Cheryl Meisner Dances to Freestyle Victory at CDI-W Blainville

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blainville, Quebec – Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, closed out the CDI-W Blainville Summer Classic by winning the Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday, June 21, at the Blainville Equestrian Park north of Montreal, QC. Meisner used powerful, emotional piano music to highlight the strengths of John Risley’s Paganini. The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion was at his best in the passage tour and during the one tempi changes, which were performed on the centre line to highlight their straightness. The panel of five international judges rewarded Meisner with a score 72.15%.

“I am ecstatic,” said Meisner, 27, who is returning to competition following maternity leave. “It has been a year and a half since I last rode my freestyle. I feel that the partnership with my horse is finally coming together, and I know that in the arena he is going to be there for me.”

The winners of Friday’s Grand Prix, Jacqueline Brooks of Mt. Albert, ON, and Gran Gesto, placed second after earning a score of 70.15% for their familiar program set to the soundtrack of ‘Alexander’. Simone Williams of Navan, ON, and her mount, the 11-year-old Hannoverian gelding Wunder Ein, finished third with a dynamic Latin program that received a mark of 67.30%.

The Intermediaire I Freestyle rewarded Julie Watchorn of Schomberg, ON, with her best result of the week, a score of 70.10%, for victory riding Quintesse. Using a compilation of music from the soundtracks to ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘The Patriot’, Watchorn confessed that she had only created the music program one week earlier and had never practiced the freestyle.

“Quintesse is my reliable, consistent girl,” said Watchorn of her 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare.

The FEI Young Riders’ Freestyle was the largest class of the day with 10 entries. Amy Jager of Puslinch, ON, proved to be the best of the field, winning with a score of 67.60%. Top honours in the FEI Junior Freestyle went to Anne-Mylaine Messier of St-Luc, QC, riding Marzipan. Tanya Strasser-Shostak of St-Adele, QC, made a clean sweep of the FEI Pony division with Nemo Tyme by winning the FEI Pony Freestyle.

Competition organizer Cara Whitham of Equivents, Inc. was extremely pleased with the busy four days of FEI and national competition. “It turned out wonderfully, and we had record entries,” said Whitham of Ottawa, ON. “Sunday’s freestyles and Gala Brunch were a huge hit.”

International dressage action continues next week as the CDI-W Blainville International and Equine Canada National Show begins on Tuesday, June 23. The highlight of the five-day competition will be Saturday evening’s Freestyle Gala Dinner. In addition to the FEI freestyles, there will be performances by Equine Extremist Tommie Turvey (

For more information on the CDI-W Blainville Summer Classic and Equine Canada National Show, as well as the upcoming CDI-W Blainville International, please visit Complete results are available at

CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle – Final Results

Rider Hometown Horse Score

  • 1. Cheryl Meisner Blandford, NS Paganini 72.150%
  • 2. Jacqueline Brooks Mt. Albert, ON Gran Gesto 70.150%
  • 3. Simone Williams Navan, ON Wunder Ein 67.300%
  • 4. Neil Ishoy Lynden, ON Lonestar 67.100%
  • 5. Jacqueline Brooks Mt. Albert, ON Balmoral 65.550%

CDI-W Intermediaire I Freestyle – Final Results

Rider Hometown Horse Score

  • 1. Julie Watchorn Schomberg, ON Quintesse 70.100%
  • 2. Leah Wilson Orangeville, ON Amusant 68.800%
  • 3. William Lee Tubman Dunnville, ON De La Rosa 68.500%
  • 4. Gina Smith Brockville, ON Rhythmix 67.450%
  • 5. Lindsay Stroh Camrose, AB Lancelot 66.250%

Photo credit – Cealy Tetley,