Loxahatchee, FL - White Fences is a calm and inviting show facility, yet still very classy and picturesque. The international flags along the fence make it feel like a big, international show, yet the trees and landscaping around the show arenas gives horse and riders enough seclusion that they are not distracted from the horses in the ring next door. The spectators have many places to watch where they can see many rings at once, yet from inside the ring, you feel as though it's just you, the horse and the judge. The spectators are not at all distracting from the performance arena. The warm up ring with the mirror (and the competition rings) have ideal footing. They can handle all types of weather, and owner and organizer Adam (Pollak) stays absolutely on top of the ring maintenance. For their first show of the season some of the nation's top horse and rider combinations emerging from their Holiday break showed us what is to come in the busy competition season in southeast Florida.
Anne Cizadlo, who had the highest score of the show, riding Paula Runnell’s horse Paddington, a KWPN (Droomwals x Herma/Batello) scored a 75.132% in Third Level Test 1. An FEI rider who currently works for owner/rider Paula Runnells in Lebanon, NJ, she shared her excitement, “That was Paddington's first Third Level test, and the highest that he had shown before was First Level, so both Paula and I were very proud of his accomplishment!” Cizadlo continued, “Paula originally imported both Paddington and Talent (a horse Anne shows at First Level) to be driving horses. She drove the horses behind a carriage originally, but has switched over to dressage in the last maybe 5 or 6 years. They were quite athletic. She decided that they could also probably excel in the sport of dressage, so we are working toward teaching them the intricacies of this sport. As driving horses, they learn to be quite powerful with their hind quarters and balanced on straight lines, but bending through their bodies is something not really required (or possible for that matter!) when pulling a carriage, so they cross their legs well for the lateral work, but were originally missing the supple bend through their bodies. They are also not required to do much more than change speed or gait while driving, so the idea of changing tempo or balance (sitting down with the hind quarters for collection) were also somewhat foreign concepts to them but are required for correct dressage training. They are good at being bold, but not always so accustomed to being agile, nimble or supple as required by dressage. Therefore, it's been quite interesting to work with them. Most young dressage horses are strangers to all the dressage concepts, and these driving horses are very strong in some concepts and quite weak in others, so to get a balance of understanding enough to go to a horse show was quite challenging!”
Catherine Haddad Staller scored 72.237% in Intermediare II, “Hotmail is truly an international horse in that he was born in Denmark to Dutch parents (Michellino x Havel) and has a German Oldenburg brand with German papers. I bought Hotmail from an amateur rider in Denmark last April. He was doing 3rd level and working toward Prix St. George. He is an uncanny athlete both in mind and body. His progress has been swift and inspiring, impressing me with his ability to do just about anything I ask him to despite his lack of experience. He is a lithe athlete, both in mind and body. I love to ride this horse and if I had to describe him in one word, it would be "spritely". I will be showing him in the Grand Prix this winter.”
Grand Prix riders Shelly Francis and Christopher Hickey showed their horses to high scores. Shelley Francis and Doktor scored 72.128% on Saturday in the Grand Prix and The Grand Prix Special they scored 61.979%. Christopher Hickey piloted Pacino, owned by Oak Meadows in the Grand Prix to score 67.234%. Pacino (Parabol x Cor Noir) competed in his first recognized show at Grand Prix.
Anne Cizadlo said it best by saying, “Thank you Adam (Pollak) for the lovely show facility, for letting us school ahead of time, and for continuing to organize these wonderful shows on those wonderful grounds that are preserving the history of dressage in southern Florida while at the same time offering premier footing and stabling for the competition horses.”
For more information on upcoming White Fences shows, please go to www.whitefencesflorida.com
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