Week 8 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Friday, March 5, and welcomed a win for the USA’s Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services. The week concludes on Sunday, March 7, and the circuit hosts 10 weeks of international and national dressage competition until April 4. Free live streaming and on-demand of select classes are available to view at GlobalDressageFestival.com.

With their score of 75.739%, LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding by de Noir 3 that she co-owns with Mary Anne McPhail, soared to the top of the leaderboard in the final class of the day, qualifying them for Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services.

LaGoy-Weltz began, “I feel like he really stayed with me today. Our goal for today was to just go in there and have a clean test, and it was almost clean, apart from a little jig in the walk, but I’m not too worried about that. For me, he gives a lot, and my goal was to keep him back and more collected with more brilliance. That was the plan, and I feel like we executed that well. I feel like we have ridden that line for a while where I keep him quiet but there is less brilliance, or there is brilliance but then it’s hard to keep the consistency, so it’s just getting better and better.”

The score was enough to give the pair a personal best, and LaGoy-Weltz said, “It feels really awesome to get a personal best, especially when it feels like it was just another day in the office. We were already really happy with the last show, and in the last show if it had been clean, our score would’ve been closer to this type of score. This one would’ve been even higher if it was totally clean, so I’m feeling good about it.”

The duo has their eyes set on the 2021 FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final at the end of March, and LaGoy-Weltz said that she won’t put pressure on herself in regard to the Olympics just yet. “For the moment,” she explained, “our strategy is to just focus on the World Cup Final. We had a different plan, but our timeline got pushed back, so I made the decision to just focus on World Cup at this point and take the pressure off trying to squeeze in Grand Prix Specials before that as well. I’m trying to do my best with that, and then take the Olympics as it follows. We want to do as well as we can and see where it goes from there.”

Canada’s Jill Irving earned second place in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by Wellington Agricutural Services on Arthur, Windhaven Farm’s 2005 KWPN gelding by Jazz, with a 69.456%. Third place went to Mette Rosencrantz (USA) with Dzeko, a 2006 Oldenburg Stallion by Dimaggio owned by Cory Walkey, Mette Rosencrantz, and Robin Cathey, riding to 68.696%.

The day also welcomed the annual Palm Beach Dressage Derby, a “knock out” style competition in which riders are paired with unfamiliar, loaned horses and ride a Prix St. Georges test. Germany’s Christoph Koschel once again proved that he is the “king of the derby” after notching his fifth win in a row, and having won Derbies in Hamburg, Munich, and Palm Beach.

In the first round, Koschel went head-to-head with Sarah Lockman (USA), the pair both riding Helgstrand Dressage’s 2011 Oldenburg mare Salis MR by San Amour I. Koschel scored a 70.992% and a ticket to the final round, while Lockman earned a 70.183% and third place.

In round two the USA’s Anna Marek competed against Germany’s Michael Klimke, both riding Bonita Coffman’s 2009 Hanoverian mare Viveka by Viva Voltaire. Marek earned her spot in the final round after riding to a 69.742%, while Klimke earned a 67.609% for a tied third-place score.

The final round welcomed Koschel and Marek back aboard Hilfiger 3, Elm Creek Holdings LLC’s 2007 Oldenburg gelding by Hotline. Marek rode to second place with a 69.374%, while Koschel sealed his victory with a 71.801%.

“You either like the Derby format, or you don’t,” explained Koschel. “I really like it and think it’s really challenging, and this is what I like to do at home. I ride many different horses, from a young age and up, and surely that helps to get the experience. It is challenging that you only have a short amount of time to figure the horse out, and over the years I’ve developed a concept to really ride what I need to feel. I did that today, and with this heat we don’t want to make them tired, so you do have to figure them out in an even shorter amount of time. It’s so much fun, and I hope I’m allowed to come back next year.”

Koschel also extended his thanks to AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur, who decided to implement the iconic Derby knock out format several years ago. He said, “It was a great idea for Thomas to add a derby into this show, and I think it’s great that we did get one. In Europe it’s the same format, and it’s nice for the spectators too. This year obviously we couldn’t do it under the lights, which is always a pleasure, but it was still a good day!”

Baur added with a laugh, “As the title defender, Christoph can come back next year, but I promised him that I would fly in Isabel [Werth] to compete against him!”

In the FEI Intermediaire I CDI3*, Kevin Kohmann (GER) and Equitas LLC’s 2010 KWPN stallion by Amazing Star, Five Star, earned top honors with a score of 73.432%. Second place went to Cesar Parra (USA) on Mr. Bumblebee, Equiventure LLC and John and Karen Blank’s 2008 Danish Warmblood gelding by Sting, with 71.863%. Dongseon Kim (KOR) rounded out the top three with his own 2012 Rheinlander stallion Lord Nunes by Lord Loxley I, with a score of 71.520%.

Competition at AGDF 8 will continue tomorrow with a full schedule of classes, including the FEI Intermediaire -I CDI1*, FEI Intermediaire-II CDI 3*, and the FEI Intermediaire-I Freestyle CDI 3*, before the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corp. beginning at 2:25 p.m. For more information and to see a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Final Results: FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services:

1. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) on Rassing’s Lonoir, Mary Anne McPhail and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz’s 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding by de Noir 3: 76.848, 75.217, 74.783, 75.870, 75.978; 75.739%

2. Jill Irving (CAN) on Aurthur, Windhaven Farm’s 2005 KWPN gelding by Jazz: 70.000, 69.891, 70.217, 69.783, 67.391; 69.456%

3. Mette Rosencrantz (USA) on Dzeko, Cory Walkey, Mette Rosencrantz, and Robin Cathey’s 2006 Oldenburg Stallion by Dimaggio: 67.283, 68.913, 70.000, 68.696, 68.587; 68.696%

4. Jan Ebeling (USA) on Status Royal OLD, Ann Romney’s 2010 Oldenburg gelding by Statesman: 68.370, 69.348, 67.500, 68.696, 68.370; 68.457%

5. Dongseon Kim (KOR) on DSK Belstaff, his own 2007 Hanoverian stallion by Brentano II: 67.826, 64,239, 66,848, 67.391, 67.717; 66.804%

5. Missy Gilliland (USA) on Toledano XXXI, her own 2007 PRE gelding by Ambicioso XV: 62.500, 66.957, 66.196, 63.913, 66.304; 65.174%

6. Evi Strasser (CAN) on Déjà vu Tyme, Erika Murphy and Evi Strasser’s 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Dauphin: 64.674, 63.152, 63.152, 65.870, 62.935; 63.957%