Kassandra Barteau Clinches Young Rider World Cup Final Berth

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Kassandra Barteau and GP Raymeister after their Young Rider Freestyle. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kassandra Barteau and GP Raymeister after their Young Rider Freestyle. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

DEVON, Pennsylvania, Sept. 27–Kassandra Barteau and GP Raymeister clinched the U.S. berth in the Young Rider World Cup Final in Germany in December by maintaining her lead in qualifying scores at the musical freestyle at Devon Sunday.

Kassandra came second in a head-to-head musical freestyle competition with Caroline Roffman and Bulgari 5 but Caroline’s winning score of 71.800 per cent was not high enough to overtake Kassandra who scored 69.350 per cent to place second in Sunday’s FEI Young Rider Freestyle.

Sloppy conditions after more than 12 hours of unrelenting rain produced cautious freestyle rides in the last qualifying opportunity for Kassandra of Maple Park, Illinois and Caroline of Wellington, Florida, both aged 21 and in their last year at Young Rider.

The two had entered Devon separated by only one half of a percentage point that resulted from the two scores that count for qualification for the World Cup Final. Kassie’s combined average on the Gina Frantz owned GP Raymeister was 73.375 per cent, while the combined score for Caroline and Bulgari was 72.90 per cent. Both riders have won the prestigious Fiona Baan “Pusuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy

Kassie and the 10-year-old Holsteiner stallion was the first of the top two young riders into the arena, directly ahead of Caroline and her 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding.

Kassandra Barteau and GP Raymeister. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kassandra Barteau and GP Raymeister. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

She said the footing was “really fine” though a little slippery and she rode more carefully to the music from “The Man from Snowy River.” The warmup was “more working on his mind and not the physical exercises to get him to be with me.”

“I was really calm and collected,” she said. “My attitude was whatever happens, happens. I will go out and do my best.”

And it was good enough to win the all-expense paid trip to represent the United States at the Young Rider World Cup Final in Frankfurt, Germany, Dec. 17-20.

Caroline Roffman and Bulgari 5. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Caroline Roffman and Bulgari 5. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Caroline, whose horse had been out of work for two years with an injury, was placed first by four of the five judges with scores ranging from 71 to 74.250 per cent, the exception being Bo Jenå of Sweden who placed her second at 68 per cent behind Kassie.

Caroline said Sunday’s victory was “bittersweet” as the ride was good enough to win at the prestigious Dressage at Devon but not good enough to win the trip to Germany.

Because of the sloppy footing, she did not ride “with my foot to the floor” but performed a clean test and showed off what the horse could do best.

Caroline Roffman and Bulgari 5. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Caroline Roffman and Bulgari 5. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Caroline said that she is working with sports psychologist Jenny Susser of the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City who teaches that one cannot lie to oneself.

So, she said, I had to accept “this is the biggest thing I have ever had to fight for.

“What I take away from this is great. I did not fold, I did not cave under pressure.”