Category Archives: Dressage

The Discipline of Riding Dressage

Schopf and Saumur Go Two for Two with Grand Prix Special Victory

Carrie Schopf (ARM) with Saumur. ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 26, 2022 – A beautiful day of competition on Saturday of week 7 of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) culminated in the feature class of the day, the Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Fair Sky Farm. Armenia’s Carrie Schopf and Saumur made it two for two this week, following their win in the qualifier on Thursday with a victory in the Special.

Twelve competitors entered the stadium to strut their stuff, where towards the end of the class, Jessica Howington (USA) and her 15-year-old KWPN mare by Sir Donnerhall I x Gribaldi shot to the top of the leaderboard with a 70.149%. Just after her was Carrie Schopf and Saumur (Sancisco OLD x Tanzmeister I) who rode to a personal best of 70.979% to just edge out Howington for the blue ribbon.

“Anybody can win on a given day, especially when the scores were as close as they were today,” reflected Schopf. “But it’s really gratifying to have your work and your thought process rewarded.”

Schopf is an amateur rider who does have grooms who help her with her horses, but for Saumur, she does it all herself.

Their partnership was on full display today as Schopf utilized the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding’s technical prowess in combination with her own enjoyment of the test to excel in the extensions.

She explained, “This is a very forward test in the trot work especially, and it’s forward that if you swing with them, you can really capture that energy. You can really let them sail, so I just stepped on the gas pedal and went!”

Boucher and Mourits Post Wins

Earlier in the day, Beatrice Boucher (CAN) continued her successful week with Summerwood’s Limei after besting the field of 14 competitors in the Intermediate I CDI1* class. This marks Boucher’s second international win in as many days with Monica von Glahn’s nine-year-old Hanoverian mare by Londonderry x Weltmeyer. The pair earned particularly strong marks in the flying changes with 7.5s and 8s, propelling them to a personal best score of 70.912%.

In the Intermediate A CDI3* class, Luuk Mourits (NED) rode Harmony’s Don’t Stop the Feeling to a win with a score of 68.235%. The 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Don Primus x Noble Roi xx, owned by Harmony Amateur Sports Foundation, bookended the performance with strong passes down the centerline and shined throughout both the extended and collected trot work.

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

Wandres and Bluetooth OLD Connect for Win in Five-Star Freestyle at AGDF

Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD. ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 25, 2022 – The week seven’s “Friday Night Stars” showcase at the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) on Friday, February 25, 2022 was hosted in the spectacular International Arena at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. German rider Frederic Wandres capitalized on his already lucrative season, winning the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, on Bluetooth OLD with 81.165%. Laurence Vanommeslaghe (BEL) filled second with an energetic performance on Edison (79.430%) and Spain’s Juan Matute Guimón finished third on Quantico (78.925%).

“Bluetooth is getting better and better,” said Wandres of the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Bordeaux. “I get more and more the feeling that I can ride during the test, and he offers me a very good feeling. I’m super happy about his development here in the Wellington season. For him the season is finished now, and he has a few more weeks here to rest a little bit and enjoy the Florida sun before he goes home. Then we are looking forward and trying to take these things which we achieved and developed here together with us to Europe.”

Second-placed Vanommeslaghe was pleased with her conclusion to the five-star week with Edison, the 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Glock’s Johnson TN that she rode to a freestyle victory at AGDF 5.

Third-placed Matute Guimón relished the opportunity to ride in the atmospheric jumping arena with Quantico, his 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games mount, as well as in the class with his sister Paula.

Lyle and Salvino Are Unbeatable

Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Salvino made it two wins from two starts in AGDF 7 when claiming the Grand Prix Special CDI5*, presented by Havensafe Farm. The 15-year-old stallion by Sandro Hit — part of the silver medal-winning USA team at the Tokyo Olympics — posted 79.511%, with a high score of 81.489% from judge Monique Peutz-Vegter.

Lyle finished 10 percentage points clear of second-placed Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén (SWE), who scored 69.617% with Devanto. Germany’s Christoph Koschel rounded out the international podium, claiming third, just a whisker behind Vilhelmson Silfvén, on 69.511% with the Lusitano gelding Favorito 11.

