Tag Archives: Adequan Global Dressage Festival

AGDF Concludes Successful Season with Final Victories for Lyle and Matute

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2017 – The 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded on Saturday, March 25, at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL with victories for Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses, and the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm.

Lyle and Salvino, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall) owned by Salvino Partners LLC, ended their competitive winter circuit with a 73.510% in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses.

Salvino was purchased for Lyle two years ago, after the retirement of her WEG and 2012 Olympic mount Wizard.

“This idea was born to work on syndication to buy horses for high performance riders who were out of a horse to ride,” said Lyle, “and Salvino came about after five long trips to Europe to look at horses. We found him as an eight-year-old and he showed some talent, but that was by no means confirmed at the time. We stayed out of the ring last year, just spending the time that it takes to get to know a new horse. We spent the time training and strengthening, and I think that it paid off because he seems to be going in there happy and calm, and that is our main goal.”

The pair has been competing nationally throughout the winter, and made their 2017 debut in the international ring earlier in the week.

“I think he loves the international ring,” she continued. “He doesn’t seem fazed by the environment at all. He’s not really an anxious horse, and he really stepped up to the plate for me today. We are still working on some things, such as putting the piaffe more in one spot, as well as more power in the extensions. Bit by bit it’s coming along, and I’m really thrilled with him today. It was a great score and a great effort, and I think there is a lot more in him still.”

Second place in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3* was awarded to Shelly Francis (USA) and Danilo, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Annabella x Andiamo) owned by Patricia Stempel, scoring 71.353%. Third place went to Jill Irving (CAN) and her own Aurthur, a KWPN gelding (Jazz x Olympia W x Contango), earning 68.157%.

Juan Matute and Dhannie Ymas

Later in the afternoon, 19-year-old Matute and Dhannie Ymas, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Don Crusador x Welina) owned by Yeguada de Ymas S.L., climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm, with an impressive score of 75.050%.

“I was very pleased to not only finish first in the last ride of the season,” said Matute, “but also with the feeling overall. It was quite good, and I’m trying to find a balance with how much power I should ask for without losing the softness and relaxation. I believe that today with Dhannie I approached that balance well, and I believe that this ride reflected that.”

Commenting on his winter season, Matute continued, “I have four horses that I competed at the FEI level, and they all had very valuable seasons, and I think that we all progressed a lot. I have to keep in mind that these are all horses I was riding in the Juniors not so long ago. For example, last night was only Quantico Ymas’ second freestyle under the lights and two years ago, I was doing Young Riders with him. The amount of progress that we have been able to make in such a short period of time is unbelievable. It gives me goosebumps, and I’m very proud of the work we are putting in, as well as the results we are getting back out.”

Diane Creech (CAN) and Robbie W, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding (Rubin Royal x Rolling Home x Inschallah) owned by Louise Leatherdale, earned a 74.350%, landing them with the second-place spot. Third place went to Catherine Malone (USA) and Dilona, a 2008 KWPN mare (Lord Leatherdale x Vajda x Kennedy) owned by Iron Spring Farm, with 72.875%.

For more information on AGDF and for information regarding the 2018 season, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

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

Megan Lane and Caravella. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anna Buffini and Sundayboy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canadian Team Takes Victory in Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO 3*

Tina Irwin and Laurencio. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2017 – Day two of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO 3* at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL brought victory and a gold medal for the Canadian team on Thursday, March 23, at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

The Canadian team clinched the top of the podium with impressive performances in the FEI Intermediaire I CDIO 3* and the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm. This followed strong rides executed on Wednesday, when the Canadian team established an early lead.

Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio, her 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Laurentio x Pasadena x Donerhall), took the spot on the top of the leaderboard once again in the FEI Intermediaire CDIO 3 with a score of 73.237%.

Irwin commented, “I’m very lucky to have a horse like Laurencio. He’s very special. To have such amazing rideability quality-wise, and such a good temperament to go with it, it’s quite easy to ride him. He does a great job; I just sit on top and steer him. I’m pleased with our season, and I knew that he was a special horse right from the beginning. I’m happy to start to showcase that.

“I think it’s a great experience to be having these Nations Cups,” continued Irwin, who felt this competition helps prepare riders and horses for championships. “It’s huge for us to get together as a country and have these experiences.”

