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Archive for February, 2014

Audi Wins George Haas Cup; Nic Roldan Named Most Valuable Player

February 27, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

George Haas Cup champions Fred Mannix, Nic Roldan, Lucas Lalor, Grant Ganzi of Audi. Photo by Scott Fisher

WELLINGTON, FL-Feb. 24, 2014—Audi won its first polo tournament of the 2014 high goal polo season on Sunday at International Polo Club.

Audi, one of the winningest teams steeped in tradition, captured the George Haas Cup with an 11-9 victory over Faraway.

Audi (Grant Ganzi, Lucas Lalor, Nic Roldan, Fred Mannix) dominated most of the game against Faraway (Hutton Goodman, Martin Pepa, Santiago Chavanne, Mariano Gonzalez).

Audi took the lead (5-3) in the second chukker and never relinquished it for the remainder of the game.

Roldan was named Most Valuable Player after scoring eight goals and playing well on both ends of the field. Lalor and Mannix each scored one goal and the team picked up another goal on handicap.

Most Valuable Player Nic Roldan of Audi. Photo by Scott Fisher

“We stuck to our same routine, hitting the ball and playing the simplest possible, wide-open polo using all four players and it worked,” Roldan said. “We were very solid on defense. We didn’t give them any goals. We made them work for their goals. We stuck to the plan and had a blast.

“For me, I thought Lucas deserved MVP, he played amazing,” Roldan said. “A lot of people out there really don’t realize it, but when you are on the field, defensively he played amazing. He is a great player.”

The game also marked the 20-goal IPC tournament debut of Ganzi, 15, a sophomore at St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton. It was a memorable game for Ganzi, one of the youngest player-patrons in the U.S. to win a 20-goal tournament.

Audi’s Grant Ganzi (1) defending Faraway’s Hutton Goodman (1).
Photo by Scott Fisher

“I woke up pretty early this morning,” said the third-generation polo player. “I was kind of nervous because this was my first 20-goal game at IPC. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how fast everything was going to be because I’ve never played anything like this in my life.

“I’m very happy. The team played well, my first cup at IPC, I can’t complain. It was a good win.”

Ganzi’s father Marc helped Audi qualify with a semifinal victory over Tonkawa. He sat out the final to enable his son, who regularly competes for Casablanca, to play in preparation for Friday’s Iglehart Cup opener.

Team Audi with Marc and Melissa Ganzi, Fred Mannix Sr., Li-Anne Mannix, Fred Mannix and wife Kelsey and daughter Brooklyn. 
Photo courtesy of Melissa Ganzi.

“It’s a great advantage being this young playing at this level,” Ganzi said. “I am playing with all these good players and they are great role models and telling me what to do on the field. It’s going to take me to the next level.

“Not every kid has this opportunity and I am very thankful,” Ganzi said. “Faraway played well. I don’t think they saw me as a patron, they saw me as a young player and treated me with respect and I appreciate that.”

His parents, Marc and Melissa, both avid polo players and owners of Grand Champions Polo Club, watched their son from the sidelines. His mom called the game “nervewracking.”

“My dad gave me advice before the game,” Ganzi said. “He told me what to do on knock-ins and to stay on the man, always hit backhanders and hit the ball once instead of so many touches.”

Audi MVP Nic Roldan (3) drives downfield for one of this eight goals.
Photo by Scott Fisher

Veteran players Roldan and Mannix smiled at the thought of remembering when they were 15 and playing polo. Roldan was the youngest player to win the U.S. Open at 15.

“This is huge for Grant, he played great,” Roldan said. “He didn’t make any mistakes. He hit a couple of good balls and back shots. When you’re young you want to go out there and have fun and I think Grant did that.

“If you want to succeed in polo the only way is to start young and play good polo at the 16, 18, 20-goal level,” Roldan added. “The more polo these kids play the better they are going to improve.”

Audi’s Fred Mannix (4) battles for ball possession. Photo by Scott Fisher

Mannix was playing at El Dorado Polo Club when he was 15.

“They had an 18-goal tournament going on there and I was actually playing with Mariano Gonzalez, my good friend Daniel Roenisch and Graham Bray,” Mannix said. “I think I had three goals. We had an awesome team. I remember playing against some great players.

“Obviously, Grant is the new generation coming along,” Mannix said. “I thought he played awesome today. On the field he knows where to be, he’s got the good positioning. We are trying to help him more with the fundamentals of how to be more effective on the field, but he’s a natural. He picks it up with one suggestion, he knows what to do.”

Faraway staged a late rally in the fifth chukker but was turned away by Audi.

Audi’s Fred Mannix (4) works the ball out of the air with Faraway’s Santiago Chavanne defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

“This was fun,” Mannix said. “The team is good. We enjoy playing with one another. Nic is a great player, he is one of the best American players that we have seen in a long time. He plays with heart. He wants to win every game, he wants to win every practice and that’s contagious. Lucas played very well and Grant made a great debut here.”

For game recaps, news, features and photos of Grand Champions Polo Club-related events, go towww.grandchampionspoloclub.org.

Game video can also be seen at PoloNow Network at http://www.polonow.tv/.

2014 HIGH GOAL SEASON

FEBRUARY 21-MARCH 2: C.V. Whitney Cup- Wednesday, Semifinals, Orchard Hill vs. Crab Orchard 1 p.m., Valiente vs. Alegria, 3 p.m.; Thursday, Les Armour Cup, Semifinals, Audi vs. Coca-Cola, 10:30 a.m., Lechuza Caracas vs. Flight Options, 1 p.m.; MARCH 2, Les Armour Cup final, noon; Championship Final, 3 p.m.

FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 8: Iglehart Cup-Friday, CT Energia vs. Palm Beach Illustrated, 1 p.m.; Casablanca vs. Los Machitos/Heathcote, 3 p.m.; MARCH 5, Semifinals 1, 3 p.m.; MARCH 8, Final, 1 p.m.

MARCH 5-23: USPA Piaget Gold Cup

MARCH 26-APRIL 20: 110th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championships

GRAND CHAMPIONS @ PALM BEACH POLO 2014 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (HOTLINE 561-373-0073)

FEBRUARY: Halo Polo Trophy (5 Goals); USPA Cyril R. Harrison Trophy; USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy.

MARCH: Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (5 goals); The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series; USPA Regional President’s Cup (8 goals); $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament; The Top Pony 12-Goal Series; Santa Rita Abierto (16 goals).

APRIL: Las Acacias (5 goals); USPA Association Cup (8 goals); Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame Challenge Cup (12-goals); John T. Oxley Memorial Trophy (16 goals).

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE

TUESDAY: 8-goal, Tuff Riders/Tulum vs. TLC Development, Field 9, 3 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: 12-goal, Catamount vs. KIG, Field 10, 10 a.m.; Palm Beach Equine vs. Far Niente, Field 8, 3 p.m.; Enigma vs. Casablanca, at La Herradura Ecuador, 4 p.m.

THURSDAY: 5-goal, Aliano Realty vs. Elegante Polo/Tuff Riders, Cypress Field, 10 a.m.; Pony Express at Santa Clara, 4 p.m.

FRIDAY: 8-goal, Tonchala vs. Hawk Hill, at Las Palmas, 3 p.m.; 5-goal, Top Gun at Pony Express, 4 p.m.

SATURDAY: 5-goal, Halo Polo Trophy Final, Series B, Field 10, 10 a.m.; Halo Polo Trophy Final, Series A, 11:30 a.m.; 12-goal, USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy Handicap Final, Field 8, 1:30 p.m.; USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy Final, Field 2, 3 p.m.

SUNDAY: 8-goal, USPA Cyril Harrison Trophy Final, Cypress Field, 11 a.m.

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB SCHEDULE (561-644-5050)

MARCH 9: Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match, 10 a.m., benefitting the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.

MARCH 17: Buzz Welker Memorial Tournament

APRIL 4-5: Fifth annual Gay Polo League International Tournament

APRIL 8-12: Women’s Championship Tournament

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Flight Options. Everyone is welcome to watch high, medium and low goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the winter, spring and fall tournament season and other special events including International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

Susan Dutta and Currency DC Are Best in FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* at AGDF Alix Szepesi and Majco Thunder’s Hattrick Triumph in FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle CDI 3*

February 27, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

For Immediate ReleaseLaura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media

 

Wellington, FL – February 23, 2014 – CDI 3* competition wrapped up on Sunday afternoon at the seventh week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). After a full week of CDIO and CDI 3* competition, the FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle, presented by Peacock Ridge, crowned its winner Sunday morning. Competition concluded for the week with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Stillpoint Farm.

