Canadian Dressage Riders Successful in California and Germany

Canadian Dressage riders were busy last weekend, with riders competing at both the CDI-W Del Mar in California, USA and CDI3* Hagen in Germany.

Representing Canada in Hagen, Germany was Cheryl Meisner-Linssen of Blandford, NS who paired up with John Risley’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion Paganini to face tough competition in the Grand Prix division. The duo’s best performance came in the Grand Prix Kur to Music, where their performance to music composed of a mix of modern and classical, earned a score of 67.45% for seventh place.

"Paganini was very good in the Kur. It was our first time riding with our new music and a much more difficult pattern so I was happy with the result," stated Meisner-Linssen, who recently contested a German CDI competition for the first time at the CDI 4* Dortmund in early April, where she earned good results with both Paganini, and Hesperos, a 13-year-old Trakehner gelding, owned by Lobster Point Farms.

"I feel good about my results in Europe so far. My horses are becoming much more consistent and the quality of their work has improved a lot. It is a nice feeling to know your horse is doing well but still has a lot more potential." Meisner-Linssen plans to finish up her European tour May 4-6 at a National competition in Almelo, Holland, before returning to Canada for the summer. "After the summer season wraps up in Canada, I will return to Holland and continue to train and compete."

The theme for the competition at Hagen was "Horses and Dreams Meets China" with the aim to introduce both competitors and visitors alike to China’s culture for the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games. The international judging panel included Beatrice Burchler-Keller (FEI ‘O’- SUI), Dr. Wojciech Markowski (FEI ‘O’ - POL), Gotthilf Riexinger (FEI ‘O’ - GER), Lief Toernblad (FEI ‘O’ - DEN), Katrina Wuest (FEI ‘O’- GER) , Ernst Bachinger (FEI ‘I’ - AUT), Christoph Hess (FEI ‘I’- GER), Freddy Leyman (FEI ‘I’- BEL), and Martin Richenhagen (FEI ‘I’- GER).

In Del Mar, Karen Pavicic of Richmond, BC kicked off the competition with a sixth place finish in the Prix St. Georges, riding her 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Lionheart to a score of 68%. The duo followed up with double eighth place finishes in both the Intermediaire I, and Intermediaire I Freestyle, scoring 65.750%, and 68.583%, respectively in front of a judging panel that included Dr. Barnabas Mandi (FEI ‘O’ HUN), Jayne Ayers (FEI ‘I’ USA), Joan Macartney (FEI ‘I’ CAN) and Lisette Vega de Purcell (FEI ‘I’ DOM).

Pavicic, who has declared to earn a berth on the Canadian Equestrian Dressage Team heading to the 2007 Pan American Games this July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is able to use her scores from Del Mar toward the Qualifying Scores required to participate in the Canadian Equestrian Dressage Team Selection Trials for the Games, which will start with the ‘Spring into Dressage’ competition at CornerStone Farms in Caledon, ON, June 1-3. The date and location of the second Selection Trial is still undetermined, but will be posted on the Dressage Canada website once available.