Tag Archives: Anna Buffini

Lane, Irwin, and Buffini Impress in CDIO Freestyles at Final “Friday Night Stars” of AGDF

Megan Lane and Caravella. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 24, 2017 – The final “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle of the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded on Friday, March 24 at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL with another Canadian win with Megan Lane and Caravella in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm.

The last class of the night, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm, presented the gold medal to Megan Lane (CAN) and her own Caravella, a 2001 KWPN mare (Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman), scoring an impressive 74.550%.

Lane described her win. “I am thrilled. It’s still a little surreal, and I’m at a loss for words really. I’m so happy! I was happy with the whole test; you have to be on top of your game when you’re competing against riders like this. I’m just really happy with the whole thing.”

Lane and Caravella have been paired together for eight years and started in the junior division.

“We’re both getting better and better. It’s been an amazing journey,” she recalled. “I’m so lucky to have her. It was destiny meeting her, and I’m so privileged to be on this road with her. We are still growing all of the time so that’s the most exciting part for me.”

Regarding her freestyle test, Lane said, “She comes alive at night when she sees the lights and hears the music. You have to have your timing perfect, but I’m lucky because we know each other so well and that’s a huge asset.”

Shelly Francis (USA) and Doktor, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding (Diamond Hit x Gurena x Renoir I) owned by Patricia Stempel, were awarded the silver medal in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*, with a score of 74.075%.

Francis commented, “Compared to the last week, I had him (Doktor) a hair more under control and maybe rode to my music a little quieter. He felt really honest and tried super hard, so I was very happy with him. He was a little calmer tonight and felt much easier to maneuver.”

Bronze went to Lisa Wilcox (USA) and Galant, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Escuro x Bellisima) owned by Jacqueline Shear, with 73.175%.

“I felt like Galant and I didn’t have the best weekend,” said Wilcox. “The last time I came out and we did the freestyle, there was a bit more energy. This is new for him, to do these three tests three days in a row. I could definitely feel that tonight; he was not quite as brilliant as he was in the last freestyle. Having said that, he was still very rideable and just missed a tick of the sparkle we had the first time with that freestyle. Overall though, I’m very honored to be a member of this team for the Nations Cup.”

USA team member Tuny Page spoke for Nations Cup and week 11 sponsor, Stillpoint Farm. “It’s the first Nations Cup in the entire series, so it’s wonderful to be the lead off [event]. After last year with the USA winning the entire series, we were looking for a really great start, and we did have a great start. The Canadians just had a slightly greater start. It was a great competition, and I think that everyone can agree that without great competition, you don’t ride your best.”

FEI Judge Thomas Lang (AUT) commented, “It was a great evening for dressage, and we saw some amazing tests this evening. Something can always go wrong, so you can never be certain that everything goes the way that you want it to. That is life as a dressage rider, and that’s life as a dressage judge. Everybody tonight had a good energy, and it was a great show.”

Tina Irwin (CAN) and her own Laurencio, a 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Laurentio x Pasadena x Donerhall), rounded out their weekend with a third win, this time in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm. The pair won the class with an impressive score of 76.500%.

Said Tina Irwin of her freestyle music choice, “I actually had the freestyle designed for a different horse, so I used it two years ago at the last Nations Cup. It happens to suit this horse better I think, so it kind of worked out. It’s a lot of work to design freestyles, so I thought that if I could use it again, I was going to go for it. I made it pretty difficult; I have four canter pirouettes and a lot of tempi lines, (and) I enter and finish with tempis. I wanted to make it difficult and also capture those artistic marks, because choreography and degree of difficulty counts.”

Second place was awarded to Tina’s husband Jaimey Irwin (CAN) and Donegal V, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Johnston x Remy x Gribaldi) owned by Team Irwin Supporters Group, with 73.575%.

“We’re very good at competing against one another,” said Jaimey Irwin of his competitive relationship with his wife. “We’re always cheering each other on and helping each other.”

