Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 10
For the second time this season Jennifer Baumert and Handsome swept the small tour CDI at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, picking up wins in the Prix St. Georges (71.11%) and the Intermediaire I (70.94%) A divisions.
“He was super rideable today,” said Baumert, who’s been riding Betsy Juliano’s 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Hochadel—Wyona K, Weltmeyer) for the last two years. “He actually felt a little better today than on Wednesday. I’m really happy with his consistency. He’s just going in there and trying his heart out for me, and I couldn’t really ask for more.”
Baumert slowly progressed to riding Handsome, who was Juliano’s personal horse, full time in 2016. They had good placings on the AGDF circuit last year, but Baumert says she has a stronger horse this year.
“Last season he did very well, but he was really green at this level,” she said. “He’s just gotten so much stronger and so much more confident. Everything feels very sure. Last year it was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know how this is going to go!’ It’s fun to get to enjoy it.”
Baumert, who works for Juliano at her Havensafe Farm in Mesopotamia, Ohio, and Wellington, Florida, said Handsome is a bit of an introvert, but as she’s formed a partnership with him he’s blossomed.
“Last year I was like, ‘Do you even like me besides when I have sugar?’” she said with a laugh. “He just didn’t have a lot of emotion. His personality has just come out like crazy. It’s been kind of fun.
“In the ring he gets a little nervous,” she continued. “Last year we had a lot more inconsistencies. He had a couple little bolts from noises in the tents. Now I never feel that. He’s totally with me, even if he’s a little bit nervy. Last year we just didn’t have that bond so he wasn’t quite as with me.”
Baumert is competing in the Intermediaire I freestyle tomorrow with similar music to last year but a new plan. She’s looking towards the USEF Festival Of Champions (Illinois) as a goal.
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