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Team #702 Carol Lasnier and Daens Velvet Hope

Photo by Lynn Cobb Studios

Team #702: Carol Lasnier and Daens Velvet Hope
From: Ravenel, South Carolina
Ages: 76.5 & 23.5
Combined Age: 100
Test: Training Level Freestyle
Date: September 9, 2023

My journey into the horse world began when I was a little girl. Growing up on a busy street in Indianapolis, Indiana, gave me very little opportunity to be around real horses so I surrounded myself with pictures and China horses. A yearly trip to the state fair to watch horse shows kept my dream of owning a horse alive.

Forty-five years later I found myself taking my first riding lesson. It was at a hunter-jumper barn in Connecticut and although I fell off during my third lesson, I got back on. Two years later and after many lessons I bought my first horse. My husband (now Century Club member Team #567) also wanted to ride so we bought a big Appaloosa/ Quarter horse named Dakota Gold. The three of us were as green as could be in the hunter-jumper world so it was a real challenge. We went to shows with our trainer. One of us would show and the other would groom.

When Dakota’s navicular started to affect his soundness, I started to look for a dressage barn. Luckily, I was able to find a wonderful local dressage trainer with a horse I could ride and eventually lease. Holly was a seasoned dressage horse, and she gladly showed me what it meant to ride a dressage horse.

After retirement, we moved to South Carolina. Unfortunately, Dakota had developed Cushing’s, and our vet advised us that the move and heat might be too much for him, so Dakota remained at home with his pasture buddies of twenty years. For the next four years, I was fortunate to find several “horse people” friends who gladly shared their horses. I continued learning dressage in backyards, paddocks, and in a variety of dressage rings.

Then in 2020, I was introduced to dressage trainers Sarah Sharpe and her lesson horse, Luna. Luna’s breeding and training made her a perfect fit for my passion for learning dressage. She is a registered Friesian cross and has been given extensive ground and obstacle coursework as a young horse. She was purchased as a trail horse by Elizabeth Sharpe who enjoyed riding her on long leisurely trail rides. Fortunately, Luna is a naturally beautiful mover and with careful dressage training, she developed into a show horse winning many local, regional, and national honors. I took lessons on Luna for about a year, decided to lease her, and then decided to show her. We had a great time completing Training Level and moving up to First Level.

About this time, I became acquainted with The Dressage Foundation and the Century Club, but it would be another two years before Luna, and I could qualify. In the meantime, I bought my own horse, a five-year-old Oldenburg mare. Plans to join the Century Club ended until Luna came back to our barn. We were two years older, and plans to join the Century Club reappeared! On Saturday, September 9, 2023, Daens Velvet Hope, aka Luna and I trotted down the centerline to the music of “When You’re Smiling” riding our Musical Freestyle! What a day. It poured all morning but at 12:40 PM, our ride time, the sun came out just for us!  We won our beautiful Century Club gold and black ribbon!

I wish to thank my many friends along the way who graciously shared their friendship and horses, especially my South Carolina trainer Sarah Sharpe, and Luna’s owner Elizabeth Sharpe.