Devon, Pa., Sept. 30
Heather Mason and Warsteiner have had a good year. Recently named as alternates to the 2011 Pan American Games dressage team after their performance in the Intermediare Championships at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions (N.J.), they now have a win in Friday afternoon's Prix St. Georges (69.47%) at Dressage at Devon (Pa.) to add to that list.
“He was good [at the championships], and he was even better here,” Mason said. “He’s just gotten better and stronger as we’ve progressed. I’m really happy with how strong he’s gotten, and his pirouettes are getting better. He’s able to be a lot more uphill.”
A win at Devon is a dream for any rider, but for Mason it was especially sweet: Warsteiner has only been competing at the Prix St. Georges level for the past year. She sees the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding as a definite future Grand Prix partner.
“He is already doing piaffe and passage,” Mason said. “He shows great talent for both. But, he’ll do another year of the small tour before we think about moving him up.”
Warsteiner (Riverman—Welona, Roemer) surprised even his biggest fans when he was named as an alternate to the U.S. Pan American Games team. Traveling to Guadalajara, Mexico, wasn’t on Mason’s to-do list when she made her schedule for the year.
“I was very surprised,” Mason said. “It was not something that we had thought about or planned at all.”
This winter, Mason plans to focus on building Warsteiner’s strength in hopes of a second successful season at Prix St. Georges.
Wizard Over Winyamaro
Beneath the lights in the Dixon Oval, Wizard could have lit up the ring all on his own. Adrienne Lyle piloted the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding to a win in Friday evening’s Grand Prix.
Watch their winning performance:
Lyle and Wizard (70.66%) shut out nearest challengers Catherine Haddad Staller and her gelding Winyamaro (67.53%) with a comfortable lead of three points. The win comes just two weeks after Lyle placed second to Haddad Staller and Winyamaro at the Saugerties CDI Grand Prix Special in Saugerties, N.Y.
Lyle, Sun Valley, Idaho, has made good use of her time on the East coast this fall. She brought Wizard (Weltmeyer—Pica, Classiker) over 2,300 miles to Gladstone, N.J., to perform at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions in September. In his first appearance at Devon, Wizard put in a solid performance that puts him in good form for Saturday night’s Grand Prix freestyle.