Category Archives: Equestrian Sport Prod.

Equestrian Sport Productions

Katherine Bateson Chandler and Alcazar Capture Final “Friday Night Stars” Freestyle of AGDF

Katherine Bateson Chandler and Alcazar. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 29, 2019 – In the final “Friday Night Stars” of the 2019 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA) and Alcazar captured the win in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4* presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate on Friday, March 29. It was a night full of freestyle competition with two classes held under the lights with a full crowd of spectators.

With the final Grand Prix Freestyle win of the season, Bateson Chandler and Alcazar, Jane Forbes Clark’s 14-year-old KWPN gelding by Cantango, have shown growth and potential through the circuit.

Their win garnered a final score of 75.850% from the judges, a personal best for the pair.

Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145 Win FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*

Earlier in the evening, the winner of the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3* presented by Brooke USA was Ashley Holzer riding Havanna 145, owned by Diane Fellows. Holzer and Havanna performed a high degree of difficulty test to music based around the pop hit “Havana” by Camila Cabello, with music and choreography by Tom Hunt. The judges rewarded them with a final score of 76.995%.

“[In] the end she started to really settle with the Havana music and she came to that last piaffe and really sat down and started to swing in her back,” Holzer recalled. “I’m very happy that she was able to settle at the end. She started to feel really good so that was exciting. The passage half-pass felt nice for me.”

Second place went to Heather Blitz (USA) riding Semper Fidelis, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare by Sir Donnerhall owned by Rowan O’Riley. They scored 76.705%. Anna Marek (USA) and Dee Clair scored 71.650% for third place. Dee Clair is a 11-year-old DWB mare owned by Diane Morrison.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Hard Work Pays Off for Jessica Kozel and Denzello with Win in FEI Grand Prix CDI4*

Jessica Kozel and Denzello in their winning test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 28, 2019 – Competition at the final week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Thursday, March 28. The afternoon featured the first two four-star classes of the 2019 season to qualify riders for competition on Friday, March 29.

Jessica Kozel (USA) and Denzello won the FEI Grand Prix CDI4* (for freestyle) presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The pair rode to a personal best score of 69.239%. “I was really happy with the canter tour in general,” said Kozel of her ride on the 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding by DeNiro owned by Jeevraj Grewal. “I was happy with my changes. He can get a little hot in those, and I was afraid that those might go either way. He just kind of found himself, and that was my highlight.”

Kozel rehabbed Denzello over the last two years from what was thought to be a career-ending soft tissue injury. “I’ve known him for the last ten years, and I managed him as a groom for many, many years. I did my first Grand Prix ever on him in the national ring [last year] with the hope to work towards the international ring this season,” continued Kozel. “We’ve done that, and I am just really proud of him.”

“I thought it was a little surreal. I didn’t think it was for us,” said Kozel about her experience when she got the first place ribbon. “That was our best grand prix yet, and I was really happy with a 69.239%. When she walked up to me with the blue ribbon I was like, ‘Is that for me?’ Not that she would be joking, but I just would have never expected it in a million years. It was really an honor to not only have our best ride yet, but to be able to put it together in these circumstances and at a show of this caliber.”

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Heather Blitz and Semper Fidelis Kick Off AGDF Final Week with Win in FEI Grand Prix CDI3*

Heather Blitz and Semper Fidelis in their winning test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 27, 2019 – The 12th week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) started on Wednesday, March 27, with two three-star classes to qualify riders for competition later in the week.

Heather Blitz (USA) and Semper Fidelis won the FEI Grand Prix (for the Freestyle) CDI3* presented by Brooke USA. The pair rode to a score of 70.609%. “I was really happy with her in general, just her general focus,” said Blitz of the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare by Sir Donnerhall owned by Rowan O’Riley. “I think that all the horses at the show this whole day are high strung and reacting to the really windy conditions. I think that’s a wonderful attribute that she has that [the wind] doesn’t affect her.

“I think the highlight was the passage, which she does really well anyway. The rhythm was really good in it. Her trot half passes are always lovely, and her canter zig zags I got more distance from the centerline this time,” continued Blitz. “Her work ethic, her scope, and her elasticity and freedom of gaits is amazing.”

Blitz is looking forward to her freestyle ride on Friday night. “I love how the music matches her. When you hear the music and see the horse, they match so well. I think it’s really moving. I’m really looking forward to the piaffe-pirouettes and just riding to the music, which not only do I love but it just matches her so well,” concluded Blitz.

