Wrap-Up For Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic, February 19 – 22
Winter Equestrian Festival Week 4

WELLINGTON, FL – February 23, 2004 –

Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic, the second of three dressage shows at the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, was held February 19-22 at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic featured qualifying competitions for USET Foundation national championships and the GAIG/USDF Regional Championships.

Shannon Dueck And Korona Win Intermediaire II

Kicking off the show on Thursday, February 19, Canadian Shannon Dueck, 41, of Wellington, FL, riding Korona topped a class of 18 in the highest-level class contested on opening day, the Intermediaire II. The duo earned 69.837%. Ashley Holzer of New York, NY, riding Imperioso placed second with 67.154%. Colombian Dr. Cesar Parra of Jupiter, FL, earned third place aboard Leonberg, scoring 64.959%. “I was thrilled with my horse,” said Dueck of her 12-year-old Dutch gelding. “He was elastic and ride-able. We’ve had issues with tenseness in the Wellington atmosphere before, so I was thrilled at how he handled it.” Dueck was especially pleased with the way Korona carried himself in the extensions. She admitted to one pilot error. “I need to learn how to count tempi changes! I’m not used to the I-II test and I did too many changes,” she said with a laugh. “Overall, he was great.”

Heather Blitz And Royal Midnight Win PSG, Section A

Michael Shondell And Wallaby Top PSG, Section C

The largest class of the day on Thursday, February 19, was the Prix St. Georges. With 39 entries, management split the class into two sections, and scheduled a third section of 20 for Friday. Heather Blitz of Folsom, Louisiana, riding Royal Blue Midnight owned by The Oak Hill Ranch won the PSG A section with her score of 67.50%.

Michael Shondell, 21, of Kinnelon, NJ, riding his own Wallaby won the PSG C section, scoring 69.250%. “It felt tenser than it looked obviously,” Shondell said. Wallaby is an 18-hand, chestnut Hanoverian gelding by Werther. “He was excited. But he was more forward, more uphill, and more together than on previous rides.” Shondell was pleased with the overall performance. “It was good. There are still things I want to work on, but I was happy with it.”

Tina Konyot And Anna Karenina Win Grand Prix, Section A

The FEI classes were fully loaded on Friday, February 20, with two sections of Grand Prix, the first of two sections of Intermediaire I, and the third section of the Prix St. Georges.

Tina Konyot, 42, of Stonington, Connecticut, and Stuart, Florida, won the A section of the $1,500 FEI Grand Prix riding Anna Karenina for owner Sally Miller. The pair earned 71.597%. Konyot has been riding the 12-year-old, 17.1-hand, black Dutch mare by Sultan since May 2003. The win was only the third Grand Prix for Konyot and the huge black mare. “She’s an incredible horse,” said Konyot. “I’m developing more of a rapport with her and she’s becoming my friend.” Konyot said that when she first got the ride, the mare’s weakness was piaffe. “That was the question whether she would be a grand prix horse or not.” That question was answered today when Konyot received 8s on piaffe. “I got a lot of 8s and 9s on the test and I’m very proud of her,” said Konyot. “It’s still a strength issue for her. She’s a huge mover – lots of airtime off the ground. It takes a certain amount of time to develop the strength to be able to carry this big movement.”

Michelle Gibson And Lex Barker Win High Score Third Level At WEF

Highlighting competition on Saturday, February 21, Michelle Gibson, 34, of Wellington, Florida, riding Lex Barker earned 72.111%, which proved to be the High Score for Third Level. Gibson topped a class of 14 entries in Third Level Test 3 aboard the striking 17.2-hand, chestnut seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Elite European Sport Horses, Inc. “Wow, cool, that’s awesome!” Gibson said. “I was not expecting it. My whole goal was to get him here and see how he was going to be in the ring – that was the whole point of the horse show. That award is the icing on the cake. I’m very proud of Barker.” Gibson has had the ride on Lex Barker for almost two years and has trained him from a green Training Level horse through Fourth Level, but she has not competed the youngster in a year. In Third Level Test 2 on Friday, they earned 68.571% for second place, and then contested Fourth Level Test 1, earning 65.581% for fourth place. “They were good rides. I was very pleased with our Third Level class – he was a good boy. The Fourth level test, he was a little bit nervous in the walk, but he was a good boy.” Gibson, Team Bronze Medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics aboard Peron, had been working towards the 2004 Athens Olympics with her stallion World of Dreams. ‘Indy’ is now in training in Germany with Rudolf Zeilinger. “He is there because of my back,” explained Gibson. “I’ve had to make a few choices about my riding because I’m very limited as to which horses as well as the number of horses I can ride in a day, and so I have chosen to leave him there and to sell him.” Gibson underwent back surgery 18 months ago for a ruptured disc. Lex Barker has evolved into Gibson’s main mount. “He’s very comfortable to sit on, very comfortable.” Now residing full time in Wellington, Gibson is the head trainer at Diamonte Farms.

Ruth Hogan-Poulsen And Mon Cheri Win FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle

On Freestyle Sunday, February 22, Ruth Hogan-Poulsen won the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle with Mon Cheri scoring 68.417% and then went on to take second place in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with Armando, who tallied up 66.333%. Hogan-Poulsen, 37, of Plainville, Vermont, and Wellington, Florida, started off her kur rides with Sue Michalek’s 12-year-old Danish mare, Mon Cheri. to music from the movie Ladyhawke. “It’s orchestral, it’s very full, and it accentuates her trot especially,” said Hogan-Poulsen. She pointed out that the best movement the pair performed was the half-pass right to pirouette to half-pass. “The music just flows so perfectly into it. There’s a pause where the pirouette comes and it just looks like it was meant to be there – it was perfect. It’s a really good feeling when it works out right, and very obvious when it’s not. It went perfectly today,” said Hogan-Poulsen. Hogan-Poulsen is aiming Mon Cheri for the USET Foundation Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire I national championships that will be held in June in California.

In the Grand Prix Freestyle, Hogan-Poulsen rode her own Armando to the red ribbon with dance music. “It’s mostly Marvin Gaye with some Miami Sound Machine in there,” she said. “It’s very upbeat and the crowd loves it. I was a little bit concerned initially that the judges wouldn’t like it that I have a little vocal in it. Heard It Through the Grapevine is such a popular song, people sing it anyway so I’m not sure the judges realize that the vocal is there because they’re sort of humming it along.” Hogan-Poulsen was particularly pleased with two of the more difficult movements. “I loved my double pirouette to the left. He nailed his one tempis today – right on the tempo.” Hogan-Poulsen acquired the 16-year-old, 17-hand, bay Hanoverian gelding in April 2003. The duo competed two weeks ago in the Wellington Dressage show at WEF, a qualifier for the Olympic Selection Trials in California in June, and will also compete in the next qualifier for the Olympic Selection Trials, the Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***, March 18-21. “I’m an Athens hopeful, but I’m also a realist,” said Hogan-Poulsen. “He’s not a team horse. I’m doing it to gain experience and also to get on the Developing List or the Long List.”

For full results, visit www.stadiumjumping.com

2004 WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL TICKET INFORMATION
Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday.

The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit www.stadiumjumping.com or call 561-793-5867.

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