Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 10, 2023 – Another CDI week, another Friday night spent in the International Ring at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. As a result of the class doubling as a World Cup Qualifier, the line-up was full of star-studded combinations.
A score of 80.565% landed Frederic Wandres aboard Hof Kasselmann’s Bluetooth OLD the win in tonight’s Grand Prix Freestyle. Wandres and the 13-year-old gelding have come out on top in every start they have made at the 2023 Adequan Global Dressage Festival and seem to have no plans of breaking that streak. Though tonight’s class is a World Cup Qualifier, Wandres did not compete in many qualifying competitions while in Europe – making it difficult to realistically aim for an Omaha invite.
“I can still ride the other World Cup Qualifier which is coming in week 8, but would only catch a few point there,” Wandres stated, “Only three Germany riders are allowed to go, so the battle is always hard. I think I see no chance that I can come in front of the other Germans, but in the end you never know!”
Ashley Holzer and her own 13-year-old mare, Valentine, had a successful debut back to international competition. A clean, relaxed test brought the pair to second place scoring 77.400%. After a tough trip down centerline at the World Championships, Holzer took a step back to sort through the challenges they faced. Holzer says, “It is known to everyone the upset we had at the World Championships. You take a horse to that situation, a team event, you hope she is prepared. So to feel your partner lose her confidence is heartbreaking as a rider.” Though discouraged, Holzer took her experience as a sign to re-evaluate what she was asking of her mare.
“We brought her back slowly, we made a plan. We took her down a level to see how she would feel in the ring, she was great. I took her into a national class and again, she was great. Yesterday’s Grand Prix was very willing and felt like my partner again. Tonight was a huge question mark. You pray the PTSD does not come back. I won’t lie, she was tricky in the warm up.” Holzer continued with a smile, “As her rider and owner, to feel how with me she was tonight – I can not even explain it. It was my mare again, she is back.”
Wrapping up the top three was Sarah Tubman and First Apple, a 13-year-old stallion owned by Summit Farms. The combination started the class off with a bang. Tubman had a smile plastered across her face at her final halt and an even bigger smile when a 77.270% lit up on the jumbotron. This podium finish brings the pair one step closer to their goal of competing in the FEI World Cup taking place this April. Tubman had a clean test, but says her favorite part was the end.
“We all work so hard every day. That little 30 seconds of emotion is why we do this. It is an amazing feeling to be here with this atmosphere and to have all of that emotion hit you so quickly is special.”
Results: CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Score
- Frederic Wandres / GER / Bluetooth OLD / 80.565%
- Ashley Holtzer / USA / Valentine / 77.400%
- Sarah Tubman / USA / First Apple / 77.240%
- Morgan Barbancon / FRA / Bolero / 76.965%
- Alice Tarjan / USA / Serenade MF / 76.915%
- Caroline Chew / SGP / Tribiani / 73.380%
- Susan Pape / GBR / Harmony’s Eclectisch / 73.280%
- Paula Matute Guimon / ESP / Delagronge / 72.385%
- Mikala Munter / USA / Salsa Hit / 72.200%
- Micheal Klimke / GER / Domino 957 / 70.910%
- Evi Strasser / CAN / Disney Tyme / 67.725%