Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert ©SusanStickle.
Wellington, FL – February 28, 2021 – Week seven of the 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded on Sunday, February 28, with a win for USA’s Benjamin Ebeling on Illuster Van De Kampert in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Hygain Feeds.
Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert, Amy Roberts Ebeling and Nuvolari Holdings, LLC’s 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Spielberg, topped the competitive class with a score of 75.170%, almost five full points ahead of the second place score.
“It’s really a testament to my coaches and the team behind me,” expressed Ebeling. “For me, it’s really important to give thanks to them. They help me so much day to day, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”
The high score was also a personal best for Ebeling and the gelding, their second of the week after placing first in Friday’s FEI Grand Prix CDI3* with a 73.326%. “Today was the most comfortable that Illuster has felt in that arena,” said Ebeling. “Of course, it’s a big atmosphere for any horse, but he’s naturally a hot horse. The arena can be a bit of a challenge for him. Every time we go in there he’s settling down and for me mentally, that’s a big win.”
He continued, “Today his strength was definitely in the canter work. The first trot half-pass I was very happy with, and that last centerline is always so fun to ride too.”
The pair made their senior international Grand Prix debut at AGDF this season after competing in the Under 25 division and have notched several top placings since, with the day’s Special marking their third big tour win.
Proving that hard work pays off, the team also has several eyes on them as they are coached by Ebeling’s father, Olympian Jan Ebeling, Japanese dressage team coach Christoph Koschel, and also receive help from retired five-star judge Gary Rockwell and former USA dressage team coach Robert Dover.
Ebeling explained, “Usually I’m talking to Robert Dover the night before a test, and one thing that he’s always telling me is maintaining a good connection with power and collection. It’s something that we talk about often, and I really feel like I brought that into the arena today.”
For more information and results, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.