Wellington, Florida - Over three days, March 14-16, 2014, para-dressage athletes from the U.S. and Canada vied for multiple accolades at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 10 CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida. For the United States riders this CPEDI3* was the second to last opportunity located in the U.S. to qualify for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG). For developing athletes this international show was an educational experience and a chance to gain remarks from the FEI Ground Jury. Those judges included Kjell Myhre (NOR), Marc Urban (BEL), and Kristi Wysocki (USA). The first day, March 14, was the Team Test competition followed by the Individual Test on March 15. Those two scores were combined for each of the four team members and the lowest score was dropped for a team final score. U.S. Team members, led by Chef d'Equipe Kai Handt, included Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch (Grade Ia); Rebecca Hart and Schroeters Romani (Grade II); Angela Peavy and Lancelot Warrior (Grade III); and Mary Jordan and Sebastian (Grade IV).
Led by Chef d' Equipe Elizabeth Quigg, Canada teammates included Robyn Andrews and Fancianna (Grade Ia); Ashley Gowanlock and Collegiate Sweet Leilani (Grade Ib); Lauren Barwick and Ferdonia 2 (Grade II); and Jody Schloss and Inspector Rebus (Grade Ia). In the final team score the Canadian team pulled ahead with a 418.803 point total. That was 8 points above the USA who earned a 410.536. Despite the team placing, multiple U.S. Para-Dressage riders had exceptional tests overall earning first place in their respective Grades and earning some of their best personal scores in history.
U.S. Chef d'Equipe Kai Handt explained, "I think we had an excellent showing at this horse show considering we had a bunch of very new riders participating in their first CPEDI3*. I think it's the first time we scored that many 70's throughout the whole show and in each grade. I am extremely pleased with our riders and our new talent is turning out to be exceptional."
He continued, "In the future theses riders just need to solidify their performances. With everything being so new, some of these riders had some small mistakes that will need to be ironed out in the future. I met with each of their trainers and we talked about items each rider needs to work on. The big picture is great but it's the small things that make us lose points. I think everyone got a really good idea from the judge's remarks so next time around these things will be straightened out so we further keep improving our scores."
For Canada, "This was a weekend of preparation," noted Chef d'Equipe Elizabeth Quigg. This was the first time we were all together again this year. Our team is really cohesive and everybody is really working as a team. We are looking forward to the new season and our riders are pumped and looking forward to the rest of the year."
U.S. rider Roxanne Trunnell, Grade Ia, is also looking forward to the second half of 2014. During the AGDF CPEDI3* Trunnell and her own Nice Touch obtained the top score in Grade Ia over two of the three days. Only one year ago Trunnell entered her first CPEDI3* and 12 months later she earned over a 70% in both the team and individual test. Trunnell noted, "I enjoyed representing the team this weekend. I also enjoyed working with both of my horses. Touché was wonderful in her tests and her free walk was superb. In only one year she has gained a lot of muscle, conditioning, and she has really improved." Trunnell has owned Nice Touch for 11 years and used to show her in Region 6 Prix St. George.
ITrunnell's competition included Canadians Jody Schloss and Inspector Rebus, Robyn Andrews and Fancianna and U.S. Air Force Wounded Veteran Derrick Perkins with horse NTEC Hans. This was Perkins first international para-dressage event and he earned his 2014 WEG qualifying score during the team test. "For my first time it felt good. We worked out a few kinks before competition and it ended up being great. I definitely had butterflies but Hans was wonderful.
In Grade Ib Canadian Ashley Gowanlock and Collegiate Sweet Leilani, owned by Kendalyne Overway, and rider Sydney Collier (USA) were battling it out for first place. Gowanlock was happy with her rides earning the top score in the Grade Ib team test and freestyle test. She recalled, "This weekend was fantastic considering I have only been riding Leilani for a month. I am over the moon happy and so grateful to my whole team and all the coaches that have helped me on the fly. I am also grateful to the owner Kendalyne for giving a complete stranger her horse and saying go for it. I couldn't be happier. Now Leilani is getting on an airplane and going to Europe."
Sydney Collier (USA) was riding two new mounts in the competition. "I thought this weekend was super successful for my first time in the show ring with both of these horses. I am thrilled, of course there are always more things to work on. That is what I love about dressage. There is always something to tweak or perfect for the next day. I enjoyed this entire weekend and could not have done it without the help of my coach Wes Dunham and our Kai Handt." Collier left the Wellington CPEDI3* earning her WEG qualifying score on both NTEC Cuplee, owned by Patricia Mendenhall and Willi Wesley, owned by Victoria Dugan.
