Thursday, October 22, 2009

Canadian Dressage Riders Diane Creech and Belinda Trussell continued their winning ways at the Weikersdorf CDI3*

Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON, and Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON continued their winning ways recently at the Weikersdorf CDI3*, in Austria, October 14–18, 2009.  Their appearance at the competition was part of the European Fall Tour funded by the Own the Podium program, which is aimed at preparing Canadian athletes for the Olympic Games.

In the Grand Prix, both riders scored 67.064% for a second place tie. Creech and Devon L (De Niro x Wolkenstein II), Douglas Leatherdale’s nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding, were then awarded 69.208% for second place in the Grand Prix Special. Trussell and Anton (Antaeus x Melit), a nine-year-old German-bred gelding owned by Robyn Eames, finished close behind in third place in the Special with a score of 68.417%.

“Despite the freezing cold temperatures we had a wonderful show in Weikersdorf. Devon L performed a wonderful and supple Grand Prix Special,” said Creech. “He felt amazing and expressive. The final halt was such an incredible feeling, and we were all so happy hearing the score.”

“I am so pleased with Anton’s performance in Weikersdorf,” said Trussell. “My goal was to ride clean tests and we were pretty close to achieving that goal. Anton has so much heart and gives me everything he is capable of in the ring. I am lucky to have a horse like him.”

Creech was also fourth in the Grand Prix test, scoring 64.851%, with Wiona (Weltmeyer x Fruhlingsball), Douglas and Louise Leatherdale’s 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, and finished ninth in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a very solid score of 68.450%.

“In the Grand Prix Freestyle, Wiona and I had a little misunderstanding at the beginning of the test, which cost us some expensive points, but things like that can happen,” noted Creech. “Being able to get over that moment and concentrate on the rest of the test shows Wiona’s strong nerves. She felt awesome for the rest of the ride and showed some beautiful moments. This European Tour has been such a great experience, and I am so grateful for such a wonderful initiative. We have learned so much again and our team has grown even stronger.”

Dressage Canada gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of Own the Podium (OTP), a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada’s summer and winter athletes achieve podium success at the Olympic Games, which funded the 2009 European Fall Competition Tour. The next stop on the Tour, which is aimed at providing European competition experience for some of Canada’s up and coming dressage combinations, will be Oldenburg CDI3*, in Germany, on November 5–8.

“I am very excited by the excellent scores and placements of both Diane Creech and Belinda Trussell last weekend in Weikersdorf,” said Dressage Canada Technical/Coach Advisor, Robert Dover. “My good friend and colleague, Christilot Boylen, who was there coaching, told me that both riders handled themselves like top professionals throughout the competition, and their scores of just below 70% in the Grand Prix Special prove that they and their mounts have the ability to become stronger and stronger contenders as we proceed through the next year toward the World Equestrian Games. Canada’s depth of world class combinations most definitely is growing, as proven by Diane’s and Belinda’s results. I guarantee Canada will be in the hunt for a medal in 2010 in Kentucky.”

The international judging panel at Weikersdorf CDI3* included Freddy Leyman (FEI I—BEL), Victoire Mandl (FEI I—AUT), Bernard Maurel (FEI O—FRA), Wojtek Markowski (FEI O—POL), Klaus Ridder (FEI I—GER), Katrina W├╝est (FEI O—GER), Maja Stukelj (FEI I— SLO), Isobel Wessels (FEI I— GBR), and Thomas Lang (FEI I—AUT).

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