In the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI3* presented by Vita Flex, Betsy Steiner (USA) and Swiss W, a 12-year-old Wurttemburg mare owned by H. Whitney Bailey, was the only pair to break 70.000%. They rode to a score of 71.559% to win the class.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Natalie Pai and Fritz San Tino Ride to Personal Best Score at Week 11 of AGDF

Natalie Pai and Fritz San Tino in their winning Intermediate-I Test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 24, 2019 – The eleventh week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) featured national competition from March 22-24. CDI Competition will resume for Week 12 on March 27 and will feature the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4* presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate on Friday, March 29.

On Saturday, March 23, Natalie Pai (USA) and Fritz San Tino won the Junior/Young Rider section of the FEI Intermediate I* presented by Peacock Ridge, with a score of 73.676%. “I’m really excited. It’s the highest score I’ve ever gotten on him,” said Pai of her winning test on her 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Falkenstern II. “I think he had a lot more energy and better through-ness [than yesterday]. I’m really happy with him.

“His extended canters are always really good, and the changes were also excellent today,” continued Pai. “I’m really happy with the walk tour. It’s something that we’ve been working on a lot. It was very calm and rhythmic. He just tries really hard, and I really like that about him. He’s very sweet.”

The 21-year-old discussed what she plans to work on moving forward with her partner of four and a half years. “I want to work on the canter pirouettes a little bit more [and] to work on the rideability in the ring itself, and just keep the power and the energy but still keeping him relaxed and rideable,” said Pai.

Pai is thankful to her parents and to her coach Adrienne Lyle for supporting her. “This was my last show of the Wellington season, so I’m happy that we went out with a bang,” concluded Pai.

In the Open FEI Grand Prix* presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, Krystalann Shingler (CAN) and Fidelio, her 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Fidertantz, rode to a win with a score of 73.696%.

Kerrigan Gluch (USA) and Vaquero, a 16-year-old P.R.E. stallion owned by Hampton Green Farm, captured the win in the FEI Intermediate II ‘Brentina Cup’ presented by Diamante Farms with a strong score of 73.088%.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Anna Marek and Einstein JP Shine in Intermediate-I Freestyle CDI3*

Anna Marek and Einstein JP in their winning test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 17, 2019 – Competition on Sunday, March 17, at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) featured freestyle classes from the Young Rider level to Intermediate I. They closed out competition during the tenth week of AGDF.

Anna Marek (USA) and Einstein JP had the final ride of the day and won the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3* presented by Yellow Bird Farm. The pair rode to a score of 75.708%. “I think the highlight of my test was the canter work,” said Marek. “Sometimes I struggle with him spooking; all last year he was kind of up and down. He was with me the whole time. He was relaxed, there was a lot going on, and he took it.

“Even though he’s a little spooky in his mind, he learns things easily. All the tricks are easy for him. It’s keeping him focused on me, and keeping him trusting me when he gets scared,” continued Marek. “He learned everything so fast, but now it’s just the confidence in me that’s making me so proud of him.”

Marek brought her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Democraat through the levels herself. “I’ve ridden him since he was four, but I bought him when we were just starting Prix St. Georges,” continued Marek. “When he was [in] PSG, I had such an attachment to him because I had to put more work into him, and then I bought him.”

Karen Robinson of Applause Dressage put together Marek’s choreography and music. “She worked with me and made the choreography about the strengths and the weaknesses. I feel like the music is powerful, like Einstein is. I can kind of find the beat of the music and it sucks me in. I ride to it really well,” concluded Marek.

The morning started with the FEI Young Horse Test for 7 Year Olds – Final CDI-YH. The format allowed for the two judges at B, Elisabeth Max-Theurer and Katrina Wuest, to immediately share feedback with the rider and spectators about their thoughts on the young horses’ potential as competitive dressage mounts.

Karen Pavicic (CRO) and Totem, her seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Totilas, won the final with a score of 75.414%.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Adrienne Lyle and Harmony’s Duval Win FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* at AGDF

Adrienne Lyle and Harmony’s Duval in their winning test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 16, 2019 – Competition at Week 10 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Saturday, March 16, with a day full of top dressage competition. The afternoon featured the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* presented by Horseware Ireland.

Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval rode to a new personal best score of 75.851% in the Grand Prix Special and secured their win. Harmony’s Duval made his big tour debut just five weeks ago at AGDF. “The highlight for me was being able to get him much more consistently on the hind leg and get the balance much more consistently uphill,” said Lyle of her ride on the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Rosseau owned by Duval Partners LLC.

Harmony’s Duval is still a green Grand Prix horse, but he’s learning quickly. “We got the changes, yay! Finally. Those have been a little bit of a struggle for us in the ring,” Lyle noted. “We worked between Wednesday and today a lot on perfecting the balance getting into the changes, and I was able to keep him at a place where he felt controlled and mentally slow enough to know what was going on.

“When I can get everything in balance it’s an incredible feeling because he has power that’s unlike any horse that I’ve ever ridden,” she continued. “When that power gets away from you it’s a little bit like a runaway train, but when I can get it all, he really feels incredible and the honesty is really incredible in him.”

In the FEI Intermediate I CDI1* Katie Johnson and Paxton, an eight-year-old Westphalian gelding by Dante Weltino owned by Kylee Lourie, led the lap of honor as winners. The pair rode to a score of 73.647%.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Shelly Francis and Danilo Break 81% with FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3*

Shelly Francis and Danilo. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2019 – The “Friday Night Stars” shined during Week 10 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). The night featured the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. Spectators enjoyed a great evening of freestyles and the presentation of the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* team medals.

Shelly Francis (USA) and Danilo received the gold medal in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. The pair broke eighty-one percent with a score of 81.840%. “I’ve been making personal best the last three or four shows in a row. I’m kind of excited,” said Francis of her season with the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding by DeNiro x Annabella owned by Patricia Stempel.

Francis’s music especially draws in the crowd at her last centerline. She commented, “I think at that point he’s already ready to make that piaffe and passage up the center line at the end. When the crowd starts clapping and cheering, he starts doing a little more. I just sit there and try to turn real careful in that pirouette, because he’s already so active and going. It feels awesome, and in that last bit of passage he feels on fire with feather-like control. The crowd picks him up a little and they pick me up. He likes this freestyle.”

Tina Irwin and Laurencio Capture Gold in FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDIO3*

Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio took the gold medal in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. The pair rode to a score of 74.460%. “He felt amazing all week in the warm-up,” said Irwin of her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Laurentio. “We just have to channel a little bit of that energy in the changes. Overall, he’s pretty steady and consistent. I’m thrilled with the week I’ve had with him.”

Laurencio is feeling good and looking for harder work. “Two years ago, I would start with two tempis down the centerline, and I was debating today whether to do that or not. I thought, ‘Ah no, I’m just going to go safe.’ Just before I halted, he threw in a couple of one [tempis] again. Jaimey, my husband, said, ‘I think you’ve got to do those tempis because he’s looking for some work on that centerline.’ I think I’m definitely going to go back to that now. He’s looking for more work, and I think he’s an over-achiever.”

The silver medal went to Jennifer Baumert (USA) and Handsome with a score of 74.300%. “I actually was so happy with yesterday that I tried to keep my warm-up the same,” said Baumert of the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Hochadel. “To keep him sharp and make sure he was feeling good about himself.”

U25 Riders Get Their First Experience Riding under the Lights at AGDF

In the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms, Lauren Asher (USA) and West Side took their third gold medal of the week. The pair rode to a score of 74.475%. “I don’t think it’s really sunk in,” said Asher of her victory on the 16-year-old KWPN gelding by Florett AS. “It’s a dream come true, and to actually have it become a reality is pretty crazy. It’s a fantastic feeling. I’m really grateful to my whole team behind me.”

Asher spoke to the great opportunity of riding in the U25 division. She said, “I think it’s definitely different in U25 versus Young Riders. It’s definitely on a bigger scale, especially to have the freestyle here tonight under the lights. It’s a fantastic stepping stone.”

Kerrigan Gluch (USA) and Bolero CXLVIII captured the silver medal with a score of 71.700%. “This freestyle was originally not mine. I made some tweaks and made it my own,” said Gluch of her test. “I tried to highlight the horse’s strengths. I think the piaffe-passage is one of the horse’s highlights. I tried to use that to my advantage a bit.

