Tag Archives: Cesar Parra

Woodard, Parra Named Champions at USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage Nat’l Championships

Patricia Becker and Freedom, Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Champions. Photo: SusanJStickle.com.

Wayne, IL – The final two division titles of the 2017 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships were determined as competition came to an end at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Andrea Woodard and Ravenna maintained their top position following Friday’s test to earn the Markel/USEF Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, following the FEI Six-Year-Old Final Test. Cesar Parra and Fashion Designer OLD also held onto their lead from Friday’s test to claim the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship. The tests counted 60% towards their overall score. The remaining 40% came from Friday’s preliminary tests.

Markel/USEF Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship

On Sunday, the judges were impressed with the quality and overall delivery of the tests by the young horses. However, they ultimately awarded Woodard (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Oldenburg mare Ravenna the Markel/USEF Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship. They had a superb preliminary test on Friday, winning the class with a score of 7.9. The combination only improved, scoring the only 8 in the final test and winning handedly with an 8.3 and overall score of 8.1.

The highlights of their test included the canter. With a normally expressive trot, Ravenna also showed the lightness and smoothness of this gait. With a careful plan for young horses, Woodard has cautiously aimed for the championships this year, allowing her mare time to grow up and mature.

“It feels wonderful of course. This is what I have been building up towards for such a long time now,” said Woodard. “I’ve had my eyes on this championship. She actually qualified as a five-year-old, but I didn’t feel like she was mentally ready to take this long trip. This year, I felt like she was much more prepared and mentally ready, so I went for it and it paid off. I am super excited and very happy with her.”

Ravenna also received the Oldenburg Award, given to the highest scoring Oldenburg of the class by the Oldenburg Horse Breeder’s Society.

Placing second in the preliminary test on Friday with a 7.8, Werner Van Den Brande (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Flyby FLF, Linda Sommer’s Hanoverian stallion, put in an impressive final test, scoring a 7.9 and keeping them in second for the final test and overall reserve. With more energy in their second test and an improvement in the strength of the trot and canter work, the combination scored a 7.9 overall.

“We have been working for this for the last couple of months to get ready,” said Werner. “We did it and it, of course, feels really nice.”

Additionally, Flyby FLF was awarded the U.S.-Bred Award as recognition of the top U.S.-bred horse in the class.

Michael Bragdell (Colora, Md.) and Anne Howard’s Oldenburg stallion Finery kept their poise, finishing third overall with a score of 7.6. The combination finished third in Friday’s preliminary test with a 7.6, replicating their score and position in the final test to finish in the top-three.

“He held it together and stayed focused through the test,” said Bragdell. “I really couldn’t have asked him for anymore. I was just so proud of him. It is fun to come here and be here with all the great competitors. It really gives it a championship feel. I am just so proud that we made it this far and competed here.”

Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship

Maintaining the top position, Parra (White House Station, N.J.) and Fashion Designer OLD, his own and Martin Sosnoff’s nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding, scored an overall score of 67.30%. Fashion Designer OLD is a true product of success from the USEF Young & Developing Horse Program, competing and placing first in the 5-Year-Old division in 2013, third in the 6-Year-Old division in 2014, and second in the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges division over the years.

“First of all, I am super, super happy to get another title here at the national championships,” said Parra. “I am very, very proud of my horse. I am super grateful, too. It takes a whole village to make it out here; from the owners, from the farrier and the grooms – there are so many people that helped us to get here. Expectations are very high. You want to do well for the horse, for the team, for yourself. I am very, very happy. The footing was excellent, and I think we had a good panel of judges. I am very happy.”

The combination also earned the Oldenburg Award, given to the highest scoring Oldenburg by the Oldenburg Horse Breeder’s Society. Parra and Fashion Designer OLD scored a 69.56%, winning Friday’s FEI Intermediate II Test and a 67.30% in Sunday’s USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test, placing third.

Winning Sunday’s USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test with a 66.25%, Patricia Becker (Wadsworth, Ill.) and Dr. Anne Ramsay’s 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion Freedom were the reserve champions of the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship with an overall score of 66.68%.

Tying for second in Friday’s preliminary test with a 67.32%, Becker was pleased with Freedom’s attitude and work ethic moving into the final test.

“Freedom is always a bit more tired towards the end of a big competition. Today, he felt very good in his body going in. He was very much with me. He really tried and gave me all of his focus and I was super proud of him,” said Becker.

Freedom was also the recipient of the U.S.-Bred Horse Award, given to the highest scoring U.S.-bred horse of the class.

