John Zopatti of Wellington, Florida, riding Nel Bosco won Training Level Test 4 with a score of 76% and was awarded the Show High Point Trophy presented by Howard and Gisela Pferdekaemper at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby in Loxahatchee, Florida, March 1-3. The duo also won the High Point at Training Level and the High Point at First Level.
Nel Bosco is a four-year-old, 17.1-hand, brown American Warmblood by the Percheron stallion Cottonwood Flame, a Grand Prix dressage horse, out of Tess, a mare from Canada of unknown breeding with an extensive record as a jumper and hunter.
Dr. Cetty Weiss, is a chiropractor, who together with her husband own Weiss Family Chiropractic, counts equestrians as the major portion of their clientele. Dr. Weiss and Zopatti went horse-shopping in Europe for a schoolmaster for her last year, but she fell in love with Nel Bosco (which is Italian for ‘My Dream’) at Jennifer and Margaret Kaiser’s Forrest Hill Farm in Lafayette, Indiana.
Dr. Weiss bought Nel Bosco, who's barn name is Teakwood, as a 17-hand green broke three-year-old. "He just captured me," said Dr. Weiss. "He’s calm and quiet and that’s what I need." At 5’11" and describing herself as a ‘plus size’ woman, Dr. Weiss also wanted a big horse. She said she is "still on cloud nine" about his scores at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. "I always believed in his potential. The first time I saw John ride him, the picture was fabulous. They look special together."
Zopatti has been working with Nel Bosco for almost a year. "This horse is a good mover and has a brain," said Zopatti. "I have extravagant movers that do not have as quiet a brain as he has." In his tests, Nel Bosco’s highest scores usually are awarded for his walk. "His canter is a strong point. He generally gets 8s on his gaits. He got a 9 on a canter circle at the Derby."
Zopatti recently completed the USDF ‘l’ judge program and said that the training program helped him win the Palm Beach Dressage Derby Show High Score with Nel Bosco. "From my experience going through judge’s training, I know the requirements. He did that job. On that day, on that given moment, he deserved 76%."