The 2009 Dressage Affaire CDI-WYJ organized by Kim Keenan, kicked off Friday March 13th at the Del Mar Showpark under beautiful conditions in sunny Southern California. This show is a qualifier for the 2009 FEI World Cup, the USEF’s National Championships, and the 2009 NAYJR Championships. The three-day show provides riders with the opportunity to compete in front of an impressive international judge’s panel including Jacques van Deale (BEL), Bo Jean (SWE), Lilo Fore (USA), Joan Macartney (CAN), and Gabriel Armando (ARG). Many top international dressage riders are competing at the show in order to earn scores for either the FEI World Cup or for the National Championships.
The first phase of the USEF Intermediarie-1 qualifying class, the CDI Prix St. Georges, was held on Friday afternoon. Veteran Olympic rider, Guenter Seidel, won the impressive class on UII with a score of 71.211%. UII, who is an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Jazz, is owned by Seidel’s long time sponsors Dick and Jane Brown. Seidel and UII were the 2008 Developing Horse Champions last year in Kentucky and they have moved up into the Intermediarie division this year. Seidel was very pleased with UII in the PSG today. “We have a good test,” said Seidel who has already won two qualifying competitions this year with UII. “The trot work flowed very well and felt really smooth. And the canter work was good, we have a couple mistakes in the changes, but other than that it was overall a nice ride.” Seidel and UII will compete tomorrow in the Intermediaire-1 class.
Taking second place in the CDI Prix St. George class was another veteran, Shannon Peters. Peters was close behind Seidel with a score of 69.421% riding Flor de Selva. Flor de Selva is a 9-year-old gelding by Florestan and is owned by Peters, in partnership with Laurie Browning. This is Peter’s second USEF qualifying competition with Flor de Selva.
CDI Judges’ Agreed on Seidel’s Score
CDI ground jury judge, Jacques van Deale, remarked that he was impressed by the overall quality of the entire PSG class which hosted thirteen top horse and rider combinations. He was particularly impressed with the judging of the class. He remarked that, “Three of the five judges had Guenter Seidel and UII with the exact same score.” He added that he saw improvement of both the riders and horses from the last time he judged at this show. “Both the quality of the horses and the riding was much improved from the previous time I judged this show which was about three years ago.”
Seidel was also impressed with the consistent judging. In addition, he commented on the new 2009 FEI test saying, “The PSG rides fluidly as the old PSG did. However, the Intermediaire-1 is asymmetrical and more challenging for the horses.” He also mentioned, “I’m glad I just get to watch the Grand Prix at this show and not have to ride it as it is very different from the old Grand Prix.”
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Photo Credit - Christina Beal