CDI***/Y Dressage at Raleigh 2006

On the Scene for DressageDaily by Sue Smithson

Unitas and Currency DC Take the Lead in the USEF/Markel Young Horse Eastern Selection Trials

Teresa Butta-Stanton thought she had an unlucky draw - first to go in the USEF/Markel Young Horse Eastern Selection Trials FEI Preliminary test for 5-year old horses with her Dutch gelding Unitas - but she set a high standard for the ten horses to follow. Jan Brons and Up To Date (Flemmingh - Argus) placed second with an 80.08. Courtney King and Harmony’s Wyoming (Weltmeyer - Donnerhall) were a close third with an 80.00.

Unitas (Niagara - Harald) performed an elastic and balanced test for judges Anne Gribbons, Natalie Lamping, and Jane Weatherwax.

“He just wants to do it,” said Butta-Stanton. “He’s not hot, but he has an engine. He’s always trying.”

Butta-Stanton, a professional trainer based in Maryland, bought Unitas off a video two years ago. A friend went shopping in Holland and brought back the tape. “Four weeks later, he was mine,” she said, adding that she hopes to go back across the big pond in August for the FEI World Breeding Championships.

Although the competition was top notch, there were no surprises in the six-year old preliminary class. Dutta Corporation’s Oldenburg gelding Currency DC (Clintino - Classiker) and Susan Dutta won with an 86.4 over Jan Brons and the Dutch bred gelding Tacolando Triple R (Rolando - Ephradin). The margin between Dutta and the rest of the class was impressive - Brons’ second placed score was 79.2.

Currency DC was undefeated in this hemisphere as a five-year old, and was ranked 11th in the 2005 FEI World Breeding Championships as a five-year old. Physically the horse still looks growthy and a bit underweight, but the harmony and confidence he showed in the ring today belied his immature appearance.

“This is what we like to see,” said Jane Weatherwax. “He is showing the ability to carry behind, and a tremendous amount of ability.”

Dutta has been partnered with the horse since he was an unbroken two year old. “He was fantastic,” she said. “He really concentrated, it’s a very hard test for a six year old.” Dutta said that he has had a growth spurt recently, and he’s been sleeping a lot. “He’s a cuddly, quiet horse. Sort of like a diesel to ride - he starts off slow, then feels normal, and suddenly he kicks it into gear.”

Stock - PhelpsPhotos taken during Dressage In Florida

On the Scene for DressageDaily by Sue Smithson

Leslie Morse and Tip Top Claim the $3,000 Grand Prix Musical Freestyle

Leslie Morse and Tip Top earned a 72.2% with a bold, buoyant ride to swing music, winning the $3,000 Grand Prix Freestyle in front of a packed house tonight at the CDI-Raleigh.

Tip Top started to spook in the walk tour, and Morse yelled out “Hey stop that now!” to a maintenance man changing garbage bags on the top floor of the coliseum. The next moment she took off on a curved line of two-tempis, and never missed a beat.

The same top three from Friday night’s Grand Prix just switched places. Michael Barisone and Neruda, second both nights, charmed the crowd with a bold ride to a Queen rock medley. Barisone has never been accused of riding conservatively, and he redlined the RPM’s for some exciting passage and piaffe. But Neruda got strong, opened his mouth, and the transitions suffered.

Cesar Parra and Galant du Serein looked like winners again throughout a brilliant first half to a Latin beat. But the French stallion blew it in the canter, making mistakes in the pirouettes and tempis.

“He felt so great!” Parra said. “I was thinking this was the best ever, he was so dynamic, it was breathtaking. I don’t know what happened in the canter. But for us to beat them yesterday, I was very happy. It’s my first time to Raleigh, this is good competition, it’s not an easy show.”