Shelly Francis Rides Doktor to Personal Best Score to Win Wellington CDI3* Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 11, 2018–Shelly Francis rode Doktor to a personal best score to win the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Grand Prix Thursday as the American Nations Cup team pair start their sixth year at Big Tour.
Shelly of neighboring Loxahatchee and the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding scored 72.543 per cent for their first victory since the Global winter circuit in 2016. The previous best result was 72.520 per cent set in Wellington in March, 2014.
Shelly, 59 years-old, said she is looking to qualify with either Doktor or her other Big Tour horse, Danilo, for consideration for the United States team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September. If successful, it would come 20 years after she rode Pikant at the WEG in Rome where the U.S. team was fourth.
In opening day of the 2018 Global circuit of seven CDIs over the next three months, Susan Pape of Great Britain on Harmony’s Don Noblesse placed second on 70.435 per cent.
Canada’s Jill Irving and Arthur were third on 69.174 per cent, also a personal result for the pair.
Jill took the Dutch-bred gelding, now 13 years old, to Europe last summer to compete in three CDIs.
Shelly said that Docktor that has been riding for a decade was a “little tight” but tried to do everything asked of him.
Except for the awards, where she “engaged in a little self-preservation” to avoid his practice of running away from the noise and was led out of the arena ahead of the honor round.