Tag Archives: Adequan Global Dressage Festival

Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel Win FEI Para Freestyle Grade III-CPEDI 3* at AGDF

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.

Isabell Werth Master Class & Clinic to Take Place at AGDF on Thursday, February 7

Wellington, FL – January 18, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival is excited to announce the first-ever Master Class and Clinic with dressage sensation Isabell Werth (GER), one of the most decorated equestrians in history and current leader of the FEI Dressage World Ranking List. The clinic will take place on Thursday, February 7, during week five of AGDF at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), located at 13500 South Shore Boulevard Wellington, FL 33414.

Gates will open to the public at 5:00 p.m. and the first clinic session will begin at 5:30 p.m. An autograph signing with Werth will take place prior to the start of the clinic with posters provided. Three clinic sessions are set to be featured, showcasing up to six horse and rider combinations, ranging from Young Horse through Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix levels.

Tickets are required for the event. To purchase tickets, click here or visit www.globaldressagefestival.com. General Admission tickets for the event are priced at $50/ticket, while Covered Seating ticket holders will have upgraded seating and access to a cash bar for $75/ticket. Premier VIP seating, including a buffet dinner and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, are available for $175/ticket. Tickets will be scanned prior to entry into the venue. Ample food and beverage options will be available throughout the grounds for General Admission tickets, as well as for those purchasing Covered Seating tickets. Parking for the event will be free of charge.

Werth remains one of the most decorated equestrians of all time, amassing a tremendous ten medals in her five Olympic Games appearances (1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2016), including six Gold. Currently the number one-ranked Dressage rider in the world, Werth has competed at the top levels of the sport for over four decades and has an extensive list of accomplishments, both Team and Individual, for her home nation of Germany in international competition. Most recently Werth took Team Gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and was the highest placed individual rider throughout the competition, earning two Gold medals.

“We are honored to host Isabell in what is sure to be a spectacular evening for our dressage community here in Wellington,” said Thomas Baur, Director of Sport for AGDF. “Isabell’s talent and ability to educate are incredibly valuable and we couldn’t be more thrilled to host a clinic opportunity like this at AGDF during our CDI 5* week.”

For riders interested in submitting interest to participate in the clinic, please send your competition history, horse details, and brief description to clinics@equestriansport.com by Wednesday, January 23. A selection committee will review applications and directly contact riders chosen to participate.

There will be a strict no videoing or streaming policy enforced for the entirety of the clinic.

For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton Kick Off CPEDI 3* Competition with Win at AGDF

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton. ©SusanStickle.

Wellington, FL – January 18, 2019 – The second week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) features CPEDI 1*/2*/3* Para Dressage, presented by Adequan®, Mission Control, Nutrena, and Fair Sky Farm.

Roxanne Trunnell (USA) started the day with a win in the FEI Para Team Test Grade I – CPEDI 3*, with a score of 73.690%. Trunnell rode Dolton, a seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Danone I and owned by Kate Shoemaker. Grade I is for riders with the most severe impairments.

Trunnell is from Kennewick, WA and moved to Florida to train with Andrea Woodard. About her relationship with Dolton, Trunnell said, “It’s getting stronger. What I really love about him is how friendly he is. He is a young horse, but on the ground he acts really cute. I love how calm he is under saddle. I’m used to riding spooky horses and he never spooks with me.

“The stretch circle – we’ve really be working on getting in the stretch,” said Trunnell of her test goals. “I want to get him up in the bridle a bit more and I’m hoping to do Tokyo [Olympics] with him. That would be exciting.”

Fellow USA rider Rebecca Hart won the FEI Para Team Test Grade III – CPEDI 3* with a score of 72.794%. Hart rode El Corona Texel, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Wynton and owned by Rowan O’Riley.

In the FEI Para Team Test Grade II – CPEDI 3*, Alanna Flax Clark (USA) won with a score of 64.899%. Clark rode her horse El Paso, a 15-year-old Dutch Riding gelding by Elegant.

To end the day, Kate Shoemaker (USA) won the FEI Para Team Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* with a score of 74.208% (corrected score). Shoemaker rode her horse Solitaer 40, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Sandro Hit.

