Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel. ©SusanStickle.com.
Wellington, FL – January 20, 2019 – Week 2 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), presented by Adequan®, Mission Control, Nutrena, and Fair Sky Farm, concluded on Sunday, January 20, with a win for Rebecca Hart (USA) and El Corona Texel in the FEI Para Freestyle Grade III – CPEDI 3*.
Hart and El Corona Texel, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Wynton and owned by Rowan O’Riley, earned a score of 75.278% in the Grade III Freestyle. Grade III is for riders who have severe impairments in both lower limbs with minimal or no impairment of the trunk or moderate impairments of the upper and lower limbs and trunk. Some riders in Grade III may use a wheelchair.
Hart is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Wellington, FL. “I have loved this horse from the moment I saw his video on YouTube. I love his personality and his intelligence,” said Hart about El Corona Texel. “He’s quite a fiery horse, but he’s an incredibly kind horse. I love how we can have a true conversation when we’re riding, and it just makes it a very unique, special partnership.
“Marlene Whittaker put the freestyle together for me, and we worked really hard on that one,” continued Hart of her freestyle music and choreography. “It’s actually the one that we rode at [the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games], so it’s a special freestyle for us. We actually all played [the music] for him so he could have a little bit of input. He would just be like, ‘Oh yeah’ and he’d start to get a little more exuberant, and we were like, ‘Okay, Tex likes this one!’”
Hart has been coming to AGDF for seven years and said, “I love having such a great facility for the 12 weeks. They have shows on the weekend, and we can just come and do a test and then go home. Having that availability, and in addition having the big three-stars and the four-star and the freestyles under the lights, that variety of atmosphere so that you can do a smaller national show or you can do a big three-star all within your backyard, is fantastic.”
Kate Shoemaker (USA) and Solitaer 40 won the FEI Para Freestyle Grade IV – CPEDI 3* with a score of 75.458%. Grade IV is for riders who are impaired in one or two limbs or have some visual impairment.
Shoemaker travels back and forth between her home in Phoenix, AZ, where she is an equine veterinarian, and Wellington to train. “He’s my heart horse, so just every day having the opportunity to ride him and to have that partnership is special. He’s a horse that when I got him I was told that I was never going to be able to ride him and that he would never be successful in Para,” said Shoemaker about Solitaer 40. “So to come this far with him – we’re now starting our fifth season together – I feel like it’s all about the partnership. He gives me so much that it’s just unbelievable.
“His elasticity is definitely his strength, and it was something that the judges noted this weekend that they really appreciated in him. Now we’re really starting to bring together a little bit more power and more balance in the arena, which is what’s been the big change,” added Shoemaker about her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Sandro Hit. “As much improvement as he’s had, he still gives me those moments where there’s the next step up that we’re working on. It’s really an exciting journey that we are on right now.”
Shoemaker said of her choreography, “Last summer I got together with Tom Hunt, and asked him if he would be willing to do a freestyle for me. I was ecstatic when he said yes. He actually custom composed the music to fit to ‘Solly’ and the choreography that we put together.”
Alanna Flax-Clark (USA) won the FEI Para Freestyle Grade II – CPEDI 3* with a score of 68.222%. Flax-Clark rode her horse El Paso, a 15-year-old Dutch Riding Pony gelding by Elegant.
Roxanne Trunnell (USA) ended the day with a win in the FEI Para Freestyle Grade I – CPEDI 3* with a score of 77.889%. Trunnell rode Dolton, a seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Danone I and owned by Kate Shoemaker.
For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.