January 28, 2013 – Wellington, Florida – David Marcus of Campbellville, ON, was the top-placed Canadian at the CDI5* World Dressage Masters Palm Beach held January 23 to 27 in West Palm Beach, FL.
In a 15-horse starting field that featured riders from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the United States, Marcus placed seventh in Friday’s Grand Prix test. Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital, 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevi’s Cavallo x Weinberg) owned by Deborah Miculinic, earned a score of 70.66% from the panel of five international judges and qualified to advance to Saturday night’s Grand Prix Freestyle.
In front of a packed house at the Jim Brandon Center, seven of the world’s best performed their individually choreographed musical freestyle programs. Marcus introduced his new Freestyle program, compiled by Joost Peters of The Netherlands. Featuring music from WHAM! and George Michael, the extremely difficult choreography highlighted Chrevi’s Capital’s strong canter work, including quality pirouettes and elegant half-pass, while impressive piaffe and passage were also rewarded with high scores from the judges. The pair’s final score of 70.75% ranked them sixth overall in their World Dressage Masters debut.
Wellington, FL – January 28, 2013 – Swedish Olympians Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Patrik Kittel were the big winners at the 2013 World Dressage Masters CDI5* Palm Beach January 24-26. Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello took the championship in the Grand Prix Freestyle on Saturday while Kittel and Watermill Scandic H B C took second. The previous day, they swapped spots when Kittel placed first in the Grand Prix and Vilhelmson-Silfven took the second place honors.
In Saturday evening’s freestyle, Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello, an 11-year-old bay Hanoverian gelding owned by Lovsta Stuteri, rode the momentum from an enthusiastic crowd to claim the championship. Vilhelmson-Silfven collected a personal best score of 84.075% for her electrifying freestyle performance. She received a standing ovation from the crowd as she exited the ring.
“It’s just such an honor to ride a horse like Don Auriello,” she said. “He is so fun to ride. He was enjoying himself with me, enjoying the time, enjoying the energy. It was a great atmosphere.” She credits the Florida dressage circuit as a catalyst for the horse’s development. “Florida’s been very important for Don Auriello,” she said. “He has done a lot of his best starts here, I think.”
Wellington, FL – January 26, 2013 – Upon review of the process and after consultation with the FEI, it has been confirmed that the current rules regarding the elimination process were followed to the letter.
Before she left the official equipment check area ringside, the rider was informed by the FEI Chief Steward that the Judge at C had made the decision based on Article 428.8 and Article 430.7.6 that the horse must be eliminated due to the evidence of fresh blood.
On behalf of Wellington Classic Dressage and the official Ground Jury of the WDM/Palm Beach.
Peters Claims Third in WDM Freestyle, Koford Finishes Second in WDM Grand Prix Special
Wellington, FL – The World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by Wellington Classic Dressage concluded Saturday at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center with the WDM Grand Prix Special and the WDM Freestyle. Competition at the only North American stop in the World Dressage Masters Series presented by the Axel Johnson Group came to a close under the lights as the top seven combinations from Friday’s WDM Nürnberger Grand Prix performed their customized Freestyles. For a second time over the weekend, Steffen Peters led the U.S. effort, collecting third place, in the Freestyle scoring 80.175% with Legolas 92. However, the U.S. veteran was unable to best Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven who rode Don Auriello to victory with a score of 84.075%. The afternoon session hosted WDM Grand Prix Special competition, with Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen and My Lady topping the six horse field on a score of 69.479%. The sole American entry, Jim Koford and Rhett, finished in second place with a score of 67.167%.
In her third attempt at claiming victory in the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach, Vilhelmson-Silfven was victorious on the strength of a powerful Freestyle performance. A floor plan choreographed to The Who for the 2012 London Olympic Games perfectly highlighted Don Auriello’s gaits and attitude, helping them to achieve a career best score.
Wellington, FL – January 26, 2013 – Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello rode the momentum from an enthusiastic crowd on Saturday evening to claim the 2013 World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach championship. After finishing second to Swedish Olympic teammates Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic H B C in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI5* at WDM, Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello took it up a notch to seize victory in Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5*.
Vilhelmson-Silfven collected a personal best score of 84.075% for her electrifying freestyle performance. She received a standing ovation from the crowd as she exited the ring.
“It’s just such an honor to ride a horse like Don Auriello,” she said. “He is so fun to ride. He was enjoying himself with me, enjoying the time, enjoying the energy. It was a great atmosphere.”
Vilhelmson-Silfven has seen improvement in Don Auriello over the past months. “He’s getting stronger, more mature, developing, and it gets easier and easier to use his whole potential,” she explained.