Perhaps riding the most talked-about horse of the show due to her coloration, James Koford (Lexington, N.C.) expertly navigated his final test aboard Adiah HP, Sherry Koella’s 10-year-old Friesian/Dutch Warmblood mare. Moving from fifth place with a score of 66.84% in Friday’s preliminary test to second place in the final test with a 66.04%, Koford and Adiah HP claimed the overall third position in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship with a 66.36%.

Koford’s relationship with Adiah HP is special and they never take themselves too seriously.

“She is three-quarters Friesian and a quarter Dutch Warmblood – she is just a horse that makes me happy every day,” said Koford. “She looks at me and it’s like she’s smiling. Every day the highlight of her day is when she goes to work.”

Koford’s expectations coming into the championship were to perform their best, giving Adiah HP an opportunity to shine.

“[Adiah HP] is new to the Grand Prix, and I just want her to feel like a champion every time she goes in,” said Koford. “I want her to be happy, have the best time, and feel really good about herself. In that way, it was a win. Honestly, she gives me chill bumps when I ride her – she makes me happy. The whole day, the whole week was really fun.”

Relive memorable moments from the 2017 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships with photo galleries, rider video clips, and much more on the USEF Network.

By Julian McPeak, US Equestrian Communications Department

Cesar Parra Warms Up for Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage Nat’l Championships

Photo courtesy of Susan J Stickle.

Wayne, IL (August 22, 2017) –  Performance Farms has yet again earned top spots in the rankings of horses qualified to compete in the elite Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships. A consistent and strong competitor in this annual competition, Dr. Cesar Parra, founder and head trainer at Performance Farms, is ranked second in this year’s Developing Grand Prix Division with Fashion Designer OLD. Assistant trainer Katie Riley is also ranked second in the Five-Year-Old Division with GK Sir Beckmann.

Qualifying not one but two horses for the upcoming National Championships is an impressive feat, although one that is not surprising to anyone who has been watching Performance Farms’ horses competing this year. The qualification period for the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships began on January 1, 2017, and concluded on July 31, 2017. Throughout that timeframe, qualifying took place at designated USEF/NAJYRC Qualifying Competitions. The National Championships will take place at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois on August 24-27, 2017.

Parra and Fashion Designer OLD received qualifying scores as high as 75.313 percent in the Developing Horse Grand Prix Division. Bred by Heike Kind in Germany, Fashion Designer OLD is a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Faustinus x Forst-Design, De Niro) owned by Parra and Martin Sosnoff. “Fashion is a star, and I am thrilled with how he is developing,” said Parra. “His results are great, but it is his development that brings me the most joy.”

In last year’s competition, Parra and Fashion Designer OLD won the Reserve Champion title in the Developing Prix St. Georges division.

Riley and GK Sir Beckmann also ranked second, consistently earning scores over 80% during the qualifying period. GK Sir Beckmann is a Hanoverian gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Witchita, Wolkenstein II) bred in Germany by Norbert and Petra Fockenberg. “Sir Beckmann is such a special horse and I am so very proud of him. He is an amazing five year old, but an even more amazing horse for the future. I am blessed and lucky to have the ride on him, and I’m grateful to Cesar Parra and his wife Marcela Ortiz for always supporting me,” said Riley, who is a founding member of Performance Farms.

Performance Farms is based in both Jupiter, Florida and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and is dedicated to developing top notch horses and riders for the dressage ring. Founder Dr. Cesar Parra is an Olympian, a Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold Medalist, and a Nations Cup Silver Medalist, as well as a two-time World Cup Finalist and two-time World Equestrian Games competitor. To learn more about the training and lessons offered by Parra and Riley at Performance Farms, visit www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

Ann Romney Honored with Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award at AGDF

Ann Romney, riding her Dalhems Diomedes, with Dr. Cesar Parra (left) of Piaffe Performance, Katie Riley (center) of Piaffe Performance, and Romney’s trainer Jan Ebeling (right) at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Photo courtesy JRPR)

Wellington, FL (March 12, 2017) – As an enthusiastic supporter of the sport of dressage and an annual sponsor of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Piaffe Performance was delighted to honor dressage rider Ann Romney with the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award at the Wellington, Florida show series. The award is presented to select adult amateurs who show a sincere and unyielding passion for the sport, and who have persisted to overcome obstacles in pursuit of their equestrian goals. The extraordinary Ann Romney, who juggles her role as a horsewoman, mother, grandmother, avid philanthropist, and former first lady of Massachusetts, accepted the award from Dr. Cesar Parra, owner of Piaffe Performance.

