Anna Marek and Unico G Dance to Victory at the AGDF 7 in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*

Sunday, February 22, 2015
Posted by Carly Weilminster for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Anna Marek and Unico G (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)
Anna Marek and Unico G (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)

Anna Marek (USA) and Unico G used the atmosphere under the lights to their advantage and brought home the win in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Havensafe Farm at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), with a 72.025%. Christoph Koschel (GER) and Tiesto followed in second scoring a 71.125%, and Lauren Sammis (USA) and Whitman finished in third receiving a 69.875%. Marek was thrilled with the performance she was able to get out of "Nico" in front of the large crowd and with the below average temperatures. "Nico was great tonight. At first I was nervous about the atmosphere because I had only done one other Freestyle here under the lights last year, but it really seemed like the atmosphere actually made it better tonight. He was a really good boy, and there's not much to complain about," smiled Marek. The pair recently started rehearsing their routine, re-evaluating their music from last year, and adding more technical movements to the test to make it more challenging.

"We're working on the more difficult movements in the Freestyle. I added the changes on a broken line, and he's pretty good and reliable in the changes. He and I have been riding Grand Prix for quite a few years, but this is our first time at this level," explained Marek.

"We're learning together and each time it gets easier. Now I feel like going down the centerline, whether it be in a Grand Prix or a Freestyle, I can trust him and he trusts me and we can ask for more."

The duo has established an incredible bond on their journey through the levels as Marek first started riding "Nico" at Training Level and has been his only rider up to Grand Prix. "I started riding him right before he turned six. I took him to his first show at Training level, and I remember telling my dad I was nervous to go in the ring just at Training level! He was my first Prix St. Georges horse, the first horse I ever won a Regional on, and the first horse I rode at Grand Prix," Marek reminisced. "Our partnership is really special, and he is really important to me."

CLICK HERE to watch Anna's and Unico's winning ride! (Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.)

Christoph Koschel and Tiesto continued to add experience to their resume this season and the horse continues to improve with each outing. "It was really nice to be able to do both routines in one night," said Koschel, as he also had a ride in the CDI 4* Grand Prix Freestyle later in the night. "It was a good experience for my horse. He started really well and then got a little bit tense throughout the test. I'm really happy with how we did, and it was a really enjoyable evening."

Anna Marek and Unico G in their winning presentation with Betsy Juliano of Havensafe Farm, judge William Lee Tubman, and Allyn Mann of Adequan® (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)
Anna Marek and Unico G in their winning presentation with Betsy Juliano of Havensafe Farm, judge William Lee Tubman, and Allyn Mann of Adequan® (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)

Lauren Sammis and Whitman rounded out the top three with a great test, even more impressive because it is still early in the pair's career. "I was pretty nervous. I hadn't ridden through the whole routine until recently. He has never gone out before under the lights, and I really tried to ride the technical pieces of the test. He's a green horse, and I'm really pleased with how it all went."

Whitman is a true "people-pleaser" and puts his head and heart into every day of work. "He has a lot of personality. He's in your face all of the time, and he is all heart. He comes out everyday and starts to rev like the little engine that could. He throws it all out there, and he does things that he even surprises himself," she smiled when describing the gelding's immense personality.

The AGDF 7 FEI CDI 3* competition, sponsored by Havensafe Farm, has been a huge success so far in the early days this week's competition. The CDI 3* has seen experienced pairs competing alongside partnerships new to the level and that is precisely the environment that makes AGDF so special.

Betsy Juliano, owner of sponsor Havensafe Farm, is proud to be a part of a dressage circuit that offers so many opportunities to riders. "It is so gratifying to see Anna do well here. I met her at the USEF Pipeline Clinic, and it is always great to see young American riders perform so well in competition. I have known Lauren for a long time, and I know she can produce true winners. I'm genuinely so happy for her. Christoph and I have a special bond over the first horse I ever bought from Germany who he had trained," continued Juliano. "It is thrilling to see him competing in the U.S. and bringing his talents to American soil here at AGDF."

