Susan Dutta & Currency DC Win Wellington CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 23, 2014–America’s Susan Dutta rode Currency DC to their first victory in a year to capture the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday with a personal best score that featured the horse’s outstanding piaffe and passage.
The victory for Susie of Wellington, Florida and the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding with a score of 71.950 per cent came just hours before her coach, Christoph Koschel, flew home to Hagen, Germany after five weeks in Wellington. Of the five riders from five nations in the Freestyle, three were his students.
Canada’s Olympic and World Cup partnership of Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro were second on 71.275 per cent and Germany’s Maria Kaldewei and Die Suesse were third on 68.625 per cent.
Susie changed the choreography to accompany the music from “Slumdog Millionaire”with it’s refrain of “jai ho,” or “Bless you” in Hindi, for her Indian-born husband.
“I’ve done this choreography a few times this year,” she said, “and I kept having mistakes in the changes. We were finally like, ‘Let’s change the lines to make it so that we can have some success of a clean trip.’ And it was good. It worked. So that was a nice feeling.
“I’m just right now trying to get clean, technical tricks. That’s a huge success for me. I’ve never been a fancy choreography rider. I always have great music, but I like to be a safe rider.”
“I don’t do anything too crazy tricky because the horse is pretty flamboyant in those movements, so you want [the judges and audience] to just be able to watch and enjoy him and not be too radical in the movements.”
She plans to compete Currency again in the final weeks of the Global Dressage Festival, take a month off then head back to Europe for training with Christoph Koschel and competitions in Germany.
If she feels the pair could be competitive for the American squad of eight combinations that will go to Europe to bid for a place on the team for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France she will fly back for the selection trials at Gladstone, New Jersey in June.
“Curry” (Clintino x Classiker) was bought as a two-year-old by her husband, Tim, and Susie trained the Oldenburg gelding to Grand Prix, as she has with several horses.
Susie, the mother of 12-year-old polo playing Timmy, began international Grand Prix with Currency–the DC stands for Dutta Corp.–in Europe in 2010. Since then, the pair have shown extensively on both sides of the Atlantic including the World Equestrian Festival at Aachen, Germany and the German Masters at Stuttgart.
The previous best result for the pair was 71.225 per cent at the same Palm Beach International Equestrian Center arena a year ago.
Jacqueline Brooks, who rode D Niro on the Canadian team at the Olympics in London in 2012 and the World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden last April, was still tweaking the new freestyle. The pair had a breakthrough in the gelding’s self-carriage.
“He’s just mature now,” she said. “He knows his job now. I finally feel like the fitness and the strength and understanding are all at the same level.”