Wellington, Fla. – March 24, 2022 – The first day of the final week of AGDF came to a close with the highlight CDI4* Grand Prix qualifier for the Special, followed by the CDI4* Grand Prix qualifier for the Grand Prix Freestyle. The crowd of spectators was unsurprisingly immense, as the lineup featured Wellington’s most elite competitors. Due to severe rain, the classes were moved to the Van Kampen covered arena, but the weather didn’t dappen the competitive spirit. 11 horse-and-rider pairs took to the arena for the Grand Prix Special qualifier, but it was ultimately Christoph Koschel and Dünensee that emerged on top with a score of 70.609%. In the qualifier for the Grand Prix Freestyle, Lyle and Salvino proved yet again to be an untouchable duo, scoring 78.566% for a landslide win.
In first place in the CDI4* Grand Prix qualifier for the Special was Koschel of Germany aboard Dünensee. The pair scored 70.609% for top honors. Koschel was part of the gold medal-winning team at the Week 10 CDIO3* Nations Cup, and rode his victory through to Week 11. The pair is relatively new to each other; he and Diamante Farms’ 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding have only been paired together for a few months.
Naima Moreira Laliberté and Statesman took the red ribbon with a score of 68.152%. The combination represented Team Canada at the Tokyo Olympics, and helped take home a team gold medal in the Pan American Games in Lima.
Rounding out the top three with a score of 67.457% was Diane Creech and Leatherdale Farms’ Chrevis Christo. Creech has competed successfully at the AGDF for many years alongside her superstar daughter, Vanessa Creech-Terauds. The pair took several top three finishes in CDI competitions in 2022.
Adrienne Lyle and Betsy Juliano’s 15-year-old KWPN dazzled the crowd with their seamless ride, scoring a 78.566% for yet another win under their belt. The crowd favorites have laid low in CDI competition this season following the Tokyo Olympics, and their much-deserved break has made their performances at the AGDF even more highly anticipated. The pair stepped into the competition ring for the first time since the Olympics in February, where they scored a 79.511% in the Grand Prix Special at the CDI5*. Lyle and Salvino once again delivered on the expectations preceding their ride.
In second place, with a score of 71.5% was Canada’s Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In. Fraser-Beaulieu began her partnership with the 16-year-old SBS gelding when he was only 5 years-old. The pair represented team Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Close behind was Tinne Vilhelmson Silfén aboard 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding Devanto. The pair scored a 71.261% for third place honors. Vilhelmson Silfén represented Sweden in seven Olympic Games and several European Championships. She recently came in second behind Lyle in the CDI5* in February with Devanto.
Competition at the AGDF will resume Friday with the CDIAm FEI Prix St. Georges at 8 a.m. and conclude with the CDI4* FEI Grand Prix Freestyle at 7 p.m.
CDI4* FEI Grand Prix (for GPS)
Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Christoph Koschel / GER / Dünensee / Diamante Farms / 70.609
2. Naima Moreira Laliberté / CAN / Statesman / KML Inc / 68.152
3. Diane Creech / CAN / Chrevis Christo / Leatherdale Farms / 67.457
4. Susan Dutta / USA / Don Design DC / Susan and Tim Dutta / 67.00
5. Katherine Bateson-Chandler / USA / Alcazar / Jane Clark / 66.956
6. Ariana Chia / CAN / Fiderflame / Ariana Chia / 66.739
7. Jan Ebeling / USA / Bellena / Ann Romney / 66.848
8. Jill Irving / CAN / Arthur / Windhaven Farm / 66.174
9. Mikala Münter / USA / Skyfall / Mikala Münter / 65.978
10.Kiichi Harada / JPN / Sir Galanto / Chiemi Katayam / 61.348
CDI4* FEI Grand Prix (For GPFS)
Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Adrienne Lyle / USA / Salvino / Betsy Juliano / 78.566
2. Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu / CAN / All In / Marc-Andre Beaulieu & Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu / 71.500
3. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfén / SWE / Devanto / Lövsta Stuteri AB / 71.261
4. Sarah Tubman / USA / First Apple / Sarah Tubman / Summit Farms / 70.587
5. Olivia Lagoy-Weltz / USA / Rassing’s Lonoir / Mary Anne McPhail and Olivia Lagoy-Welz / 70.283
6. Carly Taylor-Smith / USA / Rosalut NHF / Nikki Taylor-Smith / 68.761
7. Jennifer Williams / USA / Millione / Millione Partners LLC / 68.283
8. Paula Matute Guimón / ESP / Delagronge / Paula Matute Guimón / 68.109
9. Alice Tarjan / USA / Serenade MF / Alice Tarjan / 67.913
10. Pablo Gómez Molina / ESP / Ulises De Ymas / Javìer Bacacriza, Cristina Danguillecourt & Yeguada de Ymas S.L / 66.696
11. Evi Strasser / CAN / Disney Tyme / Evi Strasser / 65.022
12. Amina Bursese / USA / Fiti AL / Amina Bursese / 62.761
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Christoph Koschel – Winner of the CDI4* FEI Grand Prix (for GPS)
On the test:
“I feel pretty good! First, we were never in the indoor before, and the information that they changed the location came pretty last minute. It didn’t rain too hard during my test, but it did for others during the competition. Our horse was a little scared getting in there, so maybe he wasn’t as good to ride as in the Nations Cup, but on the other hand, I did not have as many mistakes in the piaffe/passage tour. We had at one time, an additional piaffe because he didn’t want to passage he wanted to piaffe! So that was a little expensive, but we kept going.”
On his improvements:
“The piaffe was getting better and better, he got more athletic. I was also really happy with the canter tour, but I think we can do even better. Space for improvement is always good. If you do a good test but you know there is still space for improvement, that makes me very happy.”
“We are quite a new combination, and I’m very grateful that Diamante Farms gave me the chance to ride this horse. He is a great horse for the future. I’m very excited, especially with the circumstances. The horse is for sale, so now we make a plan for how we go forward. We will do the Special and see if we keep the horse a little longer or sell him soon, but at the end of the season here we make plans for Europe. He really wants to do it right. He’s really tall but he has a small heart still, even though that’s getting better every day. He needs some more show experience, some more mileage, but even with his small heart he’s really ambitious. He wants to go forward and he wants to fight for the rider.”
Adrienne Lyle – Winner of the CDI4* FEI Grand Prix (For GPFS)
On the test:
“I’m really happy with him. It was a really strong test, mistake-free. He’s just proving to be so consistent. He’s really strong in his body, really powerful, full of energy, so all good. I’m feeling like his trot extensions are getting a lot stronger. He’s always had the power but the balance was sometimes a challenge. I feel like I can ride those with his full power so it’s a lot of fun.”
On the weather:
“I’m very thankful that they chose to move the arena because of the rain. The last thing you want to do is take a chance on sloppy footing with these horses. As a rider I’m really glad they made that call. These horses have to go in all kinds of venues so they don’t get to have an opinion. It’s another lovely arena so it’s just fine.”
“He’s just the most charming guy ever. He’s an absolute gentleman. He loves to show, he loves to be the center of attention, and he’s just the best. He’s never once let me down when he goes into that arena.”
On her future plans:
“Our main goal is to try to qualify for the short list for the World Championships in Denmark. This would be our two of two required Grand Prix scores, so I’m grateful to have those done. I’m excited for the freestyle tomorrow. I haven’t done a freestyle here on Friday night in so long. All we were focused on leading up to Tokyo was the Special. I haven’t ridden a freestyle in general since the World Cup, so I’m really excited.”