Wellington, FL - The final day of Grand Prix competition at the AGDF 3 CDI-W presented by the U.S. P.R.E. Association, and the third week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), concluded with the Grand Prix Special, presented by Yeguada de Ymas. Today's competition was held in the Global International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), and showcased a clean sweep by the Americans for the top three placings. Arlene "Tuny" Page (USA) rode her own Woodstock to the top of the class, winning with a score of 73.059%.
The FEI Grand Prix Special is the most demanding test in the dressage world, requiring more passage, one-tempis changes, and variations in the transitions into and out of piaffe and passage. Page and Woodstock, her KWPN gelding, showed excellent consistency throughout the test and impressed both his rider and the judges with his professionalism.
Page said, however, that she knows they have the potential to earn even higher scores as the season progresses. "I need to keep improving my riding to accommodate his energy and I felt like I got closer today. There are so many points still there, and my goal is to improve his confidence that he can move like that and I can ride like that show by show." She attributes their recent successes to her new approach of not riding how he might react but instead "trying to be in the moment with this horse and allowing me to ride with very close focus; he loves it!" Page and Woodstock will join the other members of the top three in the CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms, at the next week of competition at the AGDF on February 11-14.
Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) continued her superbly successful first CDI at the Grand Prix level with Goerklintgaards Dublet, the 13-year-old Danish gelding (Diamond Hit x La Costa) owned by Diane Perry. The pair was very close to Page and Woodstock, earning a 72.902%.
Perry-Glass, when asked how it felt to be new to the level and sitting between established dressage competitors such as Page and Francis, responded, "I'm lucky to have two awesome women next to me. They're strong competitors and good friends." She and Dublet have worked to build their relationship to develop the power, skills, and confidence to move up to the big tour, and she thanked Debbie MacDonald for helping her to reaffirm and re-establish their partnership.
Third place went to Shelly Francis (USA) riding Patricia Stempel's Danilo, the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Annabelle). The pair earned a 71.900%, capping a very successful weekend for Francis, who also placed sixth in the FEI Grand Prix and third in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with Stempel's Doktor. Francis noted that one of the challenges Danilo poses is his extraordinary energy and power. She said, "If I ride full out all the time, he'll go over the edge, so I do a lot of interval training to keep him sane and happy."
She and Page also discussed the challenge of preparing horses who spent the summer and early fall competing in Europe to come home and peak for the winter season. Both riders are fitting up their horses as they progress through the shows with the goal of steadily improving their performances and earning spots on the squad that will travel to Europe. Perry-Glass would also like to make that squad, but she, like Page and Francis, is approaching the season one show at a time.
Judge Janet Foy expressed great enthusiasm over the quality of today's rides. "The panel was very excited about these horses, and we could have been closer to 78% with all three of these ladies had there been no mistakes. Judges hate mistakes! We're really rooting for all of them, but it is still early and they're still getting stronger and used to the venue. I think in a couple of weeks we'll see scores closer to 80% and we love that."
The third week of AGDF concludes tomorrow with the FEI Intermediaire 1 Freestyle, presented by Chesapeake Dressage Institute. For full results and more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
Final Results for FEI Grand Prix Special presented by Yegauda de Ymas
1. Arlene Page (USA), Woodstock, 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Havel x Mirania x Contango owned by Arlene Page: 73.922%, 71.078%, 71.961%, 73.137%, 75.196%, 73.059%
2. Kasey Perry-Glass (USA), Goerklintgaards Dublet, 2003 Danish Warmlood gelding by Diamond Hit x La Costa x Olympic Ferro owned by Diane Perry: 71.765%, 72.255%, 71.863%, 72.157%, 76.471%, 72.902%
3. Shelly Francis (USA), Danilo, 2004 Hanoverian gelding by De Niro x Annabella x Andiamo owned by Patricia Stempel: 71.275%, 72.549%, 72.745%, 71.176%, 72.157%, 71.980%
4. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE), Benetton Dream, 2004 Hanoverian stallion by Brentano II x Rotkäppchen x Rotspon owned by Lövsta Stuteri: 71.569%, 71.471%, 70.000%, 71.275%, 71.078%, 71.078%
5. Lisa Wilcox (USA), Galant, 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Escuro x Bellissima x De Niro owned by Jacqueline Shear: 69.216%, 69.118%, 71.471%, 70.588%, 70.686%, 70.216%
6. Karen Pavicic (CAN), Don Daiquiri, 2002 Oldenburg gelding by Don Cardinale x Neastate III x Rubinstein I owned by Jayne Essig: 71.176%, 69.804%, 68.922%, 69.706%, 71.176%, 70.157%
7. Mette Rosencrantz (USA), Marron, 2000 Danish Warmblood gelding by Michellino x Manoela x Woernitx owned by Mette Rosencrantz: 71.275%, 67.745%, 68.627%, 69.216%, 72.255%, 69.824%
8. Kelly Layne (AUS), Udon P, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hierarch x Maleida x Uniform owned by Whistlejacket Farm LLC: 67.451%, 70.392%, 70.098%, 69.902%, 70.882%, 69.745%