From the 16 starters in the Prix St. Georges CDI1* sponsored by Zen Elite Equestrian at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL, Canada’s Naima Moreira Laliberte’s international debut on Jaliska LD vanquished all. The 27-year-old rider piloted Jaliska LD, by the Ampere son All At Once, to 73.48%.

Both the second- and third-placed riders posted new career high scores with their horses. Jennifer Williams (USA) laid down 71.323% on her own Bordeaux nine-year-old gelding, Babylon Berlin. Right behind them, at their second ever CDI, her compatriot Quinn Iverson and King’s Pleasure slotted into third. The nine-year-old Dark Pleasure stallion owned by Heidi Humphries of class sponsor Zen Elite Equestrian notched up 71.226%.

Laliberte was riding Jaliska LD, who is a 10-year-old KWPN mare owned by KML Inc. This was just the mare’s third Prix St. Georges test.

“The first time I sat on her as a four-year-old I thought, ‘Either she’s going to kill me or we’re going to be amazing’ — it was so much power, something I hadn’t really felt before in a young horse,” said Laliberte. “You don’t want to rush horses like that because you need that power through the levels, and for a grand prix horse — and it’s a quality I look for.

“We really had to take our time with her. When we got her she lacked a lot of confidence in life towards certain environments and triggers. So we went back to Kindergarten to desensitize her and show her things and make her walk on tarps. Things like that are so important when they’re young — I like to do that with all the young horses,” added the 27-year-old Laliberte, who bought the horse from Alice Tarjan. “She’s very low mileage, but she’s such a sweet girl.”

Laliberte is from Montreal, where her family has a farm, but she has spent the majority of the past two years training in Spain with Jordi Domingo and in Florida with Ashley Holzer. She has four horses with her in Wellington this season, and has an eye on a Canadian team place for the Paris Olympics.

Results here.

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