The Wellington Classic Season Kick Off is now in the history books as they say.
Friday started off a little wet and cold…and foggy. Had to take a few minutes to get use to not being in hunter/jumper mode and I was glad we were only running 1 ring our first competition day. Our judge was Sandi Chohany (S) and on Saturday we were joined by William (Bill) Warren (S) and my friend Fran Kehr (S). Sunday it was Bill and Fran having all the fun.
January 8, 2016:
Judge Sandi Chohany (S)
With two very good tests in the FEI or Equivalent class Bebe Davis riding her mount Equestricons Carrera to the winning ride (YRT) to a score of 74.079!! Bebe also rode her better-known horse (to those of us that follow Dressage closely) Feivel Mousekewitz in the YRI
to a 71. 316 to a 3rd place finish in the mixed class.
The big guns were out Friday as well in the combined FEI/Equivalent test of choice. The top 5 scores were all well above 70% with Amy Bock riding “Cash” Walk The Line to a well-deserved score of 74.474 riding the PSG test. Jane Cleveland and Monique (PSG) were right on their heels with a 73.684 just 3 points separating them. Heather Blitz and Ripline (PSG) were yet just another half a point behind with the 73.553. It really could have been anyone’s to win on the day. In the class was also Jennifer Marchand riding the Grand Prix test on Don Romeo putting up their best score to date at 72.900. Way to go Romeo!! Also putting up a personal best riding the I1 was the ambassador for the Adult Amateurs Janne Rumbough and Armas Zumbel with a 71.579.
Not that my opinion counts for much – but my favorite ride on Friday was Adrienne Lyle on Argentinia owned by Karen MacMillan. This 17.1 hh Hanoverian mare is something very special and she always seems to be saying “watch me”. They put up respectable scores on Friday…but have done better and that’s all part of the drama and suspense that is Dressage.
Saturday, the busiest day of the weekend:
January 9, 2016
Ring 1: Judge Fran Kehr (S)
Continuing into Saturday it seemed making personal bests was the theme of the show. 2012 Nations Cup Team Member (Bronze) Jane Cleveland rode Monique in the FEI PSG test to a winning combined score of 75.066 (E:73.289/C:76.842) putting up their top scores to date.
The FEI scores keep on the higher end into the Grand Prix de Dressage as Kasey Perry and Goerklintgaards Dublet bested 7 others in the class with a combined score of 73.900 (E:73.200/C:74.700)
It was nice to see Chris Von Martels bring Deborah Mullany’s Bellissimo back out. It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen this Danish warmblood in the competition ring. Putting up top marks up in the FEI Intermediarie II 72.237 (E:71.184/C:73.289)
Ring 2: Judge William Warren (S)
Bill Warren our judge in ring 2, saw several 70%+ in the FEI test of choice class. Riding the Grand Prix test was Katherine Bateson Chandler on Alcazar to a (367.50) 73.500 for the win. Kevin Kohmann and Zephyr rode the FEI PSG and earned a (231.50) 72.344. Charlotte Jorst and her mount Kastel’s Nintendo also rode the Grand Prix to a (361) 72.200 and Amy Bock with “Cash” Walk The Line scored (272.50) a 71.711.
Sometimes the highest scores are not the ones that stand out… Charlotte Jorst and Nintendo caught my eye the most on Saturday, especially coming down centerline at the end of their test.
January 10, 2016
Sunday is always a special day at Wellington Classic Dressage –Freestyles!!
In the Grand Prix Special Class GS FEI Grand Prix Special Kasey Perry and Goerklintgaards Dublet won the class with the score at E:76.863 C:74.216 and combined the final score was a 75.539.
Heather Blitz is no stranger to the winners circle in Wellington or any Dressage arena for that matter…I hear a certain music score in the near future with this horse/rider combination. Heather and Ripline rode the I2 and won the FEI test of choice class with a 71.711. Chris Hickey and Ronaldo rode the Grand Prix and came 2nd putting up a very respectable 71.000
I have to say I am very glad to see Yvonne Losos de Muniz back in the ring. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about please see the article here http://www.eurodressage.com/equestrian/2014/10/21/yvonne-losos-de-muniz-returns-ring-new-found-confidence-and-horses
This is the first time I’ve had the privilege of announcing her in a ring since before the games. I am glad she has come back and it appears as though we are in for a real treat in seeing this pair go far. Foco Loco put up a 69.200 in the Grand Prix.
I am a bit biased sometimes especially when I’ve actually met many of the Dressage riders and just a warning, I am about to be here. I met Juan Matute (the younger) at one of my first shows announcing at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center a few years ago. I was very impressed and he was still a kid…maybe 12 or 13.
I have always been impressed when watching Juan ride. Although I am not big on predictions, I would not be surprised to see him in the 2016 Rio or the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, possibly WEG in the very near future representing Spain. He was already on Spain’s short list for 2015. This guy is an amazing talent and with horses that are almost just as impressive. He is very humble and extremely personable.
To see all the scores from the 2016 Wellington Classic Season Kick Off…please visit my Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/Horse-Show-Announcer-176018115793135/