Wellington, FL - The fourth day of competition at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded today with a win for Shelly Francis (USA) and Doktor in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W, presented by The Axel Johnson Group. Competition at AGDF 7 concludes tomorrow with the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle, presented by Engel & Völkers.
Francis and Doktor won the class with a 73.373%, narrowly edging fellow American Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet who finished in second place with a 73.137%. Kelly Layne (AUS) and Udon P earned a 70.157% for third place.
Shelly Francis and Doktor, owned by Patricia Stempel, have consistently placed amongst the top three for the past two seasons at AGDF and have always seemed to fall just short of the victory gallop, but today, the duo wowed the judging panel as the final ride in the class, just nudging Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet to second place.
"In a funny way I'm not always sure what feels good. I kept thinking about what Robert [Dover] said to me before I went in about the half halts. When he got a little bit strong I was trying to just really sit in there," said Francis. "He really put out effort for me today and he felt like he was going nice and steady. There were no real hiccups in the rhythm anywhere, from what I felt." The duo finished one of their most fluid and harmonious tests, as Francis rode with a bit more contact in the bridle than she typically asks for from the 2003 Hanoverian gelding (Diamond Hit x Gurena).
She described, "I was really concentrating every step. For me, there was a little bit of sweat dripping off my head, but he was very there with me trying to do everything. It was a little bit more contact than I usually ride him in, but it also shows me that I'm trying to be a little too light sometimes. It made him stay a bit steadier and the passages felt really steady. Sometimes he can get a little hoppy there, but today he just felt in my hand and very nice."
"I'm still a little bit surprised that Kasey [Perry-Glass] didn't whoop my butt to be honest," laughed Francis. "It feels good. It's kind of a little reward here and there and I'm happy for the rest of the year now."
With a talented string of Large Tour horses moving up through the ranks, Francis has been pleased with the steady progress of each of her mounts, but incredibly impressed with the consistent improvement of Doktor, her most experienced partner. "It felt better than some of my other rides. I have to realize what they feel like versus what's easier for me to sit on. Sometimes it's not so easy to make a nice ride," she explained.
Perry-Glass and "Dublet" continue to add top place finishes to their incredibly successful campaign in Large Tour competition this season. "I was pleased with the last center line with the passage to piaffe to passage," said Perry-Glass. "I think he was a little bit tired through the test today. He didn't have as much energy as I was planning on having, but that's a learning experience for both of us in our first year at this level, just learning how much to school him during the show and everything."
As the pair still continues to learn and understand what their best preparations are during competition weeks at the Grand Prix level, Perry-Glass had nothing but praise for "Dublet" on the gelding's growth in both confidence and stature, as the pair capped off just their third Large Tour CDI competition together with another top three finish. "With our warm-ups, we do a little bit of light stretching in the trot and a little bit of lateral work. Then we'll go straight into practicing each movement. Typically I just warm-up for like twenty minutes and that's plenty for him. I'll get into the warm-up thirty minutes ahead of time just to walk him too," explained Perry-Glass.
Kelly Layne and Udon P produced one of their best tests of the winter circuit, receiving a 70.157%, which thrilled Layne. She has been working on their balance and fluidness throughout this past year, which is evident in their increase in scores this afternoon for their first top three finish this season.
"We've been working a lot on the smoothness and the harmony. He's a big horse, nearly 18 hands, so keeping that balance and uphill feeling has been key, but today I had super self-carriage and he was just so obedient," noted Layne. "I was very happy and even though there were tiny little things, he was so obedient and so easy in the contact. Those are the things that we've worked on and you can see them now."
"I will probably do one more CDI with him here this season and see if we put ourselves in that top eight position to go to Europe, which would be two more shows there and see if it's possible to finish in the top four for Australia," she elaborated.
Competition at AGDF concludes tomorrow with the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle, presented by Engel & Völkers, beginning at 9:00 a.m. For more information on AGDF and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
Final Results FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W, presented by The Axel Johnson Group
1. Shelly Francis (USA), Doktor, 2003 Oldenburg gelding by Diamond Hit x Gurena x Renoir I owned by Patricia Stempel: 72.255%, 73.922%, 73.431%, 75.098%, 72.157%, 73.373%
2. Kasey Perry-Glass (USA), Goerklintgaards Dublet, 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding by Diamond Hit x La Costa x Olympic Ferro owned by Diane Perry: 71.961%, 76.569%, 72.549%, 73.235%, 71.373%, 73.137%
3. Kelly Layne (AUS), Udon P, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hierarch x Maleida x Uniform owned by Whistlejacket Farm LLC: 69.706%, 69.314%, 70.924%, 70.000%, 71.471%, 70.157%
4. Megan Lane (CAN), Caravella, 2001 Dutch Warmblood mare by Contango x P.Riviera x Riverman owned by Megan Lane: 69.118%, 72.059%, 69.216%, 69.020%, 70.490%, 69.980%
5. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE), Benetton Dream, 2004 Hanoverian stallion by Brentano II x Rotkappchen x Rotspon owned by Lövsta Stuteri: 68.235%, 69.020%, 71.275%, 67.549%, 72.647%, 69.745%
6. Chris Von Martels (CAN), Divertimento, 2002 Westphalian gelding by Di Versace x Fatima x Farragamo owned by Lövsta Stuteri: 71.471%, 68.824%, 68.627%, 69.020%, 70.490%, 69.686%
7. Brittany Fraser (CAN), All In, 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Tango x Leontine x Damiro owned by Brittany Fraser: 65.686%, 68.235%, 67.059%, 68.333%, 70.098%, 67.882%
8. Charlotte Jorst (USA), Kastels Akeem Foldager, 2002 Danish Warmblood gelding by Akinos x Lobelia Foldager x Loran owned by Charlotte Jorst: 67.451%, 67.157%, 68.137%, 64.412%, 68.333%, 67.098%