Wellington, FL - United States clinched the win over Canada after earning superior scores in the Individual Test competition at the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3*. After Thursday's Team Test results the United States forged ahead in the Team competition. After Saturday's Individual Tests, the United States secured the win with an 8.14 percentage lead over Canada. First-class dressage is in the air at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center where top Dressage riders in the world are competing at the 2012 World Dressage Masters and top Para-Equestrians are competing at the CPEDI3*. For the Para-Equestrian Dressage riders this show is an opportunity to attain qualifying scores prior to the 2012 London Paralympic Selection Trials. This is also a chance to acquire feedback before London from F.E.I. judges, Katherine Lucheschi (ITA), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Carlos Lopes (POR).
Representing the United States was Mary Jordan (Grade IV) of Wells, ME aboard Sebastian, Dale Dedrick (Grade II) from Ann Arbor, MI on Bonifatius, Rebecca Hart (Grade II) of Erie, PA aboard Lord Ludger and Jonathan Wentz (Grade Ib) on NTEC Jabriel from Richardson,TX and Chef d'Equipe Missy Ransehousen.
Representing the Canadian Team was Lauren Barwick (Grade II) on Off To Paris, Ashley Gowanlock (Grade Ib) aboard Maile, Jody Schloss (Grade Ia) with Inspector Rebus, and Lynne Poole (Grade IV) with Vasco E and Chef d'Equipe Elizabeth Quigg-Robinson.
First team horse to proceed down the centerline was 2008 gold and silver Paralympian Lauren Barwick (CAN) with her Oldenburg mare, Off To Paris. Lauren and Paris set the bar at 71.349%. The next team horse and rider combination in the ring was Dr. Dale Dedrick (USA) and Bonifatius in Grade II. The duo presented a precise test resulting in an admirable 70.749%. Third to compete in the team competition was Jonathan Wentz (USA) and NTEC Jabriel in Grade Ib, the pair attained a 69.928%. Taking the lead after Jonathan was teammate and 2008 Paralympian Rebecca Hart with Lord Luger. The pair earned a 73.413% with a powerful and elegant test. After the break, Grade Ib equestrian, Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) and Lauren Barwick's 2008 Paralympic horse, Maile earned a 70.072%. Canadian Jody Schloss and Inspector Rebus in Grade Ia, was the third rider for Canada scoring a 66.167%. With only the Grade IV riders left to compete, Lynne Poole (CAN) and Vasco E completed their test with a 61.720% while Mary Jordan and Sebastian rounded out the day with a 67.957%. With the combination of Thursday's Team Test results, the United States would continue their lead earning 425.559 over Canada's 417.419 with the lowest scores dropped from each day.
Mary noted about the team, "I think today's win was absolutely incredible. Everybody rose to the occasion to produce the best scores that they knew how. We did not like being in silver position last weekend and we wanted to win gold in our home country. It was very exciting how everybody pulled their "A" game together to get those scores. The judging was great, fair, but tough and we all rode for the points. It was exciting to be part of that."
She continued, "As for Sebastian who represented the team in Grade IV, I am very excited about him. I feel like the degree of training we got in between both shows resulted in a feeling that every time I swung my leg over more and more of his potential is coming out. He is a fantastic horse and I am very blessed to have his owner Deecie Denison of Vermont. Deecie loaned me her horse and it's a gift from above. For an owner to take a plunge and support a rider with a fabulous horse, in this sport, that's huge. I adore that horse, he is like one of my own. That horse loves to compete and I just want to bring out the best in him because he is bringing out the best in me; I am looking forward to selection trials. This gave us a good indicator of what to work on and now we are going to go for it and I know my teammates are going to go for it as well."
Saturday's Individual Tests were not only about earning leading scores for the Team members but achieving supreme results individually. Continuing his domination of Grade IV over both weeks of Florida's CPEDI3* events, Ireland rider James Dwyer and Orlando topped his grade with a 70.538% just above Mary Jordan (USA) and Sebastian. In the third position of the Grade IV riders was Robin Brueckmann (USA) and Radetzky. Robin arrived in Florida on Wednesday with everything she needed and one less limb. On November 2, 2012 Robin had her right leg removed due to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.
Robin explained, "For 18 years I had Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). My leg wasn't useful, it was painful, and I didn't have any motor function. I spoke with my doctors, I talked to four prosthesis doctors, I went to amputee support groups, and I did a lot of research. My decision is not a common treatment for RSD because it may not remove the nerve pain. However, the risk paid off. I do not have RSD pain and my mobility is already better. My riding is in flux however because I had to change all kinds of equipment, my breeches don't fit, my boots don't fit, I have to adjust the stirrups, and there are many items that have been a big change."
She continued, "The first time I went into the ring on Thursday was the first day I had ridden him in spurs since my surgery so I didn't know what to expect. I am thrilled to be here and just show up. I wasn't supposed to be able to ride for three months and it is not even 3months, I am pushing the envelope."
Robin and Radetzky have been a proven partnership for years winning numerous able-bodied F.E.I. small tour awards. Robin noted, "I was very happy with him this week and I am elated to just be here and compete. I am thrilled to be here and I am grateful to Kai (Handt) for helping me here in Florida."
