Tag Archives: Olivia Lagoy-Weltz

LaGoy-Weltz Cruises to Freestyle Glory in Week 10 at AGDF

LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL — March 16, 2018 — Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and Lonoir chalked up their fifth win from six starts at the 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) by taking the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, presented by Havensafe Farm. Their resounding score of 76.6% in week 10 of AGDF at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida was a personal best for the pair, whose previous high freestyle score was 74.425%, achieved in Aachen in July 2017.

“I was really happy with him, especially as he was epically airborne last time we were in this setting, so I’m thrilled we kept our feet on the ground,” said LaGoy-Weltz of her own 14-year-old Danish warmblood gelding by Le Noir. “When he’s waiting for me and on the same page, it’s a pretty cool feeling and there’s a lot available there — even more than we’re showing now.”

LaGoy-Weltz upgraded her music last year, adapting an existing small tour freestyle soundtrack.

“We hadn’t used it a whole lot, so I asked Terri [Gallo] if we could grow it. I like the music — it’s called ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’, which is somewhat fitting. Though we are working on something new as he’s a much ‘bigger’ horse now, it seemed to work for tonight, so we’re not in a huge hurry,” she added. “This one is not overly complicated as it was designed as a starter one, so we’ll have more challenging stuff in the next one. And we’ll highlight the flow and power that he’s so good at.”

Second-placed Arlene ‘Tuny’ Page (USA) finished second on Woodstock, logging their second best ever freestyle score of 75% exactly.

“He’s matured a lot in the last three months,” said Page, who rode to music from the movie Amistad that she used with her former grand prix horse Wild One. “We had a super rough start as he’s very sensitive with wind, but at every show this season he’s developed more.

“This was only ever starter music, but I knew one day I’d have another horse who it would suit, and Marlene Whitaker is a flipping genius and she reworked the music to suit Woodstock,” said Page.

The test is a technically demanding one, which Page designed two years ago with the intention of maximizing the difficulty.

“It’s full of difficult things in difficult sequences; the idea was to layer complicated sequences one after the other. I’m actually comfortable riding it now, and Woodstock is a horse with a lot of alacrity and sensitivity, though he can be a scallywag. It’s nice riding the freestyle because he never anticipates — because I rarely practice.”

Juan Matute Guimon, Spain’s 20-year-old riding star, was once again on the “Friday Night Stars” podium, finishing third on his father’s Don Diego Ymas, a 15-year-old by Don Frederico.

“Last time we had a few miscommunications,” said Matute, who was riding to music put together by his mother and a floorplan he designed with his double Olympian father. “But today he felt rather good, the piaffe felt better and I was pleased with the overall performance. My horse perhaps doesn’t have the highest quality of gaits, but we know how to fight with what we’ve got — and dressage is about trying to reach the full potential with what you’ve got.”

Judge Janet Foy, who was presiding from C, said: “Having judged these guys over the season, there has been so much improvement. It’s really exciting to be able to sit there as judges and give eights and nines. All three of these top tests were so clear and focused, so we could really enjoy watching and judging.”

Canada’s long-time, much loved combination of Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro bowed out of competition at AGDF, taking their final salute at the venue which has been so much part of the pair’s journey together. They finished sixth with 70.6%, and the 19-year-old grey gelding — fondly known as Goose — will now return to Canada. Familiar faces on the AGDF circuit since 2012, the crowd showed their appreciation for this popular duo with a standing ovation.

Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Juliano, whose Havensafe Farm sponsored the class, said: “It’s been a privilege to be involved with the AGDF from the beginning; it’s unique in that it’s an excellent facility with excellent management and ample opportunity to show. As you could see from the appreciation for Goose tonight, we are all one family, regardless of nationality. The performances tonight were spine-tingling — really a thrill.”

Beatrice ‘Trixi’ Marienau secured back-to-back wins, having also triumphed in the grand prix. She also took the winner’s sash in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation. Riding the equal oldest horse in the class, 19-year-old Gribaldi gelding Stefano 8, she posted 72.1% — the only plus-70% of the class.

The German-born 47-year-old American is an unlikely dressage winner, having formerly showjumped, then become a cowgirl on a ranch, before finally turning to dressage — despite what she terms “ring-phobia” that requires her to meditate before each test.

Their double win in week 10 was a first for Marienau, who has only two previous wins in the five years they have been competing together at international grand prix. Their winning freestyle score is their second highest ever, and their best for two years.

“He’s a firecracker, and I appreciate every day I have with him,” said Marienau, who bought ‘Fino’ in 2012. “I feel his age sometimes, so in the training we really work a lot on the suppleness so he can come through with the beautiful exercises that he knows how to do. Tonight I asked him to dance for me, so he did.

