Wellington, FL - Sweden's Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven called her score (77.804%) a “personal best” after her FEI Grand Prix Special victory lap on March 2 with Don Auriello, and it did not go unnoticed by Cary Wallace of Custom Saddlery, who named her Custom Saddlery's Most Valuable Rider for week eight's Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI W at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
“He felt really super,” Vilhelmson-Silfven said of Lovsta Tuteri's 12-year-old, 17.2 hand bay Hanoverian (Don Davidoff x Weyomey) gelding. Their win in the Special capped off a weekend that had started on Friday with an equally decisive (77.40%) win in Friday's FEI Grand Prix.
“I had a personal best score, but the most important thing,” she told Wallace, as she was presented with her MVP award, embroidered Custom Saddlery saddle pad, and entry into the MVR Grand Prize drawing for a new Custom Saddle, “is to feel you are ready and can do this together. Then have fun. It has to be a relaxed, yet positive tension, to make it work.”
“Feeling ready” shaped the Custom MVR's decision to ride Sunday's FEI Grand Prix Special in lieu of Saturday night's FEI Freestyle. Since she and Don Auriello had already qualified for the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in France, she opted to work on their Special, a test the pair will face going into the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Normandy this summer.
Don Auriello will go back to Europe to prepare for the World Cup Finals, where Vilhelmson-Silfven expects the big bay to turn up the 'heat.'
“He's totally different there. He gets totally excited. Here in Florida, he's laid-back and I have to get him awake. I almost like the hotness now. In the beginning it was scary, but now I think he gets more expressive. I hope that it will be the perfect combination."
This is the second year that the MVR Award, created by Cary Wallace, CEO and Master Saddlefitter for the Aiken, SC-based Custom Saddlery, has been presented at to Vilhelmson to recognize an exceptional performance, horsemanship or teamwork.
“Back to back wins at the Grand Prix level are always a significant accomplishment, and a real demonstration of the partnership that has to exist between a horse and rider. Tinne and Don Auriello reached a new personal best, and this is Custom's way of saying they are as valuable to our sport here as I'm sure they are to Sweden, too,” said Wallace
Custom Saddlery is a proud sponsor of Most Valuable Riders throughout the dressage community. For more information on Custom Saddlery visit their website at http://mysaddle.com/en.