Dressage at Woodside CDI*** California Show Report

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Canadian Conquest at Dressage at Woodside CDI
Text and Photos By Sheri Scott

The Canadians came for a summer vacation to northern California and dominated the small tour at the Woodside CDI*** on July 13-16. Leslie Reid won the Prix St. Georges (67.667%) and Intermediaire freestyle (71.333%) on Patti and George Hatch’s 10 year old Dutch warmblood gelding Orion.

“He was a little bit tense in the St. Georges,” explained Reid. “He just holds himself a little bit tight. That’s what I have to work on over the winter—improve his bending and his elasticity. All of his pirouettes and canter work and his changes feel really good. I just have to get him so he’s looser and more supple looking in the lateral work.”

Reid, of Top Fox Equestrian Centre in Langley, British Columbia, was very happy with Orion’s Intermediaire I test, which she feels suits him better than the Prix St. Georges. Their 67.250% put them in third place, less than 1% out of first place.

Leslie Reid and Orion Show Case new Freestyle
Text and Photos By Sheri Scott

Woodside was the second show for Orion’s new freestyle music, which debuted at the Pebble Beach CDI the week prior. Reid was a bit lost as to what type of music to use for Orion’s trot work and totally changed it from the music she had used at the spring CDI’s. Karen Robinson of Applause Dressage in Vancouver, BC does the music for all of Reid’s freestyles, and used the’ Olympic Dream’ from the Athens Olympics for the trot work and the ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ for the canter work.

“I’m really happy with the music now,” said Reid. “Now I just want to keep tweaking on things—maybe putting a little more power into the canter work in some places because it’s a little bit too smooth for me. I’d like it to be punctuated in some places a little more with the music. But I’m basically really happy with it and I got good comments on how technically difficult the freestyle was.”

Reid felt that Orion was more relaxed at Woodside than Pebble Beach, which was a little bit intense for him.

“Really he’s done eight tests over two horse shows and he never made a major mistake the whole time,” smiled Reid. “I was really happy with his consistency. He’s always going to look a little electric and a little spooky—that’s just part of the package.”

Orion is by Jazz out of Havanna. Owners Patti and George Hatch of Surrey, BC imported him from the Netherlands as a three year old and sent him to Reid when he was six.

Karen Pavicic and Lionheart Are Having Fun
Text and Photos By Sheri Scott

Karen Pavicic of Centre Line Stables in Richmond, British Columbia won the Intermediaire I on her 9 year old Hanoverian gelding Lionheart with a 67.917%. This was a closely contested class with the top three riders all receiving 67%.

“I was thrilled with it,” said Pavicic. “He was super-- very rideable. I had a really good warm-up, the perfect amount of warm-up. We had a steady consistent test. The trot work was probably the strongest part. The canter work had a couple of little glitches, but nothing that major.”

“Lionheart is a really fun horse to ride,” continued Pavicic. “There’s not a day that I don’t want to go out and ride him. He’s just that kind of a horse that’s a pleasure to have around. The judges love this horse. He is just a nice type and he has a lot of energy and expression.”

Pavicic rode her freestyle to music from The Sound of Music and Cabaret. Karen Robinson of Applause Dressage did her music also. The freestyle starts off with canter half pass, then extended canter to a full pirouette and into 2 tempi’s. Then their walk tour and the trot tour. They finish with 3 tempi’s into a full pirouette, half passes, extended canter, a half pirouette and an extended trot down the centerline. Their artistic scores were high, but Lionheart was a bit tired and the technical scores suffered a bit.

“I had to carry him around a little bit more today than I would have liked to,” said Pavicic. “But that is the way the cookie crumbles some times. But I was still really happy with him. We need to do a little work on our freestyle I think, but we’ll get it sorted out.”

Pavicic found Lionheart (Landseiger I out of Wendla by Walt Disney I) in Germany four years ago when she was shopping for horses for her clients. Lionheart was owned by an adult amateur rider and hadn’t done a lot.

“I got off him and I turned to my client and said ‘I have to have this horse!’ I immediately had a connection with him. I’ve never had that before and I’ve never had that since. Not an instant connection like that.”

Karen Ball and Luciano Win the Grand Prix
Text and Photos By Sheri Scott

Karen Ball of European Equestrian Concepts based in Coto de Caza, Calif. won Friday’s Grand Prix on Jill Cordsen’s 12 year old Holsteiner gelding Luciano. This is the first year at grand prix for both Luciano and Ball, so Ball was very happy with their consistent ride.

