Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén & Don Auriello Win Wellington World Cup Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 17–Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén on Don Auriello competed for the first time at the new Global Dressage Festival on Friday and in their first competition in three months posted a solid victory in the World Cup Grand Prix on the 10-year-old gelding that has become her top horse.
The Swedish combination, looking to secure an invitation to the World Cup Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, April 18-22, scored 72.681 per cent with Canada’s Ashley Holzer on Breaking Dawn second on 70.596 per cent and Todd Flettrich on Otto as the top finishing U.S. combination tied with a score of 70.596 per cent, broken by the collective marks.
Tinne and Don Auriello (Don Davidoff x Wey o mey x White Star) will compete in the $20,000 (€15,200) Grand Prix Freestyle under lights Saturday night in an effort to solidify their sixth place ranking in the World Cup Western European League with only two more qualifying competitions on the WEL calendar.
Don Auriello began his Grand Prix career in Tinne’s first Florida season in 2011 but the rider also has Divertimento and Favourit, whom she rode at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 as well as the European Championships in 2009 and 2011. She was scheduled to ride Favourit this weekend but scratched when the horse suffered a colic.
She said that after Don Auriello’s World Cup event in Stockholm in November she focused on training and not competition “which has been really good” for the horse.
The tentative schedule is to compete Favourit at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby World Cup event in nearby Loxahatchee in two weeks.
Both Ashley Holzer and Todd Flettrich joked about the closeness of the result, but neither will compete in the freestyle instead moving on to the $10,000 (€7,600) Olympic Grand Prix Special on Sunday as they are focused on the Olympic Games in London in the summer and not the World Cup Final.
Ashley said she was impressed by the maturity of Breaking Dawn, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Akribori x Eveline x L.Ronald) whose name was changed from Ultiems Flemming when bought by P.J. Rizvi after the Hollywood blockbuster produced by her husband.
Ashley said that in this, only his fourth CDI since she began competing him at the top level in November, she was nervous about the “big international show” atmosphere in the dressage arena and when she heard a horn blowing for a jumping Grand Prix on a grass arena that adjoins the dressage complex but “he didn’t care and did a great test.”
There were “some green errors, said the Olympian who is Canada’s top dressage rider, but he was very brilliant and more relaxed in the canter where he has shown a bit of tension in the past.
“At the end of the day the top horses have to take the atmosphere,” she said, “because that is what it is like in Aachen (Germany). The horses have to be able to focus and concentrate and do their job, not freaking because of what’s going on around them. This is a great atmosphere to deal with and great preparation for Aachen. It’s a great situation to have a show like this in Wellington with this atmosphere on an animal that wants to do it.”
Todd Flettrich, who is based in Wellington, said he had not ridden his World Equestrian Games team mount at the new facility before this competition and while “it was a little risky on my part he is an older experienced horse” who could handle the venue.
Todd said that Otto, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Rambo x Jubel x Rampal), is “better now than he’s ever been” with “great heart and great spirit” whom he is aiming for the U.S. Olympic selection trials.
Maribel Alonso of Mexico, president of the ground jury, described the new show grounds as “fantastic” and “when finished will be to die for.”
Several million dollars have been invested in the new show grounds for which about 60 acres have been dedicated for the dressage facility with a distinctly Palm Beach look of dozens of palm trees and colorful floral landscaping around the outdoor arenas, a giant covered arena and permanent stables.
Complete results of the CDI-W Grand Prix:
|E: Gurney||H: Zang||C: Alonso||M: Collinder||B: Mandl|
|Vilhelmson-Silfven, Tinne||Don Auriello||344||346||340||337.5||340.5||1708||72.681%||1|
|Holzer, Ashley||Breaking Dawn||337||333.5||332.5||324.5||331.5||1659||70.596%||2|
|St Jacques, Pierre||Lucky Tiger||318||321.5||321.5||316||320.5||1597.5||67.979%||6|
|Harding, Shawna||Come On III||317.5||314.5||313.5||306.5||324||1576||67.064%||7|
|Brooks, Jacquline M.||D Niro||303||321||307.5||303||312.5||1547||65.830%||10|
|Dutta, Susan||Currency DC||308.5||316||310.5||302||299||1536||65.362%|
|Peters, Joni Lynn||Travolta||305||297.5||312.5||309||311||1535||65.319%|
|Kim, Dong Seon||Bukowski||306.5||300||307.5||302||298.5||1514.5||64.447%|
|Baumert, Jennifer||Don Principe||297||301||301.5||300||296.5||1496||63.660%|
|Strasser, Evi||Action Tyme||304.5||298.5||291||290.5||297||1481.5||63.043%|
|Gundersen, Mikala||My Lady||293.5||297.5||298||293.5||296||1478.5||62.915%|
|Losos de Muniz, Yvonne||Liebling II||300.5||296||291||289||300.5||1477||62.851%|
|Vander Ploeg, Gary||Cezanne||294||294.5||294||291||298||1471.5||62.617%|
|Cordia, Elaine||Jewel’s Adelante||288||288.5||299.5||295.5||296.5||1468||62.468%|
|Creech, Diane||Devon L||287.5||292.5||291.5||293.5||300.5||1465.5||62.362%|
|Marcus, David||Chrevi’s Capital||287||304.5||286.5||288.5||294||1460.5||62.149%|
|MacLachlan, Nancy||Deniros Tyme||288||289||293.5||286||283.5||1440||61.277%|
|Dutta, Susan||Golden Choice DC||285.5||279||285.5||278||273||1401||59.617%|