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Ashley Holzer and Havana 145 Top World Class Grand Prix Freestyle In Ocala

Sunday, October 24, 2021
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WORLD EQUESTRIAN CENTER - OCALA, FLORIDA

Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145. Photo by SusanJStickle.com_.jpeg

Ocala, Fla. – October 23, 2021 – It was exciting to see the seats filled in the grandstand, many spectators from the local community, come out for a night at the World Equestrian Center to be treated with Olympic Level Dressage. With free admission, spectators were entertained for the evening with world-class Dressage.

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Ashley Holzer has been a bit busy the past year as coach for the Canadian Dressage Team at the Tokyo Olympics, and Aachen, Germany in September, and not it was her turn to shine under the lights of the World Equestrian Center's Arena 1.

Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145 won the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W and were presented in the awards ceremony by judge at C Janet Foy and show manager Debra Reinhardt at World Equestrian Center Dressage IV. Photo by SusanJStickle.com.
Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145 won the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W and were presented in the awards ceremony by judge at C Janet Foy and show manager Debra Reinhardt at World Equestrian Center Dressage IV. Photo by SusanJStickle.com.

In the highlight class of the World Equestrian Center Dressage IV show in Ocala, Fla., Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Holzer (USA) and Havanna 145, owned by Dr. Diane Fellows, were victorious in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W on Saturday, October 23, 2021. The show concludes on Sunday, October 24, and has hosted a number of top dressage combinations in the internationally-rated competition.

Holzer and Havanna 145 stepped into the ring to perform their freestyle for the first time in over two years, having practiced it only once at home to music. Holzer admitted she was a bit nervous but had a great time.
Photo: Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145. Photo by SusanJStickle.com.

Debut in the Amazing World Equestrian Center Venue

"She’s hotter in this venue than she is normally at home. I was a little worried about the timing exactly, getting her quietly from movement to movement with inner tension going on and getting her relaxed, but it worked out.”

Holzer said that the passage and piaffe stood out to her, especially with her music that was put together by Tom Hunt.

“I felt that today her half passes in trot were much more rhythmical and uphill, and that’s a big breakthrough for her, so I was really happy with that too,” she pointed out. “The third canter pirouette wasn’t as quietly balanced as I wanted it to be, but the other pirouettes felt really, really nice. In general, I think she was a bit nervous and tense, and she still came out and performed to her best. I would say that is the most important thing for me, that I felt her really trying hard in there and giving it a little bit more power than in the past and still quite comfortable.”

Codi Harrison and Katholt’s Bossco Ride to Music by Music by Boy de Winter

Slotting behind Holzer in second place was Codi Harrison (USA) riding her own Katholt’s Bossco. They scored 75.040%, which was a personal best for them. It was even more impressive knowing that it was their first open grand prix freestyle test at a CDI.

Harrison grew along with her horse, having purchased him six years ago at Blue Hors in Denmark. They started at the young rider level and moved up to the Under 25 division. As Harrison turns 26 next year, she decided to move up again to the open grand prix.

“It’s been so fun to learn with him in the process and learn in the grand prix together,” she said of the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion by Don Schufro x Michellino. “I wasn’t sure if he was going to be a big tour horse; I wasn’t sure if he’d ever do the U25. This is really exciting for me.”

Harrison, who is from Wichita, Kansas, but is based in Wellington, Fla., also had a brand-new freestyle for this show, with music by Boy de Winter and choreography she designed with Karen Pavicic. “I ran through it for the first time last week and prayed for this week,” she laughed. “It’s a little bit more difficult but nothing too crazy for our first open grand prix freestyle.”

When she saw her score come up at the conclusion of her freestyle, she was “shocked.” She added, “I wasn’t expecting that. I was thrilled. I’m really happy with him, and it’s definitely our highest score, even in a freestyle. It’s been six years of barely getting through a Prix St. Georges to now, so I’m very proud.”

Pablo Gomez Molina (ESP) Riding Cristina Danguillecourt’s Ulises de Ymas

Another newcomer to the open grand prix freestyle was third-place finisher Pablo Gomez Molina (ESP) riding Cristina Danguillecourt’s Ulises de Ymas. They scored 73.605% in the first-ever grand prix freestyle for the horse and the rider.

“I’m really happy with him,” said Gomez Molina. “This is our first year doing grand prix, and I cannot ask for more. I was a little bit disappointed yesterday because since our last show, he’s got much more strength. He was a little bit scared yesterday, so I was unable to show how he is. Today he was much better, more with me, and I was able to ride him more. That was the best part; I could ride him and give him trust and he was really with me.”

Gomez Molina describes Ulises de Ymas, an 11-year-old PRE gelding by Seni Indio x Superior II, as “a really introverted horse” and “really shy.” The pair have been together for six years, and Gomez Molina feels that he has built a very trusting relationship with his horse.