 

Competition for AGDF 8 will resume on February 28 for the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W. The feature event of the week, the FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix Freestyle, will be highlighted on the evening of Saturday, March 1.

 

The FEI Grand Prix Freestyle was a truly international class, seeing riders from Canada, the United States, Germany, Georgia, Brazil, and Italy. American Susan Dutta and her own Currency DC, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, emerged victorious from the class with a score of 71.950%. Canadian Jacqueline Brooks rode to second place with D Niro on a score of 71.275%. Maria Kaldewei (GER) rounded out the top three with a score of 68.625% aboard Die Suesse.

Susan Dutta and Currency DC

Dutta was very pleased with the improvements she saw in her test after making some adjustments to her choreography. “I’ve done this choreography a few times this year, and I kept having mistakes in the changes. We were finally like, ‘Let’s change the lines to make it so that we can have some success of a clean trip.’ And it was good. It worked. So that was a nice feeling,” Dutta explained.

 

She continued, “I’m just right now trying to get clean, technical tricks. That’s a huge success for me. I’ve never been a fancy choreography rider. I always have great music, but I like to be a safe rider.”

 

Dutta’s “Slumdog Millionaire”-themed music was a natural choice, given her husband Tim’s Indian heritage. She was particularly drawn to the lyrics, “jai ho,” that repeat through her routine; they mean “blessings” in Hindi.

Of her choreography, Dutta commented, “I love the pirouettes on the short end [of the ring] because you can really ride into them. For me, it fixes the habit that I love to over prepare, and I just don’t have the time, so they’re always good. I love the ending, that fan in the piaffe. I could do those all day long.”

 

She continued, “I don’t do anything too crazy tricky because the horse is pretty flamboyant in those movements, so you want [the judges and audience] to just be able to watch and enjoy him and not be too radical in the movements.”

 

Second place finisher Brooks tried out a new freestyle with D Niro, which she felt went quite well. Her biggest victory was reaching a breakthrough in the gelding’s self-carriage. “He’s just mature now. He knows his job now. I finally feel like the fitness and the strength and understanding are all at the same level,” Brooks remarked.

 

She elaborated, “This season, it’s all about his strength and his self-carriage. That’s a scary thing when you start saying to them in the ring, ‘Now you go ahead and try to do this on your own,’ and you try to give them a little bit less help so you can push them uphill. That I was extremely pleased with today.”

 

A unique challenge of the AGDF for Brooks is tweaking the timing of her choreography to make up for the fact her horse moves differently on the footing of The Stadium. “On this amazing footing, it’s different timing than in a normal sand ring. They stay on the surface a bit more here, they gain a bit more ground. You see people will usually finish a bit ahead of their music on this footing,” Brooks described.

 

Brooks actually sees the difference in timing as an advantage with her new choreography, not a hindrance. “I’m really happy with where I’m using up that music. I can make it a bit more difficult. I can take my half passes really to the walls and back, which increased the degree of difficulty,” Brooks expressed.

 

Alix Szepesi (USA) and Majco Thunder’s Hattrick topped the FEI Intermediaire Freestyle-1 earlier on Sunday with a score of 68.542%. Second place went to fellow American Bent Jensen and Saracen, who earned a 67.833%. Sonia Zugel of Ireland rounded out the top three with Ungaro with a 67.083%.

 

Szepesi was quite pleased to see “Hattrick,” a 13-year-old Knabstrupper gelding co-owned by Szepesi and Michelle Doucette, coming along nicely during his first year the CDI level.

 

“He came in, he had good energy. He was on the aids. I think we were right on the music. It was a lot of fun. I got a little over eager in one of the canter pirouettes. We were going into our first canter pirouette and I was thinking ‘This is great!’ and I didn’t keep him connected enough, so he kind of had a little fumble coming out of it,” Szepesi explained.

 

She continued, “Our first line of two tempis was really good, I think the three [tempis] were right on. I think I hit the music like right on. We had a little bobble in our second line of two tempis, but he felt great and it just flowed with the music.”

 

Hattrick enjoys his freestyle music so much, he’s memorized all of the markers in the music to transition between movements. Szepesi enjoys feeling him light up in anticipation of the next element of choreography.

Alix Szepesi and Majco Thunder’s Hattrick

Szepesi described that managing Hattrick in a CDI environment outside of the ring has been a big adjustment for the gelding, with the biggest test being how Hattrick would react to staying in FEI stabling instead of going home each day to several hours of turn-out after a National show.

 

“I really believe in turn-out and he’s used to getting turn-out like four or six hours a day, even down here in Wellington. We found a place that has enough turn-out for the horses to go out and have grass and just be normal. What we’d done in the past, [for National shows], we just put him the trailer, did the class, and went home,” Szepesi described.

 

Szepesi credited groom Emily LaGrave for making the smooth transition into CDI possible. “I have a wonderful groom, Emily LaGrave. She stays with him all day. She walks him, and she grazes him, so he’s not just standing in the stall. It makes a huge difference,” Szepesi expressed.

 

She continued, “She’s been doing an incredible job with keeping him sparkling white. That is all Emily! She gets a lot of compliments on that.”

 

Hattrick’s gleaming white coat and spotted skin tends to turn heads amongst the sea of bay and chestnut horses often seen ringside. Szepesi admitted she didn’t even know the Knabstrupper breed existed before watching a video of Hattrick, and the gelding simply happened to fall in her lap.

 

“A Danish dealer that we had worked with before just sent videos. I think he must have just had a video of this horse and he sent to everyone he knew, so we just got this video at the barn one day. We looked at the video and pretty much everybody in the beginning said, ‘No, he’s got spots,'” Szepesi described.

 

But a few weeks later, now co-owner Doucette came back to Szepesi to ask about the horse with the spots. The video had struck a chord with her and despite hearing he had already been sold, Doucette urged Szepesi to reach out to the dealer.

 

“We called the dealer and he said, ‘As a matter of fact, the guy’s sponsorship fell through and I have the horse back in the barn now.’ It’s one of those things that was kind of meant to be,” Szepesi recalled.

 

The only trait that stands out more than his looks is Hattrick’s remarkably laid-back attitude on the showgrounds. He stood calmly while being adorned with his blue ribbon and winner’s cooler before quietly walking into the ring for the awards presentation. He’s so quiet Szepesi doesn’t even worry about putting protective wraps or boots on him for the victory lap.

 

“He’s always been like that! The woman that bred him [Ingrid Mikkelsen] actually did some Monty Roberts [natural horsemanship] stuff,” Szepesi commented. “She sent us some foal pictures and there were ones of him with the big ball and walking under tarps.”

 

Szepesi will continue to compete Hattrick in the remaining CDI competitions of the AGDF. By the end of the season, she hopes to ride him in an Intermediaire A class to continue to move towards an FEI Grand Prix debut.

 

Tanya Strasser-Shostak added another blue ribbon to her already impressive haul from AGDF 7 after winning the FEI Young Rider Freestyle, presented by Engel & Völkers. Strasser-Shostak and Action Tyme topped the class with a 70.292%.

 

Competition for the AGDF resumes Friday, March 28, for the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur and Maria Mendelsohn of Illustrated Properties.

