California’s Nick Wagman & Ferano Capture Wellington CDI3* Grand Prix Special in Only 2nd Big Tour

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Nick Wagman and Ferano at Global Dressage Festival. © 2021 Ken Braddick/


WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 30, 2021–Nick Wagman and Ferano captured the Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Grand Prix Special Saturday in only the second Big Tour competition for the partnership.

Nick of San Diego, California and the 11-year-old Dutch gelding scored 71.638% to lead an American sweep of the top three places.

Benjamin Ebeling of Moorpark, California, and Illuster Van De Kampert placed second on 71.255% after winning the Grand Prix. Susan Dutta of Wellington, Florida on Don Design DC was third on 69.362%.

Like his top mount, Don John, Nick found Ferano (Scandic x Parcival) at five years of age as an amateur prospect for Elizabeth Keadle, a long time supporter and friend.

“He turned out to be a little too feisty,” Nick said, “so I took over the ride and he’s just been showing us more and more talent.”

The pair competed at international Small Tour in 2018 and also in the nationals at Intermediate 1 and then the developing Grand Prix. Their CDI Grand Prix debut was at Thermal, California last November but too many green mistakes kept them out of the ribbons.

But in his second season in Wellington with Don John in pursuit of a place on the U.S. team for the Tokyo Olympics, Nick and Ferano came up winners in the duo’s first CDI in Florida.

“We did it, we did it,” he exclaimed. “I’m still pinching myself. It’s pretty exciting.”

The 47-year-old rider described Ferano as “a really honest horse. We’re both just getting our confidence out there.

“I think as he gets stronger he’s going to be a really solid competitor. He’s really got all the talent.

“He keeps surprising us. So far we haven’t tapped into all of his potential. As he’s getting stronger his frame is coming up and he’s super consistent.”

Nick plans to stay in Florida through the winter circuit to the end of March.

“What a wonderful position,” he said of Don John, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding, “to have a young one coming up behind him.

“We’ve had both since they were five years old. It’s a real joy to train them yourself and get there.”


CDI3* Grand Prix Special

Judges: Kjell Myhre Anne Prain Heidi Berry Mariano Santos Redondo William Warren
Pl. Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 71.638 USA Nick Wagman Ferano 72.553 73.83 70.745 69.043 72.021
2. 71.255 USA Benjamin Ebeling Illuster Van De Kampert 70.426 71.064 71.489 69.574 73.723
3. 69.362 USA Susan Dutta Don Design DC 68.723 68.085 70.106 71.277 68.617
4. 67.787 CAN Jill Irving Arthur 65.957 69.362 69.681 68.617 65.319
5. 67.043 USA Jessica Howington Cavalia 66.702 67.128 69.149 65.319 66.915
6. 65.426 USA Lisa Wilcox Valando BJ 63.511 65.851 64.894 65.638 67.234
7. 65.042 USA Dawn White-O’Connor Bailarino 63.936 67.766 64.787 65.532 63.191
8. 62.362 SUI Barbara Bertschinger Sir Schiwago 62.128 65.106 63.085 61.064 60.426
EL. SWE Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén Devanto