2002 Gold Coast Dressage

Michelle Gibson's World of Dreams Debuts With A 74.5%

The dressage season kicked off in Florida with the Gold Coast Dressage Opener held at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, January 18-20. There were more than 250 entries and judges at four rings saw almost 475 rides over the three days. "It was a nice turnout," commented Show Manager Suzanne Cook. "It’s our big show that carries the club for the year. It’s well attended and accepted in the dressage community, so we had lots of good horses and riders, and we always have top international riders."

A highlight of the show was Michelle Gibson, 32, of Atlanta, Georgia, back in the FEI ring with her new horse, World of Dreams. Gibson purchased the eight-year-old Hanoverian stallion by World Cup out of a Cardinale xx mare, from Rudolph Zeilinger’s barn in Germany in December 2000. They made their show debut at the Gold Coast Opener. It was also Gibson’s first foray into the FEI ring since the Atlanta Olympics.

In their first class, the Prix St. Georges on Friday, the pair placed second with a score of 69.250%. The duo came back on Saturday to win the Intermediare1 class with a 74.5%, despite going off course. "We’re only allowed to do that once in a show season," laughed Gibson.

When she heard her score, Gibson quipped, "Are you sure they were talking about me?" Her student, Karen Lipp had brought her the news, and Gibson added, "I’ve got to buy her ice cream now and I’ve got to buy my dad a steak dinner. We came back here and took bets on what my score was going to be. I said 68, my dad said a 69.7, and Karen said a 70.5." Gibson had also bet her father that World of Dreams would run off with her in their first extended trot. "He was almost gone," Gibson said, "but he didn’t do it!"

"I adore him. He’s so sweet," Gibson commented, watching her groom with World of Dreams after a cooling out walk around the show grounds. "You can see him right here, no chain, nothing, and he’s [projecting], ‘life is good’. He’s just a really cool horse."

Gibson said that "Indy," as he’s called at the barn because she owns him independently, was a bit nervous before the I-1 class, but that she expected it; bringing him to the show was part of her plan to accustom him to crowds. Gibson intends to qualify for the I-1 Championships at Gladstone, then go to Zeilinger’s barn in Germany for two months for training before bringing World of Dreams out at Grand Prix.

Results and more photos