Shannon Dueck's Ayscha on Baby Break but Grand Prix Comeback Planned

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 11:03
Canadian Dressage News

Canadian Grand Prix rider Shannon Dueck saw her 2014 Canadian WEG team hopes dashed when her talented Grand Prix mare Ayscha developed health issues in 2013 which put an international show career on the back burner. Decided to turn the negative into something positive, Dueck put the mare in foal while she healed during the baby break. A stunning filly has been born and Ayscha has fully recovered and a Grand Prix come back is planned for 2016.

In March 2013 Ayscha developed an acute fever of unknown origin and spent two weeks in the equine clinic with a pneumonia.

"I am quite sure the hyperbaric chamber is what saved her life," Dueck told Eurodressage. "It’s hard to get antibiotics to the cells in the lungs without it. During her recovery she got cast in a fence and injured her superficial digital flexor tendon.  She was never lame but the injury was not healing properly with normal rehabilitation, so I decided that time off was the only option. It was time for her to have a baby."

Jen Vanover of Maplewood Warmbloods in upstate New York expressed an interest in adding Ayscha to her breeding programme. The now 14-year old Oldenburg mare is by Welt Hit II x Rouletto x Aktuell and was bred to Bundeschampion Franziskus. The result is a superlative filly named MW Angelika. 

"Maplewood Warmbloods has a boutique dressage sport horse breeding program. We are very selective in what we breed and who we breed to," Jen Vanover explained. "We produce top quality amateur friendly horses that are pretty, sweet, trainable through all FEI levels, and bound to get noticed in the ring. We have collected top broodmares from around the world who produce these dressage type athletes that are influenced by the qualities of the main European breed registries."

Maplewood Warmbloods does not only breed and sell foals. They also board client horses, host clinics and symposiums with top professional rider and trainers, host GOV inspections, as well as three USDF/USEF Regional Qualifying Breed and Dressage Shows.

"I'm honored to have received the chance to take care of the internationally ranked Grand Prix mare Ayscha for the past year," said Jen. "I'm also blessed to have been able to breed her. She took to the job like an old pro and produced an outstanding filly. How rare to have offspring from a high performance mare and to have her quality come through in the produce," Vanover added.

Dueck and Vanover have been friends for years and Shannon appreciated the professionalism of Jen's operation.

"I knew she would take super care of Ayscha and the breeding. She was very interested in Ayscha because there are not many international Grand Prix mares with her bloodlines floating around for breeding," Shannon explained. "I give Jen full credit for choosing Franziskus. She has been studying these breeding lines a very long time and we own MW Angelika together. She will be offered for sale to a top training home."

Ayscha has recovered to full fitness during her R&R time at Maplewood Warmbloods. The goal is to bring her back into work at the end of the summer and plan for a show come back on the 2016 Dressage in Florida show circuit.

"Ayscha’s tendon is fully healed, so time was the medicine needed. Jen will start to get her fit before Angelika is weaned and after that Ayscha will come back to Florida.  She has not forgotten the training, it will be a matter of bringing her back to the level of top sport slowly," said Dueck.

Despite Ayscha's baby break, Dueck has been very busy this 2015 show season. Aboard Elizabeth Ferber's 12-year old Hanoverian gelding Cantaris (by Compliment x Eiger I) Shannon earned personal best scores in the CDI's in Florida culminating with a bronze team medal at the 2015 CDIO Wellington Nations Cup. In addition, Shannon is riding two talented young horses she has found in Great Britain with the help of Carl Hester, and which she co-owns with  Sally Alksnis, a client who was now turned into a wonderful sponsor, owner and friend.

"Elizabeth is so kind to have me work with Cantaris for about 6 months of the year - the rest of his time is spent in Massachusetts with Beth and her trainer Marie-Louise Barrett"  said Shannon.  "We have just made a very successful debut at Intermediaire II with almost 70% in our first Inter 2 test. He has wonderful one time changes and passage, and I am excited about his future in the Grand Prix ring."

Fo more information, visit Shannon Dueck of Dueck Dressage or Jen Vanover of

Photos © Astrid Appels - Erin Powers - Sue Stickle

Related Links
Health Scare for Shannon Dueck's Ayscha
Shannon Dueck and Cantaris Sweep Inter I Kur at 2014 CDI-W Wellington
Team USA 1 Wins 2015 CDIO Wellington Nations' Cup
Short and Long Listed Canadian Dressage Riders for 2015 Announced