Dressage competition highlighted the second week of the 2003 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the Wellington Dressage Classic, January 30- February 2. Over 9,000 people gathered at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club over the course of the weekend to watch the competition unfold in dressage as well as in show jumping.
The primary focus of the week’s dressage competitions was the series of USET Qualifiers, most notably the qualifiers for the Pan American Games Selection Trials to be held at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack, at the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ.
The Pan American Games are contested at the Intermediaire level and the USET Intermediaire Championship will serve as the Selection Trials. In the first of the Pan Am qualifiers at the Wellington Dressage Classic, the USET Prix St. Georges, Jan Brons rode Josien to victory with a score of 69.083%. Placing second was George Williams on Marnix with 68.333%.
Brons and Josien returned to the winner’s circle when they also won the USET Intermediaire I class, scoring 70.000%. Tara Stegen placed second with a 68.333% on New Tango and Williams and Marnix were third with a 67.417%.
Williams and Rocher earned the blue ribbon in the USET Grand Prix “A” with a score of 73.889%. Finishing behind Williams in the class was 1999 Pan American Games Team Gold Medalist Lynda Alicki and Impressario with a score of 65.625%.
Later in the weekend, Williams and Rocher found themselves back in the winner’s circle, this time winning the USET Grand Prix Special with the high score of 73.400%. In second place with a score of 68.933% was Brons riding Fernando. Alicki and Impressario took third with a score of 64.733%.
The Grand Prix classes at Wellington were qualifiers for the USET Grand Prix Championship, also to be held at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack, in Gladstone, NJ.
The weekend also offered a bit of fun by unifying dressage and show jumping athletes in one class, the $25,000 Windsome Dressage-Show Jumping Spectacular. Bent Jensen, a Grand Prix dressage rider and Olympian for his native country Denmark, and Anne Kursinski, a U.S. Grand Prix and Olympic show jumping rider, teamed together to best a field of 13 pairs. The class was run in two phases where the jumper riders rode a Third Level dressage test and the dressage riders jumped a Hit ‘N’ Hurry course with fence heights up to 3’9. The riders’ combined scores determined the final placing.