competed in the Oley Valley Combined Training Association Championship Show and won the Second Level Championship class. In order to qualify for the OVCTA dressage championship at Second Level, Eclipse needed 3 scores from 3 different judges at Second level, all above 60% which he did at previous shows. Ange and Eclipse took a 58.6 to win the Championship class. Counter Canter was a bit of a challenge as Ange has been schooling flying lead changes in prep. for Third Level work next year...so Eclipse just thought she meant "change leads"...which he did. Fortunately judge had a sense of humor and seemed to understand what was going as as she wrote in the comments "change of lead not necessary..."! :)

2008

Ange and Eclipse took 2008 to solidify his work at second level, and prep to bring him up to third. They did several schooling shows (price of gas put a BIG dent in showing schedule/area travel) and he did very well. Kate got called back to active duty in early 2008, so she too was out of pocket, so the only one who was shown was Eclipse by Ange. But it all paid off cuz....

2009

Eclipse is now solid at third level movements and ready to go back into the show ring!! Eclipse started the season in March with a clinic at Hassler Dressage. In the mock show conducted at the end of the clinic, where he competed against only warmbloods, he scored at 63% in Third level Test 1, taking the blue ribbon; and 59% in Third Level test 3, taking second place! Eclipse' first show will be the Mason Dixon show the end of April 2009 where he will compete at third level. If you remember from above, Eclipse took High Point Morgan at that show back in 2006 at training level...three years later...and here we are at Third level!!

We hope to be able to qualify for the prestigious Lundquist medals again this year. We'll let you know which open shows Eclipse will go from here, as once again, our little 15h Morgan takes on the big boys on their home turf!!

As Margaret Gardner once wrote about her lovely Morgan Combined Driving pair Kennebec Count and Kennebec Russell...ACHTUNG WARMBLUT!!!! Ready for some friendly competition???

Mason Dixon April 2009: In spite of weather going from freezing (literally) Thurs eve, to 85 on Sat (when we had our two level three tests!) Ange and Eclipse did a SUPERB job and we all had a WONDERFUL time!! Ange's first test (Level 3, test 1) was a disappointing 56%...but we think Eclipse was napping and just didn't feel like it in noon heat!! But by 4:00...he WOKE UP, and scored a very respectable 65% -- his highest score at third level yet (all others were schooling shows in the low 60s; his lowest was at noon that day!) LOOK at these canter extensions!! The boy can MOVE!!

Eclipse canter extension Eclipse canter extension

Unfortunately there was no one else competing at third level (the reason we like to go to Mason Dixon is because its one of the only Morgan shows who offer advanced level classes -- so C'MON you Level 3 & 4 Morgans...come support this show!!!), so our hosts (hostesses) from the show asked Eclipse and Ange to do a freestyle at the conclusion of the Dressage awards ceremony. You should have seen Eclipse perk up when he heard the music and literally started "dancing" :) It was one of those lifetime moments! We also couldn't help but put up a "copy" of Ange's logo (see it at www.Equichic.com) and look at this photo of her warming up Eclipse for his 4:00 ride below!!Its as if Eclipse was saying "I LOVE YOU ANGE!"

Eclipse at Mason Dixon

So off we go the end of May back to Bucks Co. shows to take on "the big boys" and see how Eclipse holds his own against the warmbloods at third level...so far, these scores in the 60s should put us in good standing! We are hoping to qualify for BLMs at that show so we will return to that prestigious competition this fall. STAY TUNED READERS! :)

Eclipse 2009 Eclipse 2009

Eclipse and Ange are preparing a musical kur for this Fall with one of Hassler Dressage's finest warmblood stallions (also a black)...should be lovely! We'll see if we can put that on YOUTUBE so you can hear/see it!!

Eclipse 2009

July 15, 2009: Eclipse has had a busy weekend, with three shows in four days - two schooling shows and one recognized show. He finished with 5 blues and one red (the wonder pony was getting a little tired ..., and the red was to SFD's Assistant Trainer, Laura Juniewiczon her horse, Oberon, so we kept the blue in the family), and is now qualified for BLMs in October. More than one judge commented on the happy harmony between him and Ange. Then, to further entertain his friends, the silly pony pulled a bottle of U-7 out of the trailer, bit the top off and started slurping it up like it was a well-deserved cold one. Eclipse is enjoying a light week and hacking, then will get hard at work polishing off his freestyle demonstration for ODMHA in September.

July 28, 2011: Statesman Eclipse goes FEI in 2011! Eclipse is competing at 4th level in Spring 2011, and will move up to PSG in the summer!!With only his second score at PSG, Eclipse has won his Silver Medallion with AMHA!!! This is a HUGE event for us and we are overwhelmed! Eclipse is the ONLY Statesman bred horse to ever win a Silver Medallion in Dressage (the only other Statesman horse to have ever won at this level (when he was competing in driving), is Atavista Statesman. (See 2011 foal crop page for his daughter recently born to Ensigns Grace Farm!!). Ange Bean, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking Eclipse to FEI level! We can't WAIT to see what he does this fall at PSG! We're going for end of year awards with both USDF and USEF! Once again, Eclipse holds his own against the "big boys" and PROVES a MORGAN CAN DO IT ALL! EVEN FEI LEVELS!!! He is truly an AWESOME, AMAZING horse!

August 2012: Dressage trainer Angie Bean has generously made videos of our senior stallion Statesman's Eclipse available on YouTube. The videos can be accessed by the following links:

Eclipse Video Part 1/3

Eclipse Video Part 2/3

Eclipes Video Part 3/3

Spring 2013: Statesmans Eclipse in the News!

Our dear friend and trainer Ange Bean wrote this wonderful article about her "dressage experiment" with Eclipse. This same article was also featured in The Morgan Horse Magazine after it appeared in Morgan Dressage Association newsletter. Congratulations Ange and Eclipse...we're SO proud of you! To read the full article published by AMHA click on this link to download the AMHA Article. The same article was published in the Morgan Dressage Association Newsletter. To read that article click here to download the MDA Newsletter. In addition, Eclipse represented the Morgan Breed as an alternative to warmbloods for the sport of dressage. We were THRILLED! Read the entire USDF article titled "Quest for The Holy Grail - Or how to find a great amateur's Dressage Horse" by clicking on this link and downloading the USDF article in PDF form. Warning: it is a big file, but worth the read... and not just because Eclipse is in it!

Dressage Experiment

Winter 2014: Eclipse Retires

With mixed emotions we announce that Eclipse will retire from dressage competition at the ripe old age of 18! He is now teaching Kate the fine art of dressage. Photos to come! He will continue to stand at stud and his offspring will carry on the tradition.

 
 
 
 
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