Just to be clear the stars are the horses and riders performing their freestyles to music at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. In case you are not familiar with dressage freestyles these are choreographed to show the movements from the dressage tests the horse is currently competing at. For the Friday nights these are horses at the highest level, the Grand Prix. The rider will work with a professional who creates freestyles and they will choose music that the horse likes ( yes horses do have opinions about the music and if they don’t like it the test will not go well) and they will put together a choreography that will give the horse a chance to be shown to its best. There are also required movements for the Grand Prix that must be included.
It was a lovely clear evening and the stands and Pavillion were full. The first horse to go was Evi Strasser on her Disney Tyme.
There is a tremendous amount of atmosphere in the stadium with the lights and the huge crowds of people. Disney Tyme was a bit overawed at first but Evi skillfully got him to focus on the job at hand.
After the final halt,salute she was clearly happy. Her score:64.71
The next horse was First Apple ridden by Sarah Tubman.First Apple did not seem to be intimidated by the lights and the crowds.They executed some lovely work. The half pass you can see in the photo below.
Also the double pirouettes.
At the end of the test Sarah had a big smile. Her score was 77.45
The evening contiued with other good rides and some challenging choreography. There was also a break in the Freestyles to show us the final two riders of the Prix St.George ‘knock out’ Derby. The two finalists from earlier in the day both rode the same horse. They have never ridden this horse before and were allowed 5 minutes to get to know the horse before demonstrating some of the Prix.St. George test movements. The horse, a stallion, Zidan-DN was loaned by Helgstrand Dressage. The first to go was Anna-Christina Abbelen from Germany .She scored.72.426. The other rider was Ben Ebeling from the USA. He made a valiant attempt but missed a change in the three tempis and scored 71.359. I had not seen this competition before and found it very entertaining.
After the drag break ( the tractors come in and harrow the arena footing to level out any divets.) we had more freestyles. My injured hip was giving me some grief about the fact that I had been standing for a long time. So I went up to the media area in the Pavillion. I was waiting to see Chris von Martels. He has agreed to do an interview with me as he has declared for the Canadian Dressage Team for the Pan Am Games in Chile. He was the third rider in and his horse Eclips did not like the look of the judges’ booths when he first came in. But Chris is a very experienced rider having ridden in Pan Am Games in Toronto and the Tokyo Olympics. He steadied Eclips and on they went.
Eclips has a wonderful piaffe with clear diagonal pairs easily visible. No shuffling from this horse in the piaffe. The pirouettes were good too and looked easy for him.
Eclips also has a very good passage. Chris was very happy with his horse at the end of the freestyle.
Chris left the stadium to cheers and applause from an appreciative audience. He scored a 74.250
The final winner of the class was Anna Buffini on her horse Davinia La Douce. with a score of 78.28. I am sorry to say I do not have photos of her ride as my bad hip told me it was time to go home after Chris von Martels ride.
Here are the final standings.
A final note is the the horse who came in 5th. Kastel’s Nintendo is 20 years old. I shall tell this to Biasini today to let him know he has two more years in his prime!!
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