April 13, 2007

Winning Streak for Canadian Dressage Riders at CDI 3* Rancho Murieta

Canadian Dressage Riders dominated the CDI-3* Rancho Murieta, held April 6-8 in California, USA.

Both Leslie Reid and Alexandra Duncan made a clean sweep of their respective divisions, with Reid claiming the CDI Advanced division, while Duncan took the CDI Young Riders Division.

Reid, a Canadian Olympian from Langley, BC, kicked off the competition on a high note, scoring 69.500% in the Prix St Georges with Patricia and George Hatch’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Orion.

“Orion was really consistent and I was really pleased with him,” commented Reid, who hopes to represent Canada at the Pan American Games for the third time in 2007. “The judges were really consistent with their scores, and I was thrilled that he obtained scores of nine on his pirouettes.”

Their momentum built when they scored 70.70% in the Intermediaire I, before capping with the Intermediaire I Freestyle, where their performance to music including the theme song of the Athens Olympics,’ Olympic Dream’, earned them a score of 72.450% to put them at the top of the standings.

“I did four shows in California, and they were all very competitive,” explained Reid. “There were 25-30 horses in the Prix St Georges, so making the top six was a nice accomplishment, and I was thrilled to have finished on such a high note, winning all three classes.”

Karen Pavicic of Richmond, BC also put in stellar performances with her 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Lionheart, finishing as the runner up in both the Intermediaire I and Intermediaire I Freestyle, on scores of 68.100% and 70.950%, respectively. The duo also claimed third place in the Prix St Georges, scoring an even 66%, to finish just behind Reid’s student, Dominique Culham, also of Langley, who rode her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Matisse to a score of 67.750%.

Culham and Matisse also earned double third place finishes in the Intermediaire I (67.150%) and Intermediaire I Freestyle (70.450%).

“I was very happy with Matisse, he was very good and really consistent,” commented Culham, who bought Matisse as a two-year-old and brought him up the ranks, reaching the advanced division in 2003. “He has been consistent for this whole trip in California, it’s really exciting.” Culham is also aiming to gain a berth with Matisse for the 2007 Pan American Games.

Following up on her success at the recently held CDI3* Burbank, also in California, Alexandra Duncan of West Vancouver, BC ruled the Young Rider Division with her 12-year-old Holsteiner mare Elektra. Receiving her first win of the show in the Young Rider Team Test on a score of 67.867%, Duncan returned to the ring to claim the Individual, scoring 66.850%, before wrapping up the competition with a decisive win in the Freestyle. Riding to a mix of world fusion and Middle Eastern music, created for her stunning performance last December at the 2006 FEI Young Rider Dressage World Cup in Germany, Duncan earned her highest score of the competition, 71.150%.

Other Canadians on the scoreboard included Pia Fortmuller of Burnaby, BC, who rode Pallas to top ten finishes in all three advanced classes, including an eighth place finish in the Intermediaire I Freestyle on a score of 65.250%. Fellow BC resident Rochelle Kilberg of Surrey scored 65.450% in the Intermediaire I for seventh place, while Alberta resident Crystal Kroetch of Calgary placed seventh in the Intermediaire Freestyle, scoring 65.500%.

The international judging panel at the CDI 3* Rancho Murieta included Elizabeth McMullen (FEI ‘O’, CAN), Mary Seefried (FEI ‘O’, AUS), Lorraine MacDonald (FEI ‘I’, CAN), Martin Richenhagen (FEI ‘I’, GER) and Lois Yukins (FEI ‘I’, USA).

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