Wellington, FL – April 13, 2013 – Cesar Parra and Van the Man kept the American winning streak alive during the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO/CDI 3* of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), held at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Parra and Van the Man won the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3* with a spectacular score of 74.375%. Parra was also a member of Team USA 2, which placed second in Friday’s Nations Cup competition. 

As the AGDF draws to a close with tomorrow’s final day of competition, Allyn Mann of Adequan thanked riders for their support of the competition. “This is my first real exposure to a much broader dressage world. I was so impressed with not only the skill level of the riders and their animals, but with the friendliness amongst the entire dressage community and how wonderful they are as individuals and as a group of people,” Mann commented.

Watch an interview with winning rider Cesar Parra

“I believe that for the first year of our title sponsorship, it has exceeded our expectations tremendously,” Mann continued. “We’re really looking forward to the future. Thank you [riders] for your commitment. I remember what Mark [Bellissimo, of Equestrian Sport Productions] said: ‘Build it and they will come,’ and I really think that’s what’s going to happen. We’re really honored to be a part of it and excited to be on this journey.”

Tuny Page of Stillpoint Farm also expressed her delight with how the competition has contributed to the sport of dressage. “I think one of the crucial things is that this particular competition involves the mixed teams where the small tour horses have this opportunity to expose their horses to this kind of situation-lights and atmosphere and a patrons’ tent. I think that’s really important in the development of international sport,” she said.

Cesar Parra and Van the Man in their presentation with Robert Dover, Oded Shimoni, Anne Gribbons, Tuny Page, Michael Stone, and Adequan’s Allyn Mann

“To have this whole season build to this [week of] competition is fantastic,” Page continued. “I hope that people in the world of dressage are paying attention to what’s happening here because it’s fantastic and will continue to improve.”

Parra was just as thankful to be able to compete at a world-class event supported by pillars of the dressage community. “Thank you so much [to Tuny Page]. She’s not only a great rider who has wonderful horses, but she’s always trying to help. Honestly, as long as I’ve seen, it’s always without any other intention than to help the sport. So I want to say thank you so much,” Parra expressed.

“It means a lot to all of us to have this place,” he added. “I hope we can continue to enjoy it because it’s really a pleasure to come and ride here. It’s amazing the effort that they did. We really appreciate it and we are so grateful.”

Parra was also overflowing with gratitude for his stellar ride with Van the Man. “He was right on it from the very first step. He’s been, as most of my colleagues know, a clown to say the least. He has humbled me more than a couple of times, so I just keep on working and today he said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’ It was amazing from that first step,” Parra described.

Cesar Parra and Van the Man

“It’s very exciting to do the best you can and have it work out. I’m just so happy that I cannot describe it. I’m really, really grateful,” Parra continued.

As Parra looks towards the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, he has prioritized building on the momentum he has built with Van the Man during this week’s competition. “My goal is to really make him my partner. I believe in him. I think he’s a world-class horse. It’s just a matter of getting him to trust me, to follow me, to believe, to become,” Parra explained.

Fellow Americans Shelly Francis and Susan Dutta rounded out the top three for the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle class. Francis and Doktor were second with a 72.575%. Dutta and Currency DC earned a 71.225% for third place.

Judges for the class were: Evi Eisenhardt at E, Maribel Alonso at H, Anne Gribbons at C, Linda Zang at M, and Joan Macartney at B.

Francis and Doktor have also been gaining plenty of momentum this season, which is Doktor’s first competing at the Grand Prix level. “Doktor’s coming along. He’s getting a little better each time. He’s getting more confident and I’ve just been trying to keep him calm and steady and it’s working so far,” Francis described humbly.

Francis was again pleased with how her green horse performed under pressure. “I had a few little bobbles. He made some little mistakes with his changes because he got a little bit hot and a little bit nervous,” Francis acknowledged. 

Shelly Francis and Doktor

“It was good, though. I was very happy with him. He’s very green and he gets a little smoother and a little better each time. This is his last show for the season and I think he’s finishing it up very well,” Francis concluded.

Francis also has her eye on Normandy and is comfortable knowing she will have two capable mounts to try to qualify on. Francis will continue to develop Doktor in addition to bringing up her current Prix St. Georges horse, Danilo, to Grand Prix over the next year as she works towards the WEG.

Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3* sponsored by Stillpoint Farm
Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%
1 Cesar Parra, USA, Van the Man: 73.650%, 75.000%, 76.750%, 75.500%, 70.875%, 74.375%
2 Shelly Francis, USA, Doktor: 72.125%, 75.375%, 71.625%, 72.000%, 71.750%, 72.575%
3 Susan Dutta, USA, Currency DC: 70.750%, 71.125%, 71.375%, 72.875%, 70.000%, 71.225%
4 Heather Blitz, USA, Paragon: 71.500%, 74.250%, 67.750%, 67.875%, 74.250%, 71.125%
5 David Marcus, CAN, Don Kontes: 69.625%, 69.750%, 69.500%, 68.375%, 69.125%, 69.275%

Christilot Boylen and Dio Mio Prevail in FEI Intermediare-I Freestyle CDIO 3*

Canadian rider Christilot Boylen earned top marks with Dio Mio in the FEI Intermediare-I Freestyle CDIO 3*. Boylen and Dio Mio earned an astounding 75.500% to finish first during Saturday’s competition. Caroline Roffman (USA) and Her Highness O were second with a 74.050% and fellow American Kimberly Herslow finished third with a 73.625% aboard Rosmarin.