Riding her brand new horse, Dalhems Diomedes, a 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Belissimo M x Ferusa, Flemmingh), Romney earned first place in one Prix St. Georges class and second place in another in the national/amateur division of the 2017 Palm Beach Derby at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

Romney said she didn’t think she would be taking Dalhems Diomedes into the show ring so soon, but she and her new horse have bonded remarkably quickly. “It was only our second time down the centerline together. He is just doing so well and seems to be really comfortable with me,” she enthused. “He is by Belissimo, and they are known for their really good brains, and he sure has one. He was the first horse I tried in Germany and I just fell in love with him.”

The story behind Romney’s path to the world of dressage is truly a remarkable one. After she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, Romney became determined not to let her battle with the debilitating disease keep her from achieving her goals of becoming a rider. Despite considerable physical difficulty, Romney fought her way into the saddle day after day, and eventually found a renewed sense of peace and replenishment in riding. Not surprisingly, working with horses continues to keep the disease at bay, and Romney maintains that working with horses was just the medicine she needed.

After riding with dressage Olympian and trainer Jan Ebeling in clinics, she was struck with the beauty of dressage and began learning from Ebeling as often as possible. Romney not only became a successful rider herself, but also became a sponsor of Ebeling’s international riding dreams. He rode on the U.S. dressage team at the 2012 Olympics in London on her mare, Rafalca.

Romney’s tenacious spirit and strong sense of fortitude stem from a deep and unwavering perspective of gratitude. “For people who have a need of nurturing – either emotionally or physically – that is always the best thing you can do, to get on the back of a horse. They bring you joy, they help you heal, and they give you such excitement – it’s just the sense of pure love that they emanate. As soon as I put my foot in the stirrup, all my cares dissolve. I always come back to this – it just nurtures me, it feeds my soul.”

In addition to maintaining an active riding career, Romney also finds time and energy to devote to her family and political life, having been an active participant in her husband’s U.S. presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012, when he was the Republican Party nominee. Romney is also a committed philanthropist, championing The Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The center of 250 scientists focuses on research into Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and brain tumors.

Given her outstanding character and dedication to the equestrian life, Romney was a perfect fit for the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award, which is presented at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival throughout the duration of the winter competition season. Dr. Cesar Parra, who presents riders like Romney with this honor, has represented the United States in the 2011 Pan American Games, where he helped secure a team gold medal. He was also on the U.S. team at the 2014 World Cup in Lyon, France. In addition to sponsoring the Wellington winter show season, Parra also campaigns his top horses throughout the competition. Piaffe Performance provides full-service training based on classical German methods at locations in Jupiter, Florida and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. To learn more about Parra, his Piaffe Performance team, training, and lessons, visit www.Piaffe-Performance.com or find them on Facebook @PiaffePerformance.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

Piaffe Performance Rocks the Florida Show Circuit

Cesar Parra aboard Fashion Designer OLD (Photo credit: Nuno Coelho Vicente)

Wellington, FL (March 14, 2017) – Multiple high scores and first place titles have been the norm this winter show season in Wellington, Florida for the Piaffe Performance Farm team of dressage riders. Led by founder and owner Dr. Cesar Parra, the Piaffe Performance team is known for its consistent record of excellence, and accumulating a wealth of blue ribbons at this year’s Adequan® Global Dressage Festival only further confirms that Piaffe Performance is a force to be reckoned with. Parra’s team of international riders are showing their skill in the saddle and experience under pressure, and the spectacular horses they are campaigning have demonstrated that they are on top of their game.

Parra, a 2011 U.S. Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold medalist, is racking up the blues aboard the eight-year-old Westphalian mare Belle Ami (Belissimo M x Reebook). During the first week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, which began on January 11, 2017, Parra earned two scores over 70 percent, securing a first place in the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges class. He and the bay mare were again unstoppable in the third week, topping the leader board with two more wins in the same division. The pair placed second in the FEI Prix St. Georges during the fifth week, and capped the seventh week with another first place in the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges, along with a high score of 74.412 percent. Belle Ami is owned by Parra, Brooke Centrella, and George Feldman.

Don Cesar, the seven-year-old chestnut Westphalian gelding (Desperados x Manhattan) owned by Parra’s wife Marcela Ortiz, is showing remarkable progress. Parra wowed the judges with multiple scores in the high 70’s in the FEI Young Horse 7-Year-Old division. He garnered three first place ribbons during competition in the fifth and seventh weeks of the series, posting a high score of 77.910 percent. He then rode away as winner of the FEI Young Horse 7-year-old final.

Parra and Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus x De Niro), a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Martin Sosnoff, executed a superior performance in his first ever FEI Intermediate II class, capturing the blue ribbon with a score of 69.211%.

