Longtime Judge, Rider and Trainer Wins Vita Flex Victory Pass Award at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals
Raleigh, NC (October 19, 2017) — “I was absolutely delighted to win the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award,” said an overwhelmed but ecstatic Wendy Gruskiewicz at the recent 15th annual Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show held this year in Raleigh, North Carolina. A leading producer of top quality equine supplements, Vita Flex’s Victory Pass Award is given to a successful horse and rider team that demonstrates the dedication needed to achieve superlative excellence in the show ring.
This ideal was clearly demonstrated by Gruskiewicz, who runs Mithra Training Stable in Jefferson, Ohio. She and her registered Half-Arabian gelding Riften++++// competed in eight divisions at the Nationals that included carriage driving, dressage, show hack and in-hand work. Riften finished in the national “Top 10” in four of the divisions, while winning top championship honors in the other four—an unprecedented feat at the nationals in its 15-year history!
A professional trainer of Arabians for 40 years as well as a U.S. Equestrian Federation “R” dressage judge and an Arabian Horse Association National/Regional accredited judge, Gruskiewicz has done all her horse’s training, and at the nationals she showed him in the driving and riding classes. However, she was quick to credit her husband of 40 years, Mike Gruskiewicz, with his solid work with the horse in the in-hand classes.
“This show has been going for 15 years now,” she said, “and it is a particularly incredible event because it showcases the talent and versatility of the Arabian horse breed.” She pointed to the 500 horses at this year’s event and credited the show’s continued success to the hard-working Arabian Horse Association’s show commission members. “The whole vibe of the show is relaxed and very sportsmanlike,” she explained, remembering “how many people came up to me and congratulated me, which meant a lot.”
Riften is a handsome bay 12-year-old Half-Arabian gelding bred by Erin Lacroix. “He was sired by the Arabian stallion Triften+/,” explained Gruskiewicz, “and his dam was Rina, an imported Dutch Harness Horse. I’ve had him for about five years now.” She said she has developed a special relationship with Riften over the years. “We have a true connection with each other. He is a puppy dog — kind, willing and just a delightful animal to have around. He’s my best friend. To take care of him every day is a privilege. He’s also a beautiful mover.”
Gruskiewicz was excited to get the Vita Flex award because it included so many of the products she already uses. “I particularly like the joint supplement and the hoof dressing,” she said. Her championship victory lap in the driving division took on a holiday feel as Riften proudly wore his Vita Flex red and white neck sash and Gruskiwicz’s carriage was filled to overflowing with the many Vita Flex® products that came with the award.
For more than 20 years, Vita Flex has known just how thin the line is between success and failure, good and great, winning or losing. The company is always thrilled to spotlight riders like Gruskiewicz who work hard and train diligently to achieve their competitive goals. Well-known within the horse industry and trusted by top owners, trainers and riders, Vita Flex’s innovative product line includes performance supplements, antioxidants, electrolytes, topical solutions, vitamins, and minerals to help keep equine competitors in peak health. To learn more about Vita Flex, visit their website at www.vitaflex.com or call (800) 848–2359.