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

AGDF Wraps Up Week 1 with a Win for Michael Klimke and Harmony’s Diabolo

Klimke riding his Freestyle with Harmony’s Diabolo. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) finished its first week of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL with a win for Michael Klimke (GER) and Harmony’s Diabolo in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition.

Klimke and Harmony’s Diabolo, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Desparadis owned by Harmony Sporthorses, won with a score of 73.425%.

Klimke said, “I was very happy today, actually all three days, with Harmony’s Diabolo. I’ve had him since he was six, and I really think his highlight is [strength mentally, with] the nerves; he’s totally rideable. The gaits are good, and the highlight at the end is his availability for piaffe and pirouettes. He can really sit.”

Looking forward, Klimke said that “[his] plan with Harmony’s Diabolo is he goes another small tour in two weeks, then I take a break, and then I will ride him in Intermediate II.”

After AGDF, Klimke returns to his hometown of Münster, Germany, “the capital of the Westphalian Horses.” “My aim is when I come back to Germany to see that he goes in the Young Developing Grand Prix. He’s ready for it,” he said.

Klimke commented, “[Diabolo] is really one of the few horses I’ve had in my life that is in the ring exactly the same ride outside. When you make no mistakes, he makes no mistakes.”

Earlier in the day Ashley Holzer (USA) and Valentine, a nine-year-old Oldenburg mare (by Sir Donnerhall) owned by Holzer, won the FEI Intermediate I CDI1* with a score of 70.588%.

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

Laura Graves and Verdades Wow Spectators with Freestyle Victory at “Friday Night Stars”

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival concluded its second day of competition on Friday, January 11, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL with the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services. Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades wowed the crowd with their freestyle and won the class.

Graves and Verdades, her 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Florett AS, came out on top with an 83.220% in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services.

Graves said, “I wasn’t what sure which music I was going to do tonight. In the end, I’m very, very glad I chose to do my new music. I don’t know what else I would have been saving it for. I’m just glad that the timing worked out; I haven’t ridden to it yet. It’s supposed to be about the same as my last one, so I just crossed my fingers and hoped that it worked out and it did. I’m so lucky that Terri Gallo just takes whatever idea that I have.”

Speaking of her test, Graves explained, “[I had] a big mistake in my final pirouette. I came at him a bit strong in the spur. And then in the piaffe fan, which we haven’t touched since Aachen last year, I was a bit greedy and selfish in the warm-up. He let me know that he knows his job. He gives such a good feeling when he does go well that any little bump in my hand or my leg is shocking to me.”

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

Laura Graves and Verdades Open 2019 Adequan Global Dressage Festival with Victory

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 10, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) started with its first day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), in Wellington, FL, on Thursday with a win for Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades in the FEI Grand Prix CDIW, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services. The first week at AGDF, the Lloyd Landkamer Memorial, features CDI-W competition from January 10-12.

Laura Graves (USA) won the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W with a score of 80.065%. Graves rode her own mount, Verdades, a 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Florett AS.

Graves said that her ride was “a good way to put the first show into perspective after we haven’t been out since the [World Equestrian Games] was called off before the freestyle, so it’s been quite a bit since we’ve been in the arena. It always feels like, ‘Okay, we still know what we’re doing.’” She remarked, “He obviously still has a ton of gas in the tank. I’m really, really excited with how today went.”

Her favorite part of her ride was that Verdades “saved [her] today in the zig zag.” She continued, “I poked him on five and he said, ‘Mom, you gotta wait for 6.’ And so I was just really lucky that he saved me there and it’s nice to know that you can count on a horse like that.

“He gets even more electric here than he does at any other huge venue in the world,” said the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon (WEG) silver medalist. “We want to see more relaxation in his free walk because we lose some points there when he has such a good walk in the school. And again, just tidying things up so my transitions are on time so I can really feel safe to push.”

Graves and Verdades will be debuting their new freestyle created for WEG on Friday evening.

Michael Klimke (GER) started off the season by winning the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI3*, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition with a score of 70.265%. Klimke rode Harmony’s Diabolo, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Desparadis owned by Harmony Sporthorses.

Klimke also won the FEI Grand Prix CDI3*, presented by MTICA Farm with a score of 68.435%. Klimke rode his own mount, Royal Dancer 33, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Royal Blend.

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

Interagro Celebrates Dressage Success at 2018 Adequan Global Dressage Festival

Zepelim Interagro and Pia Aragao. Photo courtesy of Interagro Lusitanos.

