Sweden's Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven continued her hot streak in Wellington, Fla., on Jan. 23, winning the CDI-W Grand Prix with Divertimento during the third week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Vilhelmson-Silfven took home two first place prizes with Don Auriello during the first week of AGDF and started off Week 3 with equal success.
Vilhelmson-Silfven and Lövsta Stuteri's 12-year-old Westphalian gelding topped the class with a score of 75.00 percent. The top three was rounded out by Danish riders Lars Petersen, who rode Mariett to second place with a 73.32 percent, and Mikala Munter Gundersen and My Lady, who were third with a 71.64 percent.
Megan Lane of Canada was fourth with a score of 71.02 percent on Caravella. The top placing U.S. rider was Adrienne Lyle, who finished fifth with Wizard on a score of 70.10 percent.
Divertimento had a break from the show ring while traveling with Vilhelmson-Silfven’s other Grand Prix mount Don Auriello, and Vilhelmson-Silfven was thrilled with the gelding's first outing in some time. Divertimento occasionally suffers from a bit of performance anxiety.
"The best feeling I had was in the canter. He relaxed a little bit more once I got going. It was a bit tense starting, but he felt better and better. I was very pleased with the canter work because that's not always the easiest on him. I was happy with the pirouettes and the zig-zags, but overall I was happy he was so good in his mind and so relaxed," Vilhelmson-Silfven said.
Vilhelmson-Silfven opted out of any freestyle competitions with Divertimento to concentrate on helping the horse mature, a decision that has clearly paid off.
"I think I felt today that it was the best thing to do to give him a little bit of a competition break and get more mature and more ready for what he should do," Vilhelmson-Silfven said.
When asked if Wellington was a good luck charm for Vilhelmson-Silfven, who has had three CDI victories in her first three outings, she smiled, “It must be! It's been a great thing for me these years, traveling here and being able to compete her in the wintertime, when everything actually stops a bit [in Europe]. It's been good for these horses."
Petersen, Gundersen and Vilhelmson-Silfven all agreed that a class as large as Thursday's, with 29 in the Grand Prix, was quite similar to numbers seen in Europe, which provides riders with top tier competition.
"I think it's great. This feeling that we could look a little bit in the morning and get ready and warm up. That's kind of the way we can sometimes do it in Europe. I really liked that today, the possibility of seeing somebody else ride [in the Grand Prix class]. And great rides this morning as well," Vilhelmson-Silfven said.
"You don't get many chances to watch Grand Prix all day, at least I don't," Lyle commented. "Not in Idaho!"
Vilhelmson-Silfven was also awarded with the Champion Equine Insurance Dressage Style Award for her winning ride with Divertimento. Gabriella Stumpf was awarded the Show Chic Turnout Award during the FEI Jog on Wednesday afternoon.
See full results from the class on FoxVillage.