Del Mar, CA - Para-Equestrian Dressage riders concluded the 2012 Rancho Valencia CPEDI3* on Sunday performing their Freestyle routines. With the pressure of earning a qualifying score for the 2012 London Paralympics Selection Trials behind them, riders were able to relax and enjoy their final competition day at the Del Mar Horse Park. Topping the Grade IV Freestyle competition was Lynne Poole (CAN) and her Welsh Cob Frisbee with a 66.167%. In Grade III Briana Beckworth (USA) and Basquewille captured their division title. Earning the blue in Grade II, with a 64% was Ann Arbor resident Sydney Collier (USA) and VPRH Pegasus vom Niehaus-Hof. In Grade Ia, Laura Goldman (USA) took the win with Morgan Webb-Liddle (AUS) following for second just behind Goldman.
Ten horse and rider combinations successfully finished the weekend under FEI Judges Hanneke Gerritsen 5* (NED), Marco Orsini 4* (FRA), and Ulf Wilken 5*.
As always, Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire and Keenan Productions created a superb awards ceremony for the showcase of champions. Honored for her multiple wins over the weekend was Canadian Lynne Poole. The Grade IV rider took a chance at transporting her two horses to Del Mar and her efforts were rewarded. Poole earned the top placing in both the Individual and Team competition aboard Vasco E on Thursday and Friday. Not to be outdone was the dependable Welsh Cob, Frisbee, who topped the freestyle Grade IV division with Poole. She commented, "I have always loved the freestyles, they are the most wonderful thing ever invented. I was so proud of him once the music began. We knew our music very well, and he was a very good boy. Vasco E had a great weekend as well but he became a little tired on Sunday."
With only one month until the Houston Dressage Society CPEDI3* April 26-29, 2012 Lynne will be waiting to hear about the criteria for the London Paralympics for the Canada Team. Poole noted, "It would be a dream to go to London but we will have to wait and see."
Poole's results have been the outcome of great riding mixed with top training. Poole continually trains with Karen Davis who is originally form Australia. Poole explained, "Karen is a great trainer who hails from the country of Australia. She holds the record as the first Australian to win a CDI Grand Prix out of Australia. I feel blessed to have her and I could not have done this without her. She maintains a full training barn back home and still supported me and came on the road with me. She is an exceptional trainer who offers the right amount of push and the right amount of relaxation. She is someone that is going to hug you when you win your first CDI and she is someone who will tell you when to step it up."
Since the 2000 Olympics, Karen Davis has been involved with the Para-Equestrians. During the Sydney games, Karen donated horses for the Para-Equestrians use. Her support for the Para-Equestrians and Team Canada is unparalleled.
Following Lynne Poole and Frisbee in the ribbon ceremony for the Freestyle competition was Susan Treabess (USA) aboard Fugitivo XII, for second, and in third was Lynne Poole (CAN) and Vasco E. In fourth place was Mary Jordan (USA) and Navarro and in fifth was Holly Bergay (USA) and Rubino Bellissimo.
In the Grade III division Briana Beckworth (USA) and Mette Rosencratnz's, Basquewille topped her division earning a 59.083%. In the Grade II division Sydney Collier (USA) and VPRH Pegasus vom Niehaus-Hof performed an outstanding freestyle, ending the weekend for Sydney on a high note. Sydney explained, "This has been an interesting weekend. We have definitely improved since Florida. I was very happy with my Freestyle on Sunday because we had never practiced the freestyle as a pair and Peg was perfect in every way. I was so happy with our performance that I could not stop smiling."
In March 2011, Sydney had just become classified as a Para-Equestrian when she was invited to clinic with Debbie MacDonald and borrow VPRH Pegases vom Niehaus-Hof. "Peg and I work really well together," smiled Sydney. "He is a very adjustable horse and he always wants to do his best for you. I have been looking forward to seeing Peg all year long and when I arrived in California and found out I could use him for the show I was ecstatic."
During the Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire, Iana Gonzalaz worked with both Sydney Collier and Laura Goldman, who is a Grade Ia rider. Both Para-Equestrians appreciated the training and assistance they received from VPRH Pegasus's owners and trainer Iana Gonazalez. Plans for the coming month for Sydney and Laura include a Para-Equestrian boot camp in Maine followed by the Houston Dressage Society CPEDI3* at the end of April.
