Lauren Sammis & Sagacious HF, 2007 Pan American Games Gold Medalists, Win Raleigh CDI-W Grand Prix

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The USA's Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF in the Grand Prix at Raleigh CDI-W
The USA's Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF at Raleigh CDI-W. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

RALEIGH, North Carolina, May 29-Lauren Sammis, riding without her twins nearby for the first time since they were born 10 months ago, captured the Raleigh CDI-W Grand Prix Friday night with her 2007 Pan American Games team gold medal mount, Sagacious HF.

Sammis, of South Orange, New Jersey and the 10-year-old Dutch gelding owned by Al Guden’s Hyperion Farm of Wellington, Florda, were competing in only their second CDI Grand Prix. The Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro where the pair won team gold and individual silver. The Pan Am Games competition is at small tour level, Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire.

They were the unanimous choice of the five judges for first place with a score of 69.191 per cent.

Pierre St. Jacques and Lucky Tiger at Raleigh CDI. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Pierre St. Jacques and Lucky Tiger at Raleigh CDI. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Pierre St. Jacques and Lucky Tiger, also Pan Am team gold medal winners but at the Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2003, were second on 65.574 per cent with Sharon McCusker and July Sherif in third on 65.234 per cent. In fourth place was Danish Olympian Lars Petersen on his new mount, Beemer, showing in his first CDI and scoring 64.851 per cent.

Sammis, 38, gave birth to twins, a girl, Ryan, and a boy, Aidan, 10 months ago. She lives in the New York metropolitan area in summer and in Florida during winter where she competed Sagacious in his first CDI at Grand Prix in February.

The Raleigh CDI was the first World Cup qualifier in the North American League for 2010 and the only indoors competition on the East Coast of the United States.

“It was super, just incredible,” Sammis said.

Her coach, three-time Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer, who lives in New York, said the pair were developing at the right pace.

“It is difficult to have such a talented Grand Prix horse and not to push but to take it slowly and methodically to bring the horse along,” Holzer said. “Lauren is doing a great job taking her time to allow the horse’s muscles and strength to develop.”

Sammis said she is aiming Sagacious to vie for a place on the USA team for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. Her schedule is to compete in CDIs on the East Coast ahead of next year’s WEG selection trials.