Shondel Successfully Moves into the Adult Ranks With 70.667%
The move from the Young Rider ranks to the adult ring is usually a tough one, but Michael Shondel, team gold medalist at the 2003 North American Young Riders Championships, has been making it look easy. With his reliable partner Wallaby, Michael scored a 70.667% to win the CDI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle at the 2004 Gold Coast Opener CDI January 23-25.
Wallaby is a 13-year old Hanoverian gelding by Werther out of Gordola and stands at a massive 18.2 hands.
While Michael enjoyed his time as a Young Rider, he has been looking forward to the next step in his riding career. “I was very excited to show this season,” Michael said. “It's fun to just get out there and compete. There's no pressure to make a team; I can focus on continuing to improve my riding.” In addition to his commitment to dressage, Michael is in the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Training Program. After he finishes college he hopes to ride for the U.S. Marines. “Nothing would make me prouder than to canter down centerline in my military uniform,” he explained.
Emmy Adwers On the Move
Another rider making a major transition in 2004 is Emmy Adwers. Emmy earned her USDF Gold Medal last year as well as several year-end awards, including USDF Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship. She also was champion at the 2003 USDF Region 8 Finals in both open grand prix and open intermediaire-II. In 2004, Emmy hopes to create a partnership with her new mount P.F. Robinson.
“Robinson is a wonderful horse,” Emmy said. “I'm looking forward to developing a great relationship with him. He has a lot of talent and I'm enjoying the process of learning how to allow him to be his best.” The duo earned a 64.792 and a third place in the grand prix at the Gold Coast Opener CDI. Previously Robinson competed with Cesar Parra at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.
Both Michael and Emmy are coached by the 1999 Pan American Games team silver medalist Cesar Parra. “I have a wonderful group of students that work very hard. They always make me proud,” Cesar said.