Cheryl Meisner Dances to Freestyle Victory at CDI-W Blainville

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BLAINVILLE, Quebec, Canada, June 21–Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, Nova Scotia, closed out the CDI-W Blainville Summer Classic by winning the Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday at the Blainville Equestrian Park north of Montreal.

Meisner used powerful, emotional piano music to highlight the strengths of John Risley’s Paganini. The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion was at his best in the passage tour and during the one tempi changes, which were performed on the centreline to highlight their straightness. The panel of five international judges rewarded Meisner with a score 72.15 per cent.

“I am ecstatic,” said Meisner, 27, who is returning to competition following maternity leave. “It has been a year and a half since I last rode my freestyle. I feel that the partnership with my horse is finally coming together, and I know that in the arena he is going to be there for me.”

The winners of Friday’s Grand Prix, Jacqueline Brooks of Mt. Albert, Ontario, and Gran Gesto, placed second after earning a score of 70.15 per cent for their familiar program set to the soundtrack of ‘Alexander’. Simone Williams of Navan, Ontario, and her mount, the 11-year-old Hannoverian gelding Wunder Ein, finished third with a dynamic Latin program that received a mark of 67.30 per cent.

The Intermediaire I Freestyle rewarded Julie Watchorn of Schomberg, Ontario, with her best result of the week, a score of 70.10 per cent, for victory riding Quintesse. Using a compilation of music from the soundtracks to ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘The Patriot’, Watchorn confessed that she had only created the music program one week earlier and had never practiced the freestyle.

“Quintesse is my reliable, consistent girl,” said Watchorn of her 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare.

The FEI Young Riders’ Freestyle was the largest class of the day with 10 entries. Amy Jager of Puslinch, Ontario, proved to be the best of the field, winning with a score of 67.60 per cent. Top honors in the FEI Junior Freestyle went to Anne-Mylaine Messier of St-Luc, Quebec, riding Marzipan. Tanya Strasser-Shostak of St-Adele, Quebec, made a clean sweep of the FEI Pony division with Nemo Tyme by winning the FEI Pony Freestyle.

Complete results can be accessed from the Front Page.