Canadian Olympian Jacqueline Brooks landed in the top ten twice this past weekend at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W featured during week eight of the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival held February 28-Mar 2 at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Brooks of Cedar Valley, ON, and her Olympic partner D Niro, Brookhaven Dressage Inc’s 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding sired by D-Day, kicked things off for Canada earning ninth place in Friday’s FEI Grand Prix with their score of 67.70%.
“D Niro was great in week eight! He is feeling really at home in the stadium at Global. That combined with his increased strength has made this season his best yet! I’m excited for the two upcoming events in March because he feels like he is on an upward swing,” says Brooks. “Our training with Ashley Holzer has made all the hard work done this winter really rewarding. Saturday night’s freestyle was definitely a career highlight!”
Also competing in the Grand Prix were Canadian athletes Tom Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON, and Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON. Dvorak and Viva’s Salieri W, a 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Augustin Walch sired by Viva Voltaire, placed 13th, while Creech and Devon L, Leatherdale Farm’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding sired by De Niro finished 15th.
Hot off the heels of their successes Friday, Brooks and D Niro took home their second top-ten finish Saturday competing under the lights in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle earning a final score of 71.950% giving them fourth place. Creech and Devon L finished sixth with a final score of 70.950%.
Canadian riders also displayed their talent in the FEI Prix St. Georges Friday afternoon with three athletes taking top ten positions. Canadian veteran Christilot Boylen and Drentano, her own 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding sired by De Niro, took home second place with a final score of 69.386%. Denielle Gallagher-Legriffon of Suffern, NY onboard Argo-Conti Tyme, a 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion sired by Argentinus and owned by Evi Strasser, scored 68.246% for a fourth place finish.
Evi Strasser of Ste. Adele, QC did double time in the FEI Prix St. Georges. Strasser guided Rigaudon Tyme, her 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding sired by Rosario to a sixth place finish with a score of 66.623% and also rode Super Tyme, her eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding to a 12th place finish.
In the Young Rider division Julie Channell of Boucherville, QC, finished her first day of competition with a first place finish in the FEI Young Rider CDI-Y riding Furstin Anastasia, a 10-year-old Hanoverian mare sired by Furst Heinrich and co-owned by Danielle Blanchard and Drew Channell. Day two proved to be just as successful for the pair taking their second first place finish Saturday in their FEI Young Rider individual test.
In the Intermediate 1, Canadian riders continued to impress taking four of the top-ten spots. Boylen and Drentano took home fourth place with a score of 69.956% edging out Denielle Gallagher-Legriffon and Argo-Conti Tyme, who finished in fifth with a score of 68.904%. Strasser continued her string of successes aboard Rigaudon Tyme and Super Tyme. Strasser and Rigaudon Time took sixth with a score of 67.939%, and finished in tenth place aboard Super Tyme.
The weekend’s competition wrapped up Sunday with the FEI Grand Prix Special and the FEI Intermediate Freestyle. Dvorak and Viva’s Salieri W started the morning off strong earning a fifth place finish with a score of 66.941% in the Grand Prix Special. Strasser finished her week long competition with a bang winning first place in the FEI Intermediate Freestyle with a final score of 72.208%.
The esteemed judges for the event were Canada’s own Elizabeth McMullen, a FEI 5* judge from Palgrave, ON. Additional judges were Kurt Christensen of Denmark (FEI 4*), Andrew Ralph Gardner of Great Britain (FEI 5*), Gary Rockwell of the USA (FEI 5*), Jane Weatherwax of the USA (FEI 4*), Lone Dichmann of Denmark (FEI 4*), William Warren of the USA (FEI 3*) and Lois Yukins of the USA (FEI 4*).