Wellington, FL (May 19, 2018) – Dressage and the Interagro Lusitano sporthorse are naturally synergistic; the intelligent, elegant, and athletic equines pair seamlessly with this sport of power and precision. For over four decades, Interagro has been breeding exceptional dressage horses and in the first few months of 2018, their most recent group of competitive Lusitanos stepped into the dressage arenas of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival to continue that legacy.

Journeying to Wellington, Florida from Interagro’s stud and training center in Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil, two stallions owned and currently standing at Interagro blazed a trail of dressage excellence. Zepelim Interagro (Quinarius Interagro x Ordenada Interagro) kicked off his 2018 show season with a 68.315% and a win in the AGDF 7 FEI Grand Prix. Ridden and trained by Pia Aragao, this impressive 16.3h gray stallion exuded a presence of power and poise in his exceptional collected work and elastic extensions. Winning his first US Grand Prix was a fantastic start, and Zepelim kept up the momentum through March in the Grand Prix and made his debut CDI performances in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle during week 10.

As the yin to Zepelim’s yang, the 8-year-old Fellini Interagro (Nirvana Interagro x Batina Interagro) stepped out in his first US competition with increasingly spectacular efforts in the Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I. Capped by a high score of 69.559% in the FEI Prix St. Georges during week 10, the impressive black stallion’s successful US show debut builds upon a decorated Brazilian career in the Young Horse divisions. Also ridden and trained by Pia Aragao, Fellini epitomizes the athleticism, beauty, and movement that have become the hallmarks of the Interagro sporthorse.

“Both Fellini and Zepelim went above and beyond during our Florida winter show season,” said Aragao. “Zepelim made amazing strides in the Grand Prix and continues to improve, while Fellini proved himself to be a consummate competitor and to possess all of the ability and presence of his sire, Nirvana.” Both horses returned to Brazil in early April.

Another Interagro stallion, Belisario Interagro, was also taking home two blue ribbons and other top finishes in the Grand Prix at the 2018 Global Dressage Festival. Owned, trained, and ridden by Kate Poulin of Fair Weather Farm in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Belisario made his Grand Prix debut in the fall of 2017. Belisario (Quixote Interagro x Urzelina Interagro) was sold to Poulin as a 5-year-old during the 2010 Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction, hosted by Interagro in the US. Under the tutelage of her mother, USEF “S” Judge Sharon Poulin, and US Olympian Debbie MacDonald, Kate Poulin and Belisario posted personal best scores in the national Grand Prix during the 2018 Florida dressage season. “Belisario loves his work and is always so focused,” said Poulin. “This combined with his intelligence and natural talent for piaffe and passage has made him a fantastic Grand Prix horse. He is a true partner, and riding him as given me deeper insight into what dressage is really all about.”

While Interagro’s upper level stallions were taking center stage at the Global Dressage Festival, a number of geldings from the farm’s H Generation were also having success in the dressage arenas of North America. Tyra Vernon of BREC Dressage in Ocala, Florida rode Hadrian Interagro, Hawk Interagro, and Horacio Interagro to many blue ribbons and high point awards. Hawk’s first time out at 3rd Level he was High Point Champion at the Sweetheart Cup in Orlando; Hadrian competed at 3rd and 4th Level scoring 68.3% in his first show at 4th Level. This athletic grey gelding also won a 3rd Level class at the Global Dressage Festival in March. Hawk and Hadrian are now qualified for Regional Championships this fall in Atlanta, and their third Interagro brother, Horacio, recently made his First Level debut with BREC trainer Kerryann Schade, winning the class with 70.8% and putting in one score towards qualifying for Championships. Vernon purchased all three Interagro horses from Brazil with the guidance of US Sales Representative Peter van Borst, and has utilized the Interagro support system not only for pre-purchase exams, shipping, and logistics, but also for training advice and information once the horses arrive in the US. Vernon and her three 7-year-old geldings also attend numerous clinics with world class judges and 5* international judges like Janet Foy, Gary Rockwell, and Henk van Bergen on a regular basis: “All of our clinicians have had so many positive things to say about our Lusitanos and feel they all show great talent and promise as FEI competitors,” said Vernon. “We have started playing with piaffe and passage with Hadrian and Hawk and we are so excited with the quality they show for the Grand Prix. Henk said the only problem with Hadrian is that he wasn’t his! I’m very thankful to Peter and all of Interagro’s team for the opportunity to have such amazing horses. I continue to look forward to working closely with Interagro to supply myself, my trainers at BREC Dressage, and our clients with these top quality Lusitanos!”

