Among the Hanoverians and the Dutch Warmbloods in the CDI3* Grand Prix tomorrow at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington Florida, there will also be this guy.

Steeped in Luck is a fourteen-year-old purebred Irish Draught Stallion, owned by Pairadox Farm and ridden by Canada’s Denielle Gallagher-Legriffon who told us a little bit more about her horse and what this represents for the sport:

“We showed in a couple of national Grand Prixs and did really, really well, so we’ve decided to try the CDI3*. Tomorrow, Steeped in Luck (barn name: Eamon) will be the first purebred Irish Draught in the world to compete in a CDI3* Grand Prix. He’s going to make world history – which is so cool. And he’s awesome! He’s big, he’s beautiful, he’s kind, he’s sweet.”

How did you get him?

“His owners Elizabeth Bellavance and Keith Douglas came to me and asked me if I would campaign the horse for them, which I gladly accepted. And luckily for me, he was trained by two of Canada’s top riders; the first was Tom Dvorak and then Shannon Dueck, so lucky me, I get to jump on that. The group effort has made a really great horse.

The message I’d like to send with this horse is to think a little outside of the box. I think we get so fixated on the biggest movers, the best movers, which comes with a price. All the riders do a good job in trying to keep that harmonious method, but with this stallion, he is so sweet and so kind and he tries so hard, how can you not reward that? When the horse goes in there and the willingness to cooperate is so apparent, that is truly what dressage is supposed to be about. I think this horse is really good for the sport.”

Are there any Draught horses competing in dressage?

“I have never seen one. I think he’s the only one in Wellington. I have clients in New Brunswick that breed Draught horses – they’re always willing to work, that is one thing that I feel is really special about the breed. They try so hard and they just want to please you, the whole time.”

He’s a stallion?

“Yes, he has a lot of babies. He’s a breeding stallion for Pairadox Farm, his owners, and now I’m getting a lot of messages from people who have his offspring: “I have 3 babies!” “I have 4 babies!”, I find this so great! All his babies seem to have his temperament and his sweetness.”

And they must be good for kids too?

“Oh, yeah. They’re comfy, it’s like sitting on a couch! You don’t feel anything, it’s perfect. And it’s safe. It’s really really safe.”

Learn more about Steeped in Luck’s breeding and competition history on the Pairadox Farm website.

Denielle and Steeped in Luck will ride tomorrow, Wednesday February 10th, at 9:12am. Let’s wish them the best of luck!