“I think overall the freestyle fits the horse really nicely; I think it has a good energy. I love the final centerline. It’s my favorite part. It has tons of energy, and I think the crowd and the judges enjoy it a little bit more. It’s an awesome feeling finishing on that,” concluded Gluch.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

United States Team Takes Victory in FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3*

Shelly Francis and Danilo. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 14, 2019 – The second day of competition for the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO 3* presented by Stillpoint Farm at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) saw a victory and a gold medal for the United States team with 437.693 points. The Canadian team took silver with 433.685 points, and team Germany took the bronze with 402.724 points. This was the second day of team competition, and the teams will be honored in their medal ceremony during the “Friday Night Stars” competition on March 15.

The U.S. riders secured their victory after strong performances in the FEI Intermediate 1* CDIO3* and FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO3* both presented by Stillpoint Farm.

Lauren Asher Won the Gold Medal in FEI Grand Prix 16-25 CDIO-U25

In the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms, Lauren Asher (USA) and West Side, a 16-year-old KWPN gelding by Florett AS owned by Select Equine International, rode to a win with a score of 70.051%, taking home her second gold medal after helping her U.S. team to gold on Wednesday.

“I always try and come into a competition with an open mind,” said Asher. “When you compete, you want to do your absolute best, but I never have the attitude that ‘Hey, I want to be on top.’

“I don’t want to put an expectation on it; I just want to have the best possible ride that I can with the horse at that moment,” continued Asher. “I think it’s just a compilation of things really. Being prepared, having a good setup, and the management at home. I’m really fortunate I have a super team behind me.”

Naima Moreira Laliberte (CAN) and I Do Kiss took the silver medal with a score of 69.564%. “I found him, and I thought, ‘I love him.’ There’s something in him that touches my gut feeling and my heart,’” said Laliberte of the 13-year-old SWB stallion by French Kiss x Idonna owned by KML S.A.R.L. “For me that’s the most important thing when you find a partner.”

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

USA Wins Nations Cup CDIO-U25 at 2019 AGDF

Lauren Asher and West Side. Photo © SusanStickle.com

Wellington, FL – March 13, 2019 – The opening day of competition at the 10th week of the 2019 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) on Wednesday, March 13, featured the Nations Cup CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms with victory for the team from the United States of America. Canada 1 team was silver, and the Canada 2 team took bronze.

For the third year, AGDF hosted CDIO-U25 competition, offering a great stepping-stone of international competition for young riders. The team from the USA, consisting of Lauren Asher on West Side, Natalie Pai on Unlimited, and Kerrigan Gluch riding Bolero CXLVIII, finished on a total team score of 138.559 in the FEI Intermediate II 16-25 test, which determined the team medals.

Asher (22) originally hails from Denver, CO and she rode the 16-year-old KWPN gelding by Florett AS owned by Select Equine International to a personal best score of 70.471%, which was also the second-highest score in the class.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 Conclude AGDF Week 9 with Win in FEI Para Freestyle Grade IV

Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer in their winning Grade IV Freestyle Test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 10, 2019 – Week 9 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), presented by Adequan®, Mission Control, Nutrena, and Fair Sky Farm, concluded on Sunday, March 10, with a morning full of FEI Para Freestyles from Grade I to Grade V. The two Para-Dressage weeks that AGDF offers are great opportunities for Para riders to get to ride in the international ring and get feedback from the international panel of judges.

Kate Shoemaker (USA) and Solitaer 40 rode to their third win of the week in the FEI Para Freestyle Grade IV – CPEDI 3* with a score of 75.208%. The pair has had a strong week and rode to a personal best score of 74.309 in their Individual Test on Saturday.

“I think today our highlight was in our shoulder-in. Maybe not because they were the best part of our test, but because they were the most improved and he was really, really solid in them today: staying on the line, keeping the bend, and staying uphill,” said Shoemaker of her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Sandro Hit. “I was really happy that both days he’s actually been able to score eights in the shoulder-in, which is actually something we’ve been working so hard on this last year.”

Shoemaker’s freestyle test was actually a bit of a challenge at first for her. “That choreography was actually about 18 months in the making. However, when I was first working on it, we couldn’t do it. It was way too challenging for both Soli and me,” commented Shoemaker. “We kept at it and then last summer before our U.S. Team Invitational Event before WEG, we rode this choreography for the first time and it came out really well.

“Tom Hunt ended up doing our music, and it came out perfect for Soli. I think a lot of it is that I really love the music, so I can really ride to it. It has a lot of feel, which helps me really be able to fit what I’m riding,” concluded Shoemaker.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.