Local Horse is Pure Inspiration

L.A. Baltic Inspiration has always enjoyed leaping over fences. Photo by James Leslie Parker.

_____________By Arlene J. Newman
Press Equestrian Writer
Reprinted from the Asbury Park Press, August 18, 1999FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP - When spectators fill the bleachers and line the jumping arena to catch a glimpse of equestrian sport at the Monmouth County Horse Show, they may not realize that one of the most promising young horses they'll see has been bred, born and raised within easy trotting distance of the show.The five-day show begins tomorrow after the $25,000 Stillwell-Hansen Inc. Grand Prix.L.A. Baltic Inspiration was born within a few suburban blocks of East Freehold Park, the site of the show, at Los Alamos Dressage Center, a small breeding and training farm that stands as one of the few reminders of the area's rural past, bordered on three sides by tracts of houses.Gail Carmona, his breeder and one of his trainers, says she is not very surprised that the son of her top stallion is developing into a star in his own right. He was bred with stardom in mind. But there is a detail that has surprised her about Inspirations' ascent in equestrian sport.L.A. Baltic Sun, his sire, is a grand prix dressage horse, as highly trained all the way to the Olympic level as a horse can be in the sport. His dam, L.A. Utrilla, is royally bred, carrying the genetic material produce a dynasty of great dressage horses.When Inspiration grew from a gangly, leggy colt into a promising young equine athlete, he embarked on the same Los Alamos training program that produced successful dressage prospects. And while he certainly showed the appropriate affinity for his dressage lessons, there was this aforementioned detail that caught Carmona's attention.She realized early in the young stallion's training program that what he seemed to particularly enjoy is leaping over fences, the tall the better. So she got in touch with U.S. equestrian team coach Frank Chapot, Hillsborough, whose show jumping credentials include six Olympiads, and asked him to look at her horse.Chapot liked what he saw and arranged for his daughter Laura to handle the ride at jumping shows. Carmona, meanwhile, continued to train Inspiration through the dressage levels.In his dual career, Inspiration has continued to accrue national honors in dressage with Carmona, including the All-Breed Horse of the Year at Fourth level, conferred by the United Stated Dressage Federation. With Chapot, he has racked up impressive performances in show jumping, including second place in last year's $25,000 grand prix at the Monmouth County Horse Show.Now, it looks as though Inspiration's duel career is nearly over. Both Carmona and Chapot were finding it too difficult to keep up the level of training needed at his lofty levels in both disciplines.Inspiration's success this year on the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in Florida, followed by a win in the $10,000 Gambler's Choice class at the Devon horse Show and a victory in the Hunter Farms $10,000 Grand Prix Derby have persuaded Carmona that his career should continue in the jumper ranks.

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