 

Full Results for FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle, presented by Peacock Ridge

Rider, Country, Horse, Age, Breeding: Judge E%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Total %

1 Alix Szepesi, USA, Majco Thunder’s Hattrick, 13-year-old Knapstrupper gelding owned by rider, Jasmin x Thunder Boy: 66.375%, 72.375%, 66.875%, 68.542%

 

2 Bent Jensen, USA, Saracen, 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Michael Bitely, Damoiselle x Sciitar: 66.625%, 66.750%, 70.125%, 67.833%

 

3 Sonia Zugel, IRL, Ungaro, 17-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding owned by rider, M. Lady One x Weltmeyer II: 67.250%, 66.500%, 67.500%, 67.083%

 

4 Samira Mayumi Uemura, BRA, Tamarindo XI, 10-year-old P.R.E. stallion owned by rider, Kiv x Maglco VI: 65.625%, 62.875%, 66.625%, 65.042%

 

Full Results for FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Stillpoint Farm

Rider, Country, Horse, Age, Breeding: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %

 

1 Susan Dutta, USA, Currency DC, 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Cinderella x Clintino: 70.125%, 76.375%, 69.875%, 69.625%, 73.750%, 71.950%

 

2 Jacqueline Brooks, CAN, D Niro, 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Brookhaven Dressage Inc., Alitalia x D Day: 71.875%, 74.125%, 70.000%, 70.750%, 69.625%, 71.275%

 

3 Maria Kaldewei, GER, Die Suesse, 12-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by rider, Wanda x Diamond Hit: 69.375%, 67.500%, 68.250%, 70.375%, 67.625%, 68.625%

 

4 Silvia Rizzo, ITA, Sal, 15-year-old Lusitano stallion owned by Silvia Rizo & Hof Marabunta, Maia x Mississipe: 64.750%, 67.250%, 66.125%, 66.750%, 67.760%, 66.125%

 

5 Joanne Vaughan, GEO, Prego, 17-year-old KWPN stallion owned by rider, Evelien x Zazou: 67.675%, 64.875%, 65.000%, 62.500%, 65.125%, 64.975%

 

Photo Credit: Photos © SusanJStickle.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

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

The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Chester Weber’s First Live Oak Driver ApprenticeBrings a Real ‘Wise Guy’

February 24, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Ocala, FL (February 19, 2014) – Jacob Arnold, who began a mentorship under Chester Weber in January as the first up-and-coming driver to benefit from Weber’s inaugural Live Oak Driver Apprentice Program, is getting a real ‘Wise Guy’ to work with: Ijsbrand Chardon’s talented FEI prospect Wise Guy, known fondly as Whooper

Jacob Arnold and Whooper. (Photo courtesy of Live Oak Combined Driving)

Jacob Arnold and Whooper. (Photo courtesy of Live Oak Combined Driving)

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to have a chance to drive such a talented horse. Wise Guy (aka Whooper) has shown he has what it takes to be a top-level FEI level horse for many years to come. I owe a debt of gratitude to Iron Spring Farm for sponsoring me and a big thank you to Chester Weber, who came up with this idea, and has gone above and beyond to make this a reality,” says Live Oak’s first Driver Apprentice.

“I am very excited,” Arnold continued, “as I begin this journey with such an unbelievable amount of support. I am very fortunate to have such wonderful opportunity.”

Whooper’s owner, Ijsbrand Chardon, is also excited about turning his talented horse over to such a rising star as Arnold – and respected competitor worldwide as Weber.  “It’s great to see a talented driving horse help develop a young, motivated and talented driver like Jacob Arnold,” Chardon said of the 10-year old, Iron Spring Farm-bred gelding sired by Sir Sinclair ISF.

“Whooper is a very talented horse that was trained and driven by Ijsbrand as part of his Individual Silver and Team Gold medal winning team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky,” said Weber.  “With his dynamic and vivid expression, Whooper is a correct, expansive mover that will make a lasting impression on the Single Driving world.”

“Live Oak Combined Driving has always been involved in the ongoing development of many drivers, and Jacob and Whooper represent everything the apprenticeship hopes to achieve,” said the 10-time U.S. Four-in-Hand Driving Champion of the program he has launched to give developing drivers hands-on experience competing at their discipline’s highest levels. US Team Trainer Michael Freund is also a supporter of Live Oak’s Apprentice Driver program, saying, “I think this is a fantastic opportunity for Jacob.  I’m very glad Chester Weber has decided to support such a young and talented driver.  This is exactly what driving in the US needs to improve the sport and move forward.”

Arnold arrived at Live Oak Plantation in Ocala, FL, in and will train and compete Wise Guy while also working as part of Weber’s training and competition team.

Arnold may be the program’s first beneficiary but don’t equate apprenticeship with inexperience. The 2011 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year spent 2013 working with nine-time National Pony Four-in-Hand Champion, Allison Stroud, as head groom and backstep at events including the 2013 Pony Combined World Championships in Pau, France and, since 2010, has competed nationally in the Advanced Single Horse division.

A Spring 2012 Selection Trial win Short Listed Arnold for the Single World Championships. Unable to take that horse to Europe to compete, he took a working student position in Holland, with Ijsbrand Chardon, the summer Chardon won Individual Bronze and Team Gold at the Four-in-Hand World Championships in Riesenbeck, Germany.

Arnold will be part of Team Weber and Clark as they aim for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, continuing the international momentum he and his team generated last season after wins at the 2014 WEG test event at CAI-Caen, and CAIO Saumur, and top three finishes at Beekbergen and Aachen.

Learn more about Live Oak Combined Driving, Inc., the Live Oak Driver Apprentice Program, and Chester Weber at www.chesterweber.com and via a link to Facebook.

Adrienne Lyle Wins Gold in Individual Stillpoint Farm CDIO Nations Cup Competition at AGDF; Matute Jr. and Konyot Take Silver and Bronze

February 24, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Canada Sweeps FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* presented by Peacock Ridge

 

For Immediate Release
Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

 

Wellington, FL – February 21, 2014 – Individual medals for the Stillpoint Farm CDIO Nations Cup were presented following the FEI I-1 Freestyle and FEI Grand Prix Freestyle competition, part of the week’s featured “Friday Night Stars” event. Both freestyles were judged as one class to crown the individual champions of the Stillpoint Farm CDIO Nations Cup at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). Earlier in the day, riders from Canada took the top three places in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* presented by Peacock Ridge.

 

The top three in the CDIO competition all scored within one percent of each other, with Adrienne Lyle and Wizard taking the top podium position for their score of 75.800%. Matute Jr. wasn’t far behind with Don Diego Ymas; the pair scored a 75.325%. Tina Konyot and Calecto V finished with a 75.200%.
 

 

Watch Adrienne Lyle and Wizard perform their winning freestyle test! Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.
Watch Adrienne Lyle and Wizard perform their winning freestyle test! Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.
Tuny Page of Stillpoint Farm was extremely pleased with how the class played out, using the format tested for next year’s Pan American Games for both the team and individual competition. The format may have been unusual, but Page believed it brought out the best in the sport. “It is an unusual situation to have I-1 and grand prix compete against each other, but in this instance I honestly think the cream rose to the top. My sense of it is that the judges are really satisfied with the results that they got,” Page commented.

 

Page was also very happy with the turn out of the crowd and their enthusiasm for the sport.

 

“It’s a really great synergy between the riders and the audience. These three riders elicited a huge response from the audience, and that speaks to the truth of what they had – tremendous harmony and huge risk. Risk that they pulled off, so I say bravo!” Page remarked.
Tina Konyot, Adrienne Lyle, and Juan Matute, Jr.
While sponsoring the entire circuit has been incredibly rewarding for Allyn Mann of Adequan®, the Stillpoint Farm CDIO Nations Cup competition was in a league of its own.

 

“The element of the Nations Cup just takes it to another level. I think of Robert Dover and his vision for us going down the road. The excitement of the competition for the individuals and for the teams. We are just thrilled to be a part of it, and I am just so overwhelmed by the gratitude that people have shown us for being just a little piece of the puzzle. I think it takes a community of people to make this work, and I’m just so humbled to be a part of it,” Mann commented.

 

Having two American riders medal individually on the heels of a USA victory during team competition was the perfect ending for United States Dressage Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover.

 

“I have been unbelievably proud of all of our riders throughout the Nations Cup,” Dover remarked. “Debbie MacDonald is the best person and the best coach a group of people can have and she and I together make a really strong team, with all the coaches and all the staff, everyone that has come here from the USEF. Debbie and I and the other coaches are determined, along with our federation, to move this country not just to a medal podium, but to the highest one.”
Adrienne Lyle and Wizard
It’s been some time since Lyle and Wizard have attempted the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, but it was plain to see during their performance that both rider and horse were more than happy to be riding their test.

 

“I was thrilled with my freestyle,” Lyle beamed. “[Wizard] is very spicy. He is very hot-headed, especially in the freestyle, so we’ve actually been making a plan on how to build up to this. We got him out, walked him around, put him back, got him out again, trying to ease him into it. He actually felt super rideable, probably the most rideable he’s felt in a freestyle. I’m so thrilled with him. He felt powerful and expressive, but he still stayed with me.”

 

She continued, “I love my music. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it gets the crowd going. He’s got a lot of personality when he gets out there, and the crowd’s always into it, they’re whooping and hollering, and he builds on that and I do too, and I just think it’s fun to ride to!”
Adrienne Lyle in her winning podium presentation with Equestrian Sport Productions’ Michael Stone, Allyn Mann of Adequan, Tuny and Charlotte Page of Stillpoint Farm, Cora Causemann of ESP, and President of the Ground Jury Anne Gribbons
Lyle also expressed her gratitude to the Thomas family, her long-time supporters and owners of Wizard.

