Gibson and Lex Barker Undefeatable
Many of the prior day’s winners proved their consistency today in day three of the Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic. A favorite among today’s repeat performances was Olympian, Michelle Gibson riding Lex Barker owned by Scott Vehner and Mike Benneny of Elite European Sport Horse, Inc.
Today Gibson and Lex Barker (Longchamp x Werther) won the $1000 FEI Intermediaire-I with a score of 69.250%, a slight increase over their winning score of 69.000% in yesterday’s Prix St. Georges. “He’s a cool horse,” explained Gibson, “He is relatively inexperienced, as he hasn’t shown a lot but he’s matured a lot and I’m really pleased with how he’s going.”
Gibson credits her success with the big gelding to the team effort at Elite European Sport Horse. “Scott and Mike are fantastic and we all have a great relationship. It’s a real team effort,” said Gibson. When asked about Lex Barker’s strong points, Gibson stated matter-of-factly, “He’s good at every thing. His lateral work is very good. He can sit for the pirouettes and push off for nice extensions.”
The judge’s scores over the past two days reflect their agreement with Gibson’s assessment! Another very consistent pair, Ashley Holzer and Pop Art came in second to Gibson with a score of 68.875%, followed by Karen Lipp on Lipton with a score of 66.375%.
Morse Continues String of Success
Another big repeat winner today was Californian, Leslie Morse who won the $1250 FEI Grand Prix Special, this time riding her Swedish stallion, Tip Top 962 (by Master) to a score of 69.133%. Yesterday, she topped the FEI Grand Prix riding Kingston to a score of 72.014%.
“It is only Tip Tip’s fourth Grand Prix ever and his very first time in the Special, so I was really pleased with his performance,” said Morse. “He’s such a big mover. He needs to learn to take smaller steps for the piaffe and the pirouettes, but he never spooked or got distracted and that was a big plus.”
Second in the Grand Prix Special was Mirja Block riding the bold moving, Asarhaddon (by Akzent II) to a score of 65.133% edging out Tina Konyot and Liberty who scored a 65.000%. Konyot’s big gray Hanoverian stallion (by Lauries Crusador xx) was impressive from the start but a small mistake in the one-tempis cost him in the close competition.
“He’s still young,” explained Konyot, “He’ll turn 10 in June. He looks like a big macho boy, but he was looking at the crowds anxiously when we came. I asked the crowd to talk to him and when they did he settled down and did his job.” added Konyot.
Shondel and Brooks Top the Leader Board
Young Michael Shondel again proved he is a force to be reckoned with a second win on his new gelding, the Swedish warmblood Silver Label (by Rambo). “Today the pair won the Fourth Level Test Two class with a score of 69.535%, a tad shy of yesterday’s winning score of 71.395% in the Fourth Level Test. “He’s a really amazing horse,” said Shondel, “And I’m grateful to Cesar (Parra) for his training and guidance.” Second in the class was Emily Andon and Wendolin with a score of 65.581%.
In the lower levels, Jacqueline Brooks also pulled off a repeat win riding the Hanoverian Bamoral (by Belcanto) to first place in the Second Level Test Three Class with a score of 67.021% just a fraction of a point off yesterday’s win in the Second Level Test Two class with a score of 67.838%. Brooks' Mom is visiting from Canada and is enjoying the frequent trips to score board and the trophy table!
Other notable Wins
Other notable wins for the day included Jason Canton’s lovely ride on Navignon to the win in Fourth Level Test Two with a score of 67.209%. “He’s a bit spooky” said Canton of Navignon, “but today he was focused and stayed on the aids throughout the test.”
Linda Todenhagen and Apollo had an impressive win in the Third Level Test Three class with a score of 72.000%, but Jane Savoie’s Third Level win yesterday on the Friesian Menno with a score of 76.905% still holds the lead for the division so far.
And the day’s wrap-up would not be complete without noting Alison Sader Larson’s impressive win on Legretto in the $1000 FEI Intermediaire-I with a score of 67.625%. The accurately executed test put the pair in the lead, followed by Ashley Holzer and Maximillian with a score of 66.250%.
Sunday classes in the Florida Dressage Classic start at 8:00 AM with the popular Musical Freestyle performances beginning at 9:15 AM and running through 2:00 PM.
Horsesdaily "On the Scene" at the Florida Dressage Classic
Horsesdaily Scoresource Results of the Florida Dressage Classic
Who's Who: Alison Sader Larson
Stallion Up for Stud: Tip Top