Articles: Press Release
Kelly Burke Hayner and Rantaro Triumph in FEI Grand Prix de Dressage
Kelly Burke Hayner rode Rantaro to the highest score in today's FEI Grand
Prix de Dressage at Dressage by the Bay Series II in Traverse City, MI.
Photo © 2009 Lauren Fisher/PMG.
Lauren Fisher for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City, MI - July 31, 2009 - It was another gorgeous day at
Flintfields Horse Park this afternoon as the FEI Intermediaire I and FEI
Grand Prix de Dressage classes were held in the Grand Prix Ring. Horse
Sports by the Bay, Inc. has been awarded the opportunity to host the 2010
Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation Region 2
Dressage Championships based on prior performance producing quality dressage
shows, and this year's Dressage by the Bay Series is carrying on that
quality. Dressage by the Bay Series II will continue through tomorrow
evening with much more exciting competition.
Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez judged today's classes, which were generously
sponsored by Hampton Green Farm. The FEI Intermediaire I class was first to
show, and Colleen Haveman and Warello continued their success, again taking
the top score in the open division with a 69.737%.
The FEI Grand Prix de Dressage followed, and Kelly Burke Hayner of Hamburg,
MI, rode Rantaro to the high score in the open division with a 64.681%.
Rantaro is a 13-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding (Rantaras x High Voltage
MMP) that Hayner and a partner have owned for two years. When Hayner first
got Rantaro he was at Fourth Level and this is now his first year showing
"He is without question the most amazing horse I have ever ridden," Hayner
smiled. "Even though this is his first year, he makes the Grand Prix feel
easy. I come out of the ring and I feel like I could go in and try it
again. His mistakes are mine. He is very, very generous and he is the most
honest, trying horse."
Hayner spoke about today's Grand Prix test, stating, "Today was good. Today
was day three, so he was a little bit tired, but I still loved the way it
felt. It was forward and rhythmical. It was supple and it felt very
through. Overall I am so thrilled. I expected the first year to just be
about getting in and doing the test, and I really didn't expect him to be as
reliable and successful as he has been."
Hayner owns Rantaro with a partner, and she explained that the agreement was
that they would sell him after two years. "He has turned out to be a
spectacular Grand Prix horse, so it is going to be really hard for me to let
him go," she acknowledged. "My goal is to find a sponsor that will buy out
the half that my partner has so that I can still be in control. I can't
imagine anyone who wouldn't want him. He has no holes; there is nothing in
the Grand Prix that is hard for him. He is totally sound, he is totally
healthy, and he is supple and soft and light. You can ride him in a snaffle,
I have never taken him down the centerline with a whip, and he does the
Grand Prix in a small spur. I don't know too many horses like that."
Hayner has been coming to Dressage by the Bay since its start several years
ago, and expressed how much she loves riding at the show. "I come every
year and I absolutely adore it here," she smiled. "The footing is amazing,
the staff is amazing, and the show grounds are very sophisticated, which is
a really good experience for the horses. I will continue to come. I think
it is a wonderful show facility and the staff are so accommodating; you just
don't find that everywhere you go."
One of the most exciting aspects of today's test for Hayner was getting to
show in the spacious Grand Prix Ring overlooking Traverse City. "It is
amazing," she grinned. "It is a little intimidating because you don't know
how the horse is going to feel down there by himself, but so far all of my
horses have been very relaxed and very secure, and I think a lot of that has
to do with the footing. The footing is so far superior here and the horses
know it, so their backs can stay loose, they can stay supple, and they don't
have to worry about themselves."
Along with the exciting dressage competition, Flintfields Horse Park also
hosted the By the Bay Local Rider Day Finals all day. Today's classes were
the conclusion to the By the Bay Local Rider Series, which consisted of five
shows held April through July at both Flintfields Horse Park and Northern
Pines Farm in Maple City, MI. Shows offered classes for the local Northwest
Michigan hunter/hunt seat riders and the all-breed English/Western
community. Today's show served as the finals where the series year-end
awards were presented.
Dressage by the Bay Series II will continue tomorrow at Flintfields Horse
Park with more exciting dressage competition including musical freestyles.
The 2009 Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival will continue through
Sunday, August 2. For more information, please visit
Kelly Burke Hayner and Rantaro