Jessica Leijser scores over 71%: ‘It could actually be even better’

Jessica Leijser rode the six-year-old Kashmir at the Subtop competition in Nederweert with a beautiful score of 71.45% to a clear victory in ZZ-Zwaar test 37. The Grand Prix rider thinks the homebred Glamourdale son is the best horse she has ever ridden. “I’ve never had a horse like this under the saddle, he’s really a natural talent and does everything so easily,” she says happily.

Kashmir made his debut in the ZZ-Zwaar class at the beginning of October. Today in Nederweert he passed the magical 70% limit for the first time. “And it could actually be even better”, his rider starts laughing at her story. “I think Kas can do anything for an eight, but he really excels in the extended trot and canter, the pirouettes and the series. Today I wanted to ride the changes in one of the series even bigger and then I got an expensive mistake. In addition, there is still progress to be made in the trot work. If he can keep a bit more calm a little more, especially in the half passes, the score can really go up even further.”


“Kas is a real natural talent and does everything so easily. He is very willing to work and always wants to do everything for me. But can also be a joke. He’s a little scared of other horses, and even though he sees them every day, they’re still exciting,” she adds with a laugh. “But that just makes him extra fun.” Leijser bred the Glamourdale son out of the Vivaldi daughter Future Lady. “He went to the KWPN Stallion Inspection at the age of 2.5 and in the run-up to that I already saw that he was not just one.”

Not quite ready for yet

“Kas was then saddle-broken at the age of three and his quality was already clearly visible.” Last year he scored 80 points in the Pavo Cup selection of the West region in Houten and he took part in the selection process for the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses. “We got there until the last round. I could agree that we were not selected. He had to get stronger and he wasn’t quite ready yet.”

Focus on World Championships for Young Dressage Horses

Leijser hopes to qualify for the Championships next year. “In consultation with my instructor Joyce van Rooijen-Heuitink, I have decided to let Kas gain experience at ZZ-Zwaar level for the foreseeable future. The tests at the World Championships for seven-year-olds are similar to that. In addition, I would love to ride the Dutch championship with him next year. But first he gets a break, the bow can’t always be tense.”

A lot of demand

“At home in training I occasionally take a piece of the Big Tour work with me. He does that effortlessly. That is reason for me to be extra careful with it, he is still so young and he must also be given the time he needs. But I do think he is really one for the Grand Prix work. The only downside of having such a good horse is that there is a lot of demand for it, and the question is whether I can keep it that long.”

From own breeding

Leijser, who was already successful in the Subtop with several horses, has five more horses to ride in addition to Kashmir. “These are mostly four- and five-year-olds, most of them from own breeding. Five foals will be born next year. Two of them are from Glamourdale. I love that stallion, but I always choose stallions that best suit the mare. So there is often variation,” says Leijser.