CDI 3* Tryon: Ashley Holzer Dressed In Black won the Kur

The second day of the FEI CDI 3* presented by Adequan® at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) concluded with Ashley Holzer (CAN) and Dressed In Black securing another victory, this time in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan®with a score of 71.502%.

Ashley Holzer and Dressed In Black in their presentation ceremony with Sharon Decker of TIEC, judge Linda Zang (USA), and Allyn Mann of Adequan®. (photo © SharonPackerPhotography).

 

James Koford (USA) and Don Principe finished in second place with a 66.100%, while Nora Batchelder (USA) and Bahai earned a 66.050% in their second FEI competition together for third place. Competition at TIEC concludes tomorrow with the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan®, beginning at 2:45 p.m.

Holzer and Dressed In Black performed their first FEI Grand Prix Freestyle of the season, riding with poise and confidence in the George H. Morris Arena. The test was a good experience for both horse and rider, while Holzer admitted she made a few rider errors, which impacted their score.

James Koford and Don Principe (photo © SharonPackerPhotography).

“I would say that I have not ridden this freestyle routine many times and I was just really trying to navigate my way through and he doesn’t know the pattern that well yet,” said Ashley Holzer. “He hasn’t ever been out into anything like this and I was just trying to keep him calm and steady through it.”

Dressed In Black has come into his own over the course of the past few months and Holzer is pleased not only with the progression in technique and understanding, but also with his willingness in the ring. The impressive 2005 Westphalian stallion (Dresemann x Sweetheart) owned by Holzer and Dr. Diane Fellows, has made a triumphant return to competition and Holzer will look to continue their progress over the next few months.
“There were some mistakes in the twos that were not his fault. What’s amazing to me though is that he goes into that ring, which has all of that feeling and electricity and he really tries hard. He’s doing the very best he can for where he is right now in his fitness level. I’m just very proud of him.”
James Koford and Don Principe have a longstanding partnership, as the two have been working together for more than seven years. Koford noted that gaining experience, no matter the tenure of the relationship, is still very important to the pair.
“He’s been my buddy for a long time. This is his eighth year at Grand Prix so we’ve had this freestyle since he was nine or ten and now he’s seventeen. We pretty much have it down pat,” laughed James Koford. “It’s always fun to ride a freestyle in this atmosphere though. The setting is beautiful and the crowd was very enthusiastic. I’m very pleased with how it went.”
In just their second FEI CDI competition together, Nora Batchelder and Bahai finished their Grand Prix Freestyle choreography with a score of 66.050%. Batchelder of Williston, FL, and the 2004 Hanoverian mare (Baroncelli x SPS Rose) rose to the occasion and handled the mare’s anxiety in the large arena well during their test.
“This is our second CDI together and it’s been great to ride in this venue. It’s just unbelievable and the footing is incredible. The first test yesterday, she was a little bit worried with the atmosphere and the flags, but she was more confident today,” commented Nora Batchelder.

Nora Batchelder and Bahai (photo © SharonPackerPhotography).

“This is our third time riding the freestyle and the music gives her a bit of confidence. I was proud of her because she definitely stepped up to overcome some of what she was nervous about yesterday. It was a great way to finish the weekend,” she continued.

Adequan® has been a longstanding supporter of dressage for a number of years and served as title sponsor for this week’s inaugural FEI CDI 3*. Allyn Mann of Adequan® was on hand throughout the week and discussed the presence and importance of their sponsorship at the facility, as it generates interest and ultimately expands the sport.
“This goes all the way back to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival and the relationship between Mark [Bellissimo] and myself. Both of us really believed that venue would be something special. Coming to Tryon and seeing this beautiful facility, knowing that we’re dealing with the same footprint for the sport, is very special,” said Allyn Mann. “This will be a wonderful place for the dressage world to come and it will be a game changer for the community.”
Renowned judge Linda Zang (USA) also commented on the competition at TIEC this week and expressed her excitement with the possibilities and opportunities the facility offers competitors of all levels.
“I think that we had a great group of riders here this week and I was very glad to see a lot of Canadian combinations in this group. This will become a great stop for people traveling from the south back up north after the winter season,” elaborated Linda Zang. “I think we’ll see more and more riders here. I’m hopeful that there will be a lot more American riders who can swing through as well. This venue will encourage more CDI competitions outside of Florida and California, which I think is fantastic.”
CDI 3* Tryon – Grand Prix Freestyle – 23 April 2016
Jury: Wessels – Torrente – Zang – Osinski – Tubman
 
1° Ashley Holzer (Canada) – Dressed In Black  71.502%
2° James Koford (USA) – Don Principe 66.100%
3° Nora Batchelder (USA) – Bahai 66.050%