A $6,000 prize was offered at the Foxhall Cup and it had nothing to do with three-day eventing. Sunday's half-time entertainment, aside from parachute jumps from an airplane and a foxhunting demo, included a freestyle dressage competition in the show jumping stadium.
With the jumps set aside and a $300,000 Bentley, which had been used as a cross-country jump the day before, parked next to the quickly set-up dressage ring, five riders vied for the handsome award money. The prize went to Karen Lipp, of Alpharetta,GA, and the Dutch gelding Douwe, owned by Lori Bell, with a 72%.
Jules Nyssen rode Good Times, who was tense and keptspooking at the jumps. An event rider himself, Jules let the horse have a sniff at some colored rails after theirtest, but too late to claim the prize. Hokan Thorn was having a better ride on Waltzertraum, but the big blackstallion also lost his forward momentum a few times to have a look at the jumps. Also competing were Dr. Carol Ludwig of Georgia and Laura Taylor of South Carolina.
Jules was behind the class being held a the event, saying, they do this kind of thing in Europe all the time, and it's a lot of funfor everyone.
Douwe is a former show jumper, and Karen said, I knew he'd either have no problem with the jumps or he'd get really excited. It turned out to our advantage, and that's the highest score we've had on our freestyle. They really liked him.
Karen said she spent the whole drive down praying to win the prize money. Having recently moved into her new Collecting Gaits Farm, it will go to good use. The farm is amazing, she said. I can't believe my horses are lucky enough to live there.
Text by Amber Heintzberger for DressageDaily.com