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Holzer Continues Winning Streak at Zada WEF Dressage Classic CDI3* | Print |
Ashley Holzer and Jacqueline Brooks (Susan J. Stickle Photo)March 28, 2008 — It was another fantastic weekend for Canada during the CDI 3*–Y/J Zada WEF Dressage Classic, held March 20 to March 23, 2008, in Wellington, FL, USA.

Canadian double Olympian Ashley Holzer, a current resident of New York, NY, started the competition off by winning the Grand Prix class riding Pop Art (Amsterdam x Cabouchon), an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Holzer and Ian Nicoll. Their score was 73.042%. The last minute switch of the Grand Prix Freestyle from Saturday night to Easter Sunday, because of torrential rains, evidently had no effect on Holzer or Pop Art as they continued to dominate the Grand Prix Freestyle with aAshley Holzer and Jacqueline Brooks (Susan J. Stickle Photo) 76.800%, the high score of the competition.

“Pop Art never ceases to amaze me. He has shown such consistency throughout the whole season at all types of different venues,” remarked Holzer, who continues to climb the FEI Dressage Riders’ World Ranking List and currently sits in 13th position. “It has been so exciting to see how comfortable and confident he is this year.”

Jacqueline Brooks from Mount Albert, ON, and Gran Gesto (Grannox x Goldstern), a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Brinc Ltd. and Anne Welch, finished just behind Holzer in the very competitive Grand Prix class (68.542%). Brooks kept the maple leaf at the top of the leader board with another second place in the Grand Prix Freestyle with 72.200%, having the distinction of being one of only three Grand Prix riders who were awarded scores in the 70’s by the international judging panel. The scores also bested their previous results at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby held in early March this year.

“Our results are very exciting. Our goal when we came to Florida was to get our Olympic qualifying scores early, so we could take a bit of risk in the ring at this last competition. Our plan worked,” noted Brooks, making reference to the qualifying scores achieved at the February Palm Beach Derby CDI3* which puts her in contention for the 2008 Olympic Games Canadian Dressage Team along with Holzer. “Now we will go home and rest a little and watch how the rest of the Canadian riders do in Europe and on the west coast.”

The Grand Prix Freestyle class also saw Chris von Martels, of Ridgetown, ON, with Hesperos (Donaumonarch x Heronia), a 14-year-old Trakehner stallion owned by Lori and Steve Raciopo, finish with 67.050% for seventh position. Denielle Gallagher of Saint John, NB, and Gallaway’s Abrikos, her 17-year-old Russian-bred stallion, rode to a score of 64.300% in the Grand Prix Freestyle test to finish in ninth.

Canadians could also be found in the Advanced division including Simone Willams of Navan, ON, and Wunder Ein, Willams’ 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding sired by Wolkenstein II. The pair finished in sixth, with a score of 65.750%, in the Prix St. Georges, eighth in the Intermediaire I (65.200%) and second in the Intermediaire Freestyle (67.900%). Jaimey Irwin of Lakefield, ON, and Judith Carter’s 11-year-old Hanoverian (Weltmeyer) mare White Socks, finished in seventh in the Prix St. Georges class with 65.583%. Holzer and Rubicon placed 10th in the Prix St. Georges with 64.583%.

The international judging panel included Axel Steiner (FEI O—USA), Cara Whitham (FEI O—CAN), Mariette Withages (FEI O—GER), Uwe Spenlen (FEI I—GER), Bernard Maurel (FEI O—FRA), Lorraine MacDonald (FEI I—CAN), Janet Lee Brown-Foy (FEI I—USA), and Marian E. Cunningham (FEI I—PER).

About Dressage Canada

Dressage Canada, as a committee of Equine Canada, is the national governing body for dressage in Canada. Dressage Canada's objective is to foster the growth of dressage and the pursuit of excellence in the sport at the local, national and international levels. Dressage Canada provides support and guidance to both amateur and professional through the following programs: coaching education and programs, officials’ education and programs, rules & qualifying criteria, sport development, publications & awards. For more information about Dressage Canada, please visit the Dressage section of the Equine Canada site.