For the tenth consecutive year, Windsome Farms sponsored the Dressage/Jumper Spectacular at the Wellington Dressage show, which is held simultaneously with the Gold Coast Jumper Classic, both part of the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Center. In this special $25,000 class, jumper and dressage riders change places.
Eleven teams of two competed. The jumper riders were required to ride Third Level Test 3, and dressage riders were required to jump a course of nine fences with heights not exceeding 3'6" in a "Hit and Hurry" course in the Grand Prix field. Bent Jensen and Anne Kursinski won for the fourth time. They have teamed up five times, and only once missed the win, and placed second.
Anne Kursinski and Davignport
"It's lots of fun," said Kursinski, a four-time Olympian who has earned two team silver medals in show jumping. "I always look forward to riding with Bent. This has become an annual event for us. Bent always finds me a great horse to ride and I try to find him a good one. He's such a great rider. He's fearless and really goes for it. He's terrific." Kursinksi says she uses dressage quite a bit in her show jumping rides. "I did show dressage for many years in California while I was jumping, so it's fun for me to sort of do that again." Kursinksi placed fourth in the dressage phase with a score of 65.048% on the Holsteiner stallion, Davignport. "I can put her on any horse and she does great," said Jensen.
Bent Jensen and Beaudelair
Jensen won the jumping phase of the competition riding Beaudelair, despite stopping before the time ran out, then blazing over extra jumps, reacting to the screams of the crowd to keep going. "It's fun, it’s always fun," he said. "This year I stopped too early again but thank God it didn't change anything."
Jensen said he only jumps once a year -- at this event, but he trained to jump when he was a youngster. Jensen scored 26 points over the nine-course round in which every clear counted as two points and a knockdown as one point within a 60-second time limit. "Beaudelair is a children's jumper that's won every class he's been in including this one," said Kursinksi.
The winning team was awarded $8,000 in prize money. Jensen and Kursinksi said they have already made a date to participate in the class next year.
Second place was a tie with Michael Godfrey and Albena 'Beny' Konstantinova, and Yvonne Losos De Muniz and Jessica Saalfield. Godfrey won the dressage phase of the competition, earning 67.143% aboard Bristol. To what does he credit his high score? "A brilliant horse, Bristol," said Godfrey, adding, "and help from Beny with my dressage skills." Godfrey has competed in three-day events and was familiar with the dressage test. In fact only Godfrey and Marcia Kulak, another rider with eventing experience, rode their tests from memory. "Actually, I made two errors, so I didn't do so well," Godfrey said about going off course twice, adding with a grin that he should have had someone read the test for him.
His partner Konstantinova placed fifth in the jumping phase riding Burren Clover. "The jumping was great," she said. "I grew up in Europe and I had to do the jumping before I started doing dressage professionally and I really enjoyed it. The horse I rode is an import from Ireland. It was fantastic. I really enjoyed this competition. It's big and everybody here is great."
Jessica Saalfield placed third in the dressage portion of the event with 66.09%, while Yvonne Losos De Muniz was second in the jumping behind Bent Jensen with 25 points.