Monday, May. 27, 2024

Peters Places First Again At Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival Of Champions

Gladstone, N.J., Sept. 10

The results of the Intermediaire I looked very much the same as the Prix St. Georges test at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival Of Champions—Steffen Peters first on Weltino’s Magic (76.42%), Heather Blitz second on Paragon (74.68%) and Cesar Parra third on Grandioso (72.31%).

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Gladstone, N.J., Sept. 10

The results of the Intermediaire I looked very much the same as the Prix St. Georges test at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival Of Champions—Steffen Peters first on Weltino’s Magic (76.42%), Heather Blitz second on Paragon (74.68%) and Cesar Parra third on Grandioso (72.31%).

But the rides were very different. Peters, San Diego, Calif., opened the door just a crack with a couple of minor errors on “Magic,” while Blitz, Wellington, Fla., grew brave and pushed for more on Paragon. And Parra was actually leading the class during his trot work, but a miscommunication in the three-tempi changes brought their overall score down.

“I think he won it today with really good pirouettes and with his walk,” said Peters about the 9-year-old Westphalian gelding (Weltino—Diva, Diamond Boy). “The collected walk felt really relaxed, and he just has a super extended walk. With the pirouettes and the extended walk, those are three coefficients right there.”

Parra explained that he made some minor adjustments in the canter work to encourage Grandioso to get longer in the neck. “In the process of trying to do that, he thought I gave the half-halt to trot and got confused. It just happened. It happens sometimes,” he said.

Watch Cesar Parra’s Intermediaire I test:

Blitz was jubilant after her ride. “I did go for it a bit more today. I could because yesterday he showed me he was ready,” she said. “I just played with some more things in the warm-up. In the arena he did absolutely every small detail I asked him to do. I was almost bawling going up the centerline because he was so honest and so wonderful for me. We were completely on the same page today.”

It would take a disaster in the freestyle test tomorrow to change the top three spots. The Prix St. Georges counts for 45 percent of the overall championship and the Intermediaire I counts for 40 percent, so Peters, Blitz and Parra are well out in front of the competition. This means they are just one test away from a spot on the U.S. squad for the Pan American Games, as this championship also serves as the selection trials.

However, the fourth spot is still up for grabs. At the moment, Marisa Festerling sits in fourth with Big Tyme, but Endel Ots and Toscano jumped up the rankings with their 71.05 percent in the Intermediaire I, and Shawna Harding on Rigo is right behind Ots.

Four will go to Guadalajara, Mexico, to represent the United States, but six will attend training camp in New Jersey before the trip.

“It’s the first time in history that even the alternates could step in, and it wouldn’t much change our chances. This is the strongest lineup we’ve ever had in any games,” said U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons. “That means we are marching in the right direction.”

Lagoy-Weltz Wins Brentina Cup Test, Roffman Takes Overall Title

Olivia Lagoy-Weltz isn’t the only one thrilled about her win in the Brentina Cup test with Rifallino, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Balzflug—Jeda, Rossini) owned by Nelly van Ceulebroke. The pair scored 67.90 percent to take today’s class and place second overall with 65.51 percent.

“His owner is thrilled. She is just over the moon,” said Lagoy-Weltz, 27. “She flew here just to watch. We went in there and went for it today. He was there and focused, which is great.”

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Lagoy-Weltz works as assistant trainer for Kathy Priest at Woodspring Farm in Versailles, Ky.  

“It was really nice to have a day in between to just train,” said Lagoy-Weltz. “My trainer, Kathy, didn’t get in until after I had worked him on Wednesday. It’s always nice to have a day to work with the person who sees you every day.”

Roffman and Beemer, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Laudatio—All Day Long, Aldatus) owned by Global Dressage Sales LLC took second in today’s Brentina Cup test (66.46%), but their overall score of 65.82 percent was still good enough for the overall Young Adult Grand Prix title.

“I’m just so honored to be here, and so lucky to have the opportunity to ride the horse,” said Roffman. “To get to show here, there’s something special about it. I grew up watching the riders, and just going into this arena is really something. It’s a privilege. I have so many friends who are past winners. I always wanted to follow in their footsteps and be lucky enough to win.”

Roffman, 23, rides with Lars Peterson in Wellington, Fla., and recently started her own training and sales business with Endel Ots, who is here competing in the Intermediaire I championship on Toscano.

