Wrap-up for Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI3* CDIY and
USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship/U.S. League Final CDI-W

WELLINGTON, FL – March 19, 2006 –

Dressage competition wrapped up today in Wellington, Florida, concluding the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI3* CDIY, a four-day, four-ring show held March 16-19, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club.  The CDI was the third and final dressage show for the 34th edition of the annual Winter Equestrian Festival.

The highlight of the show were the two evening classes for the 2006 USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship / U.S. League Final CDI-W, the Official Selection for the 2006 FEI World Cup Dressage Final held under lights in the De Nemethy Arena.

On Friday night, March 17, more than 1,200 spectators gathered for the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, with over 300 guests enjoying dinner in the chandelier-lit Jockey Club overlooking the ring. Arlene “Tuny” Page of Wellington, Florida, aboard her Wild One put in a solid and harmonious performance, which earned a score of 68.792% for the victory in the eight-horse class. An appreciative crowd loudly cheered the “hometown hero” as Page pumped her fist in elation after the final halt. Leslie Morse of Beverly Hills, California, riding her own Tip Top 962, had uncharacteristic errors, including a spook at C after the first halt and a bobble in the one tempis, earning 66.500% for second place. George Williams of Richwood, Ohio, aboard Marnix for owner Joann Smith had a solid ride apart from insufficient scores in the piaffe/passage tour, which resulted in a score of 65.125% and a final placement of third. 

Wild One is a 10-year-old Hannoverian gelding by Wanderer out of Graefin that Page has owned for three years. Page was pleased with her horse, known as “Double V,” and their performance. “All I care about is that there’s harmony. If there’s harmony he will do everything. What you saw tonight, 68% – there is easily another 8% in there,” she stated.   “I was so happy because I just felt the whole way through that if he doubted anything, all I needed to do was give a reassuring half halt or just a reminder with the leg and he was right back on the job.” 

On Saturday night, March 18, more than 1600 spectators surrounded the De Nemethy Arena to watch the eight Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W musical freestyles and over 330 people enjoyed the “Dancing Under the Stars” dinner gala in the Jockey Club overlooking the ring.  Page delivered the goods again with Wild One, claiming victory with a score of 73.95%, which earned her the USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship title and victory in the U.S. League Final.

Arlene Page and Wild One
Photo: SusanJStickle.com

As winners of the U.S. League Final, the Official Selection for the 2006 FEI World Cup Dressage Final, Page and Wild One will represent the United States at the FEI Dressage World Cup Final in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (April 20-23).  Long-time competitor Page will be representing the U.S. for the first time in her riding career. “I felt like I could count on him if I could go out and ride him as confidently as I did last night,” said Page. “That was the burden I carried, not trying to win or beat Leslie.”

Morse and her 12-year-old Swedish stallion Tip Top 982 by Master out of Hortensia earned a score of 73.40% in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W to claim the reserve slot in the USEF National Freestyle Championship and second place in the U.S. League Final.

The four riders competing in the U.S. League Final were required to score a minimum of 68% in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W on Friday (March 17) and a minimum of 70% in the freestyle on Saturday (March 18), with the top two scorers selected to represent the U.S. at the World Cup Final.  While Page met the criterion, scoring 68.792% last night for the win in the Grand Prix, Morse scored 66.500% in the Grand Prix. 

“Yes, the United States will have two representatives for the World Cup Final,” confirmed Marilyn Adams, High Performance Dressage Director  and USEF Liaison at the show.  “And we will be sending two representatives, pending the Selectors meeting and approving it.”  The meeting to confirm riders is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21.

For the winning performance, Page debuted a brand new freestyle. She had ridden the pattern only once before, but not to the music. She choreographed the kur with Lars Petersen to a soundtrack created by Marlene Whitaker that featured instrumental versions of American ‘oldies’ from artists including Michael Jackson, The Everly Brothers, and Diana Ross.  “The Americans need to have fun with their freestyles,” Page explained.

