Wellington, FL - Kasey Perry (USA), coming off of a fantastic week of performances at Week 3 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), topped the FEI Intermediaire 1 Freestyle class, presented by Chesapeake Dressage Institute. Perry aboard Goerklintgaards Dublet scored a 72.150%, followed by Christoph Koschel (GER) on Leuchtfeuer DE finishing on a 71.225%, and Kimberly Herslow (USA) and Rosmarin placing third with a score of 69.250%. Sunday's competition concluded the third week of the AGDF, which continues with top international and national dressage competition through March 28. Perry, a native of Orangevale, CA, was thrilled with Goerklintgaards Dublet's freestyle routine and her overall week at AGDF. "He was great today. He can normally get tense in the Freestyle, but since he has been showing so much here his nerves are starting to even out. We're pairing up so well," she said. "I am so lucky to have him, and I never take that for granted. I have a great team behind me and I wouldn't be here without the incredible support from my parents."
Koschel was also very pleased with his Freestyle ride this morning aboard Leuchtfeuer DE, a 2003 Hanoverian gelding. "The ride felt very good. I was pretty happy since it was the first time doing a Freestyle with him. There were a few moments where I thought, 'Oh we may need to practice this more,' but the ride was good," he commented. "He felt very fresh for the third day of competition which is quite a lot for him, so I was pleased with how it went."
As for Goerklintgaards Dublet (Danish Warmblood - Diamond Hit x Olympic Ferro), one of two horses Perry has here in Wellington for the winter, she plans to compete with him again in mid-February in Small Tour classes and will enter him in a National level Grand Prix to help him become more comfortable at the level. "It is so worth it to come here from California," she stated. "The footing, the atmosphere, the number of shows, it is all just incredible. We are so lucky for the sponsors who put this competition on and keep it running. It is just top of the line. You really can't beat it."
The facilities and grounds are a highlight for European riders coming to Florida for the winter too, said Koschel, when describing why he enjoys coming to AGDF to compete. "It is constantly growing and more people are always coming. It is really worth it to come from Europe when you see the facilities and the footing. I like the idea of having so many shows in one place because then you do not have to move and the horses feel comfortable. It is a big advantage, and there is really no other show in the world like this one."
Both Perry and Koschel had the opportunity to ride beneath the lights this week, as Perry competed her Grand Prix level mare, Trostruplunds Scarlett (Danish Warmblood XDon Schufro) , in the "Friday Night Stars" FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, and Koschel rode Tiesto in the FEI Grand Prix Special, both classes presented by the US P.R.E. Association. Both pairs were happy with their performances. "Scarlett is such an overachiever, and it is a great quality to have. There were a few mistakes that were my fault, but it is just such an experience to be here and an honor to be competing with these other riders," said Perry. Koschel felt similarly about his performance aboard Tiesto, "At first I was nervous that the Special was switched to under the lights, but he took it very well. It was a great exercise for him and he behaved very well, so next time we will do the Freestyle."
Perry emphasized the importance of finding a great trainer and coach, a key piece of her riding she believes has helped bring her and her horses to a new level. Perry arrived early prior to the season, and trained with Anne Gribbons at Knoll Dressage near Orlando, for two months, calling it her "boot camp" preparing her for the 2015 season at Wellington. "It is so important to find a quality trainer and coach to help you," she commented. "Christophe Theallet has helped me tremendously. I can't thank him enough. He's helped me to build such a great base and foundation. He understands when to push it and how to keep my horses happy and competitive."
And as for the future, Perry has her eye set on competing in Europe, but will let the horses help her to make that decision. She remarked, "I would really like to go there and compete to get the experience. The horses are always getting better and at some point I would love to try and get on a team." Perry, who is her own groom, finds that she has a connection with her horses that helps her to truly understand their best interests. "I love them, and I'm really dedicated to making them happy. It is such a great opportunity for me, as a rider, to connect with them. I really enjoy it. It is hard work, but keeping them happy, sound and positive is my motto," she stated.
Final Results: FEI Intermediaire 1 Freestyle CDI W, presented by Chesapeake Dressage Institute
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E, Judge H, Judge C, Judge M, Judge B, Total
1. Kasey Perry (USA), Goerklintgaards Dublet, 2003 Danish Warmblood, Diamond Hit x La Costa x Olympic Ferro: 70.000%, 74.375%, 71.875%, 74.625%, 69.875%, 72.150%
2. Christoph Koschel (GER), Leuchtfeuer DE, 2003 Hanoverian gelding, Londonderry x Duene x De Niro: 69.250%, 73.500%, 71.500%, 71.875%, 70.000%, 71.225%
3. Kimberly Herslow (USA), Rosmarin, 2005 Hanoverian gelding, Rosentanz x Hauptstutbuch Wolkentaenzerin x Weltmeyer: 70.250%, 71.875%, 66.250%, 71.625%, 66.250%, 69.250%
4. Karin Persson (SWE), Cortison, 1998 Swedish Warmblood gelding, Cortez x Quizzial Ghost x Lane Court: 64.250% 70.125%, 69.500%, 70.500%, 65.750%, 68.025%
5. Katharina Stumpf (AUT), For My Love, 2001 Hanoverian gelding, For Feeling x Escudine x Escudo I: 66.125%, 69.625%, 66.625%, 71.125%, 66.250%, 67.950%
6. Shannon Dueck (CAN), Cantaris, 2003 Hanoverian gelding, Complement x Egida x Eiger I: 65.750%, 68.875%, 66.625%, 71.000%, 66.375%, 67.725%
7. Mary Bahniuk Lauritsen (USA), Wench De Jeu, 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare, Jazz x Tango De Jeu x Contago: 64.000%, 69.000%, 67.500%, 68.375%, 65.250%, 66.825%
8. Denielle Gallagher-Legriffon (CAN), Argo Conti Tyme, 2002 Oldenburg stallion, Argentius x Alina x Continue: 62.125%, 63.125%, 61.875%, 63.500%, 62.2505, 62.575%