Raison d'Etre

Thoroughbred/Holsteiner Gelding

  Raison d’Etre, aka Ralee, was bred by Dreamtime Farm in Lexington, KY. Ralee is a ¾ TB, with all the beauty, brains and ATTITUDE of a TB, and the movements of his Holsteiner ancestors.
    I met Ralee right after returning from 13 months of intense training in Germany.  To say I was down in the dumpster would have been correct. It is tough to realize, that regardless of how hard one works, without a top horse and the funds to campaign such a horse, one will most likely not succeed.
    Ralee was barely 16 hands, still on the lungeline and so narrow, that saddle pads look like quartersheets on him. It was a far cry from the strapping 17.3 ½ hands powerhouse he became.
I remember riding him on the lunge, with his breeder Carolin Walz was holding the lunge line and cantering him was SCARY. The fence posts look like a continuous picket fence because his canter stride was simply HUGE.
    He also had a real attitude. If he did not want to do something, he would turned into a giant brat! As a 4 year old, he would spook, bolt and just leave. Putting a bridle on him was always (and is to this day) a chore. Coming back from a horse buying trip to Germany, I got on him, not knowing he had pulled a few of these tricks on my poor working student. Let’s just say, he NEVER did it again. As a matter of fact, when we competed at the 2003 USEF World Championship Qualifier, he was the ‘lead pony’ for a number of other 5 year olds who refused to walk into the show ring.
    Ralee was always easy to train. He was elegant, self-confident and smart. The one movement he did have a hard time with was the single flying change to the left.
After winning just about everything as a 5 and 6 year old, I took him out of the show ring for 3 years to allow him to mature in peace. I finally figured out how to get the flying change and within just a few weeks, he had all the series changes down to the 1 tempi.  He taught me the importance of a smooth and effortless canter depart as the first step to a good flying change.
I had always planned to compete Ralee in Europe and try for a spot on a US Team, however, as so many time before and since, the lack of funds on my part, as well as no support from any official channels (thanks to Robert Dover, that has changed dramatically in recent years) made this impossible.
Ralee went on to participate in the 2010 WEG with Robin Brueckmann as part of the Para Team. After recovering from a serious injury, he briefly moved to CA where my trusted friend Jane Arrasmith Duggan coached him and her student Kalynn Harrington to the CDS Junior Championship. He returned to SC to become the apple of yet another trusted friend’s eye.  This time it was Leslie Cradock who earned both her USDF Silver and Gold medal with The King.
    All along, Ralee has been owned by myself. There have been many offers for him, but I could not bring myself to sell him and I have never regretted that decision.

Career Highlights

  • 2010 WEG US Para Team - Raison d'Etre
  • 2009 CDI Palm Beach, Winner Inter. 2 - Raison d'Etre
  • 2004 USET Selection Trial FEI Six-year-old Champion - Raison d'Etre
  • 2003 USET World Young Horse Championship - USET Shortlist - Raison d'Etre
  1. Elly and Ralee
  2. Elly and Ralee
  3. Elly and Ralee
  4. Ralee and Leslie