Friday, May. 24, 2024

Success In First CDIs

August was a pretty stellar month.  WakeUp, Weltdorf ("Willie") and I all did our first CDI Grand Prix in Estes Park, Colo. It’s a beautiful, well-run show with the nicest staff. I thought I might as well get my feet wet. It is a lot of travel, but last year, doing the CDI the week before the Developing Horse Nationals set us up very nicely and put WakeUp in the show mode. I also wanted to do a CDI this year and let’s face it; they are not in abundance in the Midwest.

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August was a pretty stellar month.  WakeUp, Weltdorf (“Willie”) and I all did our first CDI Grand Prix in Estes Park, Colo. It’s a beautiful, well-run show with the nicest staff. I thought I might as well get my feet wet. It is a lot of travel, but last year, doing the CDI the week before the Developing Horse Nationals set us up very nicely and put WakeUp in the show mode. I also wanted to do a CDI this year and let’s face it; they are not in abundance in the Midwest.

It went better than my wildest expectations! We rode the Intermediare B Saturday after a less exciting than usual jog. Willie went first. We had a super expressive test and finished with a 71 percent! I piaffed and passaged in the CDI ring, one more thing checked off the bucket list!

I was glad to do it first with Willie since he has been my first Grand Prix horse. WakeUp was next and from the first five steps in the warm-up, I had a great feeling about the ride. He was relaxed but still with good energy. When we went around the ring, he didn’t change, he didn’t get tight or puffed up; he just stayed the same.  I thought it was a great ride, but hearing it announced that we got a 75 percent was pretty incredible.

Sunday was the first Grand Prix. Willie was drawn to go first again, and he clocked out a solid test although without some of the expression of Saturday. I was elated to have done my first CDI Grand Prix, and it was extra special to do with Willie, the rascal I have had since he was 2 ½ years old. He finished with a 68 percent.

Wakey was shortly after. He was fantastic, getting 9s on his trot, half-passes, and on his walk. Our weakest link is still the piaffe and passage transitions but I hope with patience and strength those will improve. Super exciting to say Wakey got a 71 percent in a CDI Grand Prix!

Sunday afternoon we left Colorado and arrived back home Monday at 4 a.m., Monday. Wakey got the day off, Tuesday was a light workout and then we drove through the night to be at the jog for the National Developing Horse Championships on Wednesday. I love Lamplight and I was super excited to be a part of the final leg of the Young and Developing Horse program. It is always good to see friends and be a part of this fun show.

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Thursday was our first test. We lacked a little oomph and someone (me) did two extra two-tempis. Funny they don’t give extra credit? We finished a very close second to Endel with a 68.3 percent. Friday was just an easy schooling and WakeUp felt spectacular. Too bad it wasn’t a show day, but rides like that give me goose bumps.

Saturday, we snuck in our test before the rain came again. WakeUp was very, very good and we had a clean, even test although I could tell he was tired. We earned a 70 percent and won the class…but it wasn’t enough to win the championships—we were .03 percent behind! Obviously, I am still super proud of Mr. Wakey Wakey. What an honor to have him.

Last year I did the same combination of shows (Colorado CDI then Chicago Nationals) and it worked out fantastically, but this year I think it was too much for WakeUp to be at his peak in Chicago. I don’t think I appreciated how much more difficult and strenuous the Grand Prix is than the Prix St. Georges/I1, and the difference of being solid and very confident at the Prix St. Georges/I1 versus still in a bit of a learning curve at the Grand Prix. All things to learn for the future.  

Now summer is over and soon we will be off to regionals. I will be very sad to see my two girls, Madison and Mackenzie, head back to school. They are so fun, extremely helpful, and always have a smile on their face.

Hope everyone else has had a fantastic summer! September is Regionals, Lilo clinic and then I’M GETTING MARRIED! 

Blogger Emily Wagner, 25, shows and trains dressage horses out of her family’s farm in LaCygne, Kan. Her WakeUp is one of the rising stars of U.S. dressage, having won the 6-year-old national championship in 2011 and winning the Developing Prix St. Georges national championship in 2013. Read all of Emily’s blogs.

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