Wellington, FL - From an early draw, the USA’s Jennifer Baumert held on to the lead in the Prix St Georges CDI3*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. It was the highlight class of the opening day of action during week 10 of the 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.
This four-star CDI show is the largest ever staged outside Western Europe, and was extended by a day - starting early on the Wednesday - to accommodate the huge number of accepted entries across the 35 international classes.
The top three in the Prix St Georges all broke the 70% barrier. Baumert and Handsome scored 70.441%, with Canada’s Brittany Fraser nipping at their heels in second (70.294%) on Jill Irving’s Soccer City. Jodie Kelly-Baxley (USA) finished third with 70.235% on Beth Godwin’s home-bred 11-year-old Caymus, by Sir Sinclair.
Handsome, by Hochadel, is owned by Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Juliano, who bought him four years ago in California from Marie Meyers and used to ride the gelding herself. But she handed the reins over to Baumert almost 18 months ago.
After only a year competing internationally under Baumert, the 13-year-old has clocked up eight wins in his 18 small tour starts - all of which have been at the AGDF.
“He’s a really special horse,” said Baumert, who turned 47 two days earlier. “Today he felt really good. He was soft and relaxed; though there were a few small things in the contact that I’d like to be better, but overall I couldn’t be happier.”
Jennifer Baumert and judge at C Kurt Christensen with Olga Harstock, a member of the business development team at class sponsor CaptiveOne Advisors.
Juliano, who also owns Adrienne Lyle’s grand prix rides Horizon and Salvino, added: “I’ve owned Handsome close to four years but the main reason I stopped riding him is that he’s really talented and I felt he needs a rider who has equally as much talent. I also became very busy with my work - I own a litigation support and management business that I started 35 years ago tomorrow - and that has kept me away from riding consistently.
“So I asked Jen to finish him at grand prix, which she will do, but right now he’s doing so well in this division [small tour], that we’ll continue with it for now. I thought it best for Handsome to flourish under Jen’s guidance and Debbie McDonald’s training.”
Baumert clearly remembers the first time she rode Handsome: “Betsy and I were just getting to know each other. I lived in another state and I was there to help for a couple of days,” she said. “The first time I went, Betsy asked me to sit a little bit on every horse, and I especially remember Handsome because he’s an amazing mover, he’s got so much power - it’s really something to feel. I remember how, even though I was a new rider for him, he was really tuned in and that was pretty special, because they don’t all do that.”
“I’ve also had judges comment that he’s handsome, and then they look down at their sheet and say, ‘Oh it is Handsome!’,” she added.
“We’ll be old and grey together, the two of us,” added Juliano, who also praised the horse’s work ethic and temperament. “I keep all my horses, so I have 15 now. Some are in the ‘assisted living division’ all year round in Ohio, and then the performance horses come down here.”
This week, Handsome will contest the Intermediate I straight class and the freestyle. He is schooling the grand prix at home, and will return to Ohio with Baumert to continue his education at the end of the AGDF season.
In the first of the youth division classes — the under-25 Intermediate II, presented by Diamante Farms - 20-year-old Natalie Pai (USA) triumphed from first draw riding her mother Melanie’s 17-year-old Jazz gelding, Unlimited. They scored 67.235% to edge out 23-year-old Canadian rider Tanya Strasser-Shostak who posted 67.029% on Renaissance Tyme, another riding a horse owned by her mother - Evi Strasser.
Action in week 10 of the 2018 AGDF continues on Thursday with a full schedule of no fewer than five grand prix classes, including four-star competition to qualify for the Grand Prix Special, presented by Mission Control, and “Friday Night Stars” - the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, presented by Havensafe Farm, under the lights at 7pm. The AGDF runs through March 31. For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
Place, rider, nationality, horse, horse information: judge E%, judge H%, judge C%, judge M%, judge B%, total
FEI Prix St Georges CDI3*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors
E, Sunil Shivdas (IND); H, Clive Halsall (GBR); C, Kurt Christiensen (DEN); M, Christoph Hess (GER); B, Janet Foy (USA)
1. Jennifer Baumert (USA) on Handsome, Elizabeth Juliano’s 13yo Hanoverian gelding by Hochadel x Weltmeyer: 67.206, 71.471, 69.706, 74.265, 69.559, 70.441.
2. Brittany Fraser (CAN) on Soccer City, Jill Irving’s 11yo Hanoverian by Sir Donnerhall x Weltmeyer: 70.294, 67.353, 72.5, 70.735, 70.588, 70.294%.
3. Jodie Kelly-Baxley (USA) on Caymus, Beth Godwin’s 11yo KWPN gelding by Sir Sinclair x Contango: 70.882, 69.265, 69.118, 71.618, 70.294, 70.235%.
4. Pablo Gomez Molina (ESP) on Fürst Fiorano Ymas, Yeguada de Mas SL’s 11yo Westfalian gelding by Fürst Piccolo x Donnerbube I: 67.647, 68.971, 68.676, 72.5, 69.706, 69.5%.
5. Lori Bell (CAN) on Flirt, her own 10yo Oldenburg gelding by Florencio x Donnerhall: 66.912, 70, 71.029, 73.676, 63.676, 69.059%.
6. Melissa Taylor (USA) on Ansgar, Nicola Polaski’s 13yo KWPN gelding by Special D x Formateur: 71.176, 67.941, 71.176, 67.5, 66.471, 68.853%.
7. Patricia Becker (USA) on Derk, Lauren Walfish’s 10yo KWPN gelding by Wynton x OO Seven: 68.382, 69.853, 71.765, 67.5, 65.588, 68.618%.
8. Nora Batchelder (USA) on Faro SFQ, her own 10yo Hanoverian gelding by Fidertanz x Rotspon: 68.824, 68.824, 67.353, 67.059, 69.412, 68.294%.
Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle. These images may only be used in relation to this press release and with credit.
About the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival:
The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world's largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations' Cup Series CDIO in North and South America. The AGDF offers more than $600,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.