2023 USDF Finals IALHA High Point Horse – Amadeus de Massa

2023 USDF Finals IALHA High Point Horse – Amadeus de Massa

Amadeus and Susan, Photo by Susan Stickle

Meet Amadeus de Massa

…  “the coolest horse with eyes that seem to peer into your very soul” and two equestrians who have been instrumental in his success.

Amadeus is a 2010 Half Lusitano gelding who made his way from Europe to Wellington, Florida, in the capable hands of Lauren Knopp in October 2021. 


Under Lauren’s skilled guidance, Amadeus showcased his talent at the International Level including a I1 Freestyle performance to James Bond music! 

The duo secured the 10th position in the prestigious Festival of Champions in 2022 along with many top 3 placings at the CDI Small Tour level.

Lauren and Amadeus

In April 2023, Amadeus found a new partner in Susan McSherry-Jones, who moved him to the scenic landscapes of Kentucky. The bond between Susan and Amadeus was instantaneous.  “The first time I sat on him I felt like I knew him and he had been my partner in another lifetime. Within 2 months we went to our first show and won our classes.”

Susan and Amadeus Photo credit Susan Stickle


The dynamic duo continued their journey, qualifying for Regionals within six months. At Regionals, they achieved 2nd and 3rd positions in the I1 and PSG, respectively. 

This earned them a coveted spot at the US Dressage Finals where Susan and Amadeus clinched the IALHA FEI High Point Breed award. 

Amadeus’s success is a testament to the collaboration between his owner/riders. Lauren Knopp’s invaluable guidance and friendship played a pivotal role; her expertise and support provided a jumpstart for Susan and Amadeus’ success in 2023.

Bred by the Massa group, Amadeus is out of a top Lusitano mare and sired by the renowned FURST ROMANCIER, an Oldenburg Stallion. He embodies the best of both breeds.

The stage is set for 2024. Susan and Amadeus have their sights set on qualifying again for the US Dressage Finals in November. Congratulations to Susan, Lauren and Amadeus for their stellar achievements!

In addition to winning the IALHA High Score Breed Award, Adult Amateur at the US Dressage Finals in PSG and Intermediate 1, some of Amadeus’ other incredible results in 2023:


  • Dressage Horse Of The Year – Intermediate I: #108
  • Dressage Horse Of The Year – Prix St Georges : #154
  • Musical FS – Intermediate I: #38
  • Musical FS Challenge – Intermediate I: #25
  • Musical FS for IALHA – Intermediate I: #1
  • Open for IALHA – Prix St Georges : #1
  • Open for IALHA– Intermediate I: #1