Jacqueline Brooks Earns Her First Grand Prix Win at Dressage at Devon with Balmoral
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Because she was busy last year with her Olympic partner Gran Gesto, Brooks had given Balmoral a year off to hang out in a field and relax. She brought him back into work last fall. The horse has been a past winner at Devon in breed competition, in which judges predicted that he had a bright future ahead and they were right. Brooks opted to bring Balmoral, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding bred in Canada and owned by Anne Welch, to Devon because Gran Gesto showed just two weeks earlier at NEDA. “And he went in there and he shocked me,” Brooks said. “I was laughing in the test, it was so fun.”
Konyot was just as excited to have finished second. “I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “It’s our fifth Grand Prix and he’s never competed under lights. I was so happy that I was crying.” She knew she had mistakes in her test but attributed them to the fact that Calecto V, an 11-year-old Danish Warmblood she owns, is still young. “I can iron out the mistakes. I know what they are,” she said. The venue was not the problem for Calecto, Konyot said. In fact, he was so relaxed that she was rather slack with the reins and had to remind herself to ride. Mostly, he just needs to confirm some movements, such as his passage-piaffe transitions, Konyot said. She noted that judge Christoph Hess hit her hardest in her scores and when she spoke to him afterward he told her she had “a world-class horse” so she holds no grudges. “He was right in his comments,” she said. But Konyot didn’t need Hess to tell her she has a special horse. She already knew that, even though she said friends laughed at her years ago when she bought Calecto in Europe. “He’s going to be a grand Grand Prix Horse,” she said.
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