“He was already a trained grand prix horse but in the beginning the switch from a man to a woman rider was difficult, so we took our time and have been working with Lilo Fore ever since. I only rode my first grand prix in 2011, so Fino has done so much for me, including going to the Festival of Champions and onto my first Nations Cup team, which was a big dream of mine,” she added.

James Koford (USA) was second on Sherry Koella’s 11-year-old home-bred colored Friesian sport horse mare, Adiah HP (69.555%), with Canada’s Jill Irving finishing third on her own Jazz gelding Arthur with 69.12%.

Tina Konyot (USA) and PSD Partners LLC’s Desperados gelding Diamantino II led the huge Prix St Georges CDI1* class, which was sponsored by Horseware Ireland. Of the 26 entries, the top three all broached 70%, with Konyot posting 70.343 — bolstered by her high score of 73.088% from the judge at C, Janet Foy.

This was the horse’s second win in his nine small tour FEI starts, having kicked off his CDI career in January of this year. This was the first time he had scored north of 70%. American Lauren Asher (Honnerups Event) and Germany’s Michael Klimke (Harmony’s Diabolo) tied for second place, posting 70.098%.

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

Last-Drawn Riders Secure Four-Star Victories in Week 10 at AGDF

LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL — March 15, 2018 — In both CDI4* grand prix classes of the day, it was the last horse who took home the winning sash and rug. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) was the beneficiary in the Grand Prix CDI4*, presented by Havensafe Farm, putting an unassailable 73.783% on the score board. It was the showcase class on the second day of week 10 of the 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

LaGoy-Weltz and her own Lonoir, a 14-year-old Danish warmblood gelding by Le Noir, have won four of their last five CDI starts — interrupted only by Adrienne Lyle (USA) on Salvino.

“We managed to get everything in that test,” said LaGoy-Weltz, a Virginia native, referring to mistakes made in previous tests this season. “It seems like it’s been a case of if we get one thing, then something else goes away. There’s still stuff that can be better; he can pirouette for an eight in training, for example, but in there he was anticipating them and making them a hair too small. But I was super happy with his rideability and relaxation today.

“In Wellington, I keep him over at Oded Shimoni’s place and go to Debbie McDonald’s for lessons,” she explained. “If I’m riding at Oded’s then either he or Robert [Dover] is keeping an eye on me, so the past few weeks I haven’t been allowed to get off the straight and narrow.”

LaGoy-Weltz’s ultimate aim for the season is the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, North Carolina, in the fall, and she is conscious of peaking at the right time.

“There’s still a lot to improve, but we’re stepping in the right direction and things are becoming a little less exciting than they were in the first two shows,” she added. “It’s really crucial to try to make sure your curve goes up and up to that spot and it’s quite a few months that we’re working over; starting here and wanting to continue to make things better. We’re heading in the right direction — even though there is a bit more homework to do.”

The all-American, all-female top three featured Arlene ‘Tuny’ Page, whose 70% on Woodstock, a dainty 15-year-old by Havel, was good enough for second. Katherine Bateson-Chandler was a whisker under 70% in third, finishing on 69.696% with her own Contango gelding Alcazar after she took an uncharacteristic wrong turn.

From last draw of 11 starters in the Grand Prix CDI4*, presented by Mission Control, Canada’s Brittany Fraser’s 71.957% — a personal best in the grand prix test for her and the 13-year-old All In — was enough to grab victory by 0.1% from Shelly Francis (USA) and Danilo, who had led the class from the outset. Fraser’s trainer Ashley Holzer — a four-time Canadian Olympian who now rides for the United States — finished third on Havanna 145 (70.783%).

“That was awesome,” enthused Fraser. “I had a really good feeling coming up to this show — we were working on getting the piaffe a little more confirmed — and every time I sent him forward, he came right back to me. He was really on my aids and it was the first time we’ve won a grand prix. On the last center line he was right there for me; I aided and he did it. It’s his third year at grand prix and I feel he finally knows his job and feels more confident in what he’s doing. I’m so happy!”

Fraser bought the horse as a five-year-old from the Equine Elite Auction in the Netherlands, after riding him “for 10 minutes”. Even then, the big-gaited horse had immense power.

“At five he was already huge, but awesome, and felt like a rocket ship taking off,” recalled the 29-year-old, who was logging her first win of the season on the Tango gelding. “I started at first level with him and worked my way up. He’s been an amazing horse for me and I’m so thankful.”

Fraser has been based in New York with Holzer for the past five years, but in September 2017 she and her husband Marc-Andre Beaulieu bought a house in Montreal.

“I’m married now and thought that I need to start my own business and do my own thing, and took All In there for a rest in the fall after competing in Europe last year,” she said. “Then I came down to Wellington to train with Ashley in December. But because Ashley has half the grand prix horses in all these classes, Jacquie Brooks has been amazing to step up and help me. We all work together and it’s an amazing, supportive team. That’s how you make it.”

