Scores and Temperatures in the Seventies- A Perfect Ending for the Zada WEF Dressage Classic CDI

Wellington, FL- March 20, 2005

Robert Dover and FBW
Kennedy -
Photo: Susan Stickle

The Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI never missed a beat as the show wrapped up today with 5 hours of musical freestyle performances that served as the grand finale for four days of fantastic dressage. Spectators lingered after the last musical freestyle of the afternoon as if hoping for an encore, but today’s performances would be hard to repeat. In the biggie, the $2500 CDI Grand Prix Freestyle, six-time Olympian, Robert Dover held on to the top spot, riding Jane Forbes Clark’s FBW Kennedy to a winning score of 76.950%. “He was a little tense,” explained Dover, “He made those little mistakes at the beginning and end of the ride. But he is getting real confident and we had a great Grand Prix earlier this week and overall we have had a really great, great season.”

Second in the Grand Prix Freestyle went to Leslie Morse and TipTop 962 who had the spectator’s cheering before she completed her final salute. Morse and her dynamic stallion finished just shy of Dover with a score of 76.450%. Third place went to another of the show’s superstars, Ashley Holzer on Imperioso with a score of 74.525%. Fourth went to Canadian teammate, Shannon Dueck on Korona with a score of 73.225%, followed by still another Canadian team member, Evi Strasser on Quantum Tyme with a score of 73.050%. American, George Williams riding Marnix took the sixth place spot with a score of 70.925%.

Dover and Morse also topped the leader boards in the $1500 CDI Grand Prix. Again, Robert Dover and FBW Kennedy were the winners with a commanding score of 74.875%. This time their score left them a little breathing room, with Leslie Morse and Kingston finishing second with a score of 72.542% and Morse on Tip Top 962 finishing third with a score of 69.333%.

Other Grand Prix stars over the weekend included Michael Barisone and Neruda who won the $1250 CDI Grand Prix Special with a score of 68.960%. Catherine Morelli and her Dutch gelding, BeSe enjoyed dual Grand Prix victories this weekend. The pair won the $1000 Grand Prix Special with a score of 66.200% and $1000 Open Grand Prix with a score of 65.000%. Morelli was very pleased with the wins as this is BeSe’s first season competing at the Grand Prix.

The Intermediaire division of the WEF Dressage Classic was also very competitive and the best of the best vied for the top placings. Leading the pack was Olympian, Michelle Gibson riding Elite European Sport Horse’s, Lex Barker to a big win in the $1000 CDI Intermediaire-I with a score of 71.300%. In the $1250 Intermediaire-II, Canadian, Ashley Holzer took the blue riding Gambol to a score of 67.805%. Yvonne Losos de Muniz of the Dominican Republic won the $1000 Intermediaire-I riding Bernstein Las Marismas, her 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding with a score of 64.750%. Oded Shimoni took the victory in the other $1000 Intermediaire-I class riding Wasmut to a score of 68.250%. And in the today’s $2000 CDI Intermediaire Freestyle the winner was again

Ashley Holzer, this time riding Pop Art to a score of 74.475%

Holzer and Pop Art were also the victors in the $1000 CDI Prix St. Georges with a decisive score of 71.350%. And Holzer won the $1000 Open Prix St. Georges riding her other gelding, Jornello to a score of 67.125%. Silke Rembacz riding Sheila Buchbinder’s DaCapo also won a $1000 Open Prix St. George class with a score of 65.500%.

The Fourth Level division was also hotly contended and Lars Petersen riding Melissa Taylor Yee’s Dacardo racked up two victories, winning the Fourth Level Test One with a 70.233% and the Fourth Level Test Two with a 70.465%. The pair also won the High Score Fourth Level Championship for the show, with Catherine Morelli and Sitni finishing Res. Champion with a score of 70.233%. Meanwhile, John Zopatti riding Mitchell and Julia Vysniauskas riding Papillion had their own head to head competition in the division. These two tied for third place in both the Fourth Level Test One Class with scores of 69.767% and again in the Fourth Level Test Two class with scores of 69.032%. At last on Sunday, Zopatti was able to inch ahead and win the Fourth Level Test Three class with a score of 68.043%. Vysniauskas finished second with a score of 66.739%. Both good natured competitors seemed relieved to finally break their tied scores!

Other High Score Champions of the show were First Level Champions, Jon Brons and Tornado (74.444%) and Reserve Champions, Linda Smith and Romme (74.074%). Jacqueline Brooks and Balmoral took Second Level High Score Champion honors (71.316%) and Reserve Champions were Barbara Ulbrich and Don Astaire (70.270%).

Third Level High Score Champions were Bill Warren and Romantic (70.889%) and Reserve Champions Jessica Kozel and Absolute Power (78.000%).

Michelle Gibson and Catherine Morelli Tops on Day Three of the Zada WEF Dressage Classic CDI

Wellington, FL- March 19, 2005

Michelle Gibson and
Lex Barker
Photo: Phelps Photo

Thursday’s sloppy wet weather was a distant memory as the sun shone brightly for day three of the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI.  The drama was high in the intensely competitive $1000 Intermediaire-I that ran from mid-morning throughout the day in Ring 1.  The victor was Olympian, Michelle Gibson riding Elite European Sport Horse, Inc’s, Lex Barker.  This was only Gibson and Lex Barker’s fifth Intermediaire-I class and they looked stronger and more confident than ever as they circled the arena. Despite a few mistakes in the ride, the judges were in agreement that Gibson and Lex Barker deserved big rewards for their effort.  Their combined score of 71.300% put them at the top of the leader board ,where they remained unchallenged. Preparing for her victory gallop in the awards ceremony, Gibson had this to say about Lex Barker, “He’s a star. This is his first year on the small tour and I couldn’t ask for anything more of him!” Gibson has her sights set on Gladstone with the big gelding and at this point dressage followers would be surprised not to see them there this summer.

Second in the class was yesterday’s Prix St. Georges winner, Ashley Holzer and her amazing, Pop Art with a score of 70.650%.  Third place was bittersweet for good-natured Michael Shondel riding Wallaby.  The pair put in a spectacular performance, put lost 2 points when they went off course in the walk work. The deduction cost them and they ended up in third place with a score of 70.400%.  Shondel took the error in stride and said with humor, “I simply don’t know the alphabet”.

In Ring 2, the $1000 Grand Prix Special was a repeat performance of yesterday’s Grand Prix, with Catherine Morelli and BeSe winning the blue ribbon, this time with 66.200%. This is the handsome Dutch gelding’s first season competing at the Grand Prix and  Morelli  told us, “He keeps getting stronger and he’s starting to relax at the level.” When asked about BeSe’s double Grand Prix wins, Morelli said, “He’s just amazing to ride. He has a big heart and it’s an honor to be able to ride him.”

Another awesome repeat win today, was Lars Petersen and Dacardo, today winning the Fourth Level Test Two class with a score of 70.465%.  Excited owner, Melissa Taylor Yee, said,  “He did it again.  He did it again.” Both Yee and Petersen are pleased with the young gelding’s ability to focus and show off his talents in the show ring.  Second to Petersen was Catherine Morelli, this time riding Sitni to a score of 70.233%.  Third and fourth place reversed today between John Zopatti riding Mitchell and Julia Vysniauskas riding Papillion. Like yesterday, these two had tied scores, today with a score of 69.302%. In today’s repeat tie, the order of finish was reversed with Zopatti finishing third and Vysniauskas finishing fourth.

Meanwhile in the lower levels, Zopatti’s student Carla Morrison racked up her fourth victory of the show.  Morrison and her young stallion, Le Savant won the AA Training Level Test Three today with a score of 68.333%, just shy of yesterday 70.000% that gave them the win in Training Level Test Two.  Today, Morrison also won the AA Third Level Test Three riding her Dutch gelding, Lanzier to a score of 67.111%.  Morrison, a former jumper rider who “caught the dressage bug big time,” is competing three of her dressage horses this weekend with a final ride tomorrow.

So it looks like the best is yet to come with more pleasant, sunny weather forecasted for Sunday’s Musical Freestyle competitions.  The Young Rider’s Freestyles are scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM, followed by the Intermediaire Freestyles beginning at 9:00 AM.  The Grand Prix Musical Freestyles are scheduled  to begin just after 11:00AM and will run through early afternoon, followed by the awards ceremony in Ring 1.

Day Two of the WEF ZADA Dressage Classic Delivers the Goods

Wellington, FL- March18, 2005 

The sun returned for day two of the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI and spectators soaked up the rays while taking in some of the sport’s finest as they each tried to edge their way into the top spots.

Michael Barisone riding Neruda
Photo: Phelps Photo

The big win of the day went to Michael Barisone riding Neruda to the blue ribbon in the $1250 Grand Prix Special CDI. Michael’s wife, Vera Kessels-Barisone, was very pleased for Michael telling us that “Neruda had some tough moments at the last show, but he was more organized today and the changes were back.  Overall they did a great job.” The judges agreed and rewarded the pair with a combined score of 68.960% which put them in the first place spot. Second place went to Suzanne Dansby Phelps riding her impressive 18.2 hand Holsteiner, Cooper to a score of 65.720%. That left third place to fall to Mirja Block  and Asarhaddon with a score of 64.880%, followed by Arlene (Tuny) Page and her Wild One pulling into the fourth spot with a score of 64.040%.

In the $1000 Open Grand Prix, Catherine Morelli piloted her BeSe to the win with a score of 65.000%. Second went to Karin Ried-Offield on her tall, dark, and handsome, Dutch stallion, Hexagon’s Louisville with a score of 64.583%. Silke Rembacz earned the third place spot on Highlife Farm’s Connecticut with a score of 64.583%.

