Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 23, 2022 —The highly anticipated CDI5* commenced on Wednesday in Week 7 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle Qualifier followed by the FEI Grand Prix Special Qualifier. The prestigious competition drew together a star-studded lineup of the dressage world’s most elite athletes and emerging young talents. The combinations competed head-to-head under the lights of the Winter Equestrian Festival’s (WEF) International Arena, but it was Frederic Wandres, no stranger to the winner’s circle, that came out on top once again with a personal best score of 74.631% in the CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle Qualifier. Emerging victorious in the CDI5* Grand Prix Special Qualifier was perennial champion Adrienne Lyle aboard Salvino with an impressive score of 76.50% in the pair’s first outing since the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, ordinarily the home of top hunter/jumper competition, welcomed dressage competition to its International Ring on Wednesday night. The impressive venue and the electric atmosphere was fitting for the occasion.
Last in the ring but certainly not least was Germany’s Frederic Wandres aboard Bluetooth OLD, scoring a 74.631% for first place. Wandres and his mount, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Elena Knyaginicheva & Sergey Knyaginichev, maintained early back-to-back wins this season, notably earning a personal best score of 81% in the AGDF 1 CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, and a 74.158% in the AGDF 1 CDI-W Short Grand Prix.
Two points behind in second place was Benjamin Ebeling with Illuster Van De Kampert. The pair scored a 72.478% for the red ribbon. After a rapid rise to Grand Prix level competition following their pairing in 2019, they were shortlisted for the Tokyo Olympic Games US Dressage team last year and performed in the Observation Event at the venue.
Rounding out the top three was Charlotte Jorst and her own 19-year-old KWPN stallion, Kastel’s Nintendo, with a score of 71.674% for third place. Jorst and her mount have dominated AGDF 2022 with wins in the AGDF 5 CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle and CDI4* Grand Prix Special. The duo have experience in multiple Nations Cups, were part of Team USA’s gold-medal win at the 2019 FEI Dressage Nations Cup in Wellington, and in 2021, won the Week 12 CDI3* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle.
First in the ring for the Grand Prix Special Qualifier was two-time Olympian Adrienne Lyle and her iconic partner, Betsy Juliano’s 15-year-old KWPN stallion Salvino, culminating their test with an incredible 76.5% and winning the class by a margin of six percentage points. The expectations preceding Lyle’s ride were immense, as she and Salvino were undefeated in the 2021 AGDF season and helped the US Dressage team take home a Team Silver medal in Tokyo last summer.
The duo has been taking some well-deserved time off from competition since their performance at the Tokyo Olympics, but have made a triumphant 2022 international competition debut.
Coming in second place with a 70.696% was Ashley Holzer and her 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, Valentine. The pair has competed successfully for many years at the AGDF. Among many notable achievements, Holzer won a team bronze medal for Canada at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She also competed at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén came in third place with a score of 68.739% aboard Devanto, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding. Vilhelmson-Silfvén competed at seven Olympic games, six World Equestrian Games, eleven European Championships, and seven World Cup Finals. This winter season, the combination has racked up consistently high placings in Grand Prix competition and frequent the top three with their performances.
Competition at the AGDF will resume Thursday, Feb. 24 with the CDIU25 Intermediate II class at 8 a.m.