In the Grade III division, Eleanor Brimmer (USA) of Wayzata, MN and her Holsteiner gelding Carino H. Eleanor achieved a 61.111% completing a long awaited qualification score for the Paralympic Selection Trials.
"This has been a very long road for me," expressed Eleanor. "My first attempt at a CPEDI3* was two years ago with a different horse and I was bucked off while waiting to enter the arena. Since that aborted first attempt, I have been training intensely. While success in the show ring has been slow in coming, I feel that each trip makes me a better rider and stronger competitor. I'm really excited about the untapped potential I have with Carino, our best days are still ahead of us."
She continued, "I would really like to thank my Mother, Liza MacMillan who co-owns Carino with me, her faith in us as a combination means a lot to me. I'd also like to thank Roz Kinstler, who I had only met twice before coming down to Florida to work with her for the winter. It was a leap of faith on both our parts but thankfully the risk has paid off. In addition I would like to thank Pam Goodrich and her staff who have been responsible for Carino's care since he has arrived in Florida Their meticulous work has also been instrumental in my success."
For the Grade II para-equestrians, Rebecca Hart's (USA) 73.413% aboard Lord Luger would earn the blue for Saturday's Individual competition. In the second position was Canadian Lauren Barwick and Off To Paris at 71.349%. Securing the third Grade II position was Dr. Dale Dedrick (USA) and Bonifatius of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion Jonathan Wentz (USA) and NTEC Richter Scale earned a 71.014% for an accurate Ib Individual Test. Jonathan would also capture the third place in Ib on Thursday with NTEC Jabriel. Between Jonathan's rides, Canadian Ashley Gowanlock and Maile earned a 70.072%.
Jon commented, "I thought the Individual test was really good today. I feel that Richter rode equal to how he rode at the National Championships in Saugerties. He is a very consistent horse but his ceiling is probably 71 or 72. Where as Gabe's bad days are in the 70's so I can't complaine about that. Since Saugerties I haven't had a lot of time to ride because I broke my foot. I have only ridden Gabe a small amount of times since I arrived in Florida so I haven't had the time to learn on him."
He continued, "I was really happy with Happy Comly who helped me out last week and I am grateful for Kai (Handt) and Rachel Zent who owns both of my horses. Rachel really wants to see Gabe succeed. This week was a great way to test to see if Gabe was team potential. He really is a great team horse and he showed that today with his tempo which remained the same throughout. He may have gotten a little low at one point but if I can keep that tempo and work on keeping him up, he is going to be pretty amazing.
Ohioan and Grade Ia para-equestrian Laurietta Oakleaf and her Friesian stallion, Niekele fan Busenitz, stepped up this week after a consistent second place finish in the first CPEDI3* in Florida. After an exciting first week Laurietta and her Florida trainer, Kendra Kent, modified their already wonderful tests resulting in a first place finish on both Thursday's Team Test and Saturday's Individual Test.
Laurietta commented, "This week we wanted to work more on precision and being more technical. My horse has a wonderful walk, and he wants to please. To get here we have been working on getting my horse fit and focusing on my personal goals. When you have cancer you realize that things aren't as rough as you thought they were originally. For me it's about putting a smile on, being approachable, and waking up every day realizing it's a new day. I am so proud of Niekele, he has come into himself, his mind is focused, and now he is starting to become the horse I knew he would be."
She continued, "My sponsors and my trainers in Ohio and Florida have been really working on keeping my focus and helping me to work towards this goal. My sponsors include Alex Gerdeng, Nutrena, Ohio Horseman's Council, Horse Tech, Adequan Flying Horse Veterinary Practice in Newark, OH, and I couldn't do this without my trainers Kendra and Robby Kent who are helping me in Florida, and my trainers at home at Edgewood Equestrian."
Kendra Kent noted, "Laurietta and Niekele have shown a lot of improvement over the last two weeks. We have worked on relaxation and come into his bit and he is doing wonderfully. Laurietta is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She has trained these stallions (Niekele Fan Busenitz and Quimerico KF herself and they are the most behaved stallions and Niekele is a great partner for Laurietta."
Following in second place for the Grade Ia Individual Test was Jody Scholss (CAN) and Inspector Rebus with a 66.167%. In the third position was Kim Decker (USA) and Hoanovarian Dasher's Destiny. The duo would earn a 63.083% placing them just ahead of Bermuda rider Alexander Mitchell aboard Guinness Maskell.
With the Team Test and Individual Team Tests completed, Sunday will begin at 12:30 p.m. with the Para-Equestrian Dressage Freestyles. At 5:00 p.m. the 2012 Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3* Team championship and Individual awards will be presented. On tap for the Para-Equestrian Dressage Team in March is the 2012 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CPEDI3* scheduled for March 8-11 in Del Mar, CA. In April the Houston Dressage Society will host their first CPEDI3* in Katy, TX scheduled for April 26-29.
