Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 15, 2021 – Though it’s been over 11 months since their last CDI competition, American Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and her longtime partner Rassing’s Lonoir returned to the Adequan Global Dressage Festival stadium looking as poised as ever. To brush off some show ring rust, LaGoy-Weltz entered last weekend’s national show where she earned a 73.804%, though she described the ride as lackluster. Her strategy worked in her favor as she was able to rev up her 17-year-old Danish Warmblood without adding negative tension in Friday’s CDI-W to win the class with a 73.978%.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 cutting the 2020 winter competition season short last March, competitors’ training and show goals were upended. Not wanting to push her now 17-year-old gelding, Rassing’s Lonoir, too far over the summer, LaGoy-Weltz decided to give him a break from intense training to incorporate more hacking and hill work. This kept her gelding in shape, while giving him a much needed break, and allowed them to “ramp up” for the Wellington season.
After coming out of the ring as the CDI-W Grand Prix winner with a final score of 73.978%, LaGoy-Weltz was pleased with Lonoir’s performance and knows there is even more potential to add in the ‘wow’ factor. In Friday’s test, the pair racked up multiple 8.5s and 9.0s in their piaffe and piaffe-passage transitions. With the goal of keeping her plans and expectations as fluid as possible this season, LaGoy-Weltz is aiming to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games and keeping the FEI World Cup Finals on her radar as an option as well.
Taking second place was Great Britain’s Susan Pape and Harmony’s Don Noblesse, a 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion she owns with Harmony’s Sporthorses. Their consistent and steady performance earned a total score of 73.022% with high marks in their canter pirouettes.
Securing the third spot in the CDI-W Grand Prix was Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos De Muñiz aboard the 16-year-old KWPN mare Aquamarijn with a score of 71.717%. The pair had earned two wins in the CDI-W that took place in December 2020 and she is aiming to represent her home country in the FEI World Cup Finals this spring.
Competitors will return to the ring on Sunday, Jan. 17 for the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle. Another highlight during Week 1 of AGDF will be the $15,000 Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the $10,000 Summit Farm Future Challenge/Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series. The two series debuted in 2020 with 10 qualifying weeks of competition but the final was cancelled due to the pandemic. The Final of the 2020 series, originally scheduled for Week 12, will be held during AGDF 1 on Sunday, January 17. The 2021 series begins in AGDF 3, held January 28-31.
“While we were disappointed to have to cancel the last two weeks of AGDF and postpone the series final, we are eager to host the final as a kick-off to the 2021 AGDF,” said AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur. “We were thrilled to see how popular it was and that so many riders, trainers, and owners appreciated the opportunity afforded to their up-and-coming horses.”
RESULTS: CDI-W Grand Prix (to qualify for Grand Prix Freestyle)
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz / USA / Rassings Lonoir / 73.978
2. Susan Pape / GBR / Harmony’s Don Noblesse / 73.022
3. Yvonne Losos De Muniz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 71.717
4. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Illuster Van De Kampert / 70.870
5. Anna Buffini / USA / FRH Davinia La Douce / 70.457 6. Susan Dutta / USA / Figeac DC / 69.391
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
On her first CDI Grand Prix performance of the year:
“I’m really happy with it. We did a nationals test [last week] – it was really harmonious and plain but it served its purpose to shake out the bats. It was part of our strategy going into the next show as a World Cup qualifier so we’re trying to push it to the next level. There is so much in there but it’s really a fine line with him and I’ve kept it quiet for a lot of years but there’s a lot of horse in there. The goal was to push it up more today and I think we did. We had a couple little costly bobbles. The feedback so far from [my coaches] Debbie [McDonald], Ali [Brock], and Charlotte [Bredahl] is that he is 17 and has never looked better so that’s a good way to be starting out and we’re going to keep going from there.”
On how they prepared for this season:
“We finished in such a good place last year and then you’re like…now what? With him being 16 coming 17 you don’t want to keep him in that spot all summer long. We continued training, but hacked and worked on hills a lot with the goal to ramp up once we were down here. It seems to be going okay so far!”
On their AGDF season:
“We wanted to do this show and then have a pow wow again with Debbie [McDonald], Ali [Brock] and Hallie [Griffin]. They’re kind of my go-to planning people. We will definitely switch over to doing some Specials. I think it will just be whether we turn around and do the 4-star or wait for the 5-star. I’m not sure if it will be the next World Cup or the 4-star.”
On how she trains:
“I work with a combination of Ali [Brock] and Debbie [McDonald]. Ali stops by in the afternoon about once a week and then we go and check in with Debbie so she is still very much a part of it and it’s just worked out so well. Last year sometimes Adrienne [Lyle] and I were right on top of each other, so this way we never have a conflict. Ali and Debbie work so well together. Everyone wants the same thing–– more up, more steps, more hind legs, more electricity and more purpose.”