Dancing horses from Sweden took center stage in Wellington, Fla., as Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven captured the blue in the Grand Prix freestyle (see scores ) of the World Dressage Masters. Read all about it in Lisa Slade’s coverage  for the Chronicle.
Watch Vilhelmson-Silfven's winning freestyle ride on Don Auriello...
Not only did Vilhelmson-Silfven conquer, but her countryman Patrick Kittel also scored a big win, topping the Grand Prix (see scores ), while Mikaela Gunderson of Denmark claimed the Grand Prix Special (see scores ).
The World Dressage Masters wasn’t quite the spectacle that was planned, as Dutch superstar Edward Gal had to drop out of the competition after the initial jog because he was suffering from the flu. His partner, Hans Peter Minderhoud, also withdrew after the Grand Prix.
In the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge I (see results ), which ran concurrently with the World Dressage Masters, Catherine Haddad-Staller scored a Grand Prix win on her new star Hotmail 2. Caroline Roffman continued to collect big scores on Her Highness O, picking up a 72.36 percent for the win at Prix St. Georges, and a 74.21 in the Intermediaire I.
On Sunday, jumpers from Week 3 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (see results ) invaded the Palm Beach International Center’s Stadium complex, the site of the World Dressage Masters, for the $50,000 Grand Prix (see results ) held on the turf of the derby field. Young Brianne Goutal, 24, rode her veteran partner Onira to the top of a four-horse jump-off. Goutal has been riding Onira for 11 years, and they started together in the low junior jumpers.
See Goutal discuss her partnership with Onira and their big win...
A few days earlier, a rider from the other end of the age spectrum also earned a big win when Katie Prudent rode V to the top of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 (see results ).
The first week of the HITS Desert Circuit (see results ) kicked off in Thermal, Calif., with Mandy Porter topping the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix aboard Con Capilot. Eduardo Menezes claimed the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix with Caruschka. Hope Glynn and Nick Haness dominated the professional hunter divisions, with two championships each, while Carelton Brooks rode to a championship and three reserves. Lee Kellogg Sadrian made her West Coast debut a winning one by winning the championship and reserve in the amateur-owner hunter, 36 and over division with Wink and Wingman. Glynn's daughter, Avery claimed the tricolor in the short stirrup division.
|Tracy Fenney and MTM |
Timon topped both the
grand prix classes at
HITS 2 Ocala January
Festival. Photo by
In Ocala, Fla., at the HITS 2 Ocala January Festival (see results ), Tracy Fenney just couldn't be beaten, as she rode the flashy MTM Timon to the top of both the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix and the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. Amateur rider Robin Swinderman topped the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix on her INXS.
Across Florida, in Altoona, Buck Davidson had a banner weekend at the Rocking Horse Winter I Horse Trials (see results ). He placed first and second in both the open intermediate divisions, with his 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games mount Ballynoecastle RM taking one of the blues. He also won a division of open preliminary. After a brief foray into the world of show jumping last fall, when she rode with Fenney and Mike McCormick, Rowdie Adams is back to eventing, and she topped the intermediate rider division on No Money Down and was second in preliminary horse on RF Blitsfee.
Sally Cousins had a good day the Full Gallop Farm January Horse Trials in Aiken, S.C. (see results ). She topped the intermediate on Joule and was first and second in the two divisions of preliminary. Courtney Cooper proved she was back in action after breaking her pelvis last year by finishing third in a division of preliminary.
Back in Florida, the Pensacola Winter Series wrapped up (see results ) with Frances Land winning the $25,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix on Vieanne. The Jacksonville Winter A To Z (see results ), Atlanta Winter Classic II (Ga.) (see results ), Winter Warm-Up (Texas) (see results ) also ran.