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Jane Hannigan and Maksymilian Burst On To Florida Circuit with FEI Grand Prix Victory

Wellington, FL – March 22, 2007 – The final leg of the Wellington dressage series at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival kicked off today with the Zada Enterprises LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI-W CDIY and hosted a variety of classes, from grand prix to training level.

In the FEI Grand Prix CDI, Jane Hannigan of Harvard, MA, earned the blue ribbon and the victory with a 67.625 percent on Maksymilian, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Elcaro. While this is the pair’s first winter Florida circuit together, they competed like old pros. Of her ride today, Hannigan said that it was more controlled than previous performances.

“It felt much more in control. I’ve been working with Robert Dover this winter and it’s amazingly helpful,” she described. “We’ve been trying to teach the horse to do lots of smaller steps because he’s such an extravagant mover, and it’s coming along. The piaffe is a little weak at the moment. He gets a little nervous – it’s OK – it’s just our weak point for the moment, and we’ll work it out.”

In addition to celebrating her victory, Hannigan noted that she bought out the remaining portion of “Mak” from his original owner Cindy Ain, making the horse fully hers. She also credited “Team Hannigan” with her success today and in the past.

“I call myself Team Hannigan because it takes a team to do this. It’s not just one person and one horse. It’s unbelievable – the people behind it. My mom is my biggest supporter,” she explained.

Hannigan noted that her goal now is to qualify for the selection trials in Gladstone, NJ, in June. Her original plan to travel to Burbank, CA, for the League Finals and the Invitational Grand Prix was sidetracked on account of the huge cost, which would have been close to $40,000.

As for Hannigan’s longer term goals, she noted that the 2008 Olympic Team is in her sights. “We’d like to be a part of the team – who wouldn’t? I know I have a lot of work to do to get there, but we’ll ride through the experience and you never know who’s going to be on top and how it’s going to come along,” she commented. “We’ll optimistically aim for it and see what happens.”

Suzanne Dansby-Phelps was also successful this afternoon in the Grand Prix CDI and took second and third place with Cooper 19 and Goubergh’s Kaspar, respectively. She and Cooper earned a 67.250 percent, while Kaspar finished just behind with a 65.458 percent.

In the FEI Prix St. Georges Adult Amateur/Junior and Young Rider division, Eduardo Munoz piloted Saronno to the victory with a 70.00 percent. Lisa DuFresne finished in both second and third places aboard Caballero 37 and Black Georg, respectively.

The FEI Prix St. Georges CDI division will conclude tomorrow, with just six riders left to compete. The action starts at 9 a.m. at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club and will continue through Sunday afternoon.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jane Hannigan and Maksymilian. Photo by Jonna J. Koellhoffer.


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