Tag Archives: Adequan Global Dressage Festival

New Opportunities for Young Horses Announced for 2020 Global Dressage Festival

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Benetton Dream.

Wellington, FL – October 24, 2019 – The 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival will add to their offerings for young horses competing at the Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix levels with the $15,000 Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix series and the $10,000 Summit Farm Future Challenge/Young Horse Prix St. Georges series. Both series will have qualifiers throughout the (AGDF) circuit, which runs January 8 through March 29 at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

With the aid of dressage journalist and owner Ken Braddick, AGDF launched the Young Horse Series in 2019 and classes are dramatically expanded for 2020. The Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix series was organized with the help of seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén, who is the professional rider and trainer for Lövsta Stuteri, based in Sweden and Wellington, FL.

The original Lövsta Future Challenge was set up by Vilhelmson Silfvén and Louise Nathorst in its home country of Sweden as a talent development program in both dressage and show jumping for young grand prix horses and Under 25 riders, giving them the arena and the conditions to advance toward the top level of international sport.

“We not only promote the horses and riders but also the teams behind them, including grooms, trainers, breeders, horse owners, and sponsors,” said Vilhelmson Silfvén. “All are incredibly important for developing talent. Lövsta Future Challenge also strives to create forums where riders and equestrian professionals can exchange knowledge and work together towards a sport where the environment and horsemanship are central themes.”

Lövsta is now bringing their ideas to AGDF to implement with young grand prix horses in dressage. Vilhelmson Silfvén said, “We want to give them a platform to develop and with this series help them take the step towards the highest grand prix level. We hope that the interest for educating and producing young grand prix horses will grow. Our goal is that this series will be successful so we can take it to an international level in the future.”

The Lövsta Future Challenge series will hold qualifiers for horses age eight to ten years old at AGDF 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, with the final held during AGDF 12 for $15,000 in prize money. The best horse/rider combination of each qualifying week will qualify for the final, plus two wild cards will be determined for the final. If a horse/rider combination who is already qualified wins more than once, the next placed horse/rider combination of that week will go forward to the final. The test used in the qualifiers is the FEI Intermediate II.

“The series will give them the routine and hopefully the confidence to take the last step towards the highest grand prix level,” said Vilhelmson Silfvén. “We at Lövsta also believe a series like this with a goal of becoming an overall winner will boost both riders and horses and the teams behind them. We believe that one of the most important parts to reach success and growth is to set up goals.”

The Summit Farm Future Challenge/Young Horse Prix St. Georges series will have qualifiers in the same weeks for horses age seven to nine years old, with their final also held during AGDF 12, with prize money of $10,000. The two best horse/rider combinations of each qualifying week will qualify for the final, plus two wild cards. The same qualifying applies for those combinations that win more than one qualifier. The test used for the qualifiers and the final is the FEI Prix St. Georges, but in the final, two Prix St. Georges tests will be offered, with one as a warm-up class and the second as the final.

Top dressage rider and trainer Scott Hassler said of the Summit Farm Future Challenge, “A series like this is important because it’s one of the most exciting group of horses. Germany’s Nürnberger Burg-Pokal Prix St. Georges has shown us what a championship at this level can do. This is the most critical stage in making a grand prix horse – getting them in good hands, competing, and training well to make a grand prix horse.”

The United States has developed Prix St. Georges as a national program in recent years, said Hassler, who was involved in creating the program. “Now it’s one of our most competitive championships,” he noted. “For AGDF to have a prize like this and have a series with a final be available is so exciting and awesome.”

AGDF looks forward to hosting the best and brightest young dressage horses in the world at the 2020 circuit and wishes all competitors the best of luck. For more information on the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Cesar Parra Brings Sir Beckmann Up through the Ranks, Winning Again AGDF Week 12 CDI

Cesar Parra and Sir Beckmann (Photos Courtesy of Performance Farms)

Wellington, FL (April 6, 2019) – The 2019 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) will go on record as another successful season for Dr. Cesar Parra of Performance Farms.  Well known in the international dressage community for always having a stable full of happy talented horses, Parra continued to gracefully dance his way into the winner’s circle on some of the most willing equine athletes around. Most recently, Parra’s success has been with the big, gorgeous Hanoverian gelding, Sir Beckmann (Sir Donnerhall x Witchita).  Bringing this young horse up through the ranks over the last few years has been a joy for Parra, and he feels Sir Beckmann is coming into his own.  His outstanding performances in the FEI Tests for 7-year-olds during Week 10 of AGDF showed off the pair’s hard work. “The horse felt really fantastic with such amazing gaits,” Parra recalls about Sir Beckmann. “He did everything nice and clean overall.  I am very, very pleased with him. I love him very much, and I’m looking forward to what he’s going to bring in years to come,” he adds.

