Wellington, FL – March 21, 2012 – Alix Szepesi of Hamilton, MA topped the leader board again at the Global Dressage Festival National Classic 2 on Wednesday, the second and final day of the show. Szepesi and William, owned by Margie Kelk, scored 75.541% in the USEF First Level Test 2-Open at the Stadium show grounds of the Global Dressage Festival (GDF). Szepesi was not even supposed to compete this week and was a late entry.
“His owner was originally going to compete with William, but sometimes he gets nervous in the warm-up and he was a little naughty, so I decided to show him instead,” said Szepesi. “Thankfully management was able to accommodate the changes. We are very appreciative of their efforts.”
William was originally slated to be a show jumper and showed exceptional talent, but he did not like Liverpool fences, so Kelk turned him into a dressage horse.
“Margie is a true horsewoman and understands horse nature,” said Szepesi of Kelk. “She loves the horse and believes in him and just wants to see him happy. He was amazing in the class today. Yesterday was the first time he saw the flower pots and it made him a little nervous, but today he was much better about them. This show was such a great experience for him.”
Christopher Hickey of Colora, MD rode Balissa HTF to the second highest score at the GDF scoring 73.714% in the USEF Second Level Test 1-Open. Hickey was pleased with the five-year-old mare’s performance.
“This is Balissa’s Second Level debut so we were thrilled,” said Hickey. “This horse is so good and she loves the work. I love riding this horse every day.”
Balissa HTF is a Hanoverian mare bred by Jane MacElree of Hilltop Farm in Colora, MD. Balissa has Hilltop breeding on both sides. Bugatti, her sire and Contucci, her dam’s sire are both Hilltop breeding stallions. Hickey, who is the Training Director there, competed with Bugatti at the Prix St. George and Intermediaire 1 level.
“I love this horse, I am not surprised that she did so well,” said Hickey. “She is very special to Jane and me. She is one of Jane’s favorite horses.”
Ashley Gowanlock of Canada took top honors in the Para-Equestrian class for the second consecutive day at the GDF, scoring 75.000% in the FEI Para Test of Choice class on Maile.
The $120,000 5* West Palm Beach, presented by Diamante Farms, and National Show is almost here! This prestigious event takes place March 29 – April 1 and features the only CDI5* in North America. The FEI Grand Prix class will be held on Thursday, March 29 and the FEI Olympic Grand Prix Special on Friday, March 30 in the morning. The FEI Grand Prix Freestyle will be held on Friday evening beginning 7:30 PM.
About the Global Dressage Festival
The Global Dressage Festival (GDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring five CDIs, including a 5*, the first non-championship CDIO Nations’ Cup in the Western Hemisphere, and nine U.S. national events.
The GDF is offering more than $275,000 in prize money for the five international competitions making it one of the richest circuits in the world. In addition to the CDIs with national competitions, the GDF will feature four separate national shows to be held at the newly constructed venue that extends the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) show grounds.
The GDF encompasses almost 60 acres of the former Palm Beach Polo Grounds. The facility includes four outdoor arenas with world class footing. Future planned improvements include a covered arena, permanent covered spectator seating for the central outdoor arena and a permanent Patrons Club and 200 permanent stalls.
Please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.