Lonoir and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz.
Wellington, FL – January 23, 2020 – After a break of 18 months, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and her long-time partner Lonoir came back to the competition arena to claim the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by U.S. P.R.E. Association. They led the 19-strong class with 73.435% on the opening day of CDI action in week three of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.
This was the 16-year-old De Noir gelding’s first international show since Aachen in Germany in July 2018, and he won with more than 3% in hand over Lindsay Kellock (CAN), whose 70.087% on Enterprise Farms LLC’s 14-year-old Sebastien was good enough for second place. Spain’s Juan Matute Guimon, who is a regular at AGDF, filled third on his father’s 17-year-old gelding Don Diego, by Don Frederico. The class was a qualifier for the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W under lights on Friday night, which will also feature demonstrations from Blue Hors and the US P.R.E. Association.
LaGoy-Weltz had already been considering a very quiet 2019 for Lonoir in preparation for their Tokyo 2020 Olympic campaign, and the decision was finally taken out of her hands after a farriery issue in December 2018 put him out of action.
“He had a bad shoeing session and his foot growth was completely stunted; when the foot is that aggravated, it takes a long time for it to start growing again,” explained LaGoy-Weltz. “He has asymmetric feet anyway, with one very flat and one upright. So I think the competition break was meant to be and we really wanted to come back from the time off better than ever.”
Their triumphant return proved that the notoriously electric horse has benefitted from the break, but he still looked lively and fresh in the prize-giving.
“He’s been a very sturdy horse and I think we’re tapping into his best now,” added LaGoy-Weltz. “I have a feeling it’s going to have paid off big-time. He feels fresh and amazing and happy to be in there. I’m happy that we could just go out there and clock out a clean test for 73%.
“He’s always been very hot and we’ve always tried to make it quiet, and now I finally feel really ready to try and ride him more on the edge. That may make for some spectacular things and some mistakes also, but I think we’re really ready to take those risks and feel like all the training and maturity is coming together.”
For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.