Receiving gait scores of 9 on trot and 9 on canter, Sir Beckmann stepped up and made his rider proud. Parra describes that showing as a 7-year-old can be challenging, but his horse was up to the task at hand. “The 7-year-old classes are a little bit different from the 4, 5 and 6-year-olds. In the 7-year-old, you have two sets of scores,” he explains. “One set of scores is about the gaits and normal things like with the 6-year-olds, but then you have another score sheet which is as if you were in a Prix St. Georges. So, a 7-year-old has almost the same requirements as a Prix St. Georges, which is pretty intense and demanding for such a young horse.”

Parra goes on to say that he is looking forward to bringing Sir Beckmann up further through the ranks as he matures. “The plan is to be very vigilant in his development and training to make sure he keeps loving what he does,” he explains. “We really want to have a happy athlete. We want him to have harmony, and we want him to be comfortable.  I don’t think he’s learned yet how to fully move through his body, so that’s what we’re working on,” Parra continues.  He also explains that he’s only planning to show Sir Beckmann once a month going forward. “I don’t want to show him too much because I don’t want him to get sour at the shows,” Parra describes. “I want him to be happy in the show environment.”  Parra also says that he’s added a little something extra to Sir Beckmann’s training program. “I’ve been taking him on a lot of trail rides, which in the beginning was a little scary, but it’s getting better and better!” he smiles.

The extra time, love, and attention that Parra gives to all horses in his charge is consistent with his personal philosophy, as well as that of the classical training methods of Performance Farms. Parra’s philosophies by which he conducts his life are discipline, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, sharing, and strength of character. These are the same qualities he tries to pass on to the students and staff who make up his team. The Classical Training Methods are those taught by the old Masters and perfected by some modern-day riders. These Methods are based on the Training Scale: Relaxation, Rhythm, Contact, Impulsion, Straightness, Collection (Losgelassenheit, Takt, Anlehnung, Schwung, Geraderichtung, Versammlung).  This Training Scale is the foundation of the Classical System and of Parra’s training philosophy.

Located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and also Jupiter, Florida, Performance Farms provides its clients with full-service training programs that are tailored based on the needs of the individual horse and rider combination. For more information, visit www.piaffe-performance.com.

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

Betsy Steiner and Swiss W Win FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle CDI3* on Final Day of AGDF

Betsy Steiner and Swiss W. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 31, 2019 – On the final day of the 2019 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, freestyle music sounded throughout the venue as competitors rode their last tests of the season. Topping the FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle CDI3* presented by Vita Flex were Betsy Steiner and Swiss W.

There were 15 entries in the Intermediaire-1 Freestyle but with the high score of 76.200%, Steiner came away with the win on Swiss W, a 12-year-old Wurttemburg mare owned by H. Whitney Bailey.

This is the first year that Swiss W has done the CDI Small Tour and this was only their third freestyle.

“She likes that music and springs to it,” said Steiner. “The fun thing is, when she feels really on, the two [tempis] on the centerline you can look the judge right in the eye and think, ‘Watch this.’ When you’re riding, you can see her legs in the changes. You can see her knee and foot go out in front and think, ‘That’s gotta look pretty good!’”

Steiner said of her score, “I was surprised it was so high!”

Steiner found Swiss W in Germany in May of 2015 and it was love at first sight. “She has a wonderful owner,” said Steiner. “When I saw her, I basically said, ‘I don’t think I can live without her.’ And he said, ‘Well, let’s get her and see what she can do.’

“She knew single flying changes and half passes and had some beautiful training that the people from Germany gave her,” Steiner recalled. “I wasn’t so interested in a mare. She was just coming back from a show. She walked off the van and she stops and looks at me for way too long. That was the beginning, the look. Then I saw her and rode her and was in love.”

Steiner is considering moving up to grand prix next year but will let Swiss W tell her when she’s ready.

“She’s got almost everything for it. We have to get a few things more confirmed,” she said. “Before she shows, she really wants to feel like she knows it well. She’s like the girl in school who wants to get straight As.