In the very competitive $1000 Prix St. Georges CDI, Ashley Holzer and her super star Dutch gelding, Pop Art, dominated with a score of 71.350%.  When asked about this win and her very successful season, Holzer said, “The announcer was spot on when he contributed our very successful season to the team effort.  I am lucky to have a great team, including owners, grooms, vets , farriers and my barn manager, Daniel Gallaher. She really gives me the edge”. Gallaher gushed and said “Ashley was simply great to work with”.  One thing is for certain their formula for success works. Second in the large class went to Yvonne Losos de Muniz of the Dominican Republic who rode her lovely Dutch mare, Inatana Las Marismas to a score of 70.250%.  Third place went to Michael Shondel and Wallaby who scored a 69.650% to wedge past Michelle Gibson and Lex Barker who finished fourth with 69.500%. Fifth place went to Susie Dutta and Romeo DC with a healthy score of 68.500%, followed closely by Silke Rembacz  on Millenium with a score of 68.400%.

Another standout performance today was Lars Petersen’s spectacular ride in the Fourth Level Test one class.  Petersen gave the judges a dazzling ride aboard Melissa Taylor Yee’s big dappled grey gelding, Dacardo and his efforts were rewarded with a winning score of 70.233%. Second in class of 25 horses was Walhall, ridden by Rebecca Rigdon to a score of 70.000%, followed by Canadian, Julia Vysniauskas and Papillion who scored a 69.767 %.  Fourth place went to another dappled grey, the Dutch gelding Mitchell owned and shown by John Zopatti, also to a score of 69.767%. And fifth place also went to the handsome dappled grey, Silver Label ridden by Michael Shondel to a score of  67.907%.  And sixth place also went to a grey, Sureno an Adalusian gelding shown by Julie Lyons to a score of  66.744%.

So while the skies were not grey, many of today’s winners at the Zada WEF Dressage Classic were! Saturday’s classes start at 8:00 AM with the $1000 Intermediaire- I class and run through 4:00 PM.

Wet Weather Didn’t Dampen Spirits on Day One of the WEF Dressage Classic CDI

Wellington, FL- March 17, 2005 –

Splish, splash, they were taking a bath!  Competitive dressage is often referred to as riding in a sandbox, but today’s tour at the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic, CDI was more like a riding in a bathtub.  But the soggy, soaking conditions didn’t dampen competitor’s spirits and accurately executed rides were rewarded by generous scores- making the first day of the season’s final CDI a success despite the weather.

Robert Dover on his Olympic partner, FBW Kennedy
Photo: Susan Stickle

While there was a noticeable lack of sunshine, many horse and rider combinations did shine. The day’s brightest star was Olympian, Robert Dover on his Olympic partner, FBW Kennedy.  Dover and Jane Forbes Clark’s handsome chestnut gelding  dominated the large $1500 Grand Prix class with a score of 74.875%. Dover and Kennedy rode the Grand Prix with a level of ease and accuracy that actually made riding a Grand Prix test look easy. They certainly made the judge’s job easy.   The next two places in the 20 horse class, went to Leslie Morse.  Morse and her massive Dutch stallion, Kingston, took second place with an impressive score of 72.542%. And Morse and Tip Top 962 claimed the third place spot with a score of  69.333%.  Fourth, fifth, seventh, and eight went to the Canadian contingency led by Ashy Holzer on Imperioso who placed fourth with a 69.708%, followed by Evi Stasser and Quantum Tyme who finished fifth with a 69.25%.  Fellow Canadian, Shannon Dueck and Korona finished seventh with a score of 67.583%, followed by Jacqueline Brooks and Gran Gesto who placed eight with a 67.208%.        American, Michael Barisone and Neruda slipped between the Canadians into six place with a score of 68.292%. This large and competitive Grand Prix class ended just as another wave of rain showers blew in, forcing management to cancel the Grand Prix awards ceremony for the day.

Other shining winners in the show included Ashley Holzer who rode her Dutch gelding,  Jornello, to first place in the $1000 Prix St.Georges with a score of 67.125%. Oded Shimoni and Wasmut finished second to Holzer with an even 65.000%, followed by  Linda Todenhagen riding Molly Fine’s  big bay gelding, Sir Ricco with a score of 64.875%.

Jan Brons had an outstanding group of  young horses that left their mark in the First Level Test One class. Brons won the class on Elizabeth Schaffner’s 5-year-old Dutch gelding, Tornado, with a score of 74.444%.  Brons also placed third in the class riding Cherise Gasper’s 4-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Sando Wein, with a score of 72.593%.  And then Brons finished fourth on Pieter Ruig’s 4-year-old Dutch gelding, Up To Date, with a score of 71.481%.  Only Linda Smith, riding her handsome Krack C son, Romme, could give Brons’ band of bad boys a run for their money. Smith finished second in the class with a 74.074%!

Severe weather late in the afternoon forced a number of scratches, but not before several superb performances rewarded those who braved the weather to see them shine.  Day two of the Zada WEF Dressage Classic begins tomorrow with the Prix St. Georges CDI class scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM in ring one.


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