Kassandra Barteau's 24-hour drive from Illinois to compete in the 2008 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W/Y sure paid off. The young rider, who came to Florida with her mother, FEI rider Yvonne Barteau, collected a mass of blue ribbons with the four horses she brought from Illinois. The unofficial count is nine wins. The family arrived in Florida in mid-February for six weeks of showing and the Derby was their first competition
"I have four horses here and they've all won their classes," Barteau said. "Raymeister, my stallion, won all four of his classes at Third Level and Second Level. And my mare Gabriella won both of her classes. She did Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I. And Sarassanna won most all of her First and Second Level classes. She got a second place in one class. And Sheffield won his Fourth Level class."
Raymeister is a Holsteiner stallion by Rantares and owned by Ginna Frantz. Sarassanna GP is a six-year-old Hanoverian mare by Sandro Hit that is also owned by Frantz. Gabriella is a 16-year-old Hanoverian mare by Grosso Z and owned by Robert Qury. And Sheffield is a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Kristin Allen.
In recent years, Barteau has proved herself to be a talented young rider, but she credits her Derby wins to "my mom, my horses and my support team." This was Barteau's first Derby appearance. "I was a little nervous coming here because I've never shown at the Derby before." She was rather surprised by her wins because her mother, who has shown before at the Derby, warned her that Derby scores are often lower because it's such a prestigious show. Back home in Illinois, she and her horses have been scoring in the 80s. At the Derby, their scores were in the 70s – high enough to earn Barteau some high score awards in the USEF levels.
The Barteau clan brought 13 horses to Florida and are staying at the barn of Anne Gribbons. Back home, they've got 50 horses in training. The 19-year-old Barteau is aiming for a couple of championships this year and is clearly off to a good start. "I'm hoping that Raymeister will be my young rider horse this year. He's a super stallion and very forgiving. I'm very fortunate to have him," Barteau said. "And I hope to take Gabi to the Prix St. Georges/I-1 championships in California. And with six-year-old I'm aiming for the National Young Horse Championships in Kentucky."