Jacqueline Brooks and Gran Gesto Claim Dressage Canada Canadian Grand Prix Freestyle Championship

Jacqueline Brooks was crowned the Dressage Canada Grand Prix Freestyle Champion on Thursday, November 8, at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

After two nights of competition, Wednesday and Thursday, Jacqueline Brooks of Mount Albert, ON, and Gran Gesto, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding sired by Grannox and owned by Anne Welch and Brinc Ltd., handily won both rounds of the competition to secure their overall victory.

Brooks, riding to music from the major motion picture Alexander expertly choreographed by Tamara Williamson of Kurboom, scored a 69.25% in round one on the first evening and 69.997% in round two on the second night for an overall two-night score of 69.624%.

“Grand Gesto was perfect,” remarked Brooks. “He was completely easy to ride during each test. It is our second season with this freestyle and my horse is really starting to get into each performance.”

Having represented Canada earlier this year at the 2007 World Cup Dressage Finals, Brooks has her eye on the 2008 Finals in 's-Hertogenbosch, NED, in March 27–30, 2008, and she plans to compete in Florida during the winter months in early 2008 in the hopes of representing Canada at these Finals.

In second place overall was Olympian Cindy Ishoy of Binbrook, ON, and Proton, a 13-year-old Baden-Wurttemberg gelding (Patriarch x Rosenkavalier) owned by Ishoy and her husband Neil. The duo earned a score of 66.917% during the first round and a score of 66.167% for Thursday's performance. The final overall score for Ishoy and Proton was 66.542%, whose musical composition on both nights included a pop and hip hop twist at the end featuring Gwen Stefani and 50 Cent.

“I was really happy with Proton,” noted Ishoy, who performed a popular pas de deux with husband Neil on the opening weekend to live music performed by Canadian recording artist Alannah Myles. “It was tough on Proton to do the live pas-de-deux performances and the Freestyle Championship a few days later, but he was really good.”

Ishoy is planning on attending as many CDI competitions as possible in 2008 with her two Grand Prix mounts, Proton and Dread Response, as well as bring along her promising young mount Samurai.

Both riders agreed that it is very nice to showcase dressage at the Royal, whose electric indoor atmosphere closely resembles that found in European venues, including that of the World Cup Finals. “The format for the Freestyle Championships is excellent,” explained Brooks. “I feel that participation in the event will only increase in the future.”

The judging panel at this year’s competition included Elizabeth McMullen (CAN – FEI O), Lorraine Stubbs (CAN – FEI I) and Natalie Lamping (USA – FEI I).


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