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Carly Taylor-Smith Reaches Personal Best in the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle Desert Dressage II

Sunday, November 21, 2021
Posted by Annan Hepner
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DESERT INTERNATIONAL HORSE PARK

Cover-Photo-by-Annan-Hepner-2-scaled.jpg

International dressage competition returned to the Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) Saturday, Nov. 20, for the continuation of the Adequan® Desert Dressage II. Set amongst the picturesque mountains in sunny Thermal, California, the highlight events of Saturday’s sport welcomed a collection of top competitive athletes and their mounts back to the International Arena to contest for top honors in a variety of classes. In the Buffini & Company CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, it was the United States’ Carly Taylor-Smith and Rosalut NHF that dawned the blue ribbon at the conclusion of the class.

Photo - Carly Taylor-Smith and Rosalut NHF (Annan Hepner)

A feature event of Adequan® Desert Dressage II, the Buffini & Company CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle wrapped up the exciting day of competition in the International Arena. A personal best score of 76.920% would proclaim Taylor-Smith and Nikki Taylor-Smith’s Rosalut NHF (Rosenthal–Legacy, Salut) the victors as an attentive crowd cheered on. Her and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding rode an impressive test through their Game of Thrones-inspired Freestyle designed by Tom Hunt. The entertaining test played to Rosalut NHS’s natural way of building throughout the test, and included a full piaffe-pirouette that was expertly ridden by Taylor-Smith. The 31-year-old athlete was thrilled with Rosalut NHF’s relaxation and confidence in the ring compared to Friday’s performance.

Guenter Seidel
Guenter Seidel and Equirelle (Photo - Annan Hepner)

Guenter Seidel and Equirelle (Florett AS-Orchidee T, Unforgettable) were hot on her heels, riding into second place with less than .3% between the two scores. Seidel and the 12-year-old KWPN mare owned by Louise Leatherdale and Leatherdale Farms danced their way to a score of 76.615%, completing movements such as a piaffe-fan for the enthusiastic crowd. The pair’s soundtrack featured melodies from the musical Evita and the freestyle designed by Terry Ciotti Gallo made for an entertaining performance that warranted a large cheer from the stands at the conclusion.

Buffini & Company CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle
Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Carly Taylor-Smith / USA / Rosalut NHF / Nikki Taylor-Smith / 76.920
2. Guenter Seidel / USA / Equirelle / Leatherdale Farms / 76.615

Competition at Adequan® Desert Dressage II will continue Sunday, Nov. 21, at 9:00 a.m. PST with the Ebeling Dressage CDI1* Intermediate I test taking place in the DIHP International Arena. The Prestige Italia CDI3* Grand Prix Consolation will kick off at 1:25 a.m. PST, which will conclude competition in the DIHP International Arena for the Adequan® Desert Dressage II.