Canada’s Leah Wilson Wilkins Rides “Late Bloomer” Fabian to Victory in Wellington World Cup Grand Prix Special

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Leah Wilson Wilkins on Fabian JS in the World Cup Grand Prix Special victory gallop. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Leah Wilson Wilkins on Fabian JS in the World Cup Grand Prix Special victory gallop. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 16, 2016–Leah Wilson Wilkins rode the 17-year-old “late bloomer” Fabian JS   to victory in the World Cup Grand Prix Special at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Saturday with a personal best score for the second straight competition in seeking to represent Canada at the summer Olympics.

Leah, seven months pregnant, and the Hanoverian (Feiner Graf x Denberg) scored 72.863 per cent two days after placing third in the Grand Prix on a personal best of 71.700 per cent.

In the Special, Denmark’s Olympic, World Games, European Championships and World Cup rider Lars Petersen rode the 18-year-old Mariett to second place on 72.098 per cent.

Beatrice Marineau, the German-born rider now a U.S. citizen, was third on Stefano 8 with a score of 70.176 per cent.

Fabian, Leah said after the ride at the Palm Beach International Center’s Stadium complex, “felt really amazing in some spots and in some spots there were a few little bobbles.”

Solid training with the British Commonwealth duo of Nicholas Fyffe of Australia and David Marcus of Canada over the past six months had paid off.

Leah Wilson Wilkins on Fabian with trainers David Marcus (left) and Nicholas Fyffe placing on wraps n preparation for the World Cup Grand Prix Special awards ceremony. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Leah Wilson Wilkins on Fabian with trainers David Marcus (left) and Nicholas Fyffe placing on wraps n preparation for the World Cup Grand Prix Special awards ceremony. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

With this competition starting the qualifying period for Canadians seeking to fill individual places at Rio, Leah is the clear leader but she is expecting to deliver a baby boy in mid April that will take her out of competition for a while.

Since her success in the Grand Prix Thursday, life has “been a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s really exciting to be finally bringing out what the horse is really capable of. He’s a late bloomer.”

“I have certainly surpassed all my expectation,” Leah said. “I would have been happy with being in the top 10 in the Grand Prix and the top three in the Special.”

Lars Petersen, who expects this to be Mariett’s last year in competition, gave his primary goal to get good enough scores to help Denmark qualify at least three and as many as four individual combinations to be able to start a “composite” team in Rio.

The mare had an easy summer and the goal is to compete for Grand Prix scores until the Olympic qualifying cutoff date of Mar. 6.

Results:

Grand Prix Special
E: Lamping – USA H: Christensen – DEN C: Osinski – USA M: Lang – AUT B: Saleh – FRA
Rider Ctzn Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Wilson Wilkins, Leah CAN Fabian JS 71.961 1 73.333 2 71.471 2 75.294 1 72.255 1 72.863 1
Petersen, Lars DEN Mariett 71.176 2 74.118 1 73.431 1 73.725 2 68.039 5 72.098 2
Marienau, Beatrice USA Stefano 8 69.706 4 69.902 3 68.725 3 72.157 3 70.392 2 70.176 3
Pape, Suzan GBR Harmony’s Fiorano 68.922 6 69.706 4 67.353 6 70.686 4 68.922 3 69.118 4
Lane, Megan CAN Caravella 078 3 67.843 6 68.627 4 68.725 5 68.725 4 69.000 5
Bateson Chandler, Kathrine USA Alcazar 69.608 5 68.627 5 67.941 5 67.549 6 67.745 8 68.294 6
Dutta, Susan USA Currency DC 68.039 7 66.176 7 67.255 8 65.588 9 67.843 7 66.980 7
Priest, Kathy W. USA Wild Dancer 65.588 8 65.098 8 67.353 6 65.980 8 63.039 9 65.412 8
Wallenstein, Ricardo POR Bem Me Quer 63.922 9 64.706 9 64.216 10 64.608 10 68.039 5 65.098 9
Rosencrantz, Mette USA Marron 62.412 10 62.314 11 64.275 9 67.216 7 61.529 11 63.549 10
Lopardo-Grana, Cesar ARG Tyara 62.353 11 62.647 10 63.922 11 62.745 11 61.765 10 62.686 11
Uemura, Samira Mayumi BRA Tamarindo XI 59.118 14 61.078 12 62.941 12 58.725 14 61.275 13 60.627 12
Tzinberg, Ellesse PHI Pavarotti 59.804 13 61.078 12 58.235 15 59.706 12 61.471 12 60.059 13
Garweg, Christian CAN Delorean 59.961 12 60.941 14 59.765 13 59.176 13 53.882 15 58.745 14
Bukowski, Lisa CAN Santos Utopia 57.020 15 57.412 15 58.588 14 58.000 15 56.824 14 57.569 15