Wellington, FL – January 26, 2013 – Mikala Gundersen added a victory in the Grand Prix Special CDI5* at World Dressage Masters (WDM) Palm Beach to a growing list of accomplishments at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center this winter. Gundersen and My Lady, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, were third in Thursday’s Wellington Classic Dressage Sunshine Challenge Grand Prix CDI3* at Jim Brandon. They also finished just out of the top eight in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI5* at WDM Palm Beach, taking ninth place with 68.447%.
Gundersen, who earned a score of 69.479% for her ride, described her sometimes challenging relationship with My Lady. “This is an alpha mare,” Gundersen explained with a smile. “She has a huge personality. She knows what she wants and she thinks she knows everything better. We have a little bit of discussion sometimes in the ring because she knows exactly how everything needs to be done and apparently I don’t know anything.”
But Gundersen has high praise for the mare. “She wants to go and do her best,” Gundersen noted. “She has presence and strength, and my favorite thing is when we come down the last centerline, she gets better and better.”
Wellington, FL – Fifteen horse and rider combinations went to task Friday afternoon in the WDM Nürnberger Grand Prix, the first leg of the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by Wellington Classic Dressage. Earning the top spot on day one was Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic HBC at the only North American stop in the World Dressage Masters Series presented by the Axel Johnson Group. The Swedish pair was awarded a score of 77.681% by the Ground Jury of Stephen Clarke, Isabel Judet, Gary Rockwell, Lois Yukins and Hans Christian Matthe. Leading the U.S. effort was Steffen Peters and Legolas 92, scoring 75.149% for third place.
Kittel was making his first appearance at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by Wellington Classic Dressage but has already competed in Florida in 2013. He was not only pleased with his horse’s effort but also the atmosphere of the competition.
“To come here last week and do a show, he was perfect today. It was my best ride with this horse by far,” said the Swedish Olympian. “We’ve been treated really well here and the crowd is great.”
Wellington, FL – January 25, 2013 – Sweden’s No. 1 rider Patrik Kittel scored his personal best to win the FEI World Dressage Masters (WDM) Exquis Grand Prix CDI5* on Watermill Scandic H B C. The duo’s powerful and consistent ride featured buttery-smooth transitions, earning them a 77.681% against a field of 15 competitors at the Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center.
Kittel broke into a wide grin at the completion of his test, and his confidence was rewarded when the scores flashed on the board. The judge at “H,” Isabelle Judet of France, awarded Kittel and Scandic, a 14-year-old chestnut KWPN stallion, an 80.745%. A member of the Swedish team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games as well as the 2010 World Equestrian Games, he rode Scandic to victories at Falsterbo CDI5*, Rotterdam CDIO3* and Lingen CDI4* last summer.
“It was my personal best score, and I’m very, very happy with that,” Kittel said. He emphasized his horse’s improvement, explaining that Scandic is “in much better shape” now after their hard work over the past months. “After the Olympics, I thought a bit, and I changed a bit, and I worked a bit more on getting my horse more uphill in the canter, and that was much better,” he added.
Lexington, KY – The dressage world turns its focus to Wellington, Florida this week as many top competitors from throughout the world will go head-to-head at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by Wellington Classic Dressage. This prestigious event will take place once again at the Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, January 24-26. The United States has a strong presence in this year’s competition as five Americans are set to compete at the only North American stop in the World Dressage Masters Series presented by the Axel Johnson Group.
The two-time defending champion, Steffen Peters, returns to Florida from his San Diego, California base looking to score a hat-trick in 2013. The three-time Olympian brings a rising star this year in Legolas 92. The previous two years, Peters has dominated the event with his 2009 FEI World Cup champion and 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games Bronze medal winning partner, Ravel, who was retired following the London Olympic Games. Despite the big shoes to fill, Four Winds Farm’s 11-year-old Westphalian gelding looks to be up to the task after claiming the 2012 USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship.
Wellington, FL – January 21, 2013 – As World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach approaches, the top names in international dressage are gathering. On Saturday evening, Jim Brandon Equestrian Center welcomed two horses that will certainly catch the eye of spectators at the Jan. 24-26 competition.
Withney van ‘t Genthof, who will be ridden by Hans Peter Minderhoud, and Inter Floor Next One, Edward Gal’s mount, stepped off the trailer around 6 p.m. A veterinarian representing the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was present to supervise the horses’ unloading from the sealed trailer.
Minderhoud arrived not long after the horses, while Gal, who was feeling under the weather, was resting after the trip and did not come out to Jim Brandon. Minderhoud hoped that Wellington’s warm climate would help Gal recover, saying, “We’ll put him in the sun tomorrow!”