Dressage at Devon: great wins Brooks, Petersen and more
Text from Press releases by Christine de Hererra (ed dressagedirect); pictures Terri Miller
Olympian Jacqueline Brooks and Balmoral clinched the main attraction on day four of Dressage at Devon by winning the Grand Prix for Freestyle. The Canadian duo impressed with a 66.936%, beating out second-placed Tina Konyot by less than 1%.
“He shocked me,” Brooks said of the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding that was bred in a small town north of Toronto and is owned by Anne Welch and Brinc Ltd. Balmoral, by Belcanto out of Charisma, is Brooks' younger mount and she was thrilled with his performance. “He was loving being in the ring and under the lights,” she explained. “I'm really proud of him.” Brooks was having so much fun she confessed to laughing during her test.
The excitement of the win quickly crossed international borders as Brooks’ parents listened to the Canadian National Anthem via cell phone. “It's just a fun night,”Brooks said.
Canadian Jacqueline Brooks and Balmoral immediately took the win in their first ever test under the spotlights Pucture Terri Miller www.terrimiller.com
Tina Konyot was also pleased with her horse. This was Calecto V's fifth Grand Prix and his very first time under lights. “I didn't know what to expect,”she said, but was thrilled with the way her horse handled the situation. “I was so happy I could go in the arena and ride my horse.” She was especially pleased with the canter tour and expects her piaffe/passage transitions to improve as her horse matures. “He's going to be special. I knew that from the beginning,”she says of the 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Come Back.
Grand Prix for Special
In the Grand Prix for Special, Lars Petersen, a familiar winner at Dressage at Devon, once again claimed the blue ribbon. With Dutch-bred Naomi the Dane earned a 65.915% in front of the international judging panel that included Anne Gribbons, Linda Zang, Wim Ernes, Freddy Leyman and Christoph Hess.
I'm always happy winning,”Petersen said with a smile. He's been paired with the bay mare for approximately one year. The Zeoliet-mare was shown before by Lisa Wilcox. Petersen feels that she will continue to improve.
Danish Lars Petersen took the win with Naomi in Grand Prix for Special Picture Terri Miller www.terrimiller.com
Finishing in second place in the Grand Prix for Special was Pierre St. Jacques and his partner of ten years, Lucky Tiger. “Overall, I was very happy with him,” he said of his ride that earned a 64.170%. “Tiger was good. I made some mistakes,” he said humbly.
Order reversed in Special
The three top finishers in Friday’s Grand Prix led the field in Grand Prix Special competition, too, but judges Isobel Wessels, Wim Ernes, Anne Gribbons, Bo Jena, and Cara Whitham placed them in slightly different order. Finishing first with a score of 66.208% were nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding Wadamur (Weltmeyer), and owner Susan Jaccoma; they'd placed third in the earlier class. In second place, with a 65.625%, was fourteen-year-old Dutch mare Naomi, by Leolict out of Bruin, and ridden by Lars Petersen for owner Janet Bell; they'd won on Friday. Coming third with a 65.167% was Danish Warmblood gelding Lucky Tiger, by Lucky Light out of Teike, ridden and owned by Pierre St. Jacques; they'd been Friday's runner-up pair.
Jaccoma, who has owned Wadamur ‘since he was three and a half,’ was delighted with her horse. “This was the biggest test he’s ever been in, and he felt very relaxed; his ridability was a high point. He's a good mudder, and I took my time warming him up. We came out a little early and took several walk breaks to help him stay calm.” She says the horse is "like the Eveready bunny; he conditions himself in his stall, and he loves to work"; in schooling him, "I try to be creative so he's not bored."
Lars Petersen (who'll be training Wadamur with Jaccoma in Florida over the winter), was very happy with Naomi's performance. Because the ground was still rather wet from a night and early morning of rain, "I rode very conservatively; I was a little unsure about the footing. But the tempis and pirouettes and the passage felt very good. We'll go home tonight and take a little time off before looking to the winter show season."
Freestyle for Konyot
Tina Konyot and Calecto V had a decisive victory in the Grand Prix Freestyle at Dressage at Devon. The highlight of the six-day event, the Freestyle featured Olympic riders piloting their horses to music as diverse as Billy Joel and versions of Dixieland classics. Konyot, of North Stonington, CT, received a 72.60% for her efforts, which included powerful passage work, flowing half-passes and expressive changes.
“I was just thrilled with him,” Konyot said of the 11-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion. “I think he’s a special horse-it’s just a matter of putting it together.” Judge Linda Zang agreed. “I thought Tina did a good job today,” Zang said. “Tina has a very nice horse with a big future.”
Tina Konyot showed she has a great future with Calecta V and won the Freestyle Picture Terri Miller www.terrimiller.com
Canadian Olympian Jacqueline Brooks, of Cedar Valley, ON, finished second on Balmoral with a score of 69.80%. She rode to a soundtrack of original music in a freestyle that she calls a work in progress. "My horse is moving much differently than when we wrote it," she said of the music. Balmoral is her younger horse, but has proven he is more than up to the challenge of competing at one of the most electric venues in North America. Brooks continued, "Now I'm very excited about him."
Finishing in third place was Lauren Sammis, Wellington, FL, with Sagacious HF. The duo performed to a fun mix of Billy Joel tunes with a score of 69.750.
The final class of the beautiful Dressage at Devon show was the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle, with fifteen competitors riding before judges Linda Zang, Wim Ernes, Isobel Wessels, Cara Whitham, and Jeanne McDonald. Dr. Cesar Parra and Dr. Lori Washton's 13-year-old KWPN gelding Olympia completed their sweep of the Small Tour with a score of 73.85%. “This was a very emotional ride for me, to have a ‘hat trick’ at Devon,” said former-Columbian now being an American Parra. Rewarding final words for a great breeding and dressage show all benefitting Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding Inc.
Parra riding Olympia for his third consecutive victory in Devon and winning the Freestyle Intermediate I as well Picture Terri Miller www.terrimiller.com
2010 Announcement Dressage at Devon
In 2010, Dressage at Devon occurs during the World Equestrian Games. Although the date conflict cannot be resolved, the Dressage at Devon Horse Show Committee has decided to run a full show. To make the entry process very competitor friendly, the committee voted to eliminate the minimum qualifying percentages. Horse and rider combinations will still have to submit their highest score for the class level they want to enter and will be ranked until the class is filled. Details will be available in the prizelist soon.
About Dressage at Devon
Dressage at Devon is a 501 (c) (3) PA non-profit organization. Founded by the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association in 1975, Dressage at Devon became a separate organization in 2006. The six-day event attracts more than 700 horses and 35,000 spectators each year. Dressage at Devon benefits Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding Inc., the oldest and largest therapeutic riding program in the nation.
Find more online at www.dressageatdevon.org