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Published December 30, 2013, 09:44 AM

Arabian days in Canada

Housed at Prairie Rose Training Center in Bismarck, N.D., Captain Hook is an Arabian pinto gelding who twice earned top honors this year in dressage competitions at the Canadian Nationals in August, an event put on by the Arabian Horse Association.

By: Bryan Horwath, Forum News Service

DICKINSON, N.D. — Though his name might suggest otherwise, Captain Hook has been doing some wonderful things in 2013.

No, not the fictional man who serves as Peter Pan’s nemesis, but the horse named Captain Hook, owned by Sally Henry of Dickinson, N.D., who has spent the past year racking up regional and national dressage (an equestrian sport) competition accolades.

Housed at Prairie Rose Training Center in Bismarck, N.D., Captain Hook is an Arabian pinto gelding who twice earned top honors this year in dressage competitions at the Canadian Nationals in August, an event put on by the Arabian Horse Association.

PRTC co-owner Karla Stanley says Captain Hook has a chance of advancing to Olympic competition.

“He’s starting to kind of knock on the door a little bit,” Stanley says. “He’s up at what we call the FEI level right now, which is a little below the Olympic-level Grand Prix platform, but he’s a very impressive horse. With eight national championships to his credit, Captain Hook is a very highly seasoned competitor.”

Henry also has another Canadian national champion horse that trains full time at PRTC: Déjà vu, an Arabian/Percheron mare. Henry keeps two other competitive dressage horses — a pinto Arabian gelding named Scrimshah and a pinto Hanoverian/Arabian stallion named Wolkenzorro — at her stables, 12 miles east of Dickinson.

“I’m so proud of these horses and how well they have represented North Dakota in prestigious national competitions,” Henry says. “These are local horses and, no matter what your riding background or experience, I just want people to know that there are good trainers out there who are even willing to come to the Dickinson area to train. Dressage can yield big benefits. If we can do it, so can others.”

Karla and her daughter, Mimi Stanley, co-own PRTC and have trained 11 of Henry’s horses through the years. PRTC features an indoor arena and specializes mainly in English riding, along with classical and Western dressage instruction. PRTC offers instruction to riders across the Midwest.

In dressage, horse and rider must correctly perform an increasingly difficult set of exercises, ranging from basic skills to complicated movements.

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