Blainville, Quebec – On the opening day of FEI competition at the CDI-W Blainville International Classic running June 24-28 at the Blainville Equestrian Park north of Montreal, Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, won the Grand Prix. The 33 degree temperatures had no apparent effect on Meisner’s mount Paganini, John Risley’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, whose expressive passage, piaffe and canter tour earned a score of 67.106% from the panel of five FEI judges.
“I was trying to do better today than I did last week,” said Meisner who, in the previous week’s competition, placed second in the Grand Prix before winning Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle.
Not only did she improve on her second place finish a week ago at the CDI Blainville Summer Classic, but her score was also a personal best in the Grand Prix test. Meisner attributes her success partly to the fact that she has spent the past seven years training with former Dutch dressage team coach Bert Rutten.
“He is really an effective trainer, and he knows my horses like the back of his hand,” said Meisner. “That makes a huge difference.”
The two back-to-back CDI events held in Blainville, QC, are qualifying events for the 2010 World Cup Final, putting Meisner in a strong position early in the season.
Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, received 66.468% riding Anton, owned by Robyn Eames, to place second. One of the youngest horses contesting the grand prix at just nine years of age, Anton belied his youth with a correct test that showed great ability for the piaffe and transitions from piaffe to passage. Olympian Jacqueline Brooks of Mt. Albert, ON, and Gran Gesto, owned by Anne Welch and Brinc Ltd, placed third with a score of 65.830%.
Extending his winning streak into a second week of competition, Lee Tubman of Dunnville, ON, won the largest class of the day, the FEI Prix St. Georges. Riding Ducat Developments’ De La Rosa, Tubman earned a winning score of 70.175% for his test which included an expressive trot tour and confident, correct canter work.
“This is our fourth season together,” said Tubman of the eight-year-old Hannoverian mare, adding that “she shows a lot of maturity. She has the whole showing thing nailed down. She comes quietly off the trailer and into her stall, sleeps after her tests and just generally manages her energy really well.”
With the North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championship fast approaching in July, a large number of FEI Junior and FEI Young Riders’ competitors are at the Blainville International in the hopes of achieving qualifying scores that will entitle them to compete at North America’s most important championship for riders’ aged 14-21. Brittany Fraser of Ottawa, ON, bested a field of 14 entries in the FEI Young Riders’ Team test with a score of 66.316%. Fraser was riding Ricardos, a horse that she has been partnered with for two weeks. Owned by Phelisha Chandler of Florida, Ricardos has proven to be an excellent last-minute mount.
“He is perfectly well behaved in the ring,” said Fraser, who is originally from New Glasgow, NS. “Now I just need to learn how to get all the exercises solid.”
Second in the class was former North American Junior Champion Jade Deter of Kemptville, ON, with Mastermind. Her score of 65.965% kept her just ahead of third placed Jaimie Holland of Caledon, ON, who scored 65.526% on Fleurina.
Alexandra Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON, began her second week in Blainville with a win in the FEI Junior Team test, earning 66.847% on Fling. The FEI Children’s Team test was won by Allison Lalonde of North Lancaster, ON, with Royal Dalton while St-Adele, Quebec’s Tanya Strasser-Shostak and Nemo Tyme won the FEI Pony Team test.
The FEI Young Horse division showcased several future international horses, with Canadian Olympian Evi Strasser of St-Adele, QC, handily winning the FEI Six-Year-Old test on Renaissance with a score of 7.94. Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON, rode Hallmark to first place in the FEI Five-Year-Old test with an impressive score of 8.30%.
The grand finale to two weeks of international dressage competition at the Blainville Equestrian Park is Saturday evening’s Freestyle Gala Dinner. In addition to FEI freestyles, Equine Extremist Tommie Turvey will perform. General admission tickets, which include seating in covered grandstands, are $20.
For more information on the CDI-W Blainville International Classic and Equine Canada National Show, please visit www.equivents.com.
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