 

“Thank you to the Thomas family. They’ve been my sponsors for nine years, eight years with Wizard. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have any of the chances that I have had in my career. They have been incredible,” Lyle expressed.

 

Matute Jr., who competed at the FEI Intermediaire-1 level, did not dwell on the fact that he was going up against riders capable of more complicated movements, instead focusing on the great feeling he got out of Don Diego Ymas.

 

See Juan Matute, Jr. and Don Diego Ymas perform their freestyle! Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.
See Juan Matute, Jr. and Don Diego Ymas perform their freestyle! Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.
“Grand prix has a lot of harder movements, a little more risk. Overall harder to ride, a harder tour. I was super pleased with my score. The ride was phenomenal. I think I got pretty much all out of Don Diego. It was fantastic. I couldn’t ask for anything more. No complaints!” Matute Jr. grinned.

 

Friday evening’s class was only the third freestyle Don Diego Ymas and Matute Jr. have performed and the first time either had ever competed under the lights. Despite some initial nerves, Matute Jr. agreed that the increased atmosphere was a lot of fun for both of them.

 

“He actually likes it. I think he likes the people watching him and the pressure of everyone watching. I think we both like it actually,” Matute Jr. explained.
Juan Matute, Jr. and Don Diego Ymas
He continued, “This was our third freestyle. Our cleanest, our most pushed to the limit. I think it was our best freestyle so far, and I think the pirouettes with one hand was the highlight of the test today.”

 

Konyot admitted that she and Calecto V can have trouble accepting anything but first place, but she was very pleased to see her younger counterparts on the podium on Friday.

 

“I think it’s the first that I am so thrilled to be third actually,” Konyot laughed. “I mean I always want to win, but I am so excited and so happy. First of all, the young man, I am overwhelmed just watching him ride, the family, the overall feeling of it was so happy.”

 

The evening’s atmosphere was electric thanks to packed stands and a black tie dress code for the Global Pavilion. A South Florida native, Konyot was especially excited to see the surrounding community flocking to The Stadium.
Tina Konyot and Calecto V
“When we drove in here this evening to see all the people and excitement, all revolving around dressage, here in South Florida where I was born and raised. It’s just an amazing feeling,” Konyot remarked.

 

Matute Jr. concluded the evening by honoring his father, Juan Matute Sr., whom he credited with his success. After a touching speech expressing his gratitude, he removed his silver medal to place it around his father’s neck.

 

Addressing his father, Matute Jr. said, “I want to thank my dad. This medal, I know it was me in the ring, but he is the reason I am here. He is my number one coach. Everything I know and everything I have learned is because of him. So this medal is for you. It’s yours!”

 

Karin Pavicic and Don Daiquiri Are Best in FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* presented by Peacock Ridge

 

Earlier on Friday, Canadian riders swept the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* presented by Peacock Ridge, with Karin Pavicic winning the class aboard Don Daiquiri. Don Daiquiri, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Jayne Essig, and Pavicic earned a top score of 69.440%. Second place finishers Tom Dvorak and Viviva’s Salieri W finished on a score of 68.620%. The top three was rounded out by Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro; the pair finished in third place with a 67.120%.
Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri
For her win, Pavicic was also awarded the Champion Equine Insurance Dressage Style Award, presented by Laura Fetterman.

 

Pavicic has ridden Don Daiquiri for owner Essig for the last six years. Essig bought him as a five-year-old and handed him over to Pavicic upon realizing he needed the touch of a professional.

 

“It’s been a fantastic journey with him. He was a little bit challenging to start with, which is why I got the horse. It was a bit too much horse [for the owner] and we really hit off in the very beginning, and it’s just been getting better and better throughout the years,” Pavicic explained. “I think that’s the really great thing about this sport. As the partnership grows and develops, your results I think speak for themselves.”

 

Despite being a little bit tired going into the test, Pavicic thought Don Daiquiri still performed beautifully in the ring. “I was really happy with my horse today. He was a little bit tired when I brought him out, but overall super rideable and relaxed. My goal was to be mistake-free, and I accomplished that for the most part. I’m really happy about that,” Pavicic detailed.

 

 

Second place finisher Dvorak, of Ontario, was also thrilled with his horse, describing Friday’s test as a “breakthrough day” for Viva’s Salieri W.

 

“Today was a breakthrough day because up until now, he always had a lot of tension in the ring and that tension always went a little bit against me and not for me. Today, he had so much energy and he was so rideable and so true. There was so much there for the taking, I didn’t even know what to do with it when I was in there,” Dvorak smiled.

 

Viva’s Salieri W has only seriously campaigned the grand prix level since last fall, after taking Dvorak to team silver for Canada in the 2012 Pan American Games. An injury early on in his grand prix transition sidelined the gelding, but now that he’s healthy and back in the grand prix ring, Dvorak says he hasn’t looked back.

 

Dvorak and Pavicic were exceptionally pleased to have Canada take the top three spots in the class. Both riders have their sights set on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy. Following the AGDF, Dvorak and Pavicic will continue to contest various CDIs on the way to qualifying for Team Canada.

 

The FEI Intermediaire B 16-25, sponsored by Diamante Farms, wrapped up after the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3*. Melanie Montagano (USA) and Ga Deva topped the class with a score of 57.548%.

 

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

 

Full Results for FEI Intermediare-1/Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3* presented by Stillpoint Farm
Rider, Country, Horse, Age, Breeding: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B% Total%
1 Adrienne Lyle, USA, Wizard, 15-year-ol Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy Thomas, Pica x Weltmeyer: 74.375%, 76.250%, 75.125%, 77.375%, 75.875%, 75.800%

 

2 Juan Matute Jr., ESP, Don Diego Ymas: 11-year-old Hanoverian owned by Juan Matute, Sr., St. Pr. Hauptstutbuch x Don Frederico: 75.875%, 74.625%, 76.000%, 75.250%, 74.875%, 75.325%

 

3 Tina Konyot, USA, Calecto V, 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion owned by rider, Bahera x Come Back II: 74.375%, 74.000%, 77.000%, 76.375%, 74.250%, 75.200%

 

4 Shelly Francis, USA, Doktor, 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, Gurena x Diamond Hit:74.625%, 71.500%, 71.500%, 76.375%, 73.000% 73.400%

 

5 Belinda Trussell, CAN, Anton, 14-year-old Sachsen gelding owned by Robyn Eames, Shirley x Anteaus: 71.875%, 71.750%, 73.875%, 73.000%, 72.000%, 72.500%,

 

6 Leida Collins-Strijk, NED, West Side, 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by rider, Marina x Florett As: 71.750%, 71.500%, 70.625%, 74.875%, 69.625%, 71.675%

 

7 Brittany Fraser, CAN, All In, nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Leontine x Tango: 73.375%, 68.750%, 72.500%, 72.500%, 70.000%, 71.225%

 

8 Catherine Haddad-Stalle, USA, Mane Stream Hotmail, 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Rederna x Michellino: 69.375%, 69.750%, 70.000%, 69.625%, 70.250%, 69.800%

 

Full Results for FEI Grand Prix CDI 3*, presented by Peacock Ridge
Rider, Country, Horse, Age, Breeding: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B% Total%
1 Karin Pavicic, CAN, Don Daiquiri, 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Jayne Essig, Nedstatte III x Don Cardinale: 69.700%, 69.900%, 71.800%, 69.500%, 66.300%, 69.440%

 

2 Tom Dvorak, CAN, Viva’s Salieri W, 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Augustin Walse, Salinja x Viva Voltaire: 65.600%, 67.500%, 71.300%, 70.100%, 68.600%, 68.620%

 

3 Jacqueline M. Brooks, CAN, D Niro, 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Brookhaven Dressage Inc., Alitalia x D Day: 65.200%, 67.000%, 67.500%, 66.000%, 69.900%, 67.120%

 

4 Susan Dutta, USA, Currency DC, 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Cinderella x Clintino: 68.900%, 65.400%, 65.000%, 67.600%, 68.400%, 67.060%

 

5 Jill Irving, CAN, Degas 12, 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by rider, Rosana M x De Niro: 63.500%, 65.300%, 67.000%, 64.900%, 68.500%, 65.840%

 

