Tina Konyot Does "Justice" To The Zada Dressage Classic

After a full day of heavy rain on Saturday caused the cancellation of the Grand prix Special, the cun came out in full force for Freestyle Day at The Zada Dressage Classic, Sunday, February 17.

It's perfect for Justice because he is this big gangly, little bit of a funny-looking horse, and it's ideal music for him. It's not my choice of music that I love in my life but it's very good for the horse." Justice is a 17.2-hand, chestnut Dutch gelding that Konyot has owned for five years. Konyot prefers jazz, classical, and blues to the music choices used in her freestyle. "It's a little bit Oh, Susannah, a little bit country, which is not my cup of tea, actually, but appropriate for the horse."

Konyot said the most difficult move in her freestyle was the one tempis in a circle that she does at the end. "It's really difficult for any horse. Justice just turned 11 years old in July, so he's not an old-timer doing this. You won't see too many riders demonstrate a move like that." Konyot added that there wasn't a special key to training the movement. "It's something I do well, flying changes. It's not so much about him, it's more about me."

Though the class was a qualifier for Gladstone and the WEG, Konyot has no intentions of aiming Justice for either show. "He's not on my list at all to do that," said Konyot, who placed third and fifth in the Grand Prix USET/WEG qualifier earning 68.467% with Abrikos and 66.200% with Justice. "Both of my horses will end up in the top 10, I'm fairly certain, but I don't believe Justice mentally is capable of handling the situation as far as stress and being able to carry a team. Abrikos has a better chance."

Abrikos is an 11-year-old, 16.1-hand, black Russian stallion owned by Frank Rubin. Konyot got the ride in May and has been competing on him over the summer and now into the winter season. "He's been very successful, scoring 69, 70, 71%. He's right up in the top three right now. He's proven to be a far better Grand Prix horse than anyone ever thought he would be. He's gorgeous. But I also suspect that we have so many good horses that are confirmed. We'll see how it goes. We're showing, we're doing the trials, we'll just do the best we can." Is she aiming for Gladstone with any of her horses? "I'm aiming for tomorrow morning to be honest with you," Konyot said. "I take it one day at a time."

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