Judges for the class were: Linda Zang at E, Evi Eisenhardt at H, Joan Macartney at C, Anne Gribbons at M, and Maribel Alonso at B.

Christilot Boylen received her Adequan tack locker from Allyn Mann and Michael Stone

Boylen was recognized with the Adequan Leading Rider award for her high score, which topped all CDIO 3* Freestyle competition for Saturday. Boylen was awarded with an Adequan tack locker for her spectacular performance.

As competition for the FEI Intermediare-I Freestyle CDIO 3* continued into the evening, the latter portion of the class was held under the lights of the International Arena. Boylen was pleasantly surprised with how well Dio Mio handled the unfamiliar environment.

Christilot Boylen and Dio Mio

“He was super tonight, I couldn’t believe it. I was not sure what to expect because he’d never been put in this circumstance before, but he handled it like he normally does. He’s a very brave horse. He goes in, he listens. He was very concentrated tonight. I was kind of going through the test saying, ‘Whoa, this is pretty good, he’s pretty relaxed, he’s even paying attention here!'” Boylen laughed.

“We had a very nice, what I call very correct, on the letter, round and that’s mostly what pays off,” Boylen continued.

Christilot Boylen and Dio Mio in their winning presentation

Boylen was eager to have the opportunity to compete her somewhat inexperienced mount in a more demanding atmosphere. “It’s great experience. You find out much more about your horse. I like to say that every horse is a journey and this is just a stepping stone on the journey of his career and his destiny. It gives us some insight as to how brave a horse is. If you want an Olympic horse, if you want an international horse, you need a horse that has the nerves to go into that kind of situation. These are all the little stepping stones on the way to producing international horses and he took a first big step tonight,” Boylen described.

Roffman agreed with Boylen that Saturday’s class was another positive step in her horse’s development into a Grand Prix mount. “My horse, two years ago, was a broodmare. So for her, it’s her first experience under the lights, with the Nations Cup team. It’s the second freestyle she ever did. I’m thrilled with her. As Christilot said, it’s the journey, and this mare has a bright future,” Roffman remarked.

Caroline Roffman and Her Highness O

“It’s very exciting to be along for the whole ride and see her come so far. It’s a pleasure to ride her and be on the team,” Roffman continued.

Roffman relished the experience of team competition throughout the weekend of the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO/CDI 3*. “I couldn’t be happier with her. We had mistakes [in our test], but that’s where experience pays off. I think in time, we can have a cleaner test. But this is a great show and a wonderful team atmosphere. It’s been a lot of fun,” she emphasized.

Final Results: FEI Intermediare-I Freestyle sponsored by Stillpoint Farm
Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%
1 Christilot Boylen, CAN, Dio Mio: 74.875%, 75.875%, 78.875%, 74.750%, 73.125%, 75.500%
2 Caroline Roffman, USA, Her Highness O: 78.375%, 72.875%, 73.500%, 74.500%, 71.000%, 74.050%
3 Kimberly Herslow, USA, Rosmarin: 77.375%, 74.875%, 72.625%, 71.375%, 71.875%, 73.625%
4 Lars Petersen, DEN, Chicco Roslev: 74.625%, 72.125%, 74.000%, 72.000%, 72.375%, 73.025%
5 Carlos Munoz, ESP, Klouseau: 76.000%, 71.750%, 71.250%, 70.000%, 72.750%, 72.350%
6 Christopher Hickey, USA, Witness Hilltop: 72.125%, 72.250%, 67.875%, 71.125%, 68.750%, 70.425%

Breathtaking Exhibitions and Top Prizes Awarded

Saturday night’s spectators were also treated to an incredibly touching performance by Janette Sasson and her horse Valiant. Valiant went completely blind after an adverse reaction to medication, but Sassoon dedicated herself to continuing Valiant’s dressage training despite his disability. Their exhibition was a testament to the deep bond riders share with their equine partners. Sassoon and Valiant were recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from title sponsor Adequan following their performance.

Following the competition for the class, Paula Matute was recognized with an award with a Baccarat crystal trophy on behalf of the FEI. The award aims to welcome the top new rider to CDI competition. Matute competed alongside brother Juan Matute, Jr., father Juan Matute, and Carlos Munoz for Team Spain during the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO competition.

Paula Matute receives her trophy from Peter Holler and Anne Gribbons

Saturday presented a full schedule of competition with a variety of CDI 3* classes, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, beginning promptly Saturday morning. Christilot Boylen and Hudson 18 finished first in the FEI Intermediare-I with a score of 69.693%. Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP) and Escritor de Ymas II won the FEI Junior Individual class after scoring a 61.974%. Fellow Nations Cup competitor Caroline Roffman (USA) took home the blue ribbon in the FEI Young Rider Grand Prix 16-25 aboard Sagacious HF. The pair scored a 68.876%. The FEI Young Rider Individual class awarded top honors to Madison Lawson (CAN) and Mcguire after they finished with a 64.493%. Canadian Evi Strasser topped the FEI Grand Prix Special with Renaissance Tyme with a score of 63.000%.

The final day of competition for the 2013 ADGF will begin Sunday at 8:30 am in the International Arena of The Stadium at PBIEC. First up is the FEI Intermediare-I CDIO 3*, followed by the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3* at 2:00 pm.

For full results and more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Photo Credit: Photos © SusanJStickle.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.