The second-highest score in the FEI I-1 CDIO 3* was captured by Tina’s husband, Jaimey Irwin (CAN), and Donegal V, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Johnston x Remy x Gribaldi) owned by Team Irwin Supporters Group. They recorded a 69.263%.

“Donegal has been doing extremely well this year,” said Irwin.” I’m very happy with his progress. He did a really good test yesterday; it was super except for his halt in the beginning, (when) he got a little excited. Today, the wind came and the tent was flapping and that got him really excited, so he wasn’t quite with me today, but he still tried. He has a lot of ability in there for the future, and I’m very happy with the way he’s going.”

Canadian team member Jill Irving rode her own Degas 12, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni), to a score of 69.588% in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm.

Said Irving of her experience with Degas 12, “We did our job, and that was the goal. I love pressure, but I focus on what I need to do in the ring and Degas was ready to step up.”

Megan Lane and her mount Caravella, a 2001 KWPN mare (Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman) rode as the anchors for Canada in the FEI Grand Prix Special and scored 70.176%.

“Having the pressure of being the anchor,” said Lane. “I try not to think about that and I just really wanted to have a good ride. I do well under pressure, so I’m privileged that I got to be in that spot. Coming out of it I was thrilled; I’m actually still shaking! I’m really happy with Caravella. I think she’s in a good spot. The piaffe passage work is always a highlight, and her canter half-passes are really nice to ride. Her changes, as you can probably see, they are a little difficult to sit because they’re so jumpy, but those are her highlights.”

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) spoke on behalf of the silver medal USA team. “For all of us, everyone that participates, a good, friendly competition pushes us all to be better and provides an opportunity to develop and move on. It’s such a great group of people that we have here in Wellington, so it’s fun in general getting to come together with your country-mates and be in that pressure situation. If you don’t get to practice those things, then you’re only getting to do them when you go to a WEG or an Olympics or a Pan Ams, and we could all use the mileage.”

Spain team member Juan Matute Guimon added, “We are all very thankful for Stillpoint Farm and the sponsors and organizers that make this possible for another year. In my case, I was very happy to also see the inauguration of the first U-25 CDIO competition. Unfortunately, today didn’t go so well for me, but overall I’m very happy with how the week is going. It’s all a positive experience. Even the bad days are better because you get to learn from your mistakes and analyze yourself. When you win and you’re always happy with your rides, you don’t always look at the little mistakes. I think the bad days are better to help you grow, as a rider, as a professional, and as an athlete.”

The FEI Nations Cup CDIO-U25, presented by Diamante Farms, also continued with individual rides in the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 CDIO-U25. Mathilde Blais Tetreault (CAN) and her own Utah, a 2001 KWPN gelding by Jazz, captured the gold, scoring 68.093%.

Mathilde Blais Tetreault and Utah

“I think that I went in there today with much more confidence,” said Tetreault of her test. “I thought that I was going to win, so I tried really hard and it worked out that I did! My center trots were good, my piaffe and passage was better, so overall it was pretty good.”

Tetreault, who has only ridden Utah for four months, said it is “a great feeling” to capture the gold medal.

“I didn’t really expect this because Utah and I are such a new combination,” she said. “I’m really happy that we have progressed.”

Second place and the silver medal went to Anna Buffini (USA) and her Sundayboy, a 1999 KWPN gelding (Kennedy x Eezelma), with 68.093%.

“It’s always a blessing to come out here and be able to compete against such amazing competitors. I’m so proud of Mathilde and Molly too,” said Buffini of her fellow medal winners. “They came out here and fought their hearts out.”

“My ride today was tough,” admitted Buffini. “It was a little tricky, and I felt that I didn’t quite ride at my best. I’m still proud that Sundayboy backed me up and was able to come out with second place.”

Molly Paris (USA) and her mount Countess took the bronze and third place with 65.721%.

“Countess is awesome,” said Paris of the 2002 Danish Warmblood mare (Don x Compeed x Solos). “She comes out every day willing to give it her all and we’ve just been getting better and better. I couldn’t be happier with her.”

Judge at C, Evi Eisenhardt (GER), reflected on the rides. “I was astonished by the quality of rides we saw. These are the three riders with the highest quality of piaffe and passage. Sure, there were a few small mistakes, but the riding is at a higher level. Last year I judged the European U25 riders, and I think that this is close to them.”

