Kathleen Raine & Breanna Plan to Compete at Global Dressage Festival $200,000 CDI5* After European Successes
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Jan. 2, 2014
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Kathleen Raine plans to compete Breanna at Florida’s Global Dressage Festival for the first time in one of the world’s richest international 5* events after returning from five months of showing and training in Europe highlighted by twice notching personal best scores that vaulted the California combination up the United States rankings.
Kathleen of Murieta, California and the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare go into 2015 ranked among the top American combinations in a year when only one or two Grand Prix horses and riders will be selected for the U.S. Pan American Games team of mixed Big Tour and Small Tour that is vital for 2016 Olympic Games qualifcation.
The pair have been nominated for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival $200,000 (€166,000) CDI5*, a featured event of the Florida circuit of seven international shows.
The 49-year-old rider of Murieta, California and Breanna were in Europe on a $25,000 Carol Lavell award through The Dressage Foundation that gave her the opportunity to train intensively with Johann Hinnemann, her coach for two decades.
With Breanna, she competed at six top German shows including the premier World Equestrian Festival CDI4* at Aachen and the German Masters at Stuttgart. The duo scored a personal best Grand Prix score of 71.540 per cent at Stuttgart and a Grand Prix Special of 71.840 per cent at Aachen.
“I feel it’s very important for Americans to spend time training and competing in Europe,” said Kathleen whose lifetime in the sport includes being on the U.S. team with Avontuur at the 1994 World Equestrian Games.
“I have been training with Johann Hinnemann for more then 20 years. It’s a large sacrifice, but well worth it. I’m very lucky to have many loyal and supportive clients, that will then benefit from my being here.
“It’s very beneficial to have the consistency in the training and be able to build on each performance. The top competitors here in Europe are at every show. Sometimes with their top horse, or upcoming horses. I feel it really keeps you tuned up competing amongst them.”
She first began CDI Grand Prix with the mare in March, 2011 a year after competing at small tour.
Kathleen and Breanna finished ninth at the U.S. Championships last summer, missing out by one place on being included in the group of eight combinations named to be in Europe to battle for four places and a reserve on the American WEG team.
But their results and consistency in Europe made them a standout pair.
Kathleen and her husband, David Wightman, are owners of Adventure Farms in Murrieta. Kathleen rode Avontuur to become one of the United States’ leading combinations in the 1990s.
Kathleen and David bought Breanna as a four-year-old at the 2004 Hanoverian Elite Auction in Verden, Germany.
In 2013 the combination placed second in the Grand Prix and third in the Freestyle at the Nations Cup competition in Hickstead, England and third in the Grand Prix Special at the CDI4* in Lingen, Germany.
As welL as shows where she is competing, she said, “I enjoy going to other shows that include young riders, juniors, young horse and stallion competitions. I find it very educational, and I like to see all aspects of the sport.
“Having so many Americans come here and train and compete raises the standard and our own expectations at home. The proof of that, for us this year was, my husband, David Wightman coaching our young rider to three gold medals at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships.”
Kathleen and David have been married for 24 years and at their stables in Murrieta focus on training and competing, typiclly developing young horses most of which they own for higher levels.