Canadian Dressage riders continued to earn top results at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) CDI-W/1*/U25/Y/J/P in Wellington, FL, USA, March 13-16.
Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON finished the week as one of Canada’s top performers. Partnered with Robyn Eames’ 14-year-old German-bred gelding, Anton, Trussell achieved a score of 70.900% in the FEI Grand Prix to take fifth place. Later in the week, she earned an even higher score of 72.431% to win the FEI Grand Prix Special.
“As the season is going on I feel like he’s getting more confident in the ring, and we’re getting our timing together and our partnership. He’s such a competitive horse,” said Trussell, who was also successful during week seven of the AGDF, helping Team Canada 1 earn a Silver Medal in the Stillpoint Farm CDIO Nations’ Cup. “It’s a joy to sit on a horse like that because he goes in every time and I know he’s going to go and I know he’s going to be brave, and that’s an amazing feeling.”
Fellow Nations’ Cup team member, Megan Lane of Loretto, ON, placed in the FEI Grand Prix as well, scoring 69.800% to finish seventh aboard her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Caravella.
Three other Canadians also finished in the top five in the FEI Grand Prix Special. Canadian Olympic veteran Ashley Holzer took third place with a score of 68.196% riding Tiva Nana, a Dutch Wamblood mare owned by Marissa Mastronardi.
“She’s an incredible mare. She’s a huge trier, huge talent; she just needs to come in here and realize there are no goblins and she’s going to be just fine,” said Holzer, explaining that although the mare is 14 years of age, she is still green when it comes to competing.
Finishing just behind Holzer in fourth place was Karen Pavicic from Vancouver, BC. Her mount was Don Daiquiri, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding she owns in partnership with Jayne Essig. Jill Irving of Moncton, NB rounded out the top five riding Holzer’s former Olympic mount, Pop Art, a 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Moreen Nicoll and Rusty Holzer.
In addition, Canadians had a strong presence in the small tour classes. Shannon Dueck, a Pan American Games Individual Silver medalist for Canada (who is originally from Vancouver, BC, but currently living in Florida) was a force to be reckoned with. Riding Cantaris, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Elizabeth Ferber, Dueck won the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle with a score of 71.625%. She also scored 67.939% for third in the FEI Prix St. Georges, as well as taking sixth in the FEI Intermediate I with a score of 68.640%.
Denielle Gallagher-LeGriffon, a Maritimer currently living in New York, earned two fourth place finishes in the FEI Prix St. Georges and the FEI Intermediate I with scores of 67.895% and 69.430% riding Argo Conti Tyme, a 12-year-old Oldenburg she co-owns with veteran Canadian dressage rider, Evi Strasser, of Ste-Adele, QC.
Strasser also competed herself, and the highlight of her week was a fourth place finish in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle with a score of 68.250% aboard her 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Rigaudon Tyme.
Canada’s Young Riders had an impressive week at the AGDF too. 2013 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) Individual gold medalist, Laurence Blais-Tetreault of Montreal, QC earned top three finishes across the board in the FEI Young Rider division.
Paired with Michelangelo, Mathilde Blais-Tetreault’s 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood, she topped the Freestyle with a score of 70.083%, finished second in the Individual, and took third in the Team tests.
Tanya Strasser-Shostak of Ste-Adele, QC, who was named FEI Young Rider Champion and Overall Champion of the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships during week seven, also had impressive finishes. Riding Action Tyme, her mother, Evi’s 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Strasser-Shostak placed just behind Blais-Tetreault in the Freestyle with an even score of 70%. She also took fourth place in the Team class, as well as fifth in the Individual.
Fellow Young Rider, Julie Channell of Boucherville, QC, a Team bronze medalist from the 2012 NAJYRC, rode Furstin Anastasia, a 10-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Danielle Blanchard and Drew Channell to third place in the Freestyle, as well as taking fourth in the Individual, and sixth in the Team tests.
The judging panel for week seven of the AGDF included Stephen Clarke of Great Britain (FEI 5*), Janet Lee Foy (FEI 4*) Sandra Hotz (FEI 3*), and William Warren (FEI 3*) of the USA, Wojek Markowski (FEI 5*) of Poland, Ulrike Nivelle (FEI 4*) of Germany, and Jacques van Daele (FEI 4*) of Belgium.
As the 2014 AGDF series wraps up over the next few weeks, Canadian dressage riders will continue to compete against some of the top international dressage riders in the world. For full results and more information, visit www.globaldressagefestival.net.