Earlier in the day, Diane Creech (CAN) and Robbie W, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding (Rubin Royal x Rolling Home x Inschallah) owned by Louise Leatherdale, won the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm, with 73.289%. Second place went to Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) and Dhannie Ymas, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Don Crusador x Welina) owned by Yeguada de Ymas S.L., earning a score of 71.360%. Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Rosseau x Riverman) owned by Kylee Lourie, earned a score of 71.009% for third place.

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

US Dressage Team Takes Silver in Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3*

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir (SusanJStickle.com)

US Teams Take Gold, Silver in First U25 Nations Cup on America Soil

Wellington, Fla. – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team earned a silver medal in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* on Thursday. The U.S. team gave a collective effort for a team total of 432.661. Canada took gold with a score of 434.538, and Spain earned bronze with a score of 397.690. In the first U25 Nations Cup in the United States, the U.S. teams claimed gold and silver.

“I want to congratulate all our super Grand Prix riders and our winning U25 riders at the Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup this week. We had a bit of bad luck in the Grand Prix the first day but came back to be very close to the Canadians, who I also congratulate on a very special victory,” Dover said. “A special shout-out to the winners of both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir, another really exciting combination that is proving to be worthy of being deemed ‘rising stars’ and adding to America’s depth! Friday night is the individual championship and we are excited and hopeful.”

The U.S. combinations performed the FEI Grand Prix test to begin competition on Wednesday. In their first test in a Big Tour Nations Cup, LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) and Lonoir produced a solid score of 72.940%. She and the 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding have been training with Olympic bronze medalist Debbie McDonald and have had a strong start to their 2017 competition season.

“[Lonoir] is very honest and trying really hard. It is exciting to see the work Debbie and I have been doing with him start to reflect in the scores. It is exciting because I know there is still lots of room for improvement,” said LaGoy-Weltz.

Despite going off-course during the canter, Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Doktor, Patricia Stempel’s 2003 Oldenburg gelding, put in a respectable test for a total of 69.720%. Lisa Wilcox (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Galant anchored the U.S. team. The 2004 Olympic bronze medalist guided Jacqueline Shear’s 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding to an acceptable 70.560%.

Arlene “Tuny” Page (Wellington, Fla.) and Woodstock, her 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding, executed a quality test; however, the combination was eliminated pursuant to FEI Dressage Regulation 430.7.6 when blood was found during the equipment check from Woodstock biting his lip.

The U.S. went into Thursday’s FEI Grand Prix Special down by 2.307 with an overall score of 216.220, when a 1.5% bonus was factored in for the Grand Prix scores counting towards the team results.

LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir did not let up from Wednesday’s FEI Grand Prix test. The blossoming combination exhibited a smooth test to score a 71.804%. Francis and Doktor and Wilcox and Galant improved from their first day scores with a 70.451% and 69.686%, respectively.

“A good friendly competition pushes us all to be better and provides an opportunity for us to develop depth. It’s such a great group of people that we have here in Wellington, and it is great to be able to come together with our country-mates, create that team [atmosphere], and be in a pressure situation. It’s a huge benefit to all of us, and we’re grateful for the organizers for making it happen,” said LaGoy-Weltz.

U.S. U25 Teams Find Success in FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO-U25

Represented by two U.S. teams with three combinations, these up-and-coming athletes collected valuable team experience in the U.S.’ first U25 Nations Cup competition. Competing with riders from Canada, the U.S. team of Anna Buffini (San Diego, Calif.), Sean Sierra Keasler (Wellington, Fla.), and Kerrigan Gluch (Wellington, Fla.) topped the podium with an overall score of 137.763. The second U.S. team of Kaitlin Blythe (Rougemont, N.C.), Molly Paris (Charlotte, N.C.), and Genay Vaughn (Elk Grove, Calif.) took the silver medal with a total of 134.315. Canada followed with the bronze with a score of 132.079.

“We have to thank George Williams, our US Equestrian Youth Coach, for bringing this forward to Thomas [Baur]. The fact that these athletes had a chance to experience a team situation like this was fun to watch. It’s good for our sport and our country, and it is exciting to see us growing,” said US Equestrian Development Dressage Coach Debbie McDonald, who served as the Chef d’Equipe of the gold medal team.

