Ashley Holzer & Pop Art Win Grand Prix Kür at Lingen CDI4* Fulfilling Dream of Winning in Germany

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Ashley Holzer on Pop Art. © 2010 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com
Ashley Holzer on Pop Art. © 2010 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, in their first competition on the Canadian squad preparing for the World Equestrian Games, on Saturday won the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle under lights at the International Dressage Festival CDI4* in Lingen, Germany.

Ashley and the 13-year Dutch Warmblood gelding scored 76.300 per cent to beat Great Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer on Andretti H on 76.150 per cent with Germany’s Ellen Schulten-Baumer on Donatha S third on 75.600 per cent. Ashley’s team mate, Shannon Dueck on the nine-year-old mare, Ayscha, placed eighth with 69.650 per cent and fellow Canadian Cheryl Meisner on Paganini placed ninth with 69.400 per cent.

“I’m thrilled to win in Germany,” Ashley told dressage-news.com. “It’s something I actually only dreamed of.

“Parts of my ride felt incredible. I had a few bobbles which, in my opinion, were just from not showing in a while and the fact that Poppy just arrived a week ago!!!

” I think I can really improve from this.

“Robert (Dover, Canadian coach) was a great help and supporter of the whole Canadian team.

“As a team we had great results here in Lingen.”

Ashley, who lives in New York, joined the Canadian squad at this competition, the second of four shows the five combinations will compete in preparation for the WEG in Kentucky beginning Sept. 25. She had finished fourth in Friday’s Grand Prix qualifier with a score of 70.213 per cent.

She and Pop Art, her 2008 Olympic mount, competed three times on the Florida circuit in winter, notching four wins and two fourth places in the Exquis World Dressage Masters in Palm Beach, but have not shown until Lingen.

Two of the five judges, Dr. Vincenzo Truppa of Italy and Annette Fransen-Iacobaeus of Sweden placed Ashley first, while the two German judges, Peter Engel and Katrina Wüst, and Isobel Wessels of Great Britain, gave the nod to Laura.

Earlier, Laura won both Grand Prix competitions to qualify for the freestyle on Andretti and for the Special on her Olympic and European Championship mount, Mistral Hojris.

Complete Grand Prix Musical Freestyle results, Lingen GPFS