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

Saumur and Carrie Schopf Scoop First International Grand Prix Win at AGDF

Carrie Schopf (ARM) aboard Saumur. ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 24, 2022 – The bonanza of dressage in week seven of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued with the two three-star grand prix classes on Thursday, February 24, 2022. It was a momentous day for Armenian rider Carrie Schopf. The American-born 64-year-old recorded her first international grand prix win with long-time partner Saumur. They posted a personal best of 69.087% to top the Grand Prix CDI3*, presented by Fair Sky Farm, vanquishing 14 other combinations. Americans filled the remaining podium places — a pattern repeated across the day — with Codi Harrison second (67.652%) on Katholt’s Bossco and Jessica Howington and Cavalia taking third with 67.261%, despite an error of course.

Saumur, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding whom Schopf competed at the European Championships in Rotterdam in 2019, was fresh and full of energy, even after his test.

“You can see how much energy he has, and sometimes he makes himself tense because he wants to do more than I want him to do,” explained Schopf, who is based in Germany and has ridden Saumur since he was eight. “My goal was to have a test that flowed, and where he felt comfortable and wanted to do his job and to be a team with him.”

Alcazar Is King of the Castle after Break from Competition

After a year out of the CDI ring — and a career of almost 100 international tests — Katherine Bateson-Chandler’s ride Alcazar showed he has lost none of his sparkle. Jane Forbes Clark’s 17-year-old gelding by Contango led the Grand Prix CDI3* (the qualifier for the freestyle), presented by Premier Equestrian, with 68.826%.

Bateson-Chandler spearheaded an American clean sweep of the podium: Hope Cooper claimed second with 68.500% on Hot Chocolate W and Susan Dutta finished third, riding Don Design DC to 67.174%.

“I’ve had him since he was six,” said Bateson-Chandler, who also nursed him back to health following colic surgery in the summer of 2016. “I hate to say he feels like my old shoe, but he does. He had a big break, so I changed up my warm-up this time and it was one of the best, most honest feelings I’ve had in the ring with him.

“It’s really fun to have one that you know that well and you’ve trained yourself,” she continued. “He’s really my friend, and we’ve spent so much time together and been through so many different travels. It’s a nice feeling, when they want to keep going in there and doing it at his age with the amount of showing he’s done.”

A unanimous and high-scoring win in the Prix St. Georges CDI3*, presented by Donato Farms, handed the winner’s sash to Bianca Berktold (USA), riding her own Imperial. First to go in the all-American field, Berktold and the nine-year-old KWPN mare by Charmeur pulled off a 73.000% performance, almost 2% higher than their previous best in this test. Judge at E, Germany’s Katrina Wüst, awarded the pair over 75%. Berktold and Imperial have finished on the podium in all four of their 2022 AGDF starts, and this week marks their first three-star show.

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

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton Make Triumphant Return to AGDF

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton. ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL — February 22, 2021 — The 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued with week 6 national competition from Friday, February 18, through Sunday, February 20, which included top competition of all levels at Equestrian Village.

On Friday, spectators were treated to the return of United States Paralympic Gold Medalist, Roxanne Trunnell, and her Paralympic mount Dolton, owned by Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint, to the show ring for the first time since their golden performance in Tokyo. They executed a beautiful test in the Para Equestrian Team TOC, and followed that up on Saturday with an equally splendid test in the Para Equestrian Individual TOC class, to come away with wins in both.

Dolton, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Danone I x Londonderry, received scores in Friday’s test of 82.678% from the judge at C Debby Savage (USA) and 84.642% from the judge at B Sandy Osborn (USA) for an overall score or 83.660%. In Saturday’s test, Dolton and Trunnell earned a score of 80.000% from the judge at C Kem Barbosa (USA) and 81.428% from the judge at B Debby Savage for an overall score of 80.714%, more than five points ahead of second place finisher Charlotte Merle-Smith (USA) who scored 75.293% with Guata.

“Dolton felt outstanding. He always is so relaxed on the Global show grounds that he gives me the feeling he really is enjoying what he does, and how the horse feels about his job is always a top priority for me,” commented Trunnell. “I think the best part of my tests were the serpentines. Dolton is such a big horse that the serpentine really allows him to swing through his body and bend, plus he gets to really show off that drool-worthy, sexy walk of his.”

Friday’s FEI Prix St. Georges class was won by Julie McKean (USA) with Fling For U, a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Blue Hors Don Romantic x OO Seven, with a score of 73.823%. They garnered praise for their lateral work, notching scores of eight on both the half-pass to the left and to the right and were able to just edge out Vanessa Creech-Terauds (CAN) and Daniel L who scored 73.529%.