6 Devon Kane, USA, Destiny, 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Diamante Farms, Rubenstein I x Diamond Hit: 66.700%, 65.800%, 65.500%, 64.700%, 63.200%, 65.180%

 

7 Laura Graves, USA, Verdades, 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by rider, Liwilarda x Florrett As: 61.700%, 64.500%, 67.200%, 66.000%, 65.300%, 64.940%

 

8 Franziska Seidl, SUI, Sigalia , 15-year-old KWP gelding owned by rider, Foske x Kigali: 62.800%, 62.600%, 66.100%, 63.500%, 64.100%, 63.820%

 

Photo Credit: Photos © SusanJStickle.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.
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
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.
Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 Speed to Victory in $34,000 Spy Coast Farm

February 24, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – February 19, 2014 – The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) began its seventh week of competition on Wednesday with a win for Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 in the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

 

Sponsored by Adequan®, FTI WEF week seven runs February 19-23, 2014. The week will feature the $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 on Thursday, the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m on Friday, the $280,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 4* on Saturday, and the $84,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. The FTI WEF features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

 

Take in “Saturday Night Lights” from some of the best seats in the house! Tables and individual seats are available for sale in The Wellington Club, which offers a fantastic view of the International Arena for Saturday night’s grand prix. Enjoy a full buffet courtesy of White Horse Catering while watching thrilling competition from a spectacular vantage point on Saturday, February 22. Tables are going fast, so reserve yours today! Email vip@equestriansport.com for complete information.

 

Week seven kicked off its competition on Wednesday with the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m as the highlight class of the day in the International Arena at PBIEC. Fredric Cottier of France is the international course designer this week and set the speed track for 85 competitors in the class with 29 clear rounds. Fifth to go, Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Cyklon 1083 set the unbeatable pace of 59.10 seconds.

  Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083


Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083

Germany’s David Will and Black Jack 163, owned by Eveline Kraus, finished second in

59.49 seconds. Lauren Hough (USA) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala were third in 59.84 seconds. Brianne Goutal (USA) and Cloverleaf Farm’s Uata placed fourth in 61.19 seconds.

 

Wednesday was the third trip to the winner’s circle for Sweetnam and Cyklon at this year’s FTI WEF after also winning the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed classes during weeks three and five. The 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Cortus) has been a consistent top horse for Sweetnam and continues to excel.

 

“He is very consistent, and he has improved each year since I have gotten to know him better,” Sweetnam stated. “I know his little quirks and things now. He was very good last circuit here as well and obviously he is having a great run at the moment.”

 

“He felt great today,” Sweetnam said. “The last class I did with him he won two weeks ago, and he had last week off, so he felt fresh. I was early to go and I wasn’t really sure if my time would hold the whole way because you know when you go early in this class, there are a lot of good riders and good horses, so I was very happy today at the end to still be on top.”

 

Sweetnam explained that although he would prefer to go later in the order to be able to watch more rounds, his round would not have been much different today.

 

“It’s nice to watch to know what you have to do,” he noted. “The last class that I won I was later to go, so I knew exactly what I had to do, where this one I am really taking chances and risks and sometimes they don’t come off. You can be a little bit more careful if you are later in the class, but my plan didn’t really change. I would have probably still had to do the same as what I did to win the class.”

  Shane Sweetnam in his winning presentation with ringmaster Gustavo Murcia


Shane Sweetnam in his winning presentation
with ringmaster Gustavo Murcia

Sweetnam and Cyklon have been a winning partnership for two years now with top finishes around the world, and the rider recalled that the last time Cyklon jumped one of Fredric Cottier’s courses last year in La Baule, he won.

 

“He is a very good course designer, and the course was good today,” Sweetnam acknowledged. “The top 10 or 12 were all within a few seconds of each other, so the rollbacks had to be tight and then if you were to leave out a stride in places, that was going to play an advantage. I think that is what worked for me. I left out a stride from jump two to three and then from four to the in-and-out, and then even the last line. Not everyone did five strides there and I did five. I think if you were leaving out strides, it was going to help you win today.”

 

A $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class was also held on Wednesday with a California Split for the placings due to the large number of entries. Pedro Muylaert (BRA) and Wessel, owned by Henrique Tielas, had the fastest clear round to earn top honors in Section A of the class. Daniel Zetterman (SWE) and Springfield Showjumpers’ Jolly Joker were the winners in Section B. A $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class concluded the day with a win for Joao Victor Castro (BRA) aboard Wamira.

 

Week seven of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will continue on Thursday with the $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 in the International Arena. For full results, go to www.showgroundslive.com.

 

Final Results: $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m

 

1. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus

SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/59.10

 

2. BLACK JACK 163: 2004 Hanoverian gelding by Escudo I x Drosselklang II

DAVID WILL (GER), Eveline Kraus: 0/59.49

 

3. OHLALA: 2003 Swedish Warmblood mare by Orlando x Cardento

LAUREN HOUGH (USA), The Ohlala Group: 0/59.84

 

4. UATA: 2001 KWPN mare by Heartbreaker x Zuidhorn

BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Cloverleaf Farm: 0/61.19

 

5. ELKY VAN HET INDIHOF: 2004 Belgian Warmblood mare by Toulon x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve

LORENZO DE LUCA (ITA), T & L NV: 0/61.31

 

6. UNEX OMEGA STAR: 2002 Irish Sport Horse stallion by Quick Star x Quatoubet du Rouet

TIM GREDLEY (GBR), Unex Competition Yard: 0/61.76

 

7. APHRODITE: 2005 KWPN mare by No Limit x Cavalier

ALEXANDRA PAILLOT (FRA), Paillot Equine Consulting Inc: 0/62.39

 

8. WILLIAM WALLACE: 2004 KWPN stallion by Unknown

SAMUEL PAROT (CHI), Samuel Parot: 0/63.05

 

9. TWAN: 2000 KWPN gelding by Lux x Jasper

EIKEN SATO (JPN), Stephex Stables: 0/63.11

 

10. OKAY DE KENS: 2002 Selle Francais gelding by Hockey Bleus x Quandy du Mayne

ALEXANDRA PAILLOT (FRA), Alexandra Paillot: 0/63.47

 

11. WHAT EVER: 1999 BWP mare by Darco x Lauriston

KAREN POLLE (USA), Karen Polle: 0/63.95

 

12. HH FLEUR: 2005 Belgian Warmblood mare by Darco x Bon Ami

MCLAIN WARD (USA), Double H Farm: 0/63.96

 

Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com. This photo may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

 

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

 

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,100 employees located in 25 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012.

 

For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

 

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and $8 million in prize money will be awarded.

 

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

BRIAN HAFNER AND KATHLEEN RAINE AWARDED THE DRESSAGE FOUNDATION’S $25,000 CAROL LAVELL ADVANCED DRESSAGE PRIZES

February 14, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

February 12, 2014 –The Dressage Foundation is pleased to announce that two Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prizes, in the amount of $25,000 each, have been awarded to U.S. High Performance riders.  Brian Hafner (CA) and Kathleen Raine (CA) were selected because they display the characteristics and qualities of being talented, committed, qualified riders whose plans are to reach and excel at the elite, international standards of high performance dressage.

Brian Hafner, Lombardo, Rebecca Hafner

Brian Hafner, Lombardo, Rebecca Hafner

Brian Hafner is based in Sonoma, CA, where he is the head trainer and owner of Brian Hafner Dressage.  Brian and his horse, Lombardo, have earned their bronze, silver, and gold USDF medals as well as triple medals at the 2009 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.  In 2010, Brian was selected to participate in The Dressage Foundation’s Young Rider International Dream Program as one of the United States’ top young riders.  Brian and Lombardo then went on to win the Brentina Cup Championship in 2012 and finished in the top six at the 2013 USEF National Championships in Grand Prix.  Brian plans to use the Prize to train with Johann Hinnemann in Germany.

 

Brian said, “I am incredibly grateful and thrilled to be chosen as a recipient of the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize. This grant will provide me with the opportunity to further my training and education with my current horse, Lombardo, through intensive training in Europe. Without this grant, this would not be possible. Thank you to The Dressage Foundation, Carol Lavell, and all of the donors who continue to support the sport of dressage.”

