by Kasey Cannon
I’ve had Diesel for nearly six years now, and it’s been one heck of a ride! I imported this amazing stallion from Germany in early 2016 after a ten-year break from horses and riding. Our first four years together, Diesel and I danced our way from training level to the Small Tour culminating with our international debut in 2020 breaking 70% at the Temecula CDI. In those four years, we picked up numerous state and national accolades, including two times Reserve Champion USDF Dressage Horse of the Year and approvals from numerous registries, including AHS, GOV, West, ARS, HV and IRS/Old NA. It was a magical first four years!
In 2020 and 2021, I offered Diesel to North American breeders. What an adventure it has been. Not only was I introduced to an entirely new world revolving around our horses, but it also introduced me to a network of incredible people and connections, resulting in friendships that will no doubt last a lifetime. In 2021, Diesel’s first foal crop arrived, and it did not disappoint with Top Inspection and Premium foals. And I am thrilled to announce that we acquired Diesel’s first colt Dynamite CF, out of Benidetta III (Belissimo M x Cordoba – full sister to the GP stallion Benidetto), in partnership with Laura St. Clair of Echo Hill Farm.
Late last year our journey continued with an incredible 60-day training trip in Germany. We were fortunate enough to train with none other than German Olympian Helen Langehanenberg. It is remarkable how our horses change our lives and take us places that we hardly dreamt possible. They make our lives extraordinary!
What made our German immersion experience even more fantastic for us is that Helen campaigned Diesel’s full brother, Damsey FRH, to the top of international sport – ranking as high as 4th on the FEI International World Dressage Ranking List and landing a spot on the German A squad. Our time in Germany was unforgettable, and it was amazing to have Helen’s insight into Diesel through her experience with Damsey. Helen dialed us up a solid notch and it was awe inspiring to realize how much talent and potential Diesel has. My steadfast, happy and willing partner stepped right up to the plate with the increased level of work and expectation. Amateur riders don’t normally have opportunities like this, and it’s entirely a testament to Diesel’s character and quality.
Diesel is the reason our six-year journey has been so incredible. His temperament and trainability are top. He is my second dressage horse in 20 years and our success is because of him. He makes our immensely difficult sport easier. He is exceptionally smart, trainable and people oriented. And his focus in the arena is bar none. He is also an amazing traveler, comfortable with new surroundings and this makes it fun and easy to take him to new places and on new adventures. Diesel is talented enough to reach the very top of our sport with the very best of professionals, yet also rideable and willing enough for an amateur like myself to learn on and successfully campaign. And isn’t this the unicorn? He is the whole package and a rock-solid partner.
In 2022, we will take another leap forward in our journey. We plan to step up to Intermediate II early in the year and debut at Grand Prix after the 2022 breeding season. I know in my heart that the sky’s the limit for this incredible stallion, and I will continue to do my very best to show our world just how talented he is.