Hobbit Interagro (Bungo Interagro x Radiosa MAC), a 7-year-old gray stallion owned by Haras dos Cavaleiros, competed at AGDF with rider and trainer Tiago Ernesto. This athletic stallion was noted for a spectacular canter, as well as his overall beauty and character, and has begun his career as a breeding stallion with Haras dos Cavaleiros. With every score over 70% and a high score of 73% in all of the Second Level Tests at Global, Ernesto stated that he was very happy with the horse’s performance overall and is looking forward to both Hobbit’s future and the future of the stallion’s offspring: “With Hobbit, his character is the most exceptional thing,” said Tiago. “But in addition, he has fantastic gaits, movement, and athletic ability, which makes him a superb competitor as well as sire. We take it day by day with him, but his desire to learn and please the rider combined with his elasticity and talent for collection make him a great Grand Prix prospect.”

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Yvonne Losos de Muñiz Rounds Out AGDF with ‘Spectacular’ Personal Best

Yvonne Losos de Muñiz and Aquamarijn.

Wellington, FL — March 31, 2018 — The Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz left her best performance with her own Aquamarijn to their last test, pulling off a 71.596% victory in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Grand Prix Services. It was the final class on the last day of the 12-week 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) held at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

Their score was a personal best for the pair in any CDI grand prix — including freestyle — and was also the 13-year-old Dutch mare’s first ever international win.

“It’s a lovely, sweet ending to the season that the last anthem is the Dominican one; I thought that was kind of cool,” beamed the 50-year-old. “My other grand prix horse Foco Loco is doing amazingly and he’s the powerhouse — he’s everything I always thought he was — but Aquamarijn is turning out to be 10 times what I thought she was ever going to be.”

Losos de Muñiz found the mare, who is by United out of a Gribaldi mare, through Kathy Priest in Denmark two years ago while on a shopping trip for a client.

“I thought she’d just be a really nice, compact grand prix horse, though I did feel that there was a little extra in there,” she said. “But she’s turning out to be absolutely spectacular. I’m only riding her at 50% or 60% in the ring; I can get more at home, yet I’m not doing it in there yet because she’s such a big character that she has to really trust me and stay with me — and today she did.”

This was the fifth win of a whirlwind 2018 AGDF season for the Dominican rider, who gave up dressage completely after a controversial decision by the FEI in 2012 which meant she could not participate in the London Olympics. This year she is back on the championship path, and flies to Europe next week with both of her grand prix horses. Foco Loco W is headed for the FEI World Cup Final in Paris in April, while she has been invited to compete at Aachen CHIO in Germany with Aquamarijn.

Losos de Muñiz attributes her upward trajectory with the mare to going back to basics.

“During the Wellington season we’re showing so much that there’s really no training time to go home and do the basics,” she explained. “I started trick-riding in there and that caught up with me. When we do a big prize-giving, it takes me three days to calm Aquamarijn down — she doesn’t want to walk after that. So I wasn’t getting the ‘throughness’ — I was having to be a bit rougher, a bit quicker, and that’s not the smooth, nice image that we want.

“Since the last show, I went home and, with Ton de Ridder, went back to basics, teaching Aquamarijn to wait and listen,” she continued. “Today we didn’t aim for spectacular. We just went for correctness, but once she gives me that correctness, I’m able to ask for spectacular, which I could do at times today.”

Both her top horses are qualified for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September. After Aachen they will head to Asturias, northern Spain, where both horses’ training and preparation will include trips to the beach.

It was American rider Katherine Bateson Chandler — another who divides her time between Florida and Europe — who came closest to Losos de Muñiz. Bateson Chandler’s score was trending higher, but a costly mistake at the end of the two-time changes meant the final score was a smidge lower, at 71.234%. Aside from in the freestyle, this was Jane Forbes Clark’s Contango gelding’s first plus-70% score at the 2018 AGDF, and he looked full of energy. The winner of the grand prix, Canada’s Megan Lane, filled the third podium spot, with 68.021% on Deer Ridge Equestrian’s Zodiac MW, by Rousseau.

