Diamante Farms of Wellington, FL, competed at the Poplar Place Farm's April Dressage Show on April 18-19, in Hamilton, GA. Riders Devon Kane, Shawna Harding, and Karen Lipp all rode under the instruction of Diamante Farm's head trainer Michelle Gibson and posted high scores and championship wins over the weekend of competition. Terri and Dick Kane of Wellington, FL, and San Antonio, TX, own Diamante Farms. Devon Kane did very well showing her 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood Prins in the Brentina Cup Qualifier over the weekend. The pair scored an impressive 65% for the class win, and Kane was very proud of the dramatic difference in her horse's performance since their last show a month ago.
"I was very pleased with the show in Poplar Place. The show grounds were wonderful, and the horses were all very comfortable," Kane said. "The horses were moving like crazy and felt great in the cool weather. The whole atmosphere of the show was nice and relaxed, and everyone seemed very calm, which directly affects the horses. Prins was relaxed and listening in the ring, which was my goal for this show. He felt good, and I think it was a confidence booster for both of us."
Prins has little show experience, and the majority of his experience in the ring has been with Kane, so she has worked very hard at improving his scores. "He gets hot and very worried in the ring, and I really have to keep his attention," she explained. "We still have things to work on and improve, but now that we have this experience under our belt, I plan to amp up our performance for the next shows, add a bit more edge and expression to increase our scores, and show Prins off a bit."
The Poplar Place show was a USEF qualifier for the 2009 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Dressage Champions, which will be held at the USET Foundation headquarters, June 18-21, 2009, in Gladstone, NJ. Kane and Prins's score of 65% at Poplar Place brings their average up and places them in third place on the current ranking list for the Brentina Cup at the Festival of Champions. They now need just one more score to qualify.
"I am very delighted with where Prins is right now in his mind and body," Kane smiled. "I feel like we are certainly on the right track, and our scores show progression. Now that we are comfortable, we can really increase our performance and have fun. I have spent time in training really working his body and taking him out of his comfort zone to develop better quality gaits and movements. He has really come along and stepped up to the challenge. He is feeling great in his body, and his mind is more relaxed and attentive. He is a very talented horse, and I am really looking forward to showing him off for the rest of the season and, hopefully, in Gladstone."
Shawna Harding and Karen Lipp both competed at Poplar Place along with Kane, and both riders showed in the FEI grand prix on Saturday and took home the top two awards. Harding rode Come On III to a 70% and won the first-place honors. Lipp showed her horse Latino to a 64.043% to take home the second-place prize.
The two riders also showed their horses on Sunday, with Harding and Come On III placing first in the FEI grand prix with a score of 71.064%, and Lipp and Latino placing first in the FEI grand prix special with a score of 67.083%. Lipp also competed in the USEF Developing Horse Qualifier with Highlander, and scored a 68% for the win.
Collecting Gaits Farm FEI High Score Awards were presented at the show's conclusion to both Shawna Harding and Karen Lipp. Harding was awarded for the first- and second-highest scores of the competition with Come On III, a 71.064% in Sunday's grand prix and a 70% in Saturday's grand prix. Karen Lipp received the award for the fourth-highest score of the competition with her 67.083% aboard Latino in the FEI grand prix special.
The show also presented high-point awards to its top-placing horses and riders. Shawna Harding and Come On III won the championship honors in the FEI division, with their score of 71.064% in the FEI grand prix. Harding was also reserve champion in the open division after she rode Rigo to a high score of 71.463% in the fourth level test 3.
Diamante Farms will compete at Poplar Place on May 16-17. For more information, please visit www.diamantefarms.com.