Katie Riley, who joined Cesar Parra’s team in 2000, is one of the founding members of Piaffe Performance Farm. She is an accomplished Grand Prix rider and USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist. Riley and Sir Beckmann, an up-and-coming five-year-old bay Hanoverian gelding, won the FEI Young Horse Final for 5-year-olds with a 76.000 percent. Owned by Parra, Sir Beckmann (Sir Donnerhall x St Pr Witchita) is quickly mastering skills, with a promising dressage career ahead of him.

Twenty-seven-year-old Piaffe Performance rider Roberto Brasil joined the team in 2014. Originally from Portugal, Brasil is an 11-time Azores Dressage Champion and a Portugese Cup Silver and Bronze medalist. He and Whoopie Gold, a 13-year-old chestnut Oldenburg mare (Wolkentanz II x Romancier) opened the first week of the show season by winning both of their FEI Intermediate II classes with a high score of 68.289 percent.

Not to be outdone, Merita Hagren partnered with the Dutch Warmblood Amigo to win two Fourth Level tests. Amigo (Turbo Magic x Jammy) is a grey, 12-year-old gelding owned by Parra’s student Martin Sosnoff. Hagren also rode two Fourth Level tests aboard Don Cesar during the third week of the season, earning a high score of 71.216 percent and placing third in both classes. Originally from Finland, Hagren has been with Piaffe Performance for three years. With extensive experience training various breeds, she specializes in riding young horses and training them up the levels in dressage.

Throughout the season, Piaffe Performance Farm has consistently supported not only its own riders but also successful adult amateur competitors at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Piaffe Performance is presenting the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award to honor riders who contribute to the sport of dressage through sincere sportsmanship and high-quality horsemanship. The award will be presented throughout the competition series, which concludes on March 25, 2017.

Piaffe Performance produces horses and riders that have earned numerous prestigious accolades both nationally and internationally. Now decorated by this year’s high scores, ribbons, and awards, Piaffe Performance is excited to continue its winning ways throughout the remainder of the season and then the spring and summer months. Dr. Parra and his team – with locations in Jupiter, Florida, and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey – invite riders to learn more about training and lessons by following the Piaffe Performance official Facebook page or visiting www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

A Fabulous February for the Piaffe Performance Team

Cesar Parra presenting the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award to Michele Roark and her horse Cesar HHC. (Photo courtesy JRPR)

Wellington, FL (March 3, 2017) — February was full of exciting events for Dr. Cesar Parra and his elite team at Piaffe Performance Farms, who have been winning top scores and giving out awards at the world-class Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida.

In week 7 of the competition, Dr. Parra earned two scores above 80 percent on Don Cesar, a Westphalian gelding by Desperados x Manhattan. Together, the pair won all three FEI Young Horse classes for 7-year-olds. Dr. Parra and his wife Marcela have a special affection for Don Cesar, having known the horse since he was born and owned him since he was a 3-year-old. Their goal for this stunning chestnut is to qualify for the 2017 World Young Horse Championships in Ermelo, the Netherlands later this year.

“Don Cesar has matured a lot in the last year,” says Parra. “His gaits are getting even more expressive and elastic, and he is more confident in his job. He has so much talent for collection, while keeping the suppleness and thoroughness in the back; it is amazing. He is powerful and sensitive, but always is trying to do what you want. He is a fast learner and very reliable. He always stays on your side, and he loves all the collected movements.”

Another promising Piaffe-Performance favorite is Belle Ami, an 8-year-old Westphalian mare (Belissimo M x Reebook) owned by Parra, Brooke Centrella and George Feldman. Belle Ami had an outstanding February at AGDF winning one of the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges classes with 74.411 percent and placing second in another with 73.456.

Through the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award, Parra also honors exceptional adult amateur riders who compete at the upper levels of the sport and are role models, showing particular dedication and skillful riding. In February, the award was given to two riders: Michele Roark and Helle Goodrich. Both women received a ribbon, a commemorative engraved photo frame and a medallion.

Michelle Roark, a U.S. Dressage Federation bronze medalist from Wellington and Chicago, rides her Cesar HHC, a gorgeous 10-year-old grey Lusitano gelding, at Prix St. Georges. “This horse was bred for me,” Roark remarked on Cesar HHC. “My favorite thing about him is his mind. He has the best mind. He’s the horse of a lifetime.” Roark has been riding for about 10 years and is devoted to the Lusitano breed. “My advice,” she says, “is do not quit. Come out every day, give your horse the benefit of the doubt, be kind to him and realize that each horse will teach you something.”

Helle Goodrich trains with top dressage professional Silva Martin in the winter and is riding her Fürst Rubin, a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding recently imported from England. This was only their fourth show together, but the pair had an outstanding day, scoring 70 percent at Third Level. “He is fantastic to ride and very patient with me,” says Goodrich, smiling and full of emotion. “My horse just gives me joy every day!” She says her goal is to have a lot of fun and keep improving and hopefully climb the levels.

