Canadians Score a 1 - 2 Victory at the Prestigious CDI Palm Beach Dressage Derby

Shannon Dueck and Korona

Canadian dressage riders are enjoying much success south of the border this winter. At the recent Palm Beach Dressage Derby, CDI***/Y, held in Loxahatchee Florida February 28 - March 3, Shannon Dueck & Korona won the CDI*** FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with a remarkable score of 73.600%. Country mate Ashley Holzer & Imperioso were close behind in second place with a score of 69.725%.

Dueck & Korona's win is especially encouraging as the pair gear up to represent Canada for the first time at the 2003 World Cup being held later this month in Goteborg, Sweden. This will be their third major international appearance riding for Canada. Dueck & Korona broke onto the international scene by storm taking the silver medal at the 1999 Pan American Games with a career record score of 75% in the freestyle. Amazingly, this was only the first year for Korona showing at the Prix St. George level in the competition ring. The Dutch Warmblood gelding continued to improve over the years as they moved up to the Grand Prix level.

Last year the pair earned a spot on Canada's World Equestrian Games team and travelled to Spain where they put in country's top score in the Grand Prix and was the only Canadian horse/riding combination to advance to the Grand Prix Special. This helped Canada earn their best international team performance in recent years. Upon returning to Canada, they then proceeded to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto where a winning Grand Prix test and Freestyle earned them top honours in the Swarovski Canadian League World Cup Finals. The win now sends the team to Sweden as Canada's representative at the World Cup Final being held March 27-30 in Goteborg, Sweden.

Ashley Holzer and Imperioso In the Ribbons

Ashley Holzer & Imperioso, a Dutch Warmblood stallion, is also building on her strong international performance at last year's World Equestrian Games. Holzer has a long history representing Canada internationally, and her partnership with Imperioso continues to bring success by not only placing 2nd in the Grand Prix Freestyle but also 3rd in the Grand Prix (65.417%). Holzer also captured impressive placings with Gambol (2nd in Prix St. George with 70.333%) and Maximillian (7th in Prix St. George with 64.917%).

Blue ribbons were also won by Canadians in additional classes at the Palm Beach Derby. Susanne Dutt-Roth & Rheirattack won at Fourth Level with 66.589% while Julia Vysnaiuskas & Syntax won an Intermediaire II class with 66.341%.

Other Canadians showing included Sonja Ucci (Cipriano - Fourth Level) and Julia Vysnauskias (Freuden Tanzer - Advanced) .

The Palm Beach Dressage Derby, CDI***/Y was a qualifying competitions for the USET Intermediaire I and Grand Prix Championship as well as the Pan American Games for the United States Dressage Team. The Derby boasted an impressive judging panel including Volker Moritz, "O" (Germany), Uwe Mechlem, "O" (Germany), Wojciech Markowski, "O" (Poland), Lorraine MacDonald, "I" (Canada), Hilda Gurney, "I" (USA), Lois Yukins, "I"(USA), Jane Weatherwax, "C"(USA), and Lissette Purcell, "I" (DOM).