Kelly Layne & Udon P Win Wellington CDI3* Freestyle for 1st Aussie Victory in 3 Years of Global Dressage Festival

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Kelly Layne of Australia on Udon P celebrating their victory in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle at Florida's Global Dressage Festival. © 2014 Ken Bradick/dressage-news.ccom
Kelly Layne of Australia on Udon P celebrating their victory in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle at Florida’s Global Dressage Festival. © 2014 Ken Bradick/dressage-news.ccom

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 7–Kelly Layne rode Udon P to victory in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle Friday for the first Australian win in the international division of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in its third year at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Udon P and the 38-year-old Kelly, married to an American and based in Wellington since the summer of 2009, scored 73.625 per cent with Germany’s Kim Jesse and Charming 8 competing in their first international competition since April last year second on 70.200 per cent and Susan Dutta of Wellington and Currency DC third on 69.925 per cent.

The score was the highest ever for Kelly individually as well as for the combination as it was in the Grand Prix Thursday when the pair placed second on  69.240 per cent just 0.040 per cent behind America’s Katherine Bateson-Chandler.

Kelly began riding the 13-year-old KWPN gelding (Hierarch x Uniform) last March after the daughter of the owner gave up riding to start a family. The horse is owned by Whistlejacket Farm of Knoxville, Tennessee.

She had seen the horse ridden for two years before she was offered the ride and was not sure initially how she would get on with it–18.1 hands in front and 17.2 hands behind (184-175cm).

“He was super light and easy to ride with great character,” she said. “I bonded with the horse extremely well.”

The owner told her: “If you like riding him you can because I like watching him.”

“It’s wonderful to have an owner who trusts you,” Kelly said. “She is very involved. She never misses a competition. There is nothing forced because there is no big goal in front of me that I feel the pressure to achieve.”

After four Freestyles, Udon has started to learn his musical cues, and she “feels more harmonious with the horse, a feeling that comes from more experience in the ring, more flowing with the music. I feel I can ride to the music.” The Abba music freestyle was composed by Marlene Whitaker of Custom Freestyles of Columbus, North Carolina.

Kelly Layne on Udon P in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2014 SusanJStickle.com
Kelly Layne on Udon P in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2014 SusanJStickle.com

Her goal is to complete the winter circuit that runs through the end of March and then fly to Europe to compete for a place on Australia’s team for the World Equestrian Games at Normandy, France in August.

Kelly, who met her husband, Steve, in Australia, left her base in Woombye on the Sunshine Coast an hour north of Brisbane in 2006 to be on the Aussie team at the WEG in Aachen, Germany in 2006. They then moved to Colorado before heading to Wellington.

Although she could become an American citizen, Kelly said she would always ride for Australia lthough she is unlikely to move back Down Under.

She has found the access to quality horses is higher in the United States, a much bigger country with many more people supporting the sports. Plus, she has South American clients many of whom are based in Florida and she maintains a customer base in Japan that she developed when she was in Australia.

Her husband’s two children by a previous marriage are aged 21 and 18 and enjoy living in Florida.

Kelly’s mother is Helen Anstee, an Australian A level judge who is a frequent visitor to Florida and was here for Friday’s victory.

Results:

Grand Prix Freestyle
E: Wuest – GER H: Rockwell – USA C: Fore – USA M: Baarup – DEN B: Almasy – FRA
Rider Horse Breed Sex Sire Birth Year E H C M B T Pl.
Layne, Kelly-AUS Udon P Kwpn Gelding Hierarch 2001 74.250 72.375 73.750 72.375 75.375 73.625 1
Jesse, Kim -GER Charming 8 RHEIN Stallion Champus 1998 73.125 70.125 68.000 71.250 68.500 70.200 2
Dutta,  – Susan-USA Currency DC OLD Gelding Clintino 2000 71.875 72.125 70.875 69.250 65.500 69.925 3
Barisone, Michael-USA HF Victor TRAK Gelding Gribaldi 2002 70.750 69.250 69.250 71.250 68.375 69.775 4
Perry, Kasey-USA Trostruplunds Scarlet Danish warmblood Mare Blue hors don shufro 1999 70.000 67.875 68.000 68.750 66.750 68.275 5
Kaldewei, Maria- GER
Die Suesse OLD Mare Diamond Hit 2002 67.500 67.250 66.375 70.875 67.375 67.875 6
Vander Ploeg, Gary – CAN Degas Oldenburg Gelding Donnerhall 1999 68.625 65.875 68.250 70.250 64.625 67.525 7
Rizzo, Sylvia-ITA Sal Lusitano Stallion Mississipe 1999 66.375 60.625 64.500 63.250 63.250 63.600 8
Vaughan, Joanne-GEO Prego KWPN Stallion Zazou 1997 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0