Robert Dover And FBW Kennedy Win USET Grand Prix
For the first time since he returned to the show ring with his two Jane Clark-owned Grand Prix mounts, Robert Dover entered them both in the same class and produced a one-two finish – in the $1,500 USET Grand Prix, a Qualifying Competition for the USET Grand Prix Championship and the 2004 Olympic Selection Trials, Dover placed first with FBW Kennedy, scoring 75.694% and placed second with Rainier, earning 72.431%. Arlene Page riding her own Claire placed third, earning 70.417%.
“I could not be more elated with my horses,” said Dover , 47, of Long Island , NY , and Wellington , FL. “They were such a pleasure to ride. I'm so thankful to Jane Clark for the chance to ride these horses.” Dover said he was also thankful for having “the best help in the world – Kathryn Bateson and her fiancé Carl Chandler and all the people that are behind me, working all the time to make ‘Team Clark' work so well.”
Klaus Balkenhol's Ringside Support
Ringside was thronged to watch the class, with Dover leading off on Rainier and wrapping up the six-horse roster on FBW Kennedy.
“I was a little more composed by the second ride and feeling very self-assured after my first ride that I would have the calmness and the steadiness with the second horse,” said Dover , comparing the two performances. “The second horse felt so on his game as I warmed up.
It was great also having our Olympic coach Klaus Balkenhol here. In the warm-up he gave me a few things to think about right as I was getting ready to go in. It just came together lovely with both of them.”
Dover's Double Pleasure
Dover said he would prefer to ride Rainier and Kennedy in separate classes so that they would not be compared to each other. “But at the same time, they're both very high quality horses so at least it's not like comparing one average horse with one top horse,” he said. “They're both really wonderful top horses, which is what Klaus just told me. That also thrilled me that he said they're just terrific.”
Rainier is a 13-year-old, gray, 17-hand Oldenburg gelding by Rolando. FBW Kennedy is a 13-year-old, chestnut, 16-hand Wurttemburg gelding by Tiro. Both horses competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics – Rainier with Dover , and Kennedy with former owner Lone Jorgenssen of Denmark.
Officiating were Jessica Ransehousen at H, Lorraine MacDonald at C, and Joan MaCartney at B. All of the judges placed Dover first on FBW Kennedy, scoring them 373, 363, and 354. The judges were not all in agreement on the second place horse, Rainier . Their marks were 356, 336, and 351. Arlene ‘Tuny' Page and Claire scored 344, 341, and 329 – Judge Lorraine MacDonald had this duo in second place.
No More Pressure for Arlene Page and Claire
Arlene Page, 47, of Wellington , FL , has owned and ridden Claire for five years and said her ride today was, “Exactly as the score reflected – three marks better than it was two weeks ago. I was really happy. We're going absolutely in the right direction. Things are going absolutely the right way. My game plan is to not change a thing. We just keep developing just as we are now, no more pressure. She's still three months away from being really strong.”
Claire, a former jumper in Germany , is a 12-year-old, 17-hand bay Holsteiner mare by Cassini. Page noted that the best part of Claire's test today was the second piaffe/passage tour. “It was really good, super lowering of the hindquarters. Good expression but still very relaxed and very good pirouettes.”
Patricia Becker And Tsunami Win USET Intermediaire I
In the final class of the afternoon, Patricia Becker and Tsunami won the $1,000 USET Intermediaire I, a Qualifying Competition for the USET Intermediaire I Championship. Becker and Tsunami topped a class of 12 horses. While the judges were unanimous in their choice of the top three, their rankings varied.
Officiating were Ransehousen at H, MacDonald at C, and MaCartney at B. Their marks for Becker were 281, 275, and 260 for a total of 68.00%, which placed her first.
Two judges, MacDonald and MaCartney, scored Catherine Morelli on BeSe as the winner. The judges' marks for Morelli were 270, 278, and 266, which he4r in second place with 67.833%. The judges' tallies for Kathy Priest were 274, 260, and 266, which gave her 66.667% and third place, though Ransehousen placed this pair second, and MaCartney tied them for first place with Morelli.