The 2004 Palm Beach Dressage Derby had a mellow and relaxing kickoff on Thursday March 4, 2004. The only level of stress that arose on the sunny, yet cool breeze day was during the vet check. Although all horses paraded nicely groomed for the jog on the Equestrian Estate of MaryAnne and Walter McPhail, most riders still feel insecure about their chances for approval.
If you considered the vet check to be repetitious, there was still much more to do on the first day of this CDI event. Horses were turned out and schooled all day in four different arenas in preparation of the competition which starts on Friday.
Dr Cesar Parra schooled a new hopeful called Kahli, but her registered name is Norelja, which rings more of a bell. The grey KWPN mare Norelja competed at the World Young Horse Dressage Championships in Verden under Dutch Christa Laarakkers, finishing seventh overall, before disappearing from the scene. German Hubertus Schmidt also supervised Parra's rides on stallions Galant du Serein and Leonburg.
After the vet inspection, equestrian photographers Mary Phelps and JJ Hathaway organized a vet inspection reception, sponsored by Markel Insurance, to which all riders, officials and dressage aficionado's were invited. Phelps and Markel were serving beverages, beer, wine, sandwiches, dorito's and even chocolate covered strawberries. Everyone seemed to enjoy this mellow start at the 2004 Palm Beach Derby and were eager to gear into action the next day.
by Astrid Appels
Horsesdaily ScoreSource: 2004 Palm Beach Dressage Derby