|A large contingent of Canadian dressage riders kicked off the winter season at the CDI-W/CDI-1* Adequan Global Dressage Festival 1, held Jan. 9-12 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, USA.
Canadian highlights of the week included Megan Lane of Loretto, ON winning the FEI Grand Prix Special with a score of 68.980% aboard her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Caravella.
“I feel it was an amazing start to the season. My coach Oded Shimoni and I feel there is still so much more potential, so are really excited for the future,” said Lane, who moved up to the Grand Prix level with Caravella last year after a highly successful Junior and Young Rider career that included six medals from the FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC).
Lane and Caravella also earned a top 10 finish in the FEI Grand Prix, tying for eighth place with fellow Canadian Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON on a score of 65.880%.
“Florida is a great place to gain experience and exposure as there are so many top shows here and I am thrilled to be part of it,” continued Lane. “I was also encouraged by the feedback from the judges, which was all very positive. The next steps are set towards becoming a member of the Canadian dressage team to compete at the World Equestrian Games.”
In addition to her eighth place tie in the FEI Grand Prix, Creech and her long-time partner Devon L, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Louise and Doug Leatherdale, earned fourth place in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, scoring 72.300%. This marked yet another strong freestyle performance for the duo, who ended the 2013 season with a win in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
Coming in just below Creech in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle was two-time Olympian Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, ON. Riding her 2012 Olympic mount, D Niro, a 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Brookhaven Dressage Inc., Brooks scored 70.725% for fifth place. The pair also had a strong finish in the FEI Grand Prix, receiving 66.740% for seventh place.
Canadians riders had a strong showing in the FEI Intermediaire I class as well, with Jill Irving of Moncton, NB claiming third place on score of 68.895% with her 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Dio Mio. They also earned a score of 65.789% in the FEI Prix St. Georges for eighth place.
Chris Von Martels from Ridgetown, ON earned fourth place in both the FEI Intermediaire I and FEI Prix St. George classes, scoring 68.711% and 68.474%, respectively. His 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Zilverstar, was his partner.
Beiseker, AB native, David Ziegler contested the FEI Young Rider division, winning both the Individual and Team Eclasses with his 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Peninsula Top Man.
The international judging panel at the CDI-W/CDI-1* Adequan Global Dressage Festival 1 consisted of Sandra Hotz of the United States (FEI 3*), Natalie Lamping of the United States (FEI 4*), Thomas Lang of Austria (FEI 5*), Freddy Leyman of Belgium (FEI 4*), Hans-Christian Matthiesen of Denmark (FEI 4*), Gustav Svalling of Sweden (FEI 5*), and Christof Umbach of Luxembourg (FEI 4*).
Watch for further Canadian results from the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, which features 11 more consecutive weeks of top-level competition.
For more information on the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, and complete results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.net.