Wellington, FL - Caroline Roffman proved to all that Friday the 13th was not an unlucky day, as she rode Pie to victory in the FEI Prix St. Georges at the $35,000 WEF Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO-3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm, on Friday. Thirty horse and rider combinations from thirteen nations on eight teams were on hand to vie for the top award in the GDF's large Stadium. At the completion of the class, Roffman and Pie were the clear winners with a score of 70.500%, the only pair to break into the seventies. Roffman, 23, who rides and trains out of Lion Share in Wellington, FL, rose up through the ranks of the Dressage Young Riders program and has become a top contender in the FEI small tour at the GDF this season. Her scores with Pie, (Hanoverian by Worldly, out of WorldLady) have been in the upper 60's for the last two CDIs, and she was very excited to receive a score of 70%. "I haven't gotten out of the high 60's," said Roffman. "I have been lingering at 69 for a while. This is the first score I received in the 70's in a CDI.
"He has not shown much at this level, this is the first season at the CDI level and this is only his fourth CDI... He felt super. This was our the best ride and it was nice that the score reflected that. I felt a little pressure because I was riding for the team, but he really rose to the occasion. It was nice not to let the team down today."
Pie also won the Champion Equine Insurance Dressage Style Award given to the horse that received the highest collective marks (scores) in Paces, Impulsion and Submission in the FEI Grand Prix test. This is the second Style award win for Pie and Roffman. Laura Whitlow, Owner and President of Champion Equine Insurance presented the pair with a crystal vase, a silver sash and embroidered jackets and hats.
Pie is a ten-year-old Hanoverian who was named after the famous cinema horse National Velvet. "I changed his name from Westpont to Pie, said Roffman. "I always called him Pie because he looked like National Velvet's Pie, the markings are identical. When I first saw him that's what I thought. I saw him in a video and I fell in love with him."
Roffman said that Pie will be a part of his stable forever. "I have had him since he was four-years-old," said Roffman. "It has been a roller coaster ride, but I am very lucky to have him... He is very special to me. I don't think I could ever let him go."
Roffman chose an excellent time to shine. Roffman's score of 70.500% along with the score from second place rider Christopher Hickey and Witness Hilltop, 69.684%, placed Team USA 1 in excellent position going into the FEI Intermediare Freestyle, the final competition in the race for the Nations Cup.
The top five placed teams move forward to the FEI Intermediare Freestyle in two sessions on Saturday. The first session takes place in the afternoon, at 4:40 PM. The second session, which includes the GDF Parade of Champions for National High Score Circuit Winners, will be in the evening at 7:00 PM. The remaining riders will compete in the FEI Intermediare I on Saturday morning at 10:00 AM.
Team placings will be based on the top three Freestyle scores of each Team. The percentages will be added together and then the top team will be the one with the most points/highest added percentage