Tina Irwin added, “When Jaimey gets ahead of me, it pushes me more. I get like, ‘I’m going to beat him tomorrow now!’ So, it’s good. I’m very competitive and we push each other, so it’s good.”

Esther Mortimer (GUA) and Adajio, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding (Alabaster x Elsi x El Dorado) owned by Sue Schramayr, took the third-place spot with a 70.350%.

Mortimer kept her strong third place position behind the Irwins throughout the entire week of competition.

“I did do the Nations Cup two years ago, and I’m pretty sad that I don’t have a full team this year, but maybe next year we will have one. Regardless, this whole experience is wonderful, and it’s great to be here and be a part of it. I feel honored to be riding here, especially representing Guatemala.”

Anna Buffini and Sundayboy

Victory in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 U25 CDIO 3*, presented by Diamante Farms, was captured by Anna Buffini (USA) and her own Sundayboy, a 1999 KWPN gelding (Kennedy x Eezelma), with a score of 73.525%.

“This is surreal,” said Buffini. “A dream of mine has always been to compete a freestyle under the lights, and to do it on Sundayboy’s very last competition ever and to come out with the win – it’s just unbelievable. I owe him so much, and he tried his heart out for me. I’m so proud of him. He’s such a star.”

This was the final competition for the pair, who also won team gold at the North American Young Rider Championships in 2014. Sundayboy will be retiring as one of the most decorated Young Rider horses in the history of the United States.

Buffini continued, “He’s done all he needs to do for me, and I’m not going to ask anymore of him. He’s given me his whole heart, and that’s all I could have asked.”

Second place in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 U25 CDIO 3*, went to Sean Sierra Keasler (USA) and Lux Stensvang, a 2002 KWPN gelding (Lobster x Verona Stensvang x Diamond) owned by Keasler, earning a score of 72.450%.

Commenting on her experiences, Keasler exclaimed, “All I wanted to do was ride that horse under the lights. I had witnessed it, I had groomed for previous employers, I had been behind the scenes, and all I wanted to do was ride under the lights myself. A long time ago I said, ‘The only way I will ride under these lights is if there is a U25 Nations Cup,’ and now here I am. It was a dream that became a goal, and now it’s a reality.”

Kaitlin Blythe (USA) and Don Principe, a 1999 Hanoverian stallion (Donnerhall x SPS Papagena x Prince Thatch xx) owned by Maryanna Haymon, came in third with 68.575%.

“It was a magical feeling to compete here under the lights,” said Blythe. “It was only my second time riding this freestyle with this horse, so it was really fun to do it here. To be able to earn a medal was just really exciting for me. My horse loves to dance, and he just gets so excited; it was fun to feel him enjoy it.”

Devon Kane spoke on behalf of sponsor Diamante Farms. “We’re very honored to be able to support this first U25 Nations Cup here at AGDF and in the U.S. The caliber of riding, athleticism, and competitiveness between nations has been incredible. Everyone did incredibly well, and the level of sportsmanship has really been something to take note of.”

Earlier in the day, Catherine Malone (USA) and Dilona, a 2008 KWPN mare (Lord Leatherdale x Vajda x Kennedy) owned by Iron Spring Farm, bested a class of 21 riders to take the winning spot in the FEI Intermediaire 1 CDI 3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm, scoring 71.228%.

Maria Florencia Manfredi (ARG) and Bandurria Kacero, a 2005 SA gelding (Wonderboy Sdtal Ghyuan x Bandurria Farola) owned by Enrique Sztyrle, saw a victory in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses, earning a 72.525%.

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Buffini and Barton Claim Final Titles of the 2016 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions

Anna Buffini and Sundayboy (SusanJStickle.com.com)

Wayne, Ill. – The U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions came to a close on Sunday with the remaining divisions crowning their champions. Anna Buffini earned the National Champion and Reserve National Champion titles in the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today with Sundayboy and Wilton II, respectively. Following a fluid test, Julia Lee Barton and Bonnaroo took home the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship title.

USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today

Buffini (Escondido, Calif.) clinched the top two places in the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today out of the small but mighty seven-horse field. In Sunday’s FEI Intermediate II Test, Buffini finished one-two with her own Sundayboy and Wilton II, respectively. She and Sundayboy, a 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding, had a beautiful test that showed great harmony as well as quality piaffe and passage movements. They earned a score of 70.974% for the test, putting them at the top of the championship leaderboard with an overall score of 71.115%.

“He was really with me today. Like I said before, we are just best friends. Friday I was definitely a little bit nervous; I have never been kind of expected to do well before. I was the underdog at my last Festival [in 2014] but this time we were expected to do well, so I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Buffini explained. “Today, I just really wanted to come out, enjoy it, and really have a lot of harmony with the horses. Regardless of the ribbons, I think if you have a connection with your horse and have harmony out there that is more important than anything, so I was really, really happy with him today.”

Buffini was especially thankful of the support the program, which has the purpose of assisting and encouraging U.S. Young Riders in making the transition to the senior Grand Prix ranks, has received from the late Parry Thomas, saying, “A huge thank you to Mr. Thomas who helped create this amazing program, because it would not be possible without him. Otherwise we would be out there struggling against Steffen [Peters] and Laura [Graves].”

Buffini earned the Reserve Champion title with Wilton II by delivering another solid test. She and the 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding had nice trot work and good canter pirouettes but had minor bobbles in the tempi changes. They finished Sunday’s test with a score of 70.474% and an overall championship score of 68.981%.

“With Wilton, I’m just so proud of him. He can be such a bugger sometimes, but it was the hardest he has ever tried for me; he was just with me. Even though there were mistakes, he never stopped trying, never gave up. He was really, really content in there and stayed with me the whole time,” Buffini said.

Kerrigan Gluch (Wellington, Fla.) had better relaxation with Hampton Green Farm’s HGF Brio to have a respectable test that received a score of 65.553%. The improved cadence in the trot work of the 2005 Andalusian stallion helped them finish third in the championship with an overall score of 64.893%.

USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship

Julia Lee Barton (Lawrence, Kan.) delivered another smooth, relaxed test in the FEI Pony Individual Test with her own Bonnaroo to capture the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship title. Barton has worked up the levels with the 2009 Weser-Ems mare and their partnership showed when it mattered most. For their lovely test, they received a score of 67.439% to finish on an overall championship score of 66.220%.

“‘Bonnie’ was really fantastic today. She was really, really rideable which she usually isn’t. A lot of times she gets tense and hot, and it makes it hard to make corrections without her overreacting, but today and yesterday were the same; she was so rideable and so relaxed. I’m just so, so pleased with her,” said Barton.

Commenting on the experience of the USEF Dressage National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, Barton said, “It’s been really fun to watch all the up-and-coming horses, the same with the young riders, and just kind of get an idea of dressage’s future for both. I think it is a really interesting and exciting combination that they have here.”

Hannah Irons (Queenstown, Md.) claimed the Reserve National Champion title with Festival of Champions veteran Bohdjan on an overall championship score of 66.179%. She and Dressage4Kids, Inc.’s 1999 Dutch Pony gelding had a nice test aside from a bobble during an extended trot movement. Their solid performance earned them a score of 64.837%.

“‘Bobo’ was really awesome today. He went out there and really tried hard, sometimes a little too hard. He got pretty excited about being here again. In the middle of the [trot] extension, he tried to run away, but I’m super proud of him for coming back to me and getting through the test,” Irons explained. “He’s just a really amazing pony and I’m really thankful to be here and to Bebe Davis for donating him [to Dressage4Kids, Inc.], Lendon Gray for choosing me to be his next rider, and all the friends and family for their support.”

Irons also finished third in the championship with her own My Lucky Charm with an overall championship score of 65.296%, making her first Festival of Champions experience a memorable one. She has owned the 2009 Welsh Pony Cross gelding since he was a surprise foal from her first pony and trained him herself. Their partnership was evident as they performed a smooth test to earn a score of 66.220%.

Find more information about the championships at USEF.org.

From the USEF Communications Department