“She’s very, very intelligent and wants to have confidence in what she’s doing. She would like me to explain things clearly to her,” she continued. “When she has confidence, she would give me her heart and soul and everything. I feel very responsible for being very careful in that training. She’s just been a complete and total joy; she’s a soulmate. She’s so unique and genuine in what she gives back. It’s an honor and privilege to ride her.”

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

Christoph Koschel and Shakespeare Win Inaugural Future Stars Performance Series Final

Christoph Koschel and Shakespeare. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 30, 2019 – The final week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Saturday, March 30, with the final for the inaugural Future Stars Performance Series presented by Iron Spring Farm. Christoph Koschel (GER) and Shakespeare emerged as the winners of the exciting new event.

AGDF offered eight weeks of qualifying chances for horses seven to nine years old for the Future Stars Performance Series Final presented by Iron Spring Farm. Horses competed in the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges each qualifying week and the best two from each qualifying class went on to the final. They rode the Developing Prix St. Georges test in the warm-up on Thursday and again in Saturday’s final.

Koschel and Shakespeare, a nine-year-old Mecklenburg gelding by Sancisco Old x Letizja owned by Carrie Schopf, scored 74.575% for the win, which garnered them $10,000 in prize money.

“I was really happy with my test today,” said Koschel. “I think he improved a lot since Thursday. He was much more comfortable in the main arena here, so I could show more of his potential, and I think that’s a very positive show for the future. I think his ability to collect is really a highlight, especially the pirouettes. Later on, the piaffe passage work will also be great.”

At the time, Koschel was the youngest rider to win the Nürnberger Burg Pokal in Germany (their popular Young Horse National Championship) in 1992, a competition that the Future Stars Performance Series is modeled after.

“I was always thinking, coming here [to AGDF], ‘That would be great to have [this class] here as well, because Americans they have such good young horses as well.’ Then there’s [a class] before the top sport or the grand prix sport,” Koschel explained. “It’s a real development class. When you have the whole season to prepare, it’s for sure a highlight to be in the main ring at the end. I think it was really well done, and I really enjoyed it.”

Second place went to Christopher Hickey (USA) on Cecelia Stewart’s Straight Horse Zackonik, a nine-year-old DWB mare by Blue Horse Zack x Romanik. The judges awarded them a score of 72.200%.

“This mare has a wonderful temperament, and she’s a worker bee,” Hickey said of his mount. “She loves the work. I think that for me, that’s a big highlight – that a horse is really rideable – and today my rein back, it was a weak spot in the test. I lost some of the changes in the warm-up momentarily and then they came back, so that was a good thing. That’s what happens with young horses, and we all understand that.”

Hickey added, “I would also like to say that it’s wonderful as an American, having shown in Europe some, it’s great to have a final like this and a class developed. I thank Ken [Braddick] and everyone at AGDF who came up with this in the first place.”

Meagan Davis (USA) and Damocles HLF, her nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Diamond Stud x High Society, placed third with a score of 72.025%.

“My horse’s changes today were a highlight,” Davis said of her test. “They were big and expressive and ground-covering. I was able to show a little more power in today’s test.”

Davis mentioned that Damocles HLF is an American-bred horse from Highlife Farm in Florida. “It’s kind of full circle that we’re coming back to the final here, and he did so well. It was a great experience,” she said.

Thomas Baur, AGDF Director of Sport, announced that AGDF will introduce a Young Horse Grand Prix Series in 2020. He stated, “First, I would like to thank Ken Braddick for the idea and bringing it up to me. I was immediately on board because I know the German system, and we developed it together. We will look at the Series and how we can keep improving it.”

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

Katherine Bateson Chandler and Alcazar Capture Final “Friday Night Stars” Freestyle of AGDF

Katherine Bateson Chandler and Alcazar. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 29, 2019 – In the final “Friday Night Stars” of the 2019 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA) and Alcazar captured the win in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4* presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate on Friday, March 29. It was a night full of freestyle competition with two classes held under the lights with a full crowd of spectators.

With the final Grand Prix Freestyle win of the season, Bateson Chandler and Alcazar, Jane Forbes Clark’s 14-year-old KWPN gelding by Cantango, have shown growth and potential through the circuit.

Their win garnered a final score of 75.850% from the judges, a personal best for the pair.

Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145 Win FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*

Earlier in the evening, the winner of the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3* presented by Brooke USA was Ashley Holzer riding Havanna 145, owned by Diane Fellows. Holzer and Havanna performed a high degree of difficulty test to music based around the pop hit “Havana” by Camila Cabello, with music and choreography by Tom Hunt. The judges rewarded them with a final score of 76.995%.

