Shelly Francis and Doktor. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.
Wellington, FL – March 17, 2016 – Shelly Francis (USA) and Doktor, who have been campaigning at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) circuit all season, collected a win this afternoon in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation. Competition at AGDF continues tomorrow with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation, at 3:15 p.m. and the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 4*, presented by Havensafe Farm, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Francis and Doktor won with a score of 70.180%. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and Rassing’s Lonoir, in their second FEI Grand Prix start together, earned second place with a 69.940%, while Laura Tomlinson (GBR) and Unique took third place with a 69.100%.
On the second day of dressage competition at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) this week, Francis and Doktor entered the ring late in the order, and moved fellow American LaGoy-Weltz out of the top position, which she held for majority of the class. Displaying consistent relaxation and rhythm in their tests, Doktor’s presence in the ring is progressing, according to Francis.
“I’m hoping to improve his self-carriage a bit, so that I don’t have to sweat so much,” she laughed. “He was very good, and he’s getting much better about not making as many mistakes in the test. The pirouettes today were very good and steadier. The piaffe and passage were nicer, but today he was in between hot and tired. He felt awesome, and he’s just going better and better.”
Francis, who was suffering from a migraine during her test, said that Doktor really stepped up to the plate in the ring today and covered for her feeling a bit less on her game than usual. She explained, “I didn’t feel very good at all during the test, and he just kept on going.”
In just their second CDI competition at Large Tour together, LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir, who were very successful in Small Tour classes last year at AGDF, proved that they’re a combination to watch at the Grand Prix level this year and are becoming comfortable and confident with the movements at Grand Prix level.
“He moved into Grand Prix at the beginning of Florida at the National level, and I’ve been thrilled with how focused he is and how relaxed he is with the work,” said LaGoy-Weltz. “It’s like he’s almost found his own and now it’s time and strength building. This is his sixth Grand Prix ever, so I’m pretty thrilled.”
Tomlinson has had a successful two weeks aboard both of her Grand Prix mounts, Rosalie B and Unique, owned by her parents, Dr. & Mrs. Bechtolsheimer. She found a confident and rideable horse beneath her today in the ring, as Unique, one of her greener mounts, concluded one of her best tests yet.
“[At AGDF] is the first time that she’s been able to do a few Grand Prix shows in a row, which has helped us massively. She was a different horse to ride today than she was when she first got here. There are still parts of the test where she looks too big and not together to show off what she can really do and get those marks that she could get,” elaborated Tomlinson. “From a rideablity point of view, I’m thrilled. It’s really the best she’s been to ride, and she’s trying very hard for me. She’s obedient, and she’s never going to say no to anything.
“I’m thrilled with our progress and I feel like we also have a lot to build on as well,” continued Tomlinson.
All three riders will head in their own separate directions at the end of circuit in just two weeks, as Tomlinson and her team depart for Europe this Sunday, while both LaGoy-Weltz and Francis will contest the final CDI of the season at AGDF before reaffirming plans for the rest of the year.
Francis and Doktor will represent the United States in the Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup CDIO 3* at AGDF in two weeks, while LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir will contest their final CDI 3* Grand Prix at AGDF.
“I’m hoping that both of the horses will be able to go to Europe and do the shows there. Doktor will be on the CDIO 3* team, in two weeks and I’m really going to try and show him off a bit more,” noted Francis. “He’ll have a couple of weeks to get it together for me, and I think if I were feeling better he would have done better today.”
LaGoy-Weltz said, “I think we may go to Tryon for the CDI 3* and maybe do a freestyle. I haven’t really started working on it yet. This season we’re just going to keep working and strengthening him more through the summer for next year.”
Leida Collins-Strijk (NED) and Don Tignanello maintained their winning ways moving into the second day of CDI 1* competition. The duo won the FEI Intermediaire I CDI 1*, presented by Mike & Roz Collins, with a score of 72.289%. Tina Irwin and her own Laurencio claimed second place with a 70.368%, while Lisa Wilcox (USA) and Gallant Reflection HU, owned by Horses Unlimited, captured third place with a 68.658%.
Competition at AGDF continues tomorrow with the start of the 2016 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships in the Van Kampen Covered Arena at PBIEC, along with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation, beginning at 3:15 p.m., and the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 4*, presented by Havensafe Farm, at 7:00 p.m. under the lights at The Stadium. 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
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414
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