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.”