“[In] the end she started to really settle with the Havana music and she came to that last piaffe and really sat down and started to swing in her back,” Holzer recalled. “I’m very happy that she was able to settle at the end. She started to feel really good so that was exciting. The passage half-pass felt nice for me.”

Second place went to Heather Blitz (USA) riding Semper Fidelis, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare by Sir Donnerhall owned by Rowan O’Riley. They scored 76.705%. Anna Marek (USA) and Dee Clair scored 71.650% for third place. Dee Clair is a 11-year-old DWB mare owned by Diane Morrison.

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

Hard Work Pays Off for Jessica Kozel and Denzello with Win in FEI Grand Prix CDI4*

Jessica Kozel and Denzello in their winning test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 28, 2019 – Competition at the final week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Thursday, March 28. The afternoon featured the first two four-star classes of the 2019 season to qualify riders for competition on Friday, March 29.

Jessica Kozel (USA) and Denzello won the FEI Grand Prix CDI4* (for freestyle) presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The pair rode to a personal best score of 69.239%. “I was really happy with the canter tour in general,” said Kozel of her ride on the 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding by DeNiro owned by Jeevraj Grewal. “I was happy with my changes. He can get a little hot in those, and I was afraid that those might go either way. He just kind of found himself, and that was my highlight.”

Kozel rehabbed Denzello over the last two years from what was thought to be a career-ending soft tissue injury. “I’ve known him for the last ten years, and I managed him as a groom for many, many years. I did my first Grand Prix ever on him in the national ring [last year] with the hope to work towards the international ring this season,” continued Kozel. “We’ve done that, and I am just really proud of him.”

“I thought it was a little surreal. I didn’t think it was for us,” said Kozel about her experience when she got the first place ribbon. “That was our best grand prix yet, and I was really happy with a 69.239%. When she walked up to me with the blue ribbon I was like, ‘Is that for me?’ Not that she would be joking, but I just would have never expected it in a million years. It was really an honor to not only have our best ride yet, but to be able to put it together in these circumstances and at a show of this caliber.”

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

Heather Blitz and Semper Fidelis Kick Off AGDF Final Week with Win in FEI Grand Prix CDI3*

Heather Blitz and Semper Fidelis in their winning test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 27, 2019 – The 12th week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) started on Wednesday, March 27, with two three-star classes to qualify riders for competition later in the week.

Heather Blitz (USA) and Semper Fidelis won the FEI Grand Prix (for the Freestyle) CDI3* presented by Brooke USA. The pair rode to a score of 70.609%. “I was really happy with her in general, just her general focus,” said Blitz of the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare by Sir Donnerhall owned by Rowan O’Riley. “I think that all the horses at the show this whole day are high strung and reacting to the really windy conditions. I think that’s a wonderful attribute that she has that [the wind] doesn’t affect her.

“I think the highlight was the passage, which she does really well anyway. The rhythm was really good in it. Her trot half passes are always lovely, and her canter zig zags I got more distance from the centerline this time,” continued Blitz. “Her work ethic, her scope, and her elasticity and freedom of gaits is amazing.”

Blitz is looking forward to her freestyle ride on Friday night. “I love how the music matches her. When you hear the music and see the horse, they match so well. I think it’s really moving. I’m really looking forward to the piaffe-pirouettes and just riding to the music, which not only do I love but it just matches her so well,” concluded Blitz.

In the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI3* presented by Vita Flex, Betsy Steiner (USA) and Swiss W, a 12-year-old Wurttemburg mare owned by H. Whitney Bailey, was the only pair to break 70.000%. They rode to a score of 71.559% to win the class.

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

Natalie Pai and Fritz San Tino Ride to Personal Best Score at Week 11 of AGDF

Natalie Pai and Fritz San Tino in their winning Intermediate-I Test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 24, 2019 – The eleventh week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) featured national competition from March 22-24. CDI Competition will resume for Week 12 on March 27 and will feature the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4* presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate on Friday, March 29.

On Saturday, March 23, Natalie Pai (USA) and Fritz San Tino won the Junior/Young Rider section of the FEI Intermediate I* presented by Peacock Ridge, with a score of 73.676%. “I’m really excited. It’s the highest score I’ve ever gotten on him,” said Pai of her winning test on her 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Falkenstern II. “I think he had a lot more energy and better through-ness [than yesterday]. I’m really happy with him.

