Competitors enjoyed the sunshine, (but not so much the frosty mornings), at the Golden State CDI on April 7-10 in Rancho Murieta, California. March’s record rainfall finally stopped in time for the competition, even though travelers from Nevada and Oregon had to time their drives before another snow storm hit the mountain passes. Saturday evening the Region 7 juniors and Young Riders put on ‘An Evening with our Future Stars’ with a wine tasting, dinner, and exhibitions. The West Coast Cowgirls from the Sacramento area thrilled the crowd with their precision drill team, and combined driving teams from Clay Station Horse Park in nearby Wilton, thrilled the crowd with their demonstration of speed through the cone obstacle courses. Spectators also saw pas de deux performed by previous young riders and a pole bending demonstration. The finale of the evening was a golf cart quadrille performed by the juniors and young riders of Region 7.
Mette Rosencrantz and her Hanoverian gelding Finally (De Niro / Caprimond) are hitting their stride this season after being together almost two years. Finally won the CDI Prix St. Georges on Friday with a 68.079%, and earned a 71.184% from the president of the ground jury, Maribel Alonso de Quoinzanos of Mexico. Finally hadn’t had very much show ring experience when Rosencrantz purchased him, and he hasn’t been so easy along the way. He’s slowly getting more rideability and she feels that they have a bright future together.
They would have won the Intermediate I on Saturday but Rosencrantz did a perfect rein back of four steps and started off. But it should have been five steps. “I knew I did four steps and I don’t know why I did that,” said Rosencrantz. “I’ve ridden that I-1 a hundred times.”
That simple mistake put her in second place to Carolyn Adams and Winterprinz who scored 68.474% to Rosencrantz’s 68.289%. Part of the problem may have been that Rosencrantz has been fighting pneumonia for the last few weeks. Rosencrantz trains with Debbie McDonald and credits her for their improvement over the last two years.
Carolyn Adams overcame the disadvantage of being the first rider in the ring in the Intermediare I to win the class with Winterprinz. This was the 17 year old Hanoverian stallion’s first competition in over two years. Adams dropped him back to the small tour to try out for the Pan Am Games, as this would be his last year to try for a team berth at a big competition. Adams placed fourth in the Prix St. Georges, and said the big problem there was that she did a humongous canter pirouette to the right, which was caused by rider error. She fixed that mental blip in the I-I.
Adams trains with Dirk Glitz, and if there was a trainer award for the CDI, Glitz would have won. He had five horses in the small tour and in the Prix St. Georges all five placed in the top ten of the 29 horse class.
Wendy Christoff won the Grand Prix and the Special at the Golden State CDI in 2010, which started her off on her journey to Europe and Kentucky with the Canadian team. She was long listed for the Canadian team with her Hanoverian gelding Pfalstaff and was the reserve rider for WEG. Now back in Rancho Murieta a year later, she again won the Grand Prix and Special, looking better than ever, with scores of 66.404% and 66.229% respectively.
Pfalstaff almost didn’t compete at Rancho Murieta, as he became ill on the trip south from Vancouver, Canada five weeks ago and spent time in two different Southern California vet hospitals. Christoff wasn’t really planning to show at Golden State, it was just on her way home to British Columbia with the rest of her fellow riders from Leslie Reid’s barn. But Pfalstaff had bounced back by Rancho Murieta and Christoff decided to compete with him. He acted liked he’d never had the time off.
Seventeen year old Jaclyn Pepper traveled twelve hours from San Diego to win the FEI Young Riders team and individual tests (64.737% and 66.765%) with her Dutch Warmblood gelding Taboo. The pair has only been together nine months and this was only their third show together. Pepper was a little conservative in her first test, as this was their first time at Rancho Murieta and competing in the big indoor arena.
“On Saturday we had an amazing ride,” said Pepper after the individual test. “He was so good the entire time and he was a lot more forward than on Friday evening in team test.”
Maggie Charbonnet and Sipriano and Stephanie Early riding Panash battled out wins in the CDI Junior tests. Charbonnet won the team test with a 64.775% to Early’s 64.054%. Then Early won the individual test with a 65.184% to Charbonnet’s 64.842%. Early also won the Junior Freestyle class with a 66.583%.
There were 48 entries in the CDI classes, which was the largest so far at the Golden State Dressage Festival CDI*** since it began in 1998. Riders were very complementary of the facility with it’s good footing, spacious warm up rings, and many areas for hacking, hand walking, and grazing their horses. And soon to come are five additional covered rings to go along with the two covered rings now in use. Competitors also complemented show manager Connie Davenport and her staff for running such a pleasant show.