Beatrice De Lavalette and Clarc. © SusanJStickle.com.
Wellington, FL – March 11, 2022 – On Friday, March 11, 2022, Perrigo CPEDI3* competition presented by Mission Control, Fair Sky Farm, Adequan®, and Nutrena® got underway during week nine of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) with Para Team Tests Grades I-V.
While Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage team rider Beatrice De Lavalette has competed in national shows since her Paralympic debut in Tokyo last August, her Paralympic mount Clarc made his first reappearance in the show ring this week in the CPEDI3* FEI Para Team Test Grade II. The return was a winning one for De Lavalette and Clarc, a 15-year-old KWPN gelding by Dreamcatcher x Lord Sinclair I, as they earned an overall percentage of 72.848%.
De Lavalette and Clarc, owned by Elizabeth De Lavalette and Nicolas De Lavalette, had only been matched up since October 2020 when they made their nine-month run toward the Paralympic Games. That intense time together and their experience at the Games made for a strong partnership, and they’ve learned a lot from each other.
“I was lucky enough to open the entire competition [in Tokyo], because I was first to go. That was stress added to more stress,” recalled De Lavalette. “Both days [of competition] were great, and we learned a lot in those two days.”
She continued, “Now he’s just a love bug. He’s so sweet. He’s so willing to work and to learn, and he’s just such a good boy. I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
That connection was on full display as judges Carlos Lopes (POR) at E, Adrienne Pot (USA) at C, and Anne Prain (FRA) at M unanimously put De Lavalette and Clarc on top. For De Lavalette, it was the leg yields that were the most impressive part of their test.
In the CPEDI3* FEI Para Team Test Grade I class, Jody Schloss (CAN) rode her own Lieutenant Lobin to a personal best 70.953%. Lieutenant Lobin, an 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Lobster x Fanal Prydsholm, received consistent marks throughout the test and finished on a strong note, receiving some of their best scores down the final centerline. The emotion was palpable from Schloss, who stood from her power-chair to honor her country’s flag during the awards presentation.
Schloss and “Lobin,” who she affectionately calls “Lobylu,” first paired up in 2015. Schloss admired his big, beautiful walk gait, but it took them some time to fully come together.
“Lobin had to learn to be a para horse and to take care of me. At first he was a bit spooky, but he quickly learned that that was not appropriate behavior,” explained Schloss. “I fell in love with him almost immediately because he has a definite fun-loving personality. He loves to cuddle, and he always makes me laugh with his funny faces when he reacts to something!”
In the CPEDI3* FEI Para Team Test Grade IV, U.S. Paralympic team bronze medalist Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 continued to demonstrate their dominance. Shoemaker and the 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion by Sandro Hit x De Niro owned by Kate, Craig, and Deena Shoemaker scored numerous eights from all three judges across the entirety of their test to earn an overall percentage of 74.208%. Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA) and Rigaudon Tyme earned 69.417% highlighted by the collected trot and canter. Genevieve Rohner (USA) and Phoenix Gwyngalet came in third scoring 58.042%.
Charlotte Merle-Smith (USA) topped the CPEDI3* FEI Para Team Test Grade III test aboard her and Susan Merle-Smith’s Guata, an 11-year-old KWPN mare by Vivaldi x Haarlem. Their test got better and better as they went, ultimately earning a nine and two eights in the final halt from the judging panel for an overall percentage of 69.559%.
For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.