Cesar Parra & Olympia Take Lead in US Int. 1 Champs

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Cesar Parra and Olympia. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Cesar Parra and Olympia. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By JOANIE MORRIS

GLADSTONE, New Jersey, Aug. 7–Cesar Parra, a seasoned international rider for his native Colombia, took the lead Saturday in the U.S. Intermediaire Championship on Olympia, his first try for a national title as an American citizen.

The classy combination put in a fluid and energetic test, Olympia has plenty of flash and Parra was able to produce a 73.263 per cent score out of the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.

The energetic gelding by Jazz (owned by Lori Washton) went one better than their runner-up finish from the first leg of the championship and cruised to the lead with a very polished effort.

“I was very happy because today he was the horse that I like to ride,” Parra said. “Yesterday he was a little tense. When I came up the hill and he felt so good. I wanted to get ahead of Kassie, she has a superb horse, I knew I needed to get two points ahead of her and I think I did it. It was probably the best Intermediaire I have had on him. I was very, very pleased.”

Parra’s new found patriotism was evident after he put in his winning performance and his emotion was unharnessed.

“If you believe in something and you work hard, you will get it,” Parra said. “To be here for the first year as an American winning the championship is like a dream come true.”

Kassandra Barteau, Friday’s winner and the Young Rider National Champion from 2008 and 2009 settled for second Saturday. Kassie of Maple Park, Illinois, followed Parra into the ring for the second day in a row but she couldn’t quite trump his score today. Barteau’s test was accurate and determined and Toscano remained consistent to pick up runner-up honors on 71.105 per cent. Owned by Kristin Cooper, the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding shares the same sire as Olympia – but presents a completely different picture in the ring.

This result moves Parra into the overall lead going in to the finale, Sunday’s freestyle. The Prix St. Georges counted 45 per cent, the Intermediaire I counts 30 per cent and the Freestyle counts 25 per cent.

Kassandra Barteau and Toscano. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kassandra Barteau and Toscano. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Another Barteau cracked the top three when Kassandra’s Mother, Yvonne guided GP Raymeister, owned by Grand Prix Equestrian, to a third place finish. GP Raymeister was Kassandra’s mount when she won the National Young Rider Dressage Championship in 2009 and competed at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Final in Germany last winter. She handed the reins over to her mother early this spring, and the switch seems to suit both horse and rider.

“We trade horses back and forth,” explained Yvonne. “Right now she’s a better rider than a trainer, that’s her age. I am super happy to sit here.”

Their score of 69.737 per cent rewarded a more dynamic effort than in the Prix St. Georges.

“She was a natural, she had to do it all on her own,” said Yvonne about Kassie. “She had to figure it out on her own and it’s amazing how much she partners with these horses. Kassie is very good at riding for today. I let myself be too much of a trainer in the ring. When you’re a trainer you sometimes ride for the next ride.”

Complete scores:

H: Ransehousen – USA C: Yukins – USA M: Mechlem – GER B: Gurney – USA
Rider Ctzn Horse E % Rk. H % Rk. C % Rk. M % Rk. B % Rk. T % Pl.
Parra, Cesar USA Olympia 73.684% 1 72.895% 1 72.895% 1 73.684% 1 73.158% 1 73.263% 1
Barteau, Kassandra USA Toscano 72.105% 2 72.368% 2 70.000% 2 71.316% 2 69.737% 3 71.105% 2
Barteau, Yvonne USA GP Raymeister 68.684% 5 71.316% 3 69.211% 3 70.000% 4 69.474% 4 69.737% 3
Hickey, Christopher USA Cabana Boy 68.947% 4 68.947% 4 68.421% 5 68.158% 8 66.842% 5 68.263% 4
Festerling, Marisa USA Big Tyme 70.263% 3 66.053% 14 67.105% 8 70.526% 3 66.842% 5 68.158% 5
Roffman, Caroline USA Bulgari 5 67.632% 8 67.632% 5 69.211% 3 69.474% 6 66.053% 10 68.000% 6
Marchand, Jennifer USA Don Principe 67.895% 7 67.105% 7 66.579% 10 67.895% 9 70.263% 2 67.947% 7
Jackson, Cyndi USA Strauss 68.158% 6 67.632% 5 67.368% 7 70.000% 4 66.316% 9 67.895% 8
LeGoy-Weltz, Olivia USA Rifallino 66.842% 9 67.105% 7 67.895% 6 68.684% 7 66.842% 5 67.474% 9
Williams, George USA Don Bailey 66.316% 11 66.579% 10 66.579% 10 66.842% 11 66.842% 5 66.632% 10
Barteau, Kassandra USA GP Delano 65.263% 13 67.105% 7 64.737% 15 67.105% 10 65.000% 12 65.842% 11
Batts, Tami USA Ranko 66.842% 9 66.579% 10 66.842% 9 65.789% 13 62.895% 15 65.789% 12
Rosencrantz, Mette USA Finally 64.211% 14 66.579% 10 66.579% 10 66.053% 12 65.263% 11 65.737% 13
Taylor, Melissa USA Chicco Roslev 65.789% 12 65.000% 15 65.000% 13 65.789% 13 63.947% 14 65.105% 14
Mason, Heather USA Glen Emeril 63.158% 15 66.316% 13 65.000% 13 64.474% 15 64.474% 13 64.684% 15
Rosencrantz, Mette USA Taison 62.105% 16 62.632% 16 62.105% 16 61.579% 16 61.579% 16 62.000% 16