Arlene Page and her brilliant Holsteiner mare Claire (by Cassini out of an Appleking xx mare) had a nearly perfect show at Dressage at the Equestrian Estates, held April 2-4, in Loxahatchee, Florida. She earned just the scores she was working for to lift her standings in the hotly contested top twelve positions for the 2004 Olympic Selection Trials to be held in San Juan Capistrano, California in June.
“Claire continues to get stronger throughout this season and this show was a good indicator that we are on the right track with her strength and fitness,” said a satisfied Page. “She is more secure with the actual test now, she understands that the piaffes are 12 to 14 steps on the place, the passages stay expressive right through the short ends, the extensions go from letter to letter etc.”
Claire won the Grand Prix with a score of 72.596% and the Special with a score of 70.46%. California judge Jane Weatherwax, seeing the mare for the first time, gave her the highest score of 73.958% and commented that now she “knew what all the fuss was about.”
“This is a tremendously generous horse, once she understands what is expected she will give everything she has and needs only security from me, not insistance,” Arlene continued. “It has taken these 4 shows for me to relax and trust her...there really is a point and purpose to this selection procedure...it makes you show...a lot, and get better at it!”
But the pair who had not competed much in 2003 still needed one more good show in front of an “O” judge to earn their certificate of qualification, so it was off to Port Jervis, New York to compete at Westchester-Fairfield Festival of Dressage CDI*** and CDI/Y/J, held April 23-25, where a panel of 5 judges with the “O” rating was assembled: Mr. Stephan Clarke, GBR, Ms. Evi Eisenhardt, GER, Mr. Wojciech Markowski, POL, Dr. Volker Moritz, GER, and Col. Axel Steiner, USA.
It was a 48 hour trip, by trailer to New York from Florida. The mare earned the required 67% score in the Grand Prix, from two “O” judges she needed for her second Certificate of Capability, to qualify for the Selection Trials. Page knew her mare was not as “loose and normal” as she usually is during the Gran Prix, placing second to Canada’s Cindy Ishoy. But Page and Claire came back on Sunday beautifully in the Freestyle. While they still could not beat Ishoy, Claire earned a 72.7% scoring 75% from 2 judges on the panel.
"It was great to get some helpful feedback from several of the judges who have encouraged me to "tweek" the freestyle here and there," said Page. "Freestyle creator Marlene Whitaker and I are already doing just that.”
With six weeks to go until the Trials in June, there is more time to continue to improve Claire’s strength and suppleness. Page who will also be bringing her talented PSG/I 1 horse Wild One, who also aced the 70% mark at Dressage at Equestrian Estates plans on getting to California in plenty of time to give Claire the rest she needs and deserves before the demanding selection process begins.
Results for Dressage at Equestrian Estates and Port Jervis CDI
No More Pressure for Arlene Page and Claire
Arlene Page and Claire
Arlene Page and Claire Have Arrived at Grand Prix
Arlene "Tuni" Full Page Win Intermediaire Freestyle at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions