Arlene “Tuny” Page & Alina 5th at Hagen CDI4* Grand Prix Posting Personal Best, 1st Time Above 70%
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April 25, 2014
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Arlene “Tuny” Page rode her Alina to a personal best score of 70.160 per cent in the Grand Prix at Horses and Dreams CDI4* in Hagen, Germany on Friday, the first Grand Prix result above 70 per cent for the partnership campaigning for a place on the United States’ team for the World Equestrian Games in August.
Tuny and the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare placed fifth in a strong international field of 25 starting combinations from 15 nations. The 2012 Olympic team silver medal combination of Kristine Sprehe and Desperados led a German sweep of the top three places in the premier event opening the outdoor season with Isabell Werth and Don Johnson FRH second and Fabienne Lütkemeier and D’Agostino FRH third, all members of the 2013 European Championships silver medal team, with the fourth spot being filled by the Austrian Olympic and European partnership of Renate Voglsang and Fabriano.
“I am very happy to be starting 2014 this way,” said Tuny who left her Wellington, Florida base to spend two months training and competing in Europe ahead of the U.S. selection trials for the World Equestrian Games in France at the end of summer. She did not compete Alina in the intense CDI schedule in Florida’s winter circuit.
Alina, she told dressage-news.com, was “feeling very fresh and really wanting to work.
“I’m particularly pleased with all the passage/piaffe work… much more engaged and expressive. And she is content in it, not stressed.”
Robert Dover, the U.S. chef d’equipe, had told her that when Alina (Michellino x Diamant) could get her best piaffe/passage in the competition arena, the pair would easily go over 70 per cent.
The places where the pair gave away points were uncharactersitic–a jig in the walk and 17 instead of 15 one-tempi changes.
“I need to adjust my ride in the canter tour a little,” she said, “but at least I get a chance for that in the Special (on Saturday).”
In addition to Alina, Tuny, brought her developing Grand Prix mount, Woodstock, and her small tour horse, Castillia, to Europe and is based at the training center of Jürgen Koschel next to these show grounds. She spent much of last summer working with Jürgen, one of Germany’s top trainers who went to Florida for tuneup sessions in winter.
Tuny and Alina were members of the American team that won the silver medal at the Nations Cup series in Hickstead, England last summer where they also notched their previous best Grand Prix result of 69.723 per cent.
Before returning to the U.S. for the selection trials at Gladstone, New Jersey June 12-15, the pair may also compete at the Kappeln, Belgium CDI3* May 22-25.
Tuny, who competed at the 2006 World Cup Final in Amsterdam, has ridden Alina at international Grand Prix for four years.
“The mare has always had the ability to go this way but it has taken a combination of consistent training, great opportunities to compete, especially in Europe, and a solid team around us to have the confidence to become a true international team,” she said.
She and Catherine Haddad-Staller of Califon, New Jersey received grants from the U.S. Equestrian Federation to help fund the pre-selection trial European swing.