Wrapping up the Zada Enterprises LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI at the 32nd annual Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, Robert Dover aboard FBW Kennedy owned by Jane Forbes Clark won the Grand Prix Freestyle, CDI***. The duo topped a field of 12 horses. Dover claimed victory with 77.550%. Canada’s Shannon Dueck of Wellington aboard Korona placed second with 72.025%. Cheri Reiber of Toronto, Ontario, placed third scoring 70.375% with her G Tudor. The class was a Qualifying Competition for the 2004 USET Grand Prix Championship/Olympic Selection Trials.
“It’s rare when you’re riding a horse that while you’re going around you’re thinking – this is amazing! The fun that he has with it and the feeling that I’m on just a wonderful, wonderful, animal,” said Dover about his Freestyle with Kennedy. The duo was performing the kur in competition for the first time. Dover choreographed his kur two months ago, but only received his music two days ago, allowing one practice session with it yesterday. Dover worked with Holland-based Hot Neon via phone and email to construct the music. “It is only 65% finished. They’re just geniuses,” said Dover. “The music came together enough just to perform today, but now they’ll get the video and they’ll tweak it and perfect it. Between now and June, we’ll finish it.”
Dover called the piece “Kennedy’s Melodies” because it’s a string of melodies from the 1920s and ‘30s including Charleston music and tunes like Steam Heat, Hernando’s Hideaway, and Bye Bye Blackbird. Dover notes that FBW Kennedy’s personality reminds him of President John F. Kennedy and ‘cool’ music suits him. “Most horses go to the dressage arena and they ask, why? Kennedy goes down the centerline and says, why not? It’s just like President Kennedy’s famous saying, ‘People ask why, and I ask why not’. That’s really the way he is as a horse. He honestly believes so much in his abilities that it brings out this incredible feeling in the rider that anything is possible.”
Katie Riley And Adonis Win Intermediaire Freestyle, CDI
Katie Riley, 32, of Whitehouse Station, NJ, and Jupiter, FL, topped nine entries to win the Intermediaire Freestyle, CDI, scoring 71.475% with Adonis owned by Horses Unlimited. Michael Shondel of Kinnelon, NJ, earned 71.00% with his Wallaby for second place. Patricia Becker of Lake Forest, IL, scored 70.375% for third aboard Tsunami owned by Leslie Richmann.
“It was a lot of fun. Everything just seemed to come together. It felt fantastic,” said Riley who has had the ride on the 11-year-old stallion by Aalborg for 18 months. Riley is the assistant trainer at Cesar Parra’s stable, Piaffe Performance, and has been in training with Parra for four years. Parra formerly rode Adonis and showed him successfully through 2002. Riley’s freestyle music was entitled Miracles, a kur Parra performed with Adonis. “He was kind enough to let me have it,” said Riley. “I love the music. It’s mainly Spanish guitar.”
Riley noted that she was most proud of the tempi changes. “I got 8s on my changes, which have sometimes been a problem, so it was nice to have it all work today,” she said. “The best part was that I was able to have a lot of fun. I love this horse so much. He’s a pleasure and can be so expressive. To have him so there – I could just sit and smile and relax and have a great time.”
As far as her riding goals, Riley said, “I want to be the very, very best that I can. I work very hard. Cesar has been so wonderful. He’s taught me so much. We just keep on working every day. I’m a firm believer in that the day you stop learning, you should just quit.”