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Horse's Tale: PSS Levilensky with Chris Chugg

This article is from the March 2020 Horse Deals magazine.

Photo: Australian Jumping

Photo: Australian Jumping

SYNOPSIS

Stable name: Levi
Height: 17.2hh
Age: 9yo
Breeding: Sire: Levisonn. Dam sire: Cornet Obolensky.
Owner/rider: My wife Gabi and I own him and I ride him.
Top 5 results:
Winner of the Australian World Cup Showjumping League 2019/2020
1st Willinga Park Grand Prix 2019
1st Summer Classic World Cup Qualifier 2019
1st Tamworth World Cup Qualifier 2019
2nd Caboolture World Cup Qualifier 2019
3rd Boneo World Cup Qualifier 2020

What was Levi’s history before you began your partnership? Levi was a green four-year-old when I purchased him so he hadn’t done anything in his sporting career.

How did Levi come into your life? He was shown to me by good friends who also sold Gabi and myself Cristalline, PSS Chantilly and Black Currency.

What was your reaction when you first laid eyes on him? My first impression of him was that he was a lovely looking horse, extremely modern and athletic looking with a kind eye.

What was your first ride on him like? He was extremely powerful but very balanced and adjustable for a big, green horse.

Did you have any training issues? Harnessing his power with his greenness was probably my biggest challenge when he was a baby.

What was your first competition together and how did it go? He travelled around Europe with Cristalline and Cassiago to all the shows with Gabi and myself, just being ridden in a show environment in the practice arenas for a while. He did his first-ever show at Knokke CSI in Belgium and he handled it like a true professional.

How do you prepare for each World Cup event? I ensure he is extremely fit, he gets worked on the treadmill as well as worked on the arena. We do a lot of gymnastic exercises making sure he is relaxed and supple in his work.

Congratulations on winning the 2019/2020 World Cup Showjumping League. Tell us about your plans in preparation for the World Cup Final in Las Vegas. We will base in Europe for about eight weeks leading into the final so we can do some training indoors for the last of the winter over there. Then we will fly to Vegas from Europe.

What’s Levi’s most annoying habit or quirk? He is quite a quirky horse, he can get fidgety and he smacks his lips together when you get him ready to ride or leave him in the cross ties drying off.

Strongest personality trait? He is just a gentle kind soul.

Preferred work environment? Loves going on a good hack out.

Work ethic? Loves to go to work every day and always tries to please you.

How does he handle the big occasions? He is still quite young and inexperienced but handles each show with a great attitude.

Weekly training regime? He gets worked six days a week — riding and treadmill.

What has he taught you as a rider? I’ve been training horses for a long time, and like any horse that you start from a young horse — have a long plan, always remember there is tomorrow.

Does he have a best friend? He is super friendly, so anyone who is friendly back to him.

What celebrity does he remind you of? Chris Hemsworth, Gabi says, extremely good looking and fit

What is the first thing on your shopping list for him? Apples and carrots.

Does he get much downtime during the year? I try to let him have a break whenever we can because our show schedule is pretty hectic, especially towards the end of the year.

What are your plans with Levi for the next 12 months? He will go to Las Vegas for the World Cup Final in April, then we plan to do a Nations Cup at the end of May in Canada and hopefully catch the eye of selectors for Tokyo Olympics.

If you could change one thing about him what would it be? I wouldn’t change him.

Photo: Julie Wilson

Photo: Julie Wilson


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