Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 22, 2018 – In an exciting grand prix performance under the lights on Thursday evening, Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145, an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Diane Fellows, clinched the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Week Seven CDI-W Grand Prix with a score of 72.826 percent.
Holzer represented Canada at four Olympic Games before changing nationalities to ride for the United States in the spring of 2017. She started her partnership with Havanna 145 soon after switching countries in the same year. As the mare had performed only a few grand prixs, Holzer enjoyed showing her the ropes and helping her gain experience in the CDI ring. The pair had a successful season in 2017 winning a CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle in Tryon, NC, as well as topping the leaderboard in the CDI3* Grand Prix (for the Special) and the Grand Prix Special at Dressage at Devon.
Riding into second place was American rider Shelly Francis and Doktor, a 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Patricia Stempel. The horse-and-rider combination earned a total score of 71.674 percent to qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle. Throughout the 2018 AGDF season, Francis and Doktor have placed no lower than fourth place in any of their classes and have won a CDI3* Grand Prix and a CDI3* Grand Prix Special.
Canadian rider Brittany Fraser and All In, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding, rounded out the top three with a total score of 70.848 percent.
Competition will resume in the stadium at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival on Friday, Feb. 23 at 8 a.m. with the FEI CDIYH Preliminary YH Test for 6-Year-Olds. Later on Friday evening the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle will kick-off at 7 p.m.
CDI-W Grand Prix Results
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Ashley Holzer / USA / Havanna 145 / 72.826
2. Shelly Francis / USA / Doktor / 71.674
3. Brittany Fraser / CAN / All In / 70.848
4. PJ Rizvi / USA / Breaking Dawn / 70.630
5. Yvonne Losos De Muniz / DOM /Foco Loco W / 69.478
6. Megan Lane / CAN / Zodiac MW / 68.413
7. Jill Irving / CAN / Arthur / 67.565
8. Jacqueline Brooks / CAN / D Niro / 65.000
9. Karen Lipp / USA / Whitney / 64.326
10. Eiren Crawford / CAN / Warello / 62.717
11. Daniel Sahar Hirosh / ISR / Whitman / 61.565
12. Debbie Hill / USA / Cartier / 61.130
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Ashley Holzer – first place
On Havanna 145:
“She’s an incredible mare. People always told me whenever you get a mare and it’s an amazing mare, it’s amazing. I’ve had a few mares that weren’t so amazing so I didn’t really believe anyone when they said that. She has changed my mind. Every day I get on and have a great ride with her.She has just exceeded every expectation I have ever had in the short time we’ve had her. It’s so amazing to me that at my age I can still get on a horse, go around this ring and have the best time. How lucky am I that I get to keep going? I felt very fortunate. I was driving here with my husband and we were talking about how fortunate we are to be in this beautiful place with this beautiful horse.
She just keeps trying. She is the most amazing mare in the world. Her owner rides her around and she is great. She’s a horse that’s totally working for you.”
On her freestyle strategy:
“My plan is to go and give her a nice ride. My freestyle is not technically very difficult. I did that for a reason. It was the first freestyle I did when I brought her out in Tryon because I didn’t want her to feel she went in one day and it was even harder the next day. I know that I have to redo my freestyle. The next show I am doing Specials in, so it is the last freestyle I am doing with her for a while. I’m going in to have fun with her tomorrow.”
On her future plans:
“I’m trying to get in the top eight to go to Europe because I think I benefit from being amongst really amazing riders and I really love that motivation to go somewhere else. Even if I don’t make the top eight I’m still going to take her to Europe along with a few other horses. I have another young horse I’m going to start in grand prix in his first CDI in March, so I’ll have four grand prix horses.”