As sole South American representative at the CDIO Aachen, Dr. Cesar Parra had big shoes to fill to keep the honor up for his native country Colombia in the international field of competitors competing at Aachen.
Aboard Horses Unlimited's Selle Français stallion Galant du Serein (by Apache d'Adriers x Jalme de Mesnul), Parra scored 67.167% and placed 10th in the CDI tour Grand Prix. The judge at H even scored his ride 70.625%. The winner of the class was Parra's trainer Hubertus Schmidt aboard his own bred Forest Gump NRW.
In Aachen, Parra was able to consolidate on European turf the upward trend he's been progressing in since the 2005 Florida show season. O-Judge Volker Moritz witnessed Parra's ride and told the Colombian dressage rider, who is based in Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA, that he has made "a big step forward" in his training.
"If there is one place to prove yourself, it's Aachen," Cesar Parra said. " I feel honored to ride among the best riders in the world. Being around them teaches me more and will ultimately make me a better rider."
However, Cesar remains to be extremely ambitious and eager to move up the ranks on his way to the top of the leader board. Prior to the CDIO Aachen, Cesar has been training with Hubertus Schmidt in Paderborn, Germany, for two months. "I will keep spending summers in Germany with Hubertus and hopefully I will get to show my second Grand Prix horse Leonberg soon internationally," he explained. "I want to improve myself by being more effective and consistent in the saddle, without disturbing the picture. I have to pay more attention to the details and learn to further improve the suppleness of the horse."
The second part of his strategy involves lining up a string of top quality dressage horses. "I need to get a line a of excellent horses behind me, so my future as a dressage rider is safe." Parra has several young stars in training in Germany, which he will bring to the States when they reach FEI level.
His next stop on the competition calendar is 2005 Dressage at Devon, which takes place September 28 - October 2, 2005, in Devon, PA.
Photos copyrighted: Astrid Appels/Eurodressage.com