She has not decided yet whether to compete on the European circuit in the summer of 2018, and it is not mandatory for Canadian riders wishing to put themselves forward for selection for WEG in September. The pair’s next stops include the Tryon CDI in April and Ottawa CDI in May.

Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven brought Benetton Dream FRH back into the international arena for the first time in over a year and won the Grand Prix CDI3* (for special) with 71.522%. She and Lovsta Stuteri’s stallion held the lead from first draw at 8am, just 30 minutes after the sunrise in South Florida, thanks to the recent change in the clocks for daylight savings.

Despite a year off due to injury, this was the Brentano II son’s second highest score in the grand prix test, and his first international win since his hugely successful young horse class days. This is the 14-year-old’s fourth year in a row contesting the big tour classes at the AGDF in Wellington.

Megan Lane (CAN) and her own 17-year-old Caravella came closest to beating Vilhelmson-Silfven — and was even trending higher at some points in the test — but had to settle for second place with 71% after a break to canter on the final center line. Third place went to the USA’s Adrienne Lyle, who was riding Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Juliano’s 11-year-old mare Horizon at international grand prix for the first time. The pair scored 70.109%.

It was another all-American podium in the FEI Grand Prix CDI3* (to qualify for the freestyle), with Beatrice Marienau and her own Stefano 8, by Gribaldi, taking the spoils with 68.174%. Stefano was the equal oldest horse in the class, at 19, and he has been competing at international grand prix since 2010.

Bianca Tota filled second on her own Cadento V (66.804%) in the horse’s third ever FEI test, and first-drawn James Koford was third on Sherry Koella’s striking colored Friesian sport horse mare, Adiah HP (65.804%).

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

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz Throws Down a Challenge on Lonoir in Week Seven of AGDF

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL — February 24, 2018 — Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) put clear water between herself and her fellow competitors when winning the Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Chesapeake Dressage Institute, in week seven of the 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

Riding her own Lonoir, a 14-year-old Danish warmblood gelding by De Noir, she notched up 73.319%. The closest chaser was fellow American Arlene ‘Tuny’ Page, who rode Woodstock to 70.298% despite the discomfort of a fractured heel. The Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz filled third on Aquamarijn, a 13-year-old mare by United.

“I was happy, though it still wasn’t perfectly clean,” said LaGoy-Weltz, referring to a mistake at the beginning of the two-tempis, which resulted in fours and fives from the seven judges. “It’s awesome that we’re still climbing up the scores despite that. It’s all in there; it’s a question of me learning how to put it together and us finding the right recipe of power and containment. We’re at a point where I need to show; I can get the changes at home, but I need to keep riding it better in tests and he needs to understand the difference between the two tests and find his relaxation and stay on the aids.”

LaGoy-Weltz found Lonoir when he was a seven-year-old at Danish Olympian Andreas Helgstrand’s barn in Denmark when predominantly looking for sales horses with her former boss, Kathy Priest.

“We were also looking for something for me to bring on and I didn’t have a big budget,” continued LaGoy-Weltz, who now trains with Debbie McDonald and is based in Wellington for the season. “Kathy helped me buy him as he was more than I could afford. We got him home and he’s always been a kind horse, but he’s very sensitive to pressure and can get claustrophobic. He needs to chill and Andreas and I have exchanged emails laughing about how far ‘Lono’ has come when nobody really expected that; it’s wonderful.”

The rider from Virginia praised the AGDF circuit, adding: “It’s fabulous. In Europe they have the indoor circuit, and things keep going year-round. For us, this is our circuit and gives us the opportunity to keep going in week after week. And it can be a challenging arena — like Aachen or Rotterdam — it’s not just a quiet arena that we go to week after week and think we’re really going great and then go to these huge venues and get a shock. There are so many shows here and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us.”

LaGoy-Weltz hopes to make it onto the list of eight American riders who will be invited to Europe for the summer to campaign for a place on the FEI World Equestrian Games team. Her next show with Lonoir will be the CDI4*, taking place at PBIEC on March 15-18.

Canada’s Brittany Fraser added to her ribbon count with her second small tour win of the week on Jill Irving’s Soccer City in the Intermediate I CDI1*. The pair was the unanimous winners, finishing on 70.971% — the only plus-70% score in the 11-strong class.

Irving, who bought the chestnut gelding by Sir Donnerhall x Weltmeyer at the 2010 PSI Auction in Germany for a hammer price of €250,000 (around $300,000 USD), has handed the ride to her friend and compatriot while she concentrates on her two actively-competing grand prix horses, Degas 12 and Arthur.

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

US Dressage Team Wins Silver at FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Aachen

Shannon Brinkman Photo (Left to right: Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Kasey Perry-Glass, Laura Graves, and Adrienne Lyle)

Graves and Verdades Win Grand Prix Special

Aachen, Germany – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team won the silver medal at the FEI Nations Cup at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany on Saturday with a final score of 450.392. Rio Olympic team bronze medalist Laura Graves and Verdades were foot perfect as they bested the field of competitors, unseating Germany’s Isabell Werth in the Grand Prix Special to win with a final a score of 81.824%.

