Ashley Holzer's CDI Grand Prix Freestyle score of 77.45 percent, earned at the 2008 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W/Y with Pop Art, was the highest score of her career. And she credited her success to a team that included her horse, her coach, her family and her friends.
"I'm so extremely proud of my horse. And, I thank my coach Evi Pracht, who just walked me through this today. I personally don't love the freestyles and she was so great about it and really got me in the right spot mentally," Holzer said. "And my teammates Jackie and Danielle helped and it just all came together. It was unbelievable. I thank my staff. My team was here early this morning and they were walking him around the ring so he'd get more relaxed with the tents. I got here at 7 a.m. and they already had him out here grazing. And Evi came in early to check on me and to make sure everyone was good and fine."
All that help paid off because Holzer said that Pop Art "felt more on today and much more relaxed. He went in that ring and he was totally fine. I came to the first piaffe and thought, 'Oh my God, I've never felt his hocks go this high.' He just relaxed and took me through the freestyle."
Holzer has only had this freestyle for one year and it was originally designed for a younger horse and Pop Art, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Amsterdam, actually needs one that is a bit more difficult. "I haven't done it a lot. This was only my fourth time doing it. I had pondered changing it and am working on another for the Olympics," she said.
Karen Robinson created the freestyle and she suggested that Holzer not change it right now. "I'm not a hundred percent set on this being the final version but the final will be very similar." The freestyle consists of music from the Epcot Center and National Treasure sound track. The second was chosen by Holzer's 11-year-old daughter Emma. "She wanted me to use it."