It has been confirmed that the internationally-accomplished 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Lisona (Obos Quality x Porsch) will retire to owner Jessica Springsteen’s Stone Hill Farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey, USA after a top flight career under Springsteen and Irish rider Darragh Kerins. Lisona was bred in Ireland’s County Meath by Comdt. John Ledingham.
Before American rider Springsteen purchased Lisona in March of 2013, Kerins, who co-owned the mare with Maarten Huygens (they in turn acquired Lisona from Kevin Babington) rode her to several high-profile international victories under the Irish flag in the 2012 FEI Nations Cups at CSIO Dublin and Hickstead. Springsteen then campaigned the mare over two successful seasons in Europe and the Eastern United States.
Springsteen and Lisona memorably cleared 6’10” to win the 2014 Puissance at the Washington International Horse Show CSI4*, a victory that helped Springsteen earn the Leading International Rider title at the 2014 WIHS.
“I think one of my best moments with her was jumping the puissance in Washington,” Springsteen said. “She always gave that feeling that she could jump anything. And she could! She taught me a lot as a rider because she was quite sensitive, you really had to work with her, not against her, and when you did she gave it her all!”
See video of Springsteen and Lisona’s puissance win here:
Springsteen, who is rated #22 on the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List, continued to compete Lisona throughout this year, with their last stop in competition coming at July’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of London, where they placed 31st in the €400,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of London CSI5* (pictured at top.)
“Lisona always really stepped up when I needed her to,” Springsteen commented. “She’s definitely the sweetest horse I’ve ever had. She jumped some of her best rounds this summer during the GCTs, and gave me such incredible experiences at the top level. I’ll miss her in the show ring, but I’m happy to have her retired at my home. It’s heaven here for horses, and I can tell she’s really happy.”
Springsteen plans to give Lisona a second career as a broodmare, and hopes to one day ride the great mare’s progeny to similar successes at the top level of show jumping.