In Grade II Lauren Barwick (CAN) and Ferdonia 2 dominated the competition. Barwick earned the overall high-point rider award donated by Polo Gear with an average score of 72.468%. This was the first time in two years that Ferdonia 2 and Barwick were partners in the international arena. "I was pleased to have Ferdonia back in the international competition arena after our break," explained Barwick. "Our motto is get your good better and your better best and that is what we did this weekend. We started her off slow, saw what she was like in the arena, built up her confidence, pushed her some more and then rode our freestyle. It was our first time riding the freestyle so the music was off but the mandatory movements were bang on. I was really thrilled with her performance and how the judges received her performance. I was also really pleased with my teammate Ashley Gowanlock, she's only had four weeks on Leilani and has done quite well. As a team we are small yet our riders are all capable of riding great accurate tests. That is what our strength is. We also have a great coaching staff and amazing team personnel which all help us get to the ring and be successful."
By next week the entire Canadian Team and their horses will head off to Europe to compete in the CPEDI3* events overseas. The team plans on staying within Europe through the 2014 WEG in Normandy, France.
Also heading to Europe is USA Grade II competitor and fellow two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart. Hart rode her brand new mount Schroeters Romani who was recently purchased from Straight Horse in Denmark. Although her team test became a learning experience, Hart came back to earn a 70.476% in the Individual Test and a 72.667% in her Freestyle. Hart commented, "I was very pleased with how the Individual and Freestyle went. We were a little disappointed with the first day, but we took it as an educational experience, learned from it and she came out listening and focused. We then used it to create the performance we were hoping for."
Schroeters Romani is used to the able-bodied long arena so Hart has been working with her on perfecting her short arena skills. Hart noted, "We are working on her with the short arena and getting it to flow, she is really coming along nicely. I am looking forward to flying to Europe in a week and doing the two CPEDI's. We are doing Moorsele CPEDI3* in Belgium and Deauvile in France. It will be nice to be in that atmosphere and be in the European competition. Romani is a very powerful horse but she is smart, savvy, uses her power efficiently and works with you not against you. I was so thankful this weekend to my coach Missy Ransehousen, my family, and everyone who helped with the purchase of Romani including Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel."
She continued, "I also want to thank the management, sponsors and volunteers who put this venue together because it has been fantastic. They are putting on an able-bodied CDI in addition to our CDI at the same time. Management has been fantastic and I am thankful to all of the different sponsors who are a part of this show."
In Grade III 17 year-old Angela Peavy topped the competition winning multiple blue accolades with horses Ozzy Cooper and Lancelot Warrior, both owned by Rebecca Reno. On the final day of competition Angela earned a 72.750% with 8 year-old Ozzy Cooper and a 71.583% with Lancelot Warrior. Peavy commented, "This show was a good start with my new horses. I am looking forward to our future together and working on improving certain aspects of our rides." Peavy rides with Heather Blitz who has helped Peavy learn the ins and outs of the international experience.
With many new partnerships being established at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Grade IV athlete and 2010 WEG rider, Mary Jordan, has been perfecting her rides with her own Sebastian. "I really feel a true partnership with Sebastian," smiled Jordan. "My horse has never looked or felt better in his life. He's getting more expressive, has a wonderful attitude and is a joy to ride. I am really looking forward to this time before selection trials to continue building upon what we have been working on all winter. I want to max out the extensions and make each test really pretty now. Pre-season I was riding with Michael Poulin at the Pineland Equestrian Center but I have made a wonderful connection with Jim Koford who I have known for 20 years. Jim has been absolutely wonderful. I have learned so much from him and he has really been pushing me to ride better. This whole season has been about honing our fitness and bringing out the best in Sebastian. Our next step will be going to Europe, potentially with a new horse. I have signed up for three shows including Deauville, France; Moorsele, Belgium; and Mannheim, Germany. I am taking it to the next level. I just want to get out in front of the panels. Actively competing all of the time is making a huge difference because I feel really relaxed, I enjoy showing and I love getting out there and doing it."
For many U.S. para-dressage athletes their next international show is in California where the final U.S. CPEDI3* event is occurring. The Golden State Dressage CPEDI3* in Rancho Murieta scheduled April 3-6, 2014, will be the final qualifying event for the USEF 2014 Para-Dressage Selection Trials for the WEG. Finally, Para-Dressage riders will reconvene June 2-5 in Gladstone, NJ, for the 2014 Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and WEG Selection Trial before preparing the team for Normandy, France.
