American Grand Prix rider Benjamin Ebeling premiered a new horse in the national show at the 2023 Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida on 17 - 19 March 2023. Ben showed the mare Escona in the Prix St Georges.
Escona is an 8-year old Rhinelander mare by Escolar out of Sidona (by Sir Donnerhall x Florestan x Feuerfunke). She is bred by Thomas and Dagmar Rütten-Janssen.
Helen and Hannah Erbe
Escona made her show debut in July 2018 under Martin Sander. The pair qualified for the 2018 Bundeschampionate and finished 12th in the first round for 3-year old mares and geldings. She was owned by the breeder at the time.
She sold to the Erbe family and sisters Hannah and Helen alternated the ride on her.
Hannah Erbe bmade her debut on Escona in August 2019, while a year later Helen was onboard to debut her at L-level. However, it was Hannah who competed her at the 2020 Bundeschampionate in Warendorf, where she finished fourth in the 5-year old division.
Helen competed her once in 2021 at M-level.
With Hannah's riding career got side tracked by a knee injury and Helen reducing the amount of horses she rides in combination with real estate studies, Escona and DSP Fierro were sent to Hof Kasselmann to be sold.
Fierro sold to Hong Kong rider Samantha Chan, but Kasselmann bought Escona and ended up sharing ownership through a joint venture with ACR Enterprises, the company behind the Ebeling family.
"Two years ago we really thought it was important to start adding depth to my string of horses, so it was important to add some young horses into the mix," Ben told Eurodressage. "I was lucky enough to come by Escona with my mom and Francois, we formed a partnership and bought her as a 6 year old.
The Ebeling family sold its equestrian centre, The Acres, in Moorpark, California and moved from the sunny west coast state to its east coast alternative in Wellington, Florida.
They spent winters in Florida at a stable they own with sponsor Ann Romney, while in summer they go to Europe to training and compete. They are based out of Hof Kasselmann and work with Christoph Koschel.
Ebeling made his debut on Escona in the national Prix St Georges and scored 66.911%
When asked what the mare's qualities are, Benjamin replied, "what makes her special is just her unbelievable natural gaits. She’s got serious power in both the trot and canter, a great walk and is really steady in the frame. Of course, she’s young and still developing so I want to take it easy and really do it right- a horse like her is one in a million, You feel like you're flying when you ride her."
Ben will now work at making Escona comfortable at small tour level and pick up some CDI shows with her.
"It's an honor to represent both my parents and Hof Kasselmann on her," he added.
Photos © Stefan Lafrentz - Sue Stickle
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