Wellington, FL – January 24, 2013 – Lisa Wilcox and Pikko Del Cerro HU scored double wins at the Wellington Classic Dressage Sunshine Challenge CDI3* with victories Friday in the Grand Prix Special and Thursday in the Grand Prix.
Pikko Del Cerro HU, a 16.2 dark bay Hanoverian stallion owned by Horses Unlimited and Anne Sparks, scored 68.854% in Friday’s FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* USEF HP $1,000 sponsored by Palm Beach Equine and Sports Complex. The pair won Thursday’s Grand Prix CDI3* with 69.574%. In both tests, Pikko Del Cerro showed off his expressive, high piaffe and smooth tempis.
Wilcox was pleased with the horse’s improvement and concentration on the second day of competition. “I’m very happy with that,” she said. “He was right where he needed to be. I absolutely enjoyed that ride.”
Wilcox won Team Bronze for the U.S.A. in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She and Pikko Del Cerro HU won the 2011 USEF Developing Horse National Championship and the 2012 USEF Developing Grand Prix Horse National Championship, which led to their selection as the recipients of the Anne L. Barlow Ramsay Annual $25,000 Grant. The grant allowed them to travel to Germany to work with trainer Ernst Hoyos.
Another American, Shelly Francis, rode Doktor, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, to place second in Friday’s GP Special with a 67.000%. The duo scored 65.227% in Thursday’s Grand Prix CDI3*, earning a sixth place. Francis was a member of the fourth-placed U.S. team at the World Equestrian Games in 1998.
Doktor displayed a striking passage, and Francis was pleased with her horse’s improvement. “We still had a couple sticky moments, but I’m very happy,” she said.
“He’s still a little bit nervous, a little edgy.”
Canada’s Cheryl Meisner and Paganini, a 16-year-old KWPN bay stallion owned by John Risley, placed third with 65.729%. The pair placed fourth in Friday’s Grand Prix 3* with 66.894%. Meisner was all smiles after leaving the ring and said Paganini was consistent and cooperative, though less energetic than Thursday.
Mette Rosencrantz and Finally scored 63.646% to take fourth place with floaty extensions and balletic movement. “I call it wine and water,” Rosencrantz said of her ride. “The wine was all the good stuff I did, and the water was the things I lost. I think that if I didn’t have the two big mistakes that are very expensive here, it could be a really good test. I missed in my one-tempis and also one of the pirouettes. I did good trot work and a good extended trot and piaffe/passage.”
W. Lee Tubman earned 64.438% on Delight to take home fifth place. Delight looked as if he was on springs as he performed an energetic passage. “That was the best performance he’s given me thus far,” Tubman said with a smile. “Quite steady, quite reliable, tried really, really hard. He was very, very tense here yesterday, but today he was much more relaxed. I was much more relaxed too, which helped.”
U.S. rider Todd Flettrich riding Danseur, a 13-year-old 17-hand chestnut Württemberg gelding owned by Margaret Duprey’s Cherry Knoll Farm, placed sixth in Friday’s Grand Prix Special with 63.104% and fifth in Thursday’s Grand Prix 3* with 66.574%.
Bernd Schopf rounded out the placings in seventh with 61.958% on his own De Value, a bay Hanoverian stallion. The team finished tenth in Thursday’s Grand Prix with 64.447%.
The action continues later today at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center with the first event of World Dressage Masters Palm Beach, the Grand Prix CDI5*.
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge and Sue Weakley for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International