Shelly Francis, Grand Prix Diva at 2003 Palm Beach Dressage Derby

In the sweltering heat Shelly Francis won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special in three star CDI classes of the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. The Derby, which is considered to be Dressage in Florida's most prestigious competition of the circuit, attracted large crowds who were offered three days of top dressage competition in the toasting sun.

The CDI leg of the 2003 Palm Beach Dressage Derby offered various strong winners such as Tina Konyot, Dr Cesar Parra, Shannon Oldham-Dueck and Jan Brons, but only Shelly Francis was able to establish a double victory that weekend. Aboard the 16.2 hands high gelding Gala, Francis scored 67.792% in the Grand Prix and 67.960% in the Special, twice beating Israelian Oded Shimoni on his Dutch bred Glenstern.

The 13-year old Rhinelander Gala (Goldstrand x Foxtrot) is owned by Patricia Stempel and has been ridden by Francis since he was three. Known for his temperamental attitude, Gala stayed focused for Derby, hosted on the premises of Mary Ann and Walter McPhail in West Palm Beach, Florida. Francis is located in Woodstock, VT, but has come to Florida with the intention to make Gala peak at Grand Prix level this 2003 show season.

The 44-year old Shelly Francis became known on the international CDI dressage scene aboard the Hanoverian stallion Pikant. Francis was a USET American Dressage team member at the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome.

by Astrid Appels

Related Links
Scores 2003 Palm Beach Dressage Derby
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