Chase Hickok and Sagacious HF
Wellington, Fla. – June 23, 2016 – The 2015 Brentina Cup champion, Chase Hickok, is finding success in her transition from the Under 25 Grand Prix to the senior Grand Prix with her partner Sagacious HF (Welt Hit II-Judith, Cocktail). The pair had a good showing at the Gold Coast Dressage Association Summer Solstice Show, scoring a 70 percent in Saturday’s Grand Prix and a 71.875 percent in Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle.
“We were really happy with it,” Hickok said at the Summer Solstice show. “Sagacious had sort of a quiet season this year. We showed a couple weeks ago, and this is the second time for this year. So we are just kind of getting back into the groove of things.”
Hickok began leasing Sagacious HF from Al Guden of Hyperion Farm in the spring of 2014. The 17-year-old KWPN gelding was the 2007 Pan American Games team gold and individual silver medalist with Lauren Sammis. In 2013, Caroline Roffman rode him to second place finishes in the Under 25 Grand Prix and Freestyle at the CDIO Aachen.
“Sagacious is amazing at whatever level you put him in, so for him he’s like, ‘Ah, another piece of cake,’” Hickok said. “But it’s definitely a jump. The questions it asks are a little bit more technical; you have to be a little bit more on your game. I think the U25 really prepares you very well for the next step.”
Hickok and Sagacious have achieved a great deal of success in their time together prior to moving up to the senior Grand Prix. Along with their victory in the 2015 USEF Young Adult “Brentina Cup” National Championship, they were also selected to compete in Europe in the summer of 2015 as part of the USEF Developing Dressage Program.
Sagacious HF took some time off over the winter to have a cyst removed from his sinus cavity. Fortunately it could be done with the horse standing, and he has recovered well. Due to this, he was shown lightly this winter in Grand Prix at the Gold Coast Fall Dressage Show in November and the Wellington Classic Dressage Series Final, scoring above 70 percent in each outing.
After two strong showings this spring, Hickok is looking ahead to the rest of the summer season. Her goal is to qualify for the US Dressage Finals through the Regional Championships, and she’s also considering a trip to Pennsylvania for Dressage at Devon in the fall.
In April, Hickok began working with a new trainer, Endel Ots.
“We’ve been working on really improving the quality of the work with Sagacious,” Hickok said. “He is so well trained and knows the movements so well that now it’s a matter of making sure we’re not giving any points away. We use a lot of transitions, making sure that Sagacious is really honest and in front of the leg, which is so important as we move into the Grand Prix.”
She continued, “Endel has really focused on the importance of rhythm and balance in our work, building on the foundation that I have built with Sagacious over the last few years. It’s been a really great move for us. I am so happy with the improvements we’ve made and feel like our scores over the last few shows really reflect that.”
Alongside her busy riding and competition schedule, Hickok works as a real estate agent for Sotheby’s International Realty in Wellington, Florida.
“I’m a real estate agent as well, so that funds my real passion,” Hickok said. “It’s been really great. I have a couple horses down here, and I’ve been able to balance working and riding well. Luckily real estate is very flexible and allows me to work around my riding. The agency I work for is really great and super supportive. They say, ‘Go do whatever you need to do, and we’ll be here when you finish.’”
She adjusts her daily schedule based on the weather, her responsibilities at work, and her drive to keep improving her partnership with her horses.
“I try to spend as much time at the barn as I can with Sagacious HF and my other horses,” Hickok explained. “I take as many opportunities to watch and learn and observe as I can.”