Australia’s Kelly Layne Posts Career High Grand Prix Score to Win Wellington CDI3* on Samhitas

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Kelly Layne on Samhitas celebrating the rider’s career high Grand Prix score in winning the Global Dressage Festival CDI3* in Wellington, Florida. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 25, 2021–Australia’s Kelly Layne posted a career high Grand Prix score riding Samhitas at the Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Thursday, and the rider’s first Big Tour victory in seven years.

Kelly, who has lived in Wellington for the past decade with her American husband, scored 71.935% on the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding.

Jennifer Williams of Olympia, Washington, the U.S. Grand Prix champion rider in 2020, was second on Sueño Hit on 68.826%.

South Korea’s Dongseon Kim, who had announced a year ago that he was leaving equestrian sports to focus on business, was third on DSK Belstaff on 68.500%.

Kelly, 45 years old, rode Amoucher on  the Australian team at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany in 2006 and campaigned Udon P for a place on the 2016 Olympic team.

Her last Big Tour victory was in a Grand Prix Freestyle on Udon at these same Palm Beach International Equestrian Center grounds in 2014.

She acquired Samhitas from Endel Ots also of Wellington who rode the horse to the U.S. six-year-old title in 2015 after competing at the World Young Horse Championships and moved up to Small Tour the following year.

Kelly began competing Samhitas in the fall of 2019. She described performances the first year as like riding a young horse in the Grand Prix.

“Today,” she told dressage-news.com, “I really felt like I was riding him, that we were a partnership. The result was a major milestone for us.”

Kelly said she believed there was more talent to be tapped in Samhitas. Her plans after the Wellington circuit the first week of April is to compete at the CDI in the newly built World Equestrian Center in Ocala, four hours north.

Results:

CDI3* Grand Prix for Freestyle

Judges: Cesar Torrente Christof Umbach Kari McClain Peter Storr Agnieszka Majewska
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 71.935 AUS Kelly Layne Samhitas 71.739 72.717 71.522 71.304 72.391
2. 68.826 USA Jennifer Williams Sueño Hit 69.13 68.261 69.13 69.783 67.826
3. 68.500 KOR Dongseon Kim DSK Belstaff 68.587 68.913 68.043 68.37 68.587
4. 65.978 ESP Paula Matute Guimon Delagronge 67.609 62.283 66.739 66.848 66.413
5. 65.174 CAN Naima Moreira Laliberté I Do Kiss 64.891 67.065 63.587 63.804 66.522
6. 62.978 CAN Pia Fortmüller Kartsevo Goldfinch 62.391 64.13 62.935 61.957 63.478
7. 62.826 USA Jessica Jo Tate Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon 64.022 60.87 62.5 64.239 62.5
8. 61.652 GEO Joanne Vaughan Al Martino 10 61.304 60.652 63.152 60.326 62.826
9. 61.478 CAN Krystalann Shingler Fidelio 59.457 66.413 63.37 57.935 60.217