WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 18, 2016–Katherine Bateson-Chandler on Alcazar claimed their first Grand Prix Freestyle victory by winning the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Friday.
In temperatures that were close to 100F/37C in the open air sand arena, Katherine and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding scored 72.425 per cent for the win. The pair logged two victories in Grand Prix Specials in Wellington last year but never before in the Freestyle
P.J. Rizvi on Breaking Dawn, the 15-year-old KWPN gelding owned by P.J. that Ashley Holzer rode for Canada at the 2012 Olympics in London, found the heat helpful in producing her best ever result of 70.600 per cent. Anna Marek and Unico G were third on 67.275 per cent.
Katherine, British-born but an American citizen who lives in Wellington in winter and trains with Carl Hester in England in summer, admitted she did not much like the Freestyle preferring the Grand Prix. A score of 63.425 atWindsor 10 months ago underscored her feeling.
“I’m not a real fan of the Freestyle,” she admitted, “it either has to make you cry or make you dance.”
The Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, though, was a fun crowd pleaser that fits Alcazar and she will tweak it to add more difficulty.
She also got a confidence-boosting inspirational talk from Allyn Mann, representing title sponsor Adequan, after a disappointing Grand Prix Thursday that she joked “pulled me back from the ledge.”
P.J. said the heat worked to her advantage in that it slowed down Breaking Dawn just enough to stay in harmony with the rider.