Buffini rode a harmonious test with her own Sundayboy, who will be retired after week 11 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). She and the 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding led the gold medal-winning U.S. team with a score of 70.500%.

“I came to Wellington partly to compete in the Nations Cup, and I set a goal to come here. It’s like nothing else; to have the same support, be in the same barn aisle, just be encouraging to each other. You can’t just count on yourself; [the team is] counting on me, and I’m counting on them. I love that this is preparing us for the future,” said Buffini.

Keasler (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Lux Stensvang, a 2002 Danish Warmblood gelding, finished with a 67.263%, followed by Gluch (Wellington, Fla.) and Hampton Green Farm’s HGF Brio, a 2005 Andalusian stallion, with a score of 62.158% for the gold medal team.

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar Rock the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 4* at AGDF

Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar (Photo credit: Jo Fisher)

Wellington, FL (March 21, 2017) – Dressage duo Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar delivered an electric winning performance during Friday night’s FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 4*, presented by Havensafe Farm, at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL. The pair earned a score of 73.325% as Alcazar’s snappy hocks hit every beat in Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” rocking them into first place in the Friday night FEI Grand Prix Freestyle class.

Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar, a 2005 KWPN gelding (Cantango x Polina) owned by Jane Forbes Clark, have hit the ground running in this year’s competition series, having earned a score of 71.88 percent in the CDI-W Grand Prix earlier this season.

“I’m thrilled to win tonight,” said Bateson. “Alcazar felt amazing. He always gets a little excited with the clapping, so when we are warming up next to all of the clapping he sometimes gets a bit hysterical. He became calmer as time went on. When he got into the ring, I think he was relieved to take a breath for the rest of my test. He really tried though super hard for me, and that means a lot. We’ve been through a lot this past year, so this is really special.”

Last July, Alcazar (affectionately known as Lonzie in the barn) suffered from colic after the pair completed their Grand Prix ride at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen. Alcazar underwent a successful surgery, and the pair worked patiently towards his recovery with the hopes of competing again once he had returned to full health. Since reuniting in the show ring this winter, the two have been unstoppable, earning exceptional scores that culminated in Friday night’s victory.

Bateson shared the details of Lonzie’s colic with reporters. “He had colic surgery during the show in Aachen, and it was quite serious. He had a lot of gut removed. We had incredible surgeons, and we were blessed to be in the right place. I was unlucky to have it happen, but lucky to be where we were. To be honest, he had the surgery and then he never looked back. He was off for three months and then came back, almost better than ever. Just to have him alive, because they didn’t give him much of a chance, (and) for him to be back not long after and winning a CDI 4*, is pretty amazing.”

Bateson-Chandler’s many career achievements include being a member of the 2016 Gold Medal Dutta Corp. U.S. Team at the FEI Nations Cup, and being part of Team USA at the 2016 CDIO3* Odense Nations Cup in Denmark. In 2010, she represented the U.S at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky riding Nartan. The team finished fourth and, individually, she and Nartan qualified for the Grand Prix Special. Bateson-Chandler hopes to claim a spot on the U.S. team at the World Equestrian Games to be held in Tryon, North Carolina in 2018.

Through her business KBC Dressage, Bateson-Chandler offers training and coaching services, as well as dressage prospect selection for clients. For more information about Katherine Bateson-Chandler, visit her on Facebook and on the web at www.kbcdressage.com.

Contact: Katherine Bateson-Chandler
chandlercarlos@aol.com
908-391-9096

USA Comes Out Strong in First CDIO-U25 Nations Cup Competition at AGDF 11

Anna Buffini and Sundayboy. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO 3* Begins Team Competition

Wellington, FL – March 22, 2017 – The final week of the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL kicked off on Wednesday, March 22, with the first FEI Nations Cup CDIO-U25, presented by Diamante Farms, side-by-side with the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO 3*, at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

It was a red, white, and blue victory as the USA “A” Team bested the competition in the FEI Intermediaire II 16-25* CDIO, which determined the team medals for the FEI Nations Cup CDIO-U25, presented by Diamante Farms. The team consisted of 22-year-old Anna Buffini (USA) on her Sundayboy, a 1999 KWPN gelding (Kennedy x Eezelma x Zevenaar), who earned a score of 70.500%; 24-year-old Sean Sierra Keasler (USA) and Lux Stensvang, a 2002 Danish Warmblood gelding (Lobster x Verona Stensvang x Diamond) owned by Keasler, who earned 67.263%; and 20-year-old Kerrigan Gluch (USA) with HGF Brio, a 2005 Andalusian stallion owned by Hampton Green Farm, who rode to a 62.158%. Debbie McDonald served as Chef d’Equipe.

