Fortissimo B Ridden by Silva Martin Qualifies for US Young Horse Championships

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Fortissimo B with Silva Martin and owner Camilla Van Liew at the East Coast Young Horse Selection Trials in Virginia.
Fortissimo B with Silva Martin and owner Camilla Van Liew at the East Coast Young Horse Selection Trials in Virginia.

The American-bred Fortissimo B was ridden by Silva Martin on Sunday to qualify for the five-year-old national championships but no new combination emerged from the United States Eastern Selection Trial at the Virginia Dressage Association competition in Leesburg to win a start at the World Breeding Championships for Dressage Young Horses in Verden, Germany in August.

The result of 7.952 for Silva of Unionville, Pennsylvania and Fortissimo B gave them first place in the five-year-old division and earn a start at the nationals in Wayne, Illinois in August, but short of the 8.2 required to qualify for Verden. She finished second on 7.8 with Benefactor RSS and third with Di Solitaire on 7.64.

Fortissimo, a Hanoverian (ES Fabuleux x Rubinstein I) received a 10 for the walk. The horse has been owned by Camilla Van Liew since he was four months old and is for sale.

Silva said she was excited about taking Benefactor, a Hanoverian gelding (Bonheur x Rubinstein I) to Wayne for the national championships.

“He is a great horse for the future,” she said, “I’m excited to ride him for as long as I can.”

Ripline, a U.S.-bred five-year-old Danish Warmblood (Blue Hors Hotline x Blue Hors Cavan) ridden by Heather Blitz of Wellington, Florida that is ranked top in the nation, dropped out after the first of two days of competition when it appeared unlikely they could attain the necessary minimum. Fiderhit OLD ridden by Nadine Bubert was eliminated on the first day.

Leonardo, a Danish Warmblood gelding (Solos Landtinus x Rambo) ridden by Kim Gentry of Germantown, Tennessee scored 7.68 per cent in the six-year-old division, well short of the qualifying score for Verden. Elfenfeuer, an Oldenburg mare (Florencio x Sion) that is at the top of the rankings in the six-year-old division and the only other entry in the Eastern trial, scored 7.24.

Vitalis, a six-year-old KWPN stallion ((Vivaldi x D-Day) ridden by the Danish-born Charlotte Jorst of Reno, Nevada is the only definite U.S. entry in the world championships after qualifying in the Western selection trial two weeks ago with 9.192, the highest score ever in the country.

Dalina DG, a five-year-old (Jazz x Contango) ridden by Ashlyn DeGroot qualified in the five-year-old division in the Western trial with 8.44. But Willy Arts, the longtime trainer at DG Bar Ranch in Hanford, California, told dressage-news.com that Ashlyn, the 19-year-old grand daughter of Tony and Betty DeGroot who founded DG Bar, and he decided against going to Verden. This was the second horse qualified by DG Bar for Verden–Valeska DG (Krack C x Farrington) was the first, in 2008.

Another few days remain for prospects in Europe to submit results if they meet the requirements.

Scott Hassler, the U.S. Equestrian Federation Young Horse Coach, said though he was a “little disappointed” with the results at the Eastern trial he was confident he would see some of them in the Grand Prix arena.

“In the end,” he said, “this is one small phase in their life.

“I have a really good feeling from thse selection trials. I see no reason who a half dozen of these horses will nt be in the Grand Prix arena. They have the right energy and the right riders.”