Piaffe Performance will continue to give out the award for the duration of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, which runs through April 2, 2017. Dr. Cesar Parra is an Olympian and U.S. Pan American Games Team Gold Medalist who has also represented the U.S. in the 2014 World Cup in Lyon, France.

Piaffe-Performance Farms provides full-service dressage training based on classical German methods. Dr. Parra and his team, with locations in Jupiter, Florida, and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, invite dressage riders to become part of their winning tradition. To learn more about Parra, his Piaffe Performance team, training and lessons, visit www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

Another Year in the Ribbons for Piaffe Performance at Dressage at Devon

Cesar Parra aboard Don Cesar (Stacy Lynne Photography)

Devon, PA (October 11, 2016) – After a successful outing at the 2016 Markel/USEF Young and Developing Dressage Horse National Championships, Piaffe Performance Farm’s founder and owner Dr. Cesar Parra and his team had even greater results at the 41st annual Dressage at Devon horse show. The competition was held in Devon, Pennsylvania on September 27 – October 2, 2016. Piaffe Performance took a one-two finish in the FEI Young Horse Test for Six-Year-Olds division, where Parra captured two wins aboard his wife’s Don Cesar. Young Rider Rodrigo Encinas Fuentes and Dakhir were not far behind their coach, taking the reserve title.

Don Cesar, the Westphalian gelding owned by Marcela Ortiz Parra, was certainly on top of his game in the Dixon Oval. “Don Cesar finished up his six-year-old career in style with two wins at Devon,” said Parra, expressing pride for the talented horse that Don Cesar has blossomed into. Parra feels that success is something made from the efforts of many, and is grateful for his entire team that has worked hard all year at the Piaffe Performance facilities in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and Jupiter, Florida. “I’m thankful for my wife, Marcela Ortiz, who owns Don Cesar; for Jen Mandracia for all the love and care she gives to my horses; for Katie Riley for being my eyes on the ground; and for my whole team. They’re really the best. Devon was amazing like always – challenging weather but great times with great friends!”

Rodrigo Encinas Fuentes and Dakhir, a chestnut Hanoverian gelding owned by Nicoletta Ghribi of GK Horses, came in reserve behind Don Cesar. “I’m so grateful to the Ghribi family for all the support and trust I’ve received,” said Fuentes. “And of course I have to thank Cesar Parra for all the coaching and support. Without him, this would not be possible.”

Fuentes also captured a reserve and fourth place in the FEI Young Riders Prix St. Georges Team division aboard seven-year-old Belle Ami, a Westphalian owned by Brooke Centrella, George Feldman, and Parra.

In addition, Kathleen Riley, one of the founding members of Piaffe Performance, racked up notable ribbons with Kingston, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding. Riley and Kingston placed second in both Open Fourth Level classes, scoring as high as 70.27 percent. Riley also started the career of the future superstar Sir Beckmann in the USEF Four-Year-Old Test. “What talented stars they are!” said Riley of her two mounts. “The support of the Piaffe Performance Farm team, both at the show and at home, was amazing. I’m thankful to all of our friends who traveled from all over to support us!”

Roberto Brasil and Equiventure LLC’s Lome added to Piaffe Performance’s ribbon haul, earning a reserve in the Open Fourth Level class. “What an amazing way to finish the 2016 season,” said Brasil.

Piaffe Performance’s Merita Hagren and Don Perygnon, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Martin Sosnoff, were not to be outdone as they tackled Dressage at Devon, placing second and third in their classes. “One of my dreams came true when I rode the CDI U25 Grand Prix at Dressage at Devon. What a pleasure to ride this amazing horse, who was super the whole week,” Hagren said.

Additionally, Parra’s student and owner of Lucky Shoe Farm, Kathryn Mills, captured a second, third, and fourth in Open Fourth Level aboard her own Fabiano. “Riding in the Dixon Oval has been a dream of mine, and this Thursday it became real. I found myself a bit emotional during my final salute, realizing I was living a dream. As I have learned and as I teach: open your mind, listen to your trainer, and trust the program. And always push past the comfort zone. Take a risk, and love every ride,” Mills said.

Piaffe Performance’s meticulous training with high-performance dressage horses certainly paid off this year at Dressage at Devon. Parra is an Olympian and Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold Medalist, and he leads a team that strives to correctly judge the various stages of a horse’s mental and physical development in order to help each individual horse progress up the levels. Piaffe Performance produces horses and riders that have earned numerous prestigious accolades nationally and internationally.

