Ottawa, ON – Belinda Trussell of Newmarket, ON, earned a personal best score last weekend at the CDI-W/Y Palm Beach Dressage Derby, held in Palm Beach, FL March 5-7, 2010. Riding Anton, a 10-year old German-bred gelding (Antaeous x Saxony) owned by Robyn Eames, Trussell scored 70.708% for second place in the Grand Prix Special on Saturday, March 6. “When I came out of the ring and saw 70.7 on the Jumbotron I was so excited. Cracking the 70 per cent mark has been our goal this season,” said Trussell. “Anton is spectacular, he continues to grow and show more and more brilliance in the ring. We have reached our qualifying criteria for WEG and now I want to continue to strive for more scores in the 70s to have a strong team in WEG. I want to thank Robert Dover for all his help, as well as Christilot Boylen and Udo Lange.”
Canada was well represented in the Grand Prix division, as riders vie for a spot on the team at this fall’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. In the Grand Prix for Special class held on Friday, Trussell and Anton placed third earning 68.638%. Bonny Bonnello of Calgary, AB earned 66.809% for seventh with Pikardi (Point Maker x Daimont), a 13-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding co-owned by Bonnello and Frances Bell. Tied for eighth with 66.213% was Florida-based Shannon Dueck and Ayscha, her nine-year-old Oldenburg mare by Welt Hit II. Gary Vander Ploeg of King City, ON followed in 10th earning 65.745% with Cezanne, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding sired by Alabaster owned by Jeannie Vander Ploeg and Jack Leitch.
Toronto’s Victoria Winter placed 11th earning 65.191% with Proton, Cindy Ishoy’s 16-year-old Baden-Wurtemburger gelding by Patriarch. Winter and Proton were the next placed Canadian riders behind Trussell and Anton in Saturday’s Grand Prix Special, earning 66.208% for sixth. Bonnello and Pikardi followed in seventh with 65.125%.
In the Grand Prix Freestyle held on Sunday, Olympian Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, ON earned 69.750% for second with Balmoral (Belcanto x Consul), a 10-year-old Canadian Hanoverian gelding owned by Brinc Ltd and Anne and John Welch. Chris Von Martels of Ridgetown, ON earned 67.650% for fourth place riding Naomi, a Dutch Warmblood mare by Zeoliet that is owned by Sonja Zugel. Brooks and Balmoral were also second in the Grand Prix for Freestyle held on Saturday, earning 65.064%.
“I was so pleased with Balmoral at the Derby,” said Brooks. “He is really finding his confidence in the ring and I am starting to feel the same partnership I had with him as a five and six-year-old and again in the advanced division,” said Brooks
“I was also very happy to be able to support Courtney King Dye by competing in my helmet in the CDI and am hoping that soon this will be the only acceptable way to ride a horse anywhere including the competition arena,” Brooks added, referring to the tragic accident suffered by American Grand Prix rider Courtney King-Dye last week. King-Dye suffered a head injury when a horse she was trying out for a client stumbled and lost its balance. King-Dye remains in a coma in a Florida hospital, and there was a prayer service held for her at the Derby. Many other riders donned their helmets in the warm-up area as well.
In the Advanced division, 2007 Pan American Games silver medalist Tom Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON, continued his success with Viva’s Salieri W in the very competitive Prix St. Georges class. Dvorak and the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Viva Voltaire and owned by Augustin and Christine Walch earned 69.649% for second in a field of 32 entries. Krystalann Shingler of Toronto, ON, was 10th with 66.930% with Tividor, her 10-year-old Dutch gelding sired by Obelisk. Chris Von Martels and Tiesto (Jazz x Wellington), a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Von Martels and Francisco Prada, were 13th with 65.877%.
Shingler and Tividor placed eighth in the Intermediaire I class on Saturday with 68.158%, followed by Dvorak and Viva’s Salieri W in ninth with 67.895%. Shingler went on to place fourth in the Intermediaire Freestyle on Sunday with 65.350%.
Three of Canada’s young women riders successfully competed in the Young Rider division. In her third year at this level, Caledon, ON native Jaimie Holland and her long-time partner Fleurina won the Young Rider Freestyle class held on Sunday with 66.900%. Fleurina, a 12-year-old Westphalian mare by Florestan, has been Holland’s partner since her FEI Junior days. The combination had placed second in both the Team and Individual tests earlier in the weekend, scoring 66.957% and 65.053% respectively.
Megan Lane of Collingwood, ON was behind Holland in second in the Freestyle aboard Caravella, her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare sired by Contango. Lane placed third behind Holland in Friday’s Team test with 65.737%, and fourth in the Individual test. This is Lane’s first year at the Young Riders, having successfully competed Caravella to three junior medals at the 2009 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.
Holland’s 2009 NAJYRC teammate Amy Jager of Puslinch, ON also competed at this show aboard Key West, a 10-year-old Trakehner gelding (Charly Chaplin x Arogno) owned by Ruth Demandt. Jager nudged ahead of Lane in the Individual test for third, and was sixth in the Team test and fifth in the Freestyle.
The next CDI to take place for WEG team hopefuls is on the west coast, at the CDI3* Del Mar (CA) this coming weekend, March 11–14, 2010. Florida based riders will compete again at the CDI3* Wellington March 17–21, 2010.
The judging panel for the CDI-W/Y Palm Beach Derby included Stephen Clarke (FEI O—GBR), Evi Eisenhardt (FEI O—GER), Wim Ernes (FEI O—NED), Wojciech Markowski (FEI O—POL), Linda Zang (FEI O—USA), Liselotte Fore (FEI I— USA), Natalie Lamping (FEI I—USA), Joan Macartney (FEI I—CAN) and Sarah Geikie (FEI C—USA)