USA’s Ashley Holzer & Mango Eastwood Win Wellington CDI3* Grand Prix Special for 5th Win in 6 Starts Since Beginning Big Tour 5 Weeks Ago
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 14, 2020–Ashley Holzer rode Mango Eastwood to victory in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Grand Prix Special Saturday for the fourth win in five starts since beginning Big Tour five weeks ago.
Ashley, a four-time Olympian for Canada based in Wellington and seeking to ride for the United States at the Tokyo Games, scored 72.596% on the 11-year-old KWPN gelding in the last Big Tour competition in the United States for at least the next four weeks.
Jennifer Schrader-Williams of Roy, Washington and Millione posted a personal best score of 71.511% for second.
The Wellington-based Australian Kelly Layne on Samhitas was third on 69.936%, the first Grand Prix Special for the Wellington-based Australian rider and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding. Kelly began competing Samhitas at Big Tour six months ago after buying the horse from American Endel Ots who showed the horse in the World Young Horse Championships as a six-year-old and moved up to Small Tour in 2016.
Mango Eastwood was bought as a nine-year-old by Diane Fellows from Jordi Domingo whom Ashley credits with doing an “amazing job” from young horse, but “it always takes a bit of time to form a partnership from a man riding the horse to a woman riding the horse. It’s taken a little time, but I really think this horse has all the scope.”
She keeps her voice down when saying that Mango Eastwood may be better than Pop Art, the horse she competed for Canada at the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 World Equestrian Games as well as the 2009 World Cup Final.
This was the third week showing Mango Eastwood “and I really haven’t had a ton of experience showing him and he’s definitely a little tired… but he really gave it.
“There were moments where I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re unbelievable,’ so then I sat still to see if he’d keep doing it on his own… I do my Isabell Werth training before I go in–I watch my video from the last time and then I watch Isabell’s best Grand Prix Special and she just sits there looking like she’s doing nothing, so I tried to do that.
“He’s an incredible horse and the mistakes were totally mine. I misjudged the speed in the one-times but even when I make a mistake as a rider he doesn’t hold it against me, he just comes right back, he’s a machine.
“And what I loved about him today was that when things went wrong, he didn’t throw in the the towel, he was right back to work again. He doesn’t hold anything against me. Once I get all the kinks out, I really think this horse is going to be spectacular.”
Stephen Clarke, a 5* judge of Great Britain who was at H, said after the competition, “Ashley’s riding is amazing. There were moments of tension but her brilliant riding saved the game and the horse has a lot of talent which she was able to show in spite of those tense moments.
“The horse has a huge ability and when he’s even more established and relaxed, then we’ll see more elasticity and expression which brings even higher marks.”
CDI3* Grand Prix Special
|Magnus Ringmark||Stephen Clarke||Christof Umbach||Heidi Berry||Isobel Wessels|
|1.||72.596||USA||Ashley Holzer||Mango Eastwood||71.915||73.298||73.511||71.489||72.766|
|4.||69.872||USA||Susan Dutta||Don Design DC||70.319||70.106||69.362||69.255||70.319|
|6.||68.702||CAN||Jaimey Irwin||Donegal V||68.936||70.851||67.447||68.830||67.447|
|7.||67.894||CAN||Tina Irwin||Fancy That||66.489||70.532||67.021||68.298||67.128|
|8.||67.021||USA||James Koford||Adiah HP||67.553||66.702||67.553||66.277||67.021|
|11.||65.277||GEO||Joanne Vaughan||Elmegardens Marquis||64.362||65.319||65.426||66.064||65.213|
|12.||65.106||USA||Sarah Lockman||First Apple||66.170||65.957||60.851||66.915||65.638|
|14.||63.468||USA||Catherine Haddad Staller||Frankie||63.957||62.681||63.106||65.128||62.468|