Canada’s Jill Irving Recovering from Injury on Degas Ride Horse to Victory in Wellington CDI4* Grand Prix, Jessica Kozel & Denzello Take Other Grand Prix for 1st Win

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Jill Irving of Canada on Degas in the Wellington CDI4* Grand Prix for the Special. © 2019 SusanJStickle.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 28, 2019–Jill Irving of Canada rode Degas to victory in the Adequan Gobal Dressage Festival CDI4* for the Special 12 days days after breaking a rib when thrown from the horse in an honor round in the same arena. Big Tour newcomer Jessica Kozel on Denzello posted their first victory by taking the CDI4* Grand Prix for the Freestyle.

Jill and the 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding scored 69.935 per cent for the win, with Charlotte Jorst of Reno, Nevada on Deep Impact second on 66.696 per cent and Joanne Vaughan of Georgia on Elmegardens Marquis third on 65.438 per cent.

Jill joked about the accident and admitted the biggest impact had been not to ride too many horses each day until fully recovered.

“Extended trots?” she replied to a question. “I didn’t go for it. I broke a rib so I don’t know if I like to go fast. Bouncing is a bit of an issue.”

“Some people didn’t clap today because they were worried for me,” she said at another point.

“But I’m just really glad that I could ride,” she said, “because we’re trying to go to the Pan Am Games and this is a qualification and it all went well. The chance to bring him back into the ring just to understand that he’s thinking about the Grand Prix and not the presentations.”

Jessica Kozel of Loxahatchee, Florida and Denzello, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding, scored 69.239 per cent for her victory. Germany’s Michael Klimke on Royal Dancer on 68.196 per cent with Katherine Bateson Chandler of Wellington on Alcazar third on 66.000 per cent.

Jessica Kozel and Denzello celebrating victory in the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix for Freestyle. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Jessica began showing Denzello at Big Tour this year, four years after last shown by U.S. Olympic and World Games rider Lisa Wilcox. Jessica had been a groom for Lisa.

“I thought it was a little surreal, I didn’t think it was for us,” Jessica said after she was declared the winner.

“So when she (the steward) walked up to me with the blue ribbon I was like, ‘is that for me?’ Not that she would be joking but I just would have never expected in a million years.

“When I dreamed of this season for two years, because I rehabbed him when I started riding him. When I first took the ride we spent a lot of time together, and you don’t just start by going right into the ring. You spend a lot of time and hours together just doing the most mundane things. Never in my life would I have dreamed that we would have been able to do what we did today. It was really an honor to not only have our best ride yet, but to be able to put it together.”

CDI 4* Grand Prix Qualify for Freestyle
Judges:
Lee Tubman Peter Hansághy Marietta Almasy Yuri Romanov Jane Weatherwax
Pl. Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B Spectators
1. 69.239 USA Jessica Kozel Denzello 69.783 69.239 71.413 67.826 67.935 68.573 (1)
2. 68.196 GER Michael Klimke Royal Dancer 68.587 67.065 68.478 68.261 68.587 67.463 (2)
3. 66.000 USA Katherine Bateson Chandler Alcazar 66.739 66.630 64.565 65.326 66.739 65.754 (3)
4. 64.521 USA Karen Lipp Whitney 64.130 62.391 65.217 66.739 64.130 65.250 (4)
5. 62.804 CAN Evi Strasser Disney Tyme 63.043 64.239 62.283 63.696 60.761 63.982 (5)

 

CDI 4* Grand Prix Special
Judges: Lee Tubman Peter Hansághy Marietta Almasy Yuri Romanov Jane Weatherwax
Pl. Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B Spectators
1. 69.935 CAN Jill Irving Degas 12 69.891 66.196 72.826 70.217 70.543 70.653 (1)
2. 66.696 USA Charlotte Jorst Deep Impact 3 66.304 67.174 68.587 68.913 62.500 66.125 (3)
3. 65.348 GEO Joanne Vaughan Elmegardens Marquis 65.978 64.457 65.978 65.870 64.457 66.250 (2)