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Team #548 Margaret Seleske and Renegate

Photo provided by Shelby Neece

Team #548: Peggy Seleske and Renegate
From: Fort Worth, Texas
Ages: 74 & 28
Combined Age: 102
Test: Prix St. Georges
Date: March19, 2022

I began riding dressage in the mid-1980s and competed mostly at Training and First Level.  I purchased a horse in 2016 that was trained and competed thru Prix St. Georges. I achieved my Second and Third Level scores required for my USDF bronze medal and Second Level  Freestyle scores towards my bronze freestyle bar. Unfortunately, due to some complicated body issues, and then a more severe injury that required long-term stall rest and lengthy rehab, it was decided in his best interest to retire him from competition. Then to make matters worse, in May of 2021 I had a fall that resulted in a fracture of my right femur, which kept me from riding for several weeks. It was beginning to look like I might not be able to return to competition, much less move up the levels, or even be able to ride on a regular basis.

But I have been blessed with many wonderful equestrian friends – one who has offered her lovely Prix St. Georges gelding, Royal Jester, for me to ride and compete, so I can continue my journey. While talking with one of my friends, Shelby Neece, I expressed my desire to one day do a Century Club ride but did not have a horse that met the age requirements. Shelby suggested I do my Century Club ride on her retired 28-year-old FEI gelding, Renegate. Together we decided to pull him out of retirement and see if he could handle the pressure of returning to light work, at least enough to allow me to complete the ride. Renegate (affectionately known as “Gator”) proved he was more than up to the challenge. 

About three months before the scheduled ride, I began to ride him on a regular basis. Not only was I able to complete my Century Club ride, but I also completed my first ever FEI ride, at Prix St. Georges!  

Without the support of all my friends, lovely horses, and excellent trainers, I would not be able to continue my dressage journey. Many thanks to all of them, as well as to The Dressage Foundation for recognizing the importance of the older rider and older horse and what we can bring to the sport of dressage.