Benjamin Ebeling and Eva Levy End Third Week of 2024 Global Dressage Festival on a Win

Mon, 01/29/2024 - 10:26
2024 CDI Wellington - Global Dressage Festival - Week Three
Benjamin Ebeling on Escona in the PSG Future Challenge at the 2023 CDI Wellington - Week Three :: Photo © Sue Stickle

The third week of competition at the 2024 Global Dressage Festival closed on Sunday 28 January 2024 with a full day of competition concluding with the "Prix St. George Future Challenge" as part of the Future Challenge Young Horse Series. 

Ebeling and Escona Win PSG Future Challenge

The U.S. anthem sounded proudly across the stadium as young professional Ben Ebeling took his place with Escona 8 at the head of the lap of honor as the only combination to break into the seventieth percentile on 70.588%. 

The Prix St Georges Future Challenge is a national level show circuit held during the Global Dressage Festival and mimicking the German Nurnberger Burgpokal for developing PSG horses. It is sponsored by Buffalo Wings. The first leg of the PSG Future Challenge on Sunday 28 January 2024 was the first of five qualifying rounds to earn a starting berth in the final in GDF12 at the end of March. 

“I am so fortunate to have this horse,” Ebeling gushed. “I’ve had her since she was five or six and along with help from my dad and Christoph Koschel we have been able to really develop her into an amazing young horse. I’m so excited about her and she keeps surprising me.” 

The enthusiasm from Ebeling’s father, who also doubles as his trainer, and mother, who doubles as his manager, was obvious as the ACR Enterprises Inc’s 9-year-old Rheinlander mare (Escolar x Sir Donnerhall) secured her spot in the final. The horse was purchased by the family at Hof Kasselmann in Germany.

“I’m really excited to qualify for this great challenge and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he continued. “She is still young and has some things to work on but overall the trend is great; her trot work is my main highlight because it just feels like you are floating, and I struggled a lot in the beginning with her on the three and four tempis but now they are one of the things she does best!”

Jamaican Eva Levy Hears National Anthem Play

Starting off the final day of competition on week three of the 2024 Global Dressage Festival was the  Young Riders Freestyle with just two riders in it.

Eva Levy on Living Diamond
The national anthem of Jamaica rang out as Eva Levy took the top call. The class was a head-to-head duel between Levy and Australia’s Kate Kyros with Levy pulling ahead by a little less than 3% with a winning score of 69.470%.

Levy guided her newly-acquired nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding Living Diamond (by Livaldon x Furst Rousseau) to the judge’s highest marks, earning two scores above 70%. Kyros earned a 66.875% with Heather Kyros’ 11-year-old KWPN stallion (by Apache x Rousseau), Intro K, as the class concluded. 

“I have actually never ridden that freestyle to music before,” Levy admitted. “My plan was just to ride the pattern and stick with the music.” 

Levy’s gamble worked out in her favor as Living Diamond was shining bright during  the performance. 

“The trot half passes worked out a lot better than I expected, and he was really with me even though he can be a bit nervous with noise or music,” she detailed. “I was just happy he stayed with me; I’ve only had him since August so this is our first CDI together.” 

-- GDF press release, edited by Eurodressage - Photos © Sue Stickle

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