To be a part of the Piaffe Performance winning tradition, visit www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

Piaffe Performance Prevails at USEF Young and Developing Horse National Championships

Cesar Parra and Fashion Designer OLD (Photo courtesy of Susan J Stickle).

Wayne, Illinois (September 7, 2016) – Piaffe Performance Farm founder and owner Dr. Cesar Parra rode not just one but two horses to Reserve Champion finishes at the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Dressage Horse National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois on August 24-28. Fashion Designer OLD, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Faustinus x De Niro) owned by Martin Sosnoff and Parra, took Reserve in the Developing Prix St. Georges division. Don Cesar, a six-year-old Westphalian gelding (Desperados x Sacre Schwalbe, Manhattan) owned by Marcela Ortiz Parra, wowed the judges with brilliant tests in the Six-Year-Old division.

With these successful results, Parra and his team at Piaffe Performance Farm in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and Jupiter, Florida once again showcased their proven formula for producing champion horses. Since 1999, the team has showcased their commitment to meticulously training horses for high performance by correctly judging the various stages of a horse’s mental and physical development. The team’s proven training program and strong dedication to the proper development of their horses from start to finish is their blueprint for success. Piaffe Performance horses and riders have earned numerous prestigious accolades nationally and internationally.

“I love the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse program; I think it is fantastic,” Parra explained. “This program is an incentive to keep training the right way, in the right line, because there are no shortcuts. If you try to rush young horses in these classes without having the basics, then you won’t be successful. The program allows us to set goals, and commit ourselves to keep working towards achieving them.”

Parra and Don Cesar earned scores of 82.80 percent in the FEI Six-Year-Old Preliminary Test and 85.40 percent in the FEI Six-Year-Old Final test for an impressive combined score of 84.360 percent. Parra and Fashion Designer OLD notched scores above 70 percent in both the FEI Prix St. Georges and the USEF Developing Prix St. George for a total of 70.440 percent.

“What an amazing weekend! I feel blessed and privileged to have two Reserve Champion horses,” Parra said. “Thank you to my family, my team, all the sponsors, trainers, and colleagues that helped to make this possible. I am so incredibly proud of these two horses and feel very blessed to be their rider.

“When you train horses from when they are young, you sometimes get the feeling like a proud parent when they start to really excel,” Parra continued. “Fashion and Don Cesar are both such special horses, and I knew that as soon as I saw them. I have a saying that you have to believe, and then you have to go to work. Both parts are necessary to bring a young horse along, as there will be bumps along the way for sure.”

Parra and the Piaffe Performance Team added their most recent success to a history of top finishes at the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Dressage Horse National Championships. Both horses have successfully competed at these National Championships in prior years, with Fashion Designer OLD taking his victory lap by claiming the top spot in the Five-Year-Olds division. Don Cesar and Fashion Designer OLD join prior stalemates including Toy Story, Zanzibar, Fiderhit OLD, and Simply Nymphenburg to Piaffe Performance’s resume of horses that have competed at this National Championship.

Besides being a former Olympic athlete and Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold Medalist, Parra has also qualified for the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Verden, Germany with Fashion Designer OLD and Fiderhit OLD. In addition, Parra has competed with numerous horses in every USEF Festival of Champions since 2010. Not only has he had his own success in multiple USEF National Dressage Championships, but Parra has also effectively coached youth riders to many National Championship competitions.

Piaffe Performance’s next destination is the much anticipated Dressage at Devon show on September 30 – October 2. The iconic show held in Devon, Pennsylvania has been a significant stop on Piaffe Performance’s annual schedule for many years. Because Piaffe Performance’s home base is in nearby New Jersey, many friends and students of Piaffe Performance come to watch and support their fellow team riders at the prominent Pennsylvania show.

To be a part of the Piaffe Performance winning tradition, visit www.piaffe-performance.com. There, you can learn about training, lessons, and sales services that can help put you join Piaffe Performance in the ribbons.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

Piaffe Performance 84.8% Ready for Young and Developing Horse National Dressage Championships

Cesar Parra and Fashion Designer OLD (Photo courtesy of Stacy Lynne Photography).

Whitehouse Station, NJ (August 4, 2016) – With two promising young horses slated to compete at the upcoming Young Horse Dressage Championships, Piaffe Performance Farm is poised and ready to show. Fashion Designer OLD and Don Cesar wowed the judges at the recent Windy Hollow Hunt Sussex Dressage I and II held July 22-24 in Augusta, New Jersey, and their scores sealed the deal for their trip to the 2016 Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, August 24-28.

Fashion Designer OLD, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Faustinus x De Niro) owned by Martin Sosnoff, notched two first place finishes in the Developing Prix St. Georges with scores of 78.971 percent, and came back to better his score in the qualifying classes, receiving a whopping 80.294, and moving him into first place overall in the rankings for the USEF/Markel Developing Horse Championships.

