HGF at Global Dressage Florida Classic02.22.2012
HGF at Global Dressage Florida Classic
This second CDI of the series of 5 was the official Opening for the new Global Dressage Festival. Not until the very last minute on Wednesday night were all permits issued for occupancy on the shiny new buildings and grounds. 200 horses moved in the next morning for a three day show with close to 400 rides. The international Grand Prix fielded over 30 horses from 5 countries, with several of the judges making their first visit to South Florida. Over 600 people attended a sparkling evening of freestyles and 5 additional show sponsors from the Wellington dressage community signed on to be part of what appears to be a game-changing venue and series for our sport.
Wednesday evening was the USPRE kick-off party. Normally held on move-in day, this year people had to make a special trip to come out the night before the show for the event--but the response was overwhelming. The Patron's Club was set for 350 people, and there was overflow of at least another 50 outside of the tent--never before has USPRE seen so much support and enthusiasm! A line-up of promising young PREs with top riders--from established US Team riders to Lendon Gray's hand-picked Emerging Dressage Athlete (EDAP) youth riders--rode to music or to the instruction of their trainers. This year's riders were: Endel Ott, Mica Mabragana, Rachel Chowanec, Emily Copeland, Lily Zilo, Chelsea Reed, Maddy Guthrie, Sophie Hoffman and Kerrigan Gluch. Tina Konyot and Lendon Gray taught demonstration riders and gave testimonials of their experiences and endorsements of PRE Horses.
The show commenced on Thursday morning, and our attention turned to our HGF riders and their horses. As is our tradition, HGF horses were beautifully ridden and received top scores in their classes--
Rachel Chowanec continued to gain experience in this first year of riding the Young Riders tests, improving her marks as she and Embrujado become more experienced at what is essentially the Prix St. George level. They took first and second in the national Team and Individual tests respectively with scores of 68.28 and 67.1.
15 year old Kerrigan Gluch of Michigan traveled down to Wellington with her parents Tina and Brent to represent the EDAP riders in the USPRE exhibit, and to do her first Wellington show as a bonus. Having only ridden Camaron three times in the EDAP clinic in December, Kerrigan proved what her trainer Laurie Moore says are her particular strengths--showmanship and test-riding! They showed third level all weekend and received three of Camaron's best scores at this level: 67.69, 67.94 and 68.415, just edging out Rachel for the Youth Rider High Point Award for USPRE.
Mica Mabragana is continuing to live up to her press with exceptionally high marks on the young mare Infanta HGF (Candela x Idilio). Owner Mary Magee of Chicago was on hand to see the pair as they easily topped their Training Level classes with scores of 71.42, 72.00, and 77.85! The judges praised the mare's three excellent gaits and made special mention of the harmony between horse and rider (for which they received a 9 in collective marks from one judge). Mica and Infanta's score of 77.85 was not only the Open High Point score for USPRE, but was the High Score for the entire Florida Dressage Classic show--a fitting conclusion to a weekend sponsored by the United States PRE Association!