Grand Prix competition took to the main arena on Friday at the CDI-W Blainville Dressage International held just north of Montreal at Blainville Equestrian Park. Cindy Ishoy of Jerseyville, ON, team bronze medallist at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, earned the winning score of 68.33% in the Grand Prix division from the international panel of judges for her performance on Proton, her nine-year-old German-bred gelding.
“He really wanted to do it, he was a happy boy and he gave me exactly what I asked for,” said Ishoy, 51, who purchased Proton four years ago in the south of Germany. “This is only the fourth grand prix test of his life, and it is the first time we have shown in a CDI-W. It is a real partnership, and he really suits me. I feel lucky to have such a horse.”
Last year’s defending champion of the grand prix division, Shannon Dueck, originally from Langley, BC, and now based south of the border, finished second with Korona. Dueck, a veteran of the 2002 World Equestrian Games and the 2003 World Cup Final, earned a score of 65.33% with her 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by El Corona.
Placing third was Ishoy’s 1988 Olympic bronze medal teammate, Gina Smith of Brockville, ON, who scored 63.29%. Smith was aboard her long-time partner Faust, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by the Dressage Collection Inc.
In fourth was 21-year-old Julia Vysniauskas of Cochrane, AB, riding Syntax, an 11-year-old gelding bred in Slovenia, while Quebec resident Louise Miechowsky of Hudson was fifth with Palafox, her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding.
For the second day in a row, Jacqueline Brooks of Mount Albert, ON, was at the top of her division. In the Intermediare I, Brooks took top honours with a score of 67.60% riding Gran Gesto, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Grannox who is owned by Brinc Ltd. and Anne Welch.
In second place was Ashley Holzer, originally from Toronto, ON, and now based in New York City. With a strong performance on Gambol, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion by Gabor, Holzer earned a score of 66.80%. Holzer was also a member of the bronze medal team at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The fourth team member, Eva-Maria Pracht, is the only one of the foursome who has retired her riding boots in favour of coaching.
Representing the west coast was West-Bay, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding ridden by 30-year-old Rochelle Kilberg of New Westminster, BC. The pair earned a score of 66.20% while Quebec’s own Evi Strasser of Ste-Adele was fourth after earning 66.05% for her ride on Good Tyme Stables’ Quantum Tyme, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quattro.
All four competitors are among the top contenders for the Canadian Dressage Team headed to the Pan American Games next month in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Saturday evening’s Intermediare Musical Freestyle will act as the final Selection Trial and an announcement of the Team is expected by Sunday.
The beauty and elegance of classic dressage continues at Blainville Equestrian Park until July 20. With $20,000 in prize money, sought-after World Cup points and Pan Am berths all up for grabs, competition is fierce the CDI-W Blainville Dressage International. Saturday evening’s sold-out Dressage Musical Freestyle Extravaganza, held outdoors for the second year in a row in order to accommodate overwhelming spectator demand, will be the highlight of the weekend.
Grand Prix – Final Results
Rider Hometown Horse Score
1. Cindy Ishoy Jerseyville, ON Proton 68.33%
2. Shannon Dueck Langley, BC Korona 65.33%
3. Gina Smith Brockville, ON Faust 63.29%
4. Julia Vysniauskas Cochrane, AB Syntax 62.67%
5. Louise Miechowsky Hudson, QC Palafox 56.46%
Intermediare I – Final Results
Rider Hometown Horse Score
1. Jacqueline Brooks Mount Albert, ON Gran Gesto 67.60%
2. Ashley Holzer Toronto, ON Gambol 66.80%
3. Rochelle Kilberg New Westminster, BC West-Bay 66.20%
4. Evi Strasser Ste-Adele, QC Quantum Tyme 66.05%
5. Jessica Costello Mount Albert, ON Litmanen 65.75%
6. Tom Dvorak Hillsburgh, ON Lenz 65.20%