Virtuoso Earns A Grand Prix Victory At Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival

Feb 3, 2018 - 3:10 PM

Del Mar, Calif.—Feb. 3

Valerie Colsant has brought up Virtuoso from the beginning, and their 11-year partnership showed as they took home a national open Grand Prix win at the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival this weekend (64.07%).

Colsant runs the small private Pas De Deux Farm in Murrieta, California, where she teaches several lower level students, and trains with Kathleen Raine.

She bought the 16-year-old U.S.-bred Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ferro—Davinesse) from his breeders Mark and Kim Carter.

Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Colsant, 57, had actually kept “Virtue” at her barn for the Carters when he was 2 during the rainy season and had her eye on him. She bought him when he was coming 5 and started from training level doing “99.9% of the riding.”

The pair moved up to Grand Prix in 2015 and have been steadily improving their scores.

“He’s been super—great temperament, really pretty forward. As a youngster the only thing we ever had issues with in the training was a little bit with the changes at first,” she said.

Virtue is Colsant’s first Grand Prix horse, so earning a win this weekend was especially meaningful.

Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

“It’s a great feeling to bring them along from a baby, to bring them to their first show,” she said. “We just have such a great relationship. I feel like I know that horse inside out. It’s a really nice feeling. It sounds kind of quirky, but you feel as one being, and with this horse that’s how I feel.”

Virtue loves trail riding and has a very playful personality according to Colsant.

“He whinnies every morning when he sees me. He’s like a little kid—like a 3-year-old. Very mischievous with a big personality,” she said.

Colsant was pleased with her tests this weekend and hopes to continue to improve throughout the season.

“I really couldn’t have asked for more. I had to ride a little conservatively in the piaffe/passage because we’ve had some kicking out in those transitions. That needs to be bigger with more elevation and quicker, but I had to ride them more conservative to not get the resistance,” she said. “I did the Grand Prix Special [for the first time] at the Galway show [AWCDF I] and I would like to clean up our Grand Prix and hope for higher scores and to strengthen that piaffe/passage.”

Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

For more from the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival, click here.


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