Page described the strategy of the freestyle’s design: “I felt like I wanted to open with hard things right away and get points in the bucket so that I had some room at the end of the ride to do a little more chancy things.”  She launched the ride with a double pirouette to a zigzag to a double pirouette and then an extended trot that transitioned to one tempi changes. The ‘chancy’ movements at the end included a passage zigzag a piaffe/pirouette in front of the ground jury at C.  The only flaw to Wild One’s steady performance was a spook in the extended walk, which Page attributed to her riding her horse more open as the U.S. coach and the judges have advised her to do, she noted. Undaunted by the spook, Page said, “Six months from now I’ll be able to ride him a lot more open like that and he’ll be secure. I just felt tonight, go have fun, take a few risks.”

The judges were not unanimous in their scoring of the winning freestyle.  The judge at E had Page second to Melissa Taylor Yee; the judges at H, C, and B had Page second to Morse; the judge at M placed Page first.  

Officiating were Michael Poulin (I) USA at E; Stephen Clarke (O) Great Britain at H; Axel Steiner (O) USA at C; Angelika Froemming (I) Germany at M; and Elizabeth McMullen (O) Canada at B.  All of the marks were in the 70-percentile for both Page and Morse, except for the judge at M who scored Morse at 68.625%, which dropped her overall score by splits to give Page the victory

Alex Steiner, the judge at C, provided insights on his assessments of the two top rides. “[Tuny] was very steady, very harmonious. Leslie was, in some areas, technically a little bit more dynamic, but the harmony was a low point of her ride. She had some exceptional technical moments. There were some of the best half-passes I’ve seen today.  I’ve talked to Stephen Clarke and we both gave a 9 for the half passes to the left and solid 8s on the passage.”  Steiner recommended that Page use a little bit more dynamic music to underscore her ride. “It’s a little bit uniform, but very lovely. You can see how tight [the scoring] was – it’s first impressions, very important.”

Steiner expanded on the harmony issues the judges observed with Morse’s ride when Tip Top became tense, then had a problem in the pirouette and appeared spooky. “He became a little bit scared and she had to fight him a little bit to keep him in the arena,” Steiner explained. “She did a good job of that. Some of the other judges thought there was a little bit too much tension going on, too much rider demanding instead of being a team.”

Summing up, Steiner said of Page and Morse, “They are very, very strong representatives for the World Cup.”

Stadium Jumping, Inc., the producers of the USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship/U.S. League Final CDI-W, included not only the Jockey Club festivities for the competition but also National Anthem singers on both nights, delivered by Lou Galteri on Friday and Taylor Blauweiss on Saturday.  Frieze Frame Friesians performed a musical quadrille exhibition at half-time on both nights, showing of the Baroque breeds with two black Friesians ridden by Shana Pritchard and Courtney King, and two gray Andalusians riddenb by Pati Pierucci and Ingrid Pollack. Brian O’Connor performed his well-known dressage demonstration act on Saturday, as well as a finale “Dressage Comedy” tour.

A special ceremony was Saturday night during half-time to honor Eugene R. “Gene” Mische, founder of Stadium Jumping, Inc. (SJI) and the Winter Equestrian Festival, for hosting the USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship/U.S. League Final.  Karen Reid Offield and Mason Phelps, co-chairs of “Dancing Under the Stars,” presented an award to Mische and a huge bouquet of flowers to Show Secretary Mary Silcox, head of dressage at SJI. Long-time sponsor Joe Zada was also honored for his contributions to the event and dressage at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

“It’s really important to take notice of the fact that the community here is so behind the dressage sport,” said Arlene Page following the final awards presentations on Saturday night.  “Gene Mische’s life depends on show jumpers, not dressage people, and he was a good sport to take this on because I think he had doubts about it – are you going to get the stands full, are you going to fill the Jockey Club? The place is packed – that speaks volumes to the popularity of this sport.  I’m really proud that we could go put on a show for them that is exciting and fun.” Page also credited Show Secretary Mary Silcox.  “I’m bringing her the biggest bottle of champagne!” Page said.

