Betsy Steiner (USA) and Swiss W ©️Susan Stickle.
Wellington, FL – March 15, 2020 – The experienced Betsy Steiner (USA) rounded out the very final class of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) season, held at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday, March 15. She and Whitney Bailey’s Swiss W won the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation with a commanding 75.592%.
All but one of the 11 starters broke the 70% barrier and U.S. riders filled the top five slots in this class. Jami Kment and Gatino Van Hof Olympia claimed second with 73.558%, and Cesar Parra finished third with 73.175% on GK Don Cesar.
Steiner, who rode for the USA at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, has been coming to AGDF “since the beginning of time,” but this was her first CDI win of the 2020 season.
“I’m amazed, but not shocked because she’s truly a wonderful horse,” said Steiner, who is based in New Jersey and runs a training business with her daughter Jessie. “Swiss puts out so much and she loves showing. You can sit back and enjoy the ride and you see her legs coming out in front of you. She’s an amazing horse; she’s my soulmate, and dream horse.”
Steiner rode the 13-year-old by Sir Oldenburg to music by Terry Gallo. “She’s always done all my music and she’s a genius,” she said. “I told Terry that I loved the sky theme music from Outlander, so we incorporated that and added the Celtic music for the trot and a mash-up of ‘Amazing Grace’ for the pirouettes and ‘Fight Song’ for the canter. I come down the center line and start the changes as ‘Fight Song’ comes on and Swiss lights up; the music is fun for her.”
Steiner found the mare accidentally while horse shopping for a client in Munich, Germany in 2015, and told owner Whitney Bailey that she was too good to pass up.
“She’s been mine ever since,” enthused Steiner, who is 69. “She’s so intelligent and logical that she’s made me a better person and a better, more thoughtful trainer. She’s super close to grand prix now and she’s great for me at this point in my career. If I would have had her earlier on, she’s so talented I would probably have pushed and pushed her, but now I do it according to what she wants.
“I think she’s going to be my best grand prix horse. She has everything. She’s drop dead gorgeous, she has the power, she’s got beautiful rhythm, she’s got a great mind, and she wants to do the work. I’ve had some wonderful horses, but I think she might be my best so far: the full package.”
This concludes action in week 10 of the AGDF — the final week of the 2020 circuit, as weeks 11 and 12 have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The 12-week circuit returns in January 2021. For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.