Belinda Trussell and Anton Top AGDF 7 FEI Grand Prix Special CDI4*; Griffith and Rubin Al Assad Win FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*

Belinda Trussell and Anton (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)
Belinda Trussell and Anton (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, FL - Belinda Trussell (CAN) and Anton smiled their way through the awards ceremony for the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4* presentation sponsored by The Dutta Corporation at Week 7 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. Trussell and Anton topped the competitive class on a 71.490% with Shelly Francis (USA) and Doktor following in second receiving a 70.667%, and Megan Lane (CAN) and Caravella placing third with a 70.608%. AGDF 7 competition will continue tomorrow, highlighting the FEI Intermediaire 1 Freestyle CDI1* presented by Mission Control. Trussell and Anton finished third in the Grand Prix CDI4* and accumulated another top three finish this week today with the win. Trussell was beaming during the press conference and could not say enough great things about Anton’s performance. “This week he felt great. I feel like he’s in the best shape of his life; he just is fantastic. The training has been going very well and he just kind of clocks through everything. He’s a professional now.”

The pair’s relationship is evident in their string of consistent performances so far this year at the 2015 season of AGDF. “I honestly think he was better than me in the Grand Prix on Thursday. Today he was just spot on it felt like a really great Special and I’m excited for how he felt, to have him, and to be able to show him,” said Trussell.

Trussell has not only seen vast improvements in Anton’s physical fitness but also in his mental capabilities too. “As a younger horse he was so hot and I find that at this stage in his life, he’s much more relaxed and I can really ride to his potential now, where before I felt sometimes I had to ride below it because I didn’t want to scare him,” she explained. “I feel like we’re at a point where he’s letting me in and the overall picture is starting to come together.”

Doktor, who performed his usual workman-like test, was a bit perkier today according to Francis, which allowed her to ask more of him during the test. “He was really good. We had a big spook after the extended canter and I thought it would hurt the pirouette afterwards, but he just went right back to work. I had a lot of horse behind me throughout the whole test. We sometimes have trouble holding the extended trot, but it’s getting a lot better and it was better in this test.”

The tumultuous weather in South Florida this week was a factor for many riders but Francis felt that Doktor handled it well and that it only brought out the energized side of the gelding she handles on a daily basis. “As long as I keep him in front of my leg and I can keep him where I want him,” she explained. “He can get tense, but today he felt so nice.”

Megan Lane and Caravella had a lovely return back to competition since their World Equestrian Games (WEG) performance last summer. “The piaffe and passage tour along with the one-tempis are her highlight, especially in comparison to the world stage. She definitely has something there, and it’s really exciting to have a horse like that,” said Lane. “I’m so lucky and so honored to ride her. I’m really happy with the scores too. To debut with a score above 70% here after WEG is something I was really happy with as well.”

Lane re-evaluated the pair’s performances after last season to pinpoint exactly where she wanted to put focus coming into the 2015 season. “Her piaffe was very hit or miss sometimes and she either feels very comfortable or the opposite, and we spent a lot of time working on that. We’re trying to get her to relax in the movement more, which we are seeing a big difference in,” explained Lane.

Lara Griffith (GBR) and Rubin Al Assad placed first in the Grand Prix Special on the last day of FEI CDI 3* competition at Week 7 of AGDF. The pair scored a 69.608% to take the win, narrowly edging out Sharon McCusker (USA) and Wrigley, who finished in second receiving a 69.098% for their efforts. Christilot Boylen (CAN) and Drentano rounded out the top three with a 67.392%.

Griffith had a great second week of competition here at AGDF, adding top three finishes in both the FEI CDI 3* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, both sponsored by Havensafe Farm. “This was the second Grand Prix Special I’ve ever done with him and it went really well, but it’s still new to us,” she commented. “We had a few mistakes today in the test, but in general we’re on the up!”

The training opportunities available to Griffith in Florida have greatly increased her confidence in the partnership since arriving stateside only a few weeks ago. “This horse show [AGDF] has been very successful for me so far. He has improved dramatically in the Grand Prix from two weeks ago from the work we’ve put in since being here” said Griffith. “I really wanted to replicate the ride that I had in the Grand Prix on Thursday today in the Special. The general way of going is a lot better.”

Griffith has produced Rubin Al Assad from Third Level and the pair looks to be a promising combination for Great Britain in the future. “He only had a single flying change when I first started riding him, and I always think its amazing that now we can get 15 in a row!” Griffith is excited for where the partnership will go and they will continue to contest and gain experience from the CDI competition at AGDF during the remainder of their stay in Florida.

