Holland’s Leida Collins-Strijk Rides her West Side in 1st Competition Outside Europe

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Leida Collins-Strijk and West Side after competing at the Global Dressage Festival in Florida, the first CDI competition for the Dutch rider outside Europe. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Leida Collins-Strijk and West Side after competing at the Global Dressage Festival in Florida, the first CDI competition for the Dutch rider outside Europe. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan, 10, 2014–Leida Collins-Strijk of the Netherlands made her CDI debut outside Europe when she rode her West Side in the Global Dressage Festival Prix St. Georges Friday in what she hopes is another step toward Grand Prix.

Leida and her husband, an event rider for Bermuda, undertook a major logistics effort to bring to their first competition season in Florida their three children and 13 horses to base themselves out of her father-in-law’s stable in Wellington.

Leida, who trains with Anky van Grunsven when at home, described the 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Florett AS x Equador) as “too fresh” and scored 65.842 per cent.

Leida visited Wellington in the 2013 winter circuit and she and Tim decided to make the effort this season, though their children, Sebastian,11, Christian 10 and Michael, 3 were not so enthusiastic at first as they would miss soccer.

“But we came here for a break and they loved it so much they said, ‘Let’s go,'” Leida said.

So with the help of Patrick Schutte to deal with the “big organization” the family is in Florida and “it is definitely worth it.”

“We are very lucky to have the opportunity to do it,” she said.

“The main thing is to get the experience and see what happens.

“We have everything–children, family, horses. There are so many sports here. We go to the gym early in the morning then to the stables. Everything here is within five minutes.

“It’s really nice, every day. I have nothing to complain about.

“My horses are so differennt here, they are so happy. Maybe it’s the weather.”