 

Kathleen Raine and her husband, David Wightman, are owners of Adventure Farms in Murrieta, CA.  They purchased her current mount, Breanna, as a four-year-old at the 2004 Elite Auction in Verden, Germany.  Since that time, Kathleen and Breanna have garnered many wins and awards, and they are currently ranked 8th on the USEF Dressage High Performance Grand Prix list.  In 2013 the pair placed 3rd at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, 2nd in the team competition at the CDI 3* in Hickstead, England, 3rd in the Grand Prix Freestyle at Hickstead, and 3rd in the Grand Prix Special at the CDI 4* in Lingen, Germany.  Kathleen and Breanna will also use the funds to travel to Germany to train with Johann Hinnemann.

 

Kathleen Raine credit Sheryl Ross Photography

Kathleen Raine credit Sheryl Ross Photography

“Thank you so much to Carol Lavell and The Dressage Foundation for the generous Prize, which will be used to further my goal of competing internationally. Without this kind of support, training and competing in Europe would not be possible. I feel very honored to receive this award,” said Kathleen.

 

The Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize Fund was established in 2009 in special remembrance of Carol’s mother, May Cadwgan, and in honor of her father, Gordon Cadwgan.   Since that time, the Prize Fund has made eight awards totaling $200,000 in support of U.S. High Performance teams.

 

Further details about The Dressage Foundation’s Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize can be found at www.dressagefoundation.org.  The application deadline is December 13th of each year.  For more information about The Dressage Foundation, please contact Jenny Johnson at (402) 434-8585 or visit our website.

 

 

The Dressage Foundation

 

The Dressage Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt, donor-driven organization that is dedicated to supporting and advancing the sport of dressage.  The organization solicits contributions, appropriately allocates the donations, and awards grants and scholarships to dressage riders of all ages and levels.  For more information, please visit www.dressagefoundation.org.

 

Adrienne Lyle and Wizard Victorious in Wellington CDI4* Grand Prix Special

February 14, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – February 12, 2014 – U.S. Olympians Adrienne Lyle and Wizard came out strong in their second CDI of 2014, clinching the win in Saturday’s Grand Prix Special and taking second in Thursday’s Grand Prix at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 5 CDI4*.

Wizard, a 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Weltmeyer-Pika, Classiker) owned by Peggy Thomas, earned scores of 69.600 percent in the Grand Prix and 70.353 percent in the Special. Lyle was thrilled with the great results and improvement from one day to the next.

 Adrienne Lyle and Wizard. Photo by Mary Adelaide Brakenridge.


Adrienne Lyle and Wizard. Photo by Mary Adelaide Brakenridge.

“I was very pleased – not only with how we finished, but with the progression throughout the weekend,” she said. “Winning a 4* was huge. I’m happy not just that he won, but that he was honest in places that I needed him to be honest. That for me was the most important.”

 

A highlight for the pair was their improved piaffe/passage tour, which has been the focus of Lyle’s schooling recently.

 

“I thought his piaffe/passage was much stronger than it’s been, and I was super happy with that,” Lyle said. “That’s what we’ve been focusing on: solidifying that and getting it to be active, relaxed and confident. I felt like he’s really starting to mature on that.”

 

“Every horse is a little different in the way that they learn,” she added. “Debbie [McDonald, Lyle’s trainer] has such a big toolbox from the different horses she’s worked with. Sometimes it’s just finding an approach that makes sense to them and going from there.”

 Adrienne Lyle and Wizard. Photo by Mary Adelaide Brakenridge.


Adrienne Lyle and Wizard. Photo by Mary Adelaide Brakenridge.

Lyle, of Ketchum, ID, is in Wellington with McDonald for the winter season. She has a number of promising young horses in training alongside Wizard.

 

“I am truly grateful to the Thomases, my sponsors, for giving me the chance to be down here this season with Wizard,” she said. “I think it’s very important that we get to spend the whole season down here, and I really appreciate that they were willing to support that.”

 

Lyle is also grateful to her other sponsors for keeping her and Wizard happy and healthy. She noted that Wizard’s Trilogy saddle keeps him comfortable and helps him perform his best.

 

“It allows him freedom of movement in the shoulder,” she said. “It still stays balanced and keeps his back happy. It’s a medium depth seat that gives me security, but still a little bit of freedom to feel like I can be soft and loose in the saddle.”

 

Lyle plans to compete in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in Wellington. To earn a spot in the 2014 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final, she and Wizard must achieve two qualifying freestyle scores that rank them in the top two for the North American League. She is making a few tweaks to her freestyle music to better suit Wizard.

 

“[Freestyle designer] Terry Gallo is rearranging it and breaking it up a little so it’s a bit different and more rideable for him,” Lyle said. “I think he has a fantastic piaffe/passage, especially in a freestyle environment. We really wanted to highlight his strength and his power – he’s a power horse.”

 Adrienne Lyle and Wizard. Photo by Meg McGuire.


Adrienne Lyle and Wizard. Photo by Meg McGuire.

Adrienne Lyle’s Sponsors

 

Asmar Equestrian

 

EquiOtic

 

Glanzen

 

Heritage Gloves

 

MDC Stirrups

 

Natalie Equestrian

 

Nutrena

 

Premier Equestrian

 

Samshield

 

Trilogy

 

Vita Flex

Speak Up for Kids Wins Fifth Annual FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge Presented by Fidelity Investments® : Melissa Groher and Logan Best the Ariat National Adult Medal at FTI WEF

February 06, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – February 1, 2014 – Canada’s Ian Millar, Kelly Soleau and Emily Kinch were the winning team in the fifth annual FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (FTI GCC) on behalf of their charity, Speak Up for Kids, on Saturday evening at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Sponsored by Lothlorien and corporate sponsors Bass, Bolfo, Newlands and Rowland, the three riders made up the top team of the night out of 35 pro-am combinations paired with Palm Beach County charities.

 

A signature event of the twelve-week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, this year’s FTI GCC will distribute approximately $2 million to the lucky Palm Beach County charities that were chosen at random to be represented in the pro-am team relay competition. Each team was made up of junior and amateur riders competing side by side with top professionals.

 

In addition to the FTI GCC competition, the evening featured a concert by four-time Grammy Nominee Hunter Hayes. The fans flooded the stadium to enjoy the family fun event and amazing entertainment as part of the “Saturday Night Lights” series at the FTI WEF.

 

 The main stage where Hunter Hayes performed as part of the FTI GCC


The main stage where Hunter Hayes performed as part of the FTI GCC

The winning charity, Speak Up for Kids, raises needed funds to support the efforts of the Palm Beach County Guardian ad Litem Program to recruit and train GAL volunteers, train volunteers and staff, and provide needed program and family support, so that all abused, abandoned, and neglected children will have a voice in court – someone who will speak for them, stand up for them, and follow through on the case until it is permanently resolved.

 

Gregg Weiss, treasurer and founding member of Speak Up For Kids, spoke about the exciting win for his charity on Saturday night, a win that will double the organization’s fundraising efforts this year.

 

“We are very, very pleased that we had the opportunity to participate in this event, and we are very pleased that our team came in first place,” Weiss remarked to his winning team of riders. “Speak Up for Kids supports a guardian ad litem program. In Palm Beach County we support over 1,700 children, and we raise money to make sure every child has a voice, and every child is heard. For the work that you all did tonight, it is going to make a big difference in their lives. It is life changing for so many people, so thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you to Kristin Solomon and Diana Reese for all of their hard work for Speak Up for Kids. It was a team effort from not only your team, but from ours.”

 

Kristin Solomon detailed the Speak Up for Kids program, explaining, “The guardian ad litem program is a state agency that represents abused, abandoned and neglected children that are in an open court case, and we are appointed by a judge to help their best interests throughout the whole process. This is a volunteer organization. In Palm Beach County alone there are over 500 volunteer child advocates that give children a voice in the court system. I only have 30 employees, the rest are all volunteers that do all of the work. Statewide we have almost 10,000 volunteer child advocates, so this money goes directly to support the volunteers right in this community.”

 

  The winning presentation with ringmaster Gustavo Murcia, riders Ian Millar, Emily Kinch and Kelly Soleau, Greg Weiss, Kristin Solomon and Diana Reese for Speak Up for Kids, and Equestrian Sport Productions' CEO Mark Bellissimo


The winning presentation with ringmaster Gustavo Murcia,
riders Ian Millar, Emily Kinch and Kelly Soleau,
Greg Weiss, Kristin Solomon and Diana Reese for Speak Up for Kids,
and Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo

Ten-time Olympian, Ian Millar, captained the winning team with riders Kelly Soleau and Emily Kinch. All three riders jumped clear over their courses and had the fastest combined time of the night in 93.107 seconds to win the top prize of $150,000 for their charity. There is a sliding scale for the balance of the proceeds down to 35th place, which wins $15,000, ensuring that everyone is a winner.