Don Cesar, a six-year-old Westphalian gelding (Desperados x Sacre Schwalbe, Manhattan), was not to be outdone by his barn mate and posted a first place finish in his qualifying class with a huge 84.800 percent score in the Young Horse Final Six-Year-Old test.

Both horses have been campaigned by Piaffe Performance Farm owner Dr. Cesar Parra. “When you train horses from when they are young, you sometimes get the feeling like a proud parent when they start to really excel,” Parra said. “Fashion and Don Cesar are both such special horses, and I knew that as soon as I saw them. I have a saying that you have to believe, and then you have to go to work. Both parts are necessary to bring a young horse along as there will be bumps along the way for sure. I am so incredibly proud of these two horses and feel very blessed to be their rider.”

Since both horses know the movements for the tests, Parra is readying the geldings for the trip to Lamplight by working on their suppleness, thoroughness and relaxation. Parra is no newcomer to the Young Horse Championships and is a veteran competitor as a former Olympic athlete and a U.S. Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold Medalist. “I love showing at the Markel/USEF National Championships, and Lamplight is a phenomenal facility,” he said. “Every year the owners are putting so much attention into making this show a wonderful experience. Generally, Fashion doesn’t get affected by environment – he is such a self-confident horse! Don Cesar is younger and sensitive, but he really tries so hard to do his very best for me every time. I have a lot of faith in both of these horses!”

Other horse and riders combos from the Piaffe Performance Farm team also excelled at the Windy Hollow Hunt Sussex Show and claimed top wins for the team. Brooke Centrella notched first and second place finishes her first time out competing Belle Ami, a seven-year-old Westphalian mare by Belissimo M owned by Parra and George Feldman, in Third Level Test 1. Austin Webster represented Team Piaffe Performance for the first time aboard three mounts, Dakhir, Blickpunkt, and Kingston. He had beautiful rides and took home the blue ribbon for his win in the Prix St. George on Blickpunkt, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding by Belissimo M owned by Cavallias. Emma Lesser won both of her First Level Test 3 classes on her own mare Ruby Foxpaw, with scores of 73.235 and 69.118 percent. “We are so proud of her,” Parra said. “All of her hard work and dedication is starting to pay off!”

Team Piaffe Performance has enjoyed many successes and Parra wants to share some of his winning strategies with other equestrians with the re-launch and expansion of Piaffe Performance social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A new weekly feature called Cesar Parra Recommends (CPR) provides a unique learning experience in which followers can find useful horsemanship and training tips and can learn about top recommended products. Piaffe Performance also encourages fans to tune into “Freestyle Friday” weekly posts for a fun weekend dose of musical dressage. Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PiaffePerformance, follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/DrCesarParraNJ, and find them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/piaffeperformance.

Piaffe Performance always welcomes new dressage riders and horses to the team. They spend summers in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and winters in Jupiter, Florida. To learn more about Dr. Cesar Parra and Piaffe Performance horses, training, lessons and sales services, please visit www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

Piaffe Performance Has Designs on USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage Nat’l Championships

Cesar Parra with Fashion Designer OLD (Photo courtesy of Equinus International).

Whitehouse Station, NJ (July 20, 2016) – The team at Piaffe Performance Farm, led by farm owner Dr. Cesar Parra, has been busy so far this summer developing exceptional young horses up the levels. Piaffe Performance Farm is gearing up to return to the 2016 Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, on August 24-28, for which the team has already qualified two horses with a number of high scores at competitions throughout this past year.

Cesar Parra, an Olympian and U.S. Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold Medalist, will campaign Fashion Designer OLD in the Developing Prix St. Georges division and Don Cesar in the Six Year Old division at the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships at Lamplight. Having meticulously developed the two Young Horse Championship contenders from the very beginning, Parra is extremely proud of how far they have come.

Fashion Designer OLD, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Faustinus x De Niro) owned by Martin Sosnoff, enjoyed a top finish in the 2015 Developing Prix St. Georges at Lamplight. This year, Parra has been campaigning Fashion Designer OLD with consistent scores over 70 percent in the same division throughout the 2016 winter season. The pair most recently topped the Prix St Georges class at the Centerline Events Spring Dressage Show at HITS in Saugerties, New York. They will compete once more before Lamplight at the Windy Hollow Hunt Sussex Dressage Show in Augusta, New Jersey on July 22-24. Parra said, “Fashion Designer is such an outstanding horse. He typifies what a developing horse should be with his amazing gaits and willing attitude. He is the kind of horse that any trainer would love to have in their barn, and I am grateful to Martin (Sosnoff) that Fashion Designer is here with us.”

