Christina Vinios & Folkestone Win USA Developing St. Georges Championship, 5YO Title Goes To Carly Taylor-Smith & Rosalut
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 22, 2015–Christina Vinios and Folkestone won the United States Developing Prix St. Georges championship Saturday, the first major title for the rider.
Christina, 32, and the nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Fidertanz x Rubenstein) produced a ride that earned them 72.402 per cent and vaulted the pair to the championship over international riders Heather Blitz, Cesar Parra and Christopher Hickey.
In the preliminary St. Georges on Thursday, she confessed to being “a little nervous” and rode a conservative test to place second on 69.518 per cent behind Heather on Ripline.
On Saturday, however, “I really wanted to fight for every point. A couple of times maybe I pushed too hard. I wanted to show the horse the best I could.”
Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey on the seven-year-old Fashion Designer OLD placed second Saturday on 71.422 per cent that put them in third in the championship. The duo had been selected to compete in the World Young Horse Championships in 2014 but opted not to go to Verden, Germany.
Heather Blitz of Medfield, Massachusetts and the seven-year-old American-bred stallion Ripline scored 68.333 per cent after Thursday’s 72.895 per cent, but it was enough for reserve champion.
Christina of Wellington, Florida had not scheduled these championships at the start of the year focusing instead on the Global Dressage Festival CDI schedule over winter.
Christina had ridden Folkestone in clinics with Steffen Peters in Wellington, then sent the horse to him in San Diego, California for more than two years. She flew out monthly to ride for several days.
She brought the horse back East a year ago. This year, she started working with the Wellington-based Spanish Olympian Juan Matute who was at these championships and also coached Carly Taylor-Smith on Rosalut who won the five-year-old national title.
In addition to the national championship, Folkestone was awarded the Oldenburg High Score award, an apt result as Holly Simensen of the Oldenburg Verband helped Christina acquire the horse.
Next goal: the U.S. Intermediate Championships scheduled for Wellington in December along with the Grand Prix championships presented by the Dutta Corp.
Carly Taylor-Smith and Rosalut NHF won the United States Five-Year-Old Championships Saturday, adding to the four-year-old title claimed a year ago.
Carly, an English transplant based out of Malibu, California scored 8.38 on the American-bred Oldenburg gelding (Rosenthal x Salut) for the victory.
David Wightman of Murietta, California made a remarkable recovery on Silberpfeil to place second with a score of 8.08 after Thursday’s preliminary result of 7.08 and 12th place but it was not enough to move the pair into the championship medals.
Gail Lynn Redinger who drove her Formancier three days from Idaho for their first championships placed was third on Saturday with 8.08 that moved the pair to the silver medal place while Katie Riley of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey on Don Cesar was third in the championship.
Lois Yukins, speaking for the three judges, said that Rosalut “looks like a pleasure to ride” and gave the pair eight or better for walk, trot, canter, submission and general impression for a total of 8.38. “The collection,” Lois said, “at this age is outstanding.”