Canada Prevails Over USA at Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3*

Champion Canada Team (L to R) Chef d'Equipe Elizabeth Quigg-Robsinon, Madison Lawson, Lauren Barwick, Ashley Gowanlock, and Jody Schloss
Champion Canada Team (L to R) Chef d'Equipe Elizabeth Quigg-Robsinon, Madison Lawson, Lauren Barwick, Ashley Gowanlock, and Jody Schloss

Wellington, FL -January 22, 2012 - For dressage enthusiasts there is not a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching F.E.I. level freestyle competition. As was the case at the final day of the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* where para-equestrian dressage riders exhibited their energizing freestyles and where team and individual awards were presented. Capturing the title of 2012 Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* was the Canadian Team followed by The United States Team in second. Topping each Grade division overall was Jody Schloss (CAN) and Inspector Rebus in Grade Ia, Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) and Ferdonia 2 in Grade Ib, Lauren Barwick (CAN) and Off to Paris in Grade II, Eleanor Brimmer (USA) and Carino H in Grade III, and James Dwyer (IRE) with Orlando in Grade IV.

USA Team (L to R) USEF Para-Equestrian Director Pam Lane, Mary Jordan, Dale Dedrick, Rebecca Hart, and Jonahtan Wentz
USA Team (L to R) USEF Para-Equestrian Director Pam Lane, Mary Jordan, Dale Dedrick, Rebecca Hart, and Jonahtan Wentz

Over three days, 23 riders from Bermuda, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, and the United States challenged themselves in front of F.E.I. judges Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Marc Urban (BEL). The Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* is the first of two weekends at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center.  Para-equestrian dressage riders continue to work toward earning their individual and team qualifying scores in anticipation of being selected for the 2012 London Paralympics.

Earning the team championship was Team Canada which included Lauren Barwick and Off To Paris for Grade II, Ashley Gowanlock and Ferdonia 2 for Grade Ib, Jody Schloss and Inspector Rebus for Grade Ia, Madison Lawson and McGuire for Grade IV, and Chef d'Equipe Elizabeth Quigg-Robinson. Over the first two days, the Canadian Team maintained their lead above the United States and in the end Canada captured the win.

Lauren Barwick and Off To Paris
Lauren Barwick and Off To Paris

Lauren Barwick, Four-Star Parelli Professional and 2008 Paralympic Equestrian Gold Medal winner and horse Off To Paris, continued to earn superior scores over the three days with 71.667% in the team competition, 70.159% in the individual competition, and 73.917% in the freestyle competition. "I was super happy with our freestyle today," said Lauren. "We figured out some great things today and I am excited to go and play with those details. I know these small changes are going to pull everything together."

She continued, "Our coaches like to say we don't want to peak now, so there are still some items we are working on and are trying to perfect while keeping in mind the long term goal of London."

Currently Team Canada holds the fourth place ranking in the F.E.I. World Ranking List. Lauren remarked, "The team is really good. We are sorting a few things out right now but overall I have really been impressed. This was the first time our whole team was able to come together as a solid unit. It is the combination of having a partnership of a good rider and good horse to make a strong team that's consistent. This is the first time in my twelve years as a para-equestrian that we have a really strong team. I am excited going into London with it."

Ashley Gowanlock and Ferdonia 2
Ashley Gowanlock and Ferdonia 2

Ashley Gowanlock represented Grade Ib with Lauren Barwick's horse, Ferdonia 2. Ashley was also a top performer especially in the freestyle where she earned a 73.417%. She commented, "Ferdonia is so willing and obedient, it just blows me away. We have been working on building trust each time we enter the ring and each time I know what to expect more and more. It is very exciting to know that if I just tweak this one detail that my 70% could go to a 72%. I feel very lucky to have this amazing horse as my partner."

Behind the scenes at Team Canada are Chef d'Equipe Elizabeth Quigg-Robinson, Team Coach Andrea Taylor, and International Consultant Mary Longden. Lauren commented, "All of our coaches and staff have been wonderful. With our national coach working on the riding the horses and feeling the horses and Mary working on us as riders, the combination has made each of us stronger as individuals."

Mary Jordan and P Sparrow Socks
Mary Jordan and P Sparrow Socks

The United States continued to excel throughout the weekend with team members Mary Jordan and Sebastian in Grade IV, Dale Dedrick and Bonifatius for Grade II, Rebecca Hart aboard Lord Ludger in Grade II, Jonathan Wentz with NTEC Richter Scale in Grade Ib, and Chef d'Equipe Missy Ransehousen. With only six months prior to the 2012 USEF Paralympic Selection Trials the United States continues to grow their team and present quality tests.

Mary Jordan commented, "This weekend was intense; I think each rider would agree we all had to ride for every point. With only six months before selection trials that is how it should be and now we need to step up our game. The United States has a lot of new partnerships between horses and riders. We need to develop those relationships carefully and quickly in order to reach our highest potential."

Jon Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale
Jon Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale

Jonathan Wentz noted, "I think we are doing really well. If we just fine tune a few things we can hopefully take the lead next week."

