By Amanda Picciotto Feitosa for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL — February 22, 2021 — The 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued with week 6 national competition from Friday, February 18, through Sunday, February 20, which included top competition of all levels at Equestrian Village.
On Friday, spectators were treated to the return of United States Paralympic Gold Medalist, Roxanne Trunnell and her Paralympic mount Dolton, owned by Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint, to the show ring for the first time since their golden performance in Tokyo. They executed a beautiful test in the Para Equestrian Team TOC and followed that up on Saturday with an equally splendid test in the Para Equestrian Individual TOC class to come away with wins in both.
Dolton, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Danone I x Londonderry, received scores in Friday’s test of 82.678% from the judge at C Debby Savage (USA) and 84.642% from the judge at B Sandy Osborn (USA) for an overall score or 83.660%. In Saturday’s test, Dolton and Trunnell earned a score of 80.000% from the judge at C Kem Barbosa (USA) and 81.428% from the judge at B Debby Savage for an overall score of 80.714%, more than five points ahead of second place finisher Charlotte Merle-Smith (USA) who scored 75.293% with Guata.
“Dolton felt outstanding. He always is so relaxed on the Global show grounds that he gives me the feeling he really is enjoying what he does, and how the horse feels about his job is always a top priority for me,” commented Trunnell. “I think the best part of my tests were the serpentines. Dolton is such a big horse that the serpentine really allows him to swing through his body and bend, plus he gets to really show off that drool-worthy, sexy walk of his.”
It’s an exciting return to the show ring for Trunnell who, since Tokyo, has been focused on her training at Helgstrand Dressage USA. It looks like Dolton hasn’t skipped a beat, and Trunnell agrees that is the way he feels as well.
“It feels lovely going back into the show ring after such a period of time,” she expressed. “To have the exact same horse in the ring that I had prior to Tokyo is just awesomeness. He feels like he is ready to go out there and win another gold medal for his mom!”
Trunnell’s experience in Tokyo has reaffirmed for her the magic of her partnership with Dolton.
She explained, “Dolton is such a cool horse in that he doesn’t react to his surroundings while I’m riding. He is just so in tune with me that I feel like a marching band could walk by where I’m riding, and he wouldn’t even react to that! [Our experience at the Paralympics] showed me that if something is potentially scary in his eyes, he is going to look to me on how he should react and trusts that I won’t put him in a bad situation.”
Now that they’ve “knocked the dust off” this week, Trunnell and Dolton will be focused on the CPEDI3* at AGDF 9 on March 10-13 in preparation for the final observation event in June for the FEI World Championships in Denmark this August.
Friday’s FEI Prix St. Georges class was won by Julie McKean (USA) with Fling For U, a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Blue Hors Don Romantic x OO Seven, with a score of 73.823%. They garnered praise for their lateral work, notching scores of eight on both the half-pass to the left and to the right and were able to just edge out Vanessa Creech-Terauds (CAN) and Daniel L who scored 73.529%.
In Saturday’s FEI Prix St. Georges class, there were 11 competitors in the open section where Christopher Hickey (USA) rode to the win with 72.794% aboard Valentin, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Dalwhinnie x Regazzoni. Their consistent marks across the test propelled them to the top spot, just ahead of Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Nexolia Feodoro, who scored 72.353%.
Seven riders contested the open section of the FEI Grand Prix class, but it was Eliane Cordia van Reesema (USA) who excelled from start to finish with Codiak. Codiak, a 13-year-old Rheinlander gelding by Cristallo 7 x Carabas, demonstrated exceptional passage and pirouettes for marks of eight, which boosted his score with Cordia van Reesema to a 74.239%. Second place went to Lisa Marriott (GBR) and Valucio DH Z, who finished with 69.347%.
Competition concluded on Sunday with another notable display from 2020 Olympic team silver medalist Adrienne Lyle who rode Fürst Dream, a stallion by Fürstenball OLD owned by Betsy Juliano LLC, to a remarkable score of 96.000% in the USEF Young Horse Test for 4 Year Old class. Judges Sandy Osborn (USA) and Kem Barbosa were impressed with the trot and canter rhythm reflecting suppleness and natural balance.