Marilyn Adams, USEF High Performance Director of Dressage, agreed with Page. “Mary Silcox did an incredible job. Everybody on the Stadium Jumping staff is amazing. We couldn’t have worked with a better group of people.”

Highlights of Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI3* CDIY
Competitors in the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI3* CDIY jogged on Wednesday, March 15, and then attended an elaborate wine and cheese party in the Jockey Club sponsored by Suzanne Dansby-Phelps.

Thursday, March 16
Topping a field of 26 horses, Leslie Morse of Beverly Hills, California, riding Kingston won the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3*. Morse and her 14-year-old Dutch stallion by Voltaire out of Gisnette earned a score of 71.583%.  Canadian Ashley Holzer of New York, New York, earned the same score on both of her stallions, 70.708%, to tie for second place with Gambol, an 11-year-old Dutch stallion owned by Dr. Diane Fellows and Holzer, and Imperioso, a 16-year-old Dutch stallion owned by Holzer who was her mount at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Leslie Morse and Kingston
Photo: SusanJStickle.com

All but one of the international panel of judges placed Morris first, with only the judge at E putting them third.  Judging the FEI Grand Prix today were: Elizabeth McMullen (O) Canada at E; Stephen Clark (O) Great Britain at H; Angelika Froemming (I) Germany at C; Axel Steiner (O) USA at M; and Hilda Gurney (I) USA at B.

“I’m glad to be back in the ring,” said Morse. “Now I’ve got another test under my belt so that’s great.” Prior to today’s victory, in the past seven months Morse has only competed in one other show, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI (March 3-5) in Loxahatchee, Florida, where Kingston placed second in the Grand Prix. Morse and Kingston are currently qualified to compete in the Selection Trials for the World Equestrian Games (June 15-18 at Gladstone, New Jersey) and are using the Wellington CDI as a preparation for the trials.  Morse and Kingston have been partnered at the Grand Prix level for three years.

In the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI, Ashley Holzer took another victory lap with her Pop Art, claiming the win over a field of 33 horses with a score of 71.40%.  Melissa Jackson of Parrish, Florida, aboard Wellington 248, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding she owns with her husband John Jackson, claimed second place with a score of 71.03%.  Denmark’s Lars Petersen of Wellington, Florida, riding Dacardo for owner Melissa Taylor Yee claimed third with a score of 69.30%. 

“He hasn’t lost a class yet, this whole Florida season,” Holzer pointed out. The duo are approaching 10 consecutive wins.  “He’s a phenomenal horse.”  Pop Art is a nine-year-old, 16.2-hand chestnut gelding by Amsterdam out of Jody Prinses that Holzer owns.

Officiating at the ring were Michael Poulin (I) USA at H and Gisela Holstein (I) Ireland at C.

Friday, March 17
Laura Noyes, 19, of Falmouth, Maine, riding her own Syncro bested a class of 14 horses today to win the FEI Young Rider Team Test CDI Y. Noyes and her 11-year-old Trakehner gelding earned a score of 67.600% from the panel of five international judges.  In second place was Caroline Roffman of Wellington riding her Bulgari 5 who scored 65.378%. Claiming the third place slot was Arianne Weiss of Wellington riding Du Fox Paw owned by Dr. Cetty Weiss who scored 63.156%.

Laura Noyes and Syncro
Photo: SusanJStickle.com

The judges were nearly unanimous in placing Noyes on top, with only the judge at E placing her second to Roffman.  Officiating at the ring were Axel Steiner (O) USA at E; Elizabeth McMullen (O) Canada at H; Stephen Clarke (O) Great Britain at C; Angelika Froemming (I) Germany at M; and Michael Poulin (I) USA at B.

“I felt like every second he was right with me,” Noyes said of her winning performance with Syncro.  “Every half halt, every time I touched him, he was right there, and that was just so cool. In my last halt I almost started crying he was so good. I was really happy.”

