Maple Leaves Dominate Grand Prix Dressage Freestyle Fans
WELLINGTON, FL, Mar. 23–
Canada filled the top two places in the CDI Grand Prix Musical Freestyle on Easter Sunday after 5 1/2 inches of torrential rain forced cancelation of a celebration under lights at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Hundreds of dressage fans who had bought tables and individual seats for the Saturday night celebration presented by www.lingh.nl took up the offer of an all-day dressage and jumping festival brunch. Many hundreds more had reserved seats in the grand stand.
The stars of the Zada Enterprises CDI show were Ashley Holzer and Pop Art who wrapped up their weekend with all five judges placing them first for a score of 76.80 per cent. Holzer, a 44-year-old mother of two who is seeking to represent Canada in her third Oympics, lives in New York and Wellington.
Fellow Canadian Jacqueline Brooks and Gran Gesto, were second with 72.20 per cent while Todd Fletrich of the U.S. on Amadeus was third with 70.70 per cent. Despite the rain and flash flooding in central Palm Beach County where Wellington is located, the International Arena was ready for competition at 8 a.m.
Dressage fans, many of whom had flown in from Europe and from other parts of the U.S. as well as driving from across Florida, made the most of the special occasion of competing in the stadium atmosphere on what many experts regards as the world’s best footing.
Although the celebration of food, drink and dancing while watching the musical freestyle had to be canceled because of the rain, hundreds of fans showed up for the Sunday morning brunch despite occasional thunderstorms.
Mimosas were the order of the day.
After the dressage competition, fans were invited to stay for lunch and to watch the $75,000 Suncast Corporation CSI 2* Grand Prix jumping in the same International Arena at the CN Winter Equestrian Festival presented by Zimmerman Advertising.
Some brought their children to join the Easter egg hunt on the grass verges around the International Arena.
The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington and offers more than $5 million in prize money. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com