Charlotte Jorst and Kastels Adventure. Photos copyright SusanJStickle.com.
Florida International Dressage Youth Championships Begin This Week
Wellington, FL – March 11, 2015 – Charlotte Jorst (USA) and Kastels Adventure achieved something most Adult Amateurs only dream of, when the duo placed first in the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival’s (AGDF) Week 10 FEI Prix St. Georges CDI-W 1* class presented by Mike and Roz Collins, a class that boasted more than 40 entries. Jorst and Kastels Adventure won the class on a 71.842%, followed by Shelly Francis (USA) and Rubinio with a 71.605% and Tina Irwin (CAN) aboard Fancy That in third receiving a 70.553%. Competition at AGDF continues tomorrow with a very large FEI Grand Prix CDI-W 3* class presented by Today’s Equestrian and Diane and George Fellows beginning at 2:45 pm.
Jorst and “Adventure” have been paired for three years now, as Jorst found the 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding on a small farm in The Netherlands and decided to add him to her growing string of horses. “Adventure” has steadily improved under Jorst this season and has been incredibly consistent in the Small Tour classes. “Over the weeks, he’s just gotten better and better and he has gained so much confidence and he’s been so fun to ride,” she smiled. “I put my hands down and let him do his job and he’s doing it. He just dances now and every movement seems effortless.”
Strength has been a major component in the pair’s success so far this season, as “Adventure” was coming off of a lengthy rest period due to injury. “When we got here, we focused on getting his strength and confidence back in the ring and now I think he has it. He knows he’s a super star. You want their eyes to light up when you go in the ring, and that’s how he is now,” she commented.
Confidence has not only played a factor in the success of “Adventure” in the ring, but has positively influenced Jorst’s riding. “The repetition of it all has really helped me, and doing something every week has been so valuable,” she smiled. “This has been amazing, and it is truly indescribable to me. I’ve worked for something like this my entire life and then it happens, and it is so special. I feel so much more confident, and you can tell in the way that I am riding.”
Jorst, who has always dreamed big, consistently works towards being competitive in CDI classes as an Adult Amateur and continues to set goals for her impressive group of horses. As for the future, remaining competitive at the highest levels is the ultimate goal. “I would love to do the Pan-American Games with him if he continues to do better and better like he did today, then that is something that I think is within reach,” said Jorst. “Otherwise I will take him and some of the other horses to Europe to compete them there in the summer. I’ve never done that either and it is something I would love to do.”
The 2015 Florida International Dressage Youth Championships will begin this week at AGDF, highlighting some of the best rising talent in the world, giving them a unique competition experience against their peers. The event, sponsored by Hampton Green Farm, Pana Cavallo, and Dressage4Kids, has welcomed competitors from around the country and the globe to compete in FEI Pony, Junior, Young Rider, and U-25 classes on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with the awards presentations on Sunday morning.
“In the three years we’ve been running this show, it has gotten bigger and bigger,” said Lendon Gray, President of Dressage4Kids. “This was a group effort, and we are so thankful to have Kim Boyer of Hampton Green Farm and the Davis family of Pana Cavallo behind it with us.”
Four of the riders in this year’s Championships spoke at a press conference and rider informational meeting about their experiences competing and what they look forward to this week.
Nicolette von Leuwen, trainer of the two Dutch riders competing in the championships this week, Rosalie Bos and Dana van Lierop, said that opportunities like these continue to help grow the sport and the quality of riders pursuing the upper levels. “The show here is amazing. It’s a dream come true for these riders to have this experience in the U.S., and this competition is so well organized. It has been great for the girls to meet new riders, and it’s great to see how open everyone is here to learning.”
Vivian Niemann (GER) plans to take advantage of the opportunity to compete against the best in the U.S., but also enjoy her time in Wellington. “It’s amazing to ride here because there are so many different shows and riders, but I can say that we never have weather like this,” she smiled. “These rings are beautiful, and it’s really important to have fun while you’re competing because that is what is beautiful about the sport.”
In a unique situation, Asia Ondaatje-Rupert (USA) will ride in the Pony division for the third year in a row, but will also be competing in the Junior division with a new horse. “I got my Junior horse last winter, and I’ve always had a little bit of difficulty with my pony because he is very tough to ride,” said Ondaatje-Rupert. “Competing in the Pony classes has really helped me prepare for moving up to Juniors. I’ve become a better rider for doing the Pony classes, and I found that it was easier riding my horse because I was able to handle situations more quickly from my experience with my pony.”
Ashley Conroy Zugel (USA) switched from the jumper ring to the dressage arena and has pursued the sport ever since. Competing last year on her jumper-turned-dressage horse, Conroy Zugel feels confident for the 2015 competition, competing as a Junior. “The first time I competed here it was on my jumper horse who I trained into a dressage horse, and now I’m riding an actual dressage horse. I have a better understanding of the test, and my goal is to be accurate and keep him in front of my leg,” she explained. “I think this is a great experience for all of the riders and most shows you don’t have the chance to have all four divisions together at one time.”
Reigning Overall Champion from 2014, Tanya Strasser-Shostak (CAN), will be competing two horses this week, with her Young Rider horse and her more experienced U-25 mount. Strasser-Shostak, who is aiming at the Adequan FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) in Lexington, KY this July, will be using this week as preparation for making a run at NAJYRC. “You won’t get an atmosphere like this anywhere else, and it’s really important to take advantage of an opportunity like this. I also think that having the European riders here really helps you to ride better and gives you something to work towards,” she commented.
For more information on AGDF, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.
Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414
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