“I’m not going to lie, we bought him because he was pretty,” rider and trainer Lauren Chumley laughed when asked about how she and owner Melissa Dowling came to purchase Nikolas, who has been selected as the Celebration Horse for 2022’s BreyerFest celebration of Prost!
Developed in Germany during the early to mid-1960s, the German Riding Pony was bred for children to compete at higher national and international levels in show jumping, dressage, and Eventing. The goal was to take all the wonderful athletic, versatile, and rideable qualities of the popular lighter-weight warmbloods and replicate them in a pony measuring anywhere from 13.2 to 14.2 hands, while keeping the pony nature and personality.
This German Riding Pony may be small, but he’s a super star making a big name for himself in the dressage arena. Niko, as he is affectionately known, loves to show off just how talented he is in the Grand Prix ring, competing against horses twice his size.
Imported as a two-year-old from breeder Ingrid Schmidt, who is based out of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, this handsome, gentle buckskin gelding has spent his whole life since training and competing under Lauren Chumley. This dynamic pair has gone up through the levels to the Grand Prix ring, but along the way Nikolas has competed up to Training level Eventing. In dressage, he’s brought home numerous championships from the National Dressage Pony Cup show, regional and all-breed titles, and a top 12 finish at the USEF Festival of Champions in 2021 in the Developing Grand Prix.
This talented German Riding Pony has just started his career in the Grand Prix ring and is already giving his fans a reason to toast and say Prost! In addition to this, BreyerFest is giving fans another reason to cheer. This year’s Celebration Model is mold #815, the German Riding Pony, a brand new sculpt from Brigitte Eberl making its debut for BreyerFest: Prost!
You might be thinking that Lauren Chumley looks familiar, and you’re right! She’s also the rider and trainer for another Breyer portrait horse owned by Melissa Dowling – Avatar’s Jazzman! The versatile Morgan “Jazz” is a FEI-level dressage horse that also competes at Training Level in Eventing! Fans will get to meet Niko & Jazz next summer at BreyerFest!
Select BreyerFest ticket holders will receive their very own Nikolas model – more information in tickets will be released soon, so keep your eyes on the BreyerFest Blog!
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