Sunday, Apr. 14, 2024

Palm Beach Dressage Derby

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Loxahatchee, Fla., March 4

Paragon and Heather Blitz towered over their competition, literally, in the CDI Prix St. Georges at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. The 18-hand gelding easily won in the 43-horse field, scoring an impressive 76.05 percent to beat second-placed Shawna Harding and Rigo by almost 5 percent.

A Grand Prix novice is taking on the establishment.

A horse that wins everything at Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I may not be one that excels at Grand Prix. You never really know how things will turn out until you try the ultimate level of dressage.

  • Kassandra Barteau traveled 27 hours from Maple Park, Ill., to ride three horses at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. She won the FEI Young Rider Team and Individual tests in the CDI-Y with GP Raymeister and placed second in the freestyle. “He’s still young, but he always tries hard,” said Barteau of Ginna Frantz’s 10-year-old Holsteiner stallion (Rantares—Miss Nickel Annie). “He has lots of energy. He was a little frisky on Friday, but I’m really happy with the way he was yesterday in the individual test.

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Sagacious HF showed great promise as a small tour horse when he won individual silver at the Pan American Games in 2007 with Lauren Sammis. Two years later he is fulfilling that promise with impressve Grand Prix work.

Sammis and Sagacious won the Grand Prix Special at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby with 66.79 percent. Although the pair had several mistakes in the test, such as cantering in the extended trot and popping out of the piaffe, the overall quality of the performance made up for it. Sagacious showed a fantastic passage, and he'll clearly be one to watch in the future.

Michael Barisone led the order of go in the Grand Prix for the Special, but no other competitor who came after him could touch his score aboard Olympus. Nancy Binter bough the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood to be her Grand Prix horse, but she decided to let Barisone put some miles on him first. He formerly belonged to the Netherlands' Alex van Silfhout.

Second place went to Lauren Sammis aboard Sagacious HF, and Catherine Morelli and BeSe grabbed third.

Freestyle Sunday dawned cool and breezy at the Phelpssports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby on March 4, but Courtney King was once again atop the leaderboard, this time in the Grand Prix freestyle with Idocus.

The pair scored 75.85 percent to the strains of The Wizard of Oz, and Fiddler On The Roof

Courtney King wouldn’t be satisfied with merely winning the 40-horse Prix St. Georges class in the CDI at the Phelpssports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby on March 2 in Loxahatchee, Fla.  She had to take both first and second with her two horses to go home happy. 

“I’ve never needed to win so badly,” said Arlene “Tuny” Page after her first-placed Grand Prix CDI ride (70.50%) at the Phelpssports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby with Wild One on March 3.

The last month has been tough for Page for personal reasons including a hospital stay for her husband Dave.  “Thank God, he’s now doing great, but I haven’t felt like I’ve been in the groove,” she said.  “I owe this win to Lars [Petersen, her coach], because I just haven’t been in it.  He treated me really tenderly.”

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