Ottawa, Ontario—Tom Dvorak earned the top Canadian score at the CDI-W Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge, held February 11–13, Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, in West Palm Beach, FL, USA. The competition was a qualifier for riders vying for a spot on the Canadian Dressage Team at the 2011 Pan American Games, which will be held in Guadalajara, MEX this coming October. “I am very pleased with all my horses’ progress over the past three shows, but I am especially impressed with Key West. He has shown a lot of improvement and demonstrated his ability to compete with all the horses down here,” said Dvorak. “I am excited with the prospect of being able to take Key West to the Pan American Games trials and possibly further.”
A team silver medalist from the 2007 Pan American Games, Dvorak, of Hillsburgh, ON, and Key West (Charly Chaplin x Arogno), Claudia Demandt’s 11-year-old Trakehner gelding, scored 69.079% in the large Prix St Georges class, placing third out of 39 entries.
Dvorak’s 2007 Pan Am Teammate and fellow silver medalist Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON was the next best placed Canadian. Creech rode Robbie W, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding sired by Rubin Royal, earning 67.325% for ninth place. Robbie W is owned by Creech’s long-time sponsor Douglas Leatherdale of Leatherdale Farms. Lee Tubman of Dunnville, ON followed in 13th place, scoring 65.921% riding De La Rosa, a 10-year-old Hanoverian mare (sired by De Niro) owned by Ducat Developments Ltd. Jill Irving of Moncton NB, scored 65.658%, placing 14th, aboard Delvaux, her 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Iroko. Lisa Bukowski, who currently resides in Stillwater, MN, and Sinatra DVB (Ferro x Bismarck), a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Quoin Holdings LLC, were 16th with a score of 64.868%. Rounding out the Canadians was Annaliese Farber of Peterborough, ON, riding Sandro's Heir (Sandro Hit x Castro), the nine-year-old Oldenburg stallion she co-owns with John Grills, with 64.342% for 19th place.
In the Intermediaire I class, Leah Wilson of Orangeville, ON, finished in sixth place with a score of 65.439% riding her 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding Amusant (Alabaster x Weltmeyer). Tubman and De La Rosa placed sixth in the Intermediaire I Freestyle, scoring 66.083%.
Shannon Dueck, a BC native who resides in Loxahatchee FL, placed fifth with a score of 65.957% in the Grand Prix for Freestyle class aboard Ayscha (Welt Hit II x Rouletto), her 10-year-old Oldenburg mare. Gary Vander Ploeg of King City, ON, and his 12-year-old Oldenburg sired by Donnerhall, Degas, finished fifth in the Grand Prix for Special test with a score of 64.511%.
In the Grand Prix Freestyle, Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, ON earned 66.175% for a sixth place finish riding her Olympic partner Gran Gesto (Grannox x Goldstern), a 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Brinc Ltd. and Anne Welch.
The international judging panel for the CDI-W Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge included Stephen Clarke (FEI 5*—GBR), Gary Rockwell (FEI 5*—USA), Axel Steiner (FEI 5*—USA), Marian Cunningham (FEI 4*—PER), Lorraine MacDonald (FEI 4*—CAN), Bo Jena (FEI 4*—SW)E, Lilo Fore (FEI 4*—USA) and Sarah Geikie (FEI 3*—USA).