Wellington, FL - The final "Friday Night Stars" FEI Grand Prix Freestyle of the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded on Friday, March 24, at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with another Canadian win with Megan Lane and Caravella in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm.
The final week of AGDF competition runs from March 22-25, 2017, and features the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO 3* as well as the FEI Nations Cup CDIO-U25.
The last class of the night, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm, presented the gold medal to Megan Lane (CAN) and her own Caravella, a 2001 KWPN mare (Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman), scoring an impressive 74.550%.
Lane described her win, "I am thrilled. It's still a little surreal, and I'm at a loss for words really. I'm so happy! I was happy with the whole test; you have to be on top of your game when you're competing against riders like this. I'm just really happy with the whole thing."
Lane and Caravella have been paired together for eight years and started in the junior division.
"We're both getting better and better. It's been an amazing journey," she recalled. "I'm so lucky to have her. It was destiny meeting her, and I'm so privileged to be on this road with her. We are still growing all of the time so that's the most exciting part for me."
Regarding her freestyle test, Lane said, "She comes alive at night when she sees the lights and hears the music. You have to have your timing perfect, but I'm lucky because we know each other so well and that's a huge asset."
Shelly Francis (USA) and Doktor, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding (Diamond Hit x Gurena x Renoir I) owned by Patricia Stempel, were awarded the silver medal in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*, with a score of 74.075%.
Francis commented, "Compared to the last week, I had him (Doktor) a hair more under control and maybe rode to my music a little quieter. He felt really honest and tried super hard, so I was very happy with him. He was a little calmer tonight and felt much easier to maneuver."
Bronze went to Lisa Wilcox (USA) and Galant, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Escuro x Bellisima) owned by Jacqueline Shear, with 73.175%.
"I felt like Galant and I didn't have the best weekend," said Wilcox. "The last time I came out and we did the freestyle, there was a bit more energy. This is new for him, to do these three tests three days in a row. I could definitely feel that tonight; he was not quite as brilliant as he was in the last freestyle. Having said that, he was still very rideable and just missed a tick of the sparkle we had the first time with that freestyle. Overall though, I'm very honored to be a member of this team for the Nations Cup."
USA team member Tuny Page spoke for Nations Cup and week 11 sponsor, Stillpoint Farm, "It's the first Nations Cup in the entire series, so it's wonderful to be the lead off [event]. After last year with the USA winning the entire series, we were looking for a really great start, and we did have a great start. The Canadians just had a slightly greater start. It was a great competition, and I think that everyone can agree that without great competition, you don't ride your best."
FEI Judge Thomas Lang (AUT), commented, "It was a great evening for dressage, and we saw some amazing tests this evening. Something can always go wrong, so you can never be certain that everything goes the way that you want it to. That is life as a dressage rider, and that's life as a dressage judge. Everybody tonight had a good energy, and it was a great show."
Competition at AGDF will continue tomorrow witha full schedule of classes and includes the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses, and the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %
1. Megan Lane (CAN), Caravella, 2001 KWPN mare by Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman, owned by Megan Lane: 74.125%, 72.125%, 75.250%, 74.625%, 76.625%, 74.550%
2. Shelly Francis (USA), Doktor, 2003 Oldenburg gelding by Diamond Hit x Gurena x Renoir I, owned by Patricia Stempel: 75.625%, 72.875%, 75.375%, 72.500%, 74.000%, 74.075%
3. Lisa Wilcox (USA), Galant, 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Escuro x Bellisima, owned by Jacqueline Sheer: 70.750%, 71.000%, 74.000%, 73.875%, 76.250%, 73.175%
4. Jill Irving (CAN), Degas 12, 2002 Hanoverian gelding by De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni, owned by Jill Irving: 72.625%, 71.250%, 73.625%, 73.000%, 73.875%, 72.875%
5. Juan Matute Guimon (ESP), Quantico Ymas, 2006 Hanoverian gelding by Fighting Fit x Hauptstutbuch, owned by Juan F Matute: 70.500%, 68.000%, 72.875%, 70.625%, 71.375%, 70.675%
6. Kelly Layne (AUS), Von Primaire, 2002 KWPN gelding by Don Primaire x Noraline x Amiral ZW P.S., owned by Kelly Layne: 69.375%, 69.875%, 69.625%, 69.000%, 67.500%, 69.075%
7. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA), Lonoir, 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding by De Noir x Lorani x Loran, owned by Olivia LaGoy-Weltz: 66.625%, 68.750%, 69.250%, 70.125%, 69.625%, 68.875%