By Shelley Higgins, MacMillan Photography & Media Services
Fun in the sun and prize money too – both big incentives for our top Canadian riders to make the trip to compete at the 2013 World Dressage Masters in West Palm Beach, Florida, which took place from Jan. 24 – 26.
Competition in the World Dressage Masters was by invitation and consisted of two divisions: a CDI3* and a CDI5* with 100,000 Euros in prize money offered in the five-star division. The top two qualified (must have completed two CDI3* classes) riders from the CDI3* World Dressage Masters Qualifier on the Thursday of the event, who did not already have a horse in the CDI5*event, moved on to compete in the five-star Grand Prix on Friday.
Sweden had a good show, with Patrik Kittel riding Watermill Scandic H B C taking the top ribbon in the Grand Prix CDI5* on Friday and Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven riding Don Auriello finishing second. On Saturday night in the 70,000 Euro Grand Prix Freestyle, the two Swedes switched places with Vilhemlson-Silfven taking home the top share of the purse.
The Canadian riders at the World Dressage Masters included David Marcus on his 2012 Olympic horse Chrevi’s Capital; Jacqueline Brooks on her Olympic horse D Niro; Diane Creech on Devon L, and Cheryl Meisner with two horses, Tango and Paganini.
Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital had a lovely ride in Friday’s Nürnberger Grand Prix CDI5* class to score 70.660% and move on to the Saturday night main event, the Exquis CDI5* Freestyle with 70,000 Euros up for grabs. In the freestyle they scored a 70.750% to take sixth.
Brooks and D Niro just got better and better as the competition went along. They scored 66.362% in the CDI5* Grand Prix on Friday for an 11th place finish and went on to compete in the Grand Prix Special CDI5* on Saturday afternoon where they took third with a score of 66.833% Renowned dressage judge Stephen Clarke of Great Britain (also a judge at the London Olympics) who sat at E rewarded their Grand Prix Special ride with a 70.417%.
Meisner did some horse swapping from her two performances in Thursday’s CDI3* World Dressage Masters 5* qualifying class. Even though she scored higher with Paganini (fourth, 66.894%) which qualified her to compete in the 5* division on Friday, she chose to take her other horse Tango (who took 7th with a score of 64.957%) on to the higher division. Riding Tango, she scored a 65.404% to end up 12th in Friday’s CDI5*
Grand Prix class. They then took fourth in the Saturday afternoon CDI5* Special with a 66.208%. With Paganini, Meisner finished third with a 65.729% in the Grand Prix Special CDI3* on Friday morning.
Diane Creech on Devon L had some bobbles in Friday’s CDI5* Grand Prix and they scored 65.319% to move on to the Saturday afternoon CDI5* Grand Prix Special. They entered the ring as first out in the class and began a very nice test before stopping. Creech spoke with one of the judges and it was determined that she was riding the 2012 Special test created for the London Games, which was not the correct test.
The World Dressage Masters is an international series founded in 2008 that attracts some of the world’s top dressage riders.