Category Archives: Adequan Global Dressage Festival

Bianca Tota and Susan Dutta Claim Large Tour CDI3* Victories during Global Dressage Fall Festival I

Bianca Tota and Cadento V ©Sue Stickle Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 15, 2020 – International dressage competition returned to Equestrian Village for the Global Dressage Fall Festival I CDI3* from November 12-15. The Global Fall Festival II will bring dressage exhibitors back to Wellington from December 10-13, 2020, during which time CDIW, CDI3*, and CDI1* classes will be featured ahead of the 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival that begins in January.

Over the weekend, Bianca Tota (USA) on her own Cadento V and Susan Dutta (USA) with her Don Design DC shone the brightest as the winners of CDI3* classes in the Large Tour. Tota and Cadento V (Charmonix V x Lobster) earned back-to-back victories in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI3* and Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*. Sunday was Dutta’s and Don Design DC’s (Der Designer x Sir Donnerhall) day as they rose to the top of the scorecard in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*.

“He is absolutely special, one of the most special horses I have ever sat on,” commented Tota of Cadento V. “I remember when I went to try him in Denmark and he wasn’t fit and was doing Second Level, but I sat on him and thought, ‘Oh my god, I have to have this horse!’ So here he is now!”

In the Grand Prix CDI3*, Tota and Cadento V, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding, commenced their weekend of showing on a high note thanks to a score of 68.761% from the panel of five judges that earned them the blue ribbon by more than a full percentage point in the first CDI3* class of the horse show. Returning the next day for the Freestyle, the partnership improved on their performance to add another top result to their collection as they took the win with a score of 73.190%, once again riding to first place by more than a full percentage point.

The combination has been paired together since 2014, and Tota has personally brought the horse up the ranks since then. She noted, “I’ve had him since he was eight. It’s been a really fun journey to get here. It’s been a lot of hard work, which was always fun, but it’s so nice to see it pay off. He is an amazing horse, and I’m really lucky to have him. We will see how far we can get! We will keep on keeping on.”

Grand Prix CDI3* competition concluded Sunday with the Special with a new victor in Dutta and Don Design DC. Dutta and the 2010 Hanoverian gelding, the horse she co-owns with her husband Tim Dutta, rode to a score of 67.872% to capture the win.

“I’m on a really high-quality horse,” remarked Dutta. “He is still young, and I think there is a lot more in there. We had a really steady test with just one small bobble. I hope that he is a team horse someday. That is my big long-term goal, but right now I am just trying to get him some experience and mileage. This is the first horse show this season, and we were a bit rusty. He is still a bit green, but it was a super start.”

Dutta has trained Don Design DC herself along with trainer Adrienne Lyle since he was a five-year-old. The training seems to be paying off, as the pair also earned a score of 67.239% and a fourth-place result in the Grand Prix CDI3* on Friday. Like many competitors, the partnership returned to the show ring at the Global Fall Festival I for the first time since the early conclusion of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in March.

“It feels amazing to be here. I feel very lucky that we are able to do this,” said Dutta of being back in the show ring in Wellington. “Even though we are taking all these COVID precautions, I feel super blessed that we are able to do our sport and keep going. Wearing a mask is something we should do anyway, so I think it’s fine. I want to keep the horse shows going. All of us are training really hard, and we have a lot of sponsors behind us. For me, I have The Dutta Corp. and they want to see this horse go. We don’t want to sit, so we will do whatever we have to do.”

For a full list of results for the Global Fall Festival I, please click HERE.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

2021 AGDF to Host 2020 Lövsta Future Challenge and Summit Farm Future Challenge Series Finals

Sarah Lockman and Balia were the high score of the qualifiers in the Summit Farm Prix St. Georges Future Challenge Series. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2020 – Adequan® Global Dressage Festival announces that the $15,000 Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix series and the $10,000 Summit Farm Future Challenge/Young Horse Prix St. Georges series, both slated to hold finals during the final week of the 2020 AGDF, have been postponed until the first week of the 2021 AGDF due to the cancellation of the final two weeks of the circuit because of coronavirus. After a highly successful inaugural season of 10 qualifying weeks, the horse and rider combinations have been determined for the Finals.

“While we are disappointed to have to cancel the last two weeks of AGDF and postpone these series finals, we look forward to hosting them as a kick-off to the 2021 AGDF,” said AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur. “We were thrilled to see how popular both of the series were and that so many riders, trainers, and owners appreciated the opportunity afforded for their up-and-coming horses.”

