Fetiche de Roldan PRE stallion - Breaking All Boundaries
The South of Spain is one of the most beautiful places in the world with superb gastronomical experiences, the sounds of Flamenco and of course the Spanish horses. The Spanish horses are a big part of their culture showing their majestic beauty in competition, tourism, festivals and everyday life.
During one of my trips in search of my next PRE together with Sofie Gates, we found ourselves at our next stop south of Jerez. It was the typical large concrete barn with stalls and a small indoor arena. The horses were lovely and well maintained. We walked through the barn to the horse we were there to see and came around the corner to the wash area and there he was in all his majestic form. Fetiche de Roldan. He was tall, fit, majestic and turned with his long-wet mane which flung over his shoulders and looked at me. My mouth dropped in awe, and I looked at Sofie out of the corner of my eye and said, “I’m in love.” He was 6 years old at the time and already had a wonderful foundation in his training by one of the top trainers in the South of Spain. Fetiche arrived in the United States and our journey began. At the age of 7 we competed in Intermediate 1, and within the next couple years Grand Prix. We received reserved champion in grand prix at the Del Mar National show in San Diego earning over 67%. In 2021 we moved to Wellington Florida to the beautiful IDA farms and continued our training. At the time I had 2 other FEI PRE stallions and was teaching clients and going to local shows. In the beginning of May 2023, I received a phone call which changed the direction of our lives into a beautiful journey. Stephanie Engstrom, who is a trainer and rider for the Dominican Republic team called and asked if I had any schoolmasters as she was looking for an FEI horse for one of her young riders to compete for the Dominican Republic team. We had a meeting together with a young rider by the name of Elah Dalmasy who was 15 years old. I rode Fetiche and demonstrated what the horse was capable of and Elah got on and gave him a try. That’s when it was decided that we would train Elah to ride him towards her goals of being part of the Dominican Republic team with the hopes of competing in the Central American games. We had very little time to get Elah ready for her first show which was in 8 days! Her first show was in Wellington, and she received two very respectable scores, however she came up slightly short of the mark she needed. We could all see there was a spark in the pair, and we knew the future was there. We just needed a little more time!
It was decided that she would attend two more shows with FEI judges to qualify for the team. We all worked hard coaching, training and preparing the two. Within the following 2 weeks she succeeded to be part of the Dominican Republic team!
The dream had now become a reality for Fetiche and Elah. The excitement began to build between the families, the trainers, the coaches and the Dominican Republic. Now the work was just beginning. Trainer Stephanie Engstrom took the lead and prepared all that was needed for Fetiche to arrive safely to the Dominican Republic where he was treated like gold by everybody involved. He was pampered and loved and became one of the favorites in the competition. Elah was competing as the youngest rider in the Central American games on this PRE stallion. The days before the competition Fetiche and Elah did short and accurate training sessions due to the high heat and humidity of the Dominican Republic.
On Tuesday, the competition began at 6 PM. Fetiche and Elah were the last combination in the first set of riders at Prix Saint George but the first horse and rider for the Dominican Republic team. The country was all behind her. She entered the arena like a pro and together they executed the ride, so beautiful and fluid. The crowd broke into cheers and clapping and the expression on Elah’s face said at all. She achieved what she came for and we were all so very proud of her.
The second day of competition started off with great anticipation for Elah and Fetiche. They had ridden the Intermediate 1 test very successfully several times. It was a calm evening, and the crowd waited in excitement. Fetiche and Elah entered the arena, and her ride was again so fluid and beautiful with only a couple minor mistakes.
Team Dominican Republic received an honorable fourth place in the Central American games. Elah held her own throughout the show as a team member and for such a young rider to be able to ride this PRE Stallion at such an important venue was outstanding. This dream had become a reality for all of us. We did it! And we could not be prouder.
The Central American games had 6 PRE’s competing in competition. The Costa Rican team had 4 PRE’s, Guatemala 1 and the Dominican Republic had Fetiche.
The PRE has once again shown its talent and athletic ability and continues to become a favorite in the world of Dressage today.
Footnotes: Fetiche, de Roldan is a 13 yr old PRE Stallion, who is owned and trained by Sandra Luebbe, who currently resides in Ocala, Florida. Stephanie Ensgtrom is an FEI International trainer and rider from the Dominican Republic.
Article by Sandra Luebbe
July 7, 2023