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

Sunday, November 21, 2021
Posted by Annan Hepner



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.