The WPCSA has announced Idylwind Brychan as its 2020 Welsh of the Year. Idylwind Brychan debuted at FEI Prix St. Georges and is currently schooling FEI Grand Prix. He was the top scoring Cob at this level in Southern California. His story, as an unlikely, yet successful dressage mount, became the most popular story of the year, a great accomplishment and wonderful recognition for the Welsh Cob breed.
“If someone would have told me the first horse I would ride at an FEI level would be a barely backed, 6-year-old Welsh Cob, found from a random internet search, I’d have thought they were crazy.” said his rider, Valerie Goodman.
“[In 2016], my barely backed, internet search result, Welsh Cob Bryan (Idylwind Brychan) won our state’s Regional Adultat Second Level, earned reserve champion during California Dressage Society’s Annual Championship Show (Second Level), and earned Second Level Open Champion and Third Level Open Reserve Champion from the Welsh Cob and Pony Society of America.”
After that year, Idylwind Brychan developed laminitis, bringing his career to a temporary halt.
“Getting back to where we were before was nearly impossible,” Goodman said. “I had lost my riding confidence and Bryan was suffering from it. It was then that I decided to work with Sarah Lockman (now a Pan American Games Gold Medalist) whenever possible. She immediately realized that Bryan and I both had lost our confidence and progress was at a standstill. Concentrating on the basics and working patiently and as accurately as possible within the training scale was exactly what we both needed.”
In 2020, the gelding made his FEI Prix St. Georges debut.
“Little did I realize, my short-statured horse named Bryan, would have an uncommon talent for the FEI movements such as pirouette, piaffe, and passage,” Goodman said.
“Yes, a Welsh Cob is not a common breed in dressage, but he has the correct response and elasticity that is so desirable in the discipline. He is a good example that one doesn’t have to pay a fortune for a nice dressage horse. He turns heads to watch him wherever he goes.”
Goodman’s story originally appeared on USDF’s newest on-line platform targeting the Adult Amateur rider and can be found here: https://yourdressage.org/2020/04/17/pint-sized-equine-partner-bryan-the-cob/
Bryan was also featured twice in The United States Dressage Federation’s official Facebook and Instagram pages: https://www.facebook.com/USDFOfficial/photos/10157229203787041