Loxahatchee, Florida – Ryan Yap and Cleopatra scored a 75.526 percent in Second Level competition at Welcome Back to White Fences IV, giving them the honor of having the highest score of the show. Close on their heels was Maria Lithander and Idilio II for the high-score claim was with a score of 72.368 percent in Prix St. Georges competition. The third highest score was earned by Susanne Hamilton riding Lord Locksley to a score of 71.20 percent in Training Level competition. It was one of five wins for Hamilton.
Idilio, a 13-year-old PRE stallion owned by Hampton Green Farms, showed his consistency with his Prix St. Georges win. At Welcome Back to White Fences III, he tied for first in Prix St. Georges competition with Don Bailey, ridden by . Lithander, who is head trainer with Hampton Green Farms, describes the stallion "as a very special horse and very sensitive." His one main fault is that "he tries so hard to get it right for you and it bothers him when he thinks that it's not what you want."
Lithander said the stallion has sired some wonderful foals, one of which, Ibolo, she's hoping to have out on the show circuit next year. She and Hampton Green owner Kim Boyer are also hoping to have Idilio showing Grand Prix next winter. "Its a hard decision to roll the clock back and bring out a horse at a lower level than he had been showing previously, but I think that there are often cases where this is the best thing for a horse to confirm new progress, and especially with a new rider. It really depends on the individual situation," Boyer said. "We are confident that Idilio will be back in the Grand Prix ring, but only when we are certain that he is relaxed and confident in all the movements. Maria has done a fantastic job."
Lithander said one thing she has learned about PRE horses is that "they need time and patience. You can't push them, but once they feel ready, they move right along and learn very quickly." Like so many riders and horses, the Hampton Green Farms team is getting ready to head back to its Michigan base.
The fact that George Williams already migrated back north is what put Yap in the show ring with Cleopatra. The seven-year-old Oldenburg mare is owned by Betsy Juliano, who trains with Williams. Both Williams and Yap work with Kathy Connelly. Yap has remained in Florida a bit later into the season and so this year, like last year, he took over helping Juliano with Cleopatra. "It's been a good system. Since we both train with Kathy, we can help one another," Yap said of his tag-teaming with Williams. And Yap doesn't mind helping out one bit, especially with Cleopatra, whom he calls "a very lovely mare."
It was also a good show weekend for the team of Bill Warren and Bill McMullin who combined earned eight blue and red ribbons during the two days of competition, held at Ingred Lin's White Fences Equestrian Center April 4-5. Other multiple winners included Jennifer Huber, Diane Glossman, Hans Dressler and Carrie Schopf. On Sunday, Warren and McMullin battled it out in Second Level competition with Xanur HM and Cenia.
Warren and Xanur, owned by Marsha Fahey, took first with a score of 67.619 percent, while McMullin and Cenia, owned by Amy Borner, finished right on their heels in second with a score of 67.143. "Bill and I couldn't be happier with our horses and our students," Warren said. "We had riders and horses from Training Level through Prix St. Georges with great results by all. And the show is such a nice atmosphere that we always look forward to the Welcome Back to White Fences series. The hospitality by Ingred and her staff is wonderful!"
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