Articles: Press Release
Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF Win Intermediaire Freestyle In a 'New
York State of Mind,' Despite 'Pressure'
PHOTO CREDIT: Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF. Photo by Susan J. Stickle.
Chrissy Lane of
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Wellington, FL - March 25, 2007 - Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF ended
the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI-W CDI Y with a bang,
winning the FEI Intermediaire Freestyle CDI.
In the first freestyle of her career, Sammis rode first in the class of
eleven and earned a 72.100 percent with the 8-year-old Dutch gelding.
Although she is an experienced competitor, she said that she hadn't been
paired with a horse for enough time to warrant making a freestyle.
"My main business has always been sales, so I don't always have a horse
that I'm competing long term," Sammis explained. "If you're going to
work on your music and all that stuff, it's a monetary investment and a
time investment, and I think you need to have a long-term goal there.
This is the first horse that I've been able to have a long-term
As far as today's outcome was concerned, Sammis said she was thrilled.
"I think it went really, really well. It went so much better than I
could have thought, and it's a good beginning. Today was one of the best
days I've ever had on him. He was waiting on me and was patient - he was
The highly technical parts of her choreography include two-tempi changes
on centerline, a half-pass sequence that appears at the grand prix level
and pirouettes on centerline. Her music, which she had decided on before
the kur was designed, is a variety of Billy Joel tunes. The trot work is
accompanied by "Only the Good Die Young" and "Pressure," the canter
follows "In the Middle of the Night" and the walk is "New York State of
"I wanted to do Billy Joel. I wanted to do one artist and a collection
of their songs," Sammis described. "When you watch a freestyle that
people really like, it's the songs they know, so it was really important
that people knew the music. I then got in touch with Terry Gallo, and
she worked on the music with me and she helped me with the
choreography...We just got it finished two days ago. Today was the first
time I actually rode through it and heard the music and everything."
She added that one of her favorite parts of the test is a series of
two-tempis across the diagonal that "was just written for him - the
music hits it every time." Sammis also joked that "Pressure" is
especially good for the extended trot down centerline.
"There's a little bit of pressure when you're coming down centerline
with six judges standing there! So, I thought that was kind of fitting,"
While Sammis has had an outstanding winter in Florida, she and Sagacious
HF are not yet qualified for the Pan American Games selection trials in
Gladstone, NJ. However, she noted that she will compete at a few more
qualifiers, but her main goal is to bring the young horse up to the top
level as "a great grand prix horse."
Canadian Ashley Holzer and Jornello finished just behind Sammis with a
71.400 percent. Another native of Canada, Simone Williams, piloted
Wunder Ein to third place and a 69.400 percent in the Intermediaire
In the FEI Young Rider Freestyle CDIY, Hannah Holland Shook rode Cape
Town to a first place finish and a 68.150 percent. The pair's music
included La Bamba, Summer Love and Salsa Bonita. Ana DiGironimo and
Cadanz danced to second place with a 67.100 percent, and Devon Kane and
Douwe rounded out the top three spots with a 66.700 percent.