Kim Herslow and Rosmarin
Kim Herslow and Rosmarin

Kimberly Herslow (USA) and Rosmarin added another win to their collection this week, taking the first place prize in the FEI Intermediaire 1 class presented by Mission Control. Herslow and Rosmarin performed a lovely test receiving a 73.789%. Shelly Francis (USA) and Rubinio finished with an impressive second, as this is the horse's first CDI competition ever, scoring a 70.632%. Megan Lane (CAN) and San D'Or rounded out the top three with a 70.395%.

Final Results for FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Havensafe Farm
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%
1. Anna Marek (USA), Unico G, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Anna Marek, Negro x Kleora x Animo: 72.500%, 72.375%, 73.375%, 72.125%, 69.750%, 72.025%
2. Christoph Koschel (GER), Tiesto, 2000 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Hof Beckerode GMBH, Gribaldi x Nadie x Ferro: 71.125%, 72.375%, 71.250%, 70.750%, 72.500%, 71.600%
3. Lauren Sammis (USA), Whitman, 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jane Suwalsky, Rhodium x Camora x Saluut: 69.875%, 66.375%, 68.125%, 68.000%, 68.000%, 68.075%
4. Sylvia Gugler (USA), Baudolino, 1998 Hanoverian gelding owned by Sylvia Gugler, Convoi x Datina x Dux: 67.000%, 64.625%, 62.500%, 65.625%, 69.625%, 65.875%
5. Janne Rumbough (USA), Junior, 2003 PRE gelding owned by Janne Rumbough, Gaucho III x La Nin III x Brioso VI: 62.875%, 67.250%, 64.875%, 65.625%, 68.125%, 65.750%
6. Allison Brock (USA), Rosevelt, 2002 Hanoverian stallion owned by Claudine & Fritz Kundrun, Rotspon x Lore x Lauries Crusader xx: 67.625%, 64.750%, 64.375%, 64.750%, 67.125%, 65.725%
7. Gary Vander Ploeg (CAN), Degas, 1999 Oldenburg gelding owned Jean & Gary Vander Ploeg, Donnerhall x Pretty Lady x Prinz Miro: 61.750%, 66.125%, 67.500%, 62.875%, 63.500%, 64.350%

Kim Herslow and Rosmarin in their winning presentation. (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)
Kim Herslow and Rosmarin in their winning presentation. (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)

Final Results for FEI Intermediaire 1 CDI1*, presented by Mission Control
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%
1. Kimberly Herslow (USA), Rosmarin, 2005 Hanoverian gelding owned by Kimberly Herslow, Rosentanz x Hauptstutbuch Wolkentaenzerin x Weltmeyer: 72.237%, 72.105%, 73.289%, 72.895%, 71.842%, 72.474%
2. Shelly Francis (USA), Rubinio, 2006 Westphalian gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, Roh Magic x Patrizia x Philipo: 69.605%, 70.921%, 72.895%, 70.132%, 69.605%, 70.632%
3. Megan Lane (CAN), San D'Or, 2006 Westphalian gelding owned by Deer Ridge Equestrian, Sandro Hit x Pavaroittie W x Cocktail: 71.579%, 68.289%, 69.737%, 72.237%, 70.132%, 70.395%
4. Michael Klimke (GER), Djamba Djokiba, 2007 Westphalian gelding owned by Michael Klimke, Damon Hill x Whoopy x Wessex: 71.842%, 69.079%, 68.553%, 69.605%, 71.579%, 70.132%
5. Belinda Trussell (CAN), Tattoo 15, 2003 Westphalian gelding owned by Belinda Trussell, Tuareg x Renaissance x Ramio's Son: 69.605%, 68.684%, 68.421%, 69.605%, 74.079%, 70.079%
6. Tina Irwin (CAN), Fancy That, 2006 Oldenburg mare owned by Christine Faux, Donerschwee x Falaise x Frelherr: 70.658%, 69.211%, 70.658%, 67.105%, 70.395%, 69.605% 
7. Kasey Perry (USA), Goerklintgaards Dublet, 2003 Danish Warmblood owned by Diane Perry, Diamond Hit x La Costa x Olympic Ferro: 70.132%, 70.263%, 69.737%, 66.974%, 70.658%, 69.553%
8. Charlotte Jorst (USA), Kastels Adventure, 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Kastel Denmark, Special D x Sunette S x Mondriaan: 68.289%, 69.868%, 67.105%, 69.474%, 68.684%, 68.684%
About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world's largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations' Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.