 

Coming in second place was the team for Wellington PTO/PTA/PTSA, sponsored by EnTrust Capital and Rose Hill Farm as well as corporate sponsor Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC. The team consisted of Ken Berkley, Cloe Hymowitz, and Lilli Hymowitz, who all cleared the course with a combined time of 95.056 seconds to earn $125,000 for their charity.

 

 Presentation to the second place team of Cloe Hymowitz, Ken Berkley and Lilli Hymowitz for Wellington PTO/PTA/PTSA


Presentation to the second place team of Cloe Hymowitz, Ken Berkley and Lilli Hymowitz for Wellington PTO/PTA/PTSA

Hunter Hayes’s charity, Musicares, finished third and won $112,500. The team was made up of Alvaro ‘Doda’ de Miranda, Paige Bellissimo and Alex Crown, sponsored by Dressage Team and the Rizvi Family and corporate sponsors Carol Cohen, Diamante Farms, Michael Collins, Mike Davis, Rose Peslar (Everglades Dressage), Tim Dutta, Tuny Paige, and the Van Kampen Foundation. All three riders cleared the course without fault and finished with a time of 96.117 seconds overall.

 

 The third place presentation with Hunter Hayes and riders Alex Crown, Paige Bellissimo and Alvaro de Miranda for Musicares


The third place presentation with Hunter Hayes and riders Alex Crown, Paige Bellissimo and Alvaro de Miranda for Musicares

Ian Millar was aboard his mount Baranus this evening, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding. This was Millar’s first time competing in the FTI GCC and he was proud to represent team sponsor Lothlorien for his owners, Susan and Ariel Grange. Millar was also very happy to ride for such a great cause.

 

“It was a great pleasure to do it, and when we finished our round, I can’t tell you the pleasure I had,” Millar smiled. “It is a very enjoyable and rewarding class just because of the situation. I mean, winning Grand Prix is great, but this is different. This is special. To do this for a group like Speak Up for Kids, where they look after 1700 children in Palm Beach County and to hear that this doubles their annual revenue, it’s a big deal. This will be life changing for this charity. It is really a very nice thing to be able to help this charity, and we are very proud to do it.”

 

“I believe this is the biggest charity competition in this sport,” Millar added. “This is the premier winter equestrian sport in the world right now, this is the best jumping anywhere in the world. They’re jumping all over the United States, they’re jumping in Italy, in Spain, they’re jumping everywhere, and this is the best in the world, and to do a competition like this is just such a great credit to them.”

 

Ian Millar and Baranus

Ian Millar and Baranus

Soleau rode a horse named Hoolie Hoo, and was very happy with her round aboard the speedy mare. “She was actually a borrowed horse for this event,” Soleau stated. “A lovely family that owns the horse very kindly let me borrow her. I’ve only shown her a handful of times, and she was just fantastic. To ride for this charity was such an honor. I’m just beyond thrilled for everybody.”

 

Soleau has competed in the FTI GCC before and was excited to be back in the competition this year and to win for her charity.

 

“It’s just fantastic,” she smiled. “I was in it a few years ago. I believe I was involved in one of the first ones they did, and I get excited every year. It is just fantastic for all of these charities. It was really an honor to be able to ride and compete and win tonight.”

 

 Kelly Soleau and Hoolie Hoo


Kelly Soleau and Hoolie Hoo

Twenty-year-old Emily Kinch led things off for her team this evening and set a very fast pace aboard her horse, New Boy de Logerie. Kinch, originally from Barbados, trains with the Millar family and now resides in Canada.

 

“I was on my new horse that I got over Christmas holidays, and he was pretty spectacular tonight,” Kinch praised. “Every question I asked, he did it. He was perfect.”

 

Kinch rode in last year’s FTI GCC riding a mare named Victoria and “had a ball.” She was happy to return to the competition this year and get a win for Speak Up for Kids.

 

“It meant a lot because when I think of a charity, the first thing that comes to mind is helping children,” Kinch stated. “To have Speak Up for Kids as our charity tonight, that was first thing in my mind.”

  Emily Kinch and New Boy de Logerie


Emily Kinch and New Boy de Logerie

Everyone was thrilled with this year’s fantastic event, including presenting sponsor, Fidelity Investments®.

 

“Fidelity Investments is pleased to be a part of the Great Charity Challenge, and to bring much needed support to so many worthy Palm Beach County charities,” said Bill Marazzi, VP and Branch Manager of the Fidelity Investments investor center in Palm Beach.

 

Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo congratulated everyone on an exciting event.

 

“I just want to thank this team and the dedication of everyone for giving their time and energy,” Bellissimo stated. “This is a big gesture. The owner doesn’t get the money and the rider doesn’t get the money; the charity gets the money, and it will touch 1700 lives. It is rare that you get that opportunity. I think if you add up the impact of all of the charities and you look at all of the lives we touched tonight, we are going to touch 10,000, maybe 12,000 lives based on the selflessness of some riders and I am so excited about that. This event was created to find heroes in the community, and I think we found some here. I can’t think of a better group to pull it off, and I am thrilled with what happened here tonight. It is very exciting for us.”

 

 Charities cheer on their teams during Saturday night's event


Charities cheer on their teams during Saturday night’s event

More information on the competition and winning charities of the 2014 FTI GCC will be available soon. For more information on the FTI GCC, visit www.ftigreatcharitychallenge.com.

 

 

Rank CHARITY SPONSOR CORPORATE SPONSOR PROFESSIONAL 1m20 1m10 Time

1 Speak Up for Kids Lothlorien Bass, Bolfo, Newlands and Rowland Ian Millar Kelly Soleau Emily Kinch 93.107

2 Wellington PTO/PTA/PTSA EnTrust (Rose Hill Farm) Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Ken Berkley Cloe Hymowitz Lilli Hymowitz 95.056

3 Musicares – Hunter Hayes Dressage Team and Rizvi Family Carol Cohen, Diamante Farms, Michael Collins, Mike Davis, Rose Peslar (Everglades Dressage), Tim Dutta Tuny Paige and the Van Kampen Foundation Doda de Miranda Paige Bellissimo Alex Crown 96.117

4 Lighthouse for the Blind Double “C” Farm (Creel Family) Fumero Law Group Haylie Rolfe David Oberkircher Megan McDonald 96.267

5 Seagull Industries for the Disabled Trelawny Farm Gold Coast Feed & Supply Samantha Ramsay Katherine Straus Elizabeth CravenElizabeth CravenElizabeth Craven 96.484

6 Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Inc. Bellissimo Family Sexton Engineering Tim Gredley Nicole Bellissimo Yasmin Rizvi 96.867

7 Connor Moran Children’s Cancer Foundation Newstead Farm (Firestone) Marcum LLP Connor O’Regan Christina Firestone Noel Fauntleroy 97.862

8 HomeSafe Postage Stamp Farm The Bainbridge Companies Alejandro Karolyi Kalvin Dobbs Emma Heise 97.937

9 The Alliance for Eating Disorders Green River (Roger and Jennifer Smith) Equine Tack and Nutritionals Colin Syquia Sarah Kerins Sophie Simpson 98.125

10 Foster and Adoptive Parent Association of Palm Beach County G&C Farm (Mirabal Family) Rolex Luis Larrazabal Emanuel Andrade Gustavo Mirabal 98.128

11 Wellington Cares Double H Farm Trump International Maggie Jayne Giavanna Rinaldi Ailish Cunniffe 98.422

12 The Children’s Foundation Equine Assisted Therapy Starwyn Farm (Goldstein Family) Gary Czajkowski Danielle Goldstein Kara Chad Chloe Reid 98.578

13 Equestrian Aid Foundation Pasmore Stables Wellington Equestrian Realty Catherine Pasmore Pippa Allen Kelly Arani 98.799

14 Wounded Warriors Crown Family Jamaica Tent Britni Raflowitz Lillie Keenan Alex Crown 99.585

15 Women’s Circle Ashland Stables (Fleishhacker Family) Engel & Völkers Sandra Dalman Javan Dalman Victoria Arute 99.786

16 Farmworker Coordinating Council of Palm Beach County Monika and John Preston and Spy Coast Farm Enterprise Rental Cars Shane Sweetnam Tom Foley Lindsey Tomeu 99.906