In Saturday’s FEI Prix St. Georges class, there were 11 competitors in the open section where Christopher Hickey (USA) rode to the win with 72.794% aboard Valentin, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Dalwhinnie x Regazzoni. Their consistent marks across the test propelled them to the top spot, just ahead of Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Nexolia Feodoro, who scored 72.353%.

Seven riders contested the open section of the FEI Grand Prix class, but it was Eliane Cordia van Reesema (USA) who excelled from start to finish with Codiak. Codiak, a 13-year-old Rheinlander gelding by Cristallo 7 x Carabas, demonstrated exceptional passage and pirouettes for marks of eight, which boosted his score with Cordia van Reesema to a 74.239%. Second place went to Lisa Marriott (GBR) and Valucio DH Z, who finished with 69.347%.

Competition concluded on Sunday with another notable display from 2020 Olympic team silver medalist Adrienne Lyle who rode Fürst Dream, a stallion by Fürstenball OLD owned by Betsy Juliano LLC, to a remarkable score of 96.000% in the USEF Young Horse Test for 4 Year Old class. Judges Sandy Osborn (USA) and Kem Barbosa were impressed with the trot and canter rhythm reflecting suppleness and natural balance.

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

Genay Vaughn Claims Ticket for Summit Farm Future Challenge Final at AGDF

Genay Vaughn (USA) riding Fleur Noir WSHS ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 13, 2022 – Week five of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) wrapped up on Sunday, February 13, with the third qualifying round of both the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series.

In the Prix St. Georges class, it was 27-year-old Genay Vaughn who staked her claim to a ticket for the final, scheduled for March 25. Riding her own and her mother Michele Vaughn’s Fleur Noir WSHS, an eight-year-old American-bred mare by Fürstenball, she posted 69.97% to head up the seven-strong class on an unseasonably rainy day.

Vaughn, who is based at Starr Vaughn Equestrian in California and has owned the mare since she was five, said: “I didn’t really know if we should compete or not, but the ring dried out throughout the day. We just did a nice short warm-up and went right in, and I think that was the best way to tackle it. When I first got her, she was really behind for her age, but I could tell right from the first ride that she was really trainable, really willing. And I love mares — I have a lot. When you get them on your side, they work so hard for you.”

Nicole Levy’s Faith in Imposant MC Is Richly Rewarded

In the big tour class — depleted of entries thanks to a morning of heavy rain — Nicole Levy (USA) rode her own Imposant MC to a 67.352% victory. The nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Bretton Woods was competing at only his second CDI show, having stepped in for the first time at AGDF 2021. Levy has also produced her horse since he was five and last year was sixth in the country in developing grand prix.

“We just started the national grands prix in the middle of January,” said the 39-year-old, “so he’s pretty new to this stuff, but he’s trying really hard. He has big gaits, so sometimes he gets tired with the compression required of the collection and can lose stamina, but that’s normal for a young horse.”

Jennifer Williams (USA) saved her best performance with Joppe K for the end of the week. The pair laid down a new personal best of 73.865% to top the Intermediate I Freestyle CDI2*. At just eight years old, The Joppe Partners’ gelding was the youngest in the class.

It had been four years since Eliane Cordia Van Reesema’s ride Codiak had set foot in a CDI ring, but the American rider made a triumphant return with Jewel Court Stud’s jumping-bred 13-year-old by Cristallo. Last to go in the Intermediate II CDI2*, they delivered a 70.265% to clinch the class. They edged out Portugal’s Tiago Ernesto and the Lusitano stallion Hobbit Interagro, whose 70.077% marked a new personal best. Barbara Bertschinger (SUI) finished third, riding Sonnenbergs Solisco CH to 67.441%.

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

Benjamin Ebeling with Indeed Claims His First Four-Star Win at AGDF

Benjamin Ebeling (USA) and Indeed ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 12, 2022 – Saturday’s showcase class, the Grand Prix Special CDI4*, presented by MTICA Farm, was a close-fought battle, with Benjamin Ebeling (USA) coming out on top on February 12 at the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF).

Ebeling rode Indeed, Vantage Equestrian Group II’s 14-year-old daughter of Hofrat, to 72.255% in the pair’s first grand prix special at their first four-star show. Belgium’s Laurence Vanommeslaghe was just 0.1 percentage points adrift, clocking 72.106% on her own 15-year-old Hotline gelding, Havalon. Sarah Tubman (USA) rounded out the podium, riding First Apple to third place with 70.255%.

