Loxahatchee, Florida – finished the two days of competition at Welcome Back to White Fences I, held February 21-22, with a win that earned them an 81.071 percent – the highest score of the show. And Kohmann is now certain that his decision to remain in the U.S. was the right one. Kohmann, a native of Germany, has been a member of Cesar Parra's young team of riders for the past three years. He was recently offered an opportunity to return home to Germany, but decided to turn it down. One reason was because Parra, who is known for turning over top horses to his young riders, told Kohmann that if he stayed, he'd have the ride on Whoopie Gold, a four-year-old mare by Wolkentanz II.
"The horse is amazing and I feel like 'wow,' what an opportunity to ride this horse," Kohmann said. "When you sit on her, it feels like you're flying. You don't have to work at all, she just makes you look so good." The mare is owned by Mark and Darlene Baretti. "We have high hopes for this horse," Parra said. "Her trot is a 10 and her canter about a 9.8. She's really, really amazing."
Kohmann said that during the years he's been with Parra, he's been provided with "fabulous opportunities to ride many super horses," but admits that Whoopie Gold is one of the best horses he's ridden in his life. Still, the ride on the mare isn't the only thing that keeps him in the U.S. with Parra, it's also Parra himself. "Cesar is extremely generous to his riders. He gives us the chance to ride and show very nice horses. I have every opportunity working with him, what more can I say?"
"I really believe students should be given the chance to ride good horses," Parra said. At his Performance Farms, he's built a team of young riders who have done much to make the farm a successful sales and training business. One of the newest members to the team is Canadian Ariana Chia. "She's a new rider to our team and we're excited to have her," Parra said. Chia had her own successes at Welcome Back to White Fences I taking wins aboard Odilon in junior rider competition and in FEI Test of Choice, in which she scored a 74.474 percent.
His students weren't the only ones collecting ribbons at White Fences. Parra himself showed Dancing Queen to a second place in Fourth Level with a score of 70.90 percent, behind Shawna Harding and Rigo with their score of 73.256. Parra said he's a big fan of the Welcome Back to White Fences shows, in which show host Ingred Lin ensures a party atmosphere where all have fun. "It's a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere that is really good for bringing out young horses and also a good place for newer riders to get started showing."