Del Mar, CA - Closing day of the 2011 Dressage Affaire (CDI3* W/Y/J & CPEDI3*) arrived at the beautiful Del Mar Horsepark on Sunday March 13, 2011. The Para-Equestrian Dressage riders could breath a sigh a relief with the two qualifying days of the Team Test and Individual Championship Test now completed. Sunday was the day for each rider from the United States, Canada, and Mexico to be bold and showcase his or her exhilarating freestyle routines in front of FEI Judges Ulf Wilkin (SWE), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Kathy Amos-Jacob (FRA). With the pressure off many of the riders excelled earning their highest scores over the weekend including three riders who attained scores over 70%. At the end of the day the championship team was announced and the overall winner for each Grade earned their rosettes.
Following two days of Para-Dressage competition scores from the Team Test were combined with scores from the Individual Championship Test to determine each country's overall team placing. Representing the United States of America was Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Ritcher Scale (Grade Ib), Eleanor Brimmer and Vadico Interago (Grade III), Donna Ponessa and Otto (Grade Ib), and Dena Pate aboard Imagine That (Grade IV). This team finished second behind the Canadian Team.
In the Freestyle, Jonathan Wentz (USA) was accurate and focused while riding to this music aboard NTEC Ritcher Scale earning a 73%, a 74.5%, and a 70.25% from each of the three judges. He was also third in the Freestyle on NTEC Daytona. Wentz also captured the overall win for Grade Ib in front of Canadian Ashley Gowanlock.
"Ritcher was superb today," said Wentz. "He was spot on with every move and I also felt that I rode the pattern well. Since WEG (World Equestrian Games) I have switched Grades so this was our first time riding this freestyle test and it was great."
He continued, "I was also very happy with Daytona today. She behaved really well and only whinnied once; I think she is getting used to this. Where she suffered was the fact that I was physically drained by the time I got to her test. She suffered a little because I couldn't support her with my body but even though I was tired she was wonderful. I think she will be a horse to watch in the future. After this weekend I would like to thank both my trainer Kai Handt for everything and I would like to thank the horse show for putting on a great show."
Following this weekend's competition will be a very important clinic for the Para-Equestrian Dressage riders. On Monday and Tuesday, Para-Equestrian's will have the opportunity for a one-on-one clinic with Olympian Debbie McDonald and esteemed judge Hanneke Gerritsen (NED). Each Para-Equestrian will have the opportunity to showcase their skills, ask questions, and discuss their plan for this year.
For complete results, please visit www.dressageevents.com.