Five Nations! Under the lights–Stars and Smiles!

Friday night is the night for Dressage Under the Lights at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington Florida.  Despite constant wind and intermittent squalls of rain it was still a very entertaining evening. Last night was the Grand Pix Freestyle for the CDI-W.  I know many followers of this blog are not “horsey” people and the terms CDI and W and freestyle may be somewhat inscrutable.  So here are some basic explanations. For all you dressage aficionados you can just skip this section .

CDI = Concours Dressage International.  This is a high level competition that is governed by the rules of the FEI (International Equestrian Federation).  There will be five judges; one on each side and three at the end of the arena.

W= World Cup qualifier. Scores here will qualify horse and rider  combinations to be eligible to compete in the World Cup to be held in Paris later this spring.

Grand Prix=  this is the highest level of test in dressage.

Freestyle= The FEI has required movements that must be performed but the rider and their team can choose the order, choreography and music.  This is very similar to the programs in figure skating.


There were five nations represented among the 15 riders who competed last night. Eilesse Tzinberg from the Philippines riding Triviant 2.friday stars-1616

Yvonne Losos de Muniz from the Dominican Republic on Foco Loco-W

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Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven from Sweden on Paridon Magi.

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As I am Canadian I am going to show you two of the Canadian Riders. Brittany Fraser on All Infriday stars-1808

and Canadian Olympian  Belinda Trussell  riding Tattoo 15.

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The USA had several very good riders. The final rider into the arena was Laura Graves and her horse Verdades.

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With some riders you can tell they are happy with their rides.  Here is Canadian Megan Lane on San  D’0r.

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And P.J.Rizvi on Breaking Dawn. P.J. is an adult amateur rider and here she is riding with the top professionals and doing  a great job. Why not smile?

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Riding a Grand Prix freestyle may look easy enough but the rider is thinking and giving aides and making corrections and remembering when the next music cue is coming up and maintaining their connection both mentally and physically with their horse. It takes a lot of FOCUS.

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Belinda Trussell
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Tinne Vilhelmsen Silfven



When the ride is finished the riders , especially those who have had rides they were happy with,  reward their horses with praise and a pat. Happy horse! Happy rider!

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The photo above is of Laura Graves and Verdades when they finished their test. Theirs was the winning ride with a score of 84.657, the highest score ever awarded for a freestyle at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

And last but never least……those who also stand and wait. It takes a team to get the horse and rider into the ring to compete.  Here is a photo taken as Belinda Trussell went into the ring to start her test.  The young couple in the blue peaked caps in the center of the photo are members of Belinda’s  ‘team’.

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Yes there was  wind and some squally rain but despite that it was a very exciting evening of dressage. In two weeks there will be a CDI 5* and at the end of the winter season a Nations Cup CDIO competition.  I’ll be there to report on them.


26 responses to “Five Nations! Under the lights–Stars and Smiles!”

  1. Avery Avatar

    ❤ What makes it great

    Liked by 2 people

  2. raynotbradbury Avatar

    A beautiful show and a very passionate people. I believe they really love what they do…and I’ve heard its a lot of job to have a horse (from one of my friend, her sis in law have one)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      It is a lot of work and horses at this level are very high maintenance. They really are elite athletes. Their riders have to be top fit as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. raynotbradbury Avatar

        Yes I’ve heard that…
        Never been at the show only seen it on tv 📺

        Liked by 2 people

  3. dinosaursdonkeysandms Avatar

    Beautiful pictures as always Anne. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you i appreciate your comment and I’m glad you liked them. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Subbashini Meenakshi Sundaram Avatar

    Lovely post ma’am. Love those photographs

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Emma Cownie Avatar

    Anne, I never make the mnistake of thinking any part of dressage looks “easy”! I always marvel at the skill and communication between horse and rider!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Well Emma you are very observant, as an artist, and this enables you to see the work but many others just see a rider tootling around not doing to much and they assume the horse has it memorized! LOL! Thanks for this comment.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Emma Cownie Avatar

        Really, people think that!? Wow!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen Avatar

        Yup! I have had things said to me that indicate they think it is pretty much like sitting on an ambulatory arm chair!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jen Avatar

    Great pictures!! They are all so beautiful!! It’s so great getting to see it through your posts! Thanks!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      It’s my pleasure Jen. So glad you are enjoying the posts.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Tina Schell Avatar

    Very beautifully captured Anne – a very helpful tutorial through the eyes of one who knows! Enjoyed it very much

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you Tina your appreciative comment means a lot. I am always so impressed with your photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Judy Avatar

    Amazing! Thanks for giving us a peek. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      You are most welcome Judy!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth Avatar
    (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth

    How wonderful that you got to be there!! I greatly enjoyed hearing about it!!! (:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have media accreditation for the AGDF and WEF . I don’t get to much at WEF but try to see the dressage at the AGDF. I get to be in the pavillion and out of the sun or rain so it’s nice that way!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Alli Farkas Avatar

    Was thinking (sigh) that maybe you should explain to those “not horsey” people why it is that some riders are wearing helmets and others top hats…(sigh again). Some day…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I hear you but in a CDI a top hat is permitted. The ONLY person wearing a top hat was Tinne. All the other riders wore helmets.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alli Farkas Avatar

        I noticed that Tinne was the exception. Even Steffen Peters eventually surrendered, so maybe we are getting close.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. anne leueen Avatar

          I think so. The Brits seem to have it mandatory for all Team members.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. fearlessinjesuschrist Avatar

    How wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      It’s my pleasure. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 2 people

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