Tina Irwin and Laurencio. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.
Wellington, FL – March 23, 2017 – Day two of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO 3* at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL brought victory and a gold medal for the Canadian team on Thursday, March 23, at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
The Canadian team clinched the top of the podium with impressive performances in the FEI Intermediaire I CDIO 3* and the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm. This followed strong rides executed on Wednesday, when the Canadian team established an early lead.
Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio, her 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Laurentio x Pasadena x Donerhall), took the spot on the top of the leaderboard once again in the FEI Intermediaire CDIO 3 with a score of 73.237%.
Irwin commented, “I’m very lucky to have a horse like Laurencio. He’s very special. To have such amazing rideability quality-wise, and such a good temperament to go with it, it’s quite easy to ride him. He does a great job; I just sit on top and steer him. I’m pleased with our season, and I knew that he was a special horse right from the beginning. I’m happy to start to showcase that.
“I think it’s a great experience to be having these Nations Cups,” continued Irwin, who felt this competition helps prepare riders and horses for championships. “It’s huge for us to get together as a country and have these experiences.”
The second-highest score in the FEI I-1 CDIO 3* was captured by Tina’s husband, Jaimey Irwin (CAN), and Donegal V, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Johnston x Remy x Gribaldi) owned by Team Irwin Supporters Group. They recorded a 69.263%.
“Donegal has been doing extremely well this year,” said Irwin.” I’m very happy with his progress. He did a really good test yesterday; it was super except for his halt in the beginning, (when) he got a little excited. Today, the wind came and the tent was flapping and that got him really excited, so he wasn’t quite with me today, but he still tried. He has a lot of ability in there for the future, and I’m very happy with the way he’s going.”
Canadian team member Jill Irving rode her own Degas 12, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni), to a score of 69.588% in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm.
Said Irving of her experience with Degas 12, “We did our job, and that was the goal. I love pressure, but I focus on what I need to do in the ring and Degas was ready to step up.”
Megan Lane and her mount Caravella, a 2001 KWPN mare (Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman) rode as the anchors for Canada in the FEI Grand Prix Special and scored 70.176%.
“Having the pressure of being the anchor,” said Lane. “I try not to think about that and I just really wanted to have a good ride. I do well under pressure, so I’m privileged that I got to be in that spot. Coming out of it I was thrilled; I’m actually still shaking! I’m really happy with Caravella. I think she’s in a good spot. The piaffe passage work is always a highlight, and her canter half-passes are really nice to ride. Her changes, as you can probably see, they are a little difficult to sit because they’re so jumpy, but those are her highlights.”
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) spoke on behalf of the silver medal USA team. “For all of us, everyone that participates, a good, friendly competition pushes us all to be better and provides an opportunity to develop and move on. It’s such a great group of people that we have here in Wellington, so it’s fun in general getting to come together with your country-mates and be in that pressure situation. If you don’t get to practice those things, then you’re only getting to do them when you go to a WEG or an Olympics or a Pan Ams, and we could all use the mileage.”
Spain team member Juan Matute Guimon added, “We are all very thankful for Stillpoint Farm and the sponsors and organizers that make this possible for another year. In my case, I was very happy to also see the inauguration of the first U-25 CDIO competition. Unfortunately, today didn’t go so well for me, but overall I’m very happy with how the week is going. It’s all a positive experience. Even the bad days are better because you get to learn from your mistakes and analyze yourself. When you win and you’re always happy with your rides, you don’t always look at the little mistakes. I think the bad days are better to help you grow, as a rider, as a professional, and as an athlete.”
The FEI Nations Cup CDIO-U25, presented by Diamante Farms, also continued with individual rides in the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 CDIO-U25. Mathilde Blais Tetreault (CAN) and her own Utah, a 2001 KWPN gelding by Jazz, captured the gold, scoring 68.093%.
“I think that I went in there today with much more confidence,” said Tetreault of her test. “I thought that I was going to win, so I tried really hard and it worked out that I did! My center trots were good, my piaffe and passage was better, so overall it was pretty good.”
Tetreault, who has only ridden Utah for four months, said it is “a great feeling” to capture the gold medal.
“I didn’t really expect this because Utah and I are such a new combination,” she said. “I’m really happy that we have progressed.”
Second place and the silver medal went to Anna Buffini (USA) and her Sundayboy, a 1999 KWPN gelding (Kennedy x Eezelma), with 68.093%.
“It’s always a blessing to come out here and be able to compete against such amazing competitors. I’m so proud of Mathilde and Molly too,” said Buffini of her fellow medal winners. “They came out here and fought their hearts out.”
“My ride today was tough,” admitted Buffini. “It was a little tricky, and I felt that I didn’t quite ride at my best. I’m still proud that Sundayboy backed me up and was able to come out with second place.”
Molly Paris (USA) and her mount Countess took the bronze and third place with 65.721%.
“Countess is awesome,” said Paris of the 2002 Danish Warmblood mare (Don x Compeed x Solos). “She comes out every day willing to give it her all and we’ve just been getting better and better. I couldn’t be happier with her.”
Judge at C, Evi Eisenhardt (GER), reflected on the rides. “I was astonished by the quality of rides we saw. These are the three riders with the highest quality of piaffe and passage. Sure, there were a few small mistakes, but the riding is at a higher level. Last year I judged the European U25 riders, and I think that this is close to them.”
Earlier in the day, Diane Creech (CAN) and Robbie W, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding (Rubin Royal x Rolling Home x Inschallah) owned by Louise Leatherdale, won the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm, with 73.289%. Second place went to Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) and Dhannie Ymas, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Don Crusador x Welina) owned by Yeguada de Ymas S.L., earning a score of 71.360%. Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Rosseau x Riverman) owned by Kylee Lourie, earned a score of 71.009% for third place.
For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.