Rowan Willis: on his new ride ‘Ashton Dakota’
Above: Rowan Willis and Ashton Dakota. Photo credit ESI.
We saw another great win for Rowan Willis and Ashton Dakota in the $213,300 FEI HITS Grand Prix – CSI4* in Saugerties, New York over the weekend.
Ashton Dakota, a 13 year old grey gelding by Lupicor H out of Pomina M (by Corofino I), is a new ride for Rowan this year. This was only the second CSI4* start for this horse, who also had a win the previous day in the CSI4* Welcome Stakes.
Ashton Dakota is owned by Rowan Willis, Page Flournoy, John & Lori Wallis, Dinah & Steve Posford and Bryan Hirst & Sandra Bryant. Rowan says, “he was bred and produced in Scotland by Mark Turnball and I’m so grateful to all the wonderful owners involved with Daks and to Will Funnell for helping me buy him from the Turnbull Family”
After such a great run last weekend, we caught up with Rowan to find out more about his new ride, who looks like he has a super future ahead of him.
Rowan Willis and Ashton Dakota after GP win. Photo credit ESI.
Rowan says, “I first saw him in the winter of 2019/2020 and knew I would love to have the opportunity to have him in my stables. I’m so grateful after a year of thinking about him I was able to secure the ride on him thanks to incredible owners”
“He is a very alert and sensitive horse and is incredibly aware of new people. He was bred in Scotland by the Turnbull family and not used to Australians!”
“When I first went to try him he snorted at me and he wouldn’t let me touch him or anything. He didn’t give me much confidence to get on, but once I finally rode him I knew he was the horse I thought he would be!”
“This year we have really developed a great partnership. He has taken to American life well and already won a few national Grand Prix’s. Winning the 4* Grand Prix today was a fantastic result! He truly is amazing ! He is so fast and careful , there is no better feeling than being on top of a horse that wants to win.”
We are super excited about what lies ahead for this combination and look forward to being able to report on many more successes.
See below videos of his two rounds in the GP.