Sharon McCusker and Wrigley finished right behind Griffith, barely missing out on the first place prize. McCusker and Wrigley have been steadily improving and their performance today showed the progress that has been made since their outings last season. “The Special is a really long test and I was really pleased at the end when I had that great extension and coming down the center line I felt like the passage was great. I still had power throughout the whole test coming up to the halt. It’s a great test to build from,” she remarked.

AGDF 7 was the pair’s first CDI competition of the 2015 season, and McCusker was pleased with the performances Wrigley put in this week. “We will do the next two CDI competitions here in March and then I am planning on using the Advanced Dressage Prize Grant I won two years ago to train with Klaus Balkenhol. I was able to connect with him this week, and he watched my test today which was great.”

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival will continue tomorrow with Junior and Young Rider classes in the morning followed by the FEI Intermediaire 1 Freestyle CDI1* presented by Mission Control. For more information on the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival please visit www.globaldressagefestival.net for more information.

Final Results for FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4* presented by The Dutta Corporation
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%

1. Belinda Trussell (CAN) Anton, 2000 Sachsen Warmblood gelding owned by Robyn Eames, Anteaus x Shirley x Melit: 70.392%, 71.176%, 73.627%, 69.804%, 72.451%, 71.490%
2. Shelly Francis (USA), Doktor: 2003 Oldenburg gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, Diamond Hit x Gurena x Renoir I: 68.137%, 70.392%, 72.745%, 69.510%, 72.549%, 70.667%
3. Megan Lane (CAN), Caravella, 2001 Dutch Warmblood mare owned by rider, Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman: 70.588%, 70.000%, 70.294%, 70.000%, 72.157%, 70.608%
4. Kelly Lane (AUS), Udon P, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Whistlejacket Farm LLC & April Harris, Hierarch x Maleida x Uniform: 71.275%, 67.353%, 69.608%, 69.314%, 70.000%, 69.510%
5. Arlene Page (USA), Alina, 1998 Danish Warmblood mare owned by rider, Michellino x Alberte Lindebjerg x Diamant: 66.471%,66.765%, 70.000%, 69.804%, 70.392%, 68.686%
6. Catherine Haddad- Staller (USA), Mane Stream Hotmail, 2002 Oldenburg gelding owned by Rowan O’Riley, Michellino x Rederna x Havel: 67.353%, 68.725%, 68.725%, 68.725%, 67.745%, 68.255%
7. Jill Irving (CAN), Degas 12, 2002 Hanoverian gelding owned by rider, De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni: 66.471%,66.373%, 66.275%, 68.725%, 65.980%, 66.255%
8. Susan Dutta (USA), Currency DC, 2000 Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Clintino x Cinderella x Classiker: 63.333%, 66.471%, 63.824%, 63.824%, 64.118%, 64.314%

Final Results for FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3* presented by Havensafe Farm
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%

1. Lara Griffith (GRB), Rubin Al Asad, 2002 Hanoverian gelding owned by Dr. & Mrs. Bechtolsheimer, Rubin Royal x Wandergirl: 69.804%, 69.804%, 68.725%, 73.333%, 66.373%, 69.608%
2. Sharon McCusker (USA), Wrigley, 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by rider, Son De Niro x Pinomia x Rhodiamont: 72.157%, 71.275%, 67.745%, 66.765%, 67.549%, 69.098%
3.Christilot Boylen (CAN), Drentano, 2003 Hanoverian gelding owned by rider, De Niro x Brenda Lee x Brentono II: 68.333%, 68.137%, 65.686%, 66.863%, 67.941%, 67.392%
4. Arlene Page (USA), Woodstock, 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by rider, Havel x Mirania x Contango: 66.176%, 66.961%, 66.176%, 69.510%, 65.686%, 66.902%
5. Shelly Francis (USA), Danilo, 2004 Hanoverian gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, De Niro x Annabella x Andiamo: 66.569%, 67.451%, 66.078%, 67.647%, 66.275%, 66.804%
6. Elaine Cordia-van-Reesema (USA), Jewel’s Adelante, 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by rider, Schufro x Tangent x Phaeton X: 65.490%, 67.157%, 65.490%, 67.549%, 67.647%, 66.667%
7. Alexandra Duncan (CAN), Vitall, 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by rider, Ferro x Jarelle x Aram: 64.118%, 63.627%, 65.000%, 63.627%, 62.549%, 63.784
8. Adrienne Pot (USA), Something Special C, 2000 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Elizabeth Bramsen, Ferro x Gicara II x Beaujolais: 62.647%, 64.902%, 62.647%, 64.804%, 63.627%, 63.725%




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