Siglavy II Dulcibella
Duce
1975-2003
by Kit Young Knotts - Click images to enlarge

One day, when he was 15, a switch flipped and Duce put in the performance of his life. Then he got better. It led to his being the United States Dressage Federation's 1990 Horse of the Year at Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle. The first pure-bred Lipizzaner ever to be ranked this high, he repeated as Horse of the Year at Grand Prix Freestyle in 1992.

Why? He was that good. The first buzz was that he profited from generous judges, soon retracted as the doubters judged for themselves. He took on the best and won head to head.  

Cover photo from the USDF Bulletin
celebrating Duce's Horse of the Year awards.>

     

Duce came to me unseen as a replacement for another horse from Tempel Farms that hadn't passed the vet. Ellin Mikolka assured me he was a "really nice horse (with a big Roman nose) and half-brother to your Sandi". I took a shot.

Though he had nice gaits, Duce didn't have the flowing long strides that came with Sandi. He did OK at lower levels but nothing too special. And the temperament! He was an eccentric artist in a previous life -- one of those guys who would give you a single red rose in a crystal vase, and then break the vase and stomp on the rose. Our relationship was like a roller-coaster.

 

 

As our work advanced, he began to show real talent for collection, pirouettes, flying changes, passage that took your breath away, making up for his somewhat lackluster extended gaits. He had "it", a presence and charisma that appealed to judges and fans alike.
 

 

 


 

 


The time came for us to close Pegasus, let it become a subdivision, and reduce our number of horses to those that we could board. Between the brothers, I chose to keep Sandi -- even though he was less successful at the time, he was my better friend. Duce ultimately went to artist Marilyn Fallon, who had loved him from the first moment she saw him. He lived out his days happily in a cloud of red lipstick. 


Duce and Sandi in Pas de Deux
about 1986
     

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