Pop Art and Ashley Holzer Continue Their Dressage Domination
“Poppy” has done it again, winning the CDI Grand Prix at the Gold Coast Opener Revisited, with a 70.24%. The young 10-year-old Dutch gelding, (by Amsterdam) owned and ridden by Canadian Ashley Holzer were the only pair to score over 70% in a quality class, which was held Friday afternoon under the covered arena at the Palm Beach County Equestrian Center. With her ever present trainer and friend Evie Pracht looking on, the chestnut gelding performed an exquisite test with a clearly defined piaffe and passage, pleasing the tough scoring judge’s panel.
Second with a 67.625% was the American duo Courtney King and Idocus, and a close third was Michael Barisone and Neruda, with a 67.458.
King won the CDI Prix St Georges, sponsored by Markel Insurance/Mary Phelps on Richard Malloch’s Mythilus, a 13-year-old Dutch gelding by Ferro, with a 70.5% closely edging out Lars Petersen on Melissa Taylor’s Dacardo 70.083. “He is just all business, and likes to go.” said King who, like Holzer had a busy day competing several horses.
King said her biggest problem with Mythilus is his power. “He’s very powerful and I always struggle between having control and having pizzazz. He used to just run through my hand.” But what King has discovered is that from the judge’s eye, Mythilus appears most impressive at those moments when King feels he’s on the brink of being out of control. “Apparently, it doesn’t look as strong as it feels,” she said. “What I’m feeling as strong actually looks impressive.” Her control mechanism when Mythilus is about to go over the brink is the half-halt.
“I spent six months doing half-halt lessons with him,” King said. “Mythilus has three good gaits, he’s easy to collect and has a good talent for piaffe and passage. I really think that if I can keep our mutual understanding of the half-halt going he’ll be a great Grand Prix horse.”
In the Young Rider Team Test, it was division, it was Jocelyn Wiese on Lamborghini who topped a field of entries with a 68.889. Weise purchased the beautiful grey Danish Warmblood (by Michellino) nicknamed “Zoom” from her trainer Pamela Goodrich, who she is spending the Florida winter with in her quest for the NAJYRC Championship to be held this August in Lexington, Virginia. Caroline Roffman finished second and third with Bulgari 5, and Rigaudoon, riding under the tutelage of trainer Lars Peterson.
In the open division, Dr. Cesar Parra had the high score in First Level Test 1 on his own Donavan, the hugely talented Oldenburg stallion by Diamond Hit, with a 75.333, and in his second Prix St George with Furst Fabio hit the 70.750.
With most of the northeast crippled by massive snowstorms, weather was an issue in South Florida as well as temperatures dropped to record lows. Spectators, judges, riders, and horses were kept bundled during the windy weather, as the Gold Coast crew of organizers and volunteers kept the busy show on schedule throughout the day.
But one thing all warmed up to was the accommodations of the new Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, perfect for Dressage in Florida. The footing continues to improve, as it is worked regularly by the Center’s staff, clearly proud to be hosting the Gold Coast Series in 2007.
On the Scene at the The Gold Coast Opener Dressage CDI Revisited