Ashley Holzer & Havanna Win Wellington World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle With 2nd Highest Qualifying Score In North America in 2018
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 23, 2018–Ashley Holzer and Havanna won the Adequan Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle in heavy rain Friday night but will skip a chance to go to the Final in Paris in April despite posting the second highest score in a musical performance in North American qualifying.
Ashley, a three-time Olympian for Canada but who now rides for the United States, said she is focused on earning a place on the American squad to go to Europe over the summer for selection of the team for the World Equestrian Games at home in Tryon, North Carolina.
The 54-year-old rider and the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare that have been partnered for only the past year, scored 78.200 per cent for the victory, a personal best in four freestyles that she admitted jokingly she put together by Googling initially for “emotional music” then searching for “emotional uplifting music.”
Video of the ride by Ashley and Havanna can be seen here
Canada’s Brittany Fraser and All In, who train with Ashley as did three other American and Canadian combinations in the class of 12 starting pairs, placed second on 75.850 per cent that is not enough to earn a Paris invitation at this stage.
Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida rode Doktor in this competition for third place on 73.560 per cent but has the highest result on her other Big Tour horse, Danilo, who is the top of the North American standings.
However, Laura Graves of Geneva, Florida and Verdades have the highest freestyle score, 84.675 per cent, but need another result to clinch one of the two starting spots reserved for North America. The last chance to do that will come next week with the Palm Beach Dressage Derby in Wellington as the wrap-up event for this season of the annual world championship.
Havanna (Hochadel x Rogdau) was bought by Diane Fellows just over a year ago from Jessica and Benjamin Werndl in Germany as a U.S. team prospect for Ashley.