“His extended canters are always really good, and the changes were also excellent today,” continued Pai. “I’m really happy with the walk tour. It’s something that we’ve been working on a lot. It was very calm and rhythmic. He just tries really hard, and I really like that about him. He’s very sweet.”

The 21-year-old discussed what she plans to work on moving forward with her partner of four and a half years. “I want to work on the canter pirouettes a little bit more [and] to work on the rideability in the ring itself, and just keep the power and the energy but still keeping him relaxed and rideable,” said Pai.

Pai is thankful to her parents and to her coach Adrienne Lyle for supporting her. “This was my last show of the Wellington season, so I’m happy that we went out with a bang,” concluded Pai.

In the Open FEI Grand Prix* presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, Krystalann Shingler (CAN) and Fidelio, her 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Fidertantz, rode to a win with a score of 73.696%.

Kerrigan Gluch (USA) and Vaquero, a 16-year-old P.R.E. stallion owned by Hampton Green Farm, captured the win in the FEI Intermediate II ‘Brentina Cup’ presented by Diamante Farms with a strong score of 73.088%.

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

Anna Marek and Einstein JP Shine in Intermediate-I Freestyle CDI3*

Anna Marek and Einstein JP in their winning test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 17, 2019 – Competition on Sunday, March 17, at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) featured freestyle classes from the Young Rider level to Intermediate I. They closed out competition during the tenth week of AGDF.

Anna Marek (USA) and Einstein JP had the final ride of the day and won the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3* presented by Yellow Bird Farm. The pair rode to a score of 75.708%. “I think the highlight of my test was the canter work,” said Marek. “Sometimes I struggle with him spooking; all last year he was kind of up and down. He was with me the whole time. He was relaxed, there was a lot going on, and he took it.

“Even though he’s a little spooky in his mind, he learns things easily. All the tricks are easy for him. It’s keeping him focused on me, and keeping him trusting me when he gets scared,” continued Marek. “He learned everything so fast, but now it’s just the confidence in me that’s making me so proud of him.”

Marek brought her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Democraat through the levels herself. “I’ve ridden him since he was four, but I bought him when we were just starting Prix St. Georges,” continued Marek. “When he was [in] PSG, I had such an attachment to him because I had to put more work into him, and then I bought him.”

Karen Robinson of Applause Dressage put together Marek’s choreography and music. “She worked with me and made the choreography about the strengths and the weaknesses. I feel like the music is powerful, like Einstein is. I can kind of find the beat of the music and it sucks me in. I ride to it really well,” concluded Marek.

The morning started with the FEI Young Horse Test for 7 Year Olds – Final CDI-YH. The format allowed for the two judges at B, Elisabeth Max-Theurer and Katrina Wuest, to immediately share feedback with the rider and spectators about their thoughts on the young horses’ potential as competitive dressage mounts.

Karen Pavicic (CRO) and Totem, her seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Totilas, won the final with a score of 75.414%.

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

Adrienne Lyle and Harmony’s Duval Win FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* at AGDF

Adrienne Lyle and Harmony’s Duval in their winning test. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 16, 2019 – Competition at Week 10 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Saturday, March 16, with a day full of top dressage competition. The afternoon featured the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* presented by Horseware Ireland.

Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval rode to a new personal best score of 75.851% in the Grand Prix Special and secured their win. Harmony’s Duval made his big tour debut just five weeks ago at AGDF. “The highlight for me was being able to get him much more consistently on the hind leg and get the balance much more consistently uphill,” said Lyle of her ride on the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Rosseau owned by Duval Partners LLC.

Harmony’s Duval is still a green Grand Prix horse, but he’s learning quickly. “We got the changes, yay! Finally. Those have been a little bit of a struggle for us in the ring,” Lyle noted. “We worked between Wednesday and today a lot on perfecting the balance getting into the changes, and I was able to keep him at a place where he felt controlled and mentally slow enough to know what was going on.

“When I can get everything in balance it’s an incredible feeling because he has power that’s unlike any horse that I’ve ever ridden,” she continued. “When that power gets away from you it’s a little bit like a runaway train, but when I can get it all, he really feels incredible and the honesty is really incredible in him.”

In the FEI Intermediate I CDI1* Katie Johnson and Paxton, an eight-year-old Westphalian gelding by Dante Weltino owned by Kylee Lourie, led the lap of honor as winners. The pair rode to a score of 73.647%.

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