Noyes has been partnered with the 16.3-hand bay for three years and they have risen through the ranks together from First Level.  This is their first season at the Prix St. Georges level and the second CDI for both of them.  Noyes, who is a college freshman at Findlay in Ohio, has been in training with George Williams for four months.  Noyes competed in the FEI Juniors last year and started this season as a Young Rider, aiming to qualify and compete for the Region 8 team at the 2006 North American Young Riders Championships. “

CDI competition included one other class and Leslie Morse of Beverly Hills, California, claimed another victory, winning the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3* with her 14-year-old Dutch stallion Kingston on a score of 70.360%.  Canada’s Ashley Holzer of New York, New York, aboard her 16-year-old Dutch stallion Imperioso placed second with 69.080%.  Cherri Reiber of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, riding her own 18-year-old Dutch gelding G Tudor was third, earning 63.120%.

All but the judge at M placed Morse first and elected Holzer instead to the top spot. Judging the 11-horse class were: Axel Steiner (O) USA at E; Elizabeth McMullen (O) Canada at H; Stephen Clarke (O) Great Britain at C; Angelika Froemming (I) Germany at M; and Michael Poulin (I) USA at B.

Saturday, March 18
Canada’s two-time Olympian Ashley Holzer of New York, New York, continued her domination of the small tour on the Florida winter circuit, claiming yet another victory with Pop Art, the nine-year-old Dutch gelding superstar by Amsterdam out of Jody Prinses.  Holzer and Pop Art scored 72.333% in the FEI Intermediaire I CDI, topping a field of 32 horses at the Zada WEF Dressage Classic CDI-W CDI 3*/Y in Wellington, Florida. Diane Creech aboard Wiona placed second, scoring 68.750%. Tom Dvorak riding Fortissimo and Lars Petersen in the irons on Dacardo both earned 68.250%, tying for third place. 

Ashley Holzer and Pop Art
Photo: SusanJStickle.com

Officiating were Lorraine MacDonald (I) Canada at H; Hilda Gurney (I) USA at C; and Gisela Holstein (I) Ireland at B.  The judges were unanimous in their decision on the winner.

“It was his best test yet,” declared Holzer.  “And it was his last I-I.  I’m moving him up to Grand Prix now.  Today he was light, easy to ride, energetic, and on my aids.  It all came together and I had a good ride. He was great.”

Holzer acknowledged that she is on a winning streak with Pop Art, currently undefeated in Florida.  “He’s a special horse. The judges really like him because he’s so energetic and at the same time a very precise horse,” Holzer stated.  “He’s not a huge horse so he’s kind of handy to go through these tests. His size is to his benefit.”  Pop Art is a 16.2-hand chestnut gelding.

Holzer, who has competed all over the world, noted that she especially enjoyed competing at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. “There is no other facility in the world like this. It is one of the best places in the world.  It’s really something very special.”  Is it special to win at the Winter Equestrian Festival? “Winning is special anywhere!” she grinned.

In the other CDI class of the day, Carol Roffman, 17, of Wellington, Florida, riding Bulgari 5 topped a field of 14 horses to win the FEI Young Rider Prix St. Georges CDI, scoring 68.35%.  Kayce Redmond aboard Lipton placed second with a score of 67.10%.  Leah Wilson riding Amusant earned 66.30% for third.

Roffman noted that the heat had her worried about whether her horse would be “sluggish and slow or really excited and hot,” in the ring. “I really didn’t know what I had, and I really didn’t want to kill either of us,” she said.  “I knew I was tired but he was so good. He really saved me a lot. There were a few mistakes, which were mine, but he really helped me so much. He was such a good boy.”Roffman and Bulgari 5 are aiming to compete in the North American Young Rider Championships in August.  

A Wellington resident, she thoroughly enjoys the hometown show.  “It’s my favorite horse show.  I love showing here. I love the atmosphere, I love the craziness, I love 7,000 horses running around and kids on ponies – I love that!”

Sunday, March 19
Colombia’s Dr. Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, riding his 2004 Athens Olympic Games mount Galant du Serein won the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*.  The duo bested a class of 15 horses with a score of 71.925%. Horses Unlimited based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, owns the 12-year-old Selle Francais stallion by Apache D’Adriers out of Sojoreat.  Katherine Bateson Chandler aboard the Olympic veteran FBW Kennedy for owner Jane Forbes Clarke placed second, earning a score of 71.10%. Canada’s Jacqueline Brooks riding Gran Gesto, her Team Silver mount at the 2003 Pan Am Games, claimed third scoring 70.75%.

