American Leslie Morse dominated the Grand Prix tour at the 2005 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI. Riding her 13-year old KWPN licensed stallion Kingston (by Voltaire x Burggraaf), Morse had to be satisfied with a second place behind Robert Dover in the Grand Prix with 72.458%. In the Kur to Music on Sunday, however, she showed her worth and won the class with an impressive 78.425%, beating Dover on his number one horse FBW Kennedy.
"I am thrilled with the whole weekend," Morse told Dressagedaily. "It couldn't have been better. I loved riding the freestyle, the audience was great and the positive energy they gave us made it an electric ride."
The point difference with Dover in the Freestyle was only minimal. Robert ranked second with 78.175%. "I tried to change the choreagraphy at the last minute," Dover confessed. "Kennedy thought I was telling him something completely different so we did not have a harmonious end, but still got a 78%. Next time I will not make the same mistake."
In the Grand Prix Dover and Jane Clarke's 15-year old Baden Wurttemberger gelding FBW Kennedy received an impressive winning 75.042% from the panel of judges. Overall, Dover was extremely happy about his 2005 Derby outing. "I had an amazingly great weekend with Kennedy with the best grand prix performance to date recieving over a 75%," he said.
Morse, who is based at Robert's Romance Farm in Wellington for the season, also took highest honors in the Grand Prix Special. Aboard the Swedish licensed stallion Tip Top (by Master) she scored 68.800% and referred Susanne Dansby Phelps on Cooper to a second place.
"For Tip Top to win the special right after [her kur victory on Kingston] was wonderful," Morse explained. "It was his second special ever and we had a little trouble in the 1's and his first pirouette, but he is getting stronger. I'm so proud of both my horses. It has really helped to be able to show every couple of weekends because we take what we learn from the previous show and apply it to the next. It keeps us all sharp."
by Astrid Appels for Dressagedaily.com