Ebeling took over the reins of Indeed — one of only two mares in the 11-strong class — from his Olympian father Jan Ebeling and this is only the new pairing’s second CDI. From penultimate draw in the class order, they climbed from a third-place finish in the qualifying grand prix on Thursday. He attributed his success to a last-minute change of plan.

Teenage Rider Christian Simonson Steps Up to Senior Ranks in Style

Christian Simonson (USA) has made the difficult step from the young rider division to senior competition in style, underscored by his resounding victory in the Intermediate I CDI1*. He scored 72.117% riding Zeaball Diawind, with whom he won three gold medals at the North American Youth Championships in 2021, setting a young rider record score (of 78.935% in the freestyle) in the process. The duo was unbeaten in six consecutive tests in 2021 and have come out all guns blazing in 2022.

Luuk Mourits (NED), who is part of the Harmony Sporthorses team, piloted Harmony’s Don’t Stop The Feeling to the winner’s sash in the Intermediate A CDI1*. Competing in their third AGDF season in a row, this was the pair’s first run through the Intermediate A in a CDI and it resulted in a unanimous win and 68.647% — with one judge awarding 71.176% to the 13-year-old gelding by Don Primus.

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

Laurence Vanommeslaghe Scores Commanding Freestyle Win at AGDF

Laurence Vanommeslaghe (BEL) and Edison. ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 11, 2022 – Week five’s “Friday Night Stars” showcase at the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) produced top-drawer dressage and a huge new personal best from Laurence Vanommeslaghe (BEL) to win the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, presented by Helgstrand Dressage, on Friday, February 11, 2022.

Vanommeslaghe rode Edison to their first-ever CDI victory and a career best of 79.115%, just edging out the winners of the qualifying Grand Prix, Frederic Wandres (GER) and Bluetooth OLD, who were second with 79.045%. Third-placed Benjamin Ebeling — last to go of the 10 riders — clinched third riding Illuster Van De Kampert to 77.370% for the USA.

After the pandemic-induced drought of shows, the spectators were keen to show their support, and almost immediately after Vanommeslaghe began her test, whoops rang out, and the crowd clapped along to her bold heavy metal-themed soundtrack.

“I was so delighted,” beamed Vanommeslaghe. “I was very tense because there was a lot of public for me, and it was our first international show in a long time. I could really feel the support of the crowd. My tension went away when I could hear them. I think the horse likes the music — and the public — he really likes to move in rhythm with the music.”

Judge at C Jane Weatherwax, who awarded over 80%, said: “Music that powerful could be a bit much for the horse, but your horse is so powerful, and it really worked — especially the music for the passage. It was very fun. There was interesting choreography in the class. I think most of the riders chose their degree of difficult wisely and were able to pull it off.”

Second-placed Wandres said of Bluetooth OLD: “I had a very good feeling during the test. For me that’s very important, because I had some shows when I started with him where he was a little bit shy, and I could not take what he offered me in the warmup into the ring. So that is already much better, and we find more and more together.”

Wandres is another rider on the hunt for a start at the Championships in Herning, and third-placed Ebeling is also eyeing a spot there. Both riders plan to contest the five-star show at AGDF 7.

“It was such a big environment in there tonight,” said Ebeling. “There was a little bit of tension from my horse. The show organizers do such a great job of advertising the show, so of course there was a big audience, and he got a little excited. We had some mistakes related to tension, but overall, I was very pleased.”

Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo Claim World Cup Freestyle

Charlotte Jorst (USA) chalked up her second win in as many days on the 19-year-old Kastel’s Nintendo in the World Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty. Dancing to a soundtrack from “Pirates of the Caribbean” — complete with pirate motif on both her stock and the horse’s ear bonnet — Jorst laid down 79.075% to edge out Spain’s Juan Matute Guimón, who was second with 78.050% on Quantico. Anna Buffini (USA) finished third with 77.605% on FRH Davinia La Douce.

Two judges awarded Jorst over 80%, and she was delighted with Nintendo’s improvements from the last time they rode this test, in Aachen, Germany last September.

At 19, Nintendo was the oldest horse in the class, but thanks to his routine of ample trail riding and daily turnout, he is still fit and fresh in the ring.