Friday, the CDI5* Grand Prix Special will kick off at 6 p.m. followed immediately by the CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle at 7:15 p.m., taking place once again at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
CDI5* FEI Grand Prix (Qualify for Grand Prix Freestyle)
Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Frederic Wandres / GER / Bluetooth OLD / Elena Knyaginicheva & Sergey Knyaginichev / 74.631%
2. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Illuster Van De Kampert / ACR Enterprises Inc. / 72.478%
3. Charlotte Jorst / USA / Kastel’s Nintendo / Kastel Denmark / 71.674%
4. Susan Pape / GBR / Harmony’s Eclectisch /Harmony Amateur Sports Foundation & Susan Pape / 71.609%
5. Juan Matute Guimón / ESP / Quantico / Juan Matute Azpitarte / 71.304%
6. Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu / CAN / All In / Marc-Andre Beaulieu & Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu / 70.152%
7. Laurence Vanommeslaghe / BEL / Edison / Fiechter Quality Dressage Horse BVBA & Laurence Vanommeslaghe / 69.457%
8. Lindsay Kellock / CAN / Sebastien / Lindsay Kellock & Enterprise Farm Equestrian, LLC / 67.979%
9. Paula Matute Guimón / ESP / Delagronge / Julia McAlister & Paula Matute Guimón / 67.261%
10. Naima Moreira Laliberté/ CAN / Statesman / KML Inc./ 67.022%
11. Mikala Münter / USA /Salsa Hit / Mikala Münter and Paul Blint / 65.652%
12. Yvonne Losos / DOM / Aquamarijn / Sylvia Ines Muñiz Losos & Yvonne Losos de Muñiz / 64.00%
13. Jennifer Williams / USA / Millione / Millione Partners LLC / 62.065%
CDI5* FEI Grand Prix (Qualify for Grand Prix Special)
Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Adrienne Lyle / USA / Salvino / Betsy Juliano LLC / 76.500%
2. Ashley Holzer / USA / Valentine / Ashley Holzer / 70.696%
3. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén / SWE / Devanto / Lövsta Stuteri AB / 68.739%
4. Diane Creech / CAN / Chrevis Christo / Diane Creech & Louise Leatherdale / 68.348%
5. Christoph Koschel / GER / Favorito 11 / Koshel Dressage Gmbh / 68.152%
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Frederic Wandres – CDI5* Grand Prix to Qualify for the Freestyle winner
On the test:
“I am very happy. We had a mistake-free test. Bluetooth gave me a super feeling and that is something I was really looking for. Delivering that score was something work toward daily. It makes our whole team completely happy.”
On the environment:
“The atmosphere was really fantastic tonight. The stadiums were crowded. The Americans create a super atmosphere that makes riding here very exciting. The jumps didn’t bother Bluetooth, because in Germany it’s very similar. There’s lots of jumping and different scenery. Maybe for some other horses the atmosphere can be a lot, but Bluetooth’s home prepared him for this.”
On Bluetooth OLD:
“I think Bluetooth loved to be in this ring, he felt it, it pushed him a little bit. He was thinking this was his moment to shine. For sure, Bluetooth developed in the piaffe and I think the electricity of the environment helped with that.”
On Friday’s freestyle:
“After the freestyle tomorrow, Bluetooth’s season is done until we’re back in Europe, so we’re going to give it our all. Tomorrow, everything is open again. Everyone has to ride again. There are so many talented riders who rode fantastic tests today, so the slate is clean. So we will see how it ends up. “
Adrienne Lyle – CDI5* Grand Prix to Qualify for the Special winner
On the test:
“It’s so wonderful to be in this venue. We were here for the Olympic selection trials, so it’s really exciting to be back. Honestly, I think this is probably one of the best tests Salvino has ever done. It may not have been the best score we’ve ever posted, but it was one of the better rides. I went back and watched the video and I was really proud of him. It’s also amazing to win the class that Betsy [Juliano] sponsors. She’s been such a huge supporter of mine for so many years, and so winning this class makes it extra special.”
On Salvino’s program after the Olympics:
“All the horses on the team had a nice little vacation after Tokyo. We went back to Colorado and did a lot of trail riding and turnout for a couple months before starting to build his fitness back up. I’ve had him for enough years to know when to start upping the work before the next show, so we kind of followed that plan knowing the 5* was going to be our target.”
On her training goals:
“We’re trying to perfect the balancing of all of his power and movement and trying to make the transitions as seamless as possible. He feels really solid and fit. He’s ready to go do it all again and so am I.”