First Time’s a Charm for Rigo and Shawna Harding at Gold Coast Opener CDI-W
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
“I am thrilled with Rigo's progress and with his win in the I-I freestyle,” Harding said. “Two weeks ago was Rigo's first time competing at the Intermediare I level. This weekend was his first time doing the whole small tour at a CDI and the very first time in his whole career doing a freestyle! I think considering how new he is to this level of competition he did very well. I am so happy with the little man!”
Harding and Rigo have been partnered since the fall of 2006. The gelding was started in Germany and was purchased by Rowe at the Hanoverian auction in Germany when he was five. “I have been training Rigo up through the levels and with Tonya's support we won the Regional Championships at First Level in 2007, Second Level in 2008 and Fourth Level, as well as Fourth Level Horse of the Year, in 2009. In 2010 we won the USEF National Developing Horse Championship and Region 2 Prix St Georges Championships.”
The pair’s freestyle was developed with the help of Terry Gallo and Harding’s coach Roel Theunnisen and Harding said the finishing touches weren’t made until just before this weekend’s Opener. “I wanted to be able to ride it right away at the first CDI and in two sessions we had it done. I love the music and think it suits my music taste but mostly Rigo's personality and his movement. His extended trot is a definite highlight and his trot half passes are smooth and steep and his canter pirouettes are beautiful. He is really developing nicely as he gets stronger. I think he liked competing with the music and only had a couple of small mistakes and those we can fix,” Harding said.
In non-CDI competition at the Opener, Katherine Bateson Chandler and Dea II took the win in one of the FEI Prix St. Georges Open classes with a score of 70.263. Behind them in second was Ashley Holzer riding Grand Marnier to a score of 68.684. Caroline Roffman and Pie took the win in the other FEI Prix St. Georges Open class with a score of 73.158.
In FEI Adult Amateur competition, Janne Rumbough and her JR won Intermediaire I competition with a score of 67.105. And winner of the FEI Intermediaire II Open competition was Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven with Don Auriello and a score of 70.526.
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