Katherine Bateson-Chandler (USA) and Alcazar, a 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jane Forbes Clark, found themselves atop the leaderboard in the AGDF FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation, with a score of 72.425%. Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar have been hard at work this season, also training with Debbie McDonald, to improve their presence in the arena before heading back to England to compete in Europe this summer.
P.J. Rizvi (USA) and Breaking Dawn followed in second place with a 70.600%, while Anna Marek (USA) and Unico G collected third place honors with a 67.275%.
“In my last couple of freestyles I’ve had mistakes in my flying changes. I was bound and determined today, even if I had to turn myself inside out, to not have mistakes in my changes, which I managed to pull off,” laughed Bateson-Chandler. “I was really happy with that.”
“He’s going to have a couple of nice easy days before the next CDI. To be honest, when I’m not here at the show I don’t really ride him in the ring that much. I’m lucky to have a farm with a big track and a grand prix field,” explained Bateson-Chandler, on how she keeps Alcazar fresh and ready to compete. “We’ll have a little break after the next show here and then we’ll head back to England.”
P.J. Rizvi and Breaking Dawn earned their highest FEI CDI score this afternoon with their 70.600%, which Rizvi noted is a huge accomplishment for the pair, as this is their first competitive CDI season together.
“This is so far our biggest accomplishment together. For me, the heat is brutal, but for Edward, my horse, it’s the most amazing thing because my usual struggle with him is that he’s extremely forward and we have mistakes in the changes because he gets a little bit ahead of me,” she said. “Today I felt like he was a bit more backed off, and he was really attentive to me. I was super thrilled today.”
Rizvi rides to the same music that her trainer, Ashley Holzer, used with Breaking Dawn at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. It is very sentimental for Rizvi. She said, “What we did, because Edward had a long rest period after the Olympics, is we changed the choreography to be more difficult, but used the same music. I love really funky music, but I tend to dance too much during the test, so I need very stable music. I think it suits him, and the bagpipes really accent his piaffe and passage.”
Traveling down from Ocala, FL, to compete at AGDF, Marek and Unico G are finding a rhythm, which has left Marek feeling very positive about their progress and direction for the rest of the season.
“We come down about four hours to show here for the weekend and then go home. We definitely struggled with the heat a bit this week, but today I was really proud of him because I felt like I had more horse than yesterday,” she commented. “I swear though, the music always pumps him up and he’s ready to go. We had fun riding today’s freestyle, and we just made it a little bit more difficult so there were a few little bobbles.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar in their presentation ceremony with representatives of The Dutta Corporation, judge Clive Halsall (GBR), Allyn Mann of Adequan®, and Cora Causemann of AGDF.
“I rode my first freestyle on Unico. Over the last year, we got comfortable with that choreography while I learned to ride the freestyle. We just started to change it a bit more difficult. I wanted something a bit dramatic for him. We’ve had a long road and to me it tells a great story,” she continued.
Competition at AGDF continues tomorrow with the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation, and the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4*, presented by Havensafe Farm. For more information on AGDF, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %
1. Katherine Bateson-Chandler (USA), Alcazar, 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Contango x Polina x Ferro owned by Jane Forbes Clark: 72.875%, 72.000%, 73.000%, 72.250%, 72.000%, 72.425%
2. P.J. Rizvi (USA), Breaking Dawn, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Akribori x Eveline x L.Ronald owned by P.J. Rizvi: 69.375%, 70.750%, 71.125%, 69.875%, 71.875%, 70.600%
3. Anna Marek (USA), Unico G, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Negro x Kleora x Animo owned by Anna Marek: 66.625%, 67.750%, 66.000%, 67.750% 68.250%, 67.275%
4. Micaela Mabragana (ARG), Tyara, 2000 Dutch Warmblood mare by Farrington x Jolimba x Bazuin owned by Cesar Lopardo-Grana: 67.250%, 66.375%, 66.625%, 66.500%, 67.250%, 66.800%
5. Louisa-Marcelle Eadie (GER), Welt Cup, 2001 Hanoverian gelding by Weltmeyer x Hauptstutbuch Graefin x Gambler’s Cup owned by Louisa-Marcelle Eadie: 67.375%, 65.250%, 65.500%, 65.750%, 67.125%, 66.200%
6. Lauren Sprieser (USA), Ellegria, 2001 Westphalian mare by Ehrentanz I x Patriza x Philip owned by Lauren Sprieser: 68.00%, 67.125%, 67.250%, 59.875%, 65.375%, 65.525%
7. Nora Batchelder (USA), Bahai, 2004 Hanoverian mare by Baroncelli x SPS Rose x Rotspon owned by Nora Batchelder: 66.250%, 63.375%, 66.500%, 61.375%, 67.500%, 65.000%
8. Franziska Seidl (SUI), Sigalia, 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Kigali x Foske x Animo owned by Franziska Seidl: 65.375%, 67.500%, 64.000%, 64.250%, 63.875%, 65.000%