Wellington, FL - Christopher Hickey of Colora, MD and Hilltop Farm's Balissa HTF took top honors once again at the Global Dressage Festival National 2 Horse Show on Thursday. Hickey and the Hanoverian mare received the highest score of 74.516% in the USEF First Level Test 3 - Open at the Stadium show grounds of the Global Dressage Festival (GDF). The reserve high score was awarded to Jennifer Griger of Wellington, FL on Delhia with 71.081% in the USEF First Level Test 2 - Open. Hickey felt that the test was better on Thursday, even though they received a higher score on the previous day. "The test today had fewer mistakes than yesterday, but she was a little strong and fell out of balance a little bit more," said Hickey. "I think that when this horse is trained she is going to be a powerhouse. She is sensitive and forward-going by nature, but then sometimes she puts herself out of balance. One of the reasons she is such a blast to ride is because she has her own engine, but then because she is so young and such a big horse, it is sometimes difficult for her to balance." Balissa HTF is owned and bred by Jane MacElree of Hilltop Farm in Colora, MD. Hickey is the training director at Hilltop and especially enjoys showing the homebreds.
"I love to show this horse because it is representative of two generations of Hilltop breeding," said Hickey. "It's fun for me, working for a breeding farm, to successfully show them. These are horses that are born and bred in the USA and they are also good quality horses."
In the Para-Equestrian event, Jody Schloss, 39, of Toronto, Canada had another great day scoring 73.250% on Inspector Rebus in the FEI Para Freestyle Test of Choice.
The final event of the inaugural 2012 Global Dressage Festival circuit takes place in just one week! The $35,000 WEF Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm, and National Show will be held April 13-15. The FEI Prix St. Georges takes place on Friday, April 13 and the FEI Intermediare I will be held Saturday morning, April 14. The top five teams will be featured in the FEI Intermediare Freestyle in the evening on Saturday, April 14. World-class dressage riders and horses from the United States, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela are expected to compete in the Nations Cup. The National Show will also be held on April 13-15.
For more information and ride times, please visit the Global Dressage Festival website at: www.globaldressagefestival.com under the link of dressage show information and ride times on the main homepage.