Loxahatchee, Florida – Arlene "Tuny" Page and Lauren Sammis had much to celebrate as this year's Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI came to a close. Page nabbed the win in the closing day CDI Grand Prix Freestyle with Wild One. And the day before, Sammis and Sagacious HF beat out a large field of competitors to take the win in the CDI Grand Prix Special. It was the first CDI Grand Prix for the pair. "I'm a very lucky girl right now," said a happy Sammis. "I have two beautiful children, a fabulous horse to ride and a wonderful support team." Sammis and Sagacious, owned by Hyperion Farms, have earned blue ribbons in Open Grand Prix competition and they've now followed that up with a CDI Grand Prix win scoring a 66.792 percent. Behind them in second was Bethany Peslar riding More Magic. Third was Shawna Harding riding Come On III.
Sagacious, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, and Sammis did have a few errors, but overall the CDI judges had much positive to say. The pair, members of the 2007 U.S. Pan Am Games dressage team, received one low score. "We got a one for a transition that just wasn't there," Sammis said with a laugh. "He's doing very well, but he is still green at the Grand Prix."
The pair's next CDI competition will be in two weeks at the WEF Dressage Classic CDI where they'll compete in their first CDI Grand Prix Freestyle. Sammis said she and Sagacious will continue to get in as much ring time as possible in their goal of once again representing the U.S. in international competition. "The idea is to get in the ring as often as we can, either in Open classes or CDI. The more we ride the test, the more it'll become like an old glove," Sammis said.
Another very happy Grand Prix rider at this year's Derby was Page. She and Wild One edged out Mikala Gundersen and Leonberg to take the win in the CDI Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 71.45 percent. Gundersen scored 71.10. In third was Michael Barisone with Neruda and a score of 70.55 percent. The day before, Page and Wild One finished fourth in the CDI Grand Prix for the Freestyle and she blamed that finish on herself.
"I misjudged the length of the warm-up yesterday. It was such an amateur mistake. Today I kept the warm-up short and sweet and he was so much more there. I'm very proud of him today," she said. "I was a little angry with myself yesterday, but I'm good at kicking myself in the backside and telling myself not to make the same mistake again."
The 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding has not always been the easiest horse and Page said bringing him along has been a learning curve for her. "The horse has every ability. In the beginning, he was so strong and for some time, I worked on having control over him and I think to do that, I'm sorry to say, I think I took some away from his gaits," Page said. "I've needed to change my riding and not be defensive and be more secure in showing off his movements and his gaits. And I'm a slow learning. It's taking me some time to shed old habits and learn new ones, but thankfully, people are willing to give us a second chance."
Page was most pleased that at the Derby she and Wild One were able to show his true talent. "Today goes a long way toward reestablishing his reputation as an international horse." At this point, Page said she is taking things one show at a time, but does have hopes of being able to travel to Europe with Wild One this summer.
Page is also aiming for the National Dressage Championships in Gladstone with Alina. The mare had a good showing at the Derby in CDI Intermediaire I competition, scoring a 70.088 for second place behind Marco Bernal and the Trakehner stallion Halbgott. The winners of the CDI Intermediaire Freestyle were Courtney King-Dye and Bogner B, a Hanoverian gelding owned by Collecting Gaits Farm.
[#25784 override="Complete Palm Beach Derby Results" title="Complete Palm Beach Derby Results"]