Perrigo CPEDI3* competition presented by Adequan® and Nutrena® concluded on Sunday, March 14, at week nine of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), with an impressive win for the U.S. team and a world record-breaking score of 83.334% for 2021 Whitney Stone Cup award winner Roxanne Trunnell (USA) in the FEI Para Individual Test Grade I. AGDF 9 hosted CPEDI3* as well as national competition, and AGDF 10 continues on March 17-21 with CDIO3* and the anticipated Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3*.
Trunnell and Karin Flint’s 2012 Hanoverian gelding, Dolton (Danone I), have been partnered together for over two years and are currently sitting atop the FEI Para Dressage World Individual Ranking list, as well as the FEI Para Dressage World Individual Ranking-Grade I, and the FEI Para Dressage Paralympic Individual Ranking list. Trunnell and Dalton also posted strong scores of 80.119% in the Team Test and 83.500% in the Freestyle Test.
Of her world record-breaking score, Trunnell said, “It feels great to break a world record. Dolton is a very nice horse, and I am proud of him.”
Next up, the combination will head to the June CPEDI in Tryon, like many other North American para dressage riders hoping to make it onto teams for the Tokyo Paralympics. Trunnell noted, “I am looking forward to Tryon. Dolton really likes to compete there, and Tokyo will be fun if we get selected for the team.”
The USA’s Beatrice de Lavalette earned victories on Saturday and Sunday in the FEI Para Individual and Freestyle Grade II Perrigo CPEDI3*, presented by Adequan® and Nutrena, riding Elizabeth and Nicholas de Lavalette’s 2007 KWPN gelding by Dreamcatcher, Clarc. The duo completed their week atop the Freestyle with a score of 75.645%. The winner of the FEI Para Team Test Grade II was Alanna Flax-Clark on El Paso.
“The first two days were a bit tricky for us,” admitted de Lavalette. “Clarc was nervous in the ring, but today I was able to work through it with him in the warmup, and it really paid off in the show ring.”
The pair rode to a musical freestyle composed of music from the “Aquaman” soundtrack, which de Lavalette chose after watching the movie. “I am a big fan of the DC Universe,” she said, “and I was watching the Aquaman movie and thought it would be the perfect music for a freestyle. It works well with my horse, along with our floorplan.”
The FEI Grade III Level of the Perrigo CPEDI3*, presented by Adequan® and Nutrena, was dominated by Canada’s Lauren Barwick, who earned blue ribbons in the Team, Individual, and Freestyle classes throughout the weekend, ending with a score of 77.656% in the Freestyle on Sunday.
“It’s been a longtime since I’ve gone three for three,” began Barwick. “Rebecca Hart (USA) is such a phenomenal competitor and has such great horses. She makes you work for everything in the arena. Her horse is just so competitive that it makes me want to be a better rider, and I know that I have to work for everything in there.”
Barwick piloted Lee Garrod’s 2012 Westphalian by Spirit of Westfalia, Sandrino, throughout the weekend, and has only been partnered with the gelding for just over a year. “We are still getting to know each other and trust each other,” she explained. “My plan moving forward is the event in Tryon and then hopefully Tokyo. This horse was acquired by Lee, my sponsor, for the main purpose of competing in Tokyo for Team Canada. So, we will go to Tryon and hopefully be selected for our country’s team.”
Kate Shoemaker (USA) and Kate, Craig, and Deena Shoemaker’s 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Sandro Hit, Solitaer 40, had a successful weekend of their own, earning top scores in the FEI Para Team, Individual, and Freestyle Grade IV Perrigo CPEDI3*, presented by Adequan® and Nutrena.
Finishing the week with a score of 77.442% in the Freestyle, Shoemaker revealed that she was pleased with the weekend as a whole and noted that the pair’s hard work paid off in the ring.
“It’s been a really breakthrough week for my horse and I,” she said. “We’ve been working on finding the next level within the gaits at home, and this is the first time that we’ve really seen that reflected in the show arena, so I was really excited that he was able to give that to me. The feeling was just incredible throughout the weekend. To finish on the freestyle with such a top score was really rewarding, and I’m just really happy with it all overall!”
The pair will now work their way to the next CPEDI in Tryon, North Carolina, this summer, with the hope to make it onto the USA Paralympic dressage team. “Tryon is our next step for sure,” continued Shoemaker. “It’s a mandatory outing for team selections, so that is next up. We are really hoping that we can continue this positive trend and show the judges and the selectors that we are on track for a position for Tokyo, not just for the team but to be at the top of the sport. That’s my goal.”
Grade V saw victories across the board for the USA’s Cynthia Screnci, who concluded her weekend with her own Eragon VF, a 2009 KWPN gelding by Don Romantic, by earning a 66.742% in the FEI Para Freestyle Grade V Perrigo CPEDI3*, presented by Adequan® and Nutrena.
“Our weekend started a bit rough,” explained Screnci, “but we were able to correct that on Saturday, and our rides were very solid for the rest of the weekend. We are very excited about it. We’ve continued to increase our education, and we’re really excited that we have a good chunk of time between now and June (Tryon Team Event) to really hone in on our skills and fine tune the things that need to be fine-tuned. Overall, we’re happy with the progress!”
Screnci is currently training with 2019 Pan American Games silver medalist Jennifer Baumert and is looking forward to continuing her education with her mount. “We started training with Jennifer Baumert about three weeks ago,” she said, “and she’s been an incredible teacher so far. What a difference already in our performance, and we are eager to continue that relationship and grow.”