Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 23, 2020 – The third week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival continued on Thursday, January 23, bringing top dressage competition from around the world to sunny Wellington, Florida. The feature event of Thursday’s competition took place in the form of the CDI-W Grand Prix, where 18 horse-and-rider combinations made their way down the centerline of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center stadium in hopes of garnering valuable points toward the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals set to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada in April. Ultimately, it was American rider Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir who rose to the top of the competitive group and led the way in the victory gallop in the Grand Prix.
LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir, her own 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, took an early lead in the sizable class, offering a clean and consistent performance to earn a score of 73.435%. Returning to the international AGDF arena for the first time since the 2018 season, the pair stood out from the crowd and didn’t miss a bit. LaGoy-Weltz expressed her excitement for the feeling that Lonoir gave her in the ring and noted that he felt as if he had never left it.
Canadian rider Lindsay Kellock and Sebastien, a 14-year-old Rheinlander gelding owned by Kellock and Enterprise Farm LLC, claimed the second place prize with a score of 73.435%. The combination improved upon their performance from the first week of the AGDF, where they finished in fifth place with a score of 67.717%.
Finishing in third place was Spanish rider Juan Matute-Guimon and Don Diego, a 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Matute-Guimon. The pair has also not competed in Wellington since 2018, instead staying overseas to train and compete at Doha, Al Shaqab, Leudelange, Aachen and Madrid. Matute-Guimon and Don Diego made their first performance back in Wellington a strong one, taking home a score of 68.457%.
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival will continue on Friday, January 24th and will feature the next installment of Friday Night Stars, which will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. with the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle
Results: CDI-W Grand Prix
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz / USA / Lonoir / 73.435
2. Lindsay Kellock / CAN / Sebastien / 70.087
3. Juan Matute-Guimon / ESP / Don Diego / 68.457
4. Dongseon Kim / KOR / Belstaff / 67.783
5. Caroline Darcourt / SWE / Paridon Magi / 67.435
6. Martha Fernanda Del Valle Quirarte / MEX / Beduino Lam / 67.13
7. Heather Blitz / USA / Semper Fidelis / 67.109
8. Julio Cesar Mendoza Loor / ECU / Rosali / 66.196
9. Jennifer Schrader-Williams / USA / Millione / 65.848
10. Nicholas Fyffe / AUS / Fiero HGF / 65.652
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz – CDI-W Grand Prix winner
On taking a year off:
“He didn’t feel [like a horse that had been out of the ring for a year and a half]. We have also been really mindful in bringing him back and how we have built him back up. I think the other thing is that he was not out of the ring for a competition injury. We had a very bad shoeing session last December where my farrier at the time took his foot down to less than a centimeter of sole and it completely stunted his foot growth. It angered his lamina but it didn’t cause any kind of rotation. Basically, when the foot becomes that angry, it takes a long time for it to start growing again. So, we spent last year wondering if it would grow back. We had already discussed that if this might be a year we wanted to take off and build up, then we could do that. We had this discussion and then [his bad shoe job] happened right after, so it felt like it was kind of meant to be [our year off].
“We wanted to come back from the time off better than ever. [The shoeing issue] was the main reason we took a year off. The horse has very asymmetrical feet, he has one foot that grows very flat and one that grows upright, so that in itself is a real trick to shoe. This summer we spent working with our team vet and really honing in on how much [of his foot] needed to grow and the exact angle it needed to be at. The times we have touched just breaking over 73%, it has felt like it is so easy for the horse. When we get him in the right place physically, and he has been a very sturdy horse, it has been the last 10% that we are missing and I think we are tapping into that now. [The time off has been] a combination of [saving him for Tokyo because he is 16 years old] and then it became required that we take the time off. That is the part where I think the two lined up for a reason and I have the feeling it will pay off big time – he feels fresh, amazing and incredibly happy to be in there.”
“He is coming up to 16 years old now and I feel much more confident. He has always been really hot and we have always tried to make him quiet, but now I feel really ready to try and ride him on the edge. That may make for some spectacular things and maybe some mistakes also but we need to take those risks. I feel like all of those years of training and maturity are coming together.”
On her test:
“I felt great. We went and did a National show last week, which was really important for me. I am not one that does well going straight into the CDI ring because I like to get a little bit of a temperature read on him. It is funny, because he was very quiet in the back ring last week, almost lazy, but I have done that before and found him to be the same way – it is as if he knows the difference between the two rings. He came out today and was on fire! I think if I can capture that then it is really exciting. I was really happy [with my test] and I was happy that we could go out and clock out a clean test for a 73% with the feeling of some of the stuff we are working on at home and trying to tap into it there. Where you see him [so fresh] in the awards – I want a little more of that in his piaffe-passage tour and keeping his energy boxed up while still building his strength and fitness. He can school the pirouettes very well at home but I always have a little bit of the feeling that by the time we are to them in the test he is having to dig deep. I need to hone in on the warm up. I came out thinking I would spend 20 minutes in the warm up and I gave him 10 minutes to walk and he was so hot I had to start right away. We hand walk him before I ride so that he is at least lose but I think I have to be even braver and give him the hand walk, then 20 minutes and we just go in and ride the line so that he can bring that spectacular ride in there. I am really excited about the future. Having the year off for me was great as well because you really get to pick at stuff and now he is doing super – it has worked out well so far!”