Jason Canton and Joline

Tuesday, February 20, 2001
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Joline is a delicate, expressive mare who dances through her tests; there is a twinkle in her eye similar to a Jack Russell Terrier -- you know there's a lot going on in her head -- but with Jason Canton in the saddle she is attentive and obedient.

Canton and Joline, (Michaelangelo x Elianova/Aktuur), owned by Lisa Froehlich, are proving their partnership. Already at the WEF they have won the Second level, test one and placed second to Carol Lavell in second level, test 2 with a 76%. Last weekend they won the same test at the Southern Comfort Dressage show in Clarcona, Florida with a 73%. Already, the spectators recognize this little mare and gather at the ringside when the announcer says her name.

"She can be a little hot, but we have a really good rapport," said Canton. He said that she handled the atmosphere at Wellington well. He has been riding her since last June, and this was their fifth show together. "She did training level in September and had scores in the 80's from Axel Steiner," he said.

A nine-year-old KWPN mare, Joline was imported from Holland as a six-year-old, having been a broodmare, with several foals by Olympic Cocktail. She was a champion at her keuring, but when Canton started riding her she was fresh out of the pasture.

Joline is currently for sale. While there have been several interested parties, her owner is in no hurry to sell her and is waiting for the right partner to take her forward in dressage.

Canton, now training out of Julia Martin's farm in Birmingham, Alabama, was a student of Melle Van Bruggen and has trained in Germany with Conrad Schumacher. In 1992 he was long-listed for the Olympic Games on the stallion St. Tropez.

Text by Amber Heintzberger

Carol Lavell and Much Ado

Carol Lavell and Much Ado made much ado of their rides at the Zada Enterprises LLC Florida Dressage Classic in Wellington, February 15-19, 2001. The 7-year-old, 17.3h KWPN gelding was imported by Lavell two years and three months ago. A big, heavy bay gelding, he is not so flashy, like Lavell's legendary Olympic mount Gifted, but is full of presence: when he enters the ring, he is noticed.

In second level, test two on Thursday, the pair won with a 74.359% and on Friday they won third level, test won with an impressive 78.611%, the highest score at the show thus far. His powerful gaits were submissive except for when a jump went crashing down in a nearby hunter ring and he took an enormous leap forward, but settled into his work again quickly.

"He really likes to work," said Lavell. If he in tense the work relaxes him. I don't want to overdo it with him because there is a lot of joy in his work and I don't want to lose that. I want the harmony and pleasure of it." Through a fairly intense Florida season, Lavell keeps her horse fresh by not pushing him too hard. "Tomorrow I'll bring him out and warm him up so that he knows he doesn't have to go in the show ring every time he's ridden here," she said on Friday.

Lavell spends her summers training in Vermont, taking a break from competition after her winters in Florida. "It's kind of a joke," she said, "that I use an indoor arena in the summers and the outdoor in the winters."

Much Ado is her only horse; she spends a lot of time teaching, and having only one horse to ride leaves time for other things in her life, not to mention more time for this one horse, for which her admiration and affection is obvious. "There's a lot of pressure on him in third level," she said. "I'm backing off a little; I would rather train a lot than show a lot because at this point he still has a lot of muscle to build up and the showing is hard on him."

Text by Amber Heintzberger

Friday, February 23, 2001

Karen Lipp Leads at Florida Dressage Classic

With a 68.75%, Karen Lipp of Atlanta, GA and Douwe, an 11-year-old Dutch (NRPS) gelding, won the Intermediaire I USET Qualifier at the Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic in Wellington. In a field of nineteen horses, the little bay gelding strutted his stuff, even though Lipp said that he felt tired and she had to help him a lot more than on Thursday. "It feels good to be riding rather than just sitting there, though. I like that," said Lipp. "Our canter pirouettes are really good, and they're scored with a coefficient, so we always collect some points there."

Lipp has been training with Olympian Michelle Gibson for more than five years and is spending the winter training with her in Florida. On Sunday she plans to ride in the musical freestyle, with music composed by Marlene Whitaker. "Last year we tried slow music but this year we've got some John Tesh that matches his quicker gaits better," said Lipp.

Eugene Reesink of the Netherlands and Michael Barisone originally imported Douwe as a show jumper, but his original rider found him too much horse for her. "Michael warned me when I tried Douwe, but it didn't take much for him to come around and for his gaits to be confirmed." She adds, "He has a heart the size of Texas and a lot of go - I love that when you get on and they just want to go."

Text by Amber Heintzberger

Saturday, February 24, 2001

Lynda Alicki and Impressario Ready for Grand Prix

Winner of the Grand Prix de Dressage at the Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic, February 15-18, 2001 was Lynda Alicki riding Impressario (Darwin x Elina), her 16.2h KWPN gelding, and 1999 Pan-Am Games mount. She said, "He was spooky going around the outside of the ring, but he was fine when they rang the bell." Their results were excellent considering that this was the second time the horse ever competed in Grand Prix, and they scored 64.33%, good enough to win in a class of eight horses. The pair was also second in the Grand Prix Special with 66.9%.

Having ridden him since he was a youngster, she said that though their ride was mistake-free, she feels that "Rio" needs to develop more strength for some of the more advanced movements. "He feels weak after Gino," she said, referring to her 1999 Dressage at Devon Freestyle Champion, now ridden by Elizabeth Kane. "Once you hit Grand Prix, it's a whole new ballgame building strength."

Originally from Georgia, 2000 was Alicki's first year based year-round in Florida. "The summers here are actually nicer than in Georgia because there is a breeze," she said.

In 1999, Alicki and Gino traveled to Europe on a USDF training grant, where they worked with Klaus Balkenhol. She also took "Rio," who she said gained a lot from the experience. She would love to return to Europe; always looking for young horses, Alicki says she would also love to have another horse coming up through the ranks of dressage.

Text by Amber Heintzberger