Wellington, Fla. – March 16, 2018 – The air was full of excitement during the chilly Friday Night Lights performances during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival [AGDF] Week 10, which is the largest CDI competition ever in the western hemisphere. American Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonior claimed their highest score to date to top the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle after winning the Grand Prix earlier in the week with a 73.783 percent.
Riding to music that was originally their small tour freestyle, LaGoy-Weltz and the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (De Noir – Lorani, Loran) earned a score of 76.6 percent, which was a new personal best score for the pair. Previously, LaGoy-Weltz and the gelding have earned scores around 74 percent in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyles.
Joining LaGoy-Weltz in the top three was fellow American Tuny Page aboard Woodstock, a 15-year-old KWPN gelding (Havel – Mirania, Contango). Page and the gelding had a tricky floor plan laid out, but stepped up to the challenge and earned a score of 75 percent to claim the red ribbon.
Rounding out the winner’s circle was Spain’s Juan Matute Guimon competing with the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Don Diego Ymas (Don Frederico – Wie Platine, Wolkenstein II). Matute Guimon and the gelding rode a freestyle created by the whole family, to earn a score of 73.525 percent to clinch the yellow ribbon.
Competition for AGDF week 10 will continue through the weekend, featuring the CDI 3* Grand Prix Special on Saturday and the CDI 3* Intermediate I freestyles and the Florida International Youth Championship freestyles (U-25, Young Rider, Junior Rider, Pony Rider) taking place on Sunday.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz – First Place
On Her Ride:
“I was really happy with him tonight! The last time we did a freestyle in this setting, it was quite airborne, so I was really happy that he stayed with me as much as he did. He produced such a good test and was so rideable – when he’s waiting for me and we’re on the same page, it’s a pretty cool feeling. There’s a lot of power available there, even more than we’re showing now, so I was thrilled that he kept all of his feet on the ground, that was great.”
On Her Freestyle:
“The music is actually from our small tour freestyle, but we hadn’t used it a whole lot so we asked Terry [Gallo] if we could upgrade it and make it into a starter big tour freestyle. I think we’ve done it maybe four times at this point and I quite like the music, I think it’s called ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ which is good for Lono [Lonoir] to keep in mind. We’re working on something new because he’s a much bigger horse now, but clearly, it went well, so we don’t have to be in any grand hurry to change anything.”
Tuny Page – Second Place
On Her Ride:
“I think the strongest part of the test for this horse is he handles all of the difficult sequences very well. This is a horse with a lot of alacrity and he’s very sensitive so when he’s relaxed and focused like he was tonight, he handles the challenges well. I was thrilled with how he handled everything and how he stayed with me the whole time. He can be a bit of a scallywag in the changes, so the fact that he couldn’t anticipate them coming in our choreography was nice. I had a little mistake at the end, that was 1000% my fault, but I had a really good feeling. He’s matured a lot in the last three months here – he’s developed more and more, and I’m happy to go out on that.”
On Her Freestyle:
“This Freestyle was made more towards the World Cup from two years ago, where the whole idea is to layer one complicated thing and sequence it quickly to another complicated thing, then another and another and so on. The music is from an old movie, Armistead and I actually used it with another horse, Wild One, but I always loved the music. I knew that at some point I would be on a horse that it would suit and Marlene Whitaker is a genius and made it work for Woodstock. The test is full of challenging things – it has a transition into a piaffe, into a piaffe pirouette into the canter and then the canter has a 1 and ¾ pirouette into one tempis, into another 1 and ¾ pirouette. He was super with the changes on the curved line – I’m really pleased with that.”
Juan Matute Guimon – Third Place
On His Ride:
“Last time we rode this test we had a few miscommunications, and that happens, but today I think he felt rather good and I was quite pleased with the overall performance. I think in particular the piaffes were really good today – he felt more relaxed, which is a good feeling as a rider. Don Diego and I have been together a long time, and we’ve reached a partnership where we’ve learned to fight with what we’ve got, which is a good feeling as well – I think at its essence, that’s what dressage should be – to try to get to your full potential with your horse.”
On His Freestyle:
“This must have been my fifth time riding this freestyle, and it’s perhaps not the most challenging choreography, but I think it fits us very well. We have a powerful start with the extended canter at the beginning that kind of says ‘Here I am and I’m going to show you what I’ve got.’ My mother put the music together and I think it’s quite modern – it has some good flashbacks with music from James Bond and the Pink Panther and I think the crowd enjoys listening to that. It’s a pretty positive vibe overall, we’ve actually given it the code name ‘Good Vibes.’”
Results: CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz / USA / Lonoir / 76.600
2. Tuny Page / USA / Woodstock / 75.00
3. Juan Matute Guimon / ESP / Don Diego Ymas / 73.525
4. Katherine Bateson Chandler / USA / Alcazar / 72.525
5. JJ Tate / USA / Faberge / 70.675
6. Jacqueline Brooks / CAN / D Niro / 67.950
7. Devon Kane / USA / Sir Galanto / 67.950
8. Ellesse Tzinberg / PHI / Triviant 2 / 67.775