“One of the main reasons why I came to Wellington was to do the Nations Cup,” said Buffini. “My dad always says, ‘A goal is a dream with a deadline,’ and we set this goal to come here and we achieved our dream today. You can’t just count on yourself. They’re counting on me, I’m counting on them, and it’s a different experience. It’s preparing us for the future, and when we are open riders competing on other teams, we can take this experience with us.”

Buffini had the second highest score of the day, riding in just behind Juan Matute Guimon of Spain, who rode Don Diego Ymas to a score of 71.026%.

Keasler commented on what she has experienced thus far at her first ever CDIO-U25 Nations Cup. “This is my first team event, and much like Anna said, as soon as I heard that there was going to be a U25 Nations Cup, it was a goal I set. It’s so nice to be surrounded by people that have the same goals, and such a positive team atmosphere is amazing. I’m extremely thankful for this, and I believe that more people should set goals to be on a team situation. It’s fun being supportive of other riders. I’m happy that I achieved this goal and that I’m here with these amazing girls!”

Gluch noted, “This is my second team experience. I was lucky enough to be able to compete as a team rider when we did the Nations Cup in Hagan. It’s amazing to have people your own age supporting you, riding with you, which is really good in the dressage world. It’s really cool to be on a team where you have the same goals and aspirations.”

The USA “B” Team rode to second place with 24-year-old Kaitlin Blythe (USA) and Don Principe, a 1999 Hanoverian stallion (Donnerhall x SPS Papagena x Rince Thatch XX) owned by Maryanna Haymon, who scored 68.026%; 21-year-old Molly Paris (USA) and her own Countess, a 2002 Danish Warmblood mare (Don x Compeed x Solos Carex), with a score of 66.237%; and 22-year-old Genay Vaughn (USA) with Donarweiss GGF, a 2001 Hanoverian stallion (De Niro x SPS Highlight x Hohenstein) owned by Starr Vaughn Equestrian, Inc., who scored 66.289%. The team was directed by Chef d’Equipe George Williams.

Said Blythe of her first CDIO-U25 Nations Cup experience, “I feel so fortunate to be here on a horse that I’ve only been riding for a short amount of time. It was a bit of a stretched goal for us to make this team, and I’m so lucky that we were able to make that happen. It’s such a wonderful experience to be surrounded by people with similar goals and that are going through similar things. I think that U25 is a great way to close the gap between Young Riders and the Grand Prix.”

The team for Canada came in third and consisted of 21-year-old Tanya Strasser Shostak (CAN) and Action Tyme, a 2000 Oldenburg gelding (Aktuell x Ann Lady af Hvarre x Aleksander) owned by Evi Strasser, with a score of 64.579%, and 25-year-old Mathilde Blais-Tetreault riding Utah, a 2001 KWPN gelding (Jazz x Kolinda x Landwind II B) owned by Tetreault. The pair earned a score of 67.500%. The Canadian team was supported by Chef d’Equipe Liz Steacie.

Tetreault commented on the dynamic of the Canadian team. “I did Young riders with Tanya, so it has been fun to do the U25 together years later. It was overall a very great experience, and I’m glad I did it. I had a lot of fun.”

Terri Kane spoke on behalf of sponsor Diamante Farms. “I was very excited when I saw this event on the agenda to go along with the Nations Cup,” said Kane. “When I was asked to be a sponsor I was honored, because this is the future of our sport. These team competitions are so important to prepare these young riders for the next step.”

AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Bauer commented, “I would like to thank George Williams for bringing up the idea to me last year. I jumped on board immediately because I thought the time was right. Having a class of nine Under 25 riders our first year is really a very good start. I’m very positive that it will grow in the coming years.”

The Senior teams competing in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ consist of Canada, USA, and Spain. Individuals competing include riders from Australia and Guatemala. Riders can represent their countries in Grand Prix as well as in the Small Tour.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and her own Lonoir, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding (De Noir x Lorani x Loran), dominated in the FEI Grand Prix CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm, earning a leading score of 72.940%.

