North America’s Only CDI5* for 2012 Starts Thursday at Global Dressage Festival

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Canada's David Marcus and Chrevi's Capital in the Global Dressage Festival CDI5* Vet check. © 2012 SusanJStickle.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 28–A light show spectacular will open the inaugural $120,000 Global Dressage Festival musical freestyle Friday night in the only CDI5* in North America in 2012.

Most of the top United States and Canadian horses and rider as well as Anja Plönzke of Germany and Le Mont d’Or and the Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz and Liebling II will start in the Grand Prix Thursday seeking to be in the top eight and move on to the freestyle.

The CDI5* is the first part of a twin bill of 5* competitions at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center with a $500,000 CSI5* jumping event scheduled for Saturday night as the finale of 12 weeks of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.

Twenty combinations will start Thursday in the Grand Prix with $12,000 (€9,000) in prize money in the centerpiece International Arena at the multimillion dollar GDF show grounds hosting their first season of dressage shows.

The top eight will move on to Friday night’s freestyle which starts with an openng ceremony featuring a deejay, laser show with sparklers and “silk dancers” starting at 7:30 p.m. A Jumbotron will display the rides for spectators and each combination will be interviewed “live” as they leave the arena after their ride.

The freestyle alone offers $84,000 (€63,000) in prize money, with $25,200 (€18,900) going to the winner.

The Grand Prix Special earlier Friday offers a total of $24,000 (€18,000) in prize money for 12 combinations.

U.S. combinations include Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho, and Wizard, Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida, Todd Flettrich and Otto, Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Nartan, Heather Blitz and Paragon and Arlene Page and Wild One, all of Wellington.

Olympians Ashley Holzer and Breaking Dawn, Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro and Evi Strasser and Action Tyme are among the Canadian competitors.

Admission and stadium seating is free for the entire competition, as is general parking while tables for six in the Global Pavilion are $1,500 including meals, as well as dinner and an open bar Friday night.

Startlist for the Grand Prix Thursday:

Rider Horse Country
Ride Time
Arlene Page Wild One USA 9:00:00 AM
David Marcus Chrevi’s Capital CAN 9:09:00 AM
Christopher Hickey Douglas Hilltop USA 9:18:00 AM
Kathrine Bateson Nartan USA 9:27:00 AM
Joni Lynn Peters Travolta CAN 9:36:00 AM
Yvonne Losos De Muniz Liebling II DOM 10:00:00 AM
Heather Blitz Paragon USA 10:09:00 AM
Elisabeth Austin Olivier USA 10:18:00 AM
Gary Vander Ploeg Cezanne CAN 10:27:00 AM
Evi Strasser Action Tyme CAN 10:36:00 AM
Jacqueline Brooks D Niro CAN 11:00:00 AM
James Koford Rhett USA 11:09:00 AM
Pierre St Jacques Lucky Tiger USA 11:18:00 AM
Victoria Winter Proton CAN 11:27:00 AM
Tina Konyot Calecto V USA 11:36:00 AM
Adrienne Lyle Wizard USA 12:00:00 PM
Todd Flettrich Otto USA 12:09:00 PM
Shawna Harding Come On III USA 12:18:00 PM
Ashley Holzer Breaking Dawn CAN 12:27:00 PM
Anja Plonzke Le Mont D’Or GER 12:36:00 PM