Pinehurst, NC (June 26, 2015)— USDF Gold Medalist John Zopatti and KWPN-Half Arabian gelding Uwannabeme WH delivered another winning performance this week at the Summertime Blues Dressage Show, held at the Pinehurst Harness Track in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Although this was only the pair’s fourth show together and their first time competing as a duo in the fourth level, they took home the title of champion with a 70 percent. Zopatti and Uwannabeme also placed high in all three third-level classes, ranging between 70.758 and 67.949 percent for additional first, second, and third place wins.
Zopatti, who has been named Gold Coast Dressage Association Trainer of the Year four times, began working with Uwannabeme — or “Slim,” as he is lovingly known around the barn— in February 2015. The gelding is continually proving his talent and willingness to perform, and is quickly gaining confidence in Zopatti. Six weeks ago, the Grand Prix trainer brought Slim— who is owned by Johnny Robb of Loxahatchee, Florida— to Gavilan Farm in Hoffman, North Carolina for summer training.
“For a horse that was originally nervous and tense, Slim is starting to relax and taking the good rides that we have at home and reproducing them at the shows,” said Zopatti, who is based in Wellington, Florida over the winter season and Pinehurst, North Carolina during the summer.
“Slim has his own acre paddock with a run-in shed and a beautiful facility, basically like a horse playland,” added Zopatti, who believes that a truly successful training program is centered on keeping his horses comfortable and happy.
Zopatti, too, is happy about spending the summer with Uwannabeme WH. “He is such a smart animal, and so sensitive, that I really have to think about every single thing I do with him,” he explained. “That’s actually what I most enjoy about riding Slim— I think it makes me a much better rider to have to slow down, take time, and really figure out what works— not just for the riding, but even the handling, and every other aspect of his life.”
Currently, Zopatti is focused on developing a freestyle test for his next show with Slim, where he also hopes to continue advancing in more fourth level tests. “Our next show is in about a month, and it will be at the Pinehurst Harness Track (the same facility that hosted Summertime Blues), which is just a mile away from my summer home. It’s a great facility, and it’s nice to have it right in my back yard,” he added.
To learn more about John Zopatti, visit www.johnzopatti.comor call 561-722-7555.
Photo: John Zopatti praises Uwannabeme WH (“Slim”) after winning Fourth Level test one at the Pinehurst Harness Track in Pinehurst, North Carolina (Photo courtesy of Michael Pritchett Photography)
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