Wellington Dressage, the first of three dressage shows at the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, kicked off today at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. Wellington Dressage is a four-day show, February 5-8, featuring qualifiers for the Olympic Games Selection Trials, USET national championships, and the GAIG/USDF Regional Championships.
Nancy Later riding her own Alexis-D won the $1,000 USET Prix St. Georges, a Qualifying Competition for the USET Intermediaire I Championship with a score of 68.250%, topping a class of 14 entries. The judges were all tightly in agreement; scores were: 271 from Joan MaCartney at H; 271 from Jessica Ransehousen at C; and 277 from Lorraine McDonald at B. In second place, Patricia Becker riding Tsunami earned 66.917%. Third place went to Catherine Morelli riding BeSe with a score of 66.583%.
“I was really excited because she was concentrating on her work and focused on me through the whole test,” said Later, 40, of Wellington, FL. With the Bayer/USET Gold Coast Jumper Classic CSI*** taking place at the same time as the dressage show, Later said the atmosphere was the hardest element the mare had to cope with. “The fact that she was being herself in a place like that, with the big ring that she hadn’t seen before, I was thrilled. She went to work with me and stayed with me even with all the busy-ness and windiness. It was so much fun to ride that test. It was really great.”
Alexis-D is an 11-year-old, 16.1-hand, bay Oldenburg by Archipel (also the sire of today’s second placed mare, Tsunami) out of a Guerdelain II mare. Later purchased the Grand Prix mare in Germany in March 2003. The two have been in training with Diederik Wigmans in Holland since June and returned to Florida in November. Later believes Alexis-D has what it takes to represent the US as a team horse. “She for sure has the talent. She has super grand prix movement. Every day that I’m on her is the most fun I ever had riding,” said Later. “She’s so light on her feet. She has super pirouettes.” In today’s class, Later pinpointed those pirouettes as the best part of her performance. “It was fun to have the time to go in, to make the canter really little, to turn, to go out when I wanted – that was a time when I was really having fun.”
Susan Dutta and Romeo DC Win $1000 FEI Prix St George
In the $1,000 FEI Prix St. Georges, Section A, Susan Dutta, 35, of Wellington, FL, took the win aboard her Romeo DC, owned by The Dutta Corporation, topping a class of 17 entries. The judges awarded her 66.50 % and were consistent in their scoring – Maryal Barnett at E awarded 264 points; Brenda Minor at C scored 271; and Sarah Geikie at M gave 263. Ashley Holzer riding Gambol placed second with 65.750%. Marco Bernal aboard Monopoly placed third, earning 64.833%
“I was very happy with my young horse,” said Dutta, who is showing Romeo DC in his first season in the small tour. She has owned and ridden the seven-year-old bay, 17-hand gelding by Rubenstein since he was three – a gift from husband Tim Dutta on their fifth wedding anniversary. “He concentrated and listened to me the entire test. I was worried about the distractions with all that’s going on here, but he was fine.”
Prior to her test, Dutta warmed up with Klaus Balkenhol, Coach for the US Dressage team, who has worked with her in Germany and the US, but was helping her for the first time at a show. Overall, Dutta said she was pleased with the ride, noting she had only one mistake in the three’s. “It was conservative but steady. These rides are building blocks to spectacular,” said Dutta.
Shannon Dueck and KRS Pegasus Top Prix St. George With Student Cheryl Meisner Second in First Prix St George
In the afternoon class, Canadian Shannon Dueck, 41, now of Wellington, FL, riding KRS Pegasus won the $1,000 FEI Prix St. Georges, Section B. The duo topped 18 entries with a score of 68.917%. The judges’ scores varied – 264 at E from Maryal Barnett; 275 at C from Brenda Minor; and 288 at M from Sarah Geikie. Dueck’s student Cheryl Meisner placed second aboard Chimon, scoring 65.750% in her first ever Prix St. George competition. Marco Bernal riding La Spezia placed third, earning 64.417%.
“I was so thrilled with my horse,” said Dueck, who is a part owner with The Pegasus Group. “This was the first Prix St. Georges where I’ve actually tried to ride him for what he can give me rather than just steer him around like a green baby, and he gave me more because of that. We got tighter pirouettes and he was a little more on from behind.” Dueck said that the best part of Pegasus’s performance was that he maintained a high degree of collection throughout the test. “I got a bunch of 8s, so I’m pretty happy with that,” she beamed.
KRS Pegasus is a six-year-old (turning seven in April), 17.3-hand, Dutch warmblood gelding by Havidoff out of a Bismarck mare that Dueck has been riding since he was four. His markings make him a standout. “He’s bay with four white sox and a big white stripe, he’s actually pinto,” said Dueck. She purchased Pegasus from Bert Rutten of Holland and also trains there with him.
Dueck foresees Pegasus as her future mount to represent Canada. “I’ve got one grand prix horse (Korona) and I would love Pegasus to be a second horse for me to pick from for 2006 and certainly 2008 for the Olympics.”