Canada showed off the breadth and depth of its dressage talent during the eighth week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL, which hosted the Palm Beach Dressage Derby and Florida International Youth Dressage Championships from Feb. 25-March 1, 2020.
The maple leaf was represented on the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI 4* leaderboard by Lima 2019 Pan American Games team gold medalist, Lindsay Kellock of Wellington, FL. She and Sebastien (Sandro Hit x Fidermark), the 14-year-old Rheinlander gelding that Kellock co-owns with Enterprise Farm, LLC, placed third in Feb. 27’s Grand Prix, scoring 69.826% in front of a hometown crowd.
In the CDI 3* division, Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON, piloted the 17-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding that she co-owns with Louise Leatherdale, Chrevis Christo (Chrevi’s Cavallo x Matador), all the way to the winner’s circle. The duo took home top honours in the CDI 3* Grand Prix on Feb. 27 with 67.935%. On Feb. 29, a score of 70.468% followed in the CDI 3* Grand Prix Special, earning second place for the pair.
“Mrs. Leatherdale and I are so proud of Christo staying so focused and with me during the ride,” said Creech, who has been partnered with the beautiful bay for the past seven years. “I felt my highlights were the piaffe/passage tour, but also the pirouettes felt great. I am very thankful to Mrs. Leatherdale for her wonderful support, our home team – my daughter, Vanessa, and Stephanie Gow – for keeping Christo so happy during the show and also to Team Leatherdale for cheering us on. The Palm Beach Derby is a very special show and the AGDF facility is impeccable. Winning the Grand Prix and second place in the Grand Prix Special will always be a cherished memory. Go Christo!”
Sheri Doornekamp of Odessa, ON, also made her mark on the leaderboard in the CDI-Am division. Riding her 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Axel (Sandreo x Vincent), she nabbed third place in the Prix St. George on Feb. 29 (65.882%).
Canada’s NextGen athletes were also out in force at AGDF 8, as the scores from the Under 25 (U25), Young Rider, Junior, Children’s and Pony divisions counted towards the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships.
In the CDI-U25 division, Laurence Blais Tétreault of Montreal, QC, and Utah (Jazz x Landwind II B), Mathilde Blais Tétreault’s 19-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, scored 70.950% for third in the Grand Prix Freestyle on March 1.
2018 North American Youth Championships (NAYC) team gold medalist, Camille Carier Bergeron wowed the CDI-Y judges with Gilles Bergeron’s 12-year-old Westphalian gelding, Sound of Silence 4 (San Amour I x Limes). The Mascouche, QC, native kicked off the weekend on Feb. 28 by scoring 71.667% in the Team Competition, followed by 73.837% in the next day’s Individual Competition. But their best score was yet to come: On March 1, Carier Bergeron and Sound of Silence 4 posted a personal best of 77.150% in the CDI-Y Freestyle for second place.
“I still have a hard time believing that it’s true,” said Carier Bergeron of her high marks, which have bumped her into eighth place in the FEI Dressage World Youth Ranking – Young Riders. “Sound of Silence and I have been partnered now for a little less then three years. Looking back to 2017, I remember being barely able to do a full Training level test. At a young age, he sure was very talented but he didn’t have much motivation. It took a very long time before he started to trust me and wanted to work for me and please me. Honestly, if someone would have told me three years ago that I would be scoring over 73% with him, I would have laughed and thought that he was very silly.”
Carier Bergeron added, “I was very lucky to have amazing people behind me who kept believing in us and supporting us in our lows and highs. I sure can say that this horse taught me a very good lesson: with patience, love and determination, everything is possible. Now, we are working on the U25 at home, but I only take what he wants to give me and we do it at his own rhythm. I hope to qualify for NAYC again and hopefully be on the podium. Eventually, I would like to compete with him in some European shows.”
Canada’s top placings continued in the Junior division. Carier Bergeron’s fellow NAYC veteran, Ariel Boesener of Canning, NS, scored 66.716% in the CDI-J Individual Competition on Feb. 29 for third place riding Sedona (Silberpfeil x Brass Minister XX), her 14-year-old Holstein/Thoroughbred-cross mare. Scarlett Hansen of Outremont, QC, and Mary Ambrose’s Da Vinci (Di Caprio x Shogun) tied Boesener’s score of 66.716% in their first competition at the Junior level, but were allotted fourth place as Boesener had the highest total median score. The next day, Hansen and the 18-year-old Hanoverian gelding returned to the ring to take third in the CDI-J Freestyle (68.135%).
Hansen also swept the Pony division with Rêve de Glatigny to be crowned 2020 Florida International Youth Dressage FEI Pony Champion. She and the homebred 15-year-old pony gelding started in the CDI-P Team Competition on Feb. 28 with 64.524% before moving on to the Individual Competition on Feb. 29 with 68.288%. Hansen and Rêve de Glatigny closed their winning run on March 1 with 66.869%.
Competition continues at AGDF until late March, with the next CDI competition taking place March 10-15. For more information and results, visit here.