The $15,000 Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix series idea, originally set up by Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Louise Nathorst in its home country of Sweden as a talent development program, is for horses age eight to ten years old at the Grand Prix level. They competed in the FEI Intermediate II test.

During the 2020 AGDF, Lövsta also announced the launch of a new charitable initiative to benefit the local charity, Friends of Palm Beach. Lövsta supported the charity and its mission by donating $250 for every ride in the series throughout the circuit, ending up with a total of $8,500 given to the charity.

“For us at Lövsta, sustainability has been a strong driving force,” said owner Antonia Ax:son Johnson. “Our slogan is ‘Save the earth. It’s the only planet with horses.’ To underline our commitment, we decided to support the charitable organization Friends of Palm Beach with $250 for every entry in the Lövsta Future Challenge this season. This fine group of people clean the Palm Beach beaches from trash to support the beautiful creatures of the sea and keep our beaches clean and environmentally safe. The beauty of our ocean and the beauty of our horses align.”

Friends of Palm Beach is a 501(c)3 organization that cleans the beaches of Palm Beach regularly to remove incoming plastics, trash, and unnatural debris and to educate the community on the effects of this on our environment and marine life. They partner with other non-profit job placement programs to help end the cycle of homelessness while also helping to end the cycle of trash in our ocean.

The popularity of the $10,000 Summit Farm Future Challenge/Young Horse Prix St. Georges series for horses seven to nine years old was evident at the 2020 AGDF, and many of the best young small tour horses competed for a chance to qualify for the Finals.

One of the qualifiers was Pan American Games team and individual gold medalist Sarah Lockman (USA), who is also the professional rider for Summit Farm. She and Balia were multiple winners during the series and scored the highest of all the qualifiers with a 73.603% at AGDF 6.

Lockman said that the series fits perfectly with the business model and goals for Summit Farm.

“We start horses young and develop them into top international horses,” she said. “It’s meant a lot for us to support this series that is specific to seven- to nine-year-old horses. We hope to see more of this and want to provide an incentive for trainers and riders to put these top young horses out there.

“It was a great thing to offer prize money to a class outside of the CDI,” she continued. “Trainers and riders can enter a horse in this series and get notoriety. In Europe, young horses get a lot of praise and press, with financial gain by showing young horses and developing them. To support that idea in the U.S. and give that incentive and reward meant a lot to us at Summit Farm. We are very proud to be a part of this series at AGDF.”

The 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival will be held on January 6 – March 28. For more information on AGDF, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

Betsy Steiner Claims Final Sash of AGDF Season on Mare Who Is ‘The Full Package’

Betsy Steiner (USA) and Swiss W ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2020 – The experienced Betsy Steiner (USA) rounded out the very final class of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) season, held at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday, March 15. She and Whitney Bailey’s Swiss W won the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation with a commanding 75.592%.

All but one of the 11 starters broke the 70% barrier and U.S. riders filled the top five slots in this class. Jami Kment and Gatino Van Hof Olympia claimed second with 73.558%, and Cesar Parra finished third with 73.175% on GK Don Cesar.

Steiner, who rode for the USA at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, has been coming to AGDF “since the beginning of time,” but this was her first CDI win of the 2020 season.

“I’m amazed, but not shocked because she’s truly a wonderful horse,” said Steiner, who is based in New Jersey and runs a training business with her daughter Jessie. “Swiss puts out so much and she loves showing. You can sit back and enjoy the ride and you see her legs coming out in front of you. She’s an amazing horse; she’s my soulmate, and dream horse.”

Steiner rode the 13-year-old by Sir Oldenburg to music by Terry Gallo. “She’s always done all my music and she’s a genius,” she said. “I told Terry that I loved the sky theme music from Outlander, so we incorporated that and added the Celtic music for the trot and a mash-up of ‘Amazing Grace’ for the pirouettes and ‘Fight Song’ for the canter. I come down the center line and start the changes as ‘Fight Song’ comes on and Swiss lights up; the music is fun for her.”

Steiner found the mare accidentally while horse shopping for a client in Munich, Germany in 2015, and told owner Whitney Bailey that she was too good to pass up.

“She’s been mine ever since,” enthused Steiner, who is 69. “She’s so intelligent and logical that she’s made me a better person and a better, more thoughtful trainer. She’s super close to grand prix now and she’s great for me at this point in my career. If I would have had her earlier on, she’s so talented I would probably have pushed and pushed her, but now I do it according to what she wants.

“I think she’s going to be my best grand prix horse. She has everything. She’s drop dead gorgeous, she has the power, she’s got beautiful rhythm, she’s got a great mind, and she wants to do the work. I’ve had some wonderful horses, but I think she might be my best so far: the full package.”

