After Another Winning Winter Circuit, Ashley Holzer Decides Not to Seek Spot on Canada’s World Games Team

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Ashley Holzer and Tiva Nana winning the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Grand Prix Special. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ashley Holzer and Tiva Nana winning the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Grand Prix Special. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDIK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 30, 2014–Ashley Holzer ended her 2014 winter competition circuit at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Sunday with a second straight victory with Tiva Nana, but Canada’s leading rider disclosed she will not seek a place on the World Equestrian Games team as her two Grand Prix prospects are still too green.

Ashley and Tiva Nana, a 14-year-old KWPN mare owned by Marissa Mastranardi, won the CDI3* Grand Prix Special at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center with a score of 71.922 per cent after taking the Grand Prix with 70.000 per cent Thursday in only the second CDI for the partnership.

Lars Petersen, the Danish Olympian based in Florida, rode Willano to second place with 69.608 per cent on the horse’s return from two years out of the ring with a cancerous tumor on the neck of the 12-year-old Norwegian Warmblood gelding. Christilot Boylen, the German-based Canadian star, was third on Hudson 18 with a score of 67.275 per cent.

Ashley, a four-time Olympian for Canada who is based in New York City, also started competing Dressed in Black in national Grand Prix classes at this season’s GDF. The nine-year-old black Westfalen stallion (Dresemann x Silvano) matched the results of Tiva Nana with two victories on the last week of the GDF circuit.

“If we were successful in gaining a place on our team,” Ashley told dressage-news.com, “we would be going into the World Games with just a handful of Grand Prix under our belt. I don’t want to push the horses to do that.

“I’d rather do it at their pace, not rush them into it.

“I’m looking to the Pan American Games next year and the Olympics in 2016.”

The Pan Ams will be in Toronto in 2015 with teams of mixed Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges horses for the first time while the Olympics a year later will be at Rio de Janeiro.

She competed at both the 2006 WEG in Aachen, Germany and the 2010 WEG in Lexington, Kentucky.

Of Sunday’s performance by Tiva Nana, Ashley said: “She’s an incredible horse. She works for me in that ring. She was a trooper. A fun, fun, animal to ride and I feel very lucky to ride a horse like her. She really connects to you. She knows who you are and really wants to do well for you.”

Overall, Ashey was pleased with their ride and felt it was much cleaner than their previous Special two weeks ago. Nina was much more focused this week, and Ashley decided to lighten up on the aids.

“It’s a little tough,” she said, “because she’s so green that you don’t want to give such a small aid that she doesn’t know what she’s doing, but if you over-aid her, which I did last time. It’s having the confidence to sit and give tiny little aids and trust that she’ll be able to do it. I just said, ‘Okay, I’ll trust in you. You go and do your job.’ And, wow! She felt unbelievable.

“I’m speechless, frankly, to feel a horse work that hard and do that much. I was just trying to sit still! She was really hot today, and I just sat still. I wasn’t even asking for her to do more, that’s just all her trying.”

Lars Petersen and Willano in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Lars Petersen and Willano in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Willano that Lars Petersen rode to second place did his first CDI two weeks ago.

“He needs to be a little fitter, in a little better shape,” he said. “In the Grand Prix, especially, I ran out of energy a little bit, but he was better today. I just did a little bit yesterday with him, so that helped.

“I won a lot on him in the small tour, and there he was actually [brighter]. He was in shape then, so I just need to get him more fit after his lay-off. I think it will all come back. I’m very, very happy with him.”

Results:

Grand Prix Special 3*
E: Wessels – GBR H: Clarke – GBR C: Foy – USA M: Lamping – USA B: Eisenhardt – GER
Rider Ctzn Horse Breed Sex Birth Year E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Holzer, Ashley CAN Tiva Nana KWPN Mare 2000 72.843 1 72.255 1 69.804 2 72.843 1 71.863 1 71.922 1
Petersen, Lars DEN Willano Danish wb Gelding 2002 69.510 2 71.078 2 70.392 1 67.647 2 69.412 2 69.608 2
Boylen, Christilot CAN Hudson 18 OLD Gelding 2004 68.333 3 68.137 3 65.980 5 65.392 4 68.529 4 67.275 3
Irving, Jill CAN Degas 12 HANN Gelding 2002 67.745 4 67.059 4 65.490 6 65.000 6 68.627 3 66.784 4
Kane, Devon USA Destiny Danish WMbld Gelding 2003 65.882 6 66.078 5 66.765 4 66.176 3 67.549 5 66.490 5
Poulin, Michael USA Flair Westfalian Mare 2001 66.569 5 65.882 6 68.333 3 65.196 5 66.275 6 66.451 6
Hamilton, Susanne USA Lord Locksley TRAK Stallion 2001 63.431 7 63.922 7 60.980 9 64.216 7 62.255 9 62.961 7
Seidl, Franziska SUI Sigalia Kwpn Gelding 2014 62.157 8 62.549 9 63.333 7 63.333 8 63.137 8 62.902 8
Perry, Kasey USA Trostruplunds Scarlet Danish warmblood Mare 1999 61.961 9 63.824 8 62.059 8 60.490 9 63.922 7 62.451 0
Rivera Galarza, Antonio MEX Wizard Banamex DWB Gelding 2002 0.000 0 0.000 0 0.000 0 0.000 0 0.000 0 0.000 0