Melissa Taylor capped an impressive final flourish to her and Ansgar’s busy AGDF 2018 season by proving unbeatable at small tour. They won the Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm, to land their third win of this CDI.

“I’m so excited; I don’t even know what words I can say. I’m thrilled with the horse; he was extremely tired today, but he really tried for me,” said Taylor of Nicole Polaski’s gelding by Special D, who scored 71.833%. “I was not expecting to win; I had mistakes in there and was a little late in some of the changes, so I didn’t think I’d make it three in a row. When I did win I was really excited, and my owner is elated.”

What has been the key to the pair’s ever-improving performances in 2018?

“Ansgar became more relaxed in that show ring,” explained Taylor, who found the concentration of CDI shows at the AGDF hugely helpful for the horse’s training. “It’s a very intense ring, but he’s finally starting to trust me. I also read the judges’ comments from the earlier tests — and I take those very seriously — so I knew I had to work on getting a more relaxed look, which for him is hard because he is so hot. It also helped that some good competitors didn’t show up this weekend — in fact I even called Jennifer [Baumert] and thanked her for not showing with Handsome!”

Taylor, who is married to Olympian Lars Petersen, is based in Florida year-round and plans to work on the grand prix movements with the 13-year-old over the summer.

“I’m sad the shows at Global are over, but Ansgar showed me some nice passage this past week, so I’d love to see if I can get the piaffe in him,” she said. “He’s already got the one-tempis so that’s not an issue, but getting him to wait for 15 piaffe steps; I’m not sure yet that I can keep that consistent. Hopefully we’ll qualify for the national championships in Lamplight in August of this year, while focusing on grand prix at home and, if I feel I have the grand prix stuff, then we’ll campaign him at that level next year.”

This concludes action in week 12 of the AGDF — the final week of the 2018 circuit. The circuit returns in January 2019. For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Records Tumble as Lyle and Salvino Blaze to Freestyle Gold in Final Week of AGDF

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino. Photo © SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL — March 30, 2018 — Every single one of the top four combinations in the FEI Nations Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3*, presented by Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, posted a personal best. But it was the last rider down the center line during “Friday Night Stars” under the floodlights that took the gold medal: home rider Adrienne Lyle produced a breathtaking test on Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Juliano’s 11-year-old stallion, Salvino, in the 12th and final week of the 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

They scored 81.75% to take the gold — the first time Lyle has ever surpassed the 80% mark. She led an all-female, all-American podium, flanked by Sabine Schut-Kery (silver with 78.145% on Sanceo) and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (bronze on Lonoir with 77.385%).

They scored 81.75% to take the gold — the first time Lyle has ever surpassed the 80% mark. She led an all-female, all-American podium, flanked by Sabine Schut-Kery (silver with 78.145% on Sanceo) and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (bronze on Lonoir with 77.385%).

“Everyone dreams of that 80% and I’m so proud of the feeling he gave me in there,” said Lyle, from Idaho, who was riding to a freestyle put together for her former top horse, Wizard, while she creates a new one with Terry Gallo. “I’m so blessed to have him. He’s getting a lot stronger and I can keep the power and the uphill balance — and I have the most amazing coach in the world in Debbie McDonald. This was just a wonderful night.

“The new freestyle will have a higher degree of difficulty; we’ve been using this new FEI system, and it will have a significantly higher degree of difficulty. We’re also using powerful and empowering music to showcase his power and gracefulness.”

The silver medalist Sabine Schut-Kery has exploded onto the grand prix scene with the stunning Sanceo — another stallion, this one a 12-year-old by San Remo belonging to Alice Womble. This was the duo’s second freestyle at the level and they smashed their previous score by more than 4%.

“We’re just starting out this year and I couldn’t be any more pleased or happier,” said the German-born rider. “I’m so happy coming here and riding tonight under the lights and pulling off that score. He’s really talented in the piaffe and passage.”

Of her score, she added: “You do your best, but you never know what the judges are thinking and the score is always a surprise! I’m just hoping now to be in the top eight to go to Europe and get him stronger and more experienced.”