Not only did Jonathan achieve leading scores for the United States Team, but he also achieved the highest score of the United States individual results each day including a 72.333% in the freestyle. During the first week of competition Jonathan's coach Kai Handt was unable to attend therefore, his assistant coach, Happy Comly stepped into the reins. "I can't thank Happy enough for her stepping into this position. I truly appreciate everyone's help including Rachel Zent who owns both of my horses."

Eleanor Brimmer and Carino H
Eleanor Brimmer and Carino H

Eleanor Brimmer (USA) and Carino H were the first place winners in the Grade III division. Even though the Grade III division lacked a large number of competitors, Eleanor has appreciated the opportunity for two weeks of judging under F.E.I. standards. "This show was a great learning experience for me," expressed Eleanor. "Carino H is a new mount for me and we are still getting to know each other. It is challenging as a new international rider to be comfortable with the level of expectation, especially when the number of competitions in the United States are limited."
 
She continued, "I am definitely looking forward to next week's competition however, as the only Grade III rider over both weeks I am unable to measure myself against potential competition."

James Dwyer and Orlando
James Dwyer and Orlando

In the Grade IV individual competition superstar James Dwyer of Ireland and his horse Orlando performed a hat-trick. Over three days James earned the top score in his Grade increasing to the last score of a 74.333 % in the freestyle test.  James used a combination of movements to deliver a beautiful freestyle set to a very fitting Irish melody. "I love that music," exclaimed James. "I think Orlando knows his music pretty well too. When I think he is a little tired coming into the freestlye he hears that music and he always comes up to me. This finish was a great end to the weekend and I am looking forward to next weekend. Keeping consistency was my goal and I hope to achieve that same consistency next weekend."

Eight years ago James came to the United States to take lessons from Missy Ransehousen. Little did he know that he would be working alongside Jessica as well. He noted, "Jessica is absolutely wonderful. My horse and I would not be here if it wasn't for her. She and Missy have taken me in and I would not be able to do this without their help. I am looking forward to the next couple of months with her as we hopefully get selected for the Irish Team and then head to London.

Ferdanda Otheguy and It's Mr. Merlot
Ferdanda Otheguy and It's Mr. Merlot

As a discipline, para-equestrian dressage is looking exceptional. Sponsors like Cory Gregory, who donated It's Mr. Merlot to Grade II Fernanda Otheguy of Mexico for this competition make this sport continue to grow. Fernanda explained, "I was going to borrow a horse from Regina Cristo but at the last minute the horse was injured. I am delighted that Cory was willing to allow me to borrow her pony. I had never ridden a pony before this week. He is the greatest pony; He has a great mind, is very talented, and has very good natural gaits. If you want a free walk all I have to do is let him go and he reaches. I don't even realize I am on a pony when I am riding him. I was a little nervous going into the covered arena but Merlot is so kind and he behaved like he was born there. He is still quite young so I know he is going to be a super pony when he's older."

When Sunday came to a close para-equestrian dressage riders packed up their tack for a short break before next week's competition. Beginning January 25, 2012 is the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3* at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. On Wednesday the jog for the CPEDI3* will occur followed by Thursday's Team competition, Saturday's Individual Test competition, followed by Sunday's Freestyle competition and awards presentation.

January 22, 2012 Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* Freestyle Test
Judges: Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Marc Urban (BEL)

Results: Placing, Name, Name of Horse, Total Score

Grade 1a
1.    Jody Schloss, Inspector Rebus, 69.167 (CAN)
2.    Laurietta Oakleaf, Niekele fan Busenitz, 68.250 (USA)
3.    Kim Decker, Dasher's Destiny,  64.333 (USA)
4.    Alexander Mitchell, Guiness Maskell, 63.333 (BER)
5.    NTEC Manchada, Mina Chinju 61.750 (JPN)
6.    Robyn Andrews, Fancianna, 60.000 (CAN)

Grade 1b
1.    Ashley Gownlock, Fredonia 2, 73.417 (CAN)
2.    Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Richter Scale, 72.333 (USA)
3.    Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Jabriel, 70.083 (USA)
4.    Katja Karjalainen, Hidden Creek Jones, 64.667 (FIN)
5.    Jaana Kivimaki, Sarona, 61.417 (FIN)

Grade II
1.    Lauren Barwick, Off to Paris, 73.917 (CAN)
2.    Rebecca Hart, Lord Ludger, 71.500 (USA)
3.    Dale Dedrick, Bonifatius, 70.333 (USA)
4.    Fernanda Otheguy, It's Mr. Merlot, 67.667 (MEX)
5.    Margret McIntosh, Idalgo, 63.750 (USA)
6.    Elizabeth Pigott, Whitney's Willow, 62.833 (USA)
7.    Charlotte Bathlon, Sportsfield Twist,  61.250 (USA)
8.    Rebecca Hart, Hugh Knows, 60.167 (USA)

Grade III
1.    Eleanor Brimmer, Carino H, 54.333 (USA)

