Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2024

A Dream Achieved, A Retirement And A Newly Learned Test: Stories From AGDF Freestyles



Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 28

Jessica Jo Tate has done her share of competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, but she’s never been able to clinch a CDI4* Grand Prix freestyle victory. That all changed on Friday, when she rode the 17-year-old Westphalian gelding Faberge to a score of 73.42 percent, which topped the scoreboard.

“I have always wanted to win a cooler at Global,” said Tate. “I ride so many horses here, so this was amazing that I got to put one on for the four-star freestyle. It was really a special evening and for sure a highlight of my career so far. We’re just totally thrilled.”


Jessica Jo Tate and Faberge, winners of the CDI4* Grand Prix freestyle at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington. Tori Repole Photos

Tate partnered with Faberge (Florestan I—Baroness, Brentano II) 11 years ago, developing him through to the five-star level. The pair last competed in September 2019 at Dressage at Devon (Pennsylvania).

“I’m really pleased with my horse,” Tate said. “He hasn’t shown since Devon, so we’ve been doing a lot of fitness with him. I’m just so proud of him. I’ve been riding him for 11 years, and it’s just a really wonderful journey to have with the owner [Elizabeth Guarisco]. He really was so with me tonight and had a lot of energy. He loves the crowd, so that’s always fun to bring a horse like that here.”


South Korea’s Dongseon Kim and Belstaff finished second.

South Korea’s Dongseon Kim and the 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion Belstaff (Brentano II—Delseada SL, De Niro) finished on 72.43 percent for second. The four-star was Kim’s swan song, and he hoped to secure the win to cap off 10 years at the international level.


“This is my last show, and I’m going to be retiring from the competitive horse sport now,” said Kim. “I really wanted to win, but it didn’t go as planned; I really practiced the one tempis to make sure there were no mistakes. This is my first international season with him, so I think there were still some miscommunications, but I’m still really happy.”

Kim intends to ride for leisure on the weekends, and he’ll pursue investment banking as his 9 to 5.

“[The horses are] going to be sent to my good friends in Europe who are much, much better riders than me,” said Kim, “and who can give the horses the best career that they deserve.”

Japan’s Kiichi Harada finished on 70.74 percent with the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Egistar (Cabochon—Gudaula, Kaiserstern xx). (Read about their Wellington sweep).


Kiichi Harada and Egistar.

“Egistar, he was a little bit too hot today and a little bit difficult for me to control him tonight,” said Harada. “Maybe Egistar was a little bit jealous, too excited.”

If Egistar is jealous over the 16-year-old Anglo-European gelding Fairytale S (Reve D’Or—Tatjana Von Blumenzweibel, Wendekreis), Harada’s second mount, it’s for a good reason. In the CDI3* Grand Prix freestyle that preceded the four-star, Harada rode Fairytale to victory with 73.61 percent.


“It was my first Grand Prix freestyle with Fairytale,” said Harada. “I learned the music just today, maybe a few hours ago, but it really fit him.”


Kiichi Harada and Fairytale S, winners of the CDI3* Grand Prix freestyle.

“It was one of my old freestyles,” said Christoph Koschel, team trainer of Japan’s national dressage team. “So, he was only allowed to learn it today.”

Nora Batchelder and Faro SQF finished second on 71.83 percent, and Japan’s Akane Kuroki earned a 71.49 percent with Zuidenwind 1187 for third.


Nora Batchelder and Faro SQF finished second in the CDI3* Grand Prix freestyle.


Akane Kuroki and Zuidenwind 1187 took third.

Full Results 

Be sure to check out the March 9 print edition of the Chronicle for more from AGDF, and follow along online with all of our coverage. Be sure to follow us on social media: Twitter I Instagram I Facebook I COTH Podcast




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