Lisa Wilcox (USA) and Galant, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood (Escuro x Bellisima) owned by Jacqueline Shear, earned the second highest score In the FEI Grand Prix CDIO 3* with 70.560%. Settling with the third highest score were Canada’s Megan Lane and her own Caravella, a 2001 KWPN mare (Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman) earning 70.080%.

The FEI Prix St. Georges CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm, saw an exceptional lead for Canada, with Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio, a 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Laurentio x Pasadena x Donerhall) owned by Irwin, earning a score of 74.026%. Husband Jaimey Irwin (CAN) and Donegal V, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Johnston Remy Gribaldi) owned by Team Irwin Supporters Group, earned a 72.921%. The third highest score went to Esther Mortimer (GUA) and Adajio, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding (Alabaster x Elsi x El Dorado) owned by Sue Schramayr, with 69.053%.

Canada remains in the lead for the Nations Cup title, after strong performances from riders during day one of competition. The USA follows in second position.

Earlier in the day, Shelly Francis (USA) won the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* presented by Harmony Sporthorses, on Patricia Stemple’s Danilo, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Annabella x Andiamo), with a score of 72.160%. Second place was awarded to Yvonne Losos De Muniz (DOM) and her own Aquamarijn, a 2005 KWPN mare, with a 70.120%. Third Place went to Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Salvino, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall) owned by Salvino Partners LLC, scoring 69.600%.

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

AGDF Presents Its First CDIO-U25 Nations Cup during Final Week

Tanya Strasser-Shostak and Action Tyme will represent Canada in the CDIO-U25 at AGDF 11. ©SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 20, 2017 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival is set to host its first CDIO-U25 Nations Cup side-by-side with the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO 3* during its final week of competition. Week 11 of AGDF runs from March 22-25 at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

The CDIO-U25 competition will provide an excellent opportunity for riders from around the world to compete in a team atmosphere, whilst representing their country on an international platform.

The idea of hosting a CDIO-U25 at AGDF was initially proposed by US Equestrian Dressage Youth Coach and FEI Dressage Committee Member, George Williams.

“George approached me last year with this idea,” said Thomas Baur, AGDF Director of Sport. “We both agreed that 2017 is the right time to host a CDIO-U25 at AGDF. We have seen growth in the U25 classes this year, and we are very encouraged to have four teams from three countries in our inaugural event.”

Classes offered in the CDIO-U25 division include: the FEI Intermediaire II team test on Wednesday, March 22; the FEI Grand Prix CDIO-U25 Individual test on Thursday, March 23; and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO-U25 Individual test, held during “Friday Night Stars” on Friday, March 24.

The United States will be represented by two teams. The first team consists of 22-year-old Anna Buffini (USA) on her Sundayboy, a 1999 KWPN gelding (Kennedy x Eezelma x Zevenaar), 24-year-old Sean Sierra Keasler (USA) and Lux Stensvang, a 2002 Danish Warmblood gelding (Lobster x Verona Stensvang x Diamond) owned by Keasler, and 20-year-old Kerrigan Gluch (USA) with HGF Brio, a 2005 Andalusian stallion owned by Hampton Green Farm. Debbie McDonald will serve as Chef d’Equipe.

The second United States team features 24-year-old Kaitlin Blythe (USA) and Don Principe, a 1999 Hanoverian stallion (Donnerhall x SPS Papagena x Rince Thatch XX) owned by Maryanna Haymon, 21-year-old Molly Paris (USA) and her own Countess, a 2002 Danish Warmblood mare (Don x Compeed x Solos Carex), and 22-year-old Genay Vaughn (USA) with Donarweiss GGF, a 2001 Hanoverian stallion (De Niro x SPS Highlight x Hohenstein) owned by Starr Vaughn Equestrian, Inc. The team will be directed by Chef d’Equipe George Williams.

Canada will be represented in the CDIO-U25 Nations Cup by two riders, 21-year-old Tanya Strasser Shostak (CAN) and Action Tyme, a 2000 Oldenburg gelding (Aktuell x Ann Lady af Hvarre x Aleksander) owned by Evi Strasser, and 25-year-old Mathilde Blais-Tetreault riding Utah, a 2001 KWPN gelding (Jazz x Kolinda x Landwind II B) owned by Tetreault. The Canadian teams will be supported by Chef d’Equipe Liz Steacie.

