Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén & Don Auriello Win Palm Beach Derby World Cup Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 28, 2014–Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén and Don Auriello won the Palm Beach Dressage Derby World Cup Grand Prix Friday for the fifth straight victory for Sweden’s top ranked combination and a winner in 15 of their 17 starts since beginning the horse’s international Grand Prix career here four years ago.
Tinne and Don Auriello, atop the World Cup Western European League standings, scored 77.400 per cent with the American Olympic combination of Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Wizard second on 71.980 per cent and the Florida-based Dane Mikala Gundersen and My Lady on 71.600per cent for her seventh straight third place finish and a yellow ribbon that has led to her being nicknamed the “yellow lady.”
Tinne began competing the Hanoverian gelding (Don Davidoff x White Star) in Florida in 2011 and in their first season started six times, finishing first five times. In their second year the pair posted four wins in four starts and then competed on Sweden’s team at Tinne’s sixth Olympics. In 2013, Tinne and Don Auriello won three times and placed second once and this year came to Florida directly from a pair of victories in the Stockholm World Cup event.
With the horse now aged 12 and the pair ranked sixth in the world, they have posted three straight victories in three starts in Wellington.
“It suits him well to have one more weekend before we go home,” Tinne said of her ride in keeping the horse fit and strong in preparation for the World Cup Final in Lyon, France in mid-April.
“I was happy with the riding today. I could do small things differently and he stayed with me. You have two different horses to show–when it’s warm and outdoors like it is here and indoors and cold like it could be for the Final. I have to work out how to warm up and have him perfect.”
The official record does not tell the whole story.
“She’s amazing,” said Adrienne, the runnerup to Tinne. “I could watch her all day. She’s like poetry.. so effective and so quiet.”
Adrienne said she has decided to go to the World Cup Final if she qualifies in the North American League although it means she and Wizard will have to return to the United States for the selection trials in June for the American team for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
One of the most awaited rides was that of Heather Blitz and her American-bred Paragon, the large and spectacular-moving chestnut gelding that was reserve for the American team at the London Games.
Earlier this winter, the pair had not performed up to their usual standard but Friday seemed heading back to form, scoring 68.300 per cent for eighth place.
The Grand Prix Freestyle for which scores count toward standings is scheduled for Saturday night.