Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holzer and Trussell Score a Triple Victory at CDI-W West Palm Beach Gold Coast Opener

Toronto native and three-time Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer, who currently resides in New York, NY, won both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle at the CDI-W West Palm Beach Gold Coast Opener, held January 21–24, in West Palm Beach, FL, USA.

Riding Pop Art (Amsterdam x Cabochon), a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Rusty Holzer and Moreen Nicoll, Holzer won the Grand Prix for Freestyle test with a score of. 71.489%. The duo then performed a spectacular Grand Prix Freestyle to earn 76.489% for the double victory. Holzer’s Freestyle score was 4.6% higher than her nearest competitor, Mikala Gundersen of Denmark riding Leonberg, who earned a score of 71.800% for second.  Jaimey Irwin of Stouffville, ON placed fifth with his Oldenburg gelding Dover, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding sired by De Niro.

“I was thrilled with Poppy’s first show. I feel I can improve upon my performance at the Masters as Evi Pracht and Robert Dover were very helpful pointing out areas (for improvement),” remarked Holzer.  Holzer, along with fellow riders Belinda Trussell and Cheryl Meisner, will  represent Canada at the $145,000 Exquis World Dressage Masters, February 4–6, 2010 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. “The Canadian riders were very successful, and I think Robert has done a great job rallying a lot of Canadian Team spirit. I think it is fair to say we dominated the leader board with Canadians winning many of the CDI classes.”

Trussell of Stouffville, ON, won the Grand Prix Special test scoring 68.292% riding Anton (Antaeus x Melit), a 10-year-old German-bred gelding owned by Robyn Eames. Toronto’s Victoria Winter placed second, earning 67.250% aboard Proton, a 17-year-old Baden-Wurttemberg gelding (Patriarch x Rosenkavalier) owned by Neil and Cindy Ishoy. In 10th place was Bonny Bonnello of Calgary, AB, with a score of 64.125%, riding Pikardi, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Bonnello and Frances Bell. In the Grand Prix for Special, Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON, and Devon L (De Niro x Wolkenstein II), Douglas Leatherdale’s 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, earned a score of 65.021% for fifth place. Winter and Proton placed sixth with a score of 64.638%.

“Anton was very good for the Special. This is his second year competing at the Grand Prix level and he is feeling confident in the test,” said Trussell.  “My job now is to start to show how special this horse is and tap into his full potential. Now is the time to take more risks and bring him to his potential. Christilot Boylen was here for the week before the show and she and Robert Dover helped push me in that direction, and in the Special it paid off.”

Canadians were well represented in the Intermediaire I class as well. Holzer and Delvaux (Iroko x Zeoliet), Jill Irving’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, were the top Canadian entries scoring 66.404% for sixth place. Leah Wilson of Orangeville, ON, and her 15 year old Hanoverian gelding Amusant (Alabaster x Weltmeyer), placed eighth with 66.228%. Tom Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON, and Viva’s Salieri W, Augustine and Christine Walch’s nine-year-old Hanoverian stallion sired by Viva Voltaire, were 10th with a score of 65.706%. Krystalann Shingler of Toronto, ON, riding her horse Tividor, a 10-year old Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Obelisk, earned a score of 65.526% for 11th place. Rounding out the Canadian results in 13th place with 65.088% was Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, and Lucky Strike, John Risley’s 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Ferro. Shingler and Tividor went on to score 67.083% for third place in the Intermediaire I Freestyle.

In the Prix St. Georges, Dvorak and Viva’s Salieri W placed third with 68.860%, while Holzer and Delvaux were 10th with 65.263%, and Shingler and Tividor finished in 12th place with a score of 64.825%.

In the Young Riders division Jaimie Holland, 20, of Caledon, ON, won both the Individual (65.158%) and Team test aboard her horse Fleurina, a 10-year-old Westphalian mare sired by Florestan I. Anne Mylaine Messier, 18, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC, finished second in both classes riding Marzipan, her 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding sired by Mattgold.

The CDI 5* Exquis World Dressage Masters, held February 4–6, 2010 in Wellington, FL is the next CDI for Holzer, Trussell and Meisner. Meisner will rider Paganini, (Havidoff x Statuar), John Riley’s 13 year old Dutch Warmblood stallion. These riders will go head to head against many of the world’s top dressage riders including the 2008 Olympic Individual Gold Medalist Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands and 2009 World Cup Champion Steffen Peters (USA).

The international judging panel for the CDI-W West Palm Beach Gold Coast Opener included Canada’s Lorraine Mc Donald (FEI I) and was also comprised of Stephen Clarke (FEI O—GBR), Axel Steiner (FEI O—USA), Angelika Froemming (FEI I—GER), Bo Jena (FEI I—SWE) Liselotte Fore (FEI I—USA), Natalie Lamping (FEI I—USA) and Charlotte Bredahl (FEI C—USA).

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About Equine Canada

Equine Canada is Canada’s national governing body for equestrianism.  A member-driven, charitable institution, it is the executive branch of the Canadian Equestrian Team, and the national authority for equestrian competition; the national voice for recreational riders; and the national association for equine welfare, breeding, and industry.  Equine Canada is recognised by the Government of Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national organisation representing equestrian sport and equine interests. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit