Dressage is a notoriously exacting discipline, and those who choose to work through its levels are often snubbed as uptight “DQs.” Nothing could be farther from the truth for young rider Sophie Wayner and her mare, Libbie. The pair became Region 8 Training Level Champions and First Level Reserve Champions at the competitive 2018 New England Dressage Association (NEDA) Championships in Saugerties, New York. More recently, Sophie was named the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association’s 2018 Equestrian of the Year.
Given Sophie and Libbie’s great success, it is hard to imagine that neither were familiar with dressage two years ago. Their journey began at a stopping point. Libbie had injured a suspensory ligament and required slow rehabilitation after four months of stall rest. As Sophie learned to embrace the rehab process, she discovered an appreciation for dressage. The experience helped both horse and rider forge a deeper relationship with one another.
Sophie and Libbie are currently working with three-star eventer Clarissa Wilmerding to debut at 2nd Level this spring. They are based out of Hunt’s End Farm in Gladstone, New Jersey, not far from the United States Equestrian Team facility. HorseScents is excited to help this pair keep things calm in the dressage ring using lavender aromatherapy. With any luck, we’ll watch them take home another blue ribbon at this year’s Regional Championships!