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

Charlotte Jorst Makes Triumphant Return to AGDF with Kastel’s Nintendo

Charlotte Jorst (USA) and Kastel’s Nintendo ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – Two high quality grand prix classes set the tone on the opening day of week five of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. Charlotte Jorst (USA) rode her own Kastel’s Nintendo to 72.579% and the top spot in the World Cup™ short Grand Prix, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty. At 18 years old, the stallion by Negro was the oldest in the field of 11 starters and emerged the unanimous winner across the five judges.

Duos with firm partnerships were the order of the day in this class. Second-placed Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu scored 71.895% on her long-time partner All In for second, while Spain’s Juan Matute Guimón finished third on Quantico with 70.447%.

“Nintendo feels better and better all the time,” enthused the 55-year-old Danish-born American rider, whose previous competitive outing with the horse was at Aachen, Germany in September 2021. “He’s more and more in front of my leg, he’s more and more up, and he loves the job. He’s so excited to be here; he’s happier than a clam.

“I think the two pirouettes with the one-times in between [were the highlight of the test], because he’s so straight in those ones and those pirouettes — you can come up that centerline and things just happen right after the other in this test. It was just wonderful,” added Jorst, who was riding the modified short version of the grand prix test in competition for the first time with Nintendo.

“I think it’s fun to do another test,” she said. “It’s fun that you do the canter depart and then up the centerline and you have to do the zigzag. The test is kind of nifty, so I’m good with it.”

Wandres and Bluetooth Remain Unbeaten

Frederic Wandres (GER) and Bluetooth OLD won the Grand Prix CDI4*, presented by Helgstrand Dressage. They emerged triumphant from the 10 starters to put an unassailable 73.565% on the scoreboard, with a high mark of 75.435%. The pair remains unbeaten in all three of their starts at AGDF 2022 so far.

“In week one he was a little bit tired,” said the 33-year-old, who works for Hof Kasselmann in Germany. “Today it was a little bit the opposite. I felt like he was more fresh, and I really liked that. Last time I competed in the World Cup Grand Prix and that’s a completely different test, completely different lines. I thought maybe I should go back once to the normal grand prix version, because all the last shows I did the short grand prix.

“Bluetooth is still a young grand prix horse, so it’s not always so easy to switch between these tests. And the normal grand prix version, which we rode today, is a very difficult test; we know that all. I think he’s overall a very elegant and shining horse with no real weak points. For sure the extensions and the piaffe/passage are something he developed very well,” added Wandres, who had a mistake in the one-time changes is an otherwise harmonious performance.

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

Frederic Wandres Commands at AGDF to Qualify for Summit Farm Future Challenge Final

Frederic Wandres (GER) riding Dolciario. © SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 30, 2022 – Week three of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) wrapped up on Sunday, January 30, with the second qualifiers of the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series.  These classes aim to identify and nurture talented, up-and-coming young FEI horses. Grand finals for both classes take place during AGDF 11.

In unusually chilly conditions, first to go of eight small tour combinations, Germany’s Frederic Wandres, rode Hof Kasselmann’s Dolciario to the top spot in the Prix St. Georges with 72.156%. Both he and second-placed American rider Bianca Berktold — who partnered her own nine-year-old Charmeur mare, Imperial, to 72.009% — qualified for the final.

Eight-year-old Dolciario (by Danciano x Don Frederico) last appeared in the CDI ring at the six-year-old finals at Hagen in 2020 under the Czech Republic’s Eva Niklova. He and Wandres are a brand-new combination, as the horse was ridden by a colleague at Hof Kasselmann’s and Wandres only took over the reins when Dolciario arrived in Florida for AGDF.

“This was the first time we competed together, and it was a very great start,” said the 35-year-old Wandres, who is ranked 18th in the world on his top horse, Duke of Britain FRH. “We were the first starters in the class. That’s sometimes not easy, but we ended up very well. Dolciario was very relaxed with the atmosphere. It was a bit windy and there was enough going on to look at, but he was really focused and concentrated.”

The test was marred only by a muddled single flying change, but eights all over the rest of the sheet meant the overall marks stayed high enough for the win.

“The best parts were the whole trot tour, and the walk,” said Wandres. “The most expensive mistake was the broken flying change in the end of the extended canter, which was nearly not shown. There was a little bit of a miscommunication and he was not really listening maybe, but we have to get to know each other better and it is easy to prepare better for the next time.

“This series was a start for me and the horse. It’s very good because the other horses were also young horses. That’s something I really like. Now I would like to do some CDIs in the Small Tour,” added Wandres, who thinks Dolciario could be a useful small tour Nations Cup horse for Germany.