“These incredible young ladies are just super athletes along with super wonderful horses, some of which are brand new to arenas such as this,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover. “I was over-wrought with emotion about them landing in second place halfway through this Nations Cup. On the one hand, a part of me expects that; I expect excellence. Still, it is an extra thrill to have this youthful look of new faces coming along with our seasoned veterans. I’m very happy and very excited about this group.”

Maintaining their silver status from Thursday’s Grand Prix, the U.S. had little to no room for error as they entered the arena. The 2016 Olympic duo of Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades, Graves’ and Curt Maes’ 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, kept the momentum going fresh off their Grand Prix test, where they placed second with a 79.514%. They were determined to keep the team on the podium by producing a showstopping performance in the Grand Prix Special.

“Today was just our day. My horse gave me a great birthday present,” said Graves. “It was actually the first time this year that we have shown in the [Grand Prix] Special. I could not be more pleased with him. Aachen brings out the top riders, and that’s what keeps me motivated.”

Graves is the fifth U.S. dressage rider to win at Aachen, behind Patricia Galvin and Jessica Ransehousen (1960), Robert Dover (1987 CHIO Freestyle) and Steffen Peters (2009).

“A win in Aachen is tantamount to a win at the Olympics,” said Dover. “She was against the very best rider from the Olympic Games, the very best rider from the World Cup and when you beat that rider and horse, it’s just everything. When you go into the stadium and have our national anthem played and our flag go up, it is something she will never forget in her life. Nothing can make me more proud or happier for her.”

London Olympic veteran Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) aboard Salvino, the 2007 Hanoverian stallion owned by Salvino Partners, LLC, entered the ring confident and composed, demonstrating brilliant movements to finish on a final score of 71.814% and 73.608% in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, respectively.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Dover. “She rode magnificently both days. Today, the marks reflected a super talented horse and a fantastic rider piloting this young horse.”

Relatively new to international competitions, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) and Lonoir, LaGoy-Weltz and Mary Anne McPhail’s 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding, competed with poise riding two technically outstanding tests, finishing the Grand Prix with a 71.514% and 72.118% in the Grand Prix Special.

“Olivia is another incredibly gifted rider. She is as tough about wanting perfect and being determined,” said Dover. “Right before she went in I said rack up as many points as you possibly can in the first half of the test because his greenness is in the second half and that’s exactly what she did. That’s what you want in a team rider; it shows another great talent for the future.”

Graves’ Rio Olympic teammate, Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.), and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 2003 Warmblood gelding, had an unexpected miscommunication in their first pirouette during Thursday’s Grand Prix, resulting in a score of 68.929% which was the drop score for the team. However, the pair’s performance on Saturday set the tone for the U.S. with a score of 71.608%.

“We wanted Kasey to keep showing the continued evolution of how this horse is coming on,” said Dover. “It [Grand Prix Special] was so amazing and so lovely. The 74-75% is right there. I’m thrilled with her.”

Germany took home top honors with a final collective team score of 471.046, and placed three of their riders in the top ten in the Grand Prix Special. Sweden, who was in fourth after the Grand Prix, surpassed Denmark to round out the top three with a final score of 437.635.

Graves and Verdades placed third with a score of 82.550% in the Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday morning.

From Classic Communications/US Equestrian Communications Department

US Dressage Team Ready to Compete in Aachen

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino (SusanJSticklePhoto.com)

Aachen, Germany – All four horses on The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team, as well as two additional U.S. athlete-and-horse combinations competing in the Aachen CDI4*, have passed the horse inspection and are ready to compete at the 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen, in Aachen, Germany, July 19-23.

The U.S. team, led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, includes the 2016 Olympic combinations of Laura Graves and Verdades and Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet, in addition to the exciting combinations of Olympic veteran Adrienne Lyle with Salvino and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz with Lonoir. Featuring a combination of new talent and international experience, the U.S. team will vie for top honors in Aachen while gaining experience and building momentum towards the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C.

The competition begins with the CDIO5* Grand Prix on Thursday followed by the CDIO5* Grand Prix Special, the second half of the team competition, on Saturday morning. The U.S. has drawn the eighth and final position in the starting order among the eight countries competing and will compete in the following order:

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino:
Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho), a 2012 London Olympian, rides Salvino Partners, LLC’s Salvino, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion.  She and Salvino continue to progress in their partnership. The exciting, developing combination recently placed third in the Grand Prix CDI3* in Rotterdam last month.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet:
Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) will compete with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 2003 Warmblood gelding. Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet earned a team bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games and placed seventh in the 2017 FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha. In May, they won the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship and was part of the gold medal winning team at CDIO5* Rotterdam in June.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir:
LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) will compete her own and Mary Anne McPhail’s Lonoir, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding. LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir continue to grow their partnership after exhibiting strong performances including a team gold in CDIO5* Rotterdam and first-place finishes in both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special in CDIO3* Wellington, Fla. earlier this year.

