The 2014 Global Dressage Festival continued with its fifth week of competition on Saturday at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) featuring CDI 4* and 3* competition. Saturday's FEI Grand Prix Special 4* saw a top finish for Adrienne Lyle (USA) aboard Wizard, a 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Weltmeyer, owned by Peggy Thomas. The pair scored a 70.353% for the win with Megan Lane (CAN) and Caravella in second with a 69.922%. Eliane Cordia-van Reesema (USA) and Jewel's Adelante finished third with a 66.569%. "I was incredibly happy with him today," Lyle said of Wizard. "It was the end of a long, hot weekend and he tried so hard. I thought his piaffe/passage was much stronger than it has been. I was super happy with that because that is what we have been focusing on, really trying to solidify that and getting active, relaxed, and confident in that. The rider totally blew the changes today, but I would much rather have me making an error than having some issue with him. The canter work normally we are very solid in, so that is something I just need to fix, but he was wonderful."
Lyle thought that Saturday's test was one of her best, noting that although there were small errors, he felt confident. "I thought the piaffe/passage was the best," she stated. "I thought the trot work was very solid. As far as the feeling I got from it, I thought that was one of the best. He just felt solid. He felt there for me. He felt relaxed; he wasn't stressed about stuff. I think it definitely helps that we have been able to come back to this venue and I think it helps that I have been able to get here enough. It's not like I show and then go home for six months and wonder if what stuff I was working on six months ago is still relevant." In addition to working on Wizard's piaffe and passage work, Lyle has been trying to improve his fitness level with different exercise.
"I take him out twice a week and we go hacking for like an hour," she explained. "I take him on the trails through the housing developments and things like that so he gets a little more physical fitness as well as working on the moves. I have added a little more cardio. There is a big, nice field across from us where we can take them out and trot and canter." Lyle has hopes of qualifying for the U.S. team for this year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and also plans to compete in the World Cup qualifiers coming up in the AGDF season. She explained that she has rearranged her freestyle music a little bit and is trying to keep Wizard fit and healthy. "I think I am on a good path with him," she said. "I want to just keep it going, keeping him happy, trying to improve the little parts that we need, but not overdoing it. Today I was on 18 minutes before my ride. I did a very short warmup because I did too much on Thursday. Hopefully I am getting to a place where I can trust him, just get on and do a little loosening and that is going to keep him physically and mentally much happier than having to be out there drilling." "I was really happy with today's win and being in a 4*, that was huge," Lyle acknowledged. "It was great competition. I am happy not just that he won, but that he was honest in the places that I needed him to be honest. That for me was the most important thing."
Megan Lane had a great test with Caravella in Saturday's class as well and praised her mare, a 13-year-old KWPN by Contango. "I think it went fantastic," Lane smiled. "She is all the time better. We have not been doing the Grand Prix for very long, so every single ride I am happier than I was before and that is all that I can ask for." Lane has owned Caravella since the mare was eight years old and explained that she is very willing. "She is multi-talented," Lane described. "(Her sire) Contango was a jumper. She is versatile in that sense. I bought her from a hunter/jumper barn and she did perfectly late hunter changes, but I was able to fix the changes within a week. She is super trainable."
"She is so much fun," she added. "She is everything you could ask for in a small package, which I think makes a rider's life easy. The highlight of her I would say is her trainability. She loves learning new things and she loves being great."
Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Special 4*
Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Total%
1. Adrienne Lyle, USA, Wizard, 69.706%, 73.922%, 70.294%, 68.627% 69.216%, 70.353%
2. Megan Lane, CAN, Caravella, 70.000%, 70.098%, 70.882%, 69.902%, 68.725%, 69.922%
3. Eliane Cordia-van Reesema, USA, Jewel's Adelante, 68.137%, 66.667% 67.157%, 68.039%, 66.569%, 67.314%
4. Tom Dvorak, CAN, Viva's Salieri, 66.373%, 68.824%, 64.412%, 66.275%, 66.471%, 66.471%
5. Joanne Vaughan, GEO, Elmegarden's Marquis, 66.176%, 66.176%, 67.255%, 64.902%, 66.863%, 66.275%
Michael Barisone and Ellegria Top FEI Grand Prix Special 3*
Veteran dressage competitor Michael Barisone topped the FEI Grand Prix Special 3*, sponsored by The Dutta Corp., earlier on Saturday evening. The American rider took Lauren Sprieser's 13-year-old Westphalian mare Ellegria to the blue ribbon finish with a score of 68.873%.
He continued, "The best of everybody in the world here at one time, and I sleep in my own bed at night. You can't say that at Aachen. I rode five horses at home and saw 20 horses in my ring this morning before I came over and rode my test. That's cool. The reality is what they've created here is unique to the world."
Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Special 3*
Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge H% Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B% Total%
1 Michael Barisone, USA, Ellegria: 69.706%, 68.627%, 68.431%, 67.647%, 67.451%, 68.373%
2 Katherine Bateson Chandler, USA, Wellnetta: 68.627, 68.039%, 65.882%, 68.627%, 66.765%, 67.588%
3 Shawna Harding, USA, Come On III: 68.039%, 65.098%, 65.392%, 64.412%, 67.059%, 66.000%
4 Jill Irving, CAN, Degas 12: 63.333%, 64.510%, 64.118%, 64.020%, 66.667%, 64.529%
5 Anna Whit Watkins, USA, Cipriani: 64.510%, 62.059%, 65.392%, 62.059%, 60.882%, 62.980%
6 Evi Strasser, CAN, Renaissance Tyme: 60.098%, 63.039%, 62.157%, 61.667%, 60.000%, 61.392%
Juan Matute, Jr. Continues Small Tour Hot Streak with Don Diego Ymas
Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP) has taken the small tour by storm this season with Don Diego Ymas. The pair picked up their second win of the weekend in Saturday's FEI Intermediaire-1, sponsored by Havensafe Farm. Matute, Jr. also won the FEI Junior Individual class later in the day with Dhannie Ymas and a score of 72.149%. The FEI Young Rider Individual class went to Tanya Strasser-Shostak (CAN) and Action Tyme.
Matute, Jr. topped the class with a 74.553% on Don Diego Ymas, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by the Matute Family. Second place went to Canadian Brittany Fraser and her own All In, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. The pair scored a 69.921%. Silva Martin (USA) rounded out the top three with a score of 68.974% aboard Rosa Cha W, an eight-year-old Warmblood mare owned by the Osa Cha W Syndicate.
Matute, Jr. jokingly declared to his mother that Saturday would be the day he would hit a score of 74, but the top score still came as a surprise to the 16-year-old phenom. "It feels kind of weird. It's such a hard mark. It's like, 'Wow I really did a 74?' It's shocking, but I'll take it!" Matute, Jr. beamed. Of his test, Matute, Jr. said, "It was phenomenal. One of the best feelings I've had in the ring for a long time. It was the test. I couldn't ask for more." After their auspicious debut on the small tour, Matute, Jr. plans to move up to the Under-25 division and attempt grand prix later this year. Don Diego Ymas is already well-schooled at the grand prix level, and Matute, Jr. is more than up to the challenge. "My dad likes to start teaching passage-piaffes when they are very young. Of course, not all out, but a little bit here and there so they start to get the feeling of collection and using their haunches. He does completely grand prix. We started doing the one tempis two months ago and I can already say we are solid in thirteen, so we're almost all the way there!" Matute, Jr. smiled.
Don Diego Ymas has been a member of the family for the last seven years, with Matute, Jr. having the ride for the last three. The road to the small tour hasn't always been easy, but Matute, Jr. couldn't ask for a better partner. "He's a big horse. He used to be very spooky. He didn't have self-confidence; he was a little bit insecure all the time, but overall he has a great mind. His personality is the best. He's goofy. We call him 'Goofy' in the barn, like Goofy from Disney. He's a lovely horse," Matute, Jr., described.
Final Results: FEI Prix St. Georges
Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge H% Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B% Total%
1 Juan Matute, Jr., ESP, Don Diego Ymas: 71.974%, 74.474%, 73.026%, 77.500%, 75.789%, 74.553%
2 Brittany Fraser, CAN, All In: 70.395%, 67.237%, 67.632%, 71.974%, 72.368%, 69.921%
3 Silva Martin, USA, Rosa Cha W: 71.842%, 67.105%, 66.053%, 70.395%, 69.474%, 68.974%
4 Christilot Boylen, CAN, Drentano: 67.895%, 67.895%, 68.816%, 70.526%, 69.211%, 68.868%
5 Tom Dvorak, CAN, Ribot: 69.737%, 69.079%, 69.079%, 67.368%, 68.158%, 68.684%
6 Maya Markowski, CAN, Lumiere: 68.289%, 65.263%, 66.711%, 70.132%, 68.158%, 67.711%
7 Alix Szepesi, USA, Majco Thunder's Hattrick: 66.184%, 70.000%, 68.947%, 66.053%, 65.395%, 67.316%
8 Christopher Hickey, USA, Ronaldo: 69.342%, 66.842%, 64.342%, 67.500%, 67.368%, 67.079%
For more information go to: www.globaldressagefestival.net