Wellington, Fla – March 2, 2023 – Week eight of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) has officially begun, featuring the final show in the FEI World Cup Final qualifying calendar. This week determines who gets their invite to Omaha, Neb., to compete in the FEI World Cup Final next month. Out of the 13 entered combinations, seven nations are being represented.
Top contender for team USA, Adrienne Lyle, pulled out due to minor health concerns with her mount, Salvino. Lyle won the first two qualifiers here in Wellington, and all she needed was one more victory for a secured spot on the team. After withdrawing in week five after a colic scare, her sights were set on this week’s class to finish her qualifying process. However, Lyle had to make the admirable decision to cancel her World Cup goals and put Salvino’s health first.
“Although a very minor injury, it will need time to rest and recover, and with only one World Cup qualifier left this season, it simply wasn’t meant to be for us,” Lyle posted to social media. It may be disappointing for the top-ranked American rider, but she looks forward to cheering on team USA as they compete on home soil.
This left Anna Buffini and Sarah Tubman as our possibilities for the third American rider to represent in Omaha. Steffen Peters, aboard long time Grand Prix mount Suppenkasper, has already earned a spot on team USA. Alongside Peters will be Alice Tarjan and her own Serenade MF. The pressure was high for the two Buffini and Tubman today, both hoping to perform well enough to qualify for the freestyle taking place under the lights tomorrow, March 5. It is there that Buffini and Tubman will go head to head for a spot on the team.
Buffini came to Florida from her home base of San Diego, Calif., mainly for this event. The trip so far has been worth it, as she won the Grand Prix today with a 72.500%. Riding her own FRH Davinia La Douce, Buffini is no stranger to the podium. The pair made their way to the 2022 FEI World Cup Finals in Leipzig, GER, where team USA finished in a respectable sixth place.
“It can be hard to come over here to a different coast. For our first show especially, to have a solid ride… she just nailed it. I am so proud,” Buffini said with a smile.
When asked about the race to the World Cup, Buffini described it as very difficult.
“[The competition] is always up and down,” said Buffini. The freestyles are the final determinants, which is historically a highlight for Buffini and FRH Davinia La Douce.
Second place went to Canadian rider Chris Von Martels and Eclips. Von Martels is also familiar with international competition, having competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games aboard Eclips. The gelding had strong, clear piaffe and passage today, scoring a 9 from the judge at E. Other high marks included his canter pirouettes, specifically to the right. A total of 70.174% put him into the red ribbon spot in today’s Grand Prix, where he was one of two riders to see above a 70%.
Rounding up the top three was Korea’s Dong Seon Kim on Galleria’s Bohemian. This was a ride highly anticipated by many spectators. The 13-year-old gelding was previously ridden by Catherine Laundrup-Dufor, where the pair climbed to the top of the FEI World Rankings. Laundrup-Dufor and Bohemian saw immense amounts of success together throughout the past seven years. His owners made the decision to sell Bohemian to Seon Kim in the beginning of this year. The duo originally entered the FEI Nations Cup Grand Prix last week, but they ultimately withdrew. After a solid outing in the AGDF national show, Seon Kim was able to get himself into today’s top three with a fairly clean test with exceptions to mistakes in the canter depart and within the two tempis. After an honorable international Grand Prix debut, Bohemian is sure to be one to watch under his new owner.
Results : CDI-W Grand Prix
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Score
- Anna Buffini / USA / FRH Davinia La Douce / 72.500%
- Chris Von Martels / CAN / Eclips / 70.174%
- Dong Seon Kim / KOR / Galleria’s Bohemian / 68.435%
- Morgan Barbancon / FRA / Bolero / 68.326%
- Morgan Barbancon / FRA / Deodoro / 68.218%
- Charlotte Jorst / USA / Kastel’s Nintendo / 67.239%
- Paula Matute Guimon / ESP / Delagronge / 66.870%
- Sarah Tubman / USA / First Apple / 66.413%
- Camile Carier Bergeron / CAN / Sound Of Silence 4 / 64.674%
- Suphakamol Vuntanadit / THA / Dreamboat BCN / 64.565%
- Nancy Smith / USA / Damon’s Design / 63.870%
- Evi Strasser / CAN / Disney Tyme / 62.369%
- Julio Mendoza Loor / ECU / Jewel’s Goldstrike / ELM