Tinne Silfvén in Sweep of Florida’s Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
LOXAHATCHEE, Florida, Mar. 6–Sweden’s Tinne Silfvén made her first ever complete sweep of the Grand Prix levels at a CDI when she won the World Cup qualifying freestyle and the Grand Prix Special on Sunday at the 28th annual Palm Beach Dressage Derby, the oldest and most prestigious show in Florida.
The 43-year-old mother and veteran of five Olympics won the freestyle on her World Equestrian Games and European Championship mount, Favourit, and the Special on Don Auriello in only his second CDI competition. She won the qualifying Grand Prix on both horses. The two horses are owned by Antonia Ax:son Johnson’s Lövsta Stuteri, and Antonia was in Loxahatchee to watch the freestyle.
Tinne and the 12-year-old Rhinelander gelding by Fidermark scored 75.100 per cent in winning the World Cup freestyle to give her another 20 points for a total of 55 and tied for eighth place in the Western European League with only one more qualifying competition to go.
But she repeated what she told dressage-news.com on Saturday that she will not go to the World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany, at the end of April. After riding outdoors for the past three months in Florida, she has achieved her goals for developing the horses she brought here and does not want to break that routine by competing indoors before the Final, also indoors. Instead, she will next compete Favourit at the Horses & Dreams show in Hagen, Germany, the first week of May to kick off her summer circuit, peaking at the European Championships in Rotterdam in August.
In the freestyle, Elisabeth Austin of Williston, Vermont on her mother’s home bred Olivier placed second on 70.150 per cent with Shawna Harding of Aiken, South Carolina and Come On III third on 69.250 per cent.
“Right now,” Tinne said when asked after the freestyle about the day’s results, “it’s overwhelming.”
The time in Florida with training help from famed Swedish international rider Louise Nathorst and Hubertus Schmidt of Germany has been used successfully to learn a lot and develop the top horses. She said she expects Favourit to remain her top horse on whom she had the best ride ever Saturday to score a personal best of 74.468 per cent.
Favourit now seemed to enjoy being at shows and the freestyle ride showed none of the spookiness that occurred at the 2009 European Championships when she was almost unseated, apparently affected by sounds. The only real mistake came in the two-tempis which, she said, she did not practice in the warm-up.
As for Don Auriello, she said she was “super, super happy” with the ride earlier in the day.
In the Grand Prix Special, the pair scored 71.833 per cent, with Anna Whitfield Watkins of Fort Davis, Texas, and Oublette second on 64.771 per cent and Christopher Hickey of Colora, Maryland on Douglas Hilltop in third place on 63.354 per cent.
The Swedish pair, in only the second CDI Grand Prix for the the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Don Davidoff, scored 70.00 per cent in the Grand Prix on Friday.
The first CDI Grand Prix competition for Don Auriello was only a month ago at the West Palm Beach World Cup competition where the pair received 69 per cent in both the Grand Prix and the Special.
Elisabeth Austin said that livier by Idocus felt the best ever in the freestyle ride on the 15-year-old stallion, that was bred by her mother, Madeleine, and is registered KWPN.
Since their first international competition, at Saugerties, New York, in 2007 when the pair won the World Cup qualifier, Elisabeth and Olivier have posted 12 top three CDI finishes, including third place in the freestyle at the West Palm Beach World Cup qualifier a month ago with a score of 70.300 per cent.
With Sunday’s score she becomes the third U.S. rider to complete the two freestyles required to qualify for the two slots allocated to the North American League for the Leipzig Final, the others being Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida and Shawna Harding. However, Tina has said she will not go to Leipzig.
However, two World Cup qualifiers are still scheduled for California later this month, and Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, California, already has one score of 74.700 per cent from a qualifier on the East Coast last fall.
Unlike the two European leagues that allocate points for placings, the North American League of Canada and the U.S. averages scores from a rider’s top two finishes.
Elisabeth, now 27, said that the Palm Beach Dressage Derby held special significance as it was her first horse show with Olivier, at 3rd level seven years ago.
Her major goal is the 2012 Olympics in London, and even if she does not make it to the World Cup this year she plans to take Olivier to Europe in the fall with her trainer, Michael Barisone of Long Valley, New Jersey and Loxahatchee.