Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024

Four Times The Fun At VADA/NOVA Autumn II Dressage

These friends team up for a little extracurricular activity in the form of a quadrille class.

Four ladies decided to try something different at the VADA/NOVA Autumn II Dressage, Nov. 17-18 at the Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Leesburg, Va.
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These friends team up for a little extracurricular activity in the form of a quadrille class.

Four ladies decided to try something different at the VADA/NOVA Autumn II Dressage, Nov. 17-18 at the Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Leesburg, Va.

Lisa Hensley, Linda Crivella, Leslie Albert and Jaralyn Finn put together a quadrille team—the Ladies of Wyndham Oaks—and scored a 75.50 percent in the BLM qualifying quadrille. Their performance was a spectator highlight of the show.

Hensley, Crivella, and Albert are all adult amateurs who ride at Wyndham Oaks in Boyds, Md. Finn, who boards next door, rides with them at Wyndham Oaks. “The owner of the farm really loves quadrilles,” Finn said. “She put together two teams, just for fun.”

All four train with Becky Langwost-Barlow at Wynd-ham Oaks. Langwost-Barlow put together the choreo-
graphy, while Frank and CeCe Maddlone of EquiChord did the music.

The foursome debuted at the Potomac Valley Dressage Association’s Ride for Life breast cancer benefit in June.

“It was quite thrilling,” Finn said. “We actually raised the most money” of all the riders at the benefit. They’ve also performed at a therapeutic riding fundraiser at their barn and at one unrecognized show. This show was their “first time doing it in recognized competition,” Finn said.

“It’s a really cool thing to do,” Finn said. “It’s been a blast.”

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The group includes three geldings and “one mare—she hates all the boys,” she said. “Our practices can be highly enthusiastic.”

Hensley rides Dzwina Primera, a 16-year-old Oldenberg by Don Primero. Hensley has had her five years and began showing her at fourth level this year. Her daughter also shows in the hunters, and they groom for each other.

Crivella rode her Trakehner-Thorough-bred gelding Cadance, and Albert rode her Dutch gelding Joli.
Finn rode Alexandra Dane’s Darius in the quadrille. He’s also an Oldenberg by Don Primero—Finn has been riding him for 11⁄2 years. The pair also won Saturday’s Inter-mediaire I class (64.75%) in their debut at that level.

The pair have moved quickly up the show levels since getting together. Dane did his previous training but didn’t show him much. “He did a little third level last summer really badly,” Finn said. “And then he kind of settled into it.” For instance, she said, “he would do flying changes, but only when it was right for him.”

Finn is very happy with him now, especi-ally “being that he’s 15 and learning new tricks.” She plans to do more Intermediaire I with him next year. “Obviously we’re working on what it takes to do Intermediaire II and Grand Prix.”

Young Rider Amy Chipman had a good show—she won both Prix St. Georges classes both days, was second to Finn in Intermediaire I Saturday, and scored a 67.25 percent to win at Intermediaire I on Sunday. She rode Kathy Wakeman’s 10-year-old Dutch gelding Parlambo, a big, flashy chestnut also known as “Boomer.”

“He’s a really cool horse,” Chipman said. “He’s been with us not quite a year,” at trainer Libby Anderson’s barn.

Chipman, a George Mason University (Va.) student who just switched her major to nursing, has ridden with Anderson for four years. She also rode her own horse, Melisande, at first level.

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Melisande will move up to second level, and Parlambo will keep doing Intermediaire I and schooling Grand Prix. She also plans to try to qualify for the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships with him.

Andrea Velas originally choreographed her freestyle to be a third-level ride, but she changed it just before
the show to be at fourth level. Saturday was “the first time I rode it through in its entirety,” Velas said of the test, to music from “Lord of the Dance.”

Velas and Allegretta placed second in the BLM/GAIG/USDF qualifying freestyle on Saturday with a score of 64.79 percent, but then upped the ante the next day and won with a 67.70 percent.

Unusually, they started by walking in, then building through trot to the canter work. The pair were also
second in Saturday’s Prix St. Georges class and third in Sunday’s.

The tests were “only her second and third Prix St. Georges tests,” Velas said, after only showing Allegretta at fourth level twice this spring. Saturday was “her first time showing in an indoor,” Velas said. “Her eyes were as big as saucers.”

Allegretta, a delicately-built Hanoverian-Thoroughbred Velas bought four years ago as a resale project, is only 7. She spends most of her week as a lesson horse at Paul Belasik’s Pennsylvania Riding Academy, where Velas is the manager. Velas broke her, and Belasik has done much of her training.

“I’m just reaping the rewards,” she said. “This is the most fun I’ve had showing—she will kill herself trying for you.”

Velas plans to school Grand Prix with her next year, show her lightly at Intermediaire I, and is putting together a freestyle at that level for her. “If she does five shows next year, it’ll be a lot,” Velas said. “All she needs is the experience. A couple more shows, and she’s just going to be so pushbutton.”

Lois Mermelstein

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