Ashley Holzer’s Low Profile In Arena, High Profile Beside Arena

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Ashley Holzer riding Dressed in Black at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival national competition. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ashley Holzer riding Dressed in Black at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival national competition. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 14, 2015–Ashley Holzer has maintained a low profile in competition this year as she sits out seeking a place on the Canadian team for the Pan American Games, but is busier than ever beside the arena coaching eight international combinations.

In a break from the string of seven CDIs that are the backbone of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex, Ashley rode Dressed in Black she owns with Diane Fellows at Grand Prix Saturday in a national competition.

The score for Ashley and the nine-year-old Westfalen stallion (Dresemann x Silvano) that she rode in their CDI Grand Prix debut almost a year ago was 74.600 per cent from the single judge.

Along with Tiva Nana, Ashley is developing Dressed in Black as a possible mount for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. If successful, it would be her fifth Olympics beginning with the bronze medal team at Seoul in 1988 then as Canada’s leading dressage rider in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

At the premier CDI5* sponsored by Diamante Farms, Ashley put aside her own riding to coach a group of riders that could make up her own Pan Am team of mixed Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges horses.

Chris Von Martels, who has trained with Ashley for nine years, won the Intermediate 1 Freestyle on Zilverstar after top placings in the Prix St. Georges and Intermediate 1.

Jill Irving has trained with her friend since teenage years on both her Small Tour and Big Tour horses. She rode Dio Mio in the small tour with a score above 70 oer cent in the Freestyle. Jill rode Degas in the CDI5* Grand Prix and finished third in the Grand Prix Special with 69.078 per cent.

Denielle Gallagher-LeGriffon started out as Ashley’s groom in 1990 and now runs her own training stable in New York, not far from Ashley’s home base in New York City. Denielle rode Argo Conti Tyme in the small tour also scoring above 70 per cent in the Freestyle.

Jackie Brooks is a long time student of Ashley’s who also started out as her groom, including the 1991 Pan American Games in Cuba which was Jackie’s introduction to international dressage. The popular combination of Jacqueline and the gray D Niro that she rode as Ashley’s team mate at the London Olympics scored 71.875 per cent in the Grand Prix Freestyle before a full stadium under lights.

Karen Pavicic, who competed for Canada at the last year’s World Games in Normandy, was helped by Ashley to achieve 72.475 per cent in the 5* Freestyle.

The United States’ Eliane Cordia van Reesma on Jewel’s Adelante was caached by Ashley in the Grand Prix and the Special.

Ashley then turned to the Young Rider division where she worked with Tanya Strasser-Shostak, the daughter of team mate Evi Strasser. Tanya placed second in the team competition.

She was ringside to help other combinations in national competitions throughout the weekend.