Laura Graves and Verdades:
Graves (Geneva, Fla.) will ride her own and Curt Maes’ Verdades, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding. Graves and her 2016 Olympic team bronze medal mount, Verdades placed second at the FEI World Cup ™ Dressage Final in Omaha. Most recently, they were part of the gold medal winning team at FEI Nations Cup ™ CDIO5* Rotterdam.

The following athlete-horse combinations will compete as individuals in the CDI4*:

Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Patricia Stempel’s Danilo, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding.

Kathleen Raine (Murrieta, Calif.) with her own, Jennifer Mason, and David Wightman’s Breanna, a 2000 Hanoverian mare.

Further information on the 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen, including a schedule of events and results, is available at chioaachen.de.

From Classic Communications/ U.S. Equestrian Communications Department

Top Riders LaGoy-Weltz, Matute, and Witte-Vrees Excel at 2017 FEI Nations Cup in Rotterdam

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz. (Photo courtesy of www.socialcircuitequine.com)

Rotterdam, The Netherlands (June 30, 2017) — Custom Saddlery, crafter of tailor-made saddles for riders and horses of all levels, congratulates three elite competitors who had outstanding performances and top placings at the 2017 FEI Nations Cup CDIO 5* dressage competition in Rotterdam, South Holland. Each of Custom Saddlery’s “Most Valuable Riders (MVRs),” Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Juan Matute Guimon, and Madeleine Witte-Vrees, demonstrated how important a personalized saddle is to each horse’s performance.

Custom Saddlery MVR LaGoy-Weltz and her 17.1-hand, 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Rassing’s Lonoir (De Noir x Loran) competed for the United States team that won the Nations Cup Competition at Rotterdam with a final score of 446.442.

LaGoy-Weltz, an experienced rider and trainer who works out of Mountain Crest Farm in Haymarket, Virginia and Wellington, Florida, scored a personal best on Lonoir in the Grand Prix and finished third with 74.580 percent. “He is an exceptionally sensitive, athletic, and sweet horse,” says LaGoy-Weltz. “He loves his time in the field as much as he loves his work. In 2014, I started riding Lono in a Custom Wolfgang model with a long block. I love the fit of that saddle. It’s still one of my favorite models. I also ride in the Omni, the Advantage Mono Flap, and the Wolfgang Solo.”

LaGoy-Weltz is sure to keep Custom Saddlery a part of her winning strategy. “Custom has an extensive network of saddlers all over the country,” she says, “and now in Europe, too. So I have a great saddle support system no matter where I go.” This MVR will waste no time in putting this support system to use this summer. “We’re on to Aachen!” she said.

Dutch Custom Saddlery MVR and Olympian Madeleine Witte-Vrees claimed reserve title in the Nations Cup Grand Prix with 75.660 percent, riding Cennin, a 10-year-old KWPN/Oldenburg stallion by Vivaldi. No strangers to success down the centerline, Witte-Vrees and Cennin were the Dutch reserve combination at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and they currently stand 22nd on the FEI World Individual Dressage Rankings.

Also successful at Rotterdam was Custom Saddlery MVR Juan Matute Guimon, a 19-year-old dressage prodigy who rides for Spain. His father is three-time Spanish Olympian Juan Matute, and the family lives in Florida. At Rotterdam, the young Matute won the CDI Under 25 Musical Freestyle on 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding Don Diego Ymas with a score of 76.015 percent – a personal best. The pair also took reserve in the CDI Under 25 Intermediaire II.

Before entering an arena for what has become a must-watch ride, Matute Guimon saddles up with the Custom Saddlery’s Advantage R model. “I love the Custom Saddlery saddles,” the young man said. “I ride with the Advantage R because it’s comfortable and precise. It fits perfectly to my horses’ backs and I feel as if my seat aid is uninterrupted. Nice leather, great seat, and comfortable for the rider and the horse. Custom has a huge variety of trees so they really make the saddle customized.

“Don Diego Ymas and I entered the arena with the attitude of a champion. We knew that if we wanted to win we had to give it our absolute best. We had a totally mistake free test and there was lots of harmony and power!” said Matute Guimon. The young Spaniard is looking forward to saddling up next at CHIO Aachen with an eye trained on competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Custom Saddlery MVRs know that quality tack and equipment are integral to bringing out the best in their horses. Other top dressage riders who agree include MVRs Heather Blitz, Patrik Kittel, and Steffen Peters. Custom Saddlery offers professional saddle fitting services with expert saddle fitters across the United States and internationally, and manufactures high quality accessories including stirrup leathers, girths, and saddle pads. Find a catalog of Custom saddles and an expert saddle fitter near you at www.mysaddle.com or call 1-800-235-3865.