The team for Spain consists of 23-year-old Pablo Gomez Molina and Tarpan Ymas, a 2000 KWPN stallion (Waterman x Iriantha x Renovo) owned by Yeguada de Ymas S.L., as well as 19-year-old Juan Matute Guimon on Don Diego Ymas, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding owned by Juan Matute.

New to the 2017 AGDF schedule, the CDIO-U25 offers a unique way for young riders to also gain experience by participating in a team dynamic on an international stage. Everyone at AGDF looks forward to another fantastic team competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

For more information on the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

AGDF 10 Concludes with Florida International Youth Dressage Championships

Diana Porsche and Di Sandro. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 19, 2017 – Week ten of the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL concluded on Sunday, March 19 with the final competition day of the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships (FIYDC) at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

The 2017 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships, presented by Sarah Davis, Terri Kane, Kim Van Kampen, The Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation, Hampton Green Farm, and Dressage4kids, took place over the duration of week 10 at the AGDF. The week featured competition for riders in the Under 25, Young Rider, Junior, and Pony divisions, offering them a chance to compete on a larger scale. Young riders wishing to compete at the international level are provided with an opportunity to showcase their talent at one of the largest dressage competitions in the world.

Within the FEI divisions offered to riders competing in this season’s FIYDC, there were five horse and rider pairs in the FEI U-25 division, 15 entries in the FEI Young Rider division, eight riders in the FEI Junior Rider division, and a rider in the FEI Pony Rider division.

This year, youth riders represented seven countries, including Austria, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. The overall scores were computed as Team Test 40%, Individual Test 40% and Freestyle 20%. Awards were presented to the top eight riders in each division, and prizes included a trophy donated by Kim Van Kampen, prize money donated by Dressage4kids, Sarah Davis, and Terri Kane, and the personal use of a stall at Hampton Green Farm for the 2018 season, donated by Kim Van Kampen, for each of the four overall division winners.

This year, the FIYDC also worked in partnership with JustWorld International, and winners chose JustWorld Programs to ride for, that will then receive a percentage of added prize money.

Ranked as the Number One rider on the FEI Youth Dressage World Ranking List- U25, 21-year-old Diana Porsche (AUT) and her own Di Sandro, a 2008 Oldenburg gelding (De Niro x Gentina x Sandro), rounded out the weekend with an Under 25 Division win, sponsored by Diamante Farms. The combination scored a 70.711% in the FEI Intermediaire II 16- 25 CDI U25, a 71.860% in the FEI Intermediaire I 16- 25 CDI U25, and a 73.875% in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 CDI U25.

“I’m really happy that I won this year,” said Porsche. “Sandro did a really great job. It’s perfect here, (and) it’s great preparation for Europe. This week, my freestyle was a little complicated because it’s really hot out, and we aren’t used to that because there is actually snow in Austria right now. I’m really happy with my test from yesterday. I think that we had a lot of highlights. The first day was also a really good test, especially the piaffe/ passage tour.”

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Creech-Terauds (CAN) and Fleur de Lis L, a 2009 Hanoverian mare (First Dance x EM De La Rosa x De Niro) owned by Louise Leatherdale, bested the FEI Young Rider Division, sponsored by Yeguada de Ymas. The duo scored a 70.500% in the FEI Young Rider Team Test CDI Y, a 69.167% in the FEI Young Rider Individual Test CDI Y, and a 74.725% in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle CDI Y.

Creech-Terauds commented, “This has been such a great experience. It’s so wonderful to be here competing against youth competitors and getting to meet people from different countries. It’s a really fun event, and you get a chance to ride under pressure. I was very proud of Fleur de Lis L this week. She was absolutely fantastic and very consistent in the ring. We tried to take some risks because I knew that it was a strong group of competitors, and I think that those risks really paid off.”

The FEI Junior Rider Division, presented by The Axel Johnson Group, was won by 18-year-old Jade Ellery (GBR) and Porsche’s Eloy, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding (Earl x Wadina) owned by Diana Porsche. The pair scored a 69.595% in the FEI Junior Rider Team CDI J, a 69.386% in the FEI Junior Rider Individual CDI J, and rounded out their weekend with a 73.375% in the FEI Junior Rider Freestyle CDI J.

