Cesar Parra and Cavallia’s Blickpunkt 4 (photo courtesy of Conklin Photographic)
Whitehouse Station, NJ (November 12, 2015) — After an extremely successful year for his Piaffe Performance team, dressage rider, trainer, and coach Dr. Cesar Parra has qualified to compete in The Dutta Corp./USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship at the 2015 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, presented by The Dutta Corp. The competition will be held for the first time at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, on December 8-12. While Parra has been a familiar face at the U.S. Dressage Festival National Championships since his big win in the Intermediaire I in 2010, this year he will be joined by his “second in command” at Piaffe Performance, USDF Gold Medalist Katie Riley. It is Riley’s first time as a competitor at the Festival, although she has served the Piaffe Performance team from the sidelines coaching at the Festival during previous years.
Parra qualified for the Festival of Champions with Cavallia’s Blickpunkt 4, a German-bred Westphalian gelding (Bellisimo M x Fascination, by Fidermark) that he has been working with for the past year. “I am proud to have qualified with Blickpunkt,” said Parra. “He is a high-quality horse that is now really starting to come into his own and has a great future. Blickpunkt has very good gaits and super conformation for the sport. He is really an eye-catcher.”
Para has been building Blickpunkt’s confidence this year and is working him towards the Grand Prix level, since the gelding shows talent with his piaffe and passage.
Riley, who is a founding member of the Piaffe Performance Team, will compete against her coach Parra at the Festival of Champions on Heather Hornor’s Toy Story (Trento B x Vroukje, by Jazz). Riley and the 2006 bay Dutch Warmblood gelding kicked their year off in Florida at Fourth Level, and moved up to the Developing Prix St. Georges by the end of the winter season. She and Toy Story also competed in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Championships this year.
Toy Story then made his CDI debut at the NEDA Fall Festival. “Toy really tries his best for you every time you sit on him,” said Riley. “He is such a positive-thinking horse and is really honest. I love every day I sit on him. Because of the timing of his development and the qualification period, we had only the time to meet the minimum requirements, so that meant we could only have good tests.”
And good days they had at the NEDA Fall Festival and Dressage at Devon, where the pair placed in the top three at both shows in the Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I.
Parra, who was a successful dentist in his native country of Colombia before becoming an American citizen, first competed at the Festival of Champions in 2010 in the National Intermediaire I Championship aboard Lori Washton’s Olympia, a bay Dutch Warmblood gelding by Jazz. The pair earned first place, and that victory in an American National Championship meant the world to Parra. He has since achieved many impressive victories, and is prepared to show his talent again at the upcoming Festival of Champions.
Before settling in the U.S., Parra was a multiple-time Colombian National Champion in dressage. After his first U.S. National Championship win at the 2010 Festival of Champions, Parra has qualified for every Dressage Festival of Champions since. In 2011, he and Grandioso came in third behind Steffen Peters and Weltino’s Magic and Heather Blitz and Paragon in Intermediaire I. From 2012 to 2014, Parra rode Van the Man at the Festival’s USEF National Grand Prix Championship.
Not only has Parra had his own success in multiple USEF National Dressage Championships, but he has also successfully coached youth riders in many National Championships.
Dr. Cesar Parra is a Pan American Games Gold medalist who now provides top-notch training for both riders and horses in Jupiter, Florida, and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Piaffe Performance is always ready to welcome dressage riders to its talented team. To learn more about Dr. Cesar Parra, his Piaffe Performance team, and the training, lessons, and sales services he offers, visit www.piaffe-performance.com.