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Dressage at the CWEF
Amber Heintzberger

The Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, February 1-4, 2001,offered four days of dressage right in the midst of the showjumping action.With the generous sponsorship of Zada Enterprises LLC and Windsome Farms ,there was $21,000 in prize money offered at the FEI levels and $25,000 inprizes for the dressage-showjumping spectacular, the show was as rewardingto its competitors as it was for spectators.

Beginning Thursday with lower level rides, the show culminated with the crowd-pleasing Grand Prix Musical Freestyle, won by German rider HubertusSchmidt,who was in the sixth place slot for going to Sydney last year.

Winner of the Grand Prix Special was Israeli rider Oded Shimoni, riding hisDutchgelding Glenstern (by Kaisterstern, out of a Saluut mare.) Their test showed consistency and fluidity combined with the precision necessary for a scoreof 68.667%.

Shimoni, who owns Glenstern, said that "This is the beginning of the seasonand hefeels stronger and more confirmed in the movements than last year." The pair alsowon the Grand Prix at the Gold Coast Classic, January 19-21.

Patrick Burssens riding Marianne McPhail's Marfil, a 14-year-oldArgentinian-bred gelding, won the Grand Prix Special. Burssens originally owned the horse,and soldhim to McPhail seven years ago. She rode him Friday in the Grand PrixSpecial,but gave Saturday's ride to Burssens, who said, "Each chance I get to ridethis horse,I gladly accept it." Their score of 69.767% reflects their partnership."He is getting older;" said Burssens. "He knows his stuff, we just have to keep him happy and healthy and tuned up. I enjoy giving him a different ride sometimes."A native of Belgium, Burssens spent 16 years in Mexico and has been based in Wellingtonfor the past three winters.

Linda Smith won the Mountain Horse high-point award for second level test4, ridingHelena and Howard Klukofsky's Westphalian gelding Fare Well, a six-year-oldWestphaliangelding by Florestan, out of Fiorina. Fare Well also won the regionalfirst level finalsand was second-level horse of the year in 2000. He is now beginning third level.

Canadian Tom Dvorak took the Mountain Horse third-level high score ridingDomingo, asix-year old Hanoverian gelding owned by the DGI Syndicate. High scoreswere awardedwith a Mountain Horse jacket from Miller's Harness Company and Cosequin.

Young Rider Jacqueline Paxton had a successful weekend with both herhorses, Flyover(Fruehlingsrausch x Pia/Tollux) and Cinbad (Celbrio x Duellinde/Seinschnitt 2). Inthe Intermediaire I test she won on Cinbad with 69.5% and was second onFlyover with 64%.Paxton competed with Cinbad at the 2000 North American Young RidersChampionships and with Flyover at the 1999 NAYRC. Also with Cinbad she won the Young Riders Team,Individual, and Freestyle tests at Dressage at Devon last year.

Thursday's Prix Saint Georges was won by Sabine Schut, of Texas, and Tinus,(by Jillis),a 10-year-old Friesian imported from the Netherlands. This was Tinus'first timecompeting at this level; they scored an impressive 69.125%. If his background is any indication of his ability, greater things may be expected still: Tinus was USDF horseof the year at second level in 1999 and at third level in 2000. He started fourth level last year and moved up with flying colors on Thursday.

"It was 30-40 degrees in Texas, and I notice a difference in the horses inthe heat,"said Schut. "The Friesians are big, heavy horses and their coats areblack, and theyare really affected by the heat. I don't like cold weather, but it's good for these horses. They perform better when it's cold."

Schut moved to the US from Germany three years ago with her horse Jorrit,who was PSG horse of the year last year. He was purchased from her by Jim Mosebrook and Lany Riggs of Proud Meadows Farm in Cedar Hill, Texas. They also offered Sabine a job as head trainer at the farm.

Saturday night was the $25,000 Windsome Farms Dressage/Showjumpingspectacular,in which dressage and showjumping riders paired up in teams of two andswitched horses,then rode in each other's respective sport. The jumpers rode third-level test threeand the dressage riders did a "hit-and-hurry" jumping round. This providedgreatexcitement for spectators and a lot of laughs for everyone. The winnerswere Anne Kursinski, who ride for a very respectable 69%, and Bent Jenssen, who was equally talented in the jumping, though Colombian rider Marco Bernal put in a blazing jumping round, with the fastest time, that made the crowd go wild.

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