For more information, contact:
Custom Saddlery, Cary Wallace
www.mysaddle.com
cary@mysaddle.com
1-800-235-3865

US Dressage Team Prepares for FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Rotterdam

Dawn White-O’Connor and Legolas 92. Photo: SusanJStickle.com.

Rotterdam, Netherlands – Continuing their European Nations Cup tour, The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team will compete at FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Rotterdam, June 22-25. The U.S. team, led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, includes Dawn White O’Connor, Kasey Perry-Glass, Laura Graves, and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz. Additionally, U.S. combinations Charlotte Jorst with Kastel’s Nintendo, Adrienne Lyle with Salvino, and Shelly Francis with Doktor will compete individually in the CDI3* competition. The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team will ride in the following order.

Dawn White-O’Connor with Legolas 92: White-O’Connor (Cardiff, Calif.) and Legolas 92 make their first Nations Cup appearance together. White-O’Connor and Four Winds Farm’s 2002 Westphalian gelding posted back-to-back victories in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the Dressage Affaire CDI3* in San Juan Capistrano in March. The combination then went on to win the $2,000 FEI Grand Prix Special at the Del Mar National Horse Show.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz with Lonoir:  In 2016 and 2017, LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) and her own 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding placed inside the top ten at every major competition. Already in 2017, LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir accomplished eight top-ten finishes, including first place titles in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special during the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, Fla.

Kasey Perry-Glass with Goerklintgaards Dublet: Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding contributed to the team bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. They then went on to achieve a top-ten finish at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Omaha, Neb. and recently won the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship at The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions.

Laura Graves with Verdades: Graves (Geneva, Fla.) is a well-known face on the U.S. dressage landscape. She and Verdades, her own and Curt Maes’s 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, placed second at the 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Omaha, Neb., in April. The duo also contributed to a team bronze medal in Rio and were part of the team silver medal efforts at 2016 CDIO5* Rotterdam.

Find out more about FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Rotterdam and watch it live on FEI TV.

By US Equestrian Communications Department

Victory for Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir in the AGDF 8 Grand Prix Special CDI-W

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir. Photo: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 3, 2017 – Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and Lonoir climbed to the top of the leaderboard in Friday’s FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W, presented by Peacock Ridge, at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF).

It was a successful day for LaGoy-Weltz and her own Lonoir, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding (De Noir x Lorani x Loran), as they captured the title in the FEI Grand Prix Special, presented by Peacock Ridge, with a score of 71.608%.

The pair has had a successful week after Friday’s win and Thursday’s second place finish in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W.

Of her ride, LaGoy-Weltz said, “He was definitely very hot in the warm-up today. He came out really cool, but then we got under the big American Flag flying and it cracked a few times, and after that we were off to the races. I was really pleased with how he settled, because he did get lit up right before we went in but he got his focus back once we were in the ring.

“We haven’t done the Grand Prix Special much,” she continued. “We haven’t ridden it since last year really, when we were down here. I think he and I need to run through it a few times just so we know where we can add the power in.”

Arlene Page (USA) and Woodstock, a 2003 KWPN gelding (Havel x Mirania x Contango) owned by Page, were awarded second place in the FEI Grand Prix Special with a score of 70.922%. Third place went to Shelly Francis (USA) and Danilo, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Annabella x Andiamo) owned by Patricia Stempel, with a 68.980%.

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

US Team 1 Holds Strong Lead in First Day of Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* Competition

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photos copyright SusanJStickle.com.

Lisa Wilcox and Galant Capture PSG CDI1* Win

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2015 – The first half of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* competition began today at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) with Team 1 of the USA leading the way after their overall performance in the FEI Prix St. Georges and the FEI Grand Prix classes. The team composed of Allison Brock, Kimberly Herslow, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, and Laura Graves reached a total score of 223.304 for the first portion of the competition. The Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* will continue tomorrow with competition in the FEI Grand Prix Special for Large Tour pairs and the FEI Intermediaire-1 for Small Tour entries, after which the team medals will be awarded. Canada Team 1 currently sits in second place, while USA Team 2 is in third. The final week of AGDF, sponsored by Stillpoint Farm, Martha Jolicoeur and Maria Mendelsohn of Illustrated Properties, and Regal Horse Products, continues through Saturday, March 28.

Watch the test for Laura Graves and Verdades! Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.

USA Team 1 put in a dominant performance to handily take the lead in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* after the FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Grand Prix classes. The team, which is composed of two Large Tour combinations and two Small Tour pairs, performed spectacularly. Not a single member of Team 1 scored below a 70.000% overall. Chef d’Equipe for Team 1, Robert Dover, was thrilled with the performance of the team as a unit and the statement they made about the resurgence of dressage in the United States. “First of all I’m so proud of all of our American riders. They have made everyone so proud,” he said. “The riders themselves came to this arena to do a job, and they will continue to go on doing that job until the end of the competition. They showed why we are ready to be ranked among the best nations in the world.”