“What was great at the grand prix at Woodside was that our score (64.333%) was up,” said Ball. “Luciano’s piaffe and passage are really weak at the moment. That’s where time is going to make it better for him, and not stress him out so much. He was very stressed in the piaffe at Pebble Beach—too quick and no rhythm. It was better at Woodside but still earthbound.”

“His strengths are normally in the half passes at the trot. He’s so relaxed and fluid. He’s got a great canter too.”

Ball placed second in the Grand Prix freestyle to Jennifer Hoffman and Petit Danseur. Ball loves 70’s disco music and rode to the theme from 2001 Space Odyssey for her canter work; Donna Summer’s Lets dance the Last Dance for her trot work, That’s the Way I Like It for her piaffe and passage, and a Bee Gees tune for the walk. She kept the freestyle relatively straightforward. Next year she plans to add to the difficulty as Luciano becomes more confident at grand prix. The music was put together by Cynthia Collins of LunaTunes Freestyles.

Ball has been riding the 17.1 hand Holsteiner since Cordsen imported him when he was 4. He is by Lordship out of Petunia by Libretto. When they looked at him in Germany he was in training as a combined driving horse. At that time, Cordsen lived in Southern California. Three years ago she moved to Red Tree Farm in Elizabeth, Colorado and left Luciano with Ball so she could continue to ride him.

“He’s just so fun,” said Ball of Luciano. “He comes out everyday very happy and he wants to work. He loves to show. He’s got a big ego and he loves it when there’s a crowd. If I could find every horse for this sport with his kind of temperament—oh my gosh!”

Sabovich and Quno Qualified for USEF/Markel National Young Horse Championships
Text by Angelea Kelly photos by mccoolphotos.com

After 25 years riding and training Arabs in Central California, Marilynn Sabovich made a decision to move forward in her dressage career by focusing her attentions on the FEI Young Horse program. Enter Quno, an imported 4-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quarto B. With the help of Merri Velden, Sabovich imported Quno specifically for the FEI Young Horse program and is now looking forward to competing against our nations best September 8-10th in Kentucky. Sabovich and Quno have not only been successful with the FEI Young Horse but too won the Markel Open High Point at this past weekend's Dressage at Woodside with a 74.231%.

When asked about her high point ride and win Sabovich responded, “Our test was a very good test but we still could be a little more forward. It was wonderful to be able to speak with Markel’s John and Lisa Seger at the show. They couldn’t be nicer and [they] really want to support the young horse program which is great for developing future Olympic horses for the USA.” Sabovich added that she, “deeply appreciated the recognition” Markel provides for the Young Horses and Adult Amateur riders alike.

Nancy Szakacs, Markel Adult High Point Winner

As Adult Amateurs go, Nancy Szakacs is well established in the saddle. “I’ve been riding many, many years… Do I have to give you a number?” laughed Szakacs of Northern California. Markel’s Adult Amateur High Point Winner, Szakacs and her imported 6-year-old Rhinelander/Trakehner gelding, Ruschkoi went on to win with a 70% at First Level, Test 3. Szakacs’ was not aware of her win until she was phoned for an interview. When asked about her weekend at Woodside a humble Szakacs replied, “Winning was very exciting and it’s always an unexpected thing. It’s a great surprise when something like that happens. Glenda [of Cornerstone Event Management] is always so gracious with what she does and the thoughts that she puts behind things. Even with the CDI, the Open Show was going quite well and everyone seemed to be pretty happy. I probably couldn’t have done it without my trainer.” Szakacs is currently a student of Heidi Gaian.

Eighteen-year-old Jennifer McCormick has aspirations to compete in Young Riders and as Markel’s Junior High Point Winner is seems as if she is well underway to the winners circle. Astride Valentino, a 15 year old Hanoverian gelding owned by Dr. Janet Verplank, McCormick went on to receive a 66% at Second Level, Test 1 thus winning Junior High Point. “It was a fun show,” beamed McCormick, “thanks for Dr. Verplank for letting me show [Valentino] and to my trainer Ann Reynolds.” McCormick is spending her summer as an ever-busy working student.

Related Links
Horsesdaily Scoresource: Dressage at Woodside CDI
Horsesdaily "On the Scene" at the 2006 USEF/Markel National Young Horse Championships
Take an on-line insurance tour with Mary Phelps - A Markel Insurance Specialist