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, the bronze medal winner, rode her horse Lonoir in this same Nations Cup freestyle competition at AGDF last year but had a tough round and scored 68.8%. This year they had no such issues, upping their score by around 9%.

“He was very wild last year,” said LaGoy-Weltz of her own 14-year-old son of De Noir. “We were epically airborne for most of the test and I wanted to curl up in a paper bag and have a glass of wine afterwards. Tonight I was really happy with Lono. This week I’ve pushed for a bit more and yesterday it didn’t quite go to plan, but tonight it did. He’s a hot strong tamale and there’s so much in there; it’s just a question of me getting the recipe right — every single time.”

Judge at C, Gary Rockwell, was impressed with the quality he saw: “This is exciting,” he said. “I’ve not seen Sanceo since the Pan Ams, and I’ve never seen him do a grand prix — he’s amazing and definitely going in the right direction. I’ve never seen Olivia’s horse so engaged and then Adrienne just knocked me out — it’s all positive for this year.”

On behalf of sponsor Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Arlene ‘Tuny’ Page of Stillpoint Farm said: “This is a huge collaboration with the management and it really does take a village to make it all happen; we have incredible support in the community. And what’s great is that the kids at Vinceremos feel the same way about their riding as we do.”

The three chestnut horses who carried their riders to the podium in the Intermediate I Freestyle CDIO3*, presented by Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, looked remarkably similar; in particular the top two, who were both sired by Furst Piccolo. Emerging with the gold medal — and undefeated in all three of his tests this week — was the 24-year-old Spaniard Pablo Gomez Molina on the Yeguada de Ymas’s Furst Fiorano Ymas.

“We’ve had this horse just over a year and his first CDI was the Nations Cup here in 2017,” said Gomez Molina, who was riding the flashy 11-year-old for his employers and scored 72.325%. “We know each other pretty well now and with each show we’re improving more and more. He’s a really big horse and we have some trouble keeping him high in the frame, but I’ve been working with my trainer Juan Matute and in the past three months that’s been going really well.”

The plan for the whole Yeguada de Ymas team is to decamp to Europe at the end of April.

“I have two horses I hope to do under-25s with this season, but that’s a big step up from small tour and we want to make sure we are ready,” added Gomez Molina. “If we are, then that’s what we’ll do. Fiorano is really flashy in the extended trot and nice in the tempis, too, but we had a little mistake today. The whole team has been working a lot and competing a lot in this festival — for the past four years. It’s amazing to win gold.”

Kelly Layne picked up the silver medal on her own Furst Piccolo son, the 12-year-old Furst Amante, with 70.275%. Her Australian compatriot Nicholas Fyffe scooped bronze to add to team bronze earlier in the week — the nation’s first ever dressage Nations Cup medals.

Layne said: “We call Furst Amante ‘The Bouncing Ball’ as he’s got springs in his feet, which is really an incredible feeling. He has amazing suspension and cadence, which is really fun for me to ride. I’ve been riding him for two years, and it’s not always been easy, so I was very happy he was with me in the test. I had two little blonde moments — I think I was a little heat affected — and I wondered where my music was going. But I think Amante quite enjoyed it.”

Fyffe, who rode Hitchcock into bronze, is giving the 14-year-old His Highness gelding competitive miles before his owner Louise Cote takes over.

“I actually didn’t realize I was in a medal position today and that the small tour classes were awarded them too, so to come out with a second medal, I am really thrilled,” said Fyffe, who scored 68.425%. “Hitchcock isn’t young, but he’s inexperienced. He used to feel like the lion from Wizard of Oz — no courage — but he’s developing it, and it’s been a really fun process with him.”

Individual medals were awarded in the under-25 Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO, presented by Diamante Farms, with gold — for the third time this week — being hung around the neck of Spain’s 20-year-old charm bomb Juan Matute Guimon. He was unassailable on his father Juan F Matute’s 15-year-old Don Diego Ymas, riding a very bold test to a score of 75.458%. It was the 20-year-old rider’s final CDI test of the 25 he has ridden at this year’s AGDF. His freestyle ended with two-time changes into one-times and a final halt, close to the judge at C, Portugal’s Carlos Lopes (who awarded a meaty 78.75%, and the pair’s highest score).