Dr. Cesar Parra and Galant du Serein
Photo: SusanJStickle.com

Parra said that what he liked most about his horse’s performance today was that the big, 17.2-hand bay stallion was much fresher and more attentive to his leg.  Parra explained that Galant du Serein (known as ‘Tiny’) had lately been leaving his best performance in the warm-up ring – but not today.  “He was willing and he was happy,” Parra pointed out. “Sometimes in the pirouette he was not right on and that dropped the score a little bit. I thought it was going to be a better score. But I’m very happy with it. For me it’s a dream because it has been a lot of work with this horse.  He’s a breeding stallion, and he’s not so easy, but now it all came out great and I’m very, very excited.” Parra also noted that he particularly liked the stallion’s consistency in the freestyle.  

The scores for the freestyle were very close, with two of the five judges placing Parra first, two having Bateson-Chandler first, and one marking Brooks highest.  “The competition was tough.  The judging is very good and last night we saw it with the League Final,” Parra noted, referring to last night’s U.S. League Final, the official selection for the World Cup held at Wellington.  “So having that precedent – the scores weren’t so high today.  You have to ride really well in order to deserve the points. The judging today was excellent.”

Parra designed his choreography with the help of his friends and also selected his own music, which Terry Gallo arranged for him in a nicely segued soundtrack. “It’s Colombian music,” Parra said, with the featured track entitled ‘Let’s Dance’.  Parra explained that his method of creating choreography was to tell a story.  “A story has to start with something a little bit dramatic but not so dramatic that it will ruin the end. But at the end you have to say okay – and this is what we can do.”  Parra noted that for his stallion, that is the piaffe.  “Then we throw in something very dramatic, which is the walk, piaffe, and walk again, to get the people really excited and then relax again, and excited again, and then the series of pirouettes with the changes. What I’m trying to do is not leave blank spaces in the ring.”  

Parra represented his native Colombia at the 2002 Jerez World Equestrian Games (WEG) and is currently aiming Galant du Serein for the 2006 event in Aachen. “My goal is to be in the World Equestrian Games and to be in the top 20 if it’s possible,” Parra stated.  “I think if we are in the 70s we’ll be okay. We have to work for it. I don’t think we’re ready yet by that’s our goal.” 

CDI Highlights
In other CDI competition today, Caroline Roffman of Wellington, Florida, and Bulgari 5 won the FEI Young Rider Freestyle CDIY with a score of 69.675%, topping the five-horse class. Leah Wilson aboard Amusant placed second with 68.425%.  Laura Noyes with Syncro placed third, earning 65.800%.

Wrapping up the CDI competition, the seemingly unbeatable Canada’s Ashley Holzer of New York, New York, and Pop Art won yet another class – the FEI Intermediaire Freestyle CDI, topping a field of 15 horses with a score of 74.225%.  Christopher Hickey aboard Regent earned 71.075% for second.  Marco Bernal riding Halbgott scored 70.575% for third.

ZADA WEF Dressage Classic High Score Awards
In open competition at the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic, the following riders were awarded Champion and Reserve Champion ribbons and prize money:

First Level
Kelly Irving, Woden, First 3, 70.00%, Champion
Teresa Butta Stanton, Unitas, First 1, 70.00%, Reserve

Second Level
Bruno Greber, Amidala, Second 3, 72.766%, Champion
Krystalann Shingler, Tividor, Second 2, 69459%, Reserve

Third Level
Alison Sader Larson, Palini, Third 1, 68.611%, Champion
Dr. Cesar Parra, Furst Fabio, Third 3, 68.444%, Reserve

Fourth Level
Lauren Sammis, Sagacious, Fourth 2, 70.465%, Champion
Bill Warren, Romantic, Fourth 1, 68.837%, Reserve
For complete results, visit www.stadiumjumping.com

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