Shawna Harding & Rigo Win Int. 1 Freestyle at Florida’s GCDA CDI-W

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Shawna Harding and Rigo. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 23–Shawna Harding rode the 10-year-old Rigo to victory in the Intermediaire I Freestyle at the Gold Coast Opener Festival Sunday, the first CDI for the 2010 U.S. Developing Horse Champions.

Shawna of Aiken, South Carolina, and the Hanoverian gelding by Rotspon and owned by Tonya Rowe, scored 69.542 per cent with David Marcus of Campbellville, Ontario, and Don Kontes second with 68.625 per cent and Lisa Bukowski of Stillwater, Minnesota, on Sinatra DVB third with 65.708 per cent.

Rigo was bought by Tonya Rowe at the Hanoverian auction in Germany as a 5-year-old where he was just started under saddle.

Shawna began training Rigo through the levels and with Tonya’s support, winning Regional Championships at First Level in 2007, Second Level in 2008 and Fourth level as well as Fourth Level Horse of the Year in 2009.

Rigo’s first time competing at Intermediare 1 was just two weeks before this weekend’s CDI.

“This weekend was his first time doing the whole small tour at a CDI and his very first time in his whole career ever doing a freestyle!” Shawna said.

“I think considering how new he is to this level of competition he did very well. I am so happy with the little man!

“I had an idea of what I wanted for his music and with the help of Terry Gallo and my coach Roel Theunnisen we put the final pieces together on Wednesday before the CDI. I wanted to be able to ride it right away at the first CDI and in two sessions we had it done. I love the music and think it suite my music taste but mostly Rigo’s personality and his movement.

“His extended trot is a definite highlight and his trot half passes are smooth and steep and his canter pirouettes are beautiful. He is really developing nicely as he gets stronger. I think he liked competing with the music and only had a couple of small mistakes and those we can fix.”

Sun CDI Scores