Dressage Dreams Fulfilled at Del Mar Classic CDI

By Kathy Beal

American Made “Prince” Aims at 2008 Olympic Dressage

In the Open Division, Peters pleasantly surprised all the Californians and judges with a debut in the Grand Prix on DG Bar and Willy Arts’ lovely 10-year-old Dutch gelding, Prince, by Hemingway out of a President mare. “This is a most exciting part of the show. To have Prince score a 68 percent under this international panel of judges in his very first Grand Prix was great. Willie has done a fabulous job with his training. He taught him a great piaffe and confirmed all his basics. He brought him to me in September to see what we could do with him. After working with him a short time, I told Willie that I thought he could be a true international horse. I am so fortunate to be the one to work with him in the Grand Prix. He learns quickly and willingly, thanks to Willie’s thorough preparations with him,” Peters said.

The collaboration of Willie Arts and the DeGroot family with Peters on Prince is a exciting news for America Dressage. “He is an American horse, trained here in America by Americans,” Peters said. This is actually a unique situation in international dressage. Prince will join Lombardi II and Ravel in the Olympic qualifying CDIs in the spring, hoping for a spot on the U.S. Dressage Team competing in the 2008 Olympics.

Photo: Steffen Peters and Willy Arts (DG Bar) looking over Prince's first Grand Prix test

Ashley Schempp Has NAYRC Dressage Championships in Sight

Young Rider Ashley Schempp spent the weekend working toward her dream of competing at the NAYRC as part of the Region 7 team. This is her her last year of eligibility and she’s off to a good start having swept all three the CDI Young Rider classes at Del Mar. Her scores in the high 60s led with a healthy margin. Schempp’s 13-year-old Mowgli is a Dutch Warmblood by Investment out of Zolite. Her goal has always been to continue competing in the Young Riders through age 21.

Schempp moved from Northern California to San Diego in 2004 for college and to train with Steffen Peters during her remaining Young Rider years. She and Mowgli were members of Region 7’s Silver Medal NAYRC team in 2005. An injury in 2006 precluded him from that year. “He was not ready last year for the YR qualifying season, so we qualified later for the Festival of Champions in Gladstone last summer we were reserve YR champions,” she said.

Schempp averaged over 68 percent for the weekend, that was not the case. “I was especially excited that he felt so good and energetic this weekend. He has a week off with the fires, then the air quality the next week limited our training sessions. But this weekend, he felt like he could do three more tests a day!” Schempp received the high praises of CDI judge, Jenny Loriston Clarke who commented on the harmony and fluidity of her Saturday YR Individual Prix St. George ride.

CDI/FEI Young Rider Individual- Prix St. George
1. Ashley Schempp and Mowgli 67.850
2. Jaclyn Meinen and Rivaal 58.30
3. Chritine Stephenson and Charly 285 57.00

Grand Prix Dressage Comes Closer For Erin Broddert and Gambol

Erin Broddaert and her lovely stallion Gambol won Sunday’s Intermediere II Open class. “This is my first show with Gambol who was shown extensively by Canada’s Ashley Holzer,” she said. Although the horse is experienced internationally, having shown in the Pan Am Games and at the World Equestrian Games under Holzer, Broddaert and he are new partners. Delighted with their win on Sunday, she commented that, “he and I did much better today. He knows his job, and today, I made fewer mistakes. Showing I-II was a good way for me to begin with him at shows.”

Broddaert’s dream of riding at Grand Prix led her to purchase the gorgeous 13-year-old NRSP stallion last February. Gambol is by Gabor and out of Arella.. “I wanted a good teacher, and he is great! Sue Blinks found him for me.” Broddaert’s goal is to compete at Grand Prix in the spring of 2008 with Gambol. “I have wanted to ride at the Grand Prix Level, the highest level of an equestrian sport, for as long as I can remember. I had ridden jumpers for years, but when I realized the jumps at the Grand Prix level were just too big for me, I decided to focus once again on dressage with the aim of Grand Prix. I had always enjoyed dressage during my youth in pony club. When the other kids wanted more cross country and jumping lessons, I wanted more dressage,” she said.

Boddeart began riding as a Pony Clubber in Fallbrook, Calif. There she progressed through the rigors of the program culminating with a rating as a Graduate A. She now gives back to the U.S. Pony Club program as a regular instructor and as a National Examiner which allows her to rate riders through the C-3 and H B Level.