This concludes action in week 10 of the AGDF — the final week of the 2020 circuit, as weeks 11 and 12 have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The 12-week circuit returns in January 2021. For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Ashley Holzer Cements Relationship with Mango Eastwood for Double Win in Week 10 of AGDF

Ashely Holzer (USA) and Mango Eastwood ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 14, 2020 – Mango Eastwood bounced his way to victory under Ashley Holzer (USA) in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Peacock Ridge, in week 10 of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), held at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

The 11-year-old gelding began his CDI grand prix career just a month earlier, and has won five of his six starts under the four-time Olympian for Canada, who now rides for the USA. The pair scored 72.596%, which would have been even higher if not for a big stumble coming from extended trot to passage, which took them a few strides to recover from as Mango found his feet again.

Second went to Jennifer Schrader-Williams (USA) with 71.511% on Millione — a new personal best score for the pair. This was also their best finish of the 2020 season, which has been a successful one for the 17-year-old Millione, who began competing at the level in 2018. Australia’s Kelly Layne finished in third with 69.936% on the 11-year-old Samhitas, by Sir Donnerhall.

Holzer and owner Diane Fellows bought the son of Wynton as a nine-year-old from Spain’s Jordi Domingo and have taken their time training him out of the international spotlight until he was ready. He now projects confidence in the ring.

“I really haven’t had a ton of experience showing him and he’s a little tired with this being the third show in a row, but he really gave it,” said Holzer. “There were moments where I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re unbelievable!’ He’s an incredible horse and the mistakes were totally mine; I misjudged the speed in the one-times, but even when I make a mistake he doesn’t throw in the towel or hold it against me, he just comes right back. Once I get all the kinks out, I really think this horse is going to be spectacular.”

Watch Ashely Holzer’s winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

British judge Stephen Clarke was impressed with the emerging pairing’s talents. “Ashley’s riding is amazing. There were moments of tension but her brilliant riding saved the game,” he said. “The horse has a lot of talent, which she was able to show in spite of those tense moments. The horse has a huge ability and when he’s even more established and relaxed, then we’ll see more elasticity and expression which brings even higher marks.”

Holzer, who is 56 and based in Wellington, Florida, revealed that she models her warm-ups around the World number one, Germany’s Isabell Werth: “I do my Isabell training before I go in. I watch my video from the last time and then I watch Isabell’s best grand prix special and she just sits there looking like she’s doing nothing so I try to do that,” she explained.

She believes that Mango is right up there with the most talented grand prix horses she has ever ridden. She recalled, “I’ve had a lot of luck with a lot of lovely horses; Pop Art was an amazing partner in the ring, but the breeding has moved on and these breeders are making unreal athletes now. Mango is the next level of breeding as far as athleticism goes.”

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Steffen Peters Extends Unbeaten Run to 11 with Nations Cup Freestyle Gold in Week 10 of AGDF

Steffen Peters (USA) and Suppenkasper. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 13, 2020 – Steffen Peters (USA) conjured yet another winning performance from his blossoming partner, Suppenkasper, to claim the gold in the Nations Cup™ FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm. This takes his tally of wins to 11 from 11 starts in the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), held at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The pair scored 81.535%, their second plus-80% freestyle score of the year. The 10th week of AGDF continues through Sunday, March 15, which is also the conclusion of the 2020 season, a decision announced earlier today due to the Coronavirus.

Right behind Peters, personal bests abounded on the podium. The Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz smashed her previous best by 2% to land an emphatic 78.91% and the silver medal on her 15-year-old mare Aquamarijn, by United. Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu (CAN) also pulled off a career high, riding All In, a 15-year-old gelding by Tango to 78.72% and the bronze.

Watch Steffen Peters’ winning test in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

Benjamin Ebeling Crowns a Winning Week with Third U-25 Nations Cup Gold Medal

In the under-25 Nations Cup division, Benjamin Ebeling (USA) fist-pumped the air at the final halt of the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIOU25, presented by Diamante Farms.

He was right to celebrate: his energetic ride on Illuster Van De Kampert, which he’d finished with a piaffe fan in both directions, was rewarded with 75.13%. It was their best ever score at the level and earned the gold medal — their third of the week.