Earning the second place position in the Grade II Para-Equestrians was Barbara Adside (USA) aboard the 1999 Pan American Games Gold medal horse, Jazzman, owned by Donna Richardson. "Jazzman was fabulous today," Adside expressed. "We only received the music and the plans for the freestyle 24 hours ahead so Jazzman had to learn quickly. As usual Jazzman took everything in stride with no complaints."
She continued, "I really want to thank Donna Richardson for loaning me a fantastic horse. Without Donna, I would not be here. She let me use Jazzman and she continually trained me throughout the weekend. From Cauleen Glass to Victoria Fowler it has taken a small group of key components. I appreciate the support and the time that Donna, Cauleen, Victoria, and all of the other trainers, owners, and show officials who made this possible."
In Grade Ia, Laura Goldman (USA) took home multiple blue accolades with her high scores aboard VPRH Pegasus vom Niehaus-Hof. Hot on the heels of Goldman was Australian Para-Equestrian Morgan Webb-Liddle aboard Vallos Romeo, owned by Cheri Ellstrom of Temecula, CA. This was 19 year-old Morgan's second international Para-Equestrian competition but first trip the United States for the Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire. Webb-Liddle has only been classified for 18 months and within those 18 months she began working with Hill Cottage Dressage and Charlotte Pedersen and Kylie Burton.
Grand Prix rider Charlotte Pedersen commented, " I have been very pleased with the progress over the weekend. I have only taught Morgan since December and within that short amount of time she has done amazing. Over the last ten days, we had Morgan on Vallos Romeo every day and sometimes twice a day. It can be hard for her to sit-up straight due to her disability but her desire to work hard overcomes everything."
She continued, "On behalf of Morgan, Morgan's family, and myself I want to thank Vallos Romeo's owner for allowing Morgan to use this horse." From the time Morgan crawled over the 18 hand horse to the awards ceremony on Sunday evening Vallos Romeo continued with his kind demeanor and great personality.
In addition to acknowledging the owner and trainers, Morgan wanted to thank the United States Para-Equestrians for opening their arms to an Australian. They also would like to thank Para-Equestrian Erin Alberda who arranged the horse loaning and they wanted to thank the show officials and organizers for a spectacular horse show.
On Monday, talented equestrian, Mette Rosencrantz will be giving a clinic to both Para-Equestrians and able-bodied equestrians. The clinic will be given at the Del Mar Horse Park in Del Mar, CA. Houston Dressage Society CPEDI3* April 26-29, 2012 will be the final CPEDI3* in the United States prior to the 2012 London Paralympic Selection Trials.
Para-Equestrian Freestyle Test March 11, 2012:
Name, Horse, Country, Total Score
Laura Goldman, VPRH Pegasus vom Niehaus-HOF, USA, 59.583%
Morgan Webb Liddle, Vallos Romeo, AUS 58.333%
Sydney Collier, VPRH Pegasus vom Niehaus-HOF, USA, 64.000%
Barbara Adside, Jazzman, USA, 60.750%
Briana Beckworth, Basquewille, USA, 59.083%
Lynne Poole, Frisbee, CAN, 66.167%
Susan Treabess, Fugitivo XII, USA, 65.667%
Lynne Poole, Vasco E, CAN, 63.500%
Mary Jordan, Navarro, USA, 58.083%
Holly Bergay, Rubino Bellissimo, USA, 58.083%
Para-Equestrian Individual Test March 9, 2012:
Name, Horse, Country, Total Score
Laura Goldman, VPRH Pegasus vom Niehaus-HOF, USA, 64.250%
Morgan Webb Liddle, Vallos Romeo, AUS 51.50%
Sydney Collier, VPRH Pegasus vom Niehaus-HOF, USA, 60.714%
Barbara Adside, Jazzman, USA, 55.238%
Briana Beckworth, Basquewille, USA, 63.056%
Lynne Poole, Vasco E, CAN, 64.032%
Lynne Poole, Frisbee, CAN, 62.796%
Susan Treabess, Fugitivo XII, USA, 62.742%
Holly Bergay, Rubino Bellissimo, USA, 62.419%
Photo Credit: All Photographs taken at the 2012 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CPEDI3* in Del Mar, CA at Del Mar Horse Park. Photo © 2012 Lindsay Y McCall