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Feature: Irish Sport Horse International Dressage Champion Peninsula Top Man

General October 22, 2014

Peninsula Top Man & Canada's David Ziegler

Peninsula Top Man (ISH) & Canada’s David Ziegler

2014 has been a highly successful year for the Irish Sport Horse Peninsula Top Man and his twenty one year Canadian rider David Ziegler. The traditionally-bred Peninsula Top Man (ISH), who initially began his career as an eventer, has clocked up eight international FEI Young Rider victories in Dressage this year.

His rider David Ziegler tells us how Peninsula Top Man (ISH) made his way from breeder John Nulty’s farm in County Kilkenny to his current life as an exciting Dressage champion in Canada.

Topper (Peninsula Top Man) was bred by John Nulty in 2003. He passed through a couple of yards before making his way to Paddy Hughes Carlingford based yard. It was there that my coach, Marilyn Dixon, found Topper as a five year old while on a top quality event horse finding mission for myself.

We watched Topper’s video back at home in Canada and fell in love. Topper then hopped on a plane and flew to our home north of Calgary Alberta, Canada.  He spent a week there in quarantine before being loaded up on the trailer with the rest of the horses and brought down to California for that winter.

In spring 2009 Topper began his event career with me starting at the Novice level back home in Canada, and moving up to Training level in autumn. That winter, 2010, Topper and I went to spend the winter training with Leslie Law (Olympic Gold Medal winning event rider) in Ocala, FL. We spent the year making sure he was confirmed at Training level. The next winter 2011, we began training with my current coach, Missy Ransehousen, daughter of Jessica Ransehousen (3x US Dressage Olympic Team Rider), and we made the upgrade to Preliminary level in March. Topper and I headed back home shortly so I could finish my high school classes, being 18 at the time. That summer we ran in five more preliminarys to qualify for the CCI* at Galway Downs in California.

This would end up being Toppers last event, he jumped the XC double clear, and had a rail in the show jumping, but his bravery had been maxed out at that level, so it was time to find Topper a new job.

I suggested he could just be our ranch horse as he loved herding the cattle at our farm, but my mother wouldn’t have it.  Topper was naturally gifted in the dressage so we decided we should turn him into a dressage horse! I moved to the Ransehousens home in Unionville PA in November 2011 with my Irish dressage horse and have never looked back.


Peninsula Top Man 2014

David Ziegler (CAN) & Peninsula Top Man (ISH) at Devon CDI 2014

David Ziegler and Peninsula Top Man (ISH) began the 2014 season with a string of FEI Young Rider team and individual wins in Wellington, Florida, in January, which was then followed with a a silver medal in the The North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) in Kentucky this summer and most recently the pair recorded a clear sweep when claiming the FEI Young Rider Team (PSG), FEI Young Rider Individual Test and the FEI Young Rider Freestyle at Devon CDIY.

The Irish Horse Gateway would like to thank David Ziegler for taking the time to share the story of his Dressage star Peninsula Top Man (ISH). We wish them continued success in their future partnership.

Breeding details: Peninsula Top Man (was ‘Dinin Kings’) (ISH) – 2003 gelding by Kings Master (ISH) out of You Can Do (ISH), by Hallodri (TB). Bred by John Nulty, Co. Kilkenny.

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