Mill Spring, NC - Heather Blitz (USA) and Praestemarkens Quatero made an impressive FEI CDI debut in Small Tour competition at the Tryon Spring CDI 3* presented by Adequan® at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero received a 74.250% to secure the win in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan®. Christilot Boylen (CAN) and Rockylane took second place with a 72.600% while Ashley Holzer (USA) and Radondo finished in third place with a 71.775% on the final day of competition.
Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero, a 2009 Danish Warmblood gelding (Quarterback x Rohdiamant) owned by Blitz, made their first FEI CDI appearance this week, taking all three classes in the Small Tour including the FEI Prix St. Georges, FEI Intermediaire I, and FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle. Blitz has had the ride since 2015 and has taken her time solidifying their communication and understanding together before pursuing a competition schedule.
"I was a little funny getting started today and was a bit behind the music from the beginning, so I played a bit of catch up. I wasn't sure how he would do in the rain, but quite frankly, we have such a great trust in each other now that if I tell him it's going to be okay he goes with it," commented Blitz. "There were a few little errors in the test, but for his first time in a CDI and to do the freestyle, which we only finished two weeks ago, is just amazing. I couldn't be happier."
Blitz has been working patiently and diligently, earning the trust of Praesemarkens Quatero, who she feels has an immense talent and strength that will make him a top mount in the future. While it's taken time for Blitz to feel completely confident in bringing the gelding out, over the past month he proved that he was ready to be tested in a larger competition atmosphere.
"I got him two years ago and during that time we have gone through a lot. It's been all about learning to trust each other from day one. Whatever he has in his mind is what he's passionate about, so now that I've gained his trust he passionately wants to please me," she elaborated. "His willingness to listen to me was phenomenal this week; especially knowing that deep down he was very nervous. He stuck with me and I thought the strength for us this week was his steadiness. He flows really well and he's a powerful horse, which comes across quite impressively in the ring."
It was an instant connection for Blitz when she tried the gelding in Europe and has really seen their relationship blossom over the past year. His steady and willing demeanor helped the pair pull together one of their best performances together to date.
"The first time I sat on him, I knew he was the one. We clicked right away. Our partnership and his stability has really shown this week. The strengths outweighed the glitches throughout the competition. I came in super positive about this show because of the way that he's been going at home and how consistent he's been."
Having worked with renowned freestyle choreographer and composer Marlene Whitaker for over a decade, Blitz felt confident that the pair's music selection would show off the quality of Praestemarkens Quatero's movements and expression. Whitaker helped Blitz pull together the routine, which was only completed two weeks ago for the pair to begin practicing.
"Marlene Whitaker has been working with me for almost ten years and I completely trust her opinion and judgment when it comes to choosing music. She gave me three adaptions to look at and as soon as I heard this one, I knew that it was it. The choreography is very fitting for him and I couldn't have been more pleased with how it went today."
To see a full list of results from the Tryon Spring FEI CDI 3* and to learn more about TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.
Final Results FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan®
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %
1. Heather Blitz (USA), Praestemarkens Quatero, 2009 Danish Warmblood gelding by Quarterback x Rohvia x Rodiamant, owned by Heather Blitz: 72.500%, 74.342%, 72.632%, 73.421%, 71.974%, 72.974%
2. Christilot Boylen (CAN), Rockylane, 2006 Westphalian mare by Rock Forever x Rica x Rombach, owned by Christilot Boylen: 70.375%, 72.500%, 72.750%, 73.125%, 74.250%, 72.600%
3. Ashley Holzer (CAN), Radondo, 2006 Oldenburg gelding by Blue Hors Romanov x Celine x Blue Hors Don Schufro, owned by Diana Rose: 72.375%, 71.500%, 73.125%, 70.875%, 71.000%, 71.775%
4. Jessica Jo Tate (USA), Montana, 2005 Danish Warmblood gelding by Rambo x Lomani x Manchet, owned by Brenda Duet: 70.375%, 72.000%, 71.125% 71.125%, 69.750%, 70.875%
5. Natalie Pai (USA), Fritz San Tino, 2002 Hanoverian gelding by Falkenstern II x Wanessa x Wanderbusch II, owned by Melanie Pai: 70.750%, 69.000%, 69.250%, 70.000%, 68.875%, 69.575%
6. Molly Paris (USA), Diamant Sky, 2006 Westphalian gelding by Dancing Dynamite x PAX - Westphalica x Parademarsch II, owned by Molly Paris: 69.000%, 71.125%, 70.375%, 65.125%, 68.375%, 68.800%
7. Bridget Hay (USA), Faolan, 2009 Oldenburg stallion by Freestyle x Wyoming x Weltsern, owned by Bridget Hay: 67.250%, 67.500%, 69.250%, 67.125%, 65.875%, 67.400%