For Marion Dresel-O’Connor, Ultimate Dressage Imports is the culmination of a lifetime of love for horses, curiosity, learning, experience, continuous training and experimentation.
Marion was born in Germany and even in childhood it was clear that she was destined to be an equestrian. She earned her German Bronze Medal at the age of 14, then went on to generate quite an impressive record as a show jumper still in her teens. After her beloved mare Undia had to be retired Marion turned her back on conventional horse shows and explored alternative ways of riding, which eventually led her and her husband Patrick to emigrate Germany in 1992. They acquired their own piece of Horse heaven in beautiful North Idaho. Here in one of the most unlikely of places Marion rediscovered the art of riding Dressage and was taught by emphatic and talented coaches how to train the correct basics. Her first competition horse was a Thoroughbred mare off the track…
Marion imported her first Hanoverian from Germany in 1995, a yearling colt. In the same year the first breedings were done using frozen semen from Celle stallions. Over the years more imported Hanoverians were added to the breeding program. Since there weren`t any qualified young horse trainers available in the area Marion started to ride the young horses herself, preparing them for inspections, and presenting them in performance tests.
With the advance of embryo transfers in the breeding, a new program got started. Marion would buy one or two really top quality mares with modern bloodlines in Germany, bring them over, breed them for embryo transfer, and ride and show them for a year or two. Once they produced a good filly to integrate into the breeding program, the mares were sold as show horses and replaced with a different import, always with an eye to improving the quality of the stock.
Marion rode several young mares to Horse of the Year awards with USDF. Acclamation as USDF SPORTHORSE BREEDER OF THE YEAR three years running is a testament to her talent for choosing the best stock and selecting the correct stallions to cross on her mares.
In the meantime Marion has trained her mare Hochkarat herself from a greenbroke 3 year old step by step, learning herself as they advanced to Intermediare 1 level, and still maintaining greater aspirations for the future.
During her years as a breeder Marion has made numerous contacts with stallion owners, breeders, sale barns and brokers in Germany. She has developed a great eye for horses, can tell the potential that`s hidden in an awkward looking youngster, knows what feeling she`s looking for when trying a green prospect, and can judge the quality needed to make it in the sport of Dressage. She also knows the American rider. Countless hours teaching adult amateurs or aspiring young professionals have taught her what type of horse they like to ride, and which will assist them to advance in competition here in the USA.