“I like teaching kids and moms that want to learn to ride,” said Roffman. “We’re starting at an appropriate level, and at a level I feel comfortable doing. We have Friesians and Akhal Tekes, so a little mix of everything. It’s exciting though. I very much still train with Lars, nothing has changed there, and I hope it won’t change.”

Pik L Pulls Through In Junior Team Test

The Junior Team test may have been Kya Endreson’s first ride in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena at Gladstone, but it wasn’t her mount’s. Pik L, an 18-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Pik Bube II—Abaja, Abajo) owned by Horses Unlimited, is an experienced small tour horse who competed in the 2003 Pan American Games and served as an alternate for the 2007 team. He also sired Pikko Del Cerro HU, fourth in yesterday’s Prix St. Georges and placed 13th in today’s Intermediaire I.

“I felt like [our test] went really well. We had a few mistakes, but he was such a good boy, and he tried his best,” said Endreson.

Endreson started competing Pik L in March, and she was a member of the Region 1 gold medal-winning junior team at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. The pair scored a 70.48 and a decisive victory today over Rachel Chowanec and Embrujado XI.

“I’d really like to thank Anne Sparks from Horses Unlimited,” said Endreson. “He can be a little bit lazy at times, but he’s a really good teacher because he’s helped me learn how to get him forward. He’s a really good boy and so well behaved.”

While Endreson is originally from North Carolina, she’s been based out of Chesapeake City, Md., with Scott and Susanne Hassler for the last year.

“I’m a working student for the Hasslers,” said Endreson. “I’ve been working for them for just over a year. They are so wonderful and so supportive; they’re like my second family.”

“Peaches” Earns A Sweet Reward In Pony Division

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After her winning ride in the Pony Team test yesterday, Allison Cyprus couldn’t wait to compete again in the Pony Individual test on Maple Lane Kero. But that all changed before her ride this morning.

“Yesterday I was extremely nervous, and after I rode I was like, ‘OK, let’s do it again.’ Then today before I got on I was like, ‘Oh no, I don’t want to do this again.’ I thought I wouldn’t be nervous but I still really was,” said Cyprus.

But her worries were unfounded when Cyprus and “Peaches,” an 8-year-old Welsh Cob (Mill Gate Hercules—Canterbrook Marmalade, Trevallion Royal Consort), put in a mistake-free test to earn a 64.63 percent and win the overall championship with a 63.28 percent. The other pony pair in the competition, Barbara Davis on Bohdjan, was reserve champion.

 Cyprus, 13, rides with Nancy Hinz at Yellow Rose Dresssage in Montgomery, Texas.

“[Nancy] said to go out there and have fun and just breathe,” said Cyprus. “Peaches was really good today. I wanted to just cry I was so happy with him.”

Leibler Triumphs In Young Riders

It’s hard to imagine how Isabelle Leibler’s summer could get much better. First she won team bronze with Region 8, individual gold and freestyle gold at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (Ky.) in July. Then the 16-year-old capped off her season by winning the Young Rider Championship at Gladstone today with Watson 108, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding (Weinzauber—Djuna, Damenstolz).

“It’s pretty unreal to have a summer like this,” said Leibler. “I’ve had Watson for about a year now, and when we first got him, I went through a lot of confidence things. There was a missing link, and I feel like now Marcel Van Der Berg and Robert Dover and Lendon Gray, our whole team, has helped me find my stride. It sort of came together at the right moment.”

Leibler, Greenwich, Conn., won the championship with an overall score of 70.21 percent, but placed second to Brandi Roenick and Pretty Lady in today’s Young Rider Individual test. Roenick, 16, scored a 71.57 percent to Leibler’s 70.15 percent.

Roenick, 16, found “Lady,” a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Iglesias—Ivonne, Sit This One Out), in Europe, and the pair started at training level together. The horse sustained a torn ligament injury in 2008, but she’s finally back in top form.

“Lady and I have had a struggle getting back in the arena since 2008, since her injury,” Roenick said. “Today I felt the rider and horse connection that we’ve been missing since ’08. Today we finally figured it out and got back on the same page. It’s great to have my horse back and connecting with me as a rider.”

Read our coverage from Thursday and Friday at the Festival Of Champions.

Full results available at Fox Village. You can watch videos of all the top tests for free at USEF Network.

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