In the big tour class, Australian Olympian Kelly Layne snapped up a ticket to the final, riding Fernando to 70.490% at Intermediate II level. Ellen Trouillé’s 10-year-old gelding, by Foundation out of a Sandro Hit mare, was awarded a high mark of 73.382% from judge at H, Mariano Santos Redondo. Layne has been riding him since he was five.

“He was one of those horses that just followed the book,” said Wellington-based Layne. “When he was supposed to learn the flying change, he learned the flying change. He just learned it all like he’d already done it before. By the time he was seven, he was already up to green PSG. At eight he could do the piaffe and passage, but it’s still a little soon to go into the big classes with him. I still want him to get the exposure to the big atmosphere without putting the pressure on him.”

Layne competed in this class in AGDF 1 and was pleased with Fernando’s improvements since then.

“The flying changes were much more secure this week than two weeks ago, and I worked on getting the walk a bit more calm and being braver to let the rein out,” she explained. “He’s always a genius on the pirouettes, so I have to just set him up and let him do his job. I can always add more power to the piaffe/passage, but he was really secure and has amazing rhythm and tempo. As he gets stronger that will be a major feature, and I do believe that he is a big-time show horse. He doesn’t have any weakness in his body physically, and mentally he’s the horse that will go in the big stadium and do his job. They’re rare.”

Layne is a big fan of the developing horse classes: “I love this tour and being a part of it every year. It’s exciting putting horses of the same age a little bit against each other. It’s just a wonderful avenue, and I’m so excited,” she added.

Christina Vinios (USA) continued her unbroken winning streak with Five Rings Farm’s 18-year-old Deauville, by Del Gado. The Wellington-based rider topped the Intermediate II CDI3* with a new personal best of 67.559%. The pair is unbeaten in all four of their international starts, having first stepped into the CDI ring in AGDF 1. Ali Potasky (USA) continued her dominance of the small tour divisions at AGDF 2022, leading the Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by VitaFlex. Riding Irintha, Kathy Priest’s nine-year-old mare by Everdale, she scored 71.850%, with a high artistic mark of over 78% from the judge at C, Janet Foy.

Sunday’s result marked the third win for the pair during AGDF 3, and they remain unbeaten in all six of their CDI starts this season.

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

Susan Pape Is Untouchable with Double Victory and a Personal Best at AGDF

Susan Pape (GBR) and Harmony’s Eclectisch. © SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 29, 2022 – Week three of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL continued to bring out personal best performances despite unusually cool and windy conditions. The day’s top class, the Grand Prix Special CDI4*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses, was a tussle between the on-form Susan Pape (GBR) and the seven-time Swedish Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén. The judges found them hard to split, with two favoring Vilhelmson Silfvén and three putting Pape in the lead, with a final score of 72.341%. Ultimately it was Pape and Harmony’s Eclectisch who triumphed after an error of course and moments of tension capped Vilhelmson Silfvén’s score on Devanto to 70.660%. USA rider Susan Dutta rounded out the podium with 68.787% on Figeac DC.

Pape posted yet another personal best with her own and Harmony Amateur Sports Foundation’s stallion Harmony’s Eclectisch, having already done so in her qualifying grand prix. Before this week, the son of Zenon had not won a CDI test at Grand Prix level, but he was on top form to take two winner’s rugs in AGDF 3.

“I thought the test today was really good,” said the 60-year-old. “Eclectisch gave me a really good feeling. He was really in front of me and focused. I had one little hiccup at the end of the two-tempis, but that’s always the rider. He was really super.”

Lots of eights on Pape’s score sheet throughout the rest of the test helped keep the score buoyant despite the mistake.

“He has fluid half-passes, he has very good canter work, and expressive passage,” she enthused of the 13-year-old, whose next show will be the five star in AGDF 7. “The piaffe is maybe his weakest point at the moment, but he’s still maturing and getting there. He’s built quite upright; he’s a typical Dutch horse with a high neck and that’s the way he goes.”

Pape made it five wins from five starts with her two horses across AGDF 3.

“This was such an incredible week for me, quite amazing,” she said. “It’s never happened before, not that I can think of. It’s been really wonderful, and also really nice being able to ride with people in the grandstand.”

Her other win on Saturday came courtesy of Harmony’s Giulilanta in the Intermediate I CDI1*. A test peppered with eights helped hand victory to the 11-year-old Jazz daughter whom Pape co-owns with Harmony Amateur Sports Foundation.

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