Allentown, NJ – The Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association (ESDCTA) hosted their annual Memorial Weekend Dressage Show in Allentown, New Jersey amongst the wet, windy and wild spring weather. For Dr. Cesar Parra and the Piaffe Performance Team, it was definitely a show to remember.
The team had many “firsts” including a first-time performance in a CDI event for Adult Amateur rider John McGinty, in which he took first place in the Prix St Georges. Also, Nadine Buberl took a first in First Level Test One. Then, to top it all, Dr. Cesar Parra and Van the Man claimed first prize in the CDI 3* Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 70.125%. “I love riding close to home,” stated Parra about the show located near the Piaffe Performance New Jersey farm, “and I like to support this show because it is with our local club, ESDCTA. They put so much work into it, so we love supporting them.”
Piaffe Performance team member John McGinty also appreciated the opportunity to ride in this well organized, FEI-level show. “There are so many people to thank,” McGinty said about the event, “Especially the Management and Organizers for giving the Adult Amateurs this opportunity, and the volunteers who work so hard to help us and get very little thanks. Also, we’d like to thank the sponsors, including PanaCavallo, Performance Farms, and especially Debbie Witty of Trilogy Performance Saddlery. Without them, none of us would have the opportunity to ride in these important shows.” He added, “Having Amateurs competing in CDI’s is not only for the good of our sport, but it also helps we Amateurs set higher goals for ourselves along the journey toward perfecting our riding,” McGinty continued, “For example, the highlight of this show for me was being invited into two awards ceremonies with all the other CDI riders. I felt proud of being a rider.”
McGinty and his 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Playboy, scored a 60.625% to claim first place in the Prix St. Georges, and also took a second place in the Intermediate I class with a 61.535%. He said these thrilling moments to remember in the winner’s circle wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the whole team. “Dr. Cesar Parra and Katie Riley never stop encouraging me to continue the journey of learning,” McGinty commented. “Laura Pradells, Playboy’s groom and caretaker, sends him into the ring looking like a star and helps me get organized, and the wonderful panel of judges work very hard to evaluate our rides and provide us with constructive criticism so we can improve our performances. I, being an FEI Jumper Judge and an R rated Hunter Judge, realize how seldom exhibitors express appreciation for the work a Judge does.”
A few more firsts at this show will be remembered as well by Piaffe Performance team member, Nadine Buberl. Riding the 5-year-old Oldenburg mare, Fiderhit OLD, she scored an amazing 79.600% in the FEI Young Horse Final 5-year-old class, and then topped out the First Level Test 1 class with a 76.034%. Parra described the experience: “We had a fun match up in the First Level Test 1 class on Sunday morning. I rode Fashion Designer, Nadine rode Fiderhit, and one of our wonderful New Jersey clients, Wendy Simons rode her mare Josefina, and we finished one-two-three, with Nadine winning with more than 76%. That was fun!”
Parra also had fun on his 11-year-old KWPN gelding, Van The Man (Obelisk x Landjonker), when they took first place in the CDI Grand Prix Freestyle with a 70.125%. “I always love riding freestyles and enjoy what the music brings to the horse and to the movements,” he commented. “This was another step for us,” Parra continued, “I’ve said it before. I believe so much in the abilities and the quality of Van, and he continues to improve all of the time. We have not seen the best from this horse yet, not even close!”
Piaffe Performance team horses, Van The Man, Fiderhit OLD and Fashion Designer OLD are all owned by Michael and Sarah Davis. “The Davis family is terrific. They were so supportive through the weekend, and I am very grateful,” said Parra, “Also, my sponsor Debbie Witty from Trilogy was there as a sponsor of the show as well. She is the best! And, I am so grateful for all of our friends and clients that came to cheer us on!”<
Cesar Parra, DDS, MScD, operates Piaffe Performance in Jupiter, FL and Whitehouse Station, NJ and was born in Colombia, where he began riding cattle horses in the Andes Mountains of his grandparents’ farm. An international trainer and rider with more than 300 FEI wins to his credit, Dr. Parra has worked with the best in dressage, including Herbert Rehbein, Siegfried "Bimbo" Peilicke, Hans Rueben, Herbert Kuckluck and Hubertus Schmidt. He also competed in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, 2005 Las Vegas Dressage World Cup, and 2006 Aachen World Equestrian Games. Learn more here!