“It’s so nice to see him developing and to improve,” he said. “I feel like he can get much stronger and show what he really is. For me he’s always amazing but he can still get better. We can both get better.”

Final Results: Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W

Elizabeth McMullen (CAN) at E score, Sandra Smith (ARG) at H score, Janet Foy (USA) at C score, Ulrike Nivelle (GER) at M score, Kristi Wysocki (USA) at B score, Total Score

  1. Havanna 145: 2007 Hanoverian mare by Hochadel x Rodgau owned by Dr. Diane Fellows - Ashley Holzer (USA): 75.500%, 76.325%, 78.325, 76.625%, 75.625%, 76.480%
  2. Katholt’s Bossco: 2007 Danish Warmblood stallion by Don Schufro x Michellino owned by Codi Harrison - Codi Harrison (USA): 75.375%, 73.375%, 75.075%, 73.875%, 77.500%, 75.040%
  3. Ulises de Ymas: 2010 PRE gelding by Seni Indio x Superior II owned by Cristina Danguillecourt - Pablo Gomez Molina (ESP): 70.000%, 74.400%, 74.375%, 74.625%, 74.625%, 73.605% 
  4. 4 Statesman: 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Sandro Hit x Brentano II owned by KML Inc. Naima Moreira Laliberte (CAN): 70.875%, 75.625%, 74.750%, 72.375%, 72.875%, 73.300%
  5. Whitman: 2003 KWPN gelding by Rhodium x Saluut owned by Jane Suwalsky - Sahar Daniel Hirosh (ISR): 71.375%, 71.025%, 70.050%, 67.000%, 70.500%, 69.990%
  6. Cover Girl: 2007 KWPN mare by Johnson TN x Jetset-D owned by Jaron Verheij, Ivo Juhrend (NED): 70.125%, 70.050%, 69.850%, 66.500%, 67.250%, 68.755%

But Wait There's More - Holzer and Hansel Win I-1

Ashley Holzer and Hansel
Ashley Holzer and Hansel ©susanjstickle.com

Holzer had her first win of the day in the Intermediate 1 CDI3* with P.J. Rizvi’s Hansel, having reached a score of 70.490%. Pablo Gomez Molina (ESP) and Servus Ymas, owned by Cristina Danguillecourt, were second with 69.167%, while Rebecca Waite (USA) and Beirholms Eclaire, owned by Mary Zorzit-Mattingly, were third with 67.402%.

Holzer, who has competed in four Olympic Games, believes that Hansel will be a top international horse, and exposure to competition at World Equestrian Center – Ocala has benefited the young horse.

“He’s funny because inside he’s brave, but outside he can be timid until you tell him, ‘No, you’ve got to be brave,’” she said of the eight-year-old KWPN stallion by Don Olymnbrio x Metall. “At times, I think he’s such a little boy. He wants to just jump around and play, and it’s hard to tell him, ‘Hey buddy, you gotta focus for six minutes and you’ve got to do your job.’ I think he’s really going to be an incredible grand prix horse.

“I was in the canter pirouettes thinking to myself, ‘I hope when he’s at the Olympics, this is what the canter pirouettes will feel like,’” she continued about her I-1 test. “He was just so effortlessly coming around and so balanced. I’ve ridden a lot of horses and you really feel a horse excel at a certain movement, and he excels at that movement. It’s so fun to ride. It’s going to be a great horse. I look forward to getting him into the grand prix ring in the near future.”

Final Results: Prix St. Georges CDI3*

Janet Foy at E score, Sandra Smith at C score, Elizabeth McMullen at M score, Total Score

  1. Hansel: 2013 KWPN stallion by Don Olymnbrio x Metall owned by P.J. Rizvi - Ashley Holzer (USA): 72.941%, 71.912%, 66.618%, 70.490%
  2. Servus Ymas: 2013 Hanoverian gelding by San Amour I owned by Cristina Danguillecourt - Pablo Gomez Molina (ESP): 67.941%, 69.412%, 70.147%, 69.167%
  3. Beirholms Eclaire: 2012 Westphalian by Ehrenwort 2 x Fürst Heinrich owned by Mary Zorzit-Mattingly - Rebecca Waite (USA): 65.000%, 68.235%, 68.971%, 67.402%
  4. Elian: 2009 KWPN gelding by Sir Oldenburg x Santano owned by Megan Fischer-Graham - Megan Fischer-Graham (USA): 63.235%, 68.235%, 65.735%, 65.735%
  5. Cosmico: 2009 Hanoverian gelding by Furstenreich x Rondo owned by Diane Amendolara - Diane Amendolara (ARG): 64.559%, 62.206%, 63.824%, 63.529%