Dressage Kicks off at the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival

Dressage Kicks off at the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival
Marty Bauman (508) 698-6810classic.pr@verizon.net
Caren Hunter (561) 793-5867

WELLINGTON, FL--February 8, 2001--The first of three weeks of dressagecompetition at the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL,featured levels ranging from Training level up to the top Grand Prix level.Israeli rider Oded Shimoni and his Dutch gelding Glenstern won the GrandPrix De Dressage class with 68.667%. Lynda Alicki, a 1999 Pan American Gamesteam Gold Medalist, finished second with a score of 65.533% aboardImpressario.

Later in the week, Patrick Burssens and Marianne McPhail's horse Marfil, a14-year-old Argentinean-bred gelding, won the Grand Prix Special with69.767%. Shimoni and Glenstern finished second with 65.969%.A special attraction of the Wellington Dressage was the $25,000 WindsomeDressage Show Jumping Spectacular on Saturday, February 3. Thiscrowd-pleaser paired show jumping riders with dressage riders in an excitingteam competition. Riders selected teammates, forming a duo comprised of onedressage competitor and one show jumper. The show jumping rider competed ina Third Level dressage test, while in a separate event the dressage riderjumped a course of obstacles in a Hit and Hurry jumping event. This year'swinners were U.S. Equestrian Team Olympic show jumping veteran AnneKursinski and dressage competitor Bent Jenssen.

The show culminated with German rider Hubertus Schmidt winning thecrowd-pleasing Grand Prix Freestyle, a musical ride choreographed by therider. Susan Dutta finished second with Guadalquivir DC, followed by SabineSchut and Jorrit in third.

Dressage is a test where horses must respond to subtle signals from therider and show a willingness to go forward with energy, elasticity andgrace. Horses and riders perform a designated series of movements atreference markers around an arena, and judges award scores based on thedetails of that performance. Although it is never attained, 100% is thehighest possible score. Dressage challenges riders to strive for the greaterlevels of precision and harmony, which is a pleasure to watch for equestrianand non-equestrian spectators alike.

The 2001 Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival offers $3 million in totalprizes during a ten-week series which runs in Wellington, FL (January 24 -March 18) and Tampa, FL (March 21 - March 31). The Festival hosts the$200,000 Budweiser American Invitational at Raymond James Stadium in Tampaon Saturday evening, March 31. The series then returns to Wellington for theculminating event?the American Grandprix Association Championship?April 4-8.###