In Prix St. Georges competition, Cesar Parra and Olympia, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Dr. Lori Washton, continued their winning ways. After take three wins in CDI competition two weeks ago in Saugerties, New York, they are hoping to repeat those multiple wins at Devon. “I’m really hoping that tomorrow we’ll win again,” Parra said of Saturday’s upcoming Intermediaire I competition. The pair took the win with a score of 72.456 and Parra praised Olympia for his tremendous work ethic. “He never quits,” Parra said. “He’s not a horse that people go ‘wow’ and that gets likes 9s and 10s, but he’s a worker. He gets 7s and 8s and 7s and 8s. I’d rather have those horses that you can really rely on. He’s always there fighting for you. He makes it easy and I’m lucky to have a horse like that. Every time he gets better and I can take more risk.”
Although Parra and Olympia had tremendous success at their last CDI competition, Parra said Devon is always more special. “This is my ninth win at Devon and this is a very special place for me. I really feel like I was born here. I love Devon. I love the whole thing. It’s fun to be here. I love the crowd here. There is no other place like Devon in America. There is no other place with this atmosphere.”
Following right behind Parra and Olympia with a score of 68.684 was a team that has had tremendous success together, Chris Hickey and Hilltop Farm’s Cabana Boy. The seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding sired by Contucci, was this year’s Developing Horse National Champion. It is one of many national and international honors bestowed upon the young gelding. And Hickey made clear after Friday’s ride that there is much yet to come. “I’m real happy with him,” Hickey said. “And I’m lucky to have such a wonderful animal to ride and develop.”
Hickey said Cabana Boy isn’t a spooky horse, but he is a bit of a “busy body, so he loves to look around.” That bit of inattentiveness showed up during Friday’s Prix St. Georges ride and it caused judges to remark that Cabana Boy was a bit high in the neck and tight in the back. “He didn’t show his best walk work. He was bobbing in the contact in the extended walk,” Hickey said. In addition, Cabana Boy had a bit of tension in the trot and the canter, but Hickey said the horse is still young and developing and Hickey said he had little doubt that Cabana Boy had a bright future ahead. One thing for sure, Hickey said he is enjoying every moment of the ride on the talented gelding.
Finishing third in the Prix St. Georges competition was Melissa Taylor with Chicco Roslev with a score of 67.193.
Photos by Sharon Packer - Horse Sports Photography
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- [#25110 override="2009 USEF National Developing Horse Champion - Christopher Hickey and Cabana Boy" title="2009 USEF National Developing Horse Champion - Christopher Hickey and Cabana Boy"]