For the eighth consecutive year, Show Manager Klaus Fraessdorf and his wife. Show Secretary Maria Fraesdorf, presented the Heidelberg Cup at Clarcona Equestrian Park in Orlando, Florida. Held March 21-24, an international panel judged 56 classes at the two-ring show. Over 140 exhibitors vied for more than $15,000 in prize money and awards. The show offered USET Qualifying classes for the Grand Prix Championship/World Equestrian Games Selection Trials and Intermediaire I Championships at Gladstone, as well as qualifiers for the 2002 North American Young Riders Championship and ABIG USDF Region 3 Championships.
Fraessdorf is especially pleased that he is able to award prize money in every class, from Training Level through Grand Prix. The top prize money goes to the winner of the Heidelberg Cup.
Prize Money For Riders, Owners, and Grooms
"The show has definitely grown," said Fraessdorf. "There’s always a different champion. It’s not always the same person who wins, which means we have different people coming every year." This year, Nancy Later and Manster won the Heidelberg Cup Championship. "Suzanne McCarthy, the owner of the horse received $1,000. The rider won $800, and the groom got $200. The Reserve Champion, Yvonne Barteau, won $400 and the owner of Chimon, Elite European Sporthorses, Inc., won $500. The groom received $100."
Fraessdorf also pointed out that he had the largest class of Young Riders ever at Clarcona Park. "We usually have three or four and offer $500 in prize money, but this year there were 12. I asked the sponsor, Highlife Farm, if they could add to the award, and they did – they added another $1,000 to the purse, which was greatly appreciated by the riders."
Fraessdorf said the show is well supported by sponsors. The largest contributor prefers to remain anonymous and is referred to as "A Friend of Dressage." Additional sponsors include Quiet Oaks Farm, Highlife Farms, Dutta Corporation, Swedish Exclusive, Cunningham and Cunningham Livestock Insurance, Inc., Tempi Watchworks, and Impressions of Saratoga.
Quiet Oaks Farm Sponsors Competitor's Party
One of the most unique features of the show according to Fraessdorf is the Friday Night Exhibitors Party sponsored by Quiet Oaks Farm of Winter Garden, Florida. "They spent over $6,000 on this party," said Fraessdorf. "We had wonderful food – roast beef, shrimp, open bar, and pastries. There was a professional dj and everybody danced. We played ‘Twister’. It was a very happy time. It was nice getting together."
Quiet Oaks Farm owned by Kathryn Groves is just around the corner from the show facility as is Highlife Farm. Dressage in Florida covers the entire state with quality training and breeding operations. Dressage is not exclusive to the Wellington area, as is proven by the strong support of the Orlando Dressage Shows.
Rainier High Score in FEI, San Remo in USAEq Division
Fraesdorff said the judging was very good and that the judges were generally in agreement on their scores. The judges were Col. Axel Steiner ‘O’, California; Hanne Valentin ‘O’, Denmark; Piere Morf, ret. ‘I’, Switzerland; and Gary Rockwell, ‘C’, Florida. The FEI High Point was awarded to Betsy Steiner and Rainier owned by Jane F. Clark for their 71.200% ride in the Grand Prix. The USA Eq High Point went to Yvonne Barteau and San Remo owned by Elite European Sporthorses, Inc. for their 77.059% ride at Second Level.
About 100 spectators came to watch the classes and for them, one of the highlights was a new tradition Fraesdorf introduced. "This year was the first time that during the victory laps we played German music. It was a song called ‘I Lost My Heart on Heidelberg’. It’s more ‘oompah’, and has a good rhythm for passage. The people were clapping to it. I’m going to keep it as a tradition." The show itself is named after the town of Heidelberg where his wife Maria was born.
"My whole impression of the show is that it was 97% good. The whole thing worked. Ninety-seven percent of the people love this show, and 3% will never come back," said Fraesdorf. Orange County owns Clarcona Park, but Fraessdorf is instrumental in making improvements to the facility every year. "I’m improving all the time. The main ring was extremely dusty this year and can’t be watered with the present system. I recommended a new one and the county is willing to install it. We will have it in place for the next show, the Southeast Dressage Championships in December."