“The highlight of any freestyle is that the rider gets to choose lines that best fit the horse and show off your creativity,” said Matute Guimon, who will fly to Europe next month for a tilt at a place on the Spanish FEI World Equestrian Games team. “I’m really happy with the way the season wrapped up. And I know I shouldn’t talk in a test, but I said to Don Diego, ‘Come on buddy, here we go’. And I was thinking that it was my last center line in Wellington until I come back next year.

“With any championship format when you’re competing three days in a row, horses get tired,” he added. “But Don Diego and I know each other very well and that experience really helps as he knew exactly what I was asking for. He has taught me everything since I was a junior rider back in 2012.”

Last to go in the class, Kerrigan Gluch (USA), pulled off her best performance to date with new partner Bolero CXLVIII, a former ride of Spanish Olympian Jose Daniel Martin Dockx. She scored 70.833% — the pair’s first plus-70% — to clinch the silver medal on Hampton Green Farm’s 14-year-old PRE stallion.

“The horse is very new to me still,” said Gluch, 21, who was riding to an old freestyle originally made by Marlene Whitaker for ‘Danny’ Dockx and his Rio Olympics horse, Grandioso. “I’ve only been competing Bolero for two months and this was our second freestyle. He’s so honest; he never says no, which makes riding any test that much more enjoyable — and his heart is really good and you don’t always find that.”

The bronze went to Spain’s Rodrigo Encinas Fuentes, who piloted his trainer Cesar Parra’s 16-year-old Obelisk gelding Van The Man. This was only the rider’s third ever freestyle. He was riding to a soundtrack put together for the horse by Parra, which — appropriately — has paso doble in it.

“It was made for the horse, which helps a lot,” said Encinas Fuentes, 22, who is hoping to compete in Europe this summer. “Sometimes it’s difficult as it was made for Cesar rather than me, but I love riding to it; it makes me feel great.”

Rio Olympic team bronze medalist Kasey Perry-Glass continued her stellar comeback with Goerklintgaards Dublet, after giving Diane Perry’s 15-year-old Diamond Hit gelding an eight-month break. They made it two wins from two starts this week by taking the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses, with an emphatic 76.125% — the unanimous winner from all five judges in a field of 15 riders.

Adrienne Lyle (USA) filled second on the inexperienced Horizon (74.2%), while the Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos De Muñiz finished third on Foco Loco with 73.8%. However, she turned the yellow sash into a blue one when she rode Kathy Priest’s Fredensdals Zig Zag to the top spot in the Intermediate I CDI1*, scoring 70.441%. Only Losos De Muñiz and second-placed Nora Batchelder (USA) broke the 70% barrier in this class of 13.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

All-Female American Team Seals Victory in Historic Nations Cup Contest at AGDF

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino. Photo © SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL — March 29, 2018 — The all-female American team dominated the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* team competition in the 12th and final week of the 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

In the first leg of the 2018 FEI Nations Cup series, the USA romped home with gold, while last year’s winners, Canada, clinched silver and Australia took a historic bronze — the first time the nation has ever won a dressage Nations Cup medal of any color. Spain finished fourth.

Unlike some other stages of this worldwide seven-leg Nations Cup series, teams at AGDF can be made up of big tour, small tour, or a mixture of big and small tour combinations. In order to level the playing field, 1.5% is added to each grand prix score, with the small tour results remaining unaltered. Teams consist of three or four riders, with the best three scores from day one and the best three from day two determining the final results.

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino posted personal best scores in both the grand prix and the special tests, culminating in 76.894% (78.394% after adjustment) in the special, a huge new best for the pair. A team from the USA has won six of the seven Nations Cup contests held at AGDF.

“This is an incredible event to be part of,” said Lyle, who was riding Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Juliano’s superb 11-year-old Sandro Hit stallion, Salvino. “I’m so proud of my boy, putting two really solid, clean, powerful tests in for our team. He was a little tired today, but came out fighting — and that’s what you want.”

Her performances were supported by Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Lonoir), impressive newcomer Sabine Schut-Kery (Sanceo), and Ashley Holzer (Havanna 145).

Schut-Kery logged two plus-72% performances on Alice Womble’s 12-year-old San Remo stallion Sanceo, despite only performing their first CDI grand prix test in January of this year.

“I could not be happier with my horse in our first season of grand prix,” said the German-born rider who is now based in California. “It was really good practice to ride in another climate and see what your horse gives you. I’m super happy and look forward to the future.”

