Shannon Dueck and Dianne Creech each earned top scores at the CDI-W West Palm Beach Gold Coast Opener, held January 21–23, in West Palm Beach, FL, USA.

Riding Ayscha (Welt Hit II x Rouletto), her 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, Dueck, who resides in Loxahatchee, FL, finished in fifth place in the Grand Prix for Freestyle test with a score of 65.787%. The pair then performed a very strong Freestyle, moving them up one place to fourth in the Grand Prix Freestyle with 69.075%.

“Ayscha and I have not been in the Grand Prix ring since last summer, so I was thrilled with how well she handled the atmosphere. The European Tour last summer gave us amazing experience and mileage, and that really was evident in her tests this weekend. I rode too conservatively in the Grand Prix, which resulted in unusual mistakes for us. I decided to just have fun and trust her more for the Freestyle, and I can honestly say I have never had more fun riding a test,” said Dueck. “Ayscha showed off her fabulous ability in the piaffe and half passes. This show was a wonderful confidence booster for both of us.”

Canadian Olympian Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, ON, and Olympic partner Gran Gesto (Grannox x Goldstern), a 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Brinc Ltd. and Anne Welch, posted an eighth place finish in the Grand Prix for the Freestyle with 64.149%, and then earned a Grand Prix Freestyle score of 66.000% for seventh place.

Canadians were also well represented in the Advanced division. Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON, and Robbie W, Doug Leatherdale’s eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding sired by Rubin Royal, were the top Canadian entries in the Prix St Georges, scoring 67.193% for fifth place.

“It is so exciting for me to have the chance to work with such an incredible horse like Robbie W. Being such a fantastic mover, a beautiful horse to look at and having such an honest and solid character is so very rare to find all in one,” said Creech. “Every day spent with Robbie W is a super day. Thanks to my trainer, Lars Petersen, who found Robbie W in Denmark for us. Keeping Robbie W happy and working towards the Pan American Games is our goal for this year.”

Brooks and Balmoral (Belcanto x Consul), a 12-year-old Canadian-bred Hanoverian owned by Great Swamp Assoc. LLC/Mistover LLC, placed in eighth in the Prix St. Georges test with 65.088%. Riding Ducat Developments Ltd’s 10-year-old Hanoverian mare De La Rosa, sired by De Niro, Lee Tubman of Dunnville, ON, scored 64.386% for 14th place. In 15th place, with 64.298%, was Leah Wilson of Orangeville, ON, riding her 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding Amusant (Alabaster x Weltmeyer).

Creech and Robbie W were the top Canadian entries in the Intermediaire I test as well, scoring 67.149% for fifth place. Placing 12th were Wilson and Amusant with 65.965%, followed by Tubman and De La Rosa in 13th spot earning 65.044%. Tom Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON, and Key West (Charly Chaplin x Arogno), Claudia Demandt’s 11-year-old Trakehner gelding, finished in 17th place with a score of 64.123%.

The international judging panel for the CDI-W West Palm Beach Gold Coast Opener included Canada’s Lorraine Stubbs (FEI 4*—CAN); Joanne Graham (FEI 4*¬¬¬—GBR), Natalie Lamping (FEI 4*—USA), Christian Mattiesen (FEI 4*—DEN), Lilo Fore (FEI 4*—USA), Raphael Saleh (FEI 4*—FRA), Lois Yukins (FEI 4*—USA), Bo Jena (FEI 4*—SWE), Charlotte Bredahl (FEI 3*—USA) and Jeanne Mc Donald (FEI 4*—USA).