Returning to Central Park- Cathy and Sanction
If there’s such a thing as a “favorite to win” based on their record at the Arabian Open, it would have to be Sanction and Cathy Schaming Vecsey. And I would bet the riders who compete against them are some of this team’s biggest fans! Why? Because no horseman could help but aspire to have a sound and happy show horse at the age of 29!
Yes, HL Sanction is 28 years old this year! Cathy and Sanction won the Native Costume class at the inaugural Arabian Open in 2015, and they won it again in 2016. With his amazing show record, which started in 1993 with wins in English Pleasure, Sanction has nothing left to prove. “He owes us nothing and has given us more than words can say”, says Cathy.
“Getting a standing ovation at the 2014 US Nationals when he won at the age of 25 was amazing. He followed that by carrying me to 2 wins at the Central Park Show. I’m able to have these experiences because of Sanction”.
Because of his age, Cathy and her husband Russ, are very thoughtful about his management. Even though he has only competed in this one show for the past two years, Cathy still works him five days a week and keeps up on all the care that any equine athlete, but especially a senior one would need. “Whatever, he needs, like Adequan, Prostride, chiropractic, great farrier and dental work, it’s taken care of. Horses don’t know their age, they understand how they feel. So as long as he is comfortable, he loves to work.”
Cathy says, “Without a doubt, as he has gotten older, he knows he has achieved an ‘elite’ status in the barn and is the most vocal and obnoxious of the crew. But since we have owned him for 26 years he can pretty much do whatever he wants and we will be okay with it! There’s a world of wisdom in those eyes and you can truly see straight into his soul. To me he is beautiful in every way and I feel privileged beyond measure to share this NYC experience with him once again.”
I asked Cathy what was the best part of the Arabian US Open experience.
“When the call comes down from the ring and you walk down as a group for your class-with all those people standing around and commenting as you walk by-while 28-year-old Sanction snorts and blows like his war horse ancestors-jogging the whole way. And then you turn around-and there’s that world-famous skyline That moment for me is unreal. I can’t wait!