Laura Graves and Verdades put in another solid performance, giving them another great prep test for their FEI World Cup Finals debut in April. Verdades is becoming incredibly consistent at the Grand Prix level. Graves, who went last in the class as the team’s anchor rider, felt that their late ride time was to their advantage. “I like going last, especially when it’s hot like this and the class is at this point in the day I think it’s an advantage for us,” she remarked. “I’m so lucky to be on a team with three other women who are equals and incredible competitors. I’m really very proud to be a part of this team.”

As the pair has major international plans ahead of them, Graves hopes to remove all of the kinks from their routine now so that they can get the most out their performances. “We’re still green at this. Hopefully by the end of this year, which will be our second full year riding Grand Prix, I think we will be able to ride a bit more confidently,” she noted.

Allison Brock and Rosevelt
Allison Brock and Rosevelt

Allison Brock and Rosevelt had the second-highest score, just behind Graves in the Grand Prix, with another very stellar test from the young stallion. Brock has taken her time with Rosevelt, as he is very sensitive and reactive. “He got a little hot in the warm-up with some of the commotion, but he came back to me and I was just trying to gauge with the heat how much time I needed. I wanted to take a horse in that still had gas, but wasn’t too reactive. I think we did a good job feeling that out,” said Brock. “My goal was to go and have a really clean test and for the most part he was very honest, and he went for it. He was with me, and I’m really pleased with him.”

The first to go for Team USA, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz felt some pressure before leading off, but said that “Lono” made some great improvements and it was the most extravagant test, movement-wise, he has shown so far this season. “We did have a few uncharacteristic bobbles in the test, but he was still fabulous and continued to settle as the test went on, which is great to know that he is progressing to where he can do that,” she remarked.

Kimberly Herslow, who continues to search for the perfect warm-up routine with Rosmarin when the weather is hot, felt that considering the time the pair had to warm-up today, their test went very well. “We both tend to lose a little bit of focus in the heat because it’s hard to push for the max in that, but I’m really happy with how he went considering last time it was this hot, I couldn’t create power,” she remarked. “I don’t feel like we’re maxed out at all, and I am really happy with where we are. I know he has a lot more to give still and we’ll keep building off that.”

Kasey Perry and Goerklintgaards Dublet, members of USA Team 2 in Perry’s debut international team competition, impressed in the Prix St. Georges class scoring a 73.816% to lead that class. “Dublet” came in very hot to the test, but Perry rode beautifully to keep the talented gelding composed. “It is so comforting to be on a team when something like that happens because there are so many people around you, and it really calms your nerves,” she said. “Right when I went down the centerline though, I felt him check in with me, and I knew that I had his attention and we were good to go. He never missed a beat, and he was with me the entire time.”

For LaGoy-Weltz, Brock, and Perry, this is their first international team competition, and all three felt that the team environment changed not only their attitudes about the competition, but their mentality and focus. “You feel the pressure. You’re learning the process and wanting to do well for everyone else; that’s what makes it a team thing,” said LaGoy-Weltz. Graves, who has participated in team competition before, was quick to express her pride in being named to this specific team with her fellow competitors. She expressed, “(It’s great) being with my teammates in the barn all day and feeling like we’re all in this for the same reason, and we love our horses. Having such a strong team has shown what everyone is working towards and that we are growing the depth in our sport.”

Lisa Wilcox (USA) and Galant, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding, topped the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 1* class, presented by Regal Horse Products, with a score of 69.868%. Diane Creech (CAN) and Diana C followed in second receiving a 69.368%, and Mary Rollins (USA) aboard Royal Prinz was third with 68.553%.

Lisa Wilcox and Galant
Lisa Wilcox and Galant

Wilcox, who has been steadily improving aboard the fiery chestnut gelding all season, was thrilled with their performance in the first class of Small Tour competition this week. They were the first to go in the large class, meaning they led from start to finish. “The early bird gets the worm, as they say. It’s cooler and when you feel the temperature now, during the day, there are advantages to going early. It was helpful for us this morning,” she remarked. “I was really happy with him. We’ve been going through a phase where he’s almost too light. He was wonderful, and we’re at a great point in our development.”

Wilcox and Galant have had success at AGDF before as they took home wins in the FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Intermediaire-1 last year, but this was their first CDI win so far in 2015. “We’ve had him since he was four, and he’s nine now so it has been a real journey. The development between him and me and the amount of trust we have in our relationship is immense. He’s very horse shy, and things that we would find difficult in the past have greatly improved this season,” said Wilcox. “I’ve seen so much growth in him this year alone, and I have noticed that I can keep his focus and the relationship between the two of us has really been built upon.”