LaGoy-Weltz added more power to both her performances with Lonoir, and as a result ended up with a couple of small mistakes.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” she said. “There were still some bobbles, but when you go for more powerful, it can cause other things to happen. Then again, taking risks is how you make progress.”

Despite two solid performances on Diane Fellows’ inexperienced mare Havanna 145, Ashley Holzer was the drop score. An error of course meant a costly 2% deducted from her grand prix special score, and prompted a teasing text from Fellows to Holzer that read: “Which test did you prefer — yours of the FEI’s? Don’t worry; it’s about the big picture.”

Holzer added: “Nobody will beat me up about that mistake more than myself. My mare was a little green this week, but luckily my team-mates said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re all human’. They’re amazing girls and I’m very honored that everyone in the States has been so welcoming [since switching nationalities from Canadian].”

American Nations Cup team chef d’equipe, Robert Dover, added: “Since the inception of the AGDF, this show has been a dream come true. I’ve watched the state of both American dressage — and all the countries that are here — rise up because of this amazing venue and the shows put on here. It’s fantastic what it’s done for the sport.”

Of his team, he added: “I’m so proud of these amazing women who are not only rising to the occasion, but they are changing the game for American dressage as we go towards the [World Equestrian] Games. Of course, that wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for incredible people like [trainer] Debbie McDonald and [owner] Betsy Juliano, to whom we owe so much — and so many more people.”

Spearheading the Canadian charge with a new best in the grand prix special test of 71.304% (72.649% after adjustment) was Brittany Fraser and her 13-year-old powerhouse by Tango, All In, who has blossomed during AGDF 2018.

“I had a personal best today,” she said. “We still had a mistake in the ones — but I’ll fix that tomorrow in the freestyle! I was proud of All In today; he was tired, but he tried.”

Fraser’s team-mate Megan Lane had double cause for celebration. Not only did she help Canada to team silver riding Caravella, but she also won the Grand Prix CDI3*, presented by Grand Prix Services (for special) on Zodiac MW. The Canadian team was rounded out by Jill Irving (Degas 12) and Diane Creech (Chrevis Christo).

The bronze-medal winners, Australia, were delighted with their historic result. Small tour rider Kelly Layne (Furst Amante) said: “Australia is a very, very long way from here and to put a team together is not so easy. This AGDF competition series is something we could never even imagine; it’s brought us here and, over the years, helped improve our performances. I’m so happy we could do it this year — and put ourselves in a bronze medal position. My horse is really green, but really fancy. He was with me the whole ride and the little mistakes were completely mine.”

Individual medals were awarded in the under-25 Grand Prix CDIO, presented by Diamante Farms, with Spain’s prodigious talent, Juan Manuel Guimon, taking the gold. He rode his father Juan F Matute’s 15-year-old Don Diego Ymas to 71.669%.

“His performance today was quite good, apart from a mistake in the twos,” said the self-confessed perfectionist. “Once again, his overall attitude was quite competitive and fresh. We were indoors today, which I think helped. He’s a dark horse so he doesn’t have so much stamina; I think being indoors really benefited him.”

The 20-year-old flies to Europe at the end of April for the Segovia CDI before heading to the Spanish national championships in a bid for a place on his nation’s team for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, in September. Failing that, his goal will be the under-25 FEI European Championships.

Molly Paris improved on her score from the inter II to scoop silver for the USA. She rode her own 16-year-old mare Countess to 68.508%, edging out Spain’s Rodrigo Encinas Fuentes on Van The Man (67.778%).

“I enjoyed that test more than in I-2,” said Paris. “Countess has strong passage and piaffe and I really like to showcase it. She’s not the easiest, but once you get her going, she’s brilliant.”

Encinas Fuentes said: “Van The Man has been the horse that’s taught me how to ride a grand prix and compete at a high level. He’s a very competitive horse; every time he goes in the ring he proves it and wants to give everything.”

The USA’s Sarah Daehnert rode just one CDI test this week, but she capitalized on it, winning the Prix St Georges CDI1* on her own and Robert Price’s nine-year-old Vivaldi x Jazz gelding, Evander 3. Their 70.784% marked a giant improvement from their one and only other showing, a month ago, where they scored 65.8%.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.