Freestyle silver went to Canada’s Camille Carier Bergeron, who moved up a place from the previous day, riding Gilles Bergeron’s 13-year-old Acordelli gelding, Acoeur. Natalie Pai (USA) scooped bronze, adding to her team silver from the opening day of week 10. All three podium finishers rode to music put together by Karen Robinson.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Final Two Weeks of Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan Global Dressage Festival Canceled

In response to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and recommendations of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the Federation Équestre Internationale (FEI), Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) has made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining two weeks of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) following the close of competition on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

“At the current time the threat is relatively low but after consulting with the USEF and the FEI, we have decided to cancel the final two weeks of competition in an effort to protect all involved with the competition and production at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC),” said Michael Stone, ESP President. “We encourage all members of the equestrian community to operate with an abundance of caution as we all work through this situation.”

“Friday Night Stars,” beginning at 7 p.m. at AGDF, and the $137,000 Horseware Grand Prix CSI3*, taking place at 4 p.m. at WEF, will continue as planned. Both facilities, however, remain closed to the public.

Stabling and access to stalls will be available for those that have purchased stabling packages until the expiration of those packages. ESP can accommodate those in need of stabling during this period. Staff will be available in the horse show office as needed, and a limited number of rings will be maintained for exhibitor use. We will also provide schooling opportunities to ensure that the horses are ready to compete when competition resumes. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will continue to provide updates through our website at www.PBIEC.com.

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health Guidelines, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Stay home if sick, except to get medical care
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw in the trash
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily

For more information, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com and www.PBIEC.com.

Steffen Peters Leads U.S. Dressage Team to Nations Cup Victory in Week 10 of AGDF

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 12, 2020 – On the second day of competition for the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm on Thursday, March 12, at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), the team from the USA took the gold medal with 439.992 points. The Canadian team took silver with 436.034 points, and Denmark was awarded the bronze with 424.501 points.

Benjamin Ebeling (USA) Adds Individual Gold to Previous Day’s Team Gold in U-25 Nations Cup Contest

In the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 CDIO-U25, presented by Diamante Farms, Benjamin Ebeling (USA) and Illuster Van De Kampert, Nuvolari Holdings LLC’s 12-year-old Spielberg gelding, led the class with 71.179%, claiming his second gold medal after helping his team, Team USA “Stars and Stripes,” to victory the previous day. Fellow American Emma Asher scooped the silver on Elegance N, an 11-year-old by Jazz. Canada’s Camille Carier Bergeron claimed the bronze medal riding Acoeur.

“The win today is up there for me,” said 20-year-old Ebeling, who has been on quite a journey with Illuster Van De Kampert. “My favorite thing is riding on a team, so the win yesterday was really important, but for my self-confidence with this horse, today meant a lot. The first two times that I did a grand prix with him, we had to retire. He’s such a hot horse and it’s taken me a while to get to know him and to understand how to control him. These last few shows have been really positive for us. I think it’s just been about getting to know my horse better and he’s trusting me more.”

Cesar Parra Beats 11 Other Combinations to Claim the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI3*

At small tour, Cesar Parra (USA) claimed victory from the 12 starters in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI3*, presented by The Dutta Corp. He rode GK Don Cesar, a 10-year-old by Desperados, to 71.274%, a new personal best at the level. This was their second win of the 2020 AGDF. Ariana Chia (CAN) on Fiderflame finished second with 70.196%, with the USA’s Jami Kment filling third with 70.147% on Gatino Van Hof Olympia.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

COVID-19 Update for Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan Global Dressage Festival

Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is working closely with the Village of Wellington, Palm Beach County, and local health services to take extra precautions concerning the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Competition at both the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) will continue as planned through March 29, 2020, with policies in place to protect the health of riders, grooms, owners, and their families. In addition, the ESP Spring Series, running from April 1 through May 10, will run as scheduled with the same health and safety precautions. We will continue monitoring the situation and will follow all State and local recommendations.

In an abundance of caution, we have decided to close the venues to the general public and there will be no general admission. Only cars with an official car pass will be permitted on the venues.

For this week we will hold the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* at approximately 4 p.m. in an effort to minimize the number of persons on the grounds. “Friday Night Lights” will continue as scheduled, but without General Admission. The timings for future events will be announced as the situation develops.

