Burbank, CA – Two years ago, Michelle Reilly and her charismatic mount Umeeko earned their very first international dressage win at a California Dreaming Productions event, and on Friday the pair once again found success in the West Coast’s prestigious show series by topping the CDI Grand Prix field at California Dreaming Productions’ Mid-Winter Dressage CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, being held February 25-28 in Burbank.
With the Grand Prix class (sponsored by Professional’s Choice) as the highlight of a glorious afternoon of competition, Reilly and Sharon Roberts' 15-year-old gray Dutch Warmblood gelding (Goodlord x Otilinda by Jacorde) saved the best for last as the final competitors down centerline in the field of 12 U.S. and Canadian riders. Despite an uncharacteristic mistake in the one-tempi changes, the pair was rewarded by the judges for their overall expression and harmony with a winning score of 67.220%. “I was really happy with my ride today. Umeeko was really relaxed when he came out and right off the bat I was hopeful that the test would go well,” said Reilly. “He maintained that great feeling throughout the whole warm-up, but sometimes he can get a little nervous when getting ready to go in the ring, especially if he hears clapping from the previous ride. Today he held it together and stayed relaxed and with me for the whole ride. I got a little excited in the one-tempi’s and asked for too much canter so we had a mistake, but those are usually clockwork for him so we look forward to coming back and nailing those tomorrow in the freestyle.”
In the CDI Prix St. Georges test presented by Shapley’s, Beverly Gepfer’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Don John (Johnson x Lindalie by Goodtimes) also found success by earning his first CDI victory with rider Nick Wagman. Their score of 70.105% was enough for the narrow win over former NAJYRC Gold Medalist Catherine Chamberlain aboard Kimberly Pribble’s Dutch Warmblood gelding Avesto Van Weltevreden (Gribaldi x Tevesta by Krack C) with 69.184%. In the CDI Young Riders Team Prix St. Georges Test, former Pan American Games and NAJYRC Gold Medal-winning mount Weltino’s Magic (2002 Westfalen gelding [Weltino x Diva by Diamond Boy], owned by Jen and Bruce Hlavacek) looked ready to carry yet another rider to glory, this time under the Canadian flag with 21-year-old Ehren Volk by earning the unanimous victory under all five judges and a winning score of 67.263%. After earning two wins in the FEI Junior division during January’s LA Winter Dressage CDI, Francesca Sheld and Charlotte Bredahl’s 12-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Reagan (Dual Rey x Whim Gin by Gin Smokee) followed up on last month’s success with a third consecutive victory, this time in the Junior Rider Team Test with 61.434%.
Complete results are available on the California Dreaming Productions website, www.californiadreamingproductions.com.