Parra has also been preparing Don Cesar, a Westphalian gelding (Desperados x Sacre Schwalbe, Manhattan) with impressive performances and high scores in the Six Year Old division this year. Don Cesar will also compete at the Windy Hollow Hunt Sussex Dressage show in preparation for his Lamplight Six Year Old debut. “Everyone teases me that I favor Don Cesar because we share the same name, but really he is just so very talented. He always tries so hard and is such a pleasure to ride,” Parra complimented.

Amidst the excitement of preparing for the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships, Piaffe Performance is also excited to announce the re-launch and expansion of their social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Included in this revamp is a new weekly feature called “Cesar Parra Recommends,” or CPR, which provides a unique experience to learn from experienced trainer Parra himself. Through CPR, followers can find useful horsemanship tips, expert training tips, and top recommended products. Equestrians are encouraged to submit their own questions that could be answered and shared in the CPR section. Piaffe Performance also encourages users to tune into “Freestyle Friday” weekly posts for a fun weekend dose of musical dressage.

Piaffe Performance is always open to welcoming new dressage riders and horses to their winning team. The team spends summers in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and winters in Jupiter, Florida. Piaffe Performance riders constantly accumulate top placings in national and international competitions. To learn more about Dr. Cesar Parra and Piaffe Performance horses, training, lessons, and sales services, please visit www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

Danish Nations Cup Rider Wins Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award at AGDF

Signe Kirk Kristiansen (Photo courtesy of JRPR).

Wellington, FL (April 8, 2016) – As the Adequan Global Dressage Festival drew to an end in Wellington, Florida, Danish Adult Amateur dressage rider Signe Kirk Kristiansen was honored for her accomplishments and commitment to dressage with the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award. Every week during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, internationally renowned Dr. Cesar Parra, who was an Olympian for his home country of Colombia and has represented the U.S. in the 2011 Pan American Games and the 2014 World Cup Final, awarded standout Adult Amateur competitors. Parra and his Piaffe Performance Farm proudly presented Kristiansen with the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award as she represented her home country of Denmark in the CDIO 3* Nations Cup presented by Stillpoint Farm during the last week of the winter show series.

Kristiansen competed her 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding Roberto (Walt Disney x Rubina Langkiaergaard, by Rubinstein I) in the CDI Prix St. Georges in the Nations Cup competition. It was only the pair’s first CDI class and second season competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Kristiansen was one of the only Adult Amateur riders on the roster in the CDI Prix St. Georges, and represented Denmark with her Nations Cup teammates Mikala Gundersen, Rikke Poulsen, and Lars Petersen.

As she competed beside some of the world’s top dressage riders, Kristiansen said, “I don’t even think about being an Adult Amateur. I just enjoy it.” Piaffe Performance was happy to recognize Kristiansen’s accomplishments and efforts throughout the Nations Cup and the entire 2016 show season.

In addition to being a competitive dressage rider, Kristiansen is a qualified veterinary nurse and has owned her own horses since she was six years old. She has been a fan of the Arabian breed since she was a teenager. Kristiansen currently owns Kirk Arabians with her husband in Denmark, and stated, “I’ve trained my Arabians myself since they were three years old. One advanced to Intermediaire I this year, and the other one started in Prix St. Georges.”

Kristiansen travelled to Wellington, Florida for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival this season with three competition horses – Roberto and two of her nine-year-old purebred Arabians.

Piaffe Performance, a successful trainer of both horses and riders alike, praised Kristiansen for her work in developing her own horses. Kristiansen said, “It takes a long time to develop the horses from a young age up through the levels. I do love it because you know where you put the buttons, and you know how to use those buttons. I like to breed and develop my own horses. For me, it’s very difficult to get an educated horse – I have tried and not had a lot of success. I like breeding horses and having my own youngsters for those reasons.”

Piaffe Performance commends Adult Amateur riders like Kristiansen who work hard to accomplish their goals and to succeed in the sport of dressage. As an Official Partner and Sponsor of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Piaffe Performance proudly presented the Adult Amateur Achievement Award throughout the twelve-week show series. Piaffe Performance also sponsored the International Arena Rider Lounge and the Hospitality Tent by the National Arenas at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds to provide drinks and snacks for all levels of riders to enjoy before or after their tests.

Piaffe Performance is located in Jupiter, Florida and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Piaffe Performance specializes in selecting, training, and showing, and facilitates the sales of top dressage prospects for riders at every level. For more information on Piaffe Performance, visit www.GKHorsesatPerformanceFarms.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.GKHorsesatPerformanceFarms.com