Here is the story of Chance and I. It turns out not too many Century teams are with horses the rider has had from birth – I guess we are special. Plus, I think we are only the second Century team from Idaho.
I have had Chance since he was born. A friend gave me his Arab dam pregnant with him. His Sire was Swedish Warm blood / Hanoverian. I started him as a 3 year old. He stayed a stallion until he was four and had 6 babies, all who, although looking like their dams had Chance’s indomitable rhythm built into their gaits. One was a successful lower level dressage horse, one did low level eventing and I had his son, Arioso who did very well at dressage to first and second level, but Chance took the spotlight going to third level.
Our partnership had its up and downs, but I learned more about dressage on Chance than any other horse. Very often we were competing against big, beautiful warm-bloods, but Chance managed to come out ahead in well over a third of his dressage competitions, with Championships and Horse of the Year awards and two Top-Ten awards at the Arab Sport Horse Nationals. He also was a fantastic trail horse; we rode miles and miles in the mountains of Idaho with back country horsemen. And, Chance was a super school horse – for dressage and western riders, and those learning extreme trail challenge maneuvers, and especially to introduce young girls to the love of riding. We rode in the New Meadows parade where kids loved seeing him and bridleless riding is in his resume too.
We have hung in there together for his whole 29 years, so, although I’ve had many horses, this is a lifetime achievement for us. It turns out we had the perseverance and stick-to-it-ness to last – 26 years of riding. I always wanted to show the Century ride; I owed this to Chance for all the miles he gave me in the dressage arena as well as on the trail, and, not to mention all the baths he had to endure, wearing his hazelnut blanket even in summer because of his sparkling light grey coat! I received the Century Club plaque with tears in my eyes as I opened the package. I am grateful to the US Dressage Foundation for this opportunity. Helen…, and Chance!Helen Glidden
The USDF Foundation has for 30 years sponsored the Century Ride program to recognize horse and ride teams whose ages equal 100. Chance and Helen completed their Century Ride October 12 at An Event Barn: Chance is 29 and Helen is 71. Not only did he get the Century Ribbon and Plaque, but he won the class over about 7 other horses! He’s totally sound and after not being shown for 8 years he lit up like a Christmas tree and did a wonderful test. The score was 63+ which Helen says was little low mostly because of her faulty geometry. He scored a healthy 7 on gaits and impulsion and 7s on his 15M canter circle!! After a long dressage career, school horse and mountain trail horse now he’s a Century Horse! They are team number 420 in the Century Club.