In the CDI Under-25 division at the California Dreaming Productions Mid Winter Dressage CDI, four incredibly talented young adult riders returned to the Equidome to contest the challenging Grand Prix 16-25 Test, with all of the final placings separated by a total of just over a single point. Ultimately emerging victorious was California's own Ari Lopez aboard her Rheinlander gelding Corlander II (Cordino x Riante by Ravallo) with a score of 67.636% over Canada's Monica Houweling and Rifradin (Dutch Warmblood mare [Gribaldi x Atradin by Formateur] owned by Linda Houweling) with 66.977%. Finding success at the Grand Prix level is especially sweet for Lopez, who has risen through the dressage levels with her mount after they decided to make a career change from eventing eight years ago.
They went on to compete at both the FEI Junior and Young Rider levels, earning an individual silver medal in 2008 and placing in the top five at the Festival of Champions before stepping up to the increasingly popular Under-25 division.
"He's the kind of horse who tries really hard and has talent, and even though he's not as naturally gifted in the gaits department as some other horses, he makes up for it with his work ethic. And surprisingly the Grand Prix work came relatively easy to him," said Lopez. "I'm so lucky and thankful to have this horse. Since this year is my last year before aging out of this division, my goal is to try to qualify for a spot to go to Europe and possibly go to the Festival of Champions."
Complete results from Mid-Winter Dressage are available on the California Dreaming Productions website. The next competitions will be the Capistrano Dressage International CDI-W/Y/J/U-25 on March 20 - 22 and the Festival of the Horse CDI 3*/Y/J/U-25 on March 26 - 28, both to be held at the beautiful Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Formed by a partnership between long-time show organizer Glenda McElroy of Burbank, CA and Grand Prix riders and trainers David and Alisa Wilson of Chino Hills, CA, the goal of California Dreaming Productions is to bring a fresh face to international-level dressage competition on the West Coast. Additional show information is available on the new California Dreaming Productions website, as well as regular updates posted on California Dreaming Productions Facebook page. For more information, contact Glenda McElroy, firstname.lastname@example.org, or David and Alisa Wilson, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.