Two Grand Prix Debuts Score Over 70% at Florida CDN

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Heather Blitz and Paragon in their first Grand Prix. © 2011 Ken Braddick/

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, July 24–The USA’s Heather Blitz and Paragon and Australia’s Ilse Schwarz and Cadenza debuted their American-bred horses at Grand Prix Saturday, both scoring above 70 per cent at Wellington Classic Dressage in the Tropics.

Heather and her eight-year-old by Blue Hors Don Schufro out of Pari Lord by Loran, a bright chestnut that was bred in Louisiana was awarded 74.043 per cent from judge Sue Malone Casey.

Ilse and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Contango out of Swiftest Finesse, an Australian Thoroughbred, scored 72.979 per cent.

Heather Bender of Palm City, Florida, on Winwood scored 60.851 per cent for third place.

Both Heather Bitz and Ilse started their horses and both have been their own trainers.

Heather, of Wellington, Florida, will compete Paragon in the trials to select a U.S. team for the Pan American Games, the championships held once every four years at small tour but are a qualifier for the 2012 Olympics in London. The U.S. has qualified a team for London based on their fourth place finish at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year.

However, the U.S. endeavors to field its best small tour horse and rider combination at the Pan Am Games and won team gold at the last two championships, in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and Santo Domingo in 2003.

Heather trained and competed Otto in both the United States and Europe before selling the horse to be ridden for the U.S. team at last year’s WEG by Todd Flettrich of Wellington, Florida.

Her goal is make the U.S. team for the 2012 Olympics.

Ilse brought her mare, Finesse, to the United States when she married an American more than 12 years ago. She bred Finesse to Contango, who was standing at Iron Spring Farm in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

She is based in Wellington, Florida, home of the world famous Winter Equestrian Festival, but conducts regular training clinics in Australia. Ilse works with top U.S. rider Steffen Peters.

The registered owner of Cadenza is Kenneth J. Braddick, her husband, and, in the interests of full disclosure, the owner of

Ilse Schwarz and Cadenza. © 2011 Ken Braddick/

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