Intermediere II - Open
1. Erin Boddaert and Gambol 58.211
2. Marti Foster and Rodek 56.667
3. Tina Caldwell and Markant 53.740
4. Megan O’Brien and Van Gogh 50.65

What is a horse show if not a place to chase a dream, or a place to determine if the dream is real by presenting it before a panel of judges and colleagues? Dressage riders of all levels train for opportunities to show their horses and they want, and deserve, a venue that allows them the best opportunity to show successfully. When international and Olympic level riders approached Kim Keenan, manager of the world-class event, the Dressage Affaire, and asked her to consider ongoing management of horse shows that warrant the support and attendance of top competitors and sponsors, she took their requests to heart.

Teaming up with student and human resources specialist Nikki Peccorelli, the pair created a new business, KP Events, in order to meet this need and to provide world-class equestrian events for the dressage community. Although Nikki and Kim have previously managed many events for the San Diego Chapter of the California Dressage Society, including the Dressage Affaire, the Del Mar Classic CDI, held November 9-12, was their newly-formed business’s first event, and it was fabulous!

First Impressions are Important

First impressions are important. KP Events, Del Mar Classic Attention set the tone for the business by providing world-class dressage CDI in lovely San Diego. As competitors and sponsors arrived, attention to detail was evident in every area of the show, from the stable signs to the awards presentation, from the vendor booths to the spectator boxes, from the outside arenas to the beautifully appointed CDI arena. One example of that special planning was that during Saturday’s CDI Awards presentation, KP Event’s vice president Nikki Peccorelli beautifully sang the U.S. National Anthem herself!

The footing in competition and warm-up was superb. Warm-up arena steward Nici Boon, was funny and cheerful. The office, managed by Centerline Events, ran efficiently and personnel extended polite responses to every little question. The scores were posted and announced quickly and the international panel of judges each individually deemed the show, “Very well run, my favorite show ever!”

KP Events made every detail special for all involved. When the judges arrived at the airport, twin brothers, Noah and Evan Rattner, who had come from Oregon’s DevonWood Equestrian Center to help with the CDI, were dressed identically when they met them. They drove matching H3 Hummers with KP Event signage to transport the judges for the weekend. These same Hummers flanked the competitors during the awards ceremonies creating a true international feel! “This time the Hummers were rented, but our KP Events, goal is to some day have vehicles such as these as prizes at a KP Events show,” Keenan said.

The Rattner brothers, who came to San Diego for the Del Mar Classic CDI to place a bid to run their DevonWood Instant Scoring system, will return in March to give the Dressage Affaire CDI a technologically enhanced real-time scoring system, similar to those seen in CHIO Aachen and the Olympics in Atlanta, Sydney, and Athens.

Photo: Anthony and CDI Judge Jenny Loriston Clarke

Dressage Competitors Support KP Events CDI

Both Kim Keenan and Nikki Peccorelli felt tremendous support from the riders, the volunteers, the panel of judges and the global dressage community at this maiden voyage. Keenan commented that, “There was a unique, very special energy with this show. Since the riders were the ones who wanted it, they too wanted it to succeed. They know Nikki and I are genuine in our efforts. Somehow, I think this effort is making riders aware of what it takes to make a good show, and they feel a part of it and responsible for it. Some riders even came to us during the show to contribute.”

Riders and spectators alike appreciate beauty and ambiance. The CDI arena design was lovely. In response to riders’ previous concerns about judge box placement, A and C traded places. A new blue wall with symmetrically hung sponsor banners was crafted by Design Dynamics for KP and Premier Equestrian deigned trim white brush boxes at the base of each judge’s box to show case flowers. Each judge’s table was wrapped with a KP logo banner, elegant and clean and meticulously attended to by volunteers such as Kathy Fouts and Amanda Rickerts.

Keenan and Peccorelli were quick to offer thanks for the encouraging judges’ panel, the sponsors, the tireless volunteers, the competent staff and ever important competitors for enthusiastically giving support in time, resources and energy to this show. A show of this magnitude takes tremendous support at every level. Sponsorship is crucial. The Event Sponsor was Dogwood Hill, the Patron Sponsors were Red Husky Foundation and G2 Software, Official Sponsors were Dick and Jane Brown, the Mashburn Family, and River Grove Farm. CDI coolers were provided by one of the generous Hospitality Sponsors dressagewarmbloods.com. Please visit dressageevents.com for results and additional sponsor information.