It could have been worse as far as vehicle breakdowns go. Susanne Hamilton’s aging GMC truck made it to their stabling in White Fences Estates, Loxahatchee from Ocala, Florida, and then refused to go any further. So Susanne and her fellow traveler Tyrelle Keslin settled their horses in for the night and focused on the next two days of showing. Fortunately the hassle was worth the trip. Hamilton’s young (2002) Rhinelander stallion by Dolman aced the show’s lower level high score, a 76.8 in Training Level 4. Riding Bettina Hinckley’s Holsteiner mare, Such a Rose in the same test, Hamilton hit the 70% mark as well, placing third.
For Hamilton a professional from New England who has her training operation in Ocala for the winter, Welcome Back to White Fences I was a great choice to kick off her winter season, in spite of the fact she had an unexpected longer stay in South Florida. “It is such a nice friendly show.” said Hamilton. “Good judges, good food, and an easy atmosphere to train and show my young stallion. With her eye on the 2007 Markel/USEF Young Horse classes, Hamilton is looking forward to promoting her RPS1 Approved stallion who is by Dollman, a Donnerhall grandson competed by Rudolph Zeilinger who recently died of colic.
Both Hamilton and Keslin who also did well in the Amateur Fourth Level classes with her own Ferris Degen took advantage of the close proximity to Pam Goodrich who trains in the White Fences Dressage community in Loxahatchee.
White Fences, A Dressage Oasis in South Florida
Olympian Carol Lavell hacked over from her White Fences facility on her own Much Ado, to handily win the FEI Intermediaire I Open with the KWPN gelding by Quatro with a whopping 77%.
Ingred Lin’s White Fences Equestrian center is the original site of the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, now held in March at the McPhail’s Equestrian Estates just a short hack from WFEC. For many the February show was the first of a belated dressage season in Florida delayed by the Equine Herpes Virus outbreak which hit the Wellington community in December/January.
While the dressage community was unscathed by any outbreaks, diligent quarantine efforts and bio security measures delayed the show season. But for most dressage trainers and competitors it just gave more time to train and prepare for the upcoming CDI competitions and qualifiers for the Pan American Games, World Cup Finals, and USEF National Championships.
Kathy Priest warmed up for the Gold Coast CDI on Shostakovich in the Grand Prix under Judge Betsy Berry with a 63.958%. Stabled at Patrick Burssens' Ida Farms in tne nearby Little Ranches community, Kentuckian Priest has several competion and sale horses in town for the winter season.
Starting off their 2007 season was Cesar Parra on the fabulous Furst Fabio (Rhinelander by Fidermark x Worldchamp), who won 4th 2 with a 70.227%.
Parra also debuted his Bundeschampionate reserve champion Donavan. Upon Donavan's U.S. debut, Parra told eurodressage, "He was all business, and a pleasure to ride and show. I said I never wanted to ride a stallion again, but My God he is unbelievable. What a horse. He is so much fun. He won his class with 75%."