Week 5 of the 2019 Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded on Sunday, February 10, with a win for Ashley Holzer (USA) and Valentine in the Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, their third of the week in the 3* small tour.
Holzer had the last ride of the day and just barely slid into first place with a score of 76.917%, ahead of Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio who earned a score of 76.750%.
“I think my mare had a very tricky warm-up. She was so tense in the warm-up because she’s never done a freestyle before with the music,” commented Holzer about her first freestyle ever with her nine-year-old Oldenburg mare by Sir Donnerhall. “We actually had to run and grab a bonnet because she was unfortunately upset by the noise.
“What is amazing to me is that I trot off, and right away she is looking, she’s attentive, but she’s so trying her very hardest,” continued Holzer. “When I’m in that trot tour I feel like I’m floating. She floats through the trot tour without hardly any aid whatsoever. So I think for me, sort of feeling a horse dance underneath you like that so easily, that’s a thrill no matter what class you’re in.”
Holzer made a last-minute change to her music and choreography choice, and luckily her student Brittany Fraser had kept Holzer’s Olympic partner Pop Art’s freestyle from 2004.
Holzer said, “I had a bit of a different pattern with different music, which we realized was too bold. So luckily Brittany is quite a hoarder, and she actually found my Pop Art small tour freestyle from 2004 and brought it. It’s got a nice flowing trot tour, and I rode Poppy’s 2004 freestyle!”
Earlier in the day in the Young Rider Freestyle CDIY NAYC/USEF Qualifier, Benjamin Ebeling (USA) and Illuster Van De Kampert, a 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Spielberg owned by Nuvolari Holdings LLC, won with a score of 72.825%.
Second place went to Caroline Nicholson (USA) and Diozar, her 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Jazz. The pair earned a score of 70.925%.Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L, a 10-year-old Hanoverian, by First Dance and Louise Leatherdale, earned a score of 70.400% to come in third place.
Text GDF press release, edited by Eurodressage
Photos © Astrid Appels - No reproduction allowed without permission
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