Caroline Roffman and Pie stood out again at the U.S. Equestrian Federation Dressage Festival of Champions, this time winning the Intermediaire I test with a 75.39 percent.
“He was so good yesterday, and I was a little bit nervous that I couldn’t do it again,” she said. “He was different. He was a little more nervous, but he tried for me, so I couldn’t be happier.”
Pie, a 10-year-old Hanoverian (Otto Rudolf Fuchs—Worldly, World Lady), traveled with Roffman from their base at Lionshare Dressage in Wellington, Fla. On Thursday they won the Prix St. Georges test with a 73.97 percent, and they will take to the ring once more on Sunday for their Intermediaire I freestyle.
“It’s intimidating to be with a group of this caliber of riders,” she said. Although Roffman achieved many accolades in the junior and young rider ranks, she’s new to the senior championship level at 23.
“I tried to be the best I could be and not think about the transition [to the senior division],” said Roffman. “I wasn’t happy just being a young rider; I wanted to be better.”
Today was no different, and despite nerves, they completed the test with enough gusto to get the points they needed to stay on top.
David Blake and Royal Prinz took second place for the day (72.94%). Blake, 33, has been based out of Steffen and Shannon Peters’ facility for the past two years. “When Steffen asked me to move in and run my business out of there, that shot my career into hyperdrive. I wouldn’t have the horse if it weren’t for him,” he said.
Although Blake said he would like to move the 11-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Royal Diamond—Mystica, Dream Of Glory) to Grand Prix, he also said Royal Prinz, owned by Teresa Simmons, is still green.
“Yesterday he was really scared, but today he was really good,” he said.
In third place, Heather Mason, Lebanon, N.J., and Warsteiner scored a 72.02 percent, a marked improvement over their Prix St. Georges score (70.34%), for which they placed fifth on Friday.
“I was conservative yesterday, so I went for it today,” she said.
Warsteiner, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Riverman-ISF—Welona, Roemer), will move up to Grand Prix after this show. Mason, 43, said she plans to take him to some smaller Grand Prix shows to transition.
“As long as he’s good and puts in solid performances, I’m happy,” she said.
Lombardo LHF Takes The Brentina Cup Lead
Brian Hafner led the competition in his first time competing in the Brentina Cup at the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions with Lombardo LHF.
“Just in the past month he’s come into his own a little bit,” he said. “He’s still so green with the Grand Prix stuff. He’s just getting stronger and trying to improve. We had a couple of small mistakes, but overall I was really happy with that.”
He traveled from Penngrove, Calif., to compete with the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Londonderry—Waluga, Werther) that he owns with Rebecca Hafner. Brian, 23, has had the horse since he was 4 years old.
“He’s the first horse I’ve ridden Grand Prix on. We’re learning together, so that makes it fun but also challenging,” he said, adding that they are still working toward stronger piaffe and passage movements.
Hafner’s 70.66 percent narrowly beat Heather Ann Beachem and Windsong (70.07%), who placed third last year in the Brentina Cup.
“Today was the ride of my life,” she said. “I’ve never gotten a 70 before. He felt incredible. I felt so blessed that this is my little horse, and we got here together.”
Brian and Beachem, 23, were the only riders to break 70 percent, but third-placed Laura Noyes came close with a 69.3 percent on Syncro, a 17-year-old Trakehner gelding (Enrico Caruso—Sonset, Habicht) owned by Sycro LLC.
“I think it’s amazing that so many of us scored so high,” said Noyes, 25. “This is the first year that it’s been this quality and this competitive.”
The riders will enter the ring again tomorrow, June 17, for the second phase of the competition.
For full results, visit Fox Village Dressage.
Watch the tests on USEF Network.
To catch up on all the news from the event, see the Chronicle’s coverage of the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions.