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Wellington, FL - The FEI Grand Prix at the $50,000 Florida Dressage Classic CDI-W, presented by the United States P.R.E. Association, was truly an international event as the top three places went to three different nations on Friday. Sweden's Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven won the event at the Global Dressage Festival, Ashley Holzer of Canada was second and Todd Flettrich finished as highest placed American rider in third place. Vilhelmson-Silfven scored a 72.681% on Don Auriello, a 10 year old Hanoverian by Don Davidoff owned by Lovsta Stuteri, which was impressive since this is his first show in Florida this season. The pair performed the test in a relaxed steady tempo, as if on air, with steadiness and ease. "There is lots of atmosphere here. It's like a really, really big show," said Vilhelmson-Silfven of the newly built Stadium section of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC.) Holzer was pleased with her performance on Breaking Dawn scoring 70.596%. Holzer also spoke of the atmosphere at the show.
"It was a great test for him. He was so well behaved to go into such a big ring. His canter was so relaxed," said Holzer. "These horses have to focus and do their jobs. There has to be that trust. I think this is a great atmosphere to prepare them."
Flettrich actually tied with Holzer also scoring 70.596% on Otto. Flettrich joked as he stood next to Ashley, "I guess they thought you were prettier." Holzer shot back, "I guess you have to work on that." Flettrich continued, "Otto is such a worker, he has such a great heart. I am really looking forward to the Trials. This was such a great experience."
Maribel Alonso, the president of the ground jury for the Grand Prix said of the Grand Prix Competition, "I think generally speaking there were good horses, some making little mistakes here and there and some just unlucky. The atmosphere is very nice. It's not so big so they feel lost, but big enough."
Earlier in the day at the Global Dressage Festival Caroline Roffman scored a 68.737% to win the FEI Prix St Georges class with her horse Pie. Roffman was pleased with the result.
"This was the first show of the season for Pie, a great start. Our last Prix St Georges was last August in the Developing Horse Test (for horses under 9-years-old.) He was very workman-like today. The couple of mistakes were mine," said Roffman. "This is a great facility that is 5 minutes from my barn. It is great to see dressage back in Wellington."
Devon Kane was second in the Prix St. Georges aboard Destiny with a score of 67.579%. Third place went to Sonia Zugel from Ireland riding Ungaro with 64.7989%.
Arlene "Tuny" Page won the National Show Grand Prix with a 68.777% riding Wild One. Tuny spoke about her ride. "This is Wild One's first time out since Gladstone. My goal for this class was to knock the dust off and get back into the ring, and my program," said Page. "I love the facility. It has been a long time coming, but it has been worth the wait because this is finally what international dressage is all about."
Louisa Marcelle-Eadie, competing in only her second show in the national Grand Prix scored a 64.468% for second place on Welt Cup.
Saturday Night at the Global Dressage Festival will be exciting with the FEI Grand Prix Freestlye taking place at 7:00 PM under the lights in the International arena. The National Horse Show schedule remains the same with an 8:00 AM start. The FEI Intermediare I begins at 11:00 AM in the International arena.
For ride times and results, please visit: www.globaldressagefestival.com under the link of dressage show information on the main homepage.