Woodside Spring Dressage (May 17-20) kicked off Cornerstone Event Management's Northern California dressage series. Several horse and rider teams who have been together for less than a year not only got some great show ring experience at a beautiful facility, they rose to the occasion and earned top honors. Vicky Stashuk-Matisi was thrilled to win the Markel/Cornerstone Open High Point Champion and all of her classes in first and second level with her Springfield. They performed consistently throughout the weekend and earned scores in first level of 73.871%, 74.839%, and 73.387%, with a respectable 65% in second level. "I imported Springfield a year ago from Germany, when she was barely four years old," Vicky said of her Westphalian mare sired by Sir Donnerhall out of Gianna. "I selected her at a premium elite auction held each spring in Germany at the Westphalian Horse Centre in Muenster-Handorf. I got on her and said, 'Wow.' She gave such a good feeling under saddle: the power, three excellent gaits, good attitude. We showed her in training level at Woodside last year, and she was high point then, so she was high point both years.
She was quite young and it was her first show in the United States so she was a little wild, but we still scored in the mid 70s. Now she's a great show horse, just a super, super horse. Even in our second level test this weekend, I felt like it didn't go well, but we got 65% anyway. She's of super quality, so even with a few mistakes we still got a good score."
The FEI High Point Award went to young rider Brandi Roenick (Steffen Peters, trainer), who swept the CDI Young Rider tests. She won the CDI Young Riders Team Prix St. Georges with a score of 70.482% on Weltino’s Magic (by Weltino), a Pan-American Games Gold Medal winning (with Steffen Peters in the irons) Westphalian gelding she has been leasing from Bruce and Jen Hlavacek for just a few months. She also won the CDI Young Riders Individual with 72.807% and was third in both classes with her Pretty Lady. In the CDI Young Riders Freestyle, she swapped places with the two horses and won on Pretty Lady with a score of 70.958% ad was third with Weltino's Magic. Brandi is no stranger to the top of the leader board, having won three gold medals at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships.
Gail Baum (Ariane Rezvani, trainer) was surprised and very happy to win Amateur High Point with her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Wimenta CL (by Diamond Hit), winning three of her tests with scores ranging from 65.806% to 70.405%. "I'm pretty excited," she gushed. "This was my second show with this horse. I just got her last fall, so it was a nice way to start our show career together. DG Bar imported her last fall from Holland, where she showed to third level. I had been looking for a horse for a year, and when I got on her and knew she was the one. We're still getting to know each other, so I was blown away to do so well. I'm not used to being at the top of the results list; usually I'm at the bottom."
Gail has shown at The Horse Park at Woodside in the past and was happy to do so again. "The new footing is fabulous," she remarked. "I grew up in the Bay Area and moved away, so it's like coming home to show here. Every time we come the Horse Park, it gets better and better." Gail is hoping to qualify for CDS Championships this year, and her scores at Woodside will help her toward that goal.
Joan Williams and Devina M (Jenny Silber Butah, owner) made their mark in the dressage court, winning three of their third level tests with scores as high as 66.842%. "On the test where we got the 66%, it was a really nice, easy ride," Joan shared. "I felt like we really knew what we were doing and were really confident. Her owner, Jenny, has shown her successfully at training and first level, but she broke her wrist about six weeks before the show so she wasn't able to show. We had been working on Devina's changes and mediums, so I went ahead and showed her at third level. Jenny will get back on her within the next three weeks and try to qualify for the Regional Adult Amateur Competition in first level."
Joan and Jenny discovered Devina, a 17-year-old Hanoverian, about a year ago when they went to DG Bar for lessons. "She was originally sold at an auction in Germany for a lot of Deutsch Marks to a sponsor of Debbie MacDonald, but she got injured," Joan explained. "They sent her to DG Bar, who put her in pasture and bred her. She was sound, so she became Betty DeGroot's personal horse. Willy (Arts) had Jenny try Devina, and it was love at first site. She is wonderful, a very sweet, kind, confident mare. She has smooth gaits to sit, with a nice overstep at the walk, swingy trot, natural medium trot, and comfortable canter. She covers a lot of ground and collects and engages easily. She's a very willing partner."
Based in Santa Cruz, Joan has less than an hour's drive to get to Woodside, where she loves to show. "I like how open the grounds are," she commented. "There's a lot of space between the arenas so you can ride around grounds, and from arena to arena. I like the footing and that they keep the dust down. The Cornerstone shows are well organized and well run."
For more information on Woodside Spring Dressage, including complete results, visit www.cornerstonedressage.com.
The Woodside dressage series continues with Woodside Summer Dressage and Breed Show (July 13-15). In Southern California, dressage fans can celebrate our nation's independence at Star Spangled Dressage (June 29 - July 1) in San Juan Capistrano or the CDS LA Chapter Summer Show (July 7-8) at LAEC. Colorado dressage riders get their fix at Dressage in the Rockies (Aug 3-5).