A Hallmark Performance for Diane Creech at Canada’s CDI-W Blainville International

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Diane Creech and Hallmark. © 2009 cealytetley.com
Diane Creech and Hallmark. © 2009 cealytetley.com
BLAINVILLE, Quebec, Canada, June 26–Diane Creech showed Doug and Louise Leatherdale’s Hallmark to a score of 8.3 in the Five-Year-Old Final before stormy weather forced postponement of the CDI-W Blainville International Classic Dressage Show Friday.Heavy rain, wind, thunder and lightning caused organizers to postpone the Grand Prix Special until Saturday, but before the storm Creech of Caistor Centre, Ontario, completed the final receiving the same mark the pair received a day earlier in preliminary competition. Hallmark’s highest scores were for his walk (8.8), canter (8.5) and general impression (8.5).

“The judges said he had an almost perfect walk, with perfect rhythm and over track,” said owner Louise Leatherdale. Hallmark is sired by the Leatherdale’s stallion, His Highness, who was lost after fracturing a leg in 2007. “Hallmark is a typical ‘Highness,’ and sometimes you really see his father when you look at him.”

Creech has international aspirations for the young horse, which she described as having a wonderful character, both playful and intrigued to learn new exercises.

“To train him is a pleasure,” said Creech, who won a Team Silver Medal at the 2007 Pan American Games riding Wiona, also owned by the Leatherdales. “He comes out every day and likes to work.”

Second in the Five-Year-Old Final with a score of 7.8 was Neil McIntosh of Ste-Adele, Quebec, riding Andrea Kierulf’s Oldenburg gelding, Rigaudon Tyme. Andrea Bresee of Uxbridge, Ontario, placed third with 7.48 on Pericles, a Hanoverian gelding owned by Loretta Flynn. Evi Strasser of Ste-Adele, Quebec, with Renaissance won the Six-Year-Old Final for a score of 7.18.

 Cheryl Meisner and Paganin at Blainville. © 2009 CealyTetley.com
Cheryl Meisner and Paganin at Blainville. © 2009 CealyTetley.com

On Thursday, Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, Nova Scotia won the Grand Prix.

The 33-degree (91F) temperatures had no apparent effect on Meisner’s mount Paganini, John Risley’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, whose expressive passage, piaffe and canter tour earned a score of 67.106 per cent.

“I was trying to do better today than I did last week,” said Meisner who, in the previous week’s competition, placed second in the Grand Prix before winning Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle.

Not only did she improve on her second place finish a week ago at the CDI Blainville Summer Classic, but her score was also a personal best in the Grand Prix test. Meisner attributes her success partly to the fact that she has spent the past seven years training with former Dutch dressage team coach Bert Rutten.

“He is really an effective trainer, and he knows my horses like the back of his hand,” said Meisner. “That makes a huge difference.”

The two back-to-back CDI events held in Blainville  are qualifying events for the 2010 World Cup Final.

Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, Ontario, riding the nine-year-old Anton received 66.468 per cent to place second while 2008 Olympian Jacqueline Brooks of Mt. Albert, Ontario and Gran Gesto, owned by Anne Welch and Brinc Ltd. were third with a score of 65.830 per cent.