Jade Ellery and Porsche’s Eloy

This is Ellery’s first year competing internationally and her first season in Wellington.

“I can’t believe how amazing it is here,” said Ellery. “With the wonderful facilities and the weather, it’s a great place to be this time of year. I’m very fortunate to be riding Eloy. He’s a fantastic Junior horse to learn on, always giving me so much confidence in the ring.”

Fifteen-year-old Lisa Widmayer (GER) and Paso Double, a NRPS mare (Bodo x Iris x Inselfurst) owned by Katja Widmayer, captured victory in the FEI Pony Rider Division, scoring 66.513% in the FEI Pony Team Test CDI P, a 65.650% in the FEI Pony Individual Team Test CDI P, and a 68.275% in the FEI Pony Rider Freestyle CDI P.

“This is my first season in Wellington as well,” said Widmayer, “and it’s been such a great experience. My weekend with Paso Double went well. I could feel her improving after every ride. This weekend was not our best weekend, but I feel very happy about our improvement and I feel very prepared for a season in Europe.”

For their victory, Widmayer and Paso Double were presented with the Poldy 10 Memorial Trophy.

This was the fifth year that the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships were hosted by AGDF, and the competition is organized by Equestrian Sport Productions. For more information and a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Victory for Rizvi and Poag in AGDF 10 FEI Grand Prix Specials

P. J. Rizvi and Breaking Dawn. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 18, 2017 – Week ten at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL continued on Saturday, March 18 with wins for P. J. Rizvi (USA) in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corp., and Katie Poag (USA) in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4*, presented by Havensafe Farm.

P. J. Rizvi (USA) and Breaking Dawn, a 2001 KWPN gelding (Akribori x Eveline x L. Ronald) owned by Rizvi, climbed to the top of the leader board in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corp, earning a score of 70.588%.

This was the pair’s first time competing together in the FEI Grand Prix Special.

“It was one of those ‘let’s just give it a whirl’ moments,” said Rizvi. “I’ve just been doing the freestyle, but it was time to do the Special, and I’m so proud of him. He felt forward, and with the length of the test it felt like even at the end, I still had a lot of horse under me. I’m just so amazed; he’s like 16 going on six and is such a joy to ride.”

In regard to her future with “Edward”, Rizvi commented, “I think we are going to try to go to Europe this summer. He is super healthy, and I think that now is the time that we want to move forward and try to show this summer instead of waiting for a whole year until next season.”

Second place in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corp, was awarded to Anna Marek (USA) and Dee Clair, a 2008 KWPN mare (Sir Sinclair x Rolls Royce) owned by Diane Morrison, the pair earned a 67.216%. Third place went to Christopher Hickey (USA) and Ronaldo, a 2006 Danish Warmblood gelding (Blue Hors Romanov x Trostruplunds Scarlet x Blue Hors Don Schufro) owned by Cecelia Stewart, with 66.333%.

Katie Poag and her own Zonnekoning, a 2004 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Florett As x Maraba), captured a victory in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4*, presented by Havensafe Farm. Their score was 67.941%.

Katie Poag and Zonnekonig

“I thought the ride went pretty well,” said Poag. “I thought the trot work was the strongest part of it, as it usually is. The canter is still a bit challenging, (and) our flying changes are coming along. I was pleased with the overall feeling of the ride. Our goal is to keep climbing and moving up, and I think he has a tremendous amount of talent and can continue to do that. It’s just a matter of coming to these competitions and getting more experience. I’m very excited about the future and how much more I think he can bring to the table.”

Second place in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4* went to Arlene Page (USA) and Dr. House 2, 2005 Oldenburg gelding (Don Schufro x Rinerfa JS x Krack C) owned by Page, scoring 67.451%.

Earlier in the day, Jennifer Baumert (USA) and Handsome, a 2005 Hanoverian gelding (Hochadel x Wyona x Weltmeyer) owned by Elizabeth Juliano, earned a score of 74.875% and a victory in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by CaptiveOne.

Second place went to Catherine Malone (USA) and Dilona, a 2008 KWPN mare (Lord Leatherdale x Vajda x Kennedy) owned by Iron Spring Farm, with 73.458%. Third place in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3* was awarded to Anna Marek and Einstein JP, a 2009 KWPN gelding, owned by Lorna Donahue, scoring 71.750%.

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