Name (Grade), Horse, Team Score, Individual Score, Total
Mary Jordan (Grade IV) ,Sebastian, 66.406, 67.957
Dale Dedrick (Grade II), Bonifatius, 71.984, 70.079
Rebecca Hart (Grade II), Lord Ludger, 71,746, 73.413
Jonathan Wentz (Grade Ib), NTEC Jabriel, 68.409, 69.928
TOTAL OVERALL USA TEAM (lowest scores removed): 425.559
Lauren Barwick (Grade II), Off To Paris, 75.000, 71.349
Ashley Gowanlock (Grade Ib), Maile, 67.576, 70.072
Jody Schloss (Grade Ia), Inspector Rebus, 67.255, 66.167
Lynne Poole (Grade IV), Vasco E, 63.281, 61.290
TOTAL OVERALL CANADA TEAM (lowest scores removed): 417.419
January 28, 2012 Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3*
Name, Horse, Score, Country
1. Laurietta Oakleaf, Niekele fan Busenitz, 69.833 (USA)
2. Jody Schloss, Inspector Rebus (CAN), 66.167 (USA)
3. Kim Decker, Dasher's Destiny, 63.083, (USA)
4. Alexander Mitchell, Guiness Maskell, 62.750 (BER)
5. Robyn Andrews, Fancianna, 60.500 (CAN)
1. Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Richter Scale, 76.014 (USA)
2. Ashley Gowanlock, Maile, 70.072 (CAN)
3. Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Jabriel (USA), 69.928 (USA)
4. Margaret McIntosh, Idalgo, 63.55
5. Katja Karjalainen, Hidden Creek Jones, 62.246 (FIN)
6. Jaana Kivimaki, Sarona, 59.420 (FIN)
1. Rebecca Hart, Lord Ludger, 73.413 (USA)
2. Lauren Barwick, Off To Paris,71.349
3. Dale Dedrick, MD Bonifatius, 70.079 (USA)
4. Fernanda Otheguy, It's Mr. Merlot, 66.270 (MEX)
5. Elizabeth Pigott, Whitney's Willow, 65.00 (USA)
6. Charlotte Bathlon, Sportsfield Twist, 61.429 (USA)
7. Sydney Collier, Quimerico KF, 57.778 (USA)
1. Eleanor Brimmer, Carino H, 61.111 (USA)
1. James Dwyer, Orlando, 70.538(IRE)
2. Mary Jordan, Sebastian, 67.957(USA)
3. Robin Brueckmann, Radetzky, 63.172 (USA)
4. Madison Lawson, McGuire, 63.065
5. Mary Jordan, P.Sparrow Socks 61.720 (USA)
6. Lynne Poole, Vasco E, 61.290 (CAN)
7. Lynne Pool, Fisbee, 62.656 (CAN)
8. Lise Yervasi, Brendan Braveheart 60.806 (USA)
January 26, 2012 Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3*
1. Laurietta Oakleaf, Niekele fan Busenitz, 71.275 (USA)
2. Jody Schloss, Inspector Rebus (CAN), 67.255 (USA)
3. Robyn Andrews, Fancianna, 63.431 (CAN)
4. Alexander Mitchell, Guiness Maskell, 63.137 (BER)
5. Kim Decker, Dasher's Destiny, 62.941, (USA)
6. NTEC Manchada, Mina Chinju, 61.275 (JPN)
1. Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Richter Scale, 70.530 (USA)
2. Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Jabriel (USA), 68.409 (USA)
3. Ashley Gowanlock, Maile, 67.576 (CAN)
4. Katja Karjalainen, Hidden Creek Jones, 65.076 (FIN)
5. Jaana Kivimaki, Sarona, 65.076 (FIN)
6. Margaret McIntosh, Idalgo, 61.818
1. Lauren Barwick, Off To Paris, 75.000 (CAN)
2. Dale Dedrick, MD Bonifatius, 71.984 (USA)
3. Rebecca Hart, Lord Ludger, 71.746 (USA)
4. Fernanda Otheguy, It's Mr. Merlot, 67.460 (MEX)
5. Elizabeth Pigott, Whitney's Willow, 66.190 (USA)
6. Rebecca Hart, Hugh Knows, 64.841 (USA)
7. Charlotte Bathlon, Sportsfield Twist, 62.302 (USA)
8. Sydney Collier, Quimerico KF, 58.968 (USA)
1. Eleanor Brimmer, Carino H, 58.951 (USA)
1. James Dwyer, Orlando, 69.635(IRE)
2. Mary Jordan, Sebastian, 66.406(USA)
3. Lynne Poole, Vasco E, 63.281 (CAN)
4. Lynne Pool, Fisbee, 62.656 (CAN)
5. Lise Yervasi, Brendan Braveheart 62.031 (USA)
6. Mary Jordan, P.Sparrow Socks 61.875 (USA)
7. Robin Brueckmann, Radetzky, 61.458 (USA)
8. Madison Lawson, McGuire, 61.354 (CAN)
For more information about the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3* please visit www.wellingtonclassicdressage.com or contact Noreen O'Sullivan (561) 714-9026.
Photo Credits: 2012 Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3* in Wellington, FL at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Photo © Lindsay Y McCall for the United States Para-Equestrian Association.