Live from Omaha!

Live from Omaha!
On the scene at the 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final

Saturday, April 1, 2017

7 Questions for Kasey Perry-Glass

Kasey Perry-Glass. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

The USA's Kasey-Perry Glass, 29, finished seventh in the Grand Prix (72.257%) at the 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final aboard the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Goerklintgaards Dublet (Diamond Hit x Ferro). I caught up with her as she prepared for the Freestyle Final, set to kick off in a little under an hour at Omaha's CenturyLink Center.

Tell me about your Grand Prix on Thursday.
I kind of went in with no expectations for him. A lot of it is just keeping him happy and relaxed and supple and through. I think we accomplished that for the most part. It was very steady. It was the first really clean ride we’ve done for a while. That’s really all that I can ask for, especially being in such a big environment like this. Dublet has never been in an indoor before. For a horse that can get very tense in his body during riding, he’s been doing really well with his emotions.
 
With Goerklintgaards Dublet in the Grand Prix at the 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Omaha. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.
What can you tell me about the freestyle we'll be seeing at the World Cup Final?
The choreography is from Adrienne Lyle. My music is from Tom Hunt, who does Charlotte Dujardin’s [freestyles]. I’ve worked with him for a really long time. He’s amazing. I run through my choreography, I film it, I send it to him and he tells me what he thinks and the music that would go well with it. Almost every time he’s sent me music, I’ve cried. My music is a little bit from The Avengers and a little bit from Lord of the Rings. It just fits perfectly with him: It’s bold but it’s also subtle and soft, pretty much like how he is. He just kind of relaxes in it, and he really loves it. 

Where did you find Dublet, and what attracted you to him?
I got him from Andreas Helgstrand [in Denmark]; I think he was nine. When I first saw him, he was very hot. I love that, but once I got on him, he just kind of formed to me a little bit. He had this intensity about him that I loved. Also the calmness in his eyes, and his personality. 

He’s fourteen now. He’s a little older, but he’s new at the Grand Prix. He started the Grand Prix before we bought him, but we kind of had to backtrack a little bit, not because of training issues but nervousness. We literally took him back to the Prix St. Georges, and we didn’t do the Grand Prix until this last year.

He’s really calm; he travels really well. He’s a big puppy dog, and I love that. His personality is coming out. It’s important with these horses to have a personality and to be able to show it. He loves his bananas; he loves his naps. He really loves attention from the people he knows; he wants you to be right next to him. He travels like a saint. He’s just a joy to have around. You never hear him in the barn; he’s really quiet. I try to get him out at least five hours a day on grass, and he’s just quiet. He never runs around. We got lucky.

How has training with Olympian and US Equestrian national dressage development coach Debbie McDonald helped you?
It's helped us tremendously. She got really technical with our work, really picky. She really goes for the higher marks, and she also brings in that throughness in her training. She got us up to Grand Prix in less than a year, and we went to the [2016 Rio Olympic] Games.

It’s been a whirlwind, and I’m lucky to have the team I have around me. It does take a village.

What's next after Omaha? 
I think we’re going to try to shoot for National Championships, then head to Europe and try to do Rotterdam and Aachen, then give him a break until the [2018 World Equestrian Games] year. Just be really selective with the shows we do next year. It’s tricky that we kind of have a break from September to January; that’s a long time to have a break in competition. Just trying to keep him going, keep him quiet, happy, healthy, sane. Loving his job.

It would be a true blessing to do [the 2020 Olympics in] Tokyo. To be able to keep a horse going that long, keep his mind going.

What are your goals?
Obviously I want to be competitive. I’m a really competitive person. After last year, the Olympic year, I really wanted this year to be positive for Dublet. Really work on our throughness and suppleness in the test. Then we can add power. He has it in him; it’s just a matter of keeping him happy in it and not pushing him too hard.

His piaffe/passage in schooling are unreal. His trot work can be even more impressive. The lateral work is a little bit difficult for him; he loses a bit of the throughness for that because he gets a little bit tense in his neck and his back. It’s just a matter of me figuring out how to ride him through it and not push him too hard. Not overtraining.

In the very short term, what are your goals for the Freestyle Final at the World Cup?
I want to get more power out of him than I did in the Grand Prix while keeping the relaxation. I want to go out there and just have fun with it. This is our fun spot. We love the freestyle. If we bomb it, we bomb it; but I have a feeling we’re going to do really well.

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