June 29, 2006 – Ottawa, Ontario – The first CDI dressage show of the season was held in
On the opening day of competition at the CDI3* Ottawa Summer Dressage Classic, organized by Cara Whitham and held June 22-25, hometown girl Simone Williams topped the 19-horse field in the national division of the Prix St. Georges. Simone has only just moved her eight-year-old Hannoverian gelding up to the advanced level, having claimed the Fourth Level Championship three weeks earlier at a national show held at the
With a score of 67%, Simone is on track to meet the qualifying criteria for the Pan American Games. Her horse, Wunder Ein, is an incredibly elastic horse that appears to float over the sand in the dressage arena, and his floppy ears endear him to spectators.
"Developing the communication necessary to compete with a horse at the top levels of the sport is a very long process," Simone pointed out. "I purchased Wunder Ein as a two-year-old in
Simone was a member of
Another hard working individual now realizing the fruits of her labour is Diane Creech. She has done all the training on Wiona, a nine-year-old chestnut Hannoverian mare by Weltmeyer that is owned by Doug and Louise Leatherdale. Now in their third season showing at the advanced level, Diane says Wiona is "more mature, and better able to understand what I am asking her to do." The pair won both the Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I tests in the CDI3* Division with scores of 68.80% and 70.35% respectively.
Diane, who was born in
"We moved to Germany when I was five, so I did grow up there and am really looking forward to going back," says Diane who is married and has two children, Patrick, 10, and Vanessa, 5. "Of course, my main focus is on training and competing, but I do hope to find some time to visit some old friends that I have kept in touch with over the years."
Andrea Bresee and Raffles prevented Diane and Wiona from making a clean sweep of the advanced level by claiming the Intermediaire Freestyle. Performing to a Celtic-inspired musical piece entitled 'Middle Earth Quest of the Dream Warrior', Andrea topped the field with a score of 71.55%.
For the past decade, Andrea has been training at Franklands Farm in
"She's not an easy mare in her temperament, so when she gives herself to me, it is a great feeling because she is very talented," explains Andrea, 31. A certified Level III coach who has many of her own clients, Andrea says she enjoys training with Gina because "she is wonderful in the consistency that she has, and in her attention to detail."
Gina and Faith Berghuis own Raffles, and are very happy to give Andrea the opportunity to compete at the higher levels with the mare. Like Simone and Diane, Andrea's goal is also to qualify for the Pan American Games. With over 40 entries in the national and CDI divisions of the Prix St. Georges at the Ottawa Summer Dressage Classic alone, there will be shortage of talent when the time comes to name the Canadian Team.
Finally, congratulations must be extended to Evi Strasser on her victories in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle. Evi choose to support the both the
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