A beautiful day of competition on Saturday of week 7 of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL, culminated in the feature class of the day, the Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Fair Sky Farm. Armenia’s Carrie Schopf and Saumur made it two for two this week, following their win in the qualifier on Thursday with a victory in the Special. AGDF 7 concludes on Sunday, February 26, while the circuit continues through March 27.

Twelve competitors entered the stadium to strut their stuff, where towards the end of the class, Jessica Howington (USA) and her 15-year-old KWPN mare by Sir Donnerhall I x Gribaldi shot to the top of the leaderboard with a 70.149%. Just after her was Carrie Schopf and Saumur (Sancisco OLD x Tanzmeister I) who rode to a personal best of 70.979% to just edge out Howington for the blue ribbon.

“Anybody can win on a given day, especially when the scores were as close as they were today,” reflected Schopf. “But it’s really gratifying to have your work and your thought process rewarded.”

Schopf is an amateur rider who does have grooms who help her with her horses, but for Saumur, she does it all herself.

“He’s so grumpy in the barn,” admitted Schopf. “He doesn’t mean anything by it, but he’s not a huge horse, so he has sort of a Napoleon complex.

“By being grumpy it makes him feel much bigger,” she continued with a laugh. “I don’t think he would go if I wasn’t taking care of him. I don’t think he would be as happy about things if he was just sort of handed over. I think for him, for whatever reason, it’s the whole picture.”

Their partnership was on full display today as Schopf utilized the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding’s technical prowess in combination with her own enjoyment of the test to excel in the extensions.

She explained, “This is a very forward test in the trot work especially, and it’s forward that if you swing with them, you can really capture that energy. You can really let them sail, so I just stepped on the gas pedal and went!”

Despite their enormously successful week sprinkled with wins and personal bests, Schopf is staying level-headed about the prospect of attending the World Championships in August.

“The single most important thing to me is that he stays happy and healthy. If it works out in August that he’s still all of those things, and I feel comfortable with that, then I would go. For me, it’s really about enjoying my horse, and he’s such a pleasure,” she concluded.

Beatrice Boucher (CAN) topped the Intermediate 1 CDI1* with Summerwood’s Limei. (© SusanJStickle.com)

Earlier in the day, Beatrice Boucher (CAN) continued her successful week with Summerwood’s Limei after besting the field of 14 competitors in the Intermediate I CDI1* class. This marks Boucher’s second international win in as many days with Monica von Glahn’s nine-year-old Hanoverian mare by Londonderry x Weltmeyer. The pair earned particularly strong marks in the flying changes with 7.5s and 8s, propelling them to a personal best score of 70.912%.

First to go, Silva Martin (USA), slotted into second-place, finishing with a 69.059% aboard Esperanto, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Jazz x Negro, owned by Christine Capano. Colombia’s María Alejandra Aponte González closed out the class and rounded out the top three with her own Lord of the Dance. She and the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Londontime x Gelria earned a final score of 68.324%

In the Intermediate A CDI3* class, Luuk Mourits (NED) rode Harmony’s Don’t Stop the Feeling to a win with a score of 68.235%. The 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Don Primus x Noble Roi xx, owned by Harmony Amateur Sports Foundation, bookended the performance with strong passes down the centerline and shined throughout both the extended and collected trot work.

Second place went to Switzerland’s Barbara Bertschinger who rode Sonnenberg’s Solisco CH, the 15-year-old Swiss Warmblood gelding by Sancisco x Brentano II that she both bred and owns. They achieved a personal best, with their consistent test resulting in a score of 65.323%.

Tomorrow’s competition is highlighted by the Summit Farm Prix St. Georges Future Challenge and the Lövsta Future Challenge to close out an exciting week. AGDF picks back up March 2-6 for the Palm Beach Derby week.

Results: FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Fair Sky Farm

1. Carrie Schopf (USA) on Saumur, her own 14yo Oldenburg gelding by Sancisco OLD:, 70.745, 69.681, 71.383, 71.596, 71.489, 70.979

2. Jessica Howington (USA) on Cavalia, he own 15yo KWPN mare by Sir Donnerhall I: 67.766, 72.021, 72.128, 69.681, 69.149, 70.149

3. Codi Harrison (USA) on Katholt’s Bossco, his own 15yo Dutch Warmblood gelding by Blue Hors Don Schufro: 68.404, 71.596, 70.106, 69.043, 65.213, 68.872

4. Aaron Janicki (USA) on Heron, his own 10yo KWPN gelding by Glock’s Johnson TN: 65.745, 68.085, 68.298, 70.000, 66.383, 67.702

5. Nancy Smith (USA) on Destaque HI, Sarah Bushong-Weeks’s 15yo Lusitano gelding by Solar Pinhais: 68.085, 67.447, 67.660, 66.596, 68.617, 67.681

6. Kerrigan Gluch (USA) on Mejorano HGF, Hampton Green Farm’s 11yo PRE gelding by Grandioso: 66.064, 66.809, 69.043, 65.213, 67.234, 66.873

7. Kiichi Harada (JPN) on Sir Galanto, Chiemi Katayama’s 17yo Hanoverian gelding by Stedinger: 65.426, 66.489, 67.021, 65.745, 63.404, 65.617

8. Allison Carmichael (USA) on Figaro, Flying Otter Farms’s 12yo KWPN gelding by Apache: 64.681, 64.787, 66.170, 64.255, 67.128, 65.404

9. Allison Gerlt (USA) on Sir Lommel, Jennifer Quirk & John Gerlt’s 15yo Hanoverian gelding by Sir Donnerhall I: 65.106, 63.298, 65.745, 66.170, 66.064, 65.277

10. Mathilde Blais Tetreault (CAN) on Fedor, Laurence Blais Tetreault’s 12yo KWPN gelding by Glock’s Johnson TN: 62.553, 64.149, 66.383, 66.383, 64.681, 64.830

11. Megan Lane (CAN) on Zodiac MW, Deer Ridge Equestrian’s 18yo KWPN gelding by Harmony’s Rousseau: 62.340, 64.468, 66.277, 65.106, 63.723, 64.383