It was a successful run at the 2008 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W/Y for Canadian rider Jacquie Brooks. With Gran Gesto, Brooks earned her very first Derby blue ribbon after winning the CDI Grand Prix Special with a score of 69.12 percent. Second went to Todd Flettrich and Amadeus with a score of 66.92. And third place went to Jason Canton and Duvallier with a score of 66.32 percent.
“This is the first big tour class I’ve won in Florida. I’m so thrilled, really, really excited. The competition here is so great. You have to develop a horse for so long just to be competitive in Florida. I mean, needing a 69 just to win is unbelievable,” Brooks said. “The best part of today was the amount of power he showed. This test has lots of transitions and every time I asked him if he wanted to go, he said yes. He just took me along, totally content to do all the work.”
Just the day before, during the CDI Grand Prix de Dressage, Brooks earned her qualifying score for the Canadian Olympic Team after she and Gran Gesto, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Grannox, scored a 67.958 and placed fourth. She and Gran Gesto are assured of a trip to Hong Kong but whether or not she will be a main team member or the alternate has yet to be decided. It all depends on her qualifying averages and after her Derby win, thing are looking better.
“Our qualifying season ends June 1. So, we have a long way to go,” Brooks said. “But this does help me because if I were tied, one thing we do is use the Special to break the tie.”