Photo Report: Naima Moreira Laliberté and Jaliska on a Winning Streak at 2024 CDIO Wellington

Sun, 02/25/2024 - 12:17
2024 CDIO Wellington
Naima Moreira Laliberté on Jaliska LD at the 2024 CDIO Wellington :: Photo © Astrid Appels

-- GDF press release by Alice Collins, edited by Eurodressage - Photos © Eurodressage

Canada’s Naima Moreira Laliberte made her international debut on Jaliska LD a winning one at the 2024 CDIO Wellington on Friday 23 February 2024 From the 16 starters in the Prix St. Georges  1*, Laliberté vanquished all with a winning score of 73.480%. 

Naima and Jaliska

The 27-year-old is from Montreal, where her family has a farm, but she has spent the majority of the past two years training in Spain with Jordi Domingo and in Florida with Ashley Holzer. Four months after her last international start - the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago (CHI) where she rode Grand Prix horse Statesman to team bronze - Naima made her 2024 Global Dressage Festival debut in the small tour on Jaliska. 

Jaliska LD was purchased in 2019 from American Grand Prix rider Alice Tarjan. The mare is by Yessin Rahmouni's Grand Prix stallion All at Once (by Ampere) out Saskia, by Marlies van Baalen's Grand Prix horse Kigali. The mare is registered as owned by KML Inc, a Luxembourg based equestrian investment fund owned by Naima's father Guy Laliberté, who co-founded Cirque du Soleil.

Naima and Jaliska
“The first time I sat on her as a four-year-old I thought, ‘Either she’s going to kill me or we’re going to be amazing’ — it was so much power, something I hadn’t really felt before in a young horse,” said Laliberte. “You don’t want to rush horses like that because you need that power through the levels, and for a grand prix horse — and it’s a quality I look for. 

“We really had to take our time with her. When we got her she lacked a lot of confidence in life towards certain environments and triggers. So we went back to Kindergarten to desensitize her and show her things and make her walk on tarps. Things like that are so important when they’re young — I like to do that with all the young horses,” added the 27-year-old Laliberte. “She’s very low mileage, but she’s such a sweet girl.”

Naima has four horses with her in Wellington this season, and has an eye on a Canadian team place for the Paris Olympics. On Saturday 24 February, Naima and Jaliska  made it two wins from their first two international starts this week. An exuberant and energetic performance was rewarded with 73.029%.

The Runners-Up

Jennifer Williams on Babylon Berlin
In the Prix St Georges both the second and third placed riders posted new career high scores with their horses. Oded Shimoni and Christophe Theallet’s student and assistant Jennifer Williams (USA) laid down 71.323% on her own nine-year-old gelding, Babylon Berlin (by Bordeaux x Sandro Hit).  Right behind them, at their second ever CDI, her compatriot Quinn Iverson and King’s Pleasure slotted into third. The nine-year-old Dark Pleasure x Johnson stallion owned by Heidi Humphries of class sponsor Zen Elite Equestrian notched up 71.226%. 

In the Intermediaire I second-placed Katrina Sadis (USA) also set a high bar with Yeguada de Ymas S.L. and Cristina Danguillecourt’s nine-year-old Westfalian stallion, Valerius Ymas (by Vitalis x Dancier). He is another talented horse debuting in the CDI ring in GDF7. The pair scored 71.265%. James Irwin and Kimberly Wynd’s 12-year-old mare Simsalabim (by Sir Donnerhall II x Akzent), last to go in the class, secured third with 69.559%. 

Photos © Astrid Appels - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED / NO SCREEN SHOTS for social media

If interested in photos, please send me an email. Florida rates apply for this horse show as our colleague Sue Stickle is the official photographer

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