Five-Year-Old Wencenza Scores High with Jodie Stevens Kelly at 25th Annual Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W/Y

Beth Godwin could make some big bucks selling her five-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Wencenza, sired by Contango, but from day one, she knew that horse was a keeper. "I'll definitely hold on to her. I'm so happy and so proud of her," said the Freeport, Florida breeder. In two days of competition, Wencenza scored a 78.60 percent and a 77.20 percent in the Markel/USEF Young Horse competition with rider and trainer Jodie Stevens Kelly.

"When I started her, Jodie came and saw her and said, 'I want to ride that one,' and so Jodie, who is my trainer and my friend, took her over," Godwin said. As a three-year-old, the mare was bred to the stallion Sir Sinclair. "So, she has a baby and she did miss a little bit of training, but after we weaned the baby, she went back to work and Jodie has just done a beautiful job with her."

Godwin is clearly excited about her youngster saying that she "loves everything about her. She's got great work ethics. She loves to please and is a very happy horse and she's easy to be around. She's just an all-around great horse." Godwin said her long-term plan is for Kelly to take the horse all the way up the levels. "They're a great pair and Jodie loves her too."

Wencenza stole Godwin's heart when still a baby. "When she was a weanling, I knew she was special, but she was a little opinionated until she was about two years old and then she was a willing participant all the way around. But until then, she was a little goofy," she said.

Godwin said Kelly and Wencenza worked with Scott Hassler recently and he was "very impressed and very pleased." With Hassler's praise and the success at this year's Derby, Godwin is optimistic that Wencenza will qualify to compete at this year's world breeding championships in Germany. "I think our chances are strong, very strong."

Complete results for Friday Palm Beach Derby National Show