Wellington, FL – March 15, 2019 – The “Friday Night Stars” shined during Week 10 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). The night featured the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. Spectators enjoyed a great evening of freestyles and the presentation of the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* team medals.
Shelly Francis (USA) and Danilo received the gold medal in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. The pair broke eighty-one percent with a score of 81.840%. “I’ve been making personal best the last three or four shows in a row. I’m kind of excited,” said Francis of her season with the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding by DeNiro x Annabella owned by Patricia Stempel.
Francis’s music especially draws in the crowd at her last centerline. She commented, “I think at that point he’s already ready to make that piaffe and passage up the center line at the end. When the crowd starts clapping and cheering, he starts doing a little more. I just sit there and try to turn real careful in that pirouette, because he’s already so active and going. It feels awesome, and in that last bit of passage he feels on fire with feather-like control. The crowd picks him up a little and they pick me up. He likes this freestyle.”
Tina Irwin and Laurencio Capture Gold in FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDIO3*
Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio took the gold medal in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. The pair rode to a score of 74.460%. “He felt amazing all week in the warm-up,” said Irwin of her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Laurentio. “We just have to channel a little bit of that energy in the changes. Overall, he’s pretty steady and consistent. I’m thrilled with the week I’ve had with him.”
Laurencio is feeling good and looking for harder work. “Two years ago, I would start with two tempis down the centerline, and I was debating today whether to do that or not. I thought, ‘Ah no, I’m just going to go safe.’ Just before I halted, he threw in a couple of one [tempis] again. Jaimey, my husband, said, ‘I think you’ve got to do those tempis because he’s looking for some work on that centerline.’ I think I’m definitely going to go back to that now. He’s looking for more work, and I think he’s an over-achiever.”
The silver medal went to Jennifer Baumert (USA) and Handsome with a score of 74.300%. “I actually was so happy with yesterday that I tried to keep my warm-up the same,” said Baumert of the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Hochadel. “To keep him sharp and make sure he was feeling good about himself.”
U25 Riders Get Their First Experience Riding under the Lights at AGDF
In the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms, Lauren Asher (USA) and West Side took their third gold medal of the week. The pair rode to a score of 74.475%. “I don’t think it’s really sunk in,” said Asher of her victory on the 16-year-old KWPN gelding by Florett AS. “It’s a dream come true, and to actually have it become a reality is pretty crazy. It’s a fantastic feeling. I’m really grateful to my whole team behind me.”
Asher spoke to the great opportunity of riding in the U25 division. She said, “I think it’s definitely different in U25 versus Young Riders. It’s definitely on a bigger scale, especially to have the freestyle here tonight under the lights. It’s a fantastic stepping stone.”
Kerrigan Gluch (USA) and Bolero CXLVIII captured the silver medal with a score of 71.700%. “This freestyle was originally not mine. I made some tweaks and made it my own,” said Gluch of her test. “I tried to highlight the horse’s strengths. I think the piaffe-passage is one of the horse’s highlights. I tried to use that to my advantage a bit.
“I think overall the freestyle fits the horse really nicely; I think it has a good energy. I love the final centerline. It’s my favorite part. It has tons of energy, and I think the crowd and the judges enjoy it a little bit more. It’s an awesome feeling finishing on that,” concluded Gluch.
Wellington, FL – January 26, 2019 – Competition for the third week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL continued on Saturday, January 26, with a win for Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Horseware Ireland.
Irwin and Laurencio, her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Laurentio, earned a score of 75.900%. “He has a temperament of 10, a 10 out of 10. This horse is phenomenal. I’ve had since he was four years old and trained him up from the beginning to the grand prix level,” said Irwin about her partner Laurencio. “I can really put him in any atmosphere and he’s the same; he’s as steady as they come. I feel very lucky.
“The highlight was the harmony. It was really fluid, and Laurencio was very rideable and everything just flowed,” added Irwin about her test. “I held back a bit on my first centerline. I usually enter in two tempis and I didn’t do that this time. I could up my degree of difficulty a little bit; I could always push for more expression and for more energy for sure.”
Irwin and Laurencio began competing in CDI competition at AGDF in 2016. “There are so many things I love about coming here,” she said. “[I love] the weather first of all, I love the community, I love the atmosphere, I like the people, and it’s just a really phenomenal place to be. If you want to be competitive, you have to come to Florida. This is where the best come in North America.”
In the FEI Intermediate I CDI1*, presented by Discover Dressage, Lindsay Kellock (CAN) and Floratina, a 11-year-old Hanoverian mare by Fidertantz owned by Chloe Gasiorowski, won with a score of 71.471%.
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.”
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%.
Wellington, FL – February 26, 2017 – Week seven of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded competition on Sunday, February 26, with a win for Tina Irwin (CAN) and mount Laurencio in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 1*, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center.
Irwin and Laurencio, a 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Laurentio x Pasadena x Donerhall) owned by Irwin, were the champions in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 1*, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, with a winning score of 78.708%.
“My ride started off kind of interestingly,” said Irwin. “We halted and saluted, and then my music stopped playing because the power went out briefly. I got the option to start again, so I did. I start with two-tempis into my halt, and I had nailed them the first time so I hoped I would do that again, and luckily we nailed them again. Halfway through my canter work, my curb chain came loose and then fell off. So, we continued on and still got the job done, so I’m pretty pleased, considering all of that. He didn’t skip a beat and nothing fazed him. He’s a pretty amazing horse.”
In regards to their future together, Irwin commented, “I definitely plan on doing a Grand Prix and making a major team, Olympics for sure. We’ll see about WEG when the time comes. I would love to do all of that with him.”
Second place in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 1* was awarded to Steffen Peters (USA) and Bailarino, a 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Breitling x Schila x De Niro) owned by Four Winds Farm, scoring 77.000%. Third place went to Jaimey Irwin (CAN) and Donegal V, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Johnston x Remy x Gribaldi) owned by Team Irwin Supporters Group, with a score of 75.625%.
Competition at AGDF will resume with a full schedule of classes on March 2-5, with the highlight FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Everglades Dressage, on a special night, Saturday, March 4. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.