Emmy Adwers credited her trainer, Cesar Parra, for her and PF Robinson’s tricolor victories in the open Grand Prix and the Intermediaire II at Great American/USDF Region 1 Championships, Sept. 2-4.
The 38-year-old adult amateur said that Parra’s confidence in her inspired her to rise to the occasion at the Labor Day Weekend show at the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown.
“Probably the biggest reason we have had so much success is Cesar, who believed in me more than I do myself,” said the technology analyst. “He reached for a higher high than I would do for myself.”
She and her bay Oldenburg, a son of Rubenstein I, won the Grand Prix title with a 64.23 percent and the Intermediaire II with a 62.92. Last year she and her other Grand Prix horse, Ali Baba 92, won the same titles at the Region 8 finals.
Parra had ridden “Robin” at the 2002 World Equestrian Games for his native Colombia, and Adwers said he “definitely thought [Robin] and I would be a great match.”
Adwers took 18 months off from her position working for Wall Street firms in New York City to concentrate on riding Robin at the Grand Prix level. She spent two summers in Europe with Robin, and Parra also arranged for her to work with his 2004 Olympic coach, Hubertus Schmidt, a member of the gold-medal German team.
Adwers also gained valuable experience showing in Europe. At the Hagen CDI (Germany), she and her 17.1-hand gelding placed 11th with a 65 percent in the Grand Prix and ninth in the Grand Prix freestyle. They also finished 17th at the Lingen CDI (Germany).
Before that, Adwers and Robinson scored a 70 percent in a freestyle ride at the Memorial Day show at the New Jersey Horse Park, which convinced Adwers that she was moving in the right direction with her training. “I know that wasn’t a onetime event. Clearly, this horse can do it, and all I need now is more experience,” she said.
After five years of concentrating on dressage, Melissa Taylor Yee is rapidly gaining experience. She and her own Schumacker Solyst (Supermax Schwadroneur–Patricia Solyst), a 10-year-old Danish Warmblood, scored their first CDI victories at the New Jersey show, while also picking up a regional title too.
The former hunter/jumper and event rider said her three wins were a birthday present for her trainer, Danish Olympian Lars Petersen. The Northhampton, Pa., resident won the Region 1 Intermediaire I (70.53%) open championship and the Prix St. Georges (67.20%) and Intermediaire I (66.90%) CDI classes.
“It was an incredible weekend. Lars said he was thrilled and this was the best birthday present he could have,” said Yee. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Yee has been riding with Petersen for a year and half, and like Adwers, she credits Petersen with much of her success. She said Petersen’s “perfectionist” intensity helps drive her to reach for more.
“He had a whole lot of fixin’ to do when I started riding with him,” she said with a laugh. “I had a bunch of bad habits that he had to eliminate. He also really cares about the horse and is very intuitive.”
Yee saw “Schumy” as a fourth level horse in Petersen’s barn and decided he was the horse for her. “You could say I was in the right place at the right time and was lucky to get him” said Yee, 34. “It’s taken time to build a relationship, but I think we’ve established a good work ethic together now.
“Schumy is one of those wonderful horses with a great mix of being hot and sensitive, but not at all flighty,” she added. “He has an incredible engine, and I’m finally learning when to give gas and when not to give gas.”
In only their second show in their five months together, Betsy Steiner “is completely thrilled with Diamore [Diamond–Kalinka],” who helped Steiner win the Region 1 Prix St. Georges tricolor (65.91%).
It was the 16-hand chestnut’s presence in the ring, her panache and her correctness that earned her the championship, said Steiner.
“She had quite a few 8s, got good marks on her half-passes, and was very correct with a good, square halt at the end. It was just a sum of the details of the test that gave her the [win],” she said.
Steiner, Wellington, Fla., got “DeDe” last April after owners Richard and Meryl Cannon asked her to work some of their horses. They stand the 8-year-old mare’s Danish sire and have two other horses in training with Steiner.
“DeDe is very sensitive, but my kind of horse. She’s very intense, but will come back and wait for me. She’s the sort who is very regal but organized and is a little perfectionist,” said Steiner.
Ghlenlivet, a Hanoverian gelding, has been Nancy Lewis-Stanton’s kind of horse since he was 3 months old. She said she wasn’t looking for a horse, couldn’t afford another horse, but when his breeder, Maureen Swanson, sent her a videotape, she knew she had to take a look.
“Even at 3 months, his trot took my breath away. His feet didn’t touch the ground, and it was just effortless,” she said.
Now 5, “Ghlen” has won every class he’s ever entered, and he continued his streak at Allentown, winning the Region 1 first level freestyle championship (71.66%) and the open first level division (71.25%).
Lewis-Stanton performed her freestyle ride to a medley of Neil Diamond songs.
Her choreography included a lot of changes in direction and circles, which showed off Ghlen’s suppleness, and, because his leg-yields are another strong point, she did a lot of zigzags.
“I try to make it interesting,” she said with a laugh. “There’s not a lot of movements in a first level test, but the judges seem to like this freestyle because I’ve beaten FEI-level freestyles in test-of-choice classes before.”
Swanson chooses a theme every year to help her name her horses and Ghlen was born in the “drinks year,” said Lewis-Stanton. She said she’s not sure if her gelding knows what his name means, but when her husband offers Ghlen a little Scotch from his hand, he laps it up happily.
Lewis-Stanton also won the Region 1 Intermediaire I freestyle title on Fendi, a 9-year-old Hanoverian she’s owned for three years. This was only his second show season. When she started riding the gelding, Lewis-Stanton said he was “out of shape” and only working at third level. She’s been able to move him up the levels quite quickly because “his mind is amazing. He’s so focused and thrives on hard work,” she said.
Fendi’s freestyle is performed to Spanish music, and the choreography highlights his strengths in the canter and lateral work.
“We do three-tempi changes on a circle and flying changes down the centerline and a lot of half-pass work,” said Lewis-Stanton. “He impressed me because I knew he was tired after showing all weekend, but he never gave up and kept trying.”
Fendi also picked up the reserve championship in the Intermediaire I division.