Galant, who is a typically nervous horse, has truly settled for Wilcox in the warm-up and as a result, in the ring, which is why she feels their improvement has been so consistent this season. “I always felt like I had to choreograph my warm-up to what other horses in the ring were doing because he would get nervous when he felt his space was being invaded,” she explained. “The best thing for him and for us was to get out and do it this season and constantly feel surrounded by it. He finally, at some point, just let go and even though it’s still there, it’s manageable and that’s been a huge turning point for us.”

Competition at AGDF continues through Saturday March 28. Team medals will be awarded on Thursday evening, and the finale of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* will be individual medals following the freestyle classes on Friday evening. FEI CDI3* and CDI1* competition continue through the week for the conclusion of the 2015 AGDF circuit. For more information and full results from the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.

Please visit
www.globaldressagefestival.com
www.equestriansport.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz Clinches Another Blue Ribbon Finish in FEI Intermediaire-1 at AGDF 12

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir. Photo © SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 29, 2014 – American Olivia LaGoy-Weltz picked up her third first place prize in the FEI Intermediaire-1 presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty during the CDI 5*/3* at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) 12, hosted at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Tomorrow’s competition will conclude an incredibly successful circuit for the third annual AGDF.

LaGoy-Weltz rode Rassing’s Lonoir, her 10-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Lorani x De Noir), to the top of the class with a 73.421%. Second place went to Canadian Chris Von Martels and Zilverstar, who scored a 70.833%. Christopher Hickey, also of the United States, took home the third place prize for a score of 70.789% with Ronaldo.

LaGoy-Weltz was pleased to see “Lono” improve from Friday’s FEI Prix St Georges class and stay with her during the test on Saturday morning.

“I guess the I-1 is our lucky charm! He was good today. He was still hot, but we managed the warm-up a little bit differently,” LaGoy-Weltz shared. “The last few minutes before we go in is really tricky with him. [It’s important to make sure you’re] not getting him over the top before you go in, because when we go in, he kicks it up another ten notches all on his own.”

She continued, “Today, after we took the boots off and I did a canter and a halt and a trot off, he wanted to get hotter. I just kind of put him in a passage and let him passage and piaffe and let him do that until [he quieted down]. It made him have to slow down, but still have some place to put the energy. It was great, considering that I don’t actually train that [movement] that much!”

LaGoy-Weltz was also grateful for the advice offered to her by many of the world’s top dressage professionals that are in attendance at the AGDF. The supportive atmosphere has been one of the biggest benefits for LaGoy-Weltz over the last several months.

“That was really great, yesterday, when I came out. Everyone was just giving me advice. Try this, put an ear bonnet on, do that. Everyone’s really supportive, which is really nice. It takes a village,” LaGoy-Weltz remarked.

Of her test on Saturday, she smiled, “It’s pretty fun to improve your score by 10%! And the 76% from one judge was really exciting. It’s like, ‘All right, we are heading in the right direction,’ even if it’s just from one judge.”

In the short term, continuing in that direction means qualifying for the Festival of Champions in Gladstone, NJ. LaGoy-Weltz acknowledged that Lono had matured significantly over the course of the AGDF, but he still has a lot of work to do.

“The fitter he gets and the more correct he gets in his body, the hotter he gets in some ways. Just because he has a much bigger range of motion,” LaGoy-Weltz explained. “We have a lot of work to do on collection and straightness and consistency this summer.”

Collection will be the biggest focus for LaGoy-Weltz, who joked that Lono “does the hula” in his lead changes. “He likes to do everything big, so teaching him to do everything small [and collected] and be comfortable in that [is a priority]. Now he has to learn to be in the canter where is he is in the trot [mentally and physically]. Where he can put that heat into collection,” she described.

Lono’s long-term plans are less well-known, but as he begins to offer high level movements on his own, LaGoy-Weltz has started to lean towards allowing him to continue advancing.

“I’m definitely looking to the upper level people for advice whether to hang out and perfect small tour or go on. I think the consensus is to go on and keep going, because he’ll be better at that anyways,” LaGoy-Weltz said.

“He’s offering it. I think that’s the most telling point for me. I might as well put him in a position where he’s a good boy for doing that, instead of piaffe-ing at G when I’m not supposed to be!” she concluded with a laugh.

Competition for the AGDF 12 CDI 5*/3* will continue on Sunday morning at approximately 8:00 a.m. with the FEI Grand Prix Special 3*, presented by Diamante Farms. The FEI Intermediare-1 Freestyle, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will follow at approximately 2:00 p.m. at The Stadium at PBIEC. For full results and more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 8 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $400,000 in prize money for the six international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area for the International Arena fully catered for relaxing and having an enjoyable experience.

Please visit
www.globaldressagefestival.com
www.equestriansport.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com