Brian Hafner & Lombardo LHF Win California World Cup Freestyle

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Brian Hafner and Lombardo LHF in California's Mid-Winter Dressage Fair World Cup Freestyle. © 2014
Brian Hafner and Lombardo LHF in California’s Mid-Winter Dressage Fair World Cup Freestyle. © 2014

BURBANK, California, Feb. 23, 2014–Brian Hafner and Lombardo LHF won the Md-Winter Dressage Fair World Cup Freestyle Sunday in the finale to the inaugural California Dreaming Productions program to upgrade international events on the West Coast of the United States.

Brian of Penngrove, California and the Hanoverian gelding (Londonderry x Werther) posted a personal best of 69.650 per cent on the horse that he rode in medal-winning performances at the 2009 North American Young Rider Championships. Lombardo is now 15 years old.

The pair was the only starting combination in the Freestyle and performed to music from the movie “Iron Man 3” that Brian said suited the powerful Lombardo with its “dramatic and masculine feel.”

Brian, who placed third in the Grand Prix on Friday, is seeking to qualify among the top 15 horse and rider combinations to compete in the U.S. Nationa; Championships om Gladstone, New Jersey in June. He recently received a $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize to train in Europe.

“I know how rare it is that a Young Rider horse goes on to the large tour successfully, and it’s quite amazing to have this opportunity,” he said. “We’ve been together for a long time, and I appreciate the relationship I have with him. I’m realizing how lucky I am.”

The efforts by the California Dreaming Productions team of long-time show organizer Glenda McElroy and Grand Prix riders and trainers David and Alisa Wilson of Chino Hills, California won enthisiastic support from competitors of all levels.

“I just loved it,” said multi Olympian Günter Seidel of Cardiff, Caifornia. “Even coming in on the first day, it was exciting and there was a buzz in the air because things were different. The little extras mean a lot.  I hope more and more people will come out and support this, because we have great quality here, and with super shows like this close to home there’s no reason to leave and compete elsewhere.”

“We know that exhibitors come to horse shows to ride and compete, but we also wanted to provide an exciting and enjoyable atmosphere for them to spend their weekend,” said co-organizer David Wilson. “We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we’ve received from competitors, owners, and sponsors, as well as spectators from around the world who watched the CDI rides on our CDP Live webpage. Thank you to everyone, and we can’t wait for the next show.”

The next competitions will be the Capistrano Dressage International World Cup event March 22-24 at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, California south of Los Angeles.