Vera Kessels-Barisone Takes Whitman to Rider’s 1st Grand Prix in 16 Years, Days After Becoming American
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 19, 2014–Vera Kessels-Barisone performed her first Grand Prix in 16 years with the Dutch Warmblood gelding Whitman on Wednesday and the first competition since the rider became an American citizen 10 days ago.
The ride for the 11 year-old (Rhodium x Saluut) was the first at Grand Prix for Whitman, owned by Jane Suwalsky who also owned Neruda, the KWPN gelding that Michael Barisone, Vera’s husband, rode to be reserve for the United States at the 2008 Olympi Games.
Vera, formerly a Dutch citizen, and Whitman were coached by Michael at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival national competition.
She said after the ride: “We definitely have a full list of items to work on. We have a really good horse at home and have to find the same horse to take into the competition arena.”
Vera, based in Long Valley, New Jersey, last rode Grand Prix on Dotato at the Dressage at Devon CDI in Pennsylvania in 1998.