Wilcox and “Reef,” a Zweibrucker stallion by Galant Du Serein out of Rohmante by Rohdiamant earned the blue ribbon nod from the judges at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, with an 80.40 percent.
In their comments, judges Gary Rockwell, Lois Yukins and Kristi Wysocki praised the horse’s ground covering trot and lateral work, rewarding the trot with a score of 8.6. They said Reef has a bright future, but his canter lacked the elasticity of the trot and it needs to be developed further.
“I was a little disappointed with that,” Wilcox admitted. “I find the canter better than they scored it. I understand maybe that first change they thought there was a little tension in it. I overrode it and Gary saw that.”
Wilcox said Reef’s canter is outstanding and when the pair come out in the small tour at the 2016 Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, in January, they will demonstrate how remarkable his canter is. “He has exceptional ability to collect in the canter, then lengthen and then collect, so there’s a lot of elasticity in it. He’s my little rubber ball! He does beautiful fours, threes, twos and ones."
“When they see that, he’ll be judged differently,” she explained. “He has beautiful pirouettes. They are phenomenal and effortless and three-beats and clear. I’m very excited about his future.”
Wilcox said the horse is intelligent and a quick study and compared him to Pikko del Cerro HU, her Grand Prix horse. “Cerro is intelligent macho,” she said. “Reef is the intelligent little professor. So, when he’s focused, he completely uses all he has toward that test. He’s not being a little bit cheeky. If he is cheeky, it’s because something disrupted his concentration. He’s beyond his years.”
Next, the pair will head to Saugerties, New York, for HITS on the Hudson and Dressage at Devon in Pennsylvania to compete in Fourth Level classes, then on to Florida to make their small tour debut.