Skip to main content

Team #616 Elizabeth Wenner and Nyzielster Boy

Photos by Phorse Images

Team #616: Elizabeth Wenner and Nyzielster Boy
From: Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina
Ages: 73 & 28
Combined Age: 101
Test: Training Level Test 2
Date: February 25, 2023

Doing a Century Club ride was a goal of mine ever since I became the owner of Nyzielster Boy (aka Star), my wonderful Dutch Warmblood FEI schoolmaster and heart horse. I think that it was love at first sight and that he chose me when I first rode him. Our journey began in 2014 when I purchased him from Dean and Meghan Graham in Ocala, FL. 

After not riding for decades, I decided to take up dressage lessons in 2012. My early riding in the 60s and early 70s was in hunter classes and fox hunting. Dressage was totally new to me, as was my understanding of how riding had changed since the 1990s. 

My introduction to dressage started by taking lessons with Laurens Bissell who was the trainer at Elite Equines on Wadmalaw Island. She put me on some wonderful safe school horses. After a while, I thought that it would be good to look for a horse that would be safe and suitable for me. My husband, Charles, was so supportive of my getting a horse, so I contacted Jean Brinkman and Iris Eppinger at Valhalla Farm in Florida. They showed me several horses that were available, and Iris took me to see the Grahams where I met Star. I rode him, he looked me in the eye, and that was it. I had found my unicorn. 

Star and I proceeded to take lessons with Laurens and Iris. He took great care of me, even though I was often unbalanced and lacked a good seat. We did clinics with Iris, her sister Baerbel Eppinger, and Amy McElroy. I had so much learning to do and so much work to be done on my seat (and still do). I decided to let some talented amateur riders take him to dressage shows. He was ridden by several wonderful riders who got their USDF bronze and silver medals on him. Sarah Sharpe showed him through Prix St. Georges to get her silver medal. His scores with her made him the first horse to receive the "Golden Oldie Award" from the South Carolina Dressage and Combined Training Association (SCDCTA). 

I entered him in several USDF shows and progressed to showing in Training Level Test 3. We got respectable scores thanks to him. He has taught me so much. I am continuing to take lessons on him with my current trainer, Ferris Yanney, at Seasong Farm. 

When we reached the age that we could do the Century Club ride, I knew that I wanted to do it at the SCDCTA Low Country Classic show in February 2023. This is a wonderful group of people who do so much good work to further dressage in South Carolina. 

So many people wished us well at the show, and my husband, my trainer, and my barn mates from Seasong were especially supportive. The icing on the cake was to receive a 65.1% and second place in our Training Level Test 2 class. The judge wrote that we had a “good partnership!” I truly believe we have that with each other through both good and difficult times. 

Along the way, Star has accumulated quite a fan club of people in this country and abroad who met him and loved him. His trainer in Belgium, Mieke Cappon, summed it up nicely by saying that he was out of sight but not out of her mind. Since he came to me, Star has been ridden by adult amateurs, juniors, and six-year-old children. His temperament, kindness, and willingness to do dressage have been incredible. He truly has my heart, and we will be together as long as we live.