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Cosequin Wellington Dressage Wrap-up, February 8-11, 2007, Winter Equestrian Festival

WELLINGTON, FL February 12, 2007 Cosequin Wellington Dressage, the first of three shows in the Stadium Jumping, Inc. Dressage Series at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, wrapped up yesterday after four days of competition, February 8-11, 2007. The show featured USEF High Performance qualifying competition for the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Grand Prix National Championship and the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Intermediaire I National Championship/Pan American Games Selection Trials.

Thursday, February 8, High Performance Highlights

In the USEF High Performance Prix St. Georges, a qualifier for the national championships and the Pan American Games selection trials in Gladstone, NJ, Christopher Hickey and Regent brought home the blue ribbon with a score of 71.583 percent.

Hes a seasoned Prix St. George horse. He was (at Gladstone) as an 8-year-old there were only two 8-year-olds at Gladstone in the (Intermediaire) National Championships, Hickey explained. So now at 9, he feels stronger, and that work is a lot easier for him. Hes really consistent, confirmed and produces even a higher quality.

Hickey noted that he would like to be invited to Gladstone again for the national championships, as well as make a bid for the Pan Am Games in July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Regarding his test today, Hickey said that the strong points were the pirouettes. He is really good and strong in the canter pirouettes, and also, the changes were good and really forward and expressive and uphill. He has such an uphill, rolling canter and uphill appearance with natural balance so it makes the canter very nice.

Hickey thanked his sponsor, Dietrich Insurance, and Hilltop Farm, his employer.

Taking second place in the high performance Prix St. Georges was Courtney King and Rendezvous 3 who earned 71.083%. Melissa Taylor and Schumacher earned 69.92% for third place.

Friday, February 9, High Performance Highlights

Courtney King and Idocus brought home the blue ribbon in the USEF High Performance Grand Prix. King was thrilled with her victory and noted that the stallion came into the test feeling very strong.

I was really happy with my test. Hes been feeling great at home, King commented. I think the things Ive worked on in the past couple months I was able to put out there. I thought the passage was a lot better. The one tempis are really expressive now what can I say hes a thrill to ride, and hes very much my horse again. Hes enthusiastic and trying his heart out. He seems happy to be here and very proud of himself.

With a 70.760% score, King was about four percentage points ahead of the rest of the riders. I had no idea what the other scores were, King said. Idocus is a very confirmed grand prix horse, and Im a little bit biased, but I think hes special to watch. I think hes really elegant and really balanced. He doesnt have the biggest, loftiest gaits, but everything he does, to me, has expression in a very controlled way. Thats what makes him special for me.

Kings goals for the rest of the year include the U.S. League Finals and a possible bid for the World Cup with Idocus.

Placing second and third in the HP Grand Prix were George Williams and Marnix, and Suzanne Dansby Phelps and Cooper 19, respectively.

In the USEF High Performance Intermediaire I class, the same three riders who took the top places in the HP Prix St. Georges yesterday repeated their performances. Christopher Hickey and Regent were first with a 70.667 percent, King and Rendezvous 3 were second with a 70.250, and Melissa Taylor and Schumacker placed third with a 68.750 %.

Saturday, February 10, High Performance Highlights

Jan Brons and Jourdan took home the highest honors in the USEF High Performance Grand Prix Special test. Brons and Jourdan earned 68.867% for the win. Jourdan is a Dutch Warmblood gelding by Elmshorn owned by Brons.

I liked (the test) a lot, especially since yesterday he was a little hot and unruly, Brons commented. Today he was way more rideable, and even though he had a mistake in the one tempis, I was very happy with how rideable he was. I could just go around the ring like it was a day at home, and I liked that.

Brons plans for the horse for include a bid for an invitation for the national championships at Gladstone.

Nancy Later and her own Alexis D were second in the Special with 67.733%, and Suzanne Dansby Phelps was third with Gouberghs Kaspar, earning 65.93%.

Sunday, February 11, High Performance Highlights

The conclusion of Cosequin Wellington Dressage at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival was marked with a dazzling array of musical freestyles performed by some of the nations top competitors. In the USEF High Performance Grand Prix Freestyle, Courtney King and Idocus reigned with new music and a new test designed by Terry Gallo of Klassic Kur, earning 76.3% for the win.

King noted that the music is a set of Broadway show tunes with a mix of classic swing sounds. I was very happy with it. I think the music is great for Idocus, King commented. I had a bobble in one set of the twos [two-tempis] and a bobble in the ones [one tempis], which isnt normal for him, so Id like to clean that up. Other than that, I thought the transitions were really on the money. I felt very confident despite having ridden it only once before.

The test had a high level of difficulty, but the veteran pair had no problem mastering the movements. Im about 50 percent more confident just in one day, and he was right there for me the whole time. I was really, really happy. Its been so much fun to make (the freestyle) with Idocus because hes such a confirmed grand prix horse and we have great communication together, on top of him just being a very light and balanced horse. I really felt like we could play, she explained.

Suzanne Dansby-Phelps and her own Cooper 19 placed second in the high performance freestyle with 71.167%. Taking third was George Williams and Marnix with a score of 70.750%.

In the USEF High Performance Intermediaire Freestyle, Christopher Hickey and Regent continued their winning ways for the weekend, earning 76.417%.

Taking second in the Intermediaire freestyle were King and Rendezvous 3. Tara Stegen and Kamir rounded out the top three with a 69.583 percent.

Dressage competition at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival will return on Thursday, February 22 through Sunday, February 25 for the Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic.


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