Robyn Andrews and Fancianna (Grade Ia)
Ashley Gowanlock and Collegiate Sweet Leilani (Grade Ib)
Lauren Barwick and Ferdonia 2 (Grade II)
Jody Schloss and Inspector Rebus (Grade Ia)
Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch (Grade Ia)
Rebecca Hart and Schroeters Romani (Grade Ib)
Angela Peavy and Lancelot Warrior (Grade III)
Mary Jordan and Sebastian (Grade IV)
Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* Results
Friday, March 14, 2014 Team Test Competition
1. Roxanne Trunnell (USA) Nice Touch, 71.957%
2. Jody Schloss (CAN) Inspector Rebus, 67.609%
3. Robyn Andrews (CAN) Fancianna, 64.348%
4. Derrick Perkins (USA) NTEC Hans, 63.406%
5. Roxanne Trunnell (USA) NTEC Richelieu, 57.391%
6. Laura Goldman (USA) Buckeye, 57.101%
1. Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) Collegiate Sweet Leilani, 71.333%
2. Sydney Collier (USA) NTEC Cuplee, 67.200%
3. Margaret McIntosh (USA) Rio Rio, 66.533%
4. Sydney Collier (USA) Willi Wesley, 66.333%
1. Lauren Barwick (CAN) Ferdonia 2, 70%
2. Lauren Barwick(CAN) Off to Paris, 69.755%
3. Deborah Stanitski (USA) Tiramisu, 62.941%
4. Rebecca T Hart (USA) Schroeters Romani, 56.814%
1. Angela Peavy (USA) Ozzy Cooper, 67.105%
2. Kate Shoemaker (USA) Arpeggio, 65.439%
3. Angela Peavy (USA) Lancelot Warrior, 65%
4. Eleanor Brimmer (USA) London Swing, 62.939%
5. Elle Woolley (USA) P. Sparrow Socks, 50.088%
1. Mary Jordan (USA) Sebastian, 66.429%
2. Lynne Poole (CAN) Vasco E, 63.492%
3. Lynne Poole (CAN) Cruiser, 61.984%
4. Elizabeth Traband (USA) Ucari, 57.341%
5. Pamela Hardin (USA) Freemont, 57.183%
Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* Results
Saturday, March 15, 2014 Individual Test Competition
1. Roxanne Trunnell (USA) Nice Touch, 70.507%
2. Jody Schloss (CAN) Inspector Rebus, 68.623%
3. Robyn Andrews (CAN) Fancianna, 68.551%
4. Derrick Perkins (USA) NTEC Hans, 58.841%
5. Roxanne Trunnell (USA) NTEC Richelieu, 55.290%
1. Sydney Collier (USA) Willi Wesley, 70.172%
2. Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) Collegiate Sweet Leilani, 70%
3. Margaret McIntosh (USA) Rio Rio, 65.345%
4. Sydney Collier (USA) NTEC Cuplee, 64.425%
1. Lauren Barwick (CAN) Ferdonia 2, 71.238%
2. Rebecca T Hart (USA) Schroeters Romani, 70.476%
3. Lauren Barwick(CAN) Off to Paris, 66.762%
4. Deborah Stanitski (USA) Tiramisu, 62.291%
1. Angela Peavy (USA) Lancelot Warrior, 68.984%
2. Angela Peavy (USA) Ozzy Cooper, 64.878%
3. Kate Shoemaker (USA) Arpeggio, 61.057%
4. Eleanor Brimmer (USA) London Swing, 60%
5. Elle Woolley (USA) P. Sparrow Socks, 55%
1. Mary Jordan (USA) Sebastian, 67.659%
2. Lynne Poole (CAN) Vasco E, 63.333%
3. Elizabeth Traband (USA) Ucari, 59.881%
4. Pamela Hardin (USA) Freemont, 55.079%
Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* Results
Sunday, March 16, 2014 Freestyle Competition
1. Robyn Andrews (CAN) Fancianna, 71.167%
2. Roxanne Trunnell (USA) Nice Touch, 66.833%
3. Jody Schloss (CAN) Inspector Rebus, 64.667%
4. Derrick Perkins (USA) NTEC Hans, 61.167%
1. Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) Collegiate Sweet Leilani, 71.417%
2. Sydney Collier (USA) Willi Wesley, 69.883%
3. Margaret McIntosh (USA) Rio Rio, 69.667%
4. Sydney Collier (USA) NTEC Cuplee, 63.417%
1. Lauren Barwick (CAN) Ferdonia 2, 76.167%
2. Rebecca T Hart (USA) Schroeters Romani, 72.667%
3. Deborah Stanitski (USA) Tiramisu, 57.167%
1. Angela Peavy (USA) Ozzy Cooper, 72.750%
2. Angela Peavy (USA) Lancelot Warrior, 71.583%
3. Kate Shoemaker (USA) Arpeggio, 65.417%
4. Eleanor Brimmer (USA) London Swing, 64.917%
1. Mary Jordan (USA) Sebastian, 71.583%
2. Lynne Poole (CAN) Vasco E, 67.083%
3. Elizabeth Traband (USA) Ucari, 60.333%
Gallery: Photos by Lindsay Y. McCall