Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Parra Is The King Of The Freestyle

Riding the musical freestyle has always been a strength for Colombia's Cesar Parra, and he was able to show off today with Galant du Serein for the win in the Grand Prix freestyle at the Wellington CDI (71.92%).

The pair started their partnership in 2004, competing at the Athens Olympics. Parra has patiently bided his time this spring, working for a top CDI finish.

"The joy is in the every day work," said Parra. Still he couldn't hide his elation at finally finishing with the blue.

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Riding the musical freestyle has always been a strength for Colombia’s Cesar Parra, and he was able to show off today with Galant du Serein for the win in the Grand Prix freestyle at the Wellington CDI (71.92%).

The pair started their partnership in 2004, competing at the Athens Olympics. Parra has patiently bided his time this spring, working for a top CDI finish.

“The joy is in the every day work,” said Parra. Still he couldn’t hide his elation at finally finishing with the blue.

The Selle Francais stallion danced to Colombian music, a combination of Shakira and Enrique Iglesias, created by Terry Gallo. “I try to emphasize telling a story, and start with something a little dramatic,” said Parra.

Another rider thrilled with her ride was Katherine Bateson-Chandler who rode Jane Clark’s dynamic FBW Kennedy to a second place finish (71.10%). This was their first freestyle together, and Bateson-Chandler borrowed the music from Robert Dover. She rode to a composition of Italian music that Dover used with Lenox for the World Equestrian Games in Rome in 1998.

Bateson-Chandler received 8s for her music and highlighted the canter pirouettes in her test, performing double pirouettes as well as single ones. It was only the second time she’d been able to practice the freestyle.

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Jacqueline Brooks grabbed third with Gran Gesto (70.75%), and Heather Blitz took fourth aboard Arabella (70.55%).

In the Intermediaire freestyle Pop Art and Ashley Holzer were once again unbeatable, winning with a 74 percent. They even received 80 percent from the British judge, Stephen Clark, for their remarkable performance.

The dynamic duo performed to Canadian pop star Bryan Adam’s “Here I Am” from the soundtrack of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. This win was their ninth straight CDI win, completing a clean sweep of the Florida small tour. It will also be their last Intermediaire class as they prepare to move up.

Christopher Hickey placed second with Regent. He opened with a foot-perfect pirouette to the left, but had trouble when Regent changed leads in his pirouette right, so he threw in another one to improve his score.

Colombia’s Marco Bernal rounded out the top three in the Intermediare with Halbgott.

And there was another first timer to the freestyle in the young riders division. Caroline Roffman won the early morning class with her Hanoverian, Bulgari V in their first freestyle together. It was her second win of the weekend. She took home blue in the young rider Prix St. Georges and also placed second in the Young Rider Team test on Friday.

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