Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

The 2nd Annual Zada Enterprises, LLC Dressage at the National Draws Top FEI Competitors

WELLINGTON, FL – December 2, 2003 – The 2nd Annual Zada Enterprises, LLC Dressage at the National wrapped up after three days of competition November 28-30, held in conjunction with the 120th National Horse Show in Wellington, FL. The event was held at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club show grounds, home of the Winter Equestrian Festival, and was produced by Stadium Jumping, Inc. for the National Horse Show Association of America, Ltd. Dressage at the National featured $10,000 in prize money and awards, with classes contested from Training Level through Grand Prix. A stellar roster of world-class riders and horses competed at the two-ring show, with scores pushing the 70-percentile in several classes. The show also marked the return to the Grand Prix ring of five-time Olympian Robert Dover.

Highlighting opening day on Friday, Denmark’s Lars Peters, 38, of Loxahatchee, FL, riding Dansko’s Success won the Grand Prix with a score of 67.188%. “It’s the first time ever he has shown Grand Prix,” said Petersen of the gray, eight-year-old, 16.2-hand Danish Warmblood. “He kept his concentration. He can be ‘look-y’ and he really kept his cool in there.” Petersen, a member of the Danish dressage team for nine years, was especially pleased with how Dansko’s Success performed his piaffe/passage tour.

Californian Heather Bender, 39, now of Loxahatchee, FL, won the Prix St. Georges aboard her Winwood, with a score of 69.00%. Winwood is a chestnut, eight-year-old, 16.1-hand Hanoverian gelding. “He’s very, very hot – people don’t see that in him but he’s very explosive,” said Bender. “The exciting win today was when I went down the side, he showed me that hot side and I thought, ‘Uh-oh’ but he’s so much better on the aids I can now put the hotness into the work and get the great extensions. He stayed so soft and honest on the aids.”

Saturday’s schedule drew a large crowd ringside in anticipation of Robert Dover’s return to competition. Dover, 47, of Long Island, NY, and Wellington, FL, rode FBW Kennedy to victory in the Grand Prix Special with a score of 69.700%. “The horse is absolutely fabulous,” Dover said. This was Dover’s first trip down centerline with Kennedy and also his first competitive ride since the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “I’ve truly never been as happy to go into the ring on a horse in my life,” said Dover of the 14-year-old, chestnut Baden-Wurttemberger gelding. “Look at his abilities.” Kennedy’s best movement in the test was his piaffe, Dover said. “You just sit there and you just go like this [slight touch] and he starts. He’s so wonderful about that, and his pirouettes, and his extended trots. He’s a lovely, lovely horse.”

Owner Jane Clark was ringside for the debut. “I thought it was wonderful to have Robert back in the tack. He’s a great horse. I’m looking forward to two or three years of Robert competing him, because to me it’s not about just the Olympic Games or whatever, it’s about going to the ring with someone with a big smile on their face like he did today.” Clark also noted, “The first ride was pretty perfect.”

Earlier in the day, Robyn Mitchell, who is in training with Dover, won the Intermediaire I riding Graciola, scoring 64.625%. It was her debut at I-I. “I’m so ecstatic to do that well today,” said Mitchell, 30, of Howell, NJ. She leased the 15-year-old Dutch mare from owner Marsha Pepper for the winter. “She’s so great at her tempi changes that you can just sit up there and smile, half-halt, swing the leg, and she just bangs them out,” said Mitchell, who is now looking forward to moving up another notch. “Robert seems to think that we’ll be able to do a Grand Prix by the end of the season. I hope he’s right because it would be my first and I’d be thrilled to do it on this mare. She’s such a nice, nice girl.”

Dr. Cesar Parra, 40, of Whitehouse Station, NJ and Jupiter, FL, riding Galant du Serein owned by Anne Whitten won the Intermediaire II class with a score of 62.317%. Parra, who has represented his native Colombia at the World Equestrian Games and Pan American Games, has had the ride for three months and views his new partner as an international caliber mount. Formerly shown at Grand Prix by Humberto Schmidt of Germany, Galant du Serein placed second at Wiesbaden and won at Munich. “His scores were over 70, so I hope in three or four more months we’ll be up there,” said Parra. “This horse hopefully is going to the Olympics next year for Colombia. His strongest points are three good gaits, a world-class trot and excellent transitions in piaffe/passage.”

Wrapping up the final day of the show on Sunday, Mirja ‘Mimi’ Block, 26, of Wellington, Florida, and Asarhaddon danced their way to victory, earning 69.458% in the Grand Prix Freestyle. Block was able to enter the class when a ride scratched and was performing the kur for the first time – she did some improvising in the ring. “We don’t have music made up for him yet,” she said. “We want to make a new freestyle for him next season, so I took my old freestyle music and I just rode and waited for the transitions from the music. We rode a little bit of his old freestyle, but we changed it a little bit.” Her father Kurt Block owns the 12-year-old bay Hanoverian gelding and Mimi has been partnered with him for seven years. She trained Asarhaddon to Grand Prix herself. She included two piaffe pirouettes in her choreography. “He likes doing it. He’s really good in piaffe, so the pirouettes just come easy for him.” Two extended canters that ended in double canter pirouettes were also impressive. “He’s such a good boy,” Block beamed. “He’s so good.”

High Score Awards for the show were announced in a ceremony following the freestyles. The High Score of the show went to Robert Dover and FBW Kennedy who earned 69.700% in the Grand Prix Special on Saturday. Dover also won the Leading Rider Award; FBW Kennedy won the Leading Horse Award; and Kennedy’s owner Jane Clark won the Leading Owner Award. High score winners were awarded for First through Fourth Level and Young Rider. The winners were: First Level, Michael Shultz and Wahla, 69.118%. Second Level, Bent Jensen and Rockefeller, 66.579%. Third Level, Mirja Block and Prince Charming, 65.333%. Fourth Level, Mette Petersen and Juneau, 68.768%. Young Rider, Suzanne La Porte and Wittus, 66.444%.

Eugene Mische, president of Stadium Jumping, Inc. and a director of the National Horse Show Association of America, Ltd., was pleased with the event, “The dressage show can develop into a year-end championship as the AGA is at The National. It went very well, it was well-received by the dressage community, which is always important, and we look forward to growing dressage as we did the national hunter/jumper events.”

Mary Silcox, Dressage Coordinator for Stadium Jumping, Inc., concurred, “It was very nice. I was very happy with it. Every year it will grow. It will take a few years to make it into a championship, but this year was a good indication of how it’s going to go. The FEI levels were very strong. I was very pleased and the exhibitors were very pleased.”

The 3rd Annual Zada Enterprises LLC Dressage at the National will be held in Wellington, FL, from December 3 through 5, 2004, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club show grounds, in conjunction with the 121st National Horse Show, scheduled for November 30 through December 5, 2004.

For complete results visit or


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.