Ashley Holzer & Pop Art Win Royal Grand Prix Freestyle for 3rd Year

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Ashley Holzer and Pop Art at The Royal. © 2010 © Ben Radvanyi
Ashley Holzer and Pop Art at The Royal. © 2010 © Ben Radvanyi

TORONTO, Nov. 11–Ashley Holzer on her World Equestrian Games and Olympic mount Pop Art won the Grand Prix Freestyle at The Royal Horse Show CDI3* for the third straight year Thursday night.

Only five riders, all Canadians, competed in the freestyle with performances set to classical, jazz and Latin music. But Ashley Holzer took the risk with hands in the air in a performance that started with Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling.”

“My daughter came up with the idea to do something fun,” said Ashley of the ride on the 13-year-old. “I thought it was a good idea for something new to do.”

The pair finished with a score of 75.150 per cent, with Jacqueline Brooks on Gran Gesto second on 71.000 per cent and Victoria Winter and Proton third on 69.550 per cent.  Simone Williams on Wunder Ein was 4th with 65.550 per cent and Liz Steacie and Spotless 5th on 64.850 per cent.

“Overall it was a very nice test,” said president of the Ground Jury, Mercedes Campdera, of Mexico. “It was very correct and very harmonious, and that is something you want to see. You want the musicality but you never want to forget the technical part. That’s really important. I gave her 8’s for her tempi changes, they were very well ridden. Today she had a big improvement. But I really, really liked her piaffes – they were the highlight. It was fun.”

Ashley, who lives in New York, said she traveled to her homeland to compete because of her enjoyment showing before her home crowd, but more than anything, to again receive the Nicoll Award, a tribute to her late father.