Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén Rides Divertimento to 1st 2012 Florida Victory

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Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén and Divertimento in the Gold Coast Opener CDI-W Grand Prix Special. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 21–Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén rode Divertimento in his first Florida competition this season to post a convincing victory Saturday in the Olympic Grand Prix for the Special at the Gold Coast Opener World Cup event.

In her second winter in Florida that this year will stage 11 CDIs over three months, the Swedish star plans to compete all three of her top horses–Don Auriello, Favourit and Divetimento.

In Saturday’s Grand Prix, Tinne and the 10-year-old Westfalen gelding (Di Versace x Fatima x Ferragamo) that she competed at Grand Prix only once before internationally, in Poland last September, scored 71.234 per cent with the USA’s Todd Flettrich on Sopranos second on 65.702 per cent and Canada’s Diane Creech on Devon L third on 65.043 per cent.

Tinne said that the 2011 winter circuit was her first in Florida, but now she is back for a second year she has developed a system to train and compete her horses, all owned by Antonia Ax:son Johnson’s Lövsta Stud Farm. Any minor effects from the travel are more than made up by the environment for training.

The three months in Florida’s sub tropical climate instead of Sweden’s cold winter allows her to spread out training over a longer period of time that is better for the horses and is enjoyed by her husband and son, Lucas, who turns 10 years old on Feb. 2.

“So I don’t have to panic when spring comes which I usually have to,” she said. “The indoor shows are so different. You want them to be electric and sensitive but the atmosphere in some of the indoor arenas can scare the horses.”

Divetimento needs more CDIs, she said, for more experience so he gets into a routine and can relax.

“He is more settled than last year,” she said when she was competing the horse at Intermediaire II. “Now he feels like a Grand Prix horse.”

Favourit has not competed since the European Championships in Rotterdam last August where the pair helped Sweden win a berth for their team at the 2012 London Olympics.

She is scheduled to show the 13-year-old Rheinlander gelding (Fidermark x Wapita x Worldchamp) in next week’s World Dressage Masters Palm Beach and ride to the new freestyle created by Cees Slings will debut.

Don Auriello, the spectacular 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Don Davidoff x Wey o mey x White Star) that she first began showing at Grand Prix in Florida a year ago, will not be competed as much as he had a busy show schedule before arriving in the U.S.

The focus, she said, will be to take advantage of the warm climate for training.

She has tentative plans to show him in the World Cup event at he new Global Dressage Festival show grounds in Wellington.

Athough she stressed she does not like to make public her long term plans–“we take it one show at a time so as to keep the pressure low”–Don Auriello is most likely her choice as an Olympic mount and for the World Cup Final. She is currently ranked sixth in the Western European League standings.

“It is so much fun with a new horse who is developing so fast,” she said.