Wellington, Fla.– Jan. 31, 2021 – Week three of the 2021 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded on Sunday, January 31, with victory for the USA’s Guenter Seidel and Equirelle in the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle.
In their first freestyle performance together, Seidel and Leatherdale Farms and Louise Leatherdale’s 12-year-old KWPN mare by Florett AS earned a 75.830% from judges to top the class.
“It was our first freestyle,” he began, “so I was a little conservative and kept everything fairly easy. Our floor plan was fairly easy. She’s a very hot horse and has had her issues in the ring, so I wanted to use this test to give her some confidence out there. The more it went along the more secure she seemed to get, and she was really fun to ride. Most of the test was very pleasing. I know there’s quality in there, but sometimes that’s hard to show because she can get tight or scared, but it was nice to see that she is learning how to hold it together. It was not easy for her with the wind, but I was very happy with her.”
Seidel rode the mare to a freestyle he used with a previous horse, but noted his method for getting Equirelle more experience before they dive into creating a freestyle of their own. “The music is from a horse I’ve ridden before,” he explained. “I figured I’d get her feet wet in the freestyle before I created an entirely new one. I really like the music so it works well with her for now.”
The partnership is only a few years old, and Seidel explained that his current plan with the mare is to help her gain experience throughout the remainder of the AGDF circuit. “I’ve had her for a couple of years,” he said, “and she is a very generous horse. She doesn’t want to make mistakes, but she gets hot. I think it takes time to getinto a successful partnership with a horse like that at this level, but I feel like she will be a very good horse in a few years. I am going to use the shows here to get her seasoned and get her more confident in the ring. If it backfires and she starts to get nervous I will back off, but if she keeps going like this, we will keep competing.”
Judge at C, Anne Prain (FRA), praised Seidel’s plan with his mount and was impressed with the pair’s freestyle execution. She commented, “It was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of judging Guenter, and I like the way he speaks about his plan for the horse. It’s good to hear him explain that he kept his freestyle on the simple side to prepare his horse, and it’s what we judges expect. We don’t always expect the most complicated freestyle, because the horses can become over-ridden, so I think it’s much better for the horse to have something simple, but with a nice flow. To get 75% is not so easy, and his horse has a good quality about her.”
Canada’s Lindsay Kellock rode to second place with Sebastien, Kellock and Enterprise Farm Equestrian LLC’s 15-year-old Rheinlander gelding by Sandro Hit, earning 74.575%, while Michael Klimke (GER) claimed third place on Harmony’s Diablo, Harmony Sporthorses’ 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Desparados, with 73.850%.