Cathy Morelli and Karin Reid Offield One and Two in the Grand Prix Open

Barisone and Dansby-Phelps Top the Scoreboard in the Grand Prix Special

The sun returned for day two of the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI on Friday, and spectators soaked up the rays while taking in some of the sport’s finest as they each tried to edge their way into the top spots.

The big win of the day went to Michael Barisone riding Neruda to the blue ribbon in the $1250 Grand Prix Special CDI. Michael’s wife, Vera Kesseles-Barisone, was very pleased for Michael telling us that “Neruda had some tough moments at the last show, but he was more organized today and the changes were back. Overall they did a great job.” The judges agreed and rewarded the pair with a combined score of 68.960% which put them in the first place spot.

Second place went to Suzanne Dansby Phelps riding her impressive 18.2 hand Holsteiner, Cooper to a score of 65.720%. Dansby-Phelps recently found out she and Cooper have qualified and will be headed to California for the Festival of the Horse, United States Freestyle Finals and World Cup Selection, in Burbank, March 31- April 3.

Cathy Morelli and Karin Reid Offield One and Two in the Grand Prix Open

In the $1000 Open Grand Prix, Catherine Morelli piloted her BeSe to the win with a score of 65.000%. Morelli recently began an interesting new concept among several fellow trainers in Wellington. THEO, which stands for Trainers Helping Each Other, is her brainchild. The idea is that trainers visit each other at their farms, and help at shows, sharing their expertise.

"Betsy Steiner came over the other day to help with BeSe," explained Cathy, and I did the same with her. Sometimes it just takes a few words and a trained set of eyes on the ground to help." The idea is gaining momentum as fellow trainers can add their names to a list on Cathy's website,

Second went to Karin Ried-Offield on her tall, dark, and handsome, Dutch stallion, Hexagon’s Louisville with a score of 64.583%. Reid-Offield who has been training with Robert Dover this winter, has continued to make huge strides on her horse and in her training. Silke Rembacz earned the third place spot on Highlife Farm’s talented and beautiful black stallion, Connecticut, who recently moved up to Grand Prix, with a score of 64.583%.

A Judges' Joy - The Prix St George Challenge

On any given day one of the top 5 horses in the standing could be the winner in the very competitive $1000 Prix St. Georges CDI. The judges had a ball with this class watching one top ride after another,where a bobble or a missed flying change could dramatically alter the placings.

Ashley Holzer and her super star Dutch gelding, Pop Art, dominated with a score of 71.350%. When asked about this win and her very successful season, Holzer said, “The announcer was spot on when he contributed our very successful season to the team effort. I am lucky to have a great team, including owners, grooms, vets, farriers and my barn manager, Daniel Gallaher. She really gives me the edge”. Gallaher gushed and said “Ashley was simply great to work with”. One thing is for certain their formula for success works.

Second in the large class went to Yvonne Losos de Muniz of the Dominican Republic who rode her lovely Dutch mare, Inatana Las Marismas to a score of 70.250%. It is a pleasure having the lovely and talented rider back in Florida. Losos de Muniz spent most of last year in Europe, including the Sunshine Tour in Spain, and has returned with a barn full of horses. The legendary Harry Boldt visits from his home base in Australia to train her at Patrick Burssens IDA Farms.

Third place went to Michael Shondel and Wallaby who scored a 69.650% to wedge past Michelle Gibson and Lex Barker who finished fourth with 69.500%. Fifth place went to Susie Dutta and Romeo DC with a healthy score of 68.500%, followed closely by Silke Rembacz on Millenium with a score of 68.400%.

The Up and Coming Talents of the Future

Another standout performance today was Lars Petersen’s spectacular ride in the Fourth Level Test one class. Petersen gave the judges a dazzling ride aboard Melissa Taylor Yee’s big dappled grey gelding, Dacardo and his efforts were rewarded with a winning score of 70.233%. Second in class of 25 horses was Walhall, ridden by Rebecca Rigdon to a score of 70.000%, followed by Canadian, Julia Vysniauskas and Papillion who scored a 69.767 %.

Fourth place went to another dappled grey, the Dutch gelding Mitchell owned and shown by John Zopatti, also to a score of 69.767%. And fifth place also went to the handsome dappled grey, Silver Label ridden by Michael Shondel to a score of 67.907%. And sixth place also went to a grey, Sureno an Adalusian gelding shown by Julie Lyons to a score of 66.744%.

So while the skies were not grey, many of today’s winners at the Zada WEF Dressage Classic were! Saturday’s classes start at 8:00 AM with the $1000 Intermediaire- I class and run through 4:00 PM.

Johnny Robb for Phelps Media Group

On the Scene at the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI