Written by Holly Johnson, Equinium Sports Marketing
Loxahatchee, FL (January 28, 2018) – As a competitor in a sport of nuances, Excel Dressage’s Amy Speck-Kern knows every detail from tack to training to stable management can have a major impact on the horses, her business, and her show career. Custom Saddlery’s Icon and Wolfgang series have long been the preferred saddle of Excel Dressage, and in 2018 Speck-Kern and her horses have signed on to ride with the Aiken, SC-based saddle makers to get the contact, fit, and classic style needed for the show ring.
Both of Excel’s two prime campaign horses, Amadeus and Zenanta, compete at the FEI level in Custom Saddles. Speck-Kern, who began her sales, training, and importing business in 2010, has been swinging into Custom saddles since 2011. “The Wolfgag Solo Monoflap has had a big impact on my mare and has been important in her development,” said Speck-Kern of her KWPN mare Zenanta. “It provides her with the perfect fit for a sensitive horse, and closer contact for me. Being able to sit with both support and the freedom to deliver my seat aids without interference is extremely important for us as we compete.”
Zenanta (Krack C x Ferro) is owned by WBS Group and recently made her debut in the Prix St. Georges. In their first season at the FEI level, Zenanta and Speck-Kern scored over 70% during the White Fences Polar Express in December 2017. The flashy moving mare, who has been displaying increasing consistency over the past few months, is becoming more and more relaxed in the show arena, allowing Speck-Kern to showcase her incredible shoulder freedom and engaged hind leg. Speck-Kern has struck a balance between off site lessons with Olympian Ali Brock, a carefully evaluated nutritional program, and innovative tack and equipment to bring the talented mare to competition success.
Speck-Kern’s other FEI mount, a gelding she imported as a 3-year-old from Europe and trained herself, kicked off his 2018 season at the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CDI, held January 18-21, 2018. With less than a year of showing the Intermediare II, Amadeus (Flemmingh x Welt Hit II) put in his most consistent performance yet at this level, and is also always ridden and shown in an Custom saddle. Normally outfitted in the Icon Flight, Speck-Kern recently transitioned Amadeus to the Icon Star, which is designed for even closer contact and feel as the horse’s musculature and movement develop for the collected movements of the Intermediare II and beyond.
“I am so excited to be sponsored by Custom as I’ve been such a huge fan of their saddles for so long,” said Speck-Kern. “For me the saddles have stood the test of time, and I’m proud to represent a company I so truly believe in every time we go down the centerline. I feel that way about all of my sponsors and partners, and my whole team has been incredibly important in achieving my goals with both my horses and the horses I ride and train for clients.”
Excel Dressage was founded by Speck-Kern in 2010 and offers training, showing, and sales of top caliber dressage horses in Loxahatchee, Florida, just minutes from Wellington’s equestrian center. After beginning her career with Olympic Bronze Medalist Michael Poulin and “S” Judge Sharon Poulin, Speck-Kern’s naturally quiet and effective riding style and training method drew a strong client base of competitive amateurs. A successful FEI competitor, Speck-Kern was ranked top in the nation at the 2016 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships aboard the Kathryn Hoog’s KWPN mare Gerona, and has developed a base of international adult amateurs that compete through the FEI level. Excel Dressage imports a select number of exceptional sales and show prospects each year, and Speck-Kern is also an equestrian Ambassador for the Kids Cancer Foundation as a way to give back to the research and therapies that saved her life when she was diagnosed with Acute Myleoid Leukemia at 18. With her sights set on eventually obtaining an international judges accreditation, she was recently accepted into the USEF “r” program and continues to develop her string of competition horses.
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