Grade IV
1.    James Dwyer, Orlando,  74.333 (IRE)
2.    Mary Jordan, Sebastian, 68.583 (USA)
3.    Madison Lawson, McGuire, 68.477 (CAN)
4.    Lynne Pool, Vasco E, 64.086 (CAN)
5.    Mary Jordan, P.Sparrow Socks, 66.250 (USA)
6.    Lynee Pool, Fisbee, 64.750 (CAN)

January 21, 2012 Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3*  Wellington, FL
Judges: Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Marc Urban (BEL)

Results: Placing, Name, Name of Horse, Total Score

Grade 1a
1.    Jody Schloss, Inspector Rebus, 70.583 (CAN)
2.    Laurietta Oakleaf, Niekele fan Busenitz, 65.083 (USA)
3.    Kim Decker, Dasher's Destiny,  63.833 (USA)
4.    Alexander Mitchell, Guiness Maskell, 62.917 (BER)
5.    NTEC Manchada, Mina Chinju 60.833 (JPN)
6.    Robyn Andrews, Ravallo Son, 59.000 (CAN)
7.    Robyn Andrews, Fancianna, 56.000 (CAN)

Grade 1b
1.    Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Richter Scale, 69.275 (USA)
2.    Ashley Gownlock, Fredonia 2, 68.986 (CAN)
3.    Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Jabriel, 68.551 (USA)
4.    Katja Karjalainen, Hidden Creek Jones, 64.783 (FIN)
5.    Jaana Kivimaki, Sarona, 61.232 (FIN)

Grade II
1.    Lauren Barwick, Off to Paris, 70.159 (CAN)
2.    Dale Dedrick, Bonifatius, 67.381 (USA)
3.    Rebecca Hart, Lord Ludger, 66.349 (USA)
4.    Fernanda Otheguy, It's Mr. Mister Merlot, 64.683 (MEX)
5.    Rebecca Hart, Hugh Knows, 62.619 (USA)
6.    Margret McIntosh, Idalgo, 62.063 (USA)
7.    Elizabeth Pigott, Whitney's Willow, 61.508 (USA)
8.    Charlotte Bathlon, Sportsfield Twist,  58.730 (USA)

Grade III
1. Eleanor Brimmer, Carino H, 59.556 (USA)

Grade IV
1.    James Dwyer, Orlando,  70.753 (IRE)
2.    Mary Jordan, P Sparrow Socks, 64.624 (USA)
3.    Lynne Pool, Vasco E, 64.086 (CAN)
4.    Lynee Pool, Fisbee, 63.925 (CAN)
5.    Madison Lawson, McGuire, 63.925 (CAN)
6.    Mary Jordan, Sebastian, 62.742 (USA)
 
January 19, 2012 Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3*  Wellington, FL
Judges: Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Marc Urban (BEL)

Results: Placing, Name, Name of Horse, Total Score

Grade 1a
1.    Jody Schloss, Inspector Rebus, 67.157 (CAN)
2.    Laurietta Oakleaf, Niekele fan Busenitz, 63.529 (USA)
3.    Robyn Andrews, Fancianna, 62.745 (CAN)
4.    Kim Decker, Dasher's Destiny,  62.157 (USA)
5.    Alexander Mitchell, Guiness Maskell, 61.863 (BER)
6.    Robyn Andrews, Ravallo Son, 61.471 (CAN)
7.    NTEC Manchada, Mina Chinju 56.275 (JPN)

Grade 1a
1.    Ashley Gownlock, Fredonia 2, 70.985 (CAN)
2.    Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Jabriel, 69.381 (USA)
3.    Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Richter Scale, 66.212 (USA)
4.    Jaana Kivimaki, Sarona, 63.636 (FIN)
5.    Katja Karjalainen, Hidden Creek Jones, 63.409 (FIN)

Grade II
1.    Lauren Barwick, Off to Paris, 71.667 (CAN)
2.    Dale Dedrick, Bonifatius, 69.318 (USA)
3.    Rebecca Hart, Lord Ludger, 69.048 (USA)
4.    Rebecca Hart, Hugh Knows, 65.714 (USA)
5.    Fernanda Otheguy, It's Mister Merlot, 64.921 (MEX)
6.    Elizabeth Pigott, Whitney's Willow, 63.651 (USA)
7.    Margret McIntosh, Idalgo, 61.905 (USA)
8.    Charlotte Bathlon, Sportsfield Twist,  57.460 (USA)

Grade III
1. Eleanor Brimmer, Carino H, 57.531 (USA)

Grade IV
1.    James Dwyer, Orlando,  68.750 (IRE)
2.    Lynne Pool, Vasco E, 64.427 (CAN)
3.    Lynee Pool, Fisbee, 63.958 (CAN)
4.    Madison Lawson, McGuire, 63.958 (CAN)
5.    Mary Jordan, Sebastian, 63.333 (USA)
6.    Mary Jordan, P Sparrow Socks, 62.135 (USA)

For more information about the Gold Coast Dressage Opener please visit www.gcdafl.org or contact Noreen O'Sullivan (561) 714-9026.

Photo Credit: 2012 Gold Coast Dressage Association Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, FL at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Photo © Lindsay Y McCall for the United States Para-Equestrian Association



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