Poag, Page, Holzer and Blitz Kickoff Spring Series at Tryon CDI3*

Katie Poag and Zonnekoning
Katie Poag and Zonnekoning

Mill Spring, NC – April 24, 2017 – In the Spring Dressage I CDI3* at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), elite horse and rider combinations came together to compete in the first show of the spring series in North Carolina.

The FEI Grand Prix highlight class was championed by American rider Katie Poag aboard Zonnekoning, her own 13-year-old KWPN stallion, who earned a 68.840 percent to take the win. American rider P.J. Rizvi and Breaking Dawn finished in second place with a score of 68.222 percent, ahead of American rider Tuny Page and Dr. House 2, who collected third place on a score of 68.100 percent.

Katie Poag and Zonnekoning. Photo by Susan Stickle.
Katie Poag and Zonnekoning. Photo by Susan Stickle.

After spending their winter season in Wellington, Florida, perfecting the movements of the Grand Prix test, the pair displayed a strong connection, ultimately leading to their win and a personal best score.

“I thought it went very well today,” Poag said. “It was a fairly consistent test for us. Our trot work, as we’ve moved through the levels, has been our strongest piece and I felt like we were able to really clean up the canter work today. I was very pleased. I think we can all desire and want more, but it was a great performance today.”

Tuny Page and Dr. House 2. Photo by Susan Stickle.
Tuny Page and Dr. House 2. Photo by Susan Stickle.

Page and Dr. House 2, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Page, secured the win in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* with a final score of 68.336 percent. American rider Ashley Holzer and Sir Caramello finished in second place on a 66.784 percent, while Belinda Trussell of Canada and Tattoo 15 collected third place honors after finishing with a 65.804 percent.

Dr. House 2 is the newest member of Page’s talented string, accompanying her already confirmed Grand Prix mount, Woodstock. In just their third CDI competition together, Page feels that their relationship and communication skills are vastly improving, making each test more expressive and accurate than the last.

“He was good. He just goes from strength to strength. Every time we bring him out I learn something about him. The most important thing that I’ve learned is that he’s incredibly honest and just wants to please,” Page explained.

Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145
Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145. Photo by Susan Stickle.

American rider Ashley Holzer and Havanna 145 rode to their first major international win together in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle. Holzer and Havanna 145 scored a 73.735 percent for the win, while Canadian rider Megan Lane and San D’Or rode to second place, receiving a 72.660 percent. Rizvi and Breaking Dawn rounded out the top three finishers, earning a 71.650 percent.

Holzer represented the United States for the first time internationally after representing Canada at the highest levels of competition for majority of her career. The 10-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Diane Fellows is a new mount for Holzer, as she only arrived in the United States in December 2016. After working on strength and conditioning throughout the winter season, as well as getting to know Havanna 145’s personality, Holzer feels that the mare is something incredibly special for the future.

“I’m very aware of the music and I think the difficult part of the freestyle is the positioning of each movement,” Holzer explained. “You have to have the movements exactly where the music is going to be and I thought that it would be a good introductory routine for us.”

Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero. Photo by Susan Stickle.
Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero. Photo by Susan Stickle.

American rider Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero made an impressive FEI CDI debut in Small Tour competition at the Tryon Spring CDI3*. The pair received a 74.250 percent to secure the win in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI3*. Canadian rider Christilot Boylen and Rockylane took second place with a 72.600 percent while Holzer and Radondo finished in third place with a 71.775 percent on the final day of competition.

Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero, an 8-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, made their first FEI CDI appearance last week, taking all three classes in the Small Tour including the FEI Prix St. Georges, FEI Intermediaire I, and FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle. Blitz has had the ride since 2015 and has taken her time solidifying their communication and understanding together before pursuing a competition schedule.

“I was a little funny getting started today and was a bit behind the music from the beginning, so I played a bit of catch up,” Blitz explained. “I wasn’t sure how he would do in the rain, but quite frankly, we have such a great trust in each other now that if I tell him it’s going to be okay he goes with it.”

“There were a few little errors in the test,” she continued. “For his first time in a CDI and to do the freestyle, which we only finished two weeks ago, is just amazing. I couldn’t be happier.”


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