POWASSAN – Sable Giesler dreams of taking her riding skills to the Olympics and at the rate she is going, there is a strong chance of that happening.
Sable Giesler on Rambo.
Giesler found her path at a young age, facing the competition since she was 11 years old and aspires to her ultimate goal of facing the best of the best in eventing at the 2016 Olympics.
“If everything stays on track with Rambo and he is able to stay healthy it’s a reasonable goal,” she said.
The 17-year-old Powassan resident has returned home after another successful fourth year in Florida training and competing.
She headed south on Jan. 1 with two horses in tow. She took her own horse Rambo (also known as Evil Munchin) and Gord Cardwell, owner of Knowlton Ridge in Powassan, sponsored her sending her down with Hie Torie Tango, a 6-year-old thoroughbred.
“Torie was one of (Cardwell’s) racehorses. He sent her down because he wants to give them a life after racing,” said Giesler. “They only race when they are younger, but when they’re old they can have really viable careers as show horses.”
Giesler took Torie to three events in Florida, running beginner novice events.
“She was quite green because she only started getting ridden for showing in November,” she said. “She has a lot of potential. You’re looking into the future. Eventually she could be a Pan-Am horse or something.”
It is with Rambo, her nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding, that Giesler hopes she will ride with to an Olympic future.
Rambo, was once noted for his excitable nature, however Giesler says he is settling, although, not without his moments.
“He had the best show jumping round by far of the day but after the round he wanted to go back to the barn and eat,” she said. “He wasn’t very happy that he had to stick around for an extra half hour.”
That was after a great day of eventing at the CCI 2 Star competition – the big event of the season. The duo placed an impressive fourth finish.
“That was the goal of the whole season, to get him ready for the last show I did,” she said.
They tied tenth after dressage in a field of 28. In cross-country they had two time penalties, coming in two seconds too slow, but the round was clear with no faults.
The cross country moved them up to sixth place.
The horse and rider competed against top riders in the sport including Michael Pollard, Olympic bronze medalist Darren Chiachia and Canadian Olympian Hawley Bennett-Awad.
“They all had cross country jump faults and were eliminated or retired on course – just gave up and walked off the course – because it was too challenging,” said Giesler. “In show jumping the rails were just flying and it was a really tough course … Rambo went in there and had a clear show jumping round.”
There were only two other clear show jumping rounds in the event, pushing the horse and rider team to fourth place in their biggest event of the season.
Giesler was the youngest competitor in the division.
“I really don’t even think about it. I just go to every show and I want to win,” she said. “I don’t really think about what age everyone is. Especially this show because there is a lot of prize money at the show.”
Giesler was using the tough CCI 2 Star as her qualifier for the North American Junior Young Rider Championships.
Last year she took a silver medal in the junior division against 14 to 18 year old competition. This year she will be facing 16 to 21 year old competition.
The championships in Kentucky at the end of July are the equivalent to the Junior Olympics.
That will be the main event of the season, although Giesler says they may run a few additional events in the fall simply to keep going.