17 Blooming with Autism Boyer/Van Kampen Foundation Bank of America Kristen Vanderveen Bryn Sadler Chelsea Babcock 100.327

18 Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League of the Palm Beaches, Inc. Kadley Farm (Gierkink Family) Wrenwood Farm Julie Welles Addison Gierkink Kendra Gierkink 100.571

19 Wayside House, Inc. Pine Hollow Farm (Dvorkin Family) ESI David Blake Nicole Berman Jennifer Pennebaker 100.824

20 Restoration Bridge International Smith and Bloomberg Families Palm Beach Illustrated Ramiro Quintana Tori Smith Sheer Levitin 101.483

21 Take Stock in Children Bruce Duchossois Salamander Farm Todd Minikus Tori Corts Jennifer Frank 101.494

22 Danny and Ron’s Rescue Tequestrian Farms (Tisbo Family) Pegasus Builders Lauren Tisbo Lauren Ward Oliver McCarthy 103.909

23 The Children Healing Institute JKG Farm Fidelity Investments® Hardin Towell Jennifer Gates Sara Nordstrom 104.788

24 New Urban Community Development Corporation Burrows, Kalman and Pin Oak W Development Laura Kraut Paris Sellon Bobby Kraut 104.846

25 Palm Beach School for Autism Goshen Hill Ingram & Raynes Alexandra Paillot Emmanuelle Mille Caroline Moran 105.355

26 Spirit of Giving Network Fair Play Farm (Kasowitz Family) FTI Consulting James North Myrto Illiadis Sammy Kasowitz 106.442

27 Big Dog Ranch Brushwood Stables Palm Beach Equine Clinic Sandra Dalman Kenya Greenberg Ericka Baran 106.676

28 Boca Raton’s Promise- the Alliance for Youth Cynthia Sulzberger and Steven Green Dever Golf Cars Mario Deslauriers Lucy Deslauriers Lily Barnard 107.817

29 Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County Patten Family Chronicle of the Horse Amy Momrow Hannah Patten Francesca Eremeeva 108.107

30 Healing Horse Therapy Center Further Lane Farm Jones Awnings and Canvas, Inc. Mary Manfredi Sophie Michaels Brooke Bidwell 112.728

31 The Unicorn Children’s Foundation Louisburg Farm and AAA Equestrian Neil Hirsch Lauren Hough Nina Ulenberg Ahmed Alali 115.286

32 Urban Youth Impact Mershad Team 2 Suncast® Maggie Mcalary Gabriela Mershad Paige Bellissimo 118.960

33 Pediatric Oncology Support Team (POST) Stateside Farm (Goddard Family) Galle Law Group Jenn Goddard Devon Degen Isabella Russekoff 138.978

34 The Arc of the Glades Equinimity Intrepid Electric Richie Moloney Jeremy Sweetnam Dylann Ephriamson 151.855

35 Polo Players Support Group Mershad Team 1 Hollow Creek Farm Stephen Moore Andre Mershad Alex King EL

 

 

Melissa Groher and Logan Best the Ariat National Adult Medal at FTI WEF

 

Melissa Groher of South Glastonbury, CT, may have only been at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) for the weekend, but she certainly made it count. Groher finished first in the Ariat National Adult Medal on Saturday afternoon during the fourth week of competition at the FTI WEF.

 

The top four riders were called back into the ring for the test. Groher and Logan, a six-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, had a first round high score of 86 before riding to the top of the class. Second place went to Rachel Boggus, who qualified with a first round score of 81.5 aboard Papillon 134. Elizabeth Kirby and Validation finished third after scoring 83 in the first round and Groher’s sister, Amanda Groher, was fourth with Castelano and a score of 82.

 

The test called for riders to approach a trot jump directly from the in-gate and canter a single oxer before coming back to the skinny vertical that plagued many first round riders thanks to a short approach in the original course. From there, riders cantered to the judge’s stand, where they were asked to halt and back four steps before exiting the ring at the sitting trot.

 Logan and Melissa Groher


Logan and Melissa Groher

Groher wasn’t nervous going into the ring with Logan, despite never contesting the Ariat National Adult Medal at a show of the FTI WEF’s caliber.

 

“We’re just here to have fun and Logan’s awesome, so I knew it would be fun going in there,” she smiled.

 

Logan may be young at only six years of age, but 24-year-old Groher has been thrilled with her borrowed mount.

 

“Logan is my trainer, Kyla [Makhloghi’s] horse. He’s so much fun. He’s always right under my leg and there for me, so he’s a good boy. For a six-year-old, he’s amazing. He does all the hard stuff easily,” Groher explained.

 

When asked what made Logan particularly apt for the equitation ring, Groher continued, “He’s so adjustable. He turns on a dime and he’s really in tune to my leg, so it’s really easy to just look where I’m going and he can feel it out himself.”

 

Groher saved up her vacation days and took the week off from her job as an advertising sales assistant at House Beautiful Magazine in New York City to compete at the FTI WEF with her sister. The two made the most of their trip to Wellington and were happy to have the opportunity to fly south to the Florida sunshine.

 

“My sister and I ride together, and now that we’re adults we don’t have our own horses. Linda Langmeier is amazing and lets us have really great opportunities [by giving us horses to ride] when we don’t have a horse, so it’s really fun and exciting to come down here for a weekend,” Groher remarked.

 

Of sharing riding with her sister, Groher detailed, “It’s amazing. We’ve both been riding since we were babies. My mom grew up riding, so she taught us in the beginning. It’s a passion we share, and we both get along so well. We work hard together, and it’s really awesome that we can do it together.”

 

Hunter competition for Week 4 concludes on Sunday with the Antares Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring.Jumper competition concludes with the $50,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 2*, which will be held at 2 p.m. on the grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

 

Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

 

 

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

 

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,100 employees located in 25 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012.

 

For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

 

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

 

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and $8 million in prize money will be awarded.

 

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

Silvia Rizzo and Sal Win Grand Prix While Strengthening Partnership

February 06, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL- February 6, 2014 – Italy’s Silvia Rizzo and her new horse, Sal, are steadily solidifying their budding partnership while continuing to compete in Florida this winter show season.

Silvia Rizzo and her Lusitano stallion Sal half-pass in the Grand Prix . Photo by Susan J. Stickle.

Silvia Rizzo and her Lusitano stallion Sal half-pass in the Grand Prix . Photo by Susan J. Stickle.

The pair, who have been working together for only four weeks, scored a 69.100 percent to win Sunday’s Grand Prix Open at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 4 National show, an improvement over the previous week’s Grand Prix score. Sal is a 15-year-old bay Lusitano stallion (Mississipe-Maia, Golegã) Rizzo imported from Portugal.

 

Rizzo said she is pleased with the results and with how quickly they have improved, adding that her partner and trainer, Michele Betti, the former chef d’equipe of the Italian eventing team, has been helping her prepare technically and mentally for the show.

 

“I slept a little bit in the first competition,” she said. “I just wanted to do a clean test. This time, I entered and said, ‘OK. Now I ask.’ He was absolutely with me all the time.”

 

Betti was also pleased with the results.

 

“As a trainer, with a horse like Sal, my job is much easier because he understands really quickly and Silvia is much more relaxed on the horse,” he said. “I am happy with the way Silvia rode the competition because this was the first time she really rode it movement by movement. She really focused on showing the judges the correct exercise while also showing power.”

 

They also worked on the rhythm and cadence in the canter.

 

“We worked a lot on the piaffe too because one thing I have to learn is to stay in the piaffe without worrying about having to go out of it,” Rizzo said. “He is able to do it and I am learning to trust him to do it.”

 

“I want to practice, practice and practice,” she added. “I practice every day, but it’s good that at the end of the week, I can compete in a test so I can understand better where I am. We still have to improve a lot, but I’m really happy. It’s good that I have this chance.”

 

Silvia Rizzo thanks Sal for a job well done. Photo by Susan J. Stickle.

Silvia Rizzo thanks Sal for a job well done. Photo by Susan J. Stickle.

The next competition for Rizzo and Sal is the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 5 CDI3*, where they will ride the Grand Prix on Thursday, Feb. 6, and the Grand Prix Freestyle on Friday, Feb. 7. They also plan to show in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 6 National show Feb. 15-16.

 

To learn more about Rizzo and Betti and and their training facility in Germany, Hof Marabunta, go to www.hofmarabunta.com. To like them on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/pages/hof-marabunta.