Chris von Martels & Zilverstar Claim Wellington CDI5* Intermediate Freestyle

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Zilverstar ridden by Chris von Martels showing off his extended trot in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5* Intermediate Freestyle. © 2015 SusanJStickle.com
Zilverstar ridden by Chris von Martels showing off his extended trot in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5* Intermediate Freestyle. © 2015 SusanJStickle.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 8, 2015–Chris von Martels posted the biggest win so far on Zilverstar in winning the CDI5* Intermediate Freestyle  Sunday with the highest score so in any international small tour event at this season’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

In what was applauded as an “exciting” performance to u2 music, the Canadian rode the 11-year-old KWPN gelding to a score of 75.650 per cent with the USA’s Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Rassing’s Lonoir second on 74.200 per cent.

Making their first appearance on Florida’s Global circuit Dawn White-O’Connor of San Diego, California on Aristo were third on 71.400 per cent, a result that was so successful the assistant trainer to Steffen Peters is staying for a second CDI, the 4* event Feb. 18-22.

Dawn described Aristo as “like a dog; he really has no concept that he’s a horse.”

The plan is to stay at small tour until the summer when she hopes to ease the 10-year-old KWPN gelding into Grand Prix.

Dawn White-O'Connor on Aristo in the Intermediate Freestyle. © 2015 SusanJStickle.com
Dawn White-O’Connor on Aristo in the Intermediate Freestyle. © 2015 SusanJStickle.com

The small tour has added importance this year of the Pan American Games to be staged in Toronto in July as teams consist of both big and small tour combinations with the gold medal nation earning a start at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.71.079

Zilverstar and the 32-year-old rider placed fifth in a field of 46 combinations from 10 nations in the Prix St. Georges, with fellow Canadian Diane Creech on Robbie W in third place. The pair’s Intermediate 1 score of 70.263 per cent earned seventh place with Diane and Robbie second and compatriot Belinda Trussell on Tattoo in sixth.

“This was a really exciting competition with a true international field in what is like a top European show,” Chris said.

He first began riding the horse in training for a customer but was able to buy Zilverstar and is in their third season at small tour. Their first international event was at this same Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex two years ago.

The 2014 Global season saw the pair on the silver medal team in the Nations Cup and captured the finale Intermediate Freestyle for the pair’s first international victory.

Chris took Zilverstar to Europe after the Florida circuit competing at some of the top competitions–Compiègne, France; Perl, Germany and Zandhoven, Belgium where they placed fourth at Intermediate 1 and third at Intermediate Freestyle.

“It’s exciting when you have the opportunity to ride to music you love and that the horse responds to,” Chris said. “The choreography is a very foreward Freestyle that highlights his strengths of extended trot, tempi change, half passes. We’re able to present them to shine.

“He’s really a blast to ride.”

Chris has his sights set on Zilverstar earning a spot on Canada’s Pan Am team with some strong competition from his compatriots.

“If this was not a Pan Am year,” he said, “I would like to have started moving up to Grand Prix, perhaps with some Intermediate 2. But it probably is in Zilverstar’s best interests to wait a little longer and keep him in Pan Am qualifying. He’s still at a good age where he has a lot of time for his career.

“He has a lot of energy, is sensitive and extremely intelligent. It’s fun training a horse like this.”

Results:

Intermediare I Freestyle
E: Clarke – GBR H: McMullen – CAN C: Gribbons – USA M: Foy – USA B: Armando – ARG
Rider Nation Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Von Martels, Chris CAN Zilverstar 76.125 1 76.000 1 76.250 1 74.000 2 75.875 1 75.650 1
LaGoy-Weltz, Olivia USA Rassing’s Lonoir 75.125 2 73.625 2 73.750 2 74.625 1 73.875 2 74.200 2
White-O’Connor, Dawn USA Aristo 73.750 3 68.875 5 71.500 3 72.250 3 70.625 6 71.400 3
Hickey, Christopher USA Ronaldo 70.875 5 68.125 6 70.625 5 71.375 6 71.625 4 70.525 4
Gallagher-Legriffon, Denielle CAN Argo Conti Tyme 72.250 4 67.000 9 69.875 6 69.625 8 73.000 3 70.350 5
Irving, Jill CAN Dio Mio 70.750 7 70.875 3 70.750 4 71.625 4 67.625 8 70.325 6
Irwin, Tina CAN Fancy That 70.875 6 70.375 4 67.375 8 71.625 4 68.625 7 69.775 7
Martin, Silva USA Rosa Cha W 70.375 8 67.875 7 68.250 7 70.375 7 71.250 5 69.625 8
Lauritsen, Mary Bahniuk USA Ansgar 67.000 9 67.125 8 64.625 10 67.750 9 66.250 9 66.550 9
Yarur, Virginia CHI Finn 66.000 10 66.000 10 65.750 9 66.250 10 66.125 10 66.025 10
Lane, Megan CAN San D’Or 60.875 11 65.625 11 63.375 11 66.000 11 64.125 11 64.000 11