Lysander has been in Doug Payne’s program since he was just three, and we’ve had such fun tagging along on his journey up the eventing ladder.
We first spotlighted “Big Leo,” owned by Kristin Michaloski in partnership with Doug Payne, back in 2012 as part of the “EN’s Got Talent Series.” Doug had recently piloted the 18-hand up-and-comer to his debut at Prelim, explaining that the lower levels weren’t doing his big guy any favors: “He’s a very talented horse, but with his height he was just tripping over the fences at Novice.” Check out some video of Leo from the beginning here.
They’ve just gotten better and better since, and ticked the box of now 9-year-old Leo’s first three-star effort over the weekend at the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event. They scored a jumped clear cross country round with some time and felled a single rail to finish 12th in the CIC3* class. (See out EN’s complete coverage of the event here.)
Watching this helmet cam video, it’s clear what a positive, confidence-inspiring ride Leo enjoyed around the Ocala Jockey Club track with Doug in the irons. He at the finish flags with one ear pricked forward and the other swiveled back, still listening and soaking up Doug’s praise. Helmet cam provided by Cambox Sport.