Sweden's Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven finished first for the second time with Divertimento during the third week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla., this time winning the FEI Grand Prix Special on Jan. 25. Vilhelmson-Silfven and Divertimento, a 12-year-old Westphalian owned by Lövsta Stuteri, topped the class with a score of 74.88 percent.
U.S. riders finished second and third, with Adrienne Lyle and Wizard placing second with their score of 70.54 percent and Katherine Bateson Chandler earning the third place finish with Wellnetta. The pair's final score was 69.68 percent.
"Thursday he was more relaxed,” said Vilhelmson-Silfven, who also won this week's CDI-W Grand Prix. ”I had an easier ride. He got a bit tense [tonight, but] I could still ride him, and he still let me ride him, and he trusted me and got relaxed during the test. Educationally, I'm very happy. I think he's getting better and better.”
Vilhelmson-Silfven is focused on maintaining the frame of mind Divertimento is currently in for future competitions.
"He's working very well, and he's technically much easier to ride this year than last year. I'll just keep training. He's in a good mood and in a good feeling right now, so I'm going to try to keep him soft and happy in that way," Vilhelmson-Silfven said.
Lyle was also quite satisfied with Wizard's performance in the class, chalking up any lost points to pilot error. Despite not having as clean of a test as she did Thursday, Lyle was happy to see the gelding's piaffe-passage work improve.
"I haven't ridden the Special in a really long time, so I have to say a couple of the errors I think were a little rider error. I was quite happy with parts of it. We had some errors, but the quality I thought of the rest of [the test] was going in the right direction," Lyle said.
Third place finisher and fellow American Bateson Chandler was full of praise for her mare Wellnetta, especially since the two have not been together for long.
"My horse is amazing! She has an incredible work ethic. She goes in the ring, she has her ears up on go," Bateson Chandler said.
"You're going to get tension when you have that much go in a horse,” she added. “She is a workhorse. She doesn't quit the whole time. [She wants to do] more, more, more, and you have to tell her 'less, less, less.’ ”
Heather Mason and Zar won the Intermediaire I. Mason and Zar also won the Intermediaire freestyle during the first week of competition at the AGDF, and they topped Week 3's class with a score of 71.84 percent.
Mason works with Lars Petersen while in Wellington, who she credits with putting them on the path to success. "I've been working with Lars [twice a week] since I've been here. We've been working on more power and more engagement, especially in the extensions. I need to keep going like this and build the strength now. Our goal coming here was to qualify for the [USEF] Festival [Of Champions, N.J], which now he's pretty sure to be in [since] his average is over 70," Mason said.
Full results available online.