USA’s Lisa Wilcox & Galant Win Global Circuit Kick Off World Cup Grand Prix for 1st Big Tour Victory
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 12, 2016–United States Olympian Lisa Wilcox rode Galant to victory in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival circuit kick off World Cup Grand Prix Thursday for the first Big Tour victory for the pair.
Lisa and the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding scored 71.340 per cent for the win over Florida-based Danish team rider Mikala Münter Gundersen and My Lady on 71.220 per cent. Both combinations train with Ernst Hoyos. Canadian Olympian Megan Lane on Caravella was third on 70.700 per cent.
This show launched the sixth year of the Global circuit of seven CDIs over 12 weeks and also saw the introduction of spectator judging at an American dressage competition, with the results being similar to the panel of five judges.
Lisa began competing Galant at American national levels in 2012, moved to CDI Small Tour in 2014 before beginning Grand Prix in late 2015.
She is “very excited” about the strength Galant has developed, especially in the trot and piaffe/passage, since their last competition, at Global in April, 2016.
“The movements are not so ominous mentally,” Lisa said of Galant (Escuro x De Niro).
Like so many other riders this year, a so-called “off-year” with the World Cup Final as the only senior championships in the Americas, the goal is to be selected as one of the two North American combinations for the global freestyle title in Omaha, Nebraska Mar. 27-Apr. 2.
The freestyle for Friday night under the lights which she has had a chance to ride only twice is to music from the soundtrack of the movie, “Trolls,” that Lisa has choreographed to be a “real crowd pleaser.”
Lisa began working with Ernst Hoyos, who spent almost three decades at the famed Spanish Riding School, 20 years ago. The two were partners but, as Lisa describes it, “had to learn how to respect each other outside of that” so she could continue to learn from the trainer who is “like no other in the world for me.”
“As long as Ernst is around and comes to Florida we are a team to the bitter end,” she said.
Lisa and Mikala share his training time in Wellington–starting at Mikala’s barn then going across town to work with Lisa then back to Mikala–“a bit of a ping pong.”
With the World Cup in Omaha this year and the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in 2018, Galant has emerged as an international Big Tour horse at the right time for Lisa whose timing with other horses since returning home has been “just a little bit behind the eight-ball in development.”
CDI-W Grand Prix