During upcoming events at both venues, the following policies will be enacted:

  • Staff will be located around the facilities with hand sanitizer for exhibitor use
  • Food and beverage teams are taking all necessary precautions when handling food and cooking surfaces
  • Extra housekeeping staff has been allotted for more frequent sanitizing of restaurants and restrooms

In accordance with the Florida State Department of Health’s Guidance for Mass Gatherings Protocol, ESP is recommending that anyone in the following situations not attend WEF or AGDF events:

  • Over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions
  • Are immune compromised
  • Are ill
  • Have been exposed to someone with a respiratory illness in the last 14 days
  • Have chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease
  • Have traveled internationally within the last 14 days, especially to a destination under a level 3 travel advisory
  • Have traveled to or from a geographic area with widespread community transmission of COVID-19

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health Guidelines, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Stay home if sick, except to get medical care
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw in the trash
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily

“We are monitoring this situation very closely and working diligently with local county and state government agencies to ensure the safety of all spectators, exhibitors, and the general public,” said Mark Bellissimo, ESP CEO. “Our number-one priority is to ensure that all people involved with ESP events remain healthy and safe during this time.”

“We are making these adjustments in an effort to ensure that we can continue to provide the safest environment for our exhibitors and their staff,” said Michael Stone, ESP President. “We will continue to monitor the situation and update our protocols as recommended by the Florida Department of Health and other relevant bodies.”

For more information, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com and www.PBIEC.com.

Strong Entries and Flying Flags Highlight Nations Cup Week at AGDF

The teams competing in the 2020 FEI Nations Cup CDIO3*. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 10, 2020 – The 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) will host the second largest CDI of its nine-year history this week with 150 horses jogging to compete in week 10 on March 11-15 at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The week will include the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm and the Nations Cup CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms.

This is the eighth edition of the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3*. This year’s event welcomes teams from the USA, Canada, Denmark, Israel, and Japan, along with individuals from Spain and the Dominican Republic. The event is part of the FEI Nations Cup™ Dressage Series.

This Nations Cup marks an historic event as it includes the first ever international-level dressage team fielded for Israel.

Team medals for the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* are decided after the FEI Grand Prix/FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Grand Prix Special/FEI Intermediaire-1 competition on Wednesday and Thursday. Individual medals will be presented after Friday’s FEI I-1 Freestyle and FEI Grand Prix Freestyle competition.

In addition to the full schedule of large and small tour competition throughout the week, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* will be a feature event as part of the “Friday Night Lights” series on Friday, March 13.

The Nations Cup CDIO-U25 debuted in 2017 and this year will welcome teams from USA and Canada along with individuals from Canada, Colombia, Spain, and USA. Team medals will be decided with the CDIO-U25 Intermediaire-2 on Wednesday, while individual medals will be given for the CDIO-U25 Grand Prix on Thursday and the CDIO-U25 Grand Prix Freestyle on Friday evening.

For more information, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Alice Tarjan and Donatella M Return to Competition for Victory at AGDF 9 National Show

Alice Tarjan (USA) and Donatella M. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 9, 2020 – National dressage competition continued in week nine of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida. There was action in pony divisions, youth riders, young horses, small and big tour, as well as USEF qualifiers and the Future Challenge classes.

Three combinations picked up tickets for the Future Challenge developing horse finals — which take place in the main arena in week 12 — two in the small tour class presented by Summit Farm, and one at big tour, which is sponsored by Lövsta. The worthy recipients at small tour were Sarah Lockman (USA) and Stephanie Collamb (USA), with the single big tour qualifying slot going to Alice Tarjan (USA).

Tarjan rode Donatella M, by Fürstenball, at the mare’s first show in 18 months, so she was understandably not expecting to bag a victory.

“I’m thrilled, as she hasn’t been in the ring for a year and half and we’ve just been at home in New Jersey training,” said Tarjan, who is based at White Fences in Loxahatchee while in Florida. “I bought her at the beginning of her four-year-old year, did some four-year-old classes, then third level when she was seven, and now she’s going to be nine this year.

“I wasn’t expecting this win at all, especially because she can be a bit hot and spooky and scared of other horses in the warm-up and today it was windy and cold, so I wasn’t expecting her to be this great,” continued the 40-year-old, who scored 68.456%. “She’s very honest, but we lost a lot of points today for the easy stuff like center lines and transitions, so we’ve got to get back out in the ring and smooth that out.”

Tarjan, who trains with Lars Petersen, added: “Lars was really happy as we really weren’t expecting much and did better than we thought we would. I bought ‘Corvin’ from her breeder in Maryland after seeing a video because she had really nice gaits. She’s super sweet and easy in the barn, one of the easiest I have.”

She was full of praise for the new Lövsta Grand Prix Future Challenge classes, saying: “I think the series is great, particularly for Corvin as she doesn’t have to go and compete against the more seasoned horses. It’s good to get them out and get experience without the pressure of an open class.”

Tarjan also commandingly topped an FEI Grand Prix class on Friday riding Candescent, a 10-year-old Hanoverian mare by Christ. The pair scored 74.022%

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.