Show Jumping

Ammeretto Is Full of Surprises (Most of Them Good)

©3rd Shutter from the Sun Photography

When Ammeretto came into David Beisel’s life nine years ago, the small Dutch Warmblood made a big impression. Just not in a way anyone expected…

Beisel started working with “Dutchy,” as he’s known in the barn, when owner Dale Neilsen, of Traverse City, Michigan, approached him about preparing the then three-year-old stallion for a keuring. A keuring is an inspection where colts are evaluated as stallion prospects.

Beisel said the horse was lovely to ride, but “a handful” to handle.

“He mounted me at the keuring in the awards presentation,” laughed Beisel, “and he kind of let me know who was boss. I’ve had a healthy respect for him ever since!”

The Goshen, Ohio-based rider developed the horse from the baby hunter division to Grand Prix. They’ve been regulars in the winner’s circle ever since, most recently capturing back-to-back wins in the Open Jumper division at the World Equestrian Center Ohio.

While he’s still “feisty,” Beisel says Ammeretto has mellowed with age—at least, out of the show ring.

“[Thursday morning], I took him outside, it was really nice this afternoon, and I hacked him around for 15 minutes, then he kept looking at the grass, so I let him go over and we grazed for 20 minutes. Then he gets out there to show and he’s just so into it,” smiled Beisel.

“I think he loves it as much as I do, if not more!”

In last night’s class, they were enthusiasm apparent. Beisel and Ammeretto raced around the Welcome Stake, throwing in a few bucks for good measure, to win in a time of 36.153 seconds.

“I thought the rollback after the pair of verticals seemed to kill the horse’s momentum, but he picked right up and got going. And the rest of it, he’s seen a lot before, so nothing too tricky for him,” he said.

While much has changed in their nine years together, one thing has remained consistent: Ammeretto’s bridle.

“I’m a little superstitious,” admitted Beisel. “I did have to buy him a new bridle when he was four or five, but it’s been the same bridle ever since. It’s a little worn out. He’s kind of stretched the noseband but I’m keeping the same tack. It’s a lucky bridle.”

Come Saturday, they try their luck again in the $50,000 Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Center. Watch it live on ShowNet!