San Juan Capistrano, CA - Some of the nation's best dressage horses and riders will enjoy great competition and the Easter holiday among the spectacular setting of the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA during Cornerstone Event Management's Festival of the Horse & CDI 3*/Y/J, March 27-30, 2013. The CDI competition will be headlined by an impressive roster of Grand Prix entries. Olympian Guenter Seidel continues to develop his partnership with his new mount, "Coral Reef Wylea", fresh off of strong performances during this year's Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI 3* in Burbank and the Dressage Affaire CDI 3* in Del Mar. After a big international win at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W in Florida, Mette Rosencrantz brings her Hanoverian gelding "Finally" home to California in pursuit of another victory, while 2012 U.S. Olympic Dressage Team member Jan Ebeling and his long-time partner "Rafalca" will return to the competition arena for the first time since their London experience.
California darlings Kathleen Raine and "Breanna" are on a roll after topping the CDI Grand Prix Special at the recent Dressage Affaire CDI 3*. All will compete for top ribbons against other experienced High Performance competitors such as David Blake with the impressive Danish Warmblood gelding "Ikaros"; Canada's Karen Pavicic and her fancy gray Oldenburg "Don Daiquiri"; and past U.S. Olympian Susan Blinks with "Robin Hood", and will seek to earn high marks from an equally-impressive ground jury consisting of four 5* judges including Stephen Clarke (5* GBR), Mary Seefried (5* AUS), Linda Zang (5* USA), Cara Whitham (5* CAN), joined by Sarah Geikie (4* USA), and Sandra Hotz (3* USA).
The Festival of the Horse is the second designated qualifying competition for the new Markel/Cornerstone Young Talent Search (YTS), and fifteen four, five, and six-year-old horses will attempt to earn scores towards an invitation for the Finals in June as well as over $10,000 in prize money and awards. For additional excitement, the Festival of the Horse will be held in conjunction with the Blenheim Spring Classic I and II hunter/jumper show, featuring a $40,000 Grand Prix jumping event on Saturday afternoon. All dressage and hunter/jumper competitors will also enjoy special Easter festivities hosted by Blenheim Equisports, including an Easter brunch, Easter egg hunt with fabulous prizes, and face painting for the entire family.
The Festival of the Horse & CDI 3*/Y/J is an official qualifier for a multitude of national awards and championship programs, including the USEF Festival of Champions; the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC); the 2013 Markel/USEF Young Horse and Developing Horse National Dressage Championships presented by Horseshow.com; the Markel/Cornerstone Young Talent Search Finals; USDF year-end awards and regional championships; and California Dressage Society (CDS) Horse of the Year awards and annual championship show.
Spectator admission to the Festival of the Horse is free. For daily schedules and results, visit www.cornerstonedressage.com