Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert Claim Victory in FEI Intermediate II 16-25 to Kick Off Florida International Youth Dressage CDIU25 Championship

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 27, 2020 – The Florida International Youth Dressage Championship kicked off on Thursday in the Van Kampen ring at Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The chilly weather had several horses more energetic than usual, but the conditions proved beneficial for Benjamin Ebeling and his mount Illuster Van De Kampert, a 12-year-old Begian Warmblood gelding owned by Nuvolari Holdings LLC. The pair laid down one of their best tests of the season, earning a score of 69.706% and claiming the blue ribbon in the FEI Intermediate II.

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert

Illuster Van De Kampert has had an expansive competition career, first training with Portuguese Maria Pais do Amaral and California-based Shannon Peters. In 2017, Peters and Illuster made their show debut at the national small tour level in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ebeling acquired the ride on Illuster in 2018, and they began their career together at the national young riders level where they were ranked 26 in the world. In January of 2019, they placed first in both the Young Riders Team Competition and Young Riders Individual Competition at the AGDF. Recently, the duo have begun working up to the Grand Prix level, earning a third in the the U25 Grand Prix in January. Today, Illuster added to his list of accomplishments with his first CDI win in the U25 division. 

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert

Finishing in second place was Hope Cooper aboard Don Diamond, a 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Jane Karol. The pair scored 67.451%. Cooper and Don Diamond are currently ranked 27 in the world on the FEI Dressage World Youth Ranking – U25.

Hope Cooper and Don Diamond

Rounding out the top three was Hope Cooper once again, this time on Sunshine Tour, a 13-year old Oldenburg mare also owned by Jane Karol. With a score of 66.569%, the combination took home the yellow ribbon. 

Hope Cooper and Sunshine Tour

As part of the Youth Championships, riders in the Under-25 division compete in the FEI Intermediate II, the FEI 16-25 Grand Prix and the FEI 16-25 Grand Prix Freestyle. Competition for the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships will continue tomorrow, February 28, in the Van Kampen arena with the FEI Grand Prix 16-25, and will conclude on Sunday with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25. 

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert

Results: CDIU25 FEI Intermediate II 16-25 

Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Illuster Van De Kampert / 69.706
2. Hope Cooper / USA / Don Diamond / 67.451
3. Hope Cooper / USA / Sunshine Tour / 66.569
4. Vanessa Creech-Terauds / CAN / Hallmark 3 / 66.569
5. Kerrigan Gluch / USA / Vaquero HGF / 65.833
6. Laurence Blais Tetreault / CAN / Utah / 65.637
7. Maria Alejandra Aponte / COL / Duke De Niro / 65.245
8. Rosemary Julian-Simoes / USA / Rankrado / 65.147
9. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Diamond’s Diva / 64.412
10. Emily Smith / USA / Dublin / 63.284
11. Tanya Strasser-Shostak / CAN / Renaissance Tyme / 62.304
12. Mary Fischer / USA / Xama Dos Pinhais / 60.09


Benjamin Ebeling- CDIU25 FEI Intermediate II 16-25 first place

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert

On Illuster:
“I’ve had Iluster now for about a year-and-a-half, and it’s been a long road. We started at young riders and spent the summer doing that, then I slowly began competing with him in the Grand Prix arena. He’s a hot horse and it’s hard to handle him sometimes, but today the conditions were right, he was feeling good, we’ve been working really hard lately, and everything came together. I was so happy.”

On his ride:
“In my opinion, the best part of my test was the last center line in passage. He has such a powerful passage there, and you can always push him a little bit more in that movement. I thought our half passes were good. One thing that I’d like to clean up for tomorrow’s competition is adding a bit more bend in the pirouettes and keeping the rhythm a bit better.”

On future plans:
“I would really love to participate